A-B-C Always-Be-Closing

Nobody’s posted about the Boy Scouts’ next effort to try to appease their religious backers while not appearing to be the most retrograde bigots in the room, so here it is:

The Boy Scouts of America on Friday proposed lifting a ban on gay scouts but maintaining a prohibition on gay adults from leading troops, a compromise that attempts to end a fight that has split the century-old American institution into bitter factions.

Nobody’s really happy with this: gay rights groups don’t think it goes far enough, while the Mormons, who like Scouting almost as much as Jello salads, think it goes too far.  What’s interesting about the Mormons is that they’re trying not to repeat their African American blunder with homosexuals:

“It seems like the [Mormon] hierarchy has pulled the plug and is no longer taking the lead in the fight to stop same-sex marriage,” saysFred Karger, the LGBT activist who first exposed the church’s major role in the passage of Prop. 8. “The Mormon Church has lost so many members and suffered such a black eye because of all its anti-gay activities that they really had no choice. I am hopeful that the Catholic Church cannot be far behind.”

Hope in one hand and piss in the other, Fred. The difference between the Catholic Church and the Mormon Church is like the difference between, say, Eureka and Kirby (only the olds will get that reference). Mormons are a direct sales organization focused on growth. They have a door-to-door worldwide sales force just to add new members. And “God Hates Fags” doesn’t sell, so it’s got to go.  Catholics have always had a weak sales department–when conquering empires and reproduction do your marketing for you, cold calls are just too hard. So the only way they’re going to discard their anti-gay encyclicals is when they’re pried from the cold, dead hands of the rancid corpses of some old bishops.

In other words, it  looks like the Mormons might be getting the Glengarry leads and the Cadillac Eldorado, while the Catholics will be lucky to get the steak knives.

(this is all via Kevin Drum)






34 replies
  1. 1
    MikeJ says:

    So the Boy Scouts are going to let people work for years and become an eagle scout, the highest rank they have that only the best of the best are supposed to get, and then say that the newly minted eagle scout is ineligible to become a scoutmaster.

  2. 2
    maya says:

    Electrolux has them both beat.

  3. 3
    JGabriel says:

    mistermix @ top:

    Catholics have always had a weak sales department–when conquering empires and reproduction do your marketing for you, cold calls are just too hard. So the only way they’re going to discard their anti-gay encyclicals is when they’re pried from the cold, dead hands of the rancid corpses of some old bishops.

    Given that the Catholic Church’s priesthood probably has the highest concentration of gay men outside of the Gay Men’s Health Choir*, I’m not sure it’s accurate to say that they’re anti-homosexual — it’s more that they’re anti-homosex.

    Granted, that’s a fine distinction, and maybe not one worth making. But, for what it’s worth, it’s there.

    (*Yes, I can say that since I’m Irish Catholic on mom’s side, and Polish Catholic on dad’s.)

    .

  4. 4
    Schlemizel says:

    I actually get their thinking on this compromise. They believe that homosexuals are predators or at the very least worried that many people do. They assume by allowing gay members they will get a pass without appearing threatening to the prejudiced crowd. They may be right about that but its a losing battle.

    It would not surprise me if some new organization were to spring up – and who know where the money will come from ;) that will be the “hetro-Scouts”. It will be the refuge for the bigots until eventually it will wither and die

  5. 5
    maya says:

    The BSA leadership is probably concerned that allowing gay scoutmasters will only result in homebaked cookie sales.

  6. 6
    scav says:

    As I understand it, the BS very often lack enough adult leaders — I doubt very much this is a sustainable solution.

  7. 7
    aimai says:

    @JGabriel:
    They are anti sex and freedom for the masses. I think there’s lots of cultural evidence that the Priesthood has always regarded sex with children and broken vows of celibacy with other men as a perk or a reward for the other things they’ve “given up.” There’s a tremendous amount of passive agressive and repressed rage in the nominally celibate priesthood which is assuaged, at the top levels, with wealth and food and wine and sex. Like its no fun enforcing an anti-life and pleasure agenda on the proles without some reward.**

    I believe Donahue, the “Catholic League” guy just gave the game away on tv:

    Christians, said Donohue, have an obligation to follow natural law. “Everyone knows in their right mind that the whole purpose of marriage is to have a family,” he told host John Fugelsang. “It’s not about making people happy. It’s not about love.”

    I,personally, always cracked up when the Catholic Church settled on the following attack on Buddhism–that it was “death oriented.” Its like they focus grouped it among a small circle of like minded celibate priests and came to the conclusion that this would sell. Yeah, its Buddhism that is negative and death oriented and not Catholicism.

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    I’m for it– there’s an obvious slippery slope here, and it’s hard to see how BSA will avoid it.

  9. 9
    MikeJ says:

    @Schlemizel:

    It would not surprise me if some new organization were to spring up – and who know where the money will come from ;) that will be the “hetro-Scouts”. It will be the refuge for the bigots until eventually it will wither and die

    Baptist Churches have had a separate youth group for decades, but I don’t know that it actually has any traction anywhere. Royal Ambassadors (cub Scout age) and Challengers (Boy Scout age) are much more explicitly religious, with much less outdoorsy stuff. It would only take minor changes for them to pick up some fundy market share.

  10. 10
    YellowJournalism says:

    I’m old. We had a Kirby that my grandma bought. It sat in her garage for years until she gave it to my mom. The box for it is in my basement right now full of crap of mine from college.

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    Alexandra Petri of the Post has a column about the decision which is worth a read.
    Often former Scouts become leaders. The BS decision wants to be okay with gay scouts, but wants them to go back in the closet when they become adults. It is good news for the Scout that was barred from receiving his Eagle Scout award though.

