John Stemberger doesn’t like that out gays can be boy scouts.

CNN blogs has an article posted by John Stemberger.  This is who he is:

John Stemberger is an Eagle Scout and president of On My Honor, a coalition of concerned parents, Scout Leaders, Scouting donors, Eagle Scouts and others affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America who are united in their support of Scouting’s timeless values and their opposition to open homosexuality in the Scouts.

Value #2: compassion.  It’s on the Scout’s own damn website.  Compassion means not discriminating (ask any racial minority).  You can have the scout’s values or you can have your discrimination against gay people, but you can’t have both.

We’re not even into the actual article and already there’s bullshit.  This must be some kind of record.

On Thursday, delegates to the Boy Scouts of America’s national conference met in Grapevine, Texas, to determine the fate of one of the most beloved organizations in this country’s history. This organization that has stood the test of time will probably be destroyed now that they have decided to admit openly gay boys as Scouts.

Yes, the Boy Scouts will be destroyed.  Just like our military was going to be destroyed when we let gay soldiers openly serve.  Remember that?  Yeah, me either.  It was the poster child for non-events that didn’t change a thing.  But I sure as hell remember people just like Stemberger swearing up and down that it would mean the end of military recruitment and unit cohesion.

But let’s imagine the Boy Scouts were destroyed.  Would it be because of letting gay youths be who they are?  Or would it be because Christians, so consumed with the harmless, normal sexual preferences of others, would sooner destroy the Boy Scouts than tolerate people who are not like them?  If it’s the latter, let’s not place the blame on gay people (and their straight allies).

Sex and politics have no place in the Boy Scouts, and allowing open homosexuality will lead to myriad bad consequences.

Expecting the Scouts to enshrine a culture of gays staying closeted for shame or fear of expulsion is keeping sex and politics in the Boy Scouts…it’s just doing it in a discriminatory and psychologically harmful fashion.  If an organization must make a policy on sexual orientation, it should be one that favors equality.

And what are these consequences?

First, the new BSA policy is logically incoherent and morally and ethically inconsistent. The BSA had never discriminated against homosexuals. The BSA membership application did not ask about sexual orientation, and there has never been a witch hunt in the BSA to find or remove its gay members.

But if it came to light that scouts were gay, the policy was to remove them.  Otherwise this is the most superfluous policy change since Congress did…anything.  If there was no discrimination for scouts being openly gay, then Stemberger shouldn’t give a shit because nothing has changed.  He gives a shit because it clearly has.

Now, however, open homosexuality will be officially consistent with the Scouting code throughout a Boy Scout’s life until the moment he turns 18, when it suddenly becomes a problem. (The Scouts maintained its ban on openly gay leaders.) How does that make any sense? Will we then discriminate against that Scout after he announces his sexuality?

Stemberger is actually right – that doesn’t make any sense.  It’s time to let scout leaders be openly gay too.

Oh, Stemberger was actually arguing that because there’s discrimination for some that there should be discrimination for more?  Um, no.  The solution to discrimination is to have less of it.  That’s like saying people are racist as hell in Mississippi so let’s use racial slurs everywhere else.  In the metaphor it’s Mississippi that needs to be fixed, not everywhere else.  And in the BSA it’s the discrimination against scout leaders that needs a dose of anti-bigotry.

Further, the new policy forces every chartered Scouting unit, irrespective of religious convictions, to facilitate open homosexuality among boys in their program. The policy fails to respect or revere the religious beliefs, values and theology of the vast majority of Christian churches, which charter more than 70% of all Scouting units.

If the religious beliefs of others are discriminatory then they shouldn’t be revered.  Bad ideas don’t all of a sudden become great because they’re religious.

The new policy also leaves all Scouting units with no options and no legal protection if they refuse to allow open homosexuality among the boys of their units.

Hooray!  People can’t be bigots without penalty!  Yaaaaay!  Who the fuck argues that this is a bad thing?  Who wants the right to discriminate?

Oh, right.  Christians.  That’s who.

Any Scouting unit that refuses to accept or abide by the new policy will either have their charter revoked by national BSA leadership or become fully exposed to legal attacks for alleged violations of nondiscrimination ordinances. Litigation would permeate the organization.

I’m sorry, Stemberger said there would be consequences for the BSA, but it seems he’s griping about consequences for people who want to discriminate through the BSA.

His argument here seems to be “What if religious people decide to pitch a fit?”  Answer: go nuts.  You can’t threaten people into immoral behavior through threats of annoyance.

Most important, the new policy robs parents of Boy Scouts, like me, of the sole authority to raise issues of sex and sexuality with their kids.

Bullshit.  If you don’t like what an organization stands for, don’t send your kid there.  Easy.  It’s not the job of every organization to cater to the hatred you want to inject into your offspring.

There’s this thing called “the world” in which your child is eventually going to have to live.  In this place your kid will be presented with all kinds of ideas, some good, some bad.  It is your job as the parent to help them navigate the competing cultures of planet earth, not to seal them off from any experience that might convince them that daddy was full of shit.

