The Invisible Boy | Anthony Esolen | Catholic World Report
We must now pretend that boys are not boys, just some neutered youth
The press release of the Boy Scouts of America, announcing that they will admit boys who declare themselves to be homosexual:
"For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, with a focus on working together to deliver the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.
"Based on growing input from within the Scouting family, the BSA leadership chose to conduct an additional review of the organization's long-standing membership policy and its impact on Scouting's mission. This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change.
"Today, following this review, the most comprehensive listening exercise in Scouting's history, the approximately 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scouts of America's National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone. The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting (emphasis mine). A change to the current membership policy for adult leaders was not under consideration; thus, the policy for adults remains in place. The BSA thanks all the national voting members who participated in this process and vote.
"This policy change is effective Jan. 1, 2014, allowing the Boy Scouts of America the transition time needed to communicate and implement this policy to its approximately 116,000 Scouting units.
"The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue. As the National Executive Committee just completed a lengthy review process, there are no plans for further review on this matter.
"While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting. Going forward, our Scouting family will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens. America's youth need Scouting, and by focusing on the goals that unite us, we can continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve."
What underlies all this puffery? Everything is vague, like the speech of a foolish politician who struts and frets his season before the teleprompter, and then, alas, is elected, so that we must hear him for years to come. What are the “goals that unite us”? What are “the virtues of Scouting”? What is “values-based leadership training”? Who is to be leading whom? What is to be valued, and why? What “incredible things” are to be accomplished? Building a fire? Pitching a tent? Learning to write a single rational sentence to be understood by rational people?
The Boy Scouts of America have long ceased to speak the language of Christian or Jewish or solid old Roman virtue. They, like the schools, have veered away from any of the specifics of expertise, like teaching boys how to shoot a rifle or how to find edible plants in the woods, or, from my March 1, 1911 issue of Boys’ Life, the first issue ever printed, how to drive cattle across the outback of Australia. There was only one reality that kept them reasonably sane when all the world around them had gone quite mad, and that was the boy. And now that one reality has been forgotten.
There’s one word in that official statement that is conspicuous by its absence.