“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (The First Amendment of the United States Constitution)
It seems as though my beloved United States of America has lost its ever-loving collective mind. Never in my lifetime, have I seen such asininity on full display from entertainers, athletes, so-called community leaders, and the men and women we elect to represent us. Our President types out more Tweets than an emo teenager, NFL players, take a knee during the National Anthem, disrupters of all kinds try to impede the Democratic process, and rioters destroy their own neighborhoods. Politicians and community organizers pander to any group they can label as a victim, and the white supremacists pander to the only group left, white Christian males. Feelings trump facts; everyone wants to be heard, but nobody wants to listen; right and wrong are whatever you want them to be, and the truth no longer matters. It makes me want to stand up and shout as loud as I can “Can’t we all just grow up and get along?!”
The participants in all this insanity believe that their words and deeds are sanctioned by the Constitution; that the First Amendment is a protective shield that gives them the right to say and do whatever they want without consequence. Well, no, it doesn’t. Since apparently, the Constitution and the mindset of the men who wrote it are no longer taught in public school, it looks like it’s up to me, the Middle Aged Housewife, to give you all a common sense, middle class, refresher course.
Let’s start with “freedom of religion”. This part of the amendment was created to prevent the Federal Government from establishing an official national religion. Many people came to this land to escape from religious persecution in their homelands, and being able to worship G-d how they saw fit was important to them. Interestingly, this amendment makes no mention of the “separation of church and state”. That statement was made by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, confirming that there is a wall between the government and religious practice. This was meant to assure religious leaders that the government could not dictate religious practices.It was not meant to infer that politicians, public officials and educators, could not rely on their personal principles, religious or otherwise, to guide them in their decision-making. When public schools ban prayers, and public buildings remove copies of “The Ten Commandments”, they in reality are violating the First Amendment. However, we Christians must realize that while this amendment was meant to protect our religious rights, it also protects the rights of non-Christian belief systems. This means that a ridiculous statue of a Satanic goat ministering to children has just as much a right to be in front of the courthouse as a stone with The Ten Commandments, a Cross, a Nativity Scene or a Menorah. As individuals, we have the right and the responsibility to practice our beliefs, and to bring our children up with the knowledge that under our secular form of government, all religions have an equal right to exist, but that doesn’t mean that all forms of religion are equally benevolent or beneficial.
In my next post, I’ll explain my take on Freedom of Speech.
Every time another black man is shot by a police officer, I cringe. I know instinctively that every officer in American will once again have to defend themselves from the vengeful and ignorant. The videos released usually only tell us the story the creators of those videos want us to believe. The media delights in stoking the flames of a fictitious war declared against black men by LEOs. This irresponsible reporting does not shed light on the truths of the matter. It places both young black men and LEOS in danger.
There are some legitimate grievances from the black community. There needs to be more transparency from law enforcement agencies. Cops on a power surge need to be weeded out. But none of the changes asked for from the black community will bring about the peace and security they need until they can admit and address their own culpability in these killings.
You cannot allow a culture of a lack of respect for the rule of law and law enforcement to exist in your midst and not expect to be judged by it. A disproportionate number of crimes are committed by young black men. There is a culture within the black community that respects and glorifies violence, and considers theft to be a valid occupation. A black male is far more likely to be killed by one of his own than by a police officer. This is not mere perception, it is reality, and nothing can change as long as the black community looks away and pretends that this has nothing to do with why there is a disconnect with law enforcement.
I hear black parents teaching their children to speak politely and respectfully to police officers, and to comply with their orders. I was also taught this as a child. The difference is that black parents teach this because they want their children to fear the police. I was taught this because it is the right thing to do. There should not be one standard of morality for black people and another for whites. There should not be one standard of morality for those in authority and another for the rest of us. Right is right and wrong is wrong regardless of your circumstances. We all need to remember and act on this if we want things to get better.
