Saturday, May 25, 2013
A compromise that satisfies no one...
Some insist that this is a civil rights issue on the same plane as the long battle to eliminate racial barriers and integrate American society. The problem with this is both the nature of the gay movement and its scope. Gays encompass at the most nearly 10% and the majority would put the percentage at closer to 5% of the population. In addition, the movement is less about the extension of rights and privileges to a very small minority than it is a desire to transform the very institutions it seeks to provide for its protected class and the intent to dismantle a whole host of institutions and structures within societies since the beginning of time. It is this that makes the decision of the scouts even more disconcerting. Gays have no rights prevented to them but they insist that they must have every privilege, even when that privilege means that the institutions and estates they desire will never be the same again. Gays are not prevented educational or occupational opportunity nor denied any civil rights. They are as a class more highly educated, wealthier, with greater access to the media and political power than any other minority in America. How is it that the struggle of gays is equated with the civil rights movement and its trajectory from slavery and a less than fully human status to equal place in American society and culture?
In the end, the Boy Scout decision will be but a bus stop away from the full acceptance and integration of gays both as adult leaders as well as youth participants. Everyone who can see can read the writing on the wall. But will this mean an end to scouting as we know it? I am pretty sure that this is also the writing on the wall. Churches who sponsor most scout troops are by vast majority those opposed to this change. The seemingly stable partnership between scouting and churches that sponsor them will be undone by this decision and scouting will venture into unknown territory as a less protected and supported agency. Again, the point of gay integration has never been to obtain the same right and privilege as others but to transform and, in the end, dismantle the organization it seeks to enter. What the future scouting organization will look like is at this point uncertain but it will bear only a passing resemblance to its current image and a fading memory of its past.
Contrary to what some will read in my words, I am not homophobic and bear no grudge against gays. I do believe that there is a governmental interest in protecting the family of man, woman, and children -- quite apart from any theological or moral definition. It is no different than the government's decision to subsidize home ownership as an interest that outweighs the injustice to those who rent. In addition to this non-religious reasoning, Christians see in marriage the image of God's own giving and loving nature, designed not for pleasure or self-interest but for children, for the care and support of the family, and the promotion of virtue and godliness. As children, sacrifice, and moral goodness have been further and further removed from any definition of marriage, it has suffered assaults from gays and straights until many have determined it is itself an unnecessary estate that must be transformed. This is what I am against -- not because I want to preserve the past but because it has been consistently shown that this is both the design of our Creator and the best interest of society and all of us.