The Boy Scouts of America used to be the place to send sons to reinforce godly behaviors, provide proper moral compasses, instill common courtesies and help raise the next generation of men in the value-driven way they should go.
Now? They’ve fallen a bit in ye olde traditional leanings.
They’re not only open to girls — they’re not only open to LGBTQs. But apparently, the pressure’s on and the once-upon-a-time biblically based group could actually open doors to atheists and agnostics.
This is where a cracked door to special rights leads — to a floodgate of special rights’ demands.
Look at this, a statement from Scouts for Equality Executive Director Justin Wilson, in the aftermath of the BSA’s national annual meeting where it was voted, in essence, to keep in place a ban on atheists and agnostics with an upholding of the scouts’ “duty to God” affirmation.
“With recent changes to its membership policies allowing LGBTQ+ Scouts and adults, as well as last year’s decision to open its program to girls, we had hoped the Boy Scouts was on a path towards a fully inclusive program that would someday welcome all families,” Wilson said. “Sadly, this does not seem to be the case.”
But likely, it will be soon.
That’s because the BSA has already caved to pressure on policies that used to serve as the main planks of its existence.
Once upon a time, once upon a 1910 founding, the Boy Scouts had a definite code and culture that was both confined to males and that was demonstrative of the church-based principles upon which the group was supported — which included a pledge “to be morally straight and clean in thought, word and deed.”
Legal challenges and political pressures changed all that.
In the 1980s, a mother from Milford, Connecticut, named Catherine Pollard sued to overturn the BSA’s ban on women Scoutmasters.
In the 2010 time frame, the Barack Obama administration booted the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military — and shortly after, facing pressure, the BSA did the same.
In December 2016, the BSA came under fire once again when an 8-year-old boy in New Jersey was asked to leave his troop after Scout leaders learned he was transgender. The BSA top dogs quickly issued a new policy that welcomed transgenders.
CEO Mike Surbaugh, for instance, said this: “After weeks of significant conversations at all levels of our organization, we realized that referring to birth certificates as the reference point is no longer sufficient,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Now here come the atheists. The diversity spigot’s been opened wide; there’s no turning it off now.
It’s not that girls can’t be good Scouts, or that LGBTQs can’t be adequate leaders, or that atheists and agnostics can’t be stellar members and staffers.
It’s that the BSA used to be this, and now they’re that. And it wasn’t really by BSA choice but rather by the pressings of special rights — by the pressings of progressive-minded people with utter disdain for any type of traditional teachings.
They lost it despite the fact that in this country, in America, citizens have a God-given, constitutionally protected right to free assembly.
So here’s the takeaway, the big lesson-to-learn moment for all: The BSA never should’ve caved in the first place. But its leadership did, and now BSA is losing its group identity, one diversity chip at a time. That’s how it goes — first they come for the individuals, then they come for the groups and communities, then they come for the country. That’s how a moral compass gets destroyed.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.