Boy Scouts Go Off the Deep End

Would you send your 12-year-old son on a camping trip with a gay troop leader?  I wouldn’t.  Just as parents would not send their pubescent girls to sleep in tents with men who are physically attracted to them, parents of boys should be just as wary of exposing their sons to the possibility of abuse.

Nor would I permit my 7-year-old son to join an organization where one of the questions they’d ask is his sexual orientation. Boy Scouts are kids, for Pete’s sake, and they don’t need to be thinking about sex; they need to be fishing and catching frogs.

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Today in Texas, rationality lost to political correctness, and the Boy Scouts of America changed forever.  The Scouts’ 1,4000-member National Council, meeting in Grapevine, Texas, voted to allow openly gay youths to join scouting.  The policy change, which will take effect on January 1, reads:

“No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”

At least for now, the BSA will retain its ban on gay adult leaders.

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When Robert Baden-Powell founded the Scouts in 1907, he would certainly never have envisioned the trajectory which Scouting has taken since the Supreme Court ruled that the boys’ organization need not welcome homosexual troop leaders.  The Promise to Self, the third part of the Boy Scout Oath, calls on youth to “keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

Blogger Erin Manning, who writes as Red Cardigan, predicted a quick demise of the organization which has for over a century emphasized character development for young men:

You know what?  This is it.  This is the end of the Boy Scouts of America.  Within ten years the organization’s membership will have fallen so precipitously that there will be no point in continuing on.  All those openly gay ten-year-olds who have dreamed of being Scouts will find that there’s no Scouts left anymore.

Okay, that was a bit of snark, because there aren’t really very many openly gay ten-year-olds.  What there are are openly gay 15, 16, 17, and 18 year-olds who think that the only reason parents wouldn’t want them to share tents with boys three or four years younger is homophobia and bigotry.  I guess bigotry is the reason parents don’t like to let their eleven or twelve-year-old daughters go camping with high school-aged boys, too.  I mean, how dare anybody suggest that it’s wrong to make pre-teens or teens share showers and tents with other teens who are sexually attracted to them!  That’s just offensive.

But a whole lot of not-yet-brainwashed parents are not going to be okay with this.  They’re not going to be okay with pro-homosexual indoctrination making its way, as it soon will, into the Scouts under the ubiquitous umbrella of “tolerance” and “inclusion.”  They’re not going to be okay with pressure among troops to recruit gay members to prove they’re not actively barring them from joining (and if you don’t think this is going to happen, you are woefully naive about the end-game of the gay rights movement).  They’re not going to be okay with adding an “LGBT Pride Badge” to the required badges necessary to make Eagle Scout.

So they’re going to take their children out of scouting.  And traditional churches which have sponsored troops and allowed them to meet on church property are not going to sponsor troops or host meetings anymore.  And private Catholic and Christian donors are going to pull their funds away from the Boy Scouts.

The backlash on the Internet tonight, on the first day of inclusivity, has been vociferous.  And with more than 70% of the troops sponsored by faith-based organizations, the organization is likely to lose many sponsors who simply don’t want the controversy.  The resultant exodus will shake the organization to its foundation.

For Catholic parents who want their sons to enjoy the fellowship and good citizenship which scouting offers, without the leftwing politics, may I suggest two alternatives:  the Columbian Squires, and KEPHA.

Vatican Announcement Re. Embroiled Cardinal O’Brien

I had heard this unofficially.  Yesterday, though, the Holy See Press Office issued a press release, confirming that Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Britain’s most prominent cardinal, is leaving Scotland. 

According to the Vatican Information Service:

“His Eminence Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, archbishop emeritus of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, for the same reasons he decided not to participate in the last Conclave, and in agreement with the Holy Father, will be leaving Scotland for several months for the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer, and penance. Any decision regarding future arrangements for His Eminence shall be agreed with the Holy See.”

