When I read of the latest chapter in the history of the Boy Scouts of America this week, it was like watching a video of the last nail being driven into the coffin of that organization.
This Cinco de Mayo was particularly significant to me. The fifth of May was the date in 1959, about a month after my 14th birthday, when I became an Eagle Scout. As I mentioned in one of my posts [What I Learned As A Boy Scout], I doubt that most people understand what is involved in earning that rank, and what the mindset of a boy in his pre-teen and early teen years has to be to achieve that goal. Nothing I could write here could produce that understanding, but let me say that a love for God and country is at the root of that mindset.
During Cinco de Mayo week this year, the Boy Scouts announced that girls would now be accepted for membership, and that they were changing their name to Scouts BSA. In 2015, they began accepting homosexual and transgender men as leaders, and in 2017 they began accepting homosexual and transgender boys as members. Now, in 2018, they have announced that girls can become members.
It’s interesting that the new name is Scouts BSA rather than Scouts USA. Also interesting, as confusing as the terms “boys” and “men” apparently are to transgender people, is that in announcing the 2015 and 2017 changes the organization made at least a token attempt to minimize overall confusion by temporarily retaining them. At the current pace of metamorphosis, though, any terminology tied to a person’s sex will no doubt disappear soon.
It is now evident that becoming completely “inclusive” has replaced the organization’s original mission “to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law” [referring to versions of those creeds that have existed unchanged since the organization’s founding in 1910]. The ultimate end of the trend established over the past few years is very clear, so I decided to save them a lot of time and just present them with a new set of founding principles that should serve them well going forward. Here it is. …
New Founding Principles
Note. It would be an educational experience for any reader of this blog post to compare the italicized phrases with the phrases they replace in the current versions. Anyone interested in doing that can click this link to display the current versions [just Mission and Vision statements, and current versions of the Scout Oath and Scout Law that are referenced within them — the policies I’ve included below are my speculations, admittedly with a grain of sarcasm]: BSA Mission And Vision.
Organization Name. The Androgynous Scouts Of America [ASA]
Values. Our core values are self expression, equality, inclusiveness, and tolerance.
Mission And Vision. Mission. The mission of the Androgynous Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make socially acceptable and politically correct choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. … Vision. The Androgynous Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by culturally acceptable norms.
Scout Oath. On my honor I will do my best to do my duty as a natural part of the Cosmos to my country, and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people be true to themselves at all times; to keep myself in good physical and mental health, and to always be one with Nature. Scout Law. A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Tolerant, Cheerful, Thrifty, Inclusiveness-minded, Clean, and Respectful Of Nature.
Admission Policy. All persons 11-17 years of age are welcome to apply for membership in the ASA, regardless of their race, color, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, or preferred sexual identity on the date of their application. Regarding the age limitation, it is not our intent to discriminate on the basis of age. People younger than 11 are encouraged to joint the Cub Scouts. People older than 17 may submit applications, each of which will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Regarding sexual orientation and preferred sexual identity, those preferences at the time of original application must be so listed, but can be changed at any time by filing the appropriate form to ensure that ASA records remain correct.
Advancement Policy. Advancement levels include Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, Star, Life and Eagle. Earned merit badges are among the requirements for the three highest ranks. Some of these merit badges are mandatory and some of them may be selected from among options suitable to each individual. To the extent anyone aspiring to a particular rank in this progression feels that his/her/their ability to achieve that rank is limited because of physical or emotional restraints related to their biological sex or preferred sexual identity at a particular point in time, a participation medal will be awarded as a substitute so that progression to the next rank can be pursued.
Policies Governing Activities.
- Outdoor [Hiking, Camping, etc.]. All latrines must allow access to all members based on their preferred sexual identity at the time of needed use. Tent-mates at events involving overnight camping will be assigned by random selection. Should anyone desire reassignment, such reassignment will be granted only if both original assignees and both new assignees agree with the change.
- Civic. Participation in demonstrations and other forms of support or protest are not sponsored or funded by ASA, but individual and troop- or council-level participation is a decision left to individuals and local troops and councils.
- Social. No chaperones are provided by ASA. Relationships between consenting preteens and teenagers are private personal matters, and the ASA does not interfere in those matters.
- Programmatic. All troop- and council-level meetings — as well as programs such as camporees — must be developed from a gender-neutral perspective. Content and themes must not be interpretable as oriented toward either biological sex.
Would I Do It Now?
It was shortly after my twelfth birthday when I decided I wanted to be an Eagle Scout. It’s difficult to accurately go back in time and say what I would have done at that age given the circumstances that exist today, but I think my decision about being a Scout at all — much less committing to what would be required of me to earn the Eagle Scout rank — would have been “No thanks, that organization doesn’t match up to my worldview and value system.”
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Charles M. Jones