Visibly unsatisfied with the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) new policy to allow openly gay scouts , a group of conservatives have founded an alternative organization whose name will be revealed at its first national convention on September 6 and 7 in Nashville, Tennessee. And what better keynote speaker for the founding of this new openly homophobic, narrow-minded organization than former Arkansas governor and Fox news host Mike Huckabee, who expresses similar views without any remorse?
Now, don't get me wrong. I am against any government intervention to keep this organization from existing. Its members have a right to express their ideas, as primitive as they are, and exclude whomever they want as long as they remain entirely private. However, I feel very uneasy that they can have such authority over young, often naïve children who absorb everything they are told like a sponge. What we've learned so far about the organization, based on its website OnMyHonor.net, reminds me more than anything else of Camp Jesus.
For example, the organization pleads for sexual “purity,” i.e. heterosexual, monogamous sex within wedlock. Notwithstanding the fact that even the Bible doesn't respect such standards, abstinence-only sexual education is based on wishful thinking, falsehood, and lies, and is a miserable failure. Having figures of authority not talk about (or even worse, denigrate) safe sex practices can only lead to more teen pregnancy, or worse, more STDs.
And when these same people, namely the founder John Stemberger, refuse to acknowledge modernity, mainly that homosexuality is not a disease and cannot therefore be “cured” (hell, scientists can't even explain it for sure), it's a sure way to maintain high rates of suicides and suicide attempts among young people who grow up in such a hostile environment. We get it: Your sacred book condemns homosexuality a grand total of ... five times, none of which even come from Jesus. But considering what the Bible also approves of, one can only wonder why fundamentalists only focus on Leviticus 20:13 to plead “moral righteousness,” especially considering that same-sex unions have a long history of existing within the Catholic world.
So as long as BSA's homophobic doppelganger remains a private organization without any government ties, then its policies will be legal and protected by First Amendment rights, however questionable they may be. Having the state decide on morals and righteousness always led to excess, as the Inquisition and the Holocaust can testify. But as soon as government gives special privileges to an organization, as it once did for BSA, then that organization must abide by the government's rules, explicit or not, which include non-discrimination based on sex, religion, and sexual orientation.