daddio914 (daddio914) wrote,
daddio914
daddio914

BSA

Okay.  I know I've touched on this in conversations, but I've never really sat down to write about it.  Or if I have, they've ended up as forgotten notes off in the corner someplace that I'm not remembering right now.  Well, good ole Governor Rick Perry has reminded me of the issue this morning by writing a book that supports something I'm dead-set against (surprise surprise an evangelical republican supporting something I'm dead-set against).

For the curious, here's a story about the release of his book (not that it's really important, it's just the article that reminded me of this).

Basically, going back a number of years now, the Boy Scouts of America has refused to allow gay men to be scout leaders.  While this is perfectly within their rights as a private organization to do, I disagree with this position on so many levels...

First of all, the BSA, while recognizing God, is not a denominational Christian organization.  The organization, which I was heavily involved with as a kid, teaches values and standards to the kids that are involved in scouting.  Yes, many of the values that are taught are reflected in Christianity.  Some are taken from it wholesale.  However, these same values are things that are upheld by people of many faiths and the BSA does not discriminate against people on the basis of their religion (or at least they didn't when I was a kid).  The notion that they reject the open homosexuality of scout leaders on Biblical grounds is preposterous, yet these are the arguments that have been used to justify the exclusion.

Secondly (and I don't normally get all theological here, but truth be told, I've read the Bible a few times and I've studied it and I made a concentrated effort to figure out a way not to abandon my faith long before I moved out of The Holy Father's house and on to my own), there are a very large number of Biblical citations that leave those who quote the "abomination" lines in Leviticus looking rather foolish.  They did a great little segment on this on The West Wing at one point, so I'm going to leave those alone. 

What is of use in looking at issues where "I think someone is sinning" is reminding yourself that, according to the Bible, it is God's right alone to judge.  You can preach and believe in all the fire and brimstone you want, but ultimately it's God's decision whether or not someone's actions on earth constitute sin or not.  "Judge not, lest ye be judged."

Further, the New Testament guarantees forgiveness for those who believe in Christ and ask God for forgiveness.  That was the whole point of sending him down here in the first place -- to save our sorry asses from ourselves.  Does that mean that you can run around murdering for fun and games and you'll get away with it?  No.  It means that if you truly try to live your life well, and have faith in Christ and God, you will be forgiven your sins.  After all, God created us and no one else is going to understand just how imperfect us Humans are.  "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

God may truly see homosexuality as an abomination, but he will forgive it in the faithful and He for damn sure doesn't give a shit what you think about that.  In fact, it seems to me that a failure to accept homosexuals as children of God in need of His care and comfort (of at least an equal need to all the rest of you sinners) is a sin a whole bunch of today's Christians are going to have to ask forgiveness for when they meet their Dear and Fluffy Lord.  Read your Apostles.  God wants to save ALL sinners, not just the ones who believe a certain way.

So I think that covers it for how I think Christians should view homosexuality.  No, I don't make direct Bible references.  I'm not a book and number preacher.  I'm not even qualified to be much of a preacher at all.  After all, I don't believe in the God that's in the Bible.  I don't go to church, I don't pray (not in the way a Christian thinks of prayer, anyway), and I sure don't believe that any religious text is meant to be taken literally.

In all religions there are kernels of hope and truth.  Things you can hold onto and apply to your own life.  I found them by looking within many religions and holy books and the works of those who have been inspired by their own faith.  Being raised Lutheran and Methodist, I am most familiar with the Bible, but if you look under the covers in all religions, the faith is still there.  The hope is still at large.  The "organization" probably doesn't want you to find it, though, so you'll have to make a leap and go out on your own to find it.

Now, my third point about the BSA is simply that these values and standards that they are teaching kids include "honesty".  In my opinion, that includes being able to have a frank and honest age-appropriate discussion about sexuality.  An eight-year-old will know that most people are attracted to the opposite sex, some to both, and some to the same sex.  An eleven-year-old will probably know that it takes opposite sexes to procreate and that when there's attraction between humans a lot of icky making out occurs.  A fourteen-year-old will probably know the basics of sex (whether they've been instructed formally or found out from more experimental peers or happened to find porn somehow) and even how people of the same sex manage the logistics.  And a seventeen-year-old will, more likely than not, already be having sex with the sex of his choice and possibly be experimenting with others.

Where exactly in that time line (the ages and stages that kids go through while in BSA programs) is a frank discussion of homosexuality (like liking like) inappropriate?  Yes, you're not going to want someone talking about buttsex with your eight-year-old.  A scout master is NOT going to do that.  He is going to be able to teach the kids that there are consequences for not being tolerant of others (regardless of their differences) right along with all those other values and standards that the BSA would like to instill in children.  I do not see how this is a bad thing.

Finally, the BSA is about doing good with the money it gets.  It's about learning about things like the intrinsic rewards of community service.  It's about learning teamwork and cooperation and bonding with your peers.  It's about learning to have integrity and how to stick to your morals and its taught through the window of going out and appreciating Creation in all its aspects.

As long as the BSA continues to obscure part of that window, my children will not be allowed to participate in their programs.  I want them to grow up to be even more accepting of their fellow human beings than even I am.  I want them to realize that they are citizens of the world first, then citizens of a nation.  I want them to know that despite the fact that blind faith can create divisions between people where there should be none that it is indeed good and right to stand up for what you truly believe.


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