Friday, July 27, 2012

Boy Scout "Leadership" Loses Moral Compass

Big surprise that the “leadership” of The Boy Scouts of America spent all that time and energy to arrive at the same conclusion about gays among their ranks as always: that approximately ten percent of the population will continue to be excluded based on the same kind of willful ignorance that kept women and blacks from voting for more of our history than not.  And it baffles me that any adult, gay or straight, would direct their kids toward an organization that, ten or twenty years from now, will likely be viewed, at least as far as their leadership goes, as a hate organization for their bigoted views on a population that is as natural, and numerous, as left-handers. 

If the fear (and understand that you will never hear them articulate their true fear) is that accepting homosexuals as scout masters increases instances of molestation, then they should issue an equally loud outcry toward male coaches of girls’ athletic teams and males who lead church youth groups that include girls.  I know of far more instances of inappropriate and illegal behavior by leaders of those groups. The national BSA “leadership” doesn’t seem to consider that their policy puts scouts more at risk of sexual victimization, because it focuses on a population statistically less likely to offend than the general population, and away from true predators, such as, say, the great football defensive coordinator at Penn State who nobody ever accused of being gay.  Predators are genius at choosing their playgrounds, and sleight of hand is their thing.

If the fear is that gay boy scouts or gay scout leaders will influence straight boy scouts to become gay, well, that’s just dumb.  Stupid.  Ignorant.  All the politically incorrect terms that point to a brain that simply doesn’t operate well and feels no compulsion to gather any real information or make change.

It’s time we started calling things by their real names.  The National Board of the BSA is replete with bigots.  They benefit from being part of a culture (and I blame the conservative/religious right for this because they are masters at calling something its exact opposite) that has somehow made it more heinous to call someone a bigot than to be a bigot.

The big wigs of the BSA will do what they do.  Their “leadership” is filled with hard-wired dogmatists, and their asses are covered by the Supreme Court.  About the only thing Decent America can do is never contribute and don’t join.  The Scouts’ true value is to give us something visible to stand against.  

But Decent America must also require their media to tell the truth when dealing with issues such as this.  The whole truth.  USA Today reported that a “special committee comprised of professional scout executives and adult volunteers, was unanimous in its conclusion…”  While the article names the Scouts’ chief executive – Bob Mazzuca – and two members of the executive board – James Turley and Randall Stephenson, who have “recently indicated they would try to work from within to change the policy,” -  none of the other members of that “special committee” were named.  They are allowed to promote their bigoted policy under a cloud of anonymity.  Tough investigative journalists have exposed the identities of CEO’s and underlings responsible for the recent Wall Street crash.  They ferret out undersecretaries of undersecretaries whose emails have contributed to all manner of governmental excesses.  Hell, a National Enquirer reporter brought down John Edwards.  Certainly there is an investigative reporter out there somewhere willing to track down the names and photos of this “special” subspecies so that twenty years from now we can look back on them with the same contempt that civil rights champions look back on the likes of George Wallace and Orville Faubus. 

I worked as a child and family therapist full time for almost twenty years, still chair my county’s original child protection team.  Before that I was an educator of students k-12 in alternative education.  I have worked with gay teenagers trying to find their way in all venues, many simply staying alive long enough to find respite among intelligent and compassionate humans, accepting enough to let them have control of their own lives in a hateful greater American climate; worked with gay foster parents, gay teachers, gay artists, coaches, business people.  When I hear willfully uninformed people from the so-called right talk about the “gay lifestyle,” I automatically think, Get up, grab breakfast, go to work, try to live a meaningful life…JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!  There is no gay lifestyle, people.  There is only a forced secretive existence in response to “Christian” conservative bigotryLifestyle has nothing to do with sexual orientation.  Should I be asked to “come out” as a heterosexual?  “Hi.  I’m Chris Crutcher.  I do what is none of your damn business with women.” 

Famed weight-loss expert and failed presidential candidate Mike Huckabee revealed his true colors following the Boy Scouts statement, declaring that keeping gays out of scouting will protect boys from abuse.   Huckabee consistently doubles down on his political views by couching them in his religion, and in the process contributes to the shameful name of both.  There is no correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia.  None.  Mike Huckabee willingly allows his philosophy to trump his humanity. 

Morality is about decency, plain and simple.  It’s not about religion and it’s not about sex.  It isn’t an abstract; it’s about action.  I’m not a Christian but I grew up in a Christian church and am hard-wired with many of its teachings, and the Jesus of my imagination would slap Mike Huckabee down like a moneychanger.  Decent America must deny extremists - Huckabee and all his Huckabettes - their basic premises, because if you accept a stupid basic premise, you enter into a stupid conversation.

Based on my conversations with teenagers, and I have had many, I’m guessing that Scouts themselves are far more accepting of their gay peers than is their “leadership.”  A majority of young people with whom I’m in contact don’t get what the gay marriage or gays in the military controversies are even about.  As one high schooler told me only a few weeks ago, “Who gives a shit?”

Well, Scouts, here’s my advice to all of you who want to be on the right side of history, as well as the right side of humanity.  Get new “leadership.”  Better yet, get leadership.  If it comes from the ranks, they can’t deny you.

