The big gay Boy Scout agenda

(David Manning/Reuters) Who knew that those green socks and neckerchiefs were so darn sexy? Before I go to my son’s … Continued


(David Manning/Reuters)

Who knew that those green socks and neckerchiefs were so darn sexy? Before I go to my son’s next Boy Scout Court of Honor, I’ll have to grill a steak, build a shed, and watch a football game, to fortify my heterosexual self against the threat of sweet, same-sex vibes coming off machine-embroidered merit badges and shoulder patches. And to think that without the keen senses of leaders of the BSA’s Great Salt Lake Council—the biggest and mightiest of all Boy Scout councils—I might not have realized just what a threat the official scouting uniform is to my straight identity.

A couple weeks ago, a handful of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and adult Scout leaders marched in Utah’s pride parade. They were warned in advance, apparently, by a stern Great Salt Lake Council email, that marching in uniform in the parade was NOT acceptable and NOT allowed. It was Rick Barnes, the chief Scout executive of the council who used the capital letters, understanding that nothing short of five exclamation marks will make your email intimidating like a few well-chosen capitalizations. It’s the first thing Cyber-Etiquette Merit Badge teaches.

They must have overlooked the capitals or not known what they meant, because Neil Whitaker and others, bless their hearts, marched in uniform, anyway, presuming, I guess, that the BSA’s new policy that all boys, regardless of sexual orientation, are perfectly welcome in Scouting means that Scouting exists to support all boys, regardless of sexual orientation.

Fortunately, the Great Salt Lake Council rushed in to clarify the policy by formally reprimanding Whitaker and Peter Brownstein (who walked without his uniform) for using Scouting to promote a political agenda. It may not be clear to those who don’t attend them, but gay pride parades in Utah have a political agenda, which is to concentrate Utah’s gay power on one narrow parade route for about an hour, so as to turn as many innocent bystanders gay as possible; and, let me tell you, those round-brimmed Scouting hats focus gay power like nothing else.

Defending himself, Whitaker said he wasn’t supporting any kind of agenda, but only celebrating a “cultural event.” Yeah, right. He thought this excuse would fly, because, as a matter of course, uniformed Scouts march every year in Utah’s “Days of ’47 parade, a statewide celebration of Mormon culture in Utah without any political agenda whatsoever. When did Mormons ever set out to turn other people Mormon?

Besides preserving me in my heterosexuality, if the Great Salt Lake Council hadn’t stepped in to reprimand Whitaker and the others, there’s no telling what damage these radical Scouters might have done to the staid integrity of Scouting by walking over steaming pavement in hundred-degree heat wearing heavy, canvas pants and hiking boots.

If left unchecked, such radical activity as uniformed parade following will reach into the very Scout Law, in which adolescent boys affirm that they will be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent, and we’ll hear unmanageable Scouts replacing “obedient” with “free-thinking”, and “thrifty” with “stylish.”

As a Mormon, an Eagle Scout, and the father of a Scout, I’m greatly relieved that the Great Salt Lake Council has moved so strongly to preserve Scouting as it was over a century ago, when there weren’t any gay people to infringe on heterosexual prerogative. According to its policy, the BSA might have to put up with gay Scouts, but it certainly doesn’t have to support them.

David Mason is an associate professor at Rhodes College in Memphis. He is the author of Theatre and Religion on Krishna’s Stage and My Mormonism: a primer for non-Mormons and Mormons, alike. Follow him on Twitter.

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  • Zach Peterson

    You write this story on the same day a boys scout is suing for a homosexual pack leader molesting him. Not a very bright move, moron.

  • jay2drummer

    As opposed to the hundreds (at least) covered up stories of children being molested by their heterosexual married leaders since BSA instituted it’s ban in the 90s?

  • chowlett1

    Zach, you seem not to understand the difference between a person attracted to adults (of whatever persuasion) and people who molest children. You really need to think that one through.

  • Cubby_Michael

    I enjoyed this piece, particularly the writers wry sense of humor. Favorite line:

    “It may not be clear to those who don’t attend them, but gay pride parades in Utah have a political agenda, which is to concentrate Utah’s gay power on one narrow parade route for about an hour, so as to turn as many innocent bystanders gay as possible; and, let me tell you, those round-brimmed Scouting hats focus gay power like nothing else”

    Well written with excellent points being made. While I have no personal “skin” in this game, I really wish that Mr. Barnes and others would get the message that being gay has no bearing on one’s morality or lack thereof. All such things like this do is generate bad press and make the Salt Lake folks look backwards, petty and small-minded.

