Scouting is about kids, not political agendas

Guest Post By: Senator John Albers (R- Roswell)

I have been a scout all of my life starting at age 6, from Cub Scouts, Webelos, Boy Scouts to Scout leader. My older son is an Eagle Scout and my younger son is on the eagle trail.  I believe in the Boy Scouts and have supported them with my time, talents and money.  For over 100 years, the Boy Scouts have represented so much that is good in this world.  If you are not a scout, take time to read the scout law, oath, motto and what it takes to become an Eagle Scout to learn a true appreciation.  Many of our greatest leaders in business, government and society were scouts. Scouting includes boys aged 6 – 17, specifically Boy Scouts ages 10-17.

Recent events concerning the allowing of openly homosexual boys and leaders became a topic of great controversy.  Let me be clear, boy scouting should be about the kids and teaching them invaluable life skills. Shame on both sides for forgetting this is about the kids and not you.

As mentioned earlier, Boy Scouts are about the boys – yes, they are kids. However, adults with a political agenda have decided to make their cause something it should never be.  Anyone who needs to outwardly profess their sexuality, no matter their preference, has no business in the Boy Scouts.  Being a scout is a safe environment for kids to learn, lead, and perhaps even sometimes learn to fail. I will never fully comprehend why outside organizations have targeted the Boy Scouts. But, it is very sad they are pushing their agenda onto the kids.

The Boy Scouts of America recently changed its policy allowing homosexual scouts, but not leaders.  Here is a wakeup call to the national council of the Boy Scouts of America; the boys starting at age 10 didn’t join scouts for this foolishness.  There are not merit badges for sexuality and political correctness. This topic has now been legitimized and made into something it never should be – a topic for these kids to discuss.  You have also put churches and other institutions in a position to choose between their doctrine and your political agenda.  Sadly, I fear Scouting will lose thousands of Scouts and troops now. We should not cave to political pressure and make people’s sex lives the main topic of conversation.  This is not what scouting is about.

I would like to call a “time out” and have rational minds resolve this issue.   All of this can be resolved with one simple rule, “Anyone who needs to discuss their sex lives in front of Boy Scouts aged 10-17 is not allowed”.  I don’t want to know about anyone’s sex lives period and neither do my boys.   If you cannot control yourself, you have no business in this organization as a member or a leader.  Scouting should solely be about boys who want to camp and learn invaluable life skills.

As an elected official, I often see the situation where adults mess it up for the kids.   It is time to stop.  Shame on both sides for forgetting this is about the kids and not themselves.

 

-Sen. John Albers serves as Chairman of the State Institutions and Property Committee.  He represents the 56th Senate District which includes portions of North Fulton and Cherokee counties. He may be reached by email at [email protected].

 

41 comments

  1. George Chidi says:

    John Albers may not be self-aware enough to be embarrassed by this statement.

    Are you prepared to ban Boy Scouts from talking about girls around the campfire, sir? Because that would most certainly be an outward profession of one’s sexuality. This entire line of defense is, in essence, an argument that heterosexuality is normal, and that being gay or lesbian is not “legitimate”, and that somehow the open presence of gay children makes the world less “safe” for regular old-fashioned folks like him.

    Balderdash.

    The scouts were bleeding members because of their twisted policy toward gay members, not despite it. Moral people saw the immoral posture of discrimination taken by the organization and were deciding not to subject their children to it. The numbers don’t lie. I think it likely that they will continue to bleed members until gay scoutmasters are permitted — the half-measures manage to offend everyone.

    Rational minds are resolving this issue, sir. Perhaps the fact that the resolution disagrees with you might be a sign to examine your own rationality. Shame on you.

    • Napoleon says:

      Can you show either a poll or other objective evaluation that shows it was the Boy Scouts’ “twisted policy” that was affecting membership?

      Or could it be simply because membership in civic, religious and community organizations in general is on a decline throughout the US, including the Boy Scouts?

        • George Chidi says:

          I’m going to give it to you. I can find several news stories citing parents who refuse to allow their children to participate in scouting because it discriminates against atheists and gays … but no formal survey work confirming it. And the evidence for scouting to be subject to the same trend away from civic participation is strong. I relent on this point, sir.