Today in cities across the nation, there was yet again another protest for raising the minimum wage. As someone who has worked more than a few part-time jobs, I get it. I really do. Your time is valuable, and to be working in a thankless fast food or cashier job for several hours a day dealing with rude customers and demanding bosses can be soul crushing. You think of the time you could be spending with your family and friends, the meaningful projects you could be completing, the pile of dishes and laundry waiting for you at home, and you think, “There’s got to be more to life than this”.
Here’s the thing, there is. Being a store clerk, or a fast food worker, was never meant to be a career choice. Those are starter jobs. The things you do as an after school job to gain experience in the working world. It’s what you do to supplement the family income, or help stretch the pension. Flipping burgers and bagging groceries isn’t supposed to pay enough, to pay rent or a mortgage, or feed and clothe a family of four. That’s what professional and skilled labor jobs are for.
Again I get it. Going back to school, means sacrificing even more time away from friends and family. It’s expensive, (though if you are working in a low wage job you probably qualify for some form of tuition assistance). It means finding family and neighbors who will watch your kids for next to nothing because daycare is expensive. It means juggling your schedule around those who are helping to support you in your endeavor. No one should underestimate the difficulty in trying to work, go to school, and raise a family all at the same time. So raising the wage to $15.00 an hour would be such a relief because it could raise some of that burden from you.
But remember, those blue-collar and semi-professional jobs that pay a higher wage, the kind of wage you would like to receive, require a higher level of professionalism. As a consumer, I am the one who will ultimately be paying for your wage increase. If I’m paying more for that already expensive basket of groceries, or the number six jumbo meal, I am going to expect more from the person behind the counter.
When I walk into your establishment, I will expect to be greeted politely, if not enthusiastically, with a smile. Even if you are on the phone (and that phone call better be with your boss or another customer and not your boyfriend). I expect my order to be taken correctly, charged correctly, and correctly communicated to the kitchen. I expect the kitchen to assemble my food with a little love, no more cheese half off the patty and patty half off the bread. I expect you to know your products and work place. If I have a reasonable question about a product, I expect you to know the answer, and if I ask you where something is I expect you to be able to tell me, or better yet, take me there. While I’m standing in your check out line, I do not want to hear about your colonoscopy, your rash, your kid’s rash, that your boss is a bitch, your cousin couldn’t make bail again, or how you had to stay late because someone else didn’t show up to work. It’s not that I’m not compassionate, but there is a such thing as appropriateness.
The idea that you can increase wages at the bottom by lowering them at the top, is a lie. Ultimately a business prospers and its employees prosper when the customer is given a good product or service at a fair price. Where much (of my money) is given, much is required.
So Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks thinks we need to start a conversation about race. Just where has this man been? The discussion of race is everywhere, TV shows, mainstream media, talk radio, the classroom, the pulpit, the street corner. My suspicion is that the #RaceTogether campaign is nothing more than a clever marketing ploy, glomming on to the latest social issue to draw attention to the company and there by driving up sales.
If Schultz, and all the others that keep racial tension at the forefront of our collective conscience, really wanted to foster understanding and unity, they would be addressing the real cause of societies’ downslide.
The conversation should be about character, accountability, personal responsibility, and good old common courtesy. The lack of these, is evident everywhere, from the checkout counter, to the highway. Right and wrong are malleable according to the situation, our behavior is never our fault, and for every injury or insult against us, someone must pay. We continually cry out for “justice” when what we really want is vengeance.
This isn’t a black vs white, rich vs poor, man vs woman, Democrat vs Republican issue, it’s an American issue. We have bought into the “it takes a village” ideology. We believe that it is the “village’s” responsibility to take care of us and our children rather than assuming that responsibility ourselves, and have thereby become a self-centered nation of victims. Always ready to demand that we be treated the way we want to be treated, but never willing to look deep within our own psyches and our communities, to correct the bad attitudes and moral deficiencies within ourselves. We must have the courage to stand up for right and justice, but we must also develop the wisdom to know when a grievance is really worth taking a stand for, and when we should just toughen our skins and walk away. We should be willing to accept the truth, even when that truth is uncomfortable to face and puts us or our loved ones in a bad light.
