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Goodbye, Good Scouts
by Father Celatus POSTED: 6/6/13


Scout oaths or promises have been an integral component of organized scouting worldwide for the whole of its century-plus existence. While these promises vary from nation to nation, they are all required to include the following principles: duty to God and Country, to help others, to keep the Scout Law. The longstanding Scout Oath for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), pledged by millions, reads as follows:

On my honor, I will do my best, To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

It appears that the Boy Scouts of America will need to drop the last three words of their traditional oath, if they are to remain true to their recent decision to admit openly “gay” scouts into their scouting programs. After months of uncertainty leading up to a vote of some 1400 national delegates, by a majority vote a new resolution has been passed, to be adopted starting in January 2014, that reads: "No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”

If the delegates who voted in favor of the new BSA policy thought that this compromise would satisfy the demands of the homosexual movement, they were badly mistaken. Within less than a week of the vote, the California State Senate voted to drop the tax exempt status of the Boy Scouts, due to their policy to exclude adult homosexual leaders from the organization. According to one openly homosexual senator:

They are out of line with the values of California and should be ineligible for a tax benefit paid for by all Californians...continuing a ban on [homosexual] adults is based on absurd assumptions and stereotypes that perpetuate hate and homophobia. What does this mean, that up until 17 you're fine to be in the Boy Scouts but on midnight of your 18th birthday you turn into a pedophile or a predator? What kind of warped message does this send? We've given the Boy Scouts ample time to solve their discrimination problem. And they've chosen a path that still leads to discrimination.

What is the lesson to be learned here? Compromise with evil is unacceptable and ultimately unsuccessful. Many are already anticipating that the policy change to accept minor homosexual scouts is but the first step toward inclusion of homosexual adult leaders and volunteers as well. We are probably not far from the days when boys can choose to be Girl Scouts and girls will demand to be Boy Scouts. Heaven help us!

Speaking of Heaven helping, where were the bishops of the United States in all of this? After all, the Catholic Church is one of the three largest religious sponsors of scouting programs in the United States. Imagine if, in the months leading up to this historic vote on such a critical moral issue, the Conference of Bishops had drawn a line in the sand and had issued a strong statement against the proposed resolution.                                                     

But uncharacteristic of the Conference, which often weighs in on issues over which it has no competence, on this fundamental moral matter it was mute. So much for the New Evangelization and Year of Faith! The voices for morality and decency were instead heard from Evangelicals and Southern Baptists. While heretical denominations, at least these two religious bodies respect basic biblical teaching and natural law.

Now that the BSA vote has been taken and a pro-homosexual policy has been approved, what is the official Catholic response? If you are holding your breath awaiting a statement of disapproval, you better breathe or else turn as blue as a Cub Scout shirt. The Chair of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS), which is advisory to BSA and relates officially to the USCCB, wrote in a public letter:

After all this, some prayer and discernment, I have come to the following conclusions:

•   Scouting is still the best youth-serving program available to all youth

•   We should be encouraged that the change in BSAs youth membership standard is not in conflict with Catholic teaching

•   We need to use this opportunity to show our commitment to making Catholic Scouting a safe environment for all youth in which the Catholic faith is taught, practiced and nurtured.

The NCCS exercises its advisory capacity as a member of the BSA Religious Relationships Task Force. The NCCS is not a voting member of the BSA. During the listening period, we expressed our concerns and provided references on Catholic teaching to BSA. The resolution appeared to respect those teachings and BSA’s responses to our concerns were satisfactory. We felt that the Catholic Scouters selected as voters could, in good conscience, vote either for or against the Resolution.

So not only is the NCCS fine with the change of policy, it was actually complicit in enabling this choice. Once again, with a few exceptions, mainstream Catholic leadership has failed to protect our children.

But it is not only boys who will soon be at risk by their participation in scouting. Already, for some years now, there have been credible reports of close associations between the Girl Scouts USA and radical feminist organizations, to include the infamous Planned Parenthood. The Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA), in fact, co-founded and participates in a much larger organization known as the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), which is a global organization well-known for its advocacy of sexual and reproductive “rights” for young girls, including abortion. GSUSA also maintains membership in the Coalition for Adolescent Girls, which promotes extensive sex education and abortion care for girls.

One year ago the US Conference of Catholic Bishops announced it was beginning an investigation of the Girls Scouts USA. To date we have yet to hear from the Conference on this matter of vital moral interest. Parents and pastors should wait no longer. Now is the time to make your personal decision to do the right thing to protect our children, as we say thanks for the memories but as of now, Goodbye, Good Scouts!

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