          I still think the anti-gay policy contributes to the decline. But I no longer will cite is as a sole cause.

      • I’m in agreement with Napoleon here. I don’t see the previous policy being the reason for declining numbers in scout troops. I would personally suggest that such things like technology are the reason for smaller participation numbers. Fewer parents are pushing aside the video games, iPads, computers, iPhones, etc. and making their kids go play outside. Heck, even in Cobb, we’re replacing our auxiliary (secondary) gymnasiums with ones that have HVAC so that kids can play in a climate controlled building instead of subjecting them to the horrors of having to play outside.

        • Napoleon says:

          Another good example is the decline in church membership. Using the theory above, the more liberal churches should be gaining members (or declining the least) which more conservative churches, like Catholics and Baptists, should see the greatest declines. The numbers do not show that. In fact, the only churches seeing an increase in membership is the Mormon Church and Jehovah’s Witnesses, both of which tend to be more conservative.

          More liberal churches saw, overall, a greater decline in membership than the conservative chruches, but I would not attribute their support of gay marriage to be the sole reason. Also, their decline is only about 1 or 2 percentage points more than Baptists or Catholics.

          http://www.christianpost.com/news/largest-christian-groups-report-membership-decline-37180/

          • George Chidi says:

            Perhaps people are simply discovering, as they examine the moral error of their churches with regard to matters of human sexuality, that they do not require church membership to find spiritual harmony. Go figure.

          • John Vestal says:

            More recent study (PewResearch) (albeit missing the denominational specificity) showing similar trending, although I would pose that the slower decline in Catholic adherence can be partially attributed to Latin American immigration.

            (The LDS, while certainly conservative, also was in favor of the BSA’s policy change, btw)

            I also wonder if someone taking an objective, quasi-anthropological standpoint wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t gradual declines in religious adherence/observations in ‘first world’ societies and cultures, at least where adherence wasn’t under duress.

    • Joshua Morris says:

      “Are you prepared to ban Boy Scouts from talking about girls around the campfire sir?”

      I would think ‘no’, and the scouts aren’t going to be bringing any of those girls to that campfire setting, either. Talking is one thing–acting on sexual feelings during the activity is another.

  2. NoTeabagging says:

    Your comments suggest a “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” approach which means everyone should be welcome as scout members. No one would know or should know if you have any sexual leanings. Perhaps that is why there are no abstinence merit badges.

    Maybe I’m being old-fashioned, but the nature of scouting focus on good deeds would deny that many cub scout/boy scouts young age would even be thinking about sexual activity. “Be Prepared” is not taught as meaning “carry a condom”. Correct me if I am wrong, but if no sex education is taught by the scouts, then it doesn’t matter what a scout member may be inclined to do as a scout member or later in adult life.

  3. Jackster says:

    There are two things that scouting (boys and girls) are good for: their developmental program for youngins, and their pinnacle rank (eagle / gold award).

    So that I ask:
    1) If you see a boy or girl in scouting, do you feel they are learning and being reared in a valuable way?

    2) If you see an eagle scout or gold award on a resume, does that affect your hiring decision?

    Being gay actually affects the parents and leaders more so than the boys themselves. The protection of youth training, bullying training, and abuse awareness training that the boy scouts self-imposed over the last dozen or so years is proof that there is a commitment to making sure these boys are in a safe and nurturing environment.

    Not allowing gay parents and leaders diminishes the value of the program significantly; it does not reflect our society, and it disconnects the family and parents from the scouting program.

    That in turn diminishes their values.

  4. If I understand your premise correctly, I think it’s a reasonable suggestion. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is one thing in the military – it’s another thing altogether when talking about kids. Sexuality has no official place in the scouting program, nor should it. There is no sex ed merit badge. Sure, the kids will make the same sexual jokes they make in school, but the teachers cut them off if they hear talk about that, right? Sure, some of the kids may bring a Playboy on a camping trip (I saw a couple floating from tent to tent out of sight of the adult leaders on a variety of trips), but the purpose of the trip was the outdoors – not talking about sexuality. (Those magazines I mentioned were confiscated the few times they were found.) Kids are always going to make the same adolescent type jokes and comments they always have. As I’ve said, I highly doubt allowing gay members is going to really make the organization any different than it was before the decision was made.