The recent trials of Curtis Reeves and Michael Dunn are sure to add fuel to the arguments for the increased need for more gun regulations. Reeves is on trial for the murder of Chad Oulson. Reeves had repeatedly asked Oulson to quit texting during the previews for the movie, Lone Survivor. He even went so far as to report the texting to the theater manager. Oulson, tired of being harassed by Reeves, picked up Reeves popcorn and threw it at him. Reeves then lost his cool, or panicked, or both, then took out his gun and shot Oulson.
Michael Dunn, is on trial for killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Dunn was at a gas station in Jacksonville, FL and asked a group of teens in an SUV to turn down their music. After the teens castigated Dunn with a barrage of threats and profanities, Dunn claims he saw a weapon in the SUV (no evidence of which was ever found) so he fired several rounds at the vehicle, presumably in self-defense.
It is easy to blame these murders on an angry racist subset of society, with too easy access to firearms. But that only gives us an excuse not to look deeper. The uncomfortable truth, one that most of us are guilty of, is that as a society, we have lost our sense of civility. We have forgotten that good manners are not something that we demand to be bestowed upon us, but rather something we bestow upon other people. It used to be an automatic attitude, drilled into us as children, that in order to live peaceably with others we sometimes had to endure some inconvenience and discomfort. We took our unruly children outside the restaurant or theater; we made our calls and answered our beepers outside or in the lobby. Even though we might be tired, we offered our seats to the elderly and handicapped. We didn’t push to the front of lines, or cuss out store clerks. As children we were taught to respect our elders and those in authority. We said please, thank you and excuse me, because it was how people with a good upbringing behaved. Not because they were “magic” words we could use to get our way. We recognized that driving was a privilege not a right. We didn’t tailgate, cut people off, run red lights, or poach parking spaces on purpose.
We were also taught how to control our temper. We learned early that a tantrum would not get us toys or candy, but it might get us a spanking. Punching walls throwing things or otherwise destroying property wasn’t tolerated either. We were taught to try to find polite solutions to the people or activities that irritated us and if no polite solution was found, to remove ourselves from them.
Our homes, our schools, our churches and even the TV shows we watched, all taught us that everyone had rights. No one’s rights were more important than anyone else’s and those rights were to be respected. Sadly, not anymore.
Today’s gadget driven society feeds our egocentricity. We can be out in public without actually interacting with anyone. We have superficial conversations with friends, family, and even complete strangers, while ignoring the people right in front of us. We can hide in the apparent anonymity of a Face Book post or Twitter feed, and never have to really see the results of our words. We can blame guns, we can blame racism, we can buy into the ideal that we need more laws and stronger laws to protect us from each other. What we really need to do is some soul-searching, both individually and as a society. We need to ask ourselves how many more people have to die a senseless death before we recognize that our society is morally sick. It’s the kind of sickness that happens when people ignore the needs of their souls. It’s a sickness that no law, no government program can fix. It’s something we must recognize and heal ourselves.
I was sitting at my computer, musing about the purpose of mankind. Musing is so much more satisfying than balancing the checkbook (yes, I still do that) or paying bills, but I digress. I cannot believe that an entire race, a race capable of space travel, is nothing more than a cosmic accident that evolved over the eons into the most destructive parasite on earth. No, we are beings created and designed for a reason.
How were we made? To be honest, the Bible really doesn’t give us the details. Were we simply spoken into existence? Did God literally take a handful of clay from the ground and mold it into a human being like a great spiritual sculptor? Was He the catalyst that sparked the primordial ooze into a living blob that slowly over the spans of time, developed into the human species, and all the other forms of life as well? Or are we the product of a biological interaction of a superior being? Based on what we actually know, any one of these scenarios is possible, and none of them diminish in any way the sovereignty of God. But none of them tell us why God created us.