  12. 12
    Schlemizel says:

    @MikeJ:

    Growing up in a heavily Catholic town I know they had a separate organization that operated in about the same way. It was drying up by the late 60’s, maybe because Catholics were no longer the outsiders they once were.

  13. 13
    JGabriel says:

    @aimai:

    @JGabriel: They are anti sex and freedom for the masses.

    Well, yes, that too, for the most part.

    .

  14. 14
    balconesfault says:

    What I wrote over on Frum Forum:

    Had a long discussion with my son about this last night – he’s a happily heterosexual 3rd generation Eagle. He was upset with BSA, with a take similar to what JosephSinger has below.

    I see it as a work-around by BSA to push some measure of local control down to the troop level without creating a trap where troops chartered by bigoted churches will be under threat of lawsuit if they refuse to accept an open gay into a leadership position.

    BSA says they’re not going to proactively ask if someone’s gay. I read that to say if a troop committee is fine with it a gay will be able to be an adult leader, because BSA isn’t going to get involved.

    It’s an evolutionary step, intended to not create open war between BSA and troops chartered by Mormon and Baptist churches. If everyone takes a deep breath and tries to work with it, rather than creating troubles, I think in 5-10 years BSA will be ready for a new decision that clears up the ambiguity.

    For example – my advice if a parent in one of the tolerant troops objects to one of the leaders … is to go find another troop, and not to call BSA and complain … while gay parents would do well simply to avoid bigoted troops rather than try to backdoor (no pun intended) their way into a leadership position. In other words, if adults could just act like adults …

  15. 15
    Valdivia says:

    sorry to interrupt but I just saw on twitter that some stations are saying the 19 year old kid died from his wounds. I guess we will know soon enough.

  16. 16
    monkeyfister says:

    “Catholics will be lucky to get the steak knives.”

    And only if they come around as a prize at the Friday night bingo.

  17. 17
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @MikeJ:
    And for the girls there is the American Heritage Girls, because visiting Planned Parenthood leads to the devil.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @balconesfault:

    In other words, if adults could just act like adults …

    Best wishes on that thought. All you need to do is look at GW high school in Charleston WV (see thread below) to see several adults not acting at all like adults, while the student shined in comparison.

  19. 19
    Schlemizel says:

    @balconesfault:

    Yeah, this makes sense. Its a step like “don’t ask don’t tell” it will please nobody but will serve as the gateway to end the discrimination.

    One of the reasons racists hate miscegenation so much is that once you get to know people who are different from you there is a tendency to find out that they are not diffident from you.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    “Come to the dark side…we not only have cookies, we have condoms!”

  21. 21
    Tokyokie says:

    @balconesfault: In other words, BSA is adopting “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

  22. 22
    WereBear says:

    Of course it doesn’t go far enough, but it’s a real advancement, even though it’s stupid as written. It’s okay for a boy to be a gay Boy Scout, but not okay for them to become the man Boy Scouts are supposed to create, a leader who wants to give back to the community?

    But I’m beyond these religious groups making sense. This is their “no mas” so I’m seeing it as a positive.

  23. 23
    scav says:

    @WereBear:

    Here’s Your Badge, Here’s The Door.

  24. 24
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Schlemizel: actually, I an kind of diffident about you. :)

    (not intended to be a factual statement)

  25. 25
    Schlemizel says:

    @Scamp Dog:

    damn auto correct! different

  26. 26
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Scamp Dog: …and in accordance with Internet comment law, I have a typo in my post too: am/an. Shakes fist at sky.

  27. 27
    ricky says:

    @monkeyfister:

    In the good old days using a steak knife after Friday night bingo would be a matter for required disclosure in confessional the following Sunday.

    Unless you were using your steak knife on a fish stick.

  28. 28
    TriassicSands says:

    “I am hopeful that the Catholic Church cannot be far behind.”

    Sadly, the Catholic Church is centuries behind with their reliance on the hyper-paternalistic papacy. They’ll probably have to be willing to accept women as deserving of full human status before they get around to worrying about homosexuals.

  29. 29
    Walker says:

    Kirby’s were awesome and indestructible, but they were heavy as f*ck. A dreaded having to vacuum stairs with the Kirby.

  30. 30
    Chris says:

    @aimai:

    I,personally, always cracked up when the Catholic Church settled on the following attack on Buddhism–that it was “death oriented.

    This from a church whose symbol is the dead body of a crucified man? Fucking self awareness! Seriously, how DOES it work!

  31. 31
    drkrick says:

    Th@balconesfault: The problem with that plan. Is that some parents (and “concerned members of the community”) will consider it their moral duty to report all but the most successfully closeted adult leaders. It’s good they’re getting out of the business of forcing 12-year-olds to declare “gay or straight”, but the situation with the adults is going to be a mess.

  32. 32
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @maya: Hoover kicks some serious ass.

    (Or ‘Oover,” as our friends in the U.K. like to say. It’s now a synonym for vacuuming. “Who’s gonna do the ‘ooverin’?)

  33. 33
    greenergood says:

    @Schlemizel: Yep, so ‘hetero-scouts’ can abuse young Scouts. The people who abuse Boy Scouts are PEDOPHILES, not gay men, who just happen to like, you know, MEN. Sorry, just sick of this crap …

  34. 34
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Catholics have always had a weak sales department–when conquering empires and reproduction do your marketing for you, cold calls are just too hard.

    Depends which side of the equator you’re on, how your town gets water, the literacy rate in your country, etc.

Comments are closed.