Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Politics, Boy Scouts, And The LDS Church

Things have been happening in the United States. The Supreme Court is ruling from on high. Marriage is now legal for anyone of any sexual preference. That has brought gay rights to the forefront. The Boy Scouts of America allow boys who are gay to be in the Boy Scouts and now the National BSA has voted to let gay adults become leaders in Boy Scouts. The Church says it will have to discuss this in the coming weeks. I’ve thought a lot about this and will accept whatever the church decides. In some ways I want the Church to opt out. Before anyone thinks I’m a “homophobe” or am “racist” (racist..really?) Let me explain. I truly love the Boy Scouting movement. I love almost everything about Boy Scouting. I was involved with Scouting as a boy for 10 years. I’ve been a leader in Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting since 1986 even before my own boys were old enough to be Scouts. I have served as a Scout leader in every calling concerning Scouting on a ward level and now serve on the stake and BSA District level. I have several boys who are all Eagle Scouts except my last, who is working on his project. I love the duty to God foundation. I love the preparedness part and the camping part. I love the basis of the military that Lord Baden Powell loosely based Scouting on. I love the traditions involved and have loved serving the youth. I think now is the time for the Church to take a stand. Not only that, over half the membership of the Church does not have Scouting available to them. It’s time for something that I am confident is waiting in the wings that the Church has developed already as the activity arm of the Aaronic priesthood.
Boy Scouting will continue to cave under pressure and we will see other changes I predict. It is now time to take a stand and say no, we won’t believe the lies anymore. I had a little discussion about this very topic today on Facebook. I don’t usually do this on Facebook, I keep to myself (OPSEC!). But today I had to speak up. I don’t think it was a heated argument, but just an exchange of ideas. Mostly the discussion was led by my adult son, who happens to be a Scout leader and an Eagle himself. I was proud of the way he expressed himself and was immovable. He expressed many things that I feel. The BSA has changed their moral stance. He said he would not change his moral stance and would rather see the church leave Scouting. Others did not agree. I do agree and I see that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!
I’m also getting a little fed up with some of this tolerance thing. I’m intolerant with having to be tolerant of EVERYTHING! It’s not anger, but frustration with extreme prejudice. I am pretty much an easy guy to be around. I was a Bishop several years ago and that taught me tolerance and patience. My kids helped with the patience part too. But I know from my experience and background of military and shooting, I am more aggressive than some people like. I scare people with my “close and engage” attitude. My daughter is serving a mission. She has been confronting her own “demons” concerning that attitude that I seemed to teach her. She’s had to tone it down a little as she serves. I’m trying to keep mine in check but people are not making it easy. (Please know that when I talk in shooting terms, I would never harm anyone, or shoot anyone because they believe differently than I) Is that little disclaimer being politically correct enough? I just want to be clear.
Homosexuality is not a race, it’s a choice. I know there are many who will disagree with me, and I say argue away. My belief is that being gay is not “God given”. On the contrary, I believe it is manmade and world made. I don’t hate gay people, but I do not feel their lifestyle is anything but an attraction that has been given into. I think it can be controlled, although I have no real evidence of this other than what others have experienced. I’m not saying same sex attraction is easy to overcome, or even possible to overcome. I am not a health professional so these are just feelings that I have. I could be way off. I think we should not discriminate against anyone because of sexual orientation. But then again, why the heck do I even KNOW anyone’s sexual orientation?! Some gay people seem to let that orientation define them as a person. I don’t know why, but the whole world seems to need to know they are gay. Why would someone have the need to even tell someone what should be personal and private about themselves? “Proud to be gay” makes no sense to me. You can be happy and comfortable with who you are as a person, but what would compel you to make public something the rest of us really consider TMI (too much information!) Have you ever heard someone say they were proud to be straight? No, not really, unless it was in response to “gay pride”. I believe that the need to tell everyone is a sign that being gay is a choice. It is because of this need to outwardly tell the world that has people concerned. Does this mean that someone who is gay is going to teach this lifestyle to my children in school or the Boy Scouts? This is a valid concern for parents who don’t want their children exposed to this lifestyle as if it were desirable. A child should not be exposed to sexual attitudes their parents do not agree with. Children should be taught to love people for who they are. That’s what being proud of sexual orientation brings. It’s no different than other ideas parents may want to keep away from their impressionable kids. Parents should decide when and where this happens. So when gay people want to be leaders in Boy Scouts that is a concern for people who do not agree with that lifestyle. It’s not the person, but the idea. If you don’t agree with that concern fine, but don’t force your ideas on me either. Does the LGBT community have a tolerance for me? I don’t happen to agree with their beliefs. Am I now a “homophobe?” Ever hear of a “hetrophobe?” Am I now intolerant? I don’t think so, but I’m getting there. Treating people as we want to be treated is what I advocate. I’m starting to get to the point where I want to just say “Shut up will you!?” I’m sick of hearing about something that not only do I not agree with, but is something NO human should be discussing everywhere, all the time. Sex should be private and I believe sex is a sacred thing between a man and woman, lawfully married. That is my definition of marriage, and I believe God’s definition too. But even if you don’t agree with that definition, do I HAVE to know that you are a homosexual? Why? Should I treat someone different because of that announcement? What I want to say is simply “Shut the heck up!” Some people seem obsessed with talking about it and I grow weary of it. Incidentally, should a sexual orientation have a FLAG?!? There are people who don’t treat our nation’s symbol, Old glory, as well as the rainbow flag. Also, being homosexual and referring to yourself as part of a community, complete with initials, doesn’t legitimatize your sexual preference. I guess I should start referring to myself as part of the MSSP community. Mainstream straight sexual preference. That would be a little silly don’t you think? There really is not a “community”. Because you can get views up and down the spectrum from gay people. Why? Because they are human beings. Don’t let a group with initials speak for you. You have a voice, speak for yourself.
I don’t want to be intolerant. I don’t want to look at someone as different. I don’t want to not know how to treat someone because they have a different lifestyle as mine. I shouldn’t have to. Homosexuals are people. They like music and TV. They are just like you and me. They may have differences, but so do you and I. Just because those differences happen to be controversial doesn’t change the fact that two people can get along in spite of their differences. We do it every day. Straight people stop making someone’s sexual preference such an issue. Gay people stop being so offended if someone doesn’t agree with your lifestyle. I don’t agree with socialists either. And I don’t really want them teaching my kids in school because I don’t want their ideas coming through. Does that make me a “socialistphobe?”
I do go into “lock and load” mode when I hear the mainstream media (MSM) encouraging these attitudes. Yes there are idiots out there that call gay people names and act stupid. Do I need to see those exceptions of society? MSM thinks that all conservatives are like the above idiots. Just because I happen to be conservative doesn’t mean: 1. I’m republican, which I’m not, and 2. That I’m a rabid anti-whatever liberals are for. I don’t care for Democrats and I often have a hard time with Republicans. What I do want is this country to stop going away from values, morals, and standards. We have leaders who lie and then lie about lying. We have teachers and professors teaching things that parents do not want. Teaching professionals have an idea that they know better than parents. We have a government who are involved in way too much of our lives. Politicians and money run this country and not the people. Celebrities are treated like royalty because of their popularity and money. Why do I really care about the opinion of a second rate movie maker? Is he any more special than an architect or a checkout clerk? This country is a Republic and majority rules. So can we stop pandering and exalting minorities? I’m not talking about race. I’m talking about minority views. Let’s treat people well but it seems if a minority whines and cries loud and long enough, they get their way. That is not what this country is about. And who the heck ever said that life would be equal? Many people say “That’s not fair!” when they really mean “That’s not equal!” We are not equal and we never will be. Life will NEVER be equal! I don’t care how many laws we make. Quit acting like the sexes, the races, the thinking, the humans will ever be equal. I don’t think we would even be happy if all were. What we need is what is taught in D&C 121:41-42 & 45: “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained…
“…only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile
45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly;…”