To answer that question is to search for the very nature of God. Something that humans in their present state of development cannot fully comprehend. Was God lonely? Are we really nothing more than pets to Him? Was God bored, so he created a race of playthings? Creatures he could manipulate at whim? Is God a narcissist, so he made someone to feed His need for constant adulation? No, we are called the “children of God” for a reason. Please understand that I am not attempting to presume upon God in any way, but here are my thoughts on the subject.
In any loving functional family, parents do not choose to have children to fulfill selfish desires. It is not a need to have a child to “show off”, or to love us back, that compels us to procreate. It is a deep instinctive desire to pass on our values, our knowledge, and our genetic code, to another generation; in the hope that they can learn from our mistakes and make the world better than the generation before. Having children fulfills our need to love and nurture, and so it is with God.
God is an omniscient being, and it is my belief that God’s intention was to mold us, groom us and teach us so that he could some day share; when we as a race were ready; his infinite knowledge and wisdom with us. Just as any loving parent does not give an infant steak and lobster for dinner, or gives the car keys to a preschooler, the process of teaching was meant to be slow and thorough. By proving ourselves worthy with the little things, God would then trust us with the bigger things.
But Eve was impatient. In some families you have the obedient child. The one who does as he’s told, who pays attention to the teachings of his parents. This child is content with being given privileges equal to the responsibilities he takes on. This child has a special relationship to his parents because they can trust him. When he becomes an adult, they can send him out into the world with confidence. Then there is the headstrong child. Ready or not, this child wants the privileges and wants them now. Too stubborn to listen to the wisdom of his parents, he wants the short-cuts and will turn to those who can provide them. He is a source of anxiety to his parents and is not close to them. As an adult, this child is frequently in financial or moral trouble and turns to his parents for a solution. Eve was this kind of child
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, was not literally a tree, and she did not literally take a bite of a piece of fruit. Through the wily machinations of Satan, Eve became privy to a secret she was not ready to know. A secret she shared with Adam, and betrayed the trust of God. The acquisition of this knowledge, gained through disobedience, was the original sin. This knowledge, obtained without the wisdom to know how to handle it, is the basis for all of our ethical struggles. It is why there is such animosity between the spiritual and the scientific. God did not intend for it to be this way.
The human mind is a powerful and wonderful thing. The technologies that we have developed, the scientific breakthroughs are not inherently evil things. God wants us to know these things. He wants us to use our minds to learn how the Universe works and how to cure disease. But because of Eve’s impertinence we push on gaining a wealth of knowledge, without the wisdom to know the unintended consequences. God wanted us to know how to use the resources of this earth without laying it to waste. He wanted us to know how to heal the human body without creating genetic monsters in the process. He wanted us to know how to harness the abundant energies of the Universe, without creating the means with which to destroy ourselves.
As Christians, we have to fight the temptation to regard science as an affront to God. Remember, it was God who gave us our minds, our capacity to learn and our hunger for knowledge. To use the Bible as our only source of knowledge is to limit our minds. “The Bible said it, I believe it, and that settles it” ; when we do not even fully understand and agree with what the Bible says; is the mantra of a closed mind and a decaying spirit. This attitude will turn us into illogical beings unfit to share the greater truths God wants to share with us when we are ready. For science to disregard the spiritual is to deny an entire aspect of our being. It is through the spirit that God teaches us the wisdom to know how to use our knowledge in ethical ways. It keeps our eyes on the right goal; a mature race, ready and worthy to share in God’s kingdom.
The human race is approaching the adolescence of its existence. We are becoming increasingly dependent on our own technology. We are arrogant and stubborn and too proud to admit to needing God’s wisdom. Maybe this is why the world seems to be such a hostile place now. Like a loving yet wise parent, God is letting us experience the consequences of our actions. It is my hope and prayer that the human race learns its lesson. Before we wander so far from God, we can’t get back.