  5. Dave Bearse says:

    “Anyone who needs to outwardly profess their sexuality, no matter their preference, has no business in the Boy Scouts.”

    So when are you tendering your resignation, as I doubt you’ve never mentioned your wife?

    • I think you missed his point. The point isn’t to discourage scouts / leaders from ever briefly mentioning their spouse / significant other. The point is that his wife (and their sex life) isn’t the subject of meetings, merit badges, and just about any conversation likely to be had in a typical scouting setting.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        I didn’t miss that point at all. I agree sex lives shouldn’t be the subject of meetings etc.

        Scouting doesn’t allow gay leaders, so to whom does Albers’ statement apply? Scouts gay and straight and their heterosexual leaders. You’re welcome to defend a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy for scouts, but bear in mind it’s Albers’ enforcement: A gay scout that mentions a boyfriend is outwardly professing his sexuality, while a scout with a girlfriend or a leader with a wife or girlfriend isn’t.

        Albers is the type of guy a libertarian ought to distance himself from.

        • “A gay scout that mentions a boyfriend is outwardly professing his sexuality, while a scout with a girlfriend or a leader with a wife or girlfriend isn’t.”

          I went back and re-read what Albers said. Here you go: All of this can be resolved with one simple rule, “Anyone who needs to discuss their sex lives in front of Boy Scouts aged 10-17 is not allowed”.

          So tell me… how is a gay scout mentioning the existence of a boyfriend considered discussing their sex life? Have you talked about your sex life every time you mention your significant other?

  6. saltycracker says:

    Never though Scouts & Churches had to be all inclusive as like all groups, there are some rules/codes. Doesn’t seem too neighborly to go on a siege against those that see it differently.

    A politician telling me it isn’t about politics sounds like the phrase “it’s not about the money.” The controversy is riding a political headwind and the Scouts will learn a lot about bullying.

    • There are a lot of people that grew up in scouts. Because one happens to be a politician and thus is paid attention to moreso than other likeminded scoutmasters / leaders doesn’t mean that there’s an ulterior motive. It simply means he’s using the platform he already has to discuss an issue that is near and dear to him. Would it be any different if he was talking about St. Baldricks or St. Jude or any other charity?

  7. Scott65 says:

    Theres a lot of things that change with boys between the ages of 6 and 17. I’d say once you pass 14 you are pretty sexually aware these days

    • Harry says:

      Yeah, but hopefully young boys can attain adulthood without being violated by scoutmasters.

      • Lea Thrace says:

        You need to realize 2 distinct things.

        1. The rule was to allow gay scouts. Not leaders. Why? Because scouts were being denied the ability to continue in their paths because they identified as being gay.

        2. Pedophilia is NOT EQUAL to homosexuality.

        • Napoleon says:

          Age of consent in Georgia is 16. According to Scouting.org, average age Scouts earn their Eagle is 17. I agree, pedophilia is not the issue, however, like Joshua Morris said above, there is more potential for issues to develop because he’s right, there is a big difference between talking about girls around the campfire and bringing a group of girls to the camp-out.

          • Lea Thrace says:

            So is the assumption that if gay boys are allowed to continue, they will somehow force themselves on the other boys?

            • Napoleon says:

              What part of “consent” in “age of consent” do you not understand? Maybe it’s just me, but I would think that “consent” would be no more than a 4th or 5th grade level vocabulary word.

              • Lea Thrace says:

                I guess I must not understand what you were trying to say in your previous comment. If you are not talking about the effect of gay boys on their fellow scouts, then why bring up age of consent. What “issues” do you see arisingPlease help me understand.

        • Harry says:

          I would also have an issue with heterosexual male leaders of girl scout troops. Does that equal pedophilia? No, but I would still have an issue with it.

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