The Boy Scouts of America made the news recently for their proposal to allow gay scouts, but to continue banning gay leaders. Up to this point, gay scouts have been banned.
I recently posted a blog series based on a sermon I did with Jim Decke entitled “Gay Christian”. In this series, a commenter, Jeff, pointed out that Christians typically choose to vote against gay marriage based on our biblical conviction that homosexual acts are a sin. But that this stance in and of itself is hypocritical because we don’t vote to take civic/legal rights away from other people who do things we believe are sins, such as premarital sex, viewing pornography, or any other personal sin along the list like pride, anger, etc. You can read more about Jeff’s point in my post on gay marriage, and how I agreed with him.
I bring these up because I think they also need to apply to a Christian’s view on the Boy Scouts’ homosexual policy controversy.
I found one of the quotes from the article particularly interesting:
“This resolution would introduce open homosexuality into the ranks and eventually the leadership of Scouting,” Perkins said in a statement. “This is totally unacceptable to the vast majority of Scouting parents who want to keep their exclusive right to discuss issues of sexuality with their sons.”
This quote suggests that it is actually possible to completely shelter your child from outside influences, which in actuality is not possible and when is attempted, is extremely damaging to a child. While yes, a parent needs to show discernment in protecting their children from certain influences, they also need to prepare their child for the real world, and prepare their child to make their own decisions someday.
The quote also assumes that sexuality will be a primary topic of conversation at scouting events. First we’ll learn how to make an arrowhead, then we’ll learn about sex. I’m pretty sure there will be no merit badge on that any time soon.
I think the topic of homosexuality brings up a lot of fear. The “vast majority of Scouting parents” mentioned seem concerned with their sons going on overnight camping trips with gay leaders, or being around gay leaders in general. These parents (and Christians who may hold similar views) need to understand a few things:
- There are gay people in the world. (I address different types/situations of being gay here)
- Attempting to completely avoid them is silly, as well as unloving and unkind. And teaching your child to do the same is even worse. As Christians, this is the last thing we should be doing.
- Your child is not at any further risk of being molested by a gay person than by a straight person. Or by someone you think is a straight person who actually is bisexual, but you didn’t know it / can’t tell. My point here is, it’s the Boy Scouts of America’s job to not put your child into any vulnerable situations. “Vulnerable” means any situation where there is only one adult around, which means there is no accountability, or around adults who don’t pass a background check. If you don’t trust the Boy Scouts to do this, then don’t leave your child in their care at all. But is your child more at risk with one gay leader and one straight leader compared to two straight leaders? No. To tell a gay person they can’t watch your children because you’re afraid they’ll molest them is first and foremost very ignorant and uneducated. Worse than this, it’s very unloving and insulting; again, the last thing a Christian should be doing.
I write this because much like the gay marriage debate, Christians need to be consistent and not confuse religious rights (i.e. church membership, which are based on having the same faith beliefs) with civic / human rights. And we also need to realize when we rail on policies like this, it gives the wrong message to the GLBT community, which creates an unnecessary chasm. And as already mentioned, the message given is inconsistent in its rationale.
Fact: The Bible says homosexual acts are a sin.
It also says a whole lot of other things are sins.
But we don’t create these chasms with these “whole lot of other things” sins, like premarital sex for example. We only do it with the homosexual community, many of whom are not even Christians (yet we are trying to hold them to Christian standards).
So there’s likely something deeper at play here.
It’s easier to preach judgment about a sin I don’t struggle with than it is about one that I do.
It’s a lot easier to point the finger at someone else, than it is to point it at myself.
It’s a lot easier to ban people from civic groups than it is to ban myself.
- Ep. 87: Dr. Peter Sung on the Post-Church Church - September 20, 2023
- Ep. 86: Cameron Horner on Disability in the Church and if God Still Heals - August 25, 2023
- Ep. 85: Dr. Terence Lester on how confronting buried racial history can build racial solidarity - August 9, 2023