Boy Scouts and Homosexuality: What’s the Big Deal?
By now, readers are no doubt aware of the enormous moral capitulation by the Boy Scouts of America on the subject of homosexuality. Shortly after being informed of the bad news, I wrote a column that began with the words, “It is a crime against boyhood, manhood, and the honor of a once noble institution.” I will not reiterate here what I said there.
Disregarding the reaction of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (referred to in my column), I think it is time for Catholics to bail from the BSA, en masse.
But what are the alternatives? One is the Federation of North-American Explorers (FNE), already established in the USA (New Jersey), but having its roots in Europe. The New Jersey group is affiliated with a vibrant Traditional Mass center. Dr. Taylor Marshall (an Eagle Scout) is starting his own Scouts of Saint George.
Saint Benedict Center sponsors a BSA Troop, which will affiliate with one of these groups (or some other alternative) before the implementation of the new BSA policy on January 1, 2014.
Anyone paying attention would have seen what I saw, that this change was coming and the BSA leadership were setting the stage for it. As head of a sponsoring organization, I participated in their electronic questionnaire for adult leaders. The questions were written in such a way as to engender sympathy for the poor, persecuted homosexuals. Even after stacking the deck, the BSA had to resort to additional subterfuge to skew the results. The effort to “listen” was a fraudulent smokescreen.
But some people are asking themselves, “What’s the big deal?” The new policy, they point out, does not say that the BSA will allow open homosexuality in the troops, and potentially predatory adult leaders are excluded by the compromise that admitted homosexual youth, while excluding them as adult leaders.
Three points need to be made concerning this naïveté: First, the time it took for the US Armed Forces to go from “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to the present aggressively proactive homosexualist policy will seem long compared to the time it takes the BSA to change their policy on homosexuals as adult leaders. The coercive thuggery of homosexual activists in government, the press, and the workplace has picked up pace since then. They will take every victory they can get, but they will not stop there.
Second, there is so much wrong with the idea of even identifying youth as homosexual. (We are talking about “a boy who is 11 years old, or one who has completed the fifth grade or earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but is not yet 18 years old.”) In a decent society, a young person who has unnatural temptations would compassionately be guided away from them — in other words, helped — by loving and concerned parents, adult mentors, and clergy. He would not be publicly tagged with an ID card that encourages the unnatural and immoral acts associated with it. Predators and activists seize on this kind of labeling to homoeroticize children and teens.
Third, the sense of moral outrage that this vice ought to engender should not be lost. The fact that it is almost totally lost is the result of a concerted effort over the years. If we are to remain true to Catholic truth, goodness, and beauty, we must maintain a serious sense of the depravity of unnatural vice. We must rally to the standard, and not concede to the big lie that this is a civil rights issue.
What follows is my effort at helping to promote a sensus catholicus on the subject.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” that are “intrinsically disordered,” “contrary to the natural law,” and which “do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity.” (CCC #2357)
Worthy of note is that the CCC says that it is “Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity.” It cites in the footnote the following passages: Gen. 19:1-29 (the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah); Rom. 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10. So here in the “New Catechism,” the Church maintains what tradition has always held, that these passages of the Bible condemn the sin of homosexuality — which they do in very stark terms.
Regarding the passage from Genesis, while many modernists deny that Sodom and Gomorrah were punished because of the unnatural lust of homosexuality, the Church has maintained that that is exactly what happened. Among other proofs of this, I offer the citation in the CCC, which would make no sense otherwise.
The Book of Leviticus has two famous passages: 18:22 and 20:13, the last of which makes sodomy a capital crime.
Here is a rundown of the New Testament passages that cite the condemnation of Sodom and Gomorrah (excerpted from an online study by John Salza entitled“Homosexuality”):
2 Pet 2:6-10: Peter also proves that the Sodomites were guilty of homosexuality. He says God condemned them for “licentiousness” and “lust of defiling passion,” which is where we get the title “Sodomite” for a homosexual. The Greek aselgeia anastrophes for lustful behavior is also found in Rom 13:13; Gal 5:19; Eph 4:19 and Jude 4.
Jude 7: Jude also confirms the Sodomites’ sin is homosexuality. Jude says they “indulged in unnatural lust” (Greek, ekporneusasai) and went after “strange flesh” (Greek, sarkos heteras) in reference to their homosexual sins.
2 Peter 2:4-6: Peter also reveals that the Sodomites are suffering in hell for their sins by comparing the Sodomites’ punishment to the eternal punishment of the evil angels. Just as God did not spare the angels when they sinned but cast them into hell, so He did the same with the Sodomites when He “condemned them to extinction and made them an example to those who were to be ungodly.”
Jude 5-7: Like Peter, Jude confirms that the Sodomites are in hell by saying that they had the same fate as the evil angels. Jude says just as the evil angels were condemned to hell, the Sodomites “likewise” (Greek, hos) acted immorally and are undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. “Undergoing” (Greek, upechousai) is a present participle which means their suffering is ongoing. See also the clear polarity between those who are saved (v.5) and those who are condemned (vv. 6-7,11,13).
Saint Thomas Aquinas ranks homosexual acts second only to bestiality as the worst of sexual sins. He considers both to be contra naturam (against nature) (Summa Theologiae, II IIae, Q. 154, Art. 12). Therein, he cites a passage from Saint Augustine’s Confessions (3:8:15): “[T]hose shameful acts against nature, such as were committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished. If all nations were to do such things, they would be held guilty of the same crime by the law of God, which has not made men so that they should use one another in this way.”
Another Doctor of the Church, Saint Peter Damian, says, in his Book of Gomorrah, that homosexuality “should not be considered an ordinary vice, for it surpasses all of them in enormity” (source). (Additional excerpts from this work can be read here and here.)
This sin ranks, along with willful murder, oppressing the poor, and defrauding working men of their wages, as one of the “the sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance,” as listed in numerous official catechisms, including the Douay Catholic Catechism of 1649, the Catechism of St. Pius X, and, notably the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1867).
This, of course, is not how the world views it. But we are Catholics; we go by the 2,000-year divine tradition of the Church, not the fickle and wicked fads of this world.
That more and more people around us do not agree with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality means that more and more people are dead wrong. Yet another indication of the necessity of the Catholic Church to mediate the truth to man, even truth concerning the Natural Law.