We have a perfect checklist for how to treat everyone. If we all were really trying to live this way, I would be too and then I wouldn’t go into “lock and load” mode.
In the end I feel the BSA caved into someone’s agenda. I feel like they caved to political correctness. That makes me a little mad and sad. I don’t understand why a group such as the BSA cannot take a moral stand and it not be considered inclusive. Would I be upset if the KKK would not include me in their group? No, I don’t agree with their morals. If the BSA has morals that are not inclusive, why should they change them just to include some people? This reminds me of a church that changes because of public opinion. If I’m an anti-camper can I get the BSA to stop camping because I like everything else about the organization but camping and want to join? BSA allowed boys who are gay to be registered Scouts. I’m not entirely sure a 12 to 18 year old boy knows he’s gay, but there you go. They compromised their morals there and it was inevitable that gay leaders would follow. Allowing gay leaders is the second compromise. There will be other compromises because of social opinion. The BSA's National Executive Board has showed that it will change Scouting to suit anyone who whines and cries and takes them to court enough. It will happen again.
There is a Seinfeld episode where George turns down a girl who would have made him very happy. He calls himself “Costanza, Lord of the idiots.” Jerry and George are at a party that overlooks the street where the NY marathon is being ran. Several people are watching the race and one girl says to the runners as they go by “You’re all winners!” George looks over at her after he proclaims himself Lord of the idiots and says “…but suddenly a new contender has emerged…”
Reality is that we are not all winners. There is a winner of a race and many losers. That doesn’t mean that those who ran ARE losers in their lives, just of that race. Each of us have won and lost at many things in our lives. It will continue to be so. “You’re all winners” is a statement that tries to make us all feel better about losing. It is not teaching anyone how to lose. It’s not real. It does depict society as being “Lord of the idiots!” Trying to please every organization, race, group, or person is not only impossible, but not real. For some reason society thinks we should include everyone in everything. Nature is not inclusive. Fish don’t try to fly and birds don’t try to live under water. But some humans think that to be happy, equal, and fair, we should include everyone. This kind of idiocy should stay on Seinfeld because it is truly funny because it’s so exaggeratedly untrue.
Again, I love Boy Scouting and I would hate to see it leave the LDS Church. But this organization thinks it’s grown up and ready to be like society. I say let it go and try to compete with the world.
Semper Paratus
Burn

P.S.

Looks like the BSA dodged another bullet. The Church is keeping it's affiliation. I still think the BSA will receive more pressure and give in more and more. Eventually the Church will find it impossible to be affiliated with a group that promotes what the Church has said is wrong. I hope the BSA does not cave, but by their past record I don't have a lot of confidence.
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