And what’s more, what of the parents who wants their kids to learn equality?  Oh, does that infringe on your right to have your kids learn how to be little cross-wearing bigots?  Why should Stemberger’s parental preferences be given higher priority than those of other parents?

Parents should have the exclusive right to raise issues about sex and sexuality with their children in their own time and in their own way, in the privacy of their homes, not brought up by other older boys around a campfire.

The second you send your kids out to anyplace beyond your home, you actually lose the right to raise issues in your own time and your own way.  Sorry.  It’s not the world’s job to cater to you.  If you don’t want your children being influenced by the world outside your home then keep them in the home.  Don’t expect the world to kiss your oh-so-special feet.

Allowing open homosexuality injects a sensitive and highly charged political issue into the heart of the BSA, against the wishes of the vast majority of parents.

If the vast majority of parents wanted only white kids to be eligible to be scouts, the policy should still be changed.  Another one of the scout values is leadership, and good leaders are capable of doing what is right regardless of how many people are applying pressure to do otherwise.

And let’s not act like it was gay rights advocates who injected this issue into the heart of the BSA.  The moment the BSA decided to ban openly gay kids, it was the BSA who made it an issue.  To now say that we shouldn’t even bring it up because it will cause strife is a transparent and lame attempt to get people to shut up in the face of discrimination.  Well we won’t.  That would be immoral.

This is why my wife and I have decided to disengage from BSA and remove our children from its programs. We are concerned for the safety and security of our boys, as are many other parents who are considering leaving as well.

Oh fuck you.  Concerned for the safety and security of your boys?  Because gay people are dangerous?  The BSA will be better off the sooner your hateful ass is out the door.

Where are the gay people lynching straights?  When was the last time you heard of gay people performing hate crimes against Christians?  When was the last time Christian students in public school had to walk in fear of bullying or social consequences from gays?  And then for this vile excuse for a human being to write, without a hint of shame, that it’s the good straight Christians who must fear the gay people who want only equality…

Just…this guy’s a real piece of…work.

When it comes to young boys, parents have the final say, not the gay rights activists who pressured the BSA to fall in line with their agenda and have turned Scouting into yet another cultural battleground.

Yes, keep your child locked up in the house, away from a world that is bending more and more toward equality with every generation.  If you want to turn your kids into little bigots like you, it’s important to deny them exposure to society.  Rob your children of world experiences for fear they might not turn out like you.

It’s what Jesus would do.

The delegates who voted for the new policy must therefore realize that the change guts a major percentage of human capital in the BSA and will utterly devastate the program financially, socially and legally.

If there are no organic consequences for moving toward equality, you and your Christian brethren are sure going to make some.  And then you’ll say “See!  There were consequences!”

That’ll teach them what happens when they don’t elect to treat everybody’s kids the way that you parent yours.

The BSA’s own “Voice of the Scout” surveys provide solid evidence that tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of parents, Scoutmasters and Scouts will leave the program, and internal estimates project an estimated $44 million of lost annual revenue.

You act like the problem is with equality and not with tens of thousands of people being morally lacking.  Any good person who is faced with the ultimatum of “hate the people I hate or else” will choose “or else”.  I’m glad scouts will be learning the value of not caving to the threats of bad people.

The Boy Scouts are one of the great jewels of American culture.

That jewel just had a glaring blemish polished away.  Two blemishes if you count the removal of the Stemberger family.

And the success of the Boy Scouts of America is due in no small part to their commitment to a set of ideas and principles that have guided the program for more than 100 years.

The success of the scouts was not on account of who they discriminated against.  If anything it was due to the other principles of hard work, compassion, etc.  Those principles remain in place.  It’s not like principles of integrity become meaningless if you stop jettisoning normal people based on what they find attractive.

I love the Boy Scouts and want my boys to enjoy the same great experiences as I and millions of others have had over the years. That’s why I regret that Thursday’s vote refused to keep sex and politics out of the Boy Scouts and stand firm for those timeless principles.

This guy…

What were those great experiences?  Canoeing?  Does that experience become worthless if there’s a gay kid in the canoe?

What about hiking?  Are the trees not beautiful if there’s a gay kid looking at them too?

Listen you dishonest sack of shit: don’t cite your experiences as if allowing gay kids to have those same experiences invalidates them for others.  The problem is not gay kids.  The problem is self-important people like you who love feeling better than an entire demographic far more than you loved any experience in nature.

Getting rid of bigots like John Stemberger is a “consequence” like passing a fucking kidney stone is a consequence.


Seriously, there was something wrong with literally every sentence in Stemberger’s post.  I had to rebut literally every line.  This was, without exaggeration, an entire article of fail.

  • 23cal

    Top notch. Go you!

  • Zugswang

    And on this day, nothing of value was lost from the Boy Scouts.