Since the verdict of the George Zimmerman trial, I have watched the reactions from all sides with a sense of frustration. More than once I have found myself shouting at the radio, TV, or computer screen “just what do you want from us?” The supporters of Trayvon and his family were adamant in their desire for a fair trial, for justice. Once granted that trial and justice being served, they now want another trial in Federal Court under civil rights violations. OK, just what was it that you wanted? Justice or vengeance? The leaders in the black community are calling for an end to racial profiling. However, they refuse to earnestly acknowledge that it is the violent behavior of many young black men, and the undisputable fact that young black men commit a disproportionate number of crimes, that are the causes of such profiling. Instead, race-baiters like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and local black leadership foment an unreasonable fear of white people, and authority. Many black parents now teach their children to keep their hands in view and speak respectfully to police officers. They tell them not to wear baggy pants, hoodies in the summer or let their underwear show. They teach them not to be out late at night or hang out in certain areas or with known gang-bangers. They teach their children that they must do these things not to instill better values, but because white people have an irrational fear of black people and because of this, young black men are always in danger of being unfairly incarcerated or worse. Funny thing is, these are some of the same things I have taught my kids. Not because they might be the victims of a perceived injustice, but because it is the correct way to behave. You are supposed to have respect for authority, and to dress and behave respectfully, if you want to be respected yourself.
There is clearly a disconnect between how the black community and the white community perceive identical situations. In the white community, it makes perfect sense to assume that someone who dresses like, talks like, and has the same swaggering posture as a thug, is a thug. According to the black community we should not make such assumptions unless the person has actually committed a crime against us. Mind you, it’s OK for blacks to be suspicious of other blacks, but if it is done by a white person, it’s profiling and should be illegal. To most business owners, it is a sound business practice to analyze inventory and to secure merchandize that is often stolen. If those items happen to be frequently purchased by blacks, then it is not business, it’s racism.
Almost without exception, black people will tell you of how they have been followed by store clerks, heard the locking of doors, and witnessed white people clutching their purses tighter when they approached. Even the President told of his experience. I know that personally, when I meet a black person, unless that person, is dressed like or acting like a thug, I don’t behave that way. In fact, I can’t think of anyone I know who does. Could the experiences passed down from generations past, documented accounts of past horrid treatment at the hands of whites, affect how you perceive your world today? Could it be perhaps, that you have been conditioned by your culture to expect this kind of treatment and are hyper-sensitive to it?
No one in my generation, black or white, has attended a segregated school, used a segregated bathroom, eaten at a segregated lunch counter or knew anyone who owned or was a slave. Our parents may have, our grandparents surly did. But that was two generations ago. We get it. We really do. Judging someone by the color of their skin is wrong. It’s why we no longer form lynch mobs, or petition to keep black people out of our neighborhoods. It’s why we think nothing of working, shopping or commuting with our black neighbors. The thought of returning to the pre-civil rights era is as abhorrent to us as it is to the black community. That is why whites in America are becoming increasingly frustrated at being judged for what our ancestors did to your ancestors.
Told by politicians pandering for their votes, a media desperate for ratings and leaders within their own community hungry for power, that they deserve reparation, many of today’s blacks are no longer content with seeking a level playing field and a color blind society, they seek retribution. By allowing themselves to be used by leaders more interested in increasing their own power, and by becoming dependent on government entitlements, the black community has embraced victim-hood. By doing so, they have willingly become slaves all over again. And this time no amount of white guilt can undo the damage. It’s something the black community must do for itself.
- Black America’s True Nemesis: Liberals, Not Zimmerman (americanthinker.com)
- Dear Black America (uiowa.uloop.com)
At first glance, that seems like a really pointless question. We know without a doubt that George Zimmerman pulled the trigger and shot Trayvon Martin. But the question isn’t about a trial verdict. It’s about racial profiling. Was Zimmerman profiling Martin? Of course he was. The question is why?
