[PJ] "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent" ... and a relic of history.|
This weekend, my wife and I purchased Boy Scout popcorn outside a local Safeway. We were glad to contribute to a tradition in both our families: I had sold the popcorn, and so had her older brother. The money helps finance camping trips and other outdoor activities meant to build boys into men. The Boy Scouts of America has a very noble goal and I am proud to count myself an Eagle Scout, but in some ways the organization is already dead. The death of the name is already official.
Last year, the Boy Scouts of America opened its doors to girls and rebranded as Scouts BSA. This change was overdue, as the organization had already accepted girls ‐ who identify as transgender boys ‐ into the program. In an astounding move, the Boy Scouts of America surrendered its victory in a Supreme Court case. The Scouts had long fought against LGBT activists who demanded it open its ranks to openly homosexual boys and leaders. Despite winning the right to restrict its membership, the organization voluntarily surrendered to the LGBT movement.
It seems Scouts BSA may go bankrupt under the weight of more than 250 former members suing the Scouts, alleging inappropriate conduct by leaders and volunteers going back to the 1960s. The horrific crime of sexual abuse undercut the very purpose of the Boy Scouts of America ‐ to train boys into men, strong to live in the outdoors and prepared for the world ahead of them. Boys abused in scouting received psychological damage rather than character building.
The Boy Scouts Is Going Bankrupt, But It's Not for the Reason You Think
Finally, American culture has grown increasingly hostile to the mission of raising boys into men. Concerns about "toxic masculinity" have grown into an assault on masculinity itself, with the American Psychological Association demonizing traditional masculinity. Parents and teachers are scared to suggest boys and men might be different from girls and women, even though the differences are undeniable. Men and women are equal in worth and dignity, but males and females develop differently, and raising boys into men is a unique challenge.
As an Eagle Scout, it pains me to see an organization I truly believed in laid low in these ways. I firmly believe that the Boy Scouts of America was founded for a noble purpose, and that purpose remains extremely relevant today. In fact, the scandals that may have condemned the Boy Scouts only illustrate the deep need for a similar organization.
As Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), explained on his podcast "The Briefing," the scouting movement emerged in Great Britain and in the United States at the end of the 19th century in response to cultural shifts, like men and boys living in cities and working in factories and offices rather than in fields. "There were grave concerns by the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries that boys and men in the United States were less masculin, that there was a boy crisis in particular."