Bullying the Boy Scouts

It may not be surprising to some that groups and organizations across the country that are so openly opposed to “bullying” are so adept at it. Politically correct groups advancing the same-sex agenda are pervasive in their denunciation of bullying against those who are “different” yet seem to have mastered the practice against those who don’t share their beliefs. The recently announced review of the Boy Scouts of America policies, which reject avowed homosexuals from membership, provides a case study in collective bullying and intimidation of a quality organization dedicated to instilling character in its members.

Bullying, broadly defined, is the “use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others. It can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability. If done by a group, it’s referred to as mobbing.”

Bullying has occurred, and does still occur for various reasons, and should be proscribed as socially unacceptable behavior universally, at all levels. If universally applied, denunciation of the groups engaged in bullying of pro-family organizations should be as vociferous as against individuals who engage in bullying against those who are “different.” But in the hypocritical and duplicitous world of political correctness, bullying is not only condoned, but encouraged against groups that advance traditional values.

To some, bullying is clearly acceptable, as long as it’s politically correct. Significant corporate and non-profit sponsors and supporters of Scouting have withdrawn their support, including financial, in order to bully the BSA into complying with the radical pro-gay agenda. AT&T, Ernst and Young, Intel, Merck & Company, United Way, and others have curtailed or discontinued their support to the tune of millions of dollars. The financial component takes bullying to a whole new level.

It seems an interesting dichotomy that an organization that itself is so committed to anti-bullying within its ranks, would become the target of bullying by those who profess to support the same commitment. All the more inscrutable when we realize that less than 3% of the total U.S. population is homosexual. “Tyranny of the minority” is no longer theoretical. It is a political and social reality as verified by the bullying actions against the Boy Scouts.

A decision on the organization’s ban on gay members was delayed by the 75 member executive board. The delay until May will allow the 1,400-member National Council to decide whether to continue the ban or give in to the bullying tactics, allowing local units to decide for themselves. Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock said, “the proposal to end the ban came about as outside forces put pressure on the Scouts to address its policy on gays.” Even the possibility of reversal of national policy diminishes the perception of the safety and well-being of Scouts as a top priority to the organization.

In 2000, the Supreme Court upheld the BSA, that the constitutional right of association allows a group to exclude a person from membership when “the presence of that person affects in a significant way the group’s ability to advocate public or private viewpoints.” Clearly the agenda of the politically correct crowd is antithetical to Scouting’s core values.

Just last July, the executive board of the BSA had announced their determination to keep the ban in place by saying it was “absolutely the best policy.” But two members of the executive board, James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young, and Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, have been engaging in their own bullying of other board members to weaken the resolve to maintain the ban.

What’s at stake is the emotional and physical welfare of over 2.7 million young men in the Scouting program. Currently, even with some infractions of leader/Scout contact policy, over 98% of Scouts feel “safe” within the Scouting organization, according to a Harris poll a few years ago. Statistically, that’s probably much higher than how many young people feel safe in their own homes.

Rescission of the ban clearly places those young men at risk. In a peer-reviewed research piece printed in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, researchers Marie E. Tomeo, Donald I. Templer, Susan Anderson, and Debra Kotler, made some striking conclusions. The abstract to their research, Comparative Data of Childhood and Adolescence Molestation in Heterosexual and Homosexual Persons, states, “In research with 942 nonclinical adult participants, gay men and lesbian women reported a significantly higher rate of childhood molestation than did heterosexual men and women. Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation.” The likelihood of significantly increased pederasty involving those 2.7 million young men is virtually assured if the BSA yields to the corporate and politically correct bullying that threatens their core values.

For 103 years, the Boy Scouts have perpetuated a tradition of building moral character and inculcating values that contribute to a conscientious, responsible and moral society. That rich and venerable history is now threatened by the bullying techniques so decried and denounced by the very groups now bullying the Scouts.

Rather than create their own programs based on their own “values,” morally relativistic organizations seek to destroy that which is good; based on solid, everlasting principles. Their success in forcing their conformist political correctness is unraveling the social mores of our cultural fabric, strand by strand.

AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board.  He can be reached at rlarsenen@cableone.net.

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Richard Larsen

AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at rlarsenen@cableone.net.

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