In spite of how white people are portrayed in the ratings starved media, and by race baiting politicians, I was never taught at any time in my childhood that I was to fear or hate black men. No white person I know in my circle of friends or acquaintances was ever taught this. I cannot name a single person who honestly believes, whether in public or private, that black people, simply by virtue of the color of their skin, are intellectually or morally inferior to whites. Yet, I have to admit, that when I see a black man in baggy pants, and hip hop chains, arrogantly swaggering through the parking lot, I hold my purse closer and quicken my steps to my car or store entrance. If I ask myself why this is, if I truly examine my feelings and ask my self is it only because he is black, I can honestly and without reservation answer no. Why? Because if I saw a white or hispanic kid dressed the same way and displaying the same attitude, I would react the same way because both would seem to be punks looking for trouble. If a saw a black man taking his toddler by the hand and walking across that same parking lot, or a wearing a suit standing on the sidewalk, or walking out of a church, I would have no fear of these men. When my black neighbor, who happens to be a successful business man, has a barbecue in his back yard, I don’t give the black people coming to and from his house a second look, because none of these people look or act threatening in any way. Did I profile these people? Of course I did. Whether we want to admit it or not, all of us, regardless of our race, profile. We all observe the people around us and determine whether or not they are a threat to our safety. George Zimmerman was profiling when he, based on the fact that several crimes in the area had been committed by young black men, felt Trayvon, someone he didn’t recognize as living in the area, was suspicious. Trayvon was profiling when he was suspicious of a “creepy ass cracker” following him. In both cases, both men viewing each other as suspicious, was a reasonable reaction.
Why are young black males so often perceived as a threat? It’s the elephant in the room that nobody wants to name or talk about. It’s the culture of violence so many of them choose to live in. Every Rapper who has ever sung the praises of killing cops, beating women, and stealing from “whitey”, shares the responsibility for Trayvon’s death. Every young black man who thinks raping a woman is “just having a little fun”, and killing someone for his expensive clothes isn’t wrong, it’s evening the score, shares the guilt. Every gang-banger who has ever participated in a drive by shooting, or armed robbery has Trayvon’s blood on his hands. For it wasn’t the color of their skin, it was the words and actions of these people who caused George Zimmerman to view a young black man, his head covered with a hoodie, who was doing nothing wrong and had every right to be there, with suspicion.
We are longing to welcome young black men into society. They are free to become, whatever they dream to be. There are black businessmen, lawyers, and teachers. There are black astronauts, scientists, and neurosurgeons. We have a black President. But are these men, who became successful because they valued education, and hard work, the role models for many young black men? No, they are seen as sellouts and “Uncle Toms”. Instead, many young black men look to gang leaders and drug dealers, people who attain their wealth from committing crimes, as their source of inspiration. This is a truth that the black community has to come to terms with. If they want to protect their sons from being perceived as dangerous, they can no longer ignore it. And no amount of governmental aid, political correctness or white guilt will change it. It is a cultural shift, the black community must achieve for itself. The black community needs to listen to the white perspective without the filter of perceived racism, just as much as the white community needs to listen to them.
In this light, I am proud of the reaction of the Sanford community. Their anger and disappointment at the verdict is understandable, their restraint commendable. The grace and dignity of Trayvon’s parents is an example for us all. Let the healing begin.
- Did Zimmerman Profile Martin – or the Other Way Around? (conservativeread.com)
- It’s Not Just About Trayvon (blogher.com)
Earlier this week the Boy Scouts of America made the decision to allow gay boys into the organization. Gay leaders however will not be allowed. I stated in an earlier post that I had mixed feelings about the decision. I still do. But mostly I am disappointed and this is why.
The BSA was bullied into this decision by groups who are less interested in becoming Boy Scouts than in changing American culture. I am disappointed that the BSA did not fight for its Supreme Court confirmed right to make its own rules.
The half-hearted compromise to allow gay boys but not gay leaders will please no one. Radical gay rights groups will continue to push until both gay adults and boys are allowed to exhibit openly gay behavior at Scout functions. Rather than solving the issue, the BSA will now be faced with many more court challenges. Most likely from Atheist groups seeking to force the organization to abandon its Declaration of Religious Principle.
