Thursday, May 23, 2013

Random Thoughts on the 2014 Boy Scout Resolution on Membership Standards


 
Today, BSA announced that their resolution for a change in membership standards passed with 61% approval of the 1,400 voting members.

Officially, BSA “approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone. The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.”
In short, no child will be denied membership or participation in Scouting based on their admitted sexual preference.
Since this was announced, I have had at least 10 people ask me what I thought about this.  I think I surprised them with my answer.
“Great.  Nothing really changes for me.  I have never once asked a child his sexual orientation nor will I ever.  Sexuality has no place in Scouting.” 

By the same token, I do not ask families about their marital status, their religious preference, whether they smoke, drink, or even if they are gay/lesbian.  Frankly it is irrelevant to me.
Nothing changes for me.

I have children in our Scouting program that come from all kinds of backgrounds.  I have Scout parents that are single, divorced, living out of wedlock, etc.
I have friends, coworkers, and family members that are openly gay and lesbian.

Amazingly, I am able to work with people that may be different from me, teach Scouts that come from different family backgrounds than mine, and love my family members and friends that are gay/lesbian.
I don’t agree with each and every one of these individuals, their beliefs, and their lifestyles.  However, that doesn’t mean I am going to treat them any different than someone who shares my exact belief system and lifestyle.  
Will the new BSA ruling change anything I do as Scout leader?  No.  Nothing changes for me.

There is nothing in the Scouting curriculum regarding sexuality or sexual preference, and this will never be an issue in my group.  It wasn’t an issue before.  It isn’t now.
Will I try to be a strong Christian role model to all of my Scouts and their families?  Yes.

Will I hate or despise anyone who is different from me based on their faith, race, or sexuality?  No.  I never have, and I never will.  When Scouts and their families work with me and see me, they know the type of man I am.  They also know that as a Christian, I love others.  I don’t have time or room for hate.  I will continue to teach and model God's love.

Again, nothing changes for me.

I am glad that a decision on this resolution is over.  It’s time to move forward.
There were a few sentences in today’s official BSA statement that I feel truly represent my feelings about this issue. 

"While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting. Going forward, our Scouting family will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens. America's youth need Scouting, and by focusing on the goals that unite us, we can continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve."
I am and will continue to be a Christian role model and Scout leader for the young men in our Scouting program. 

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
This is what I teach.  This is what I will model for each of our Scouts.

Nothing changes for me.

 

 

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