    To add: He would do well to recall that there was a time when the scouts banned female adult leaders, and many councils banned blacks and Native Americans.

  • Glodson

    Huh, who knew that Stemberger was a synonym for asshole?

  • Nankay

    And of course the comments are closed on the CNN blog so no one can respond . Go figure.

  • Loqi

    Ugh. I read a whole lot of “They’re my kids, I can do whatever I want with them!” Children are not property, asshole.

    • Nate Frein

      I deny that parents should have total control over how their children are raised. Parents can kick their children out when they hit 18. Society has to deal with the kids for their entire lives.

    • Andrew Kohler

      I had the same reaction, Loqi. It’s repugnant.

      Since this is the blog of a music major, I feel it is appropriate to refer everyone to Giuseppe Verdi’s 1851 opera Rigoletto (an adaptation of Victor Hugo) as an example of the outcome of shelter parenting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anne.orsi Anne Orsi

    Beautifully said, JT.

  • Park James

    There wasn’t a single rational thought in that entire article (except the idea that JT highlighted, and that was by accident.) Stemberger is a member of the most privileged group in human history (white, straight, Christian, male, presumably at least middle class, American) complaining that an organization he likes isn’t doing enough to wreck the lives of gay children. This man is completely evil and a waste of air and nutrients.

  • Arakasi_99

    Did anyone else get the impression that Stemberger thinks that the new policy means that BSA now approves of Scouts having sex while on campouts? ‘Cause I’m pretty certain that isn’t the case.

    • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/ Ed Darrell

      BSA disapproves of sex on campouts, yes — dismissible offense. Not even okay for sex between spouses.

      Stemberger is trying to raise fears, though. His campaign is entirely based on making other people fearful.

      BSA has a powerful program to stop molesting and bullying, Youth Protection. Among other things, it requires two leaders be present at all times with any Scout, and the two leaders can’t be related. It also requires that youth be trained to speak out if anyone tries to take liberties with them, or if they are bullied. Leaders must undergo criminal background checks.

      Some people have left Scouting because they don’t like that kind of interfering with their personal life. I have yet to detect a loss to Scouting.

  • Adam

    “The policy fails to respect or revere the religious beliefs, values and theology of the vast majority of Christian churches, which charter more than 70% of all Scouting units.”

    “The new policy also leaves all Scouting units with no options and no legal protection if they refuse to allow open homosexuality among the boys of their units.”

    “Any Scouting unit that refuses to accept or abide by the new policy will either have their charter revoked by national BSA leadership or become fully exposed to legal attacks for alleged violations of nondiscrimination ordinances. Litigation would permeate the organization.”

    Too. Fucking. Bad.

    • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/ Ed Darrell

      They lose protection if they kick kids out for merely “being” homosexual.

      Of course, they lose protection if they allow molesting, too, or sex at Scout activities — shouldn’t that meet Stemberger’s fears?

  • Andrew Kohler

    “Getting rid of bigots like John Stemberger is a “consequence” like passing a fucking kidney stone is a consequence.”

    I was going to say that passing a kidney stone is excruciating, whereas there is no pain in losing someone like John Stemberger, but then it occurred to me that he makes the process excruciating for us by writing such deplorable and histrionic drivel.

    “Parents should have the exclusive right to raise issues about sex and
    sexuality with their children in their own time and in their own way, in
    the privacy of their homes, not brought up by other older boys around a
    campfire.”

    Does this man honestly think that adolescents don’t talking about “issues about sex and sexuality” with their peers, in the Boy Scouts or elsewhere, *unless* there’s a policy that they can be openly gay!? Does it not occur to him that the kids already would be talking about girlfriends or crushes or what celebrities they find attractive? (Maybe it doesn’t count for him if it’s hetero?) He’s acting like the Scouts had a total ban on talking about sexuality that is now lifted–am I missing something here, or is that a blatant misrepresentation? Given his track record, one assumes the latter.

    And yes, his only good point is calling out the disgraceful and wholly untenable policy of instituting discrimination for adults only. Too bad he doesn’t see what the correct solution is.

  • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/ Ed Darrell

    Stemberger’s organization pirated a lot of BSA logos, images, and other copyrighted material which BSA asks no Scout pirate for political purposes, especially to pretend one is speaking for BSA. When I called that to the attention of the organization, I was told to fornicate myself off.

    Apparently BSA’s copyright enforcement people got wind, and by the vote Stemberger’s group had changed most of their logos, in minor ways, to pretend they were not hijacking BSA symbols.

    I figure, people who are dishonorable in small things like that can’t be trusted to be honorable in big things.

    Nothing changed for Scouting. BSA has lost more than 50% of its membership since the anti-gay policy went into effect. At this point, any change carries no assurance of stopping the membership hemorrhage.

    But it’s a valuable program, and about 99.9999% of those who get into Scouts get beneficial, life-changing experiences. It’s a program worth trying to save.

    At some length I wonder, is there any downside to Stemberger getting mad and stalking off? Can somebody make a case?