The BSA needs to draw its line in the sand, and draw it now before the organization’s values are whittled away to irrelevance.
This coming May the Boy Scouts of America will make a decision on whether or not to allow gay people into the organization. As a scout parent, I have very mixed feelings about this issue. For more that one hundred years the organization has fulfilled a need that may be greater now than ever before. As our society increasingly seeks to emasculate the male gender, young men need a place where “boys can be boys” while still learning the foundations of integrity taught by the Scouting program. The values enumerated in the Boy Scout Law, trustworthiness, loyalty, helpfulness, friendship, courtesy, kindness, obedience, cheerfulness, thriftiness, bravery, cleanliness, and reverence are values that are sorely needed in all aspects of today’s world. From the White House, to the board room, to the schools, and the media, our society is yearning for men (and women) who will place personal integrity above their own needs for power and glory and wealth. The kind of men Scouting creates, and yet, this same society has sought on several occasions to tear down the tenets of Scouting as outdated or discriminatory. This is a dark place for the organization to be in. The issues are complex and weighty, and there is no solution that won’t hurt the program in some way.
The safety of the boys is the most important consideration in this issue. The idea that allowing gay leaders would somehow lead to an increase in sexual abuse is based more on emotion than fact. Homosexuality, and Pedophilia come from two different mindsets. I would expect any leader, regardless of his or her sexual orientation to keep their private lives, private. Just as it would be inappropriate for a man and a woman married or not to engage in sexual behavior during a Scout function, so would it be for a gay couple. Because the standards of behavior for adult leaders are well established and could apply to any sexual orientation, removing leaders who violate the rules could be accomplished without valid accusations of discrimination.
Allowing gay boys into the organization is more problematic. Navigating the hormonal seas of adolescence is difficult for any teenager. Add in an immature frontal cortex, the judgement center of the brain, and you have a recipe for all sorts of bad decisions. That is why coed groups such as Venturing, have strict rules of behavior. Many of those same rules could be used in a mixed group of gay and heterosexual boys, but it would be impossible to segregate tenting and bathing without discriminating against the gay Scouts. To be fair, there are already gay boys within the ranks who are engaging in camping and other Scouting activities alongside their fellow Scouts without any problem. But this could be attributed to a boy’s trying to hide his homosexuality from the other Scouts. If homosexuality is an acceptable behavior, would gay boys continue to be discreet about it? Regardless of your stance on the issue, this is something that has to be considered and appropriate rules put in place. Other wise it could lead to an incident that could be emotionally devastating to all boys involved.
The solution that the BSA seems to be favoring is to leave the decision up to the local units, based on the criteria of their chartering organizations. This will leave individual troops vulnerable to lawsuits if they choose to exclude gay members. As long as the National Organization is will to offset the legal costs to these troops it may be the best alternative. Solving the problem at a local level will make it possible for gay boys to form their own troops if there are none available.
No matter what decision the National Organization makes, it faces an uncertain future. If they decide to allow gay persons, they will lose the backing of the churches where so many troops are chartered. Many Scouting families, attracted by the emphasis on moral behavior, will leave in droves, possibly crippling the Scouting movement. If they do not allow gays, the organization will face an exodus of members sympathetic to the gay cause. They will also face legal pressures from outside groups who opposed any organization with Christian ties. Sadly, this is a battle the Boys Scouts of America should not have to face. The Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the BSA had the right as a private organization to establish its own policies regarding who it allows to join. The state of California is proposing a law, SB323, that will strip the BSA and other organizations that exclude, gays, atheists, and others based on their religion, gender, or sexual identity, of their tax exempt status. This will essentially prevent these organizations from being able to operate in that state. This is wrong. It is not the place of any government, local, state or federal, to remove an organization’s Constitutional rights, in order to promote a social agenda. Indeed it should be society that will ultimately decide whether the BSA is still relevant in today’s world, and it will be society that will pay the price should it decide that the BSA is not.