January 31, 2017
On Monday, one of the largest youth organizations in the U.S., with a whopping 2 million members, capitulated once again to the demands of a small but vocal minority. The Boys Scouts of America (BSA) announced yesterday that it will allow biologically female children who identify as male to enroll in its male-only programs.
For an organization whose founding dates all the way back to 1910, and whose original purpose was to prepare young men for battle, this is nothing but a victimization mindset run amok.
In a formal statement published on the BSA's website, they indicated, "For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual's birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs. However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state. Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application."
Despite the BSA's claims that their decision was based on a bigger national conversation on gender identity, a case in Seacaucus, New Jersey may have ignited a firestorm leading to the BSA's decision. In December of last year, an 8-year-old girl who identifies as a transgendered boy was asked to leave her Cub Scout pack because of her birth gender. The BSA has since invited her to return, proving that if you complain loudly enough in America, you can get anything you want.
This isn't the first time the BSA has caved to political pressure. In 2013, the group decided to allow youth who identify as gay to be scouts, and amid heated debate in 2015, it lifted its requirement barring troop leaders and employees who identify as homosexual.
The BSA describes itself as provider of the nation's foremost "character development and values-based leadership training," whose mission is to "prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law."
What are those "morals" and "values," exactly? It seems they're the ones that represent a fluid idea of "gender," and a willingness to put political correctness above the wellbeing of the children in their care. The American College of Pediatricians released a powerful statement over the summer stating that allowing children to alter their gender identities was actually doing psychological and physical harm: "[H]uman sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: 'XY' and 'XX' are genetic markers of health -- not genetic markers of a disorder." For the BSA, it seems that's "no longer sufficient."
We've witnessed a continuing and disturbing trend in America, in which identity politics take precedent over morality, and where emasculation takes precedent over strength and honor. The BSA might need to revisit their own Scout Oath:
"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.
While the oath remains solid, the organization is a hollowed-out shell modeling compromise of duty, and is a disservice to the boys they have pledged to serve. The Boy Scouts have succumbed to moral weakness, fearful to stand up to the insatiable demands of those pushing this agenda of twisted sexuality.
There is another scouting organization that actually still adheres to the core values of this oath -- it's called Trail Life USA. Churches involved in scouting should consider Trail Life as a great alternative.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.