PHOTO:  What a pussy scout I was [second from the right, age 13].  That was a bunch of scouts from McCall and me headed for the National Jamboree in Colorado Springs in 1960.  


  1. I read a few of your blogs and honestly, I wasn’t sure I connected with them but this one really caught my attention. You make a powerful statement about how an association that is looked well upon in society and around the world is not willing to accept everyone out there. Gay, straight, white or black everyone is the same in the end and there shouldn’t be any reason for society to treat them differently. Not only is this topic striking and powerful it connects to everyone. I doubt there is one person out there that hasn’t heard about a gay person committing suicide due to bullying. I connect to this blog in several ways, but mostly because having family that is gay I would never want them to feel judged for whom they are sexually interested in. I have never once thought that they “will influence [me] to become gay”. All in all a beautifully well-written post that everyone should take the time to read.

  2. LGBT has been an issue for a while now, and I really think it's time for people to just accept. They don't have to embrace, but they can at least accept. If we have (sort of) managed to allow women and colored people to vote, why can't we let the LGBT get married all over the US? I feel as if in fifty years or so, when kids are reading through their textbooks, they'll be appalled at how close-minded we were, not letting gay people have the rights they deserve, just as we were appalled at how our fore-fathers implemented segregation in the 1900s. The real issue with the LGBT community is the fact that so many people are uninformed. They judge based on what they are taught without looking at the bigger picture or the deeper meaning. I am always interested in reading about people's opinions on the LGBT community, and I enjoyed reading your take on its relation to the BSA.

  3. Hi Mr. Crutcher,

    I am currently a senior attending Singapore American School. My English teacher directed the entire class to your blog and website, both of which we are to read, before we have the chance to meet you. As a proponent of reason and sanity, I cannot express how glad I am to have come across your blog. As I read your posts, I could not stop. Compelling and refreshing, the arguments you present shed new light on my own beliefs regarding controversial and widely discussed topics like gun control and abortion. It was, however, this post about the issue of allowing homosexual boy scouts that I could not agree with more. About two days ago, I read a CNN politics blog concerning Santorum’s view on BSA’s ban of gay scouts ( As I read your opinion on the topic, I couldn’t help but laugh. I laughed because the words “stupid”, “dumb”, and “ignorant” were the exact ones that came to my mind as I saw the title of the blog on my twitter newsfeed- “Santorum Says Scouts May Not Survive if Gays Allowed”. Your point about having to “come out” as a heterosexual couldn’t have been better put. Absolutely hilarious. As an amateur blogger, one thing that I have trouble with, is getting my voice across, something that you do well. Though your posts give me a good laugh, they also cause me to think about and question my own beliefs. Reading your blog, I feel as if I am having a live conversation with you. Your openness and directness in discussing sensitive issues couldn’t be more effective. I hope that one day I will be able express my own voice as well as you express yours.

  4. As I read through your blog, this post really caught my attention, because the controversy about gays have been a big struggle for the past years. My emotions and thoughts were mirrored in your writing. I agree with your expression of "dumb", "stupid", and "ignorant", because that's exactly how I felt when I come across a comment about gays affecting straight boys. I really understood and related to your point; my mom is similar to the people who think gay people have their own "gay lifestyle", when actually, as you pointed out, is just the ordinary lifestyle! There is nothing different, and yet many others view and treat gays differently. I am thankful for your post, because it expresses my point of view on this controversy and presents the truth about gays. And honestly, "'Who gives a shit?'", gays are normal human beings, not a disease!

  5. Reading this blog has made me realize how homophobic society is today. Homosexuals have been struggling for over years because people choose not to accept them due to safety priorities. I believe it is a completely biased perspective that homosexuals are classified dangerous and could cause potentially damange and bad influence on children. It is ironic that the people who hate homosexuals are actually classified as the wrong-doers while the homosexuals are actually the innocent bystanders. The concept of homosexualities scares the public because it is such an unnatural sexual orientation. However, homosexuality is not a diesease; it doesn't spread or influence people heavily. I believe we need to understand more about homosexuals that they are humans as well, just like the rest of us, and whether gay or not, each individual should be treated with equal amount of respect. This was a beautiful blog and I thank you very much for posting this and sharing your voice and thoughts.

  6. As a Boy Scout myself, I can confirm that nobody (at least in my troop) particularly cares about the homophobia/sexuality issue present with the higher ups. It may be that I'm from a considerably more liberal troop, but many of the issues that arise in the highest level of leadership in the organization rarely affect anything that happens. However, I'm disappointed that you believe that the BSA will become "a hate organization". I realize that you qualify that statement by saying that it's the leadership that imposes the views, but regardless it says that the whole organization will be viewed that way. Scouts is a program that encourages many things that are sadly lacking in modern society, such as understanding a map or even basic outdoor skills. I'm not defending their views, because I personally oppose them as well, but saying the entire organization will be viewed badly because of the beliefs of the leadership is a bit extreme. With any luck, the offending leaders will be replaced by more levelheaded scouts from my generation in the next ten to twenty years.