  • BraveBacker

    Indeed, a humorous piece. I enjoy sardonic wit.

    Seriously, how come we don’t hear more about the fondling of young girl scouts by lesbian den mothers? GSA never banned them. And homosexuals, as we’ve all been taught, being inherently degenerate perverts, just can’t keep their hands off of the kids.

    I’m an atheist, and the BSA doesn’t like us either. Easy to see why. I mean who can forget all of those poor, innocent children brutally molested by all of those atheist priests in atheist churches around the world, and then covered up by …. oh, wait a minute. Never mind. My bad.

  • leibowde84

    “Scouting means that Scouting exists to support all boys, regardless of sexual orientation.”

    – I’m horrified that he actually thinks this is a bad thing.

  • leibowde84

    “… to turn as many innocent bystanders gay as possible.”

    – Wow. That’s all I can say. Wow. I didn’t realize that people thought homosexuals had some interest in turning others into homosexuals. I mean, I’m sure there are some weirdos out there, but to think that even a large portion of the gay community felt like this just breathes discrimination. It’s just like thinking that Jewish people are all stingy.

  • leibowde84

    But, is this guy just being sarcastic, and he realizes that everything he has written is ridiculous? I’m confused. It’s so hateful that it must be.

  • jay2drummer

    It’s complete sarcasm. I would’ve thought paragraph 1 gave that away.

  • leibowde84

    The article is awesome. I take back everything. I’m just a little slow. Bravo!!

  • leibowde84

    I’m an idiot.

  • marcluxjd

    Fun stuff. Bet begging for sarcasm is BSA Rick Barnes’ statement: “The new policy states that no person, youth or adult, may use Scouting to promote … any [ ] political or social agenda.” Gee, that would leave scouts out of, well, EVERYTHING!

    There goes my chance to promote a Scouts for Polka Music festival.

  • penniless_taxpayer

    Homosexuality today, pedophila tomorrow.

    All done in the name of “equality”. So don’t be surprised when it happens.

  • Joel Hardman

    I hope you can come up with reasons to forbid pedophilia that extend beyond slippery slope arguments. I certainly can.

  • twmatthews

    The entire piece is a spoof and a good one at that. This line should be a dead give away:
    ” those round-brimmed Scouting hats focus gay power like nothing else”

    It’s terrific.

  • twmatthews

    Have you any statistics backing up the homosexual to pedophilia path there Penniless?

  • amelia45

    Well done. And thank you. The Great Salt Lake Council really did not handle this well. At all. And it is so hard to find a way to help people who are so earnest, so intent on their own self-righteousness, to see they are still stuck in their bigotry.

    But here is the trick. Some people, particularly those who think like the Great Salt Lake Council, will think you are serious.

  • SJames6621

    Interestingly enough, the day a gay scout turns 18, according to the BSA, he suddenly becomes not loyal, not trustworthy and all the other things a scout is supposed to be / do

    Kinda wierd – time to turn on the heat about scout leaders also.

    BTW remember the murder of Matthew Shepard in WY in 1998. Russell Henderson, one of the vicious murderers was a mormon and an eagle scout.

    Maybe if he knew openly gay scouts he would have stopped the murder by McKinney instead of participating in it and getting a small room at the expense of the taxpayers for the rest of his life

  • k2gw

    Wearing one’s Scout uniform to any political or social activist event (except as a pre-approved formal color guard for opening ceremonies and then immediately leaving before the ploitics begin) has been quite explicitly prohibited in Scouting and its handbooks since 1910. Folks announcing they were wearing their uniform to a Tea Party parade would have gotten the same warnings and possible expulsion as well.

    This article is another example of someone outside Scouting not knowing what they’re talking about and using Scouting for political purposes, which is exactly why the rule in question has been in place for 100 years.

  • leibowde84

    What does homosexuality have to do with pedophelia?! They aren’t related at all. One is an attraction to the same-sex the other is an attraction to children (whether they be of the same or opposite sex, the subject is still a pedophile … a.k.a. their sexual orientation is with youth, having nothing to do with homosexuality). So, please explain your comment. It comes accross as misguided and unsubstantiated.

    Also, you could definitely say the same thing about the priest hood. “Only allow male priests today … pedophelia tomorrow (now that has been proven).”

  • An-Toan

    Let it be and let boys be boys.