Cardinal O’Brien had been accused of making homosexual advances toward at least four seminarians in the 1980s.  The Cardinal originally denied the accusations; but as additional information was revealed, he admitted his past inappropriate behavior and resigned from office.  In early March, he announced that he would not attend the Conclave to elect a new pope.

In his resignation statement, Cardinal O’Brien said:

“There have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.”

He apologized and asked for forgiveness.

The Vatican has not disclosed any information regarding any conversation which may have occurred between Cardinal O’Brien and the new pope.  It is apparent, though, that the early hopes of some–that they might find in Francis a kindred spirit who might wink at sexual improprieties–are being dashed.  The new pope is amiable and quick witted, and has won the hearts of the faithful; but he is also a firm protector of Catholic teaching, and is not afraid to tread on toes in order to protect the reputation and the solid foundation of the Church.

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Let us pray—

FOR THE CHURCH, that she will continue to defend the truth which has been handed to her by the apostles.

FOR POPE FRANCIS, that he will continue to lead with vigor.

FOR CARDINAL O’BRIEN, that he will repent and sin no more.

FOR OURSELVES—mindful of our own sinfulness, and remembering our petition that our Father forgive us as we forgive those who have trespassed against us—that we will find the grace to forgive Cardinal O’Brien and all clergy who have by their sins caused harm to the Body of Christ, and that we will in charity offer prayers for our fallen brother, not gossip or malice.

Shut Up and Sell: Mixing Business and Politics Is Unfair to Consumers

Popular fast-food chain Chick-fil-A has sworn off politics. That’s the promise from the company after Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy, son of the company’s founder S. Truett Cathy, spoke openly against homosexuality, warning that it was “inviting God’s judgment upon our nation.”

Chick-fil-A has always been open in its support for traditional Christian values. None of the chain’s stores is open on Sundays, since that is a day when they encourage employees to go to church. In a recent interview, Cathy affirmed the company’s support for the traditional family:

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

But the backlash against Cathy’s statement on same-sex relationships was swift, with homosexual activists and liberals of all stripes calling the company “Hate-Mongers” and promising to take their business elsewhere. Countering this was a wave of support from conservative groups; but Chick-fil-A wants to sell its product to everyone, both liberals and conservatives.

Today, the company has announced its intent to abandon its conservative political statements and return to cooking chicken. A statement on its Facebook page reads:

The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.

Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.

Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.

So Chick-fil-A has recognized that both liberals and conservatives eat chicken; and since its mission is to sell chicken, the company has decided to leave the political realm and focus on what it does best.

That’s a marketing direction which other companies would do well to consider. Corporations which embrace a particular political issue (such as abortion or same-sex marriage) and which allocate a share of their profits in support of that position—whether liberal or conservative—risk alienating customers who do not share that viewpoint. If customers feel strongly, they may prefer to take their business elsewhere—knowing that two cents of each dollar they spend will be used for a project which they personally oppose.

New J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson, who joined the company in November 2011 following a successful career at Apple, could learn from the Chick-fil-A experience. The company’s website says that “… J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) is re-imagining every aspect of its business in order to reclaim its birthright and become America’s favorite store…”

Under Johnson’s leadership, J.C. Penney launched an aggressive national campaign to promote “gay” marriage. In February 2012, Valentine’s Day sales circulars featured same-sex couples as well as heterosexual couples. The Mother’s Day circular included several lesbian “two-mommy” families; and on Father’s Day, homosexual men were included in the catalog.

In response to Penney’s marketing campaign, conservative organizations including the American Family Association and OneMillionMoms rallied their members to boycott the store. And the crusade has borne fruit: Since February 2012, the company’s stock has lost more than half its value, from $41.32 a share in February to only $20.02 per share today. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service has lowered its credit rating on J.C. Penney to “junk” status.

The American Family Association reports on its website:

First-year CEO Ron Johnson’s decisions have led to disastrous results for the company. Rather than build on the faith-based traditions of founder James Cash Penney, Johnson has abandoned family values and taken the company into a financial tailspin by embracing social activism.