A couple of weeks ago, delegates from the Irving-based Boy Scouts of America voted to lift their ban on openly gay Scouts, though openly gay adult staff members are still barred. When that vote happened, demons flooded the earth, Sodom and Gomorrah were re-animated, and we all plummeted into a raging sea of utter, desolate, candy-colored gayness.
That's what we expected, anyway, but damned if we're not still here and the cable bill's not still due. Very disappointing. But the Boy Scouts' lifting their gay ban has completely unhinged a large swath of the religious right, who just keep churning out jaw-dropping editorials about what gay Scouts are doing to America. According to these folks, gay Scouts lead to the following:
Sexual Anarchy: We already heard from talk radio host and one-woman brain trust Linda Harvey that gay kids in the Scouts lead to "sexual anarchy" that makes Jesus very uncomfortable. Just as a reminder, Jesus is the one who ministered to and healed alcoholics, prostitutes, a woman with a menstrual problem, lepers and at least one dead guy. But yeah, he'd definitely refuse to get near a gay child. Good call, Linda Harvey. Good on you.
Demons Right Wing Watch noted on Friday that another right wing talk radio host, Kevin Swanson, seems pretty sure that demons were behind the Scouts' vote. "Demonic systems," you see, like to take control of "large, centralized organizations."
Swanson's solution, obviously, is for his listeners to pull their kids out of Scouting, boys and girls alike, lest you lose your kids to "these civilization-destroying things like homosexuality." It's a little more subtle argument than Republican strategist Raynard Jackson, who's just straight-up arguing in the Christian magazine Charisma that the Boy Scouts "sold their souls to the Devil."
Vague, Ominous Pre-Nazi Stuff RWW also has the latest from Liberty University professor Cynthia Dunbar, who's pretty sure that the lifting of the gay ban is a lot like 1930s Germany. After all, gay activists are trying to bend mainstream, God-fearing Americans to their will, just was done "in pre-Holocaust Germany, as far as propaganda and presentation and swaying the whole mindset of a nation."
Pedophilia Not to be outdone, our own Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert said on the Family Research Council's radio show last week that gay kids sleeping in a tent near other kids can only lead to one damn thing. Well, actually, he didn't say it outright, settling for vague insinuations.
"You're going to allow a situation where a 17-year-old guy that's sexually attracted to other guys gets in a little tent with an 11-year-old new rookie Boy Scout and they spend the night together, night after night at camp?" he told FRC president Tony Perkins. "I mean, come on. I thought we were making progress."
Judgment from God Almighty In the same segment, Governor Rick Perry said that the Boy Scouts of America delegates will have to be accountable in the next life for the big gay decisions they've made in this one. "They will look back on it someday and be held accountable, so that day will come and they will stand before their maker and be accountable for the decisions that they made," he told Perkins. The governor, of course, has also blamed "pop culture" and "political correctness" for the BSA's decision.
Angry Baptists This one's actually true. Gay Boy Scouts do lead to pissed-off Baptists. The Southern Baptist Convention may be on the verge of passing a formal resolution telling its members to pull their kids out of Scouting, according to CNN.
A.J. Smith, the president of the Association of Baptists for Scouting, wrote that the lifting of the ban is nothing less than an attempt to bring down the Scouts from the inside.
"This really isn't about having a place for homosexuals or atheists to benefit from Scouting," he wrote on the organization's website. "There are scouting alternatives for to serve people who hold those practices and beliefs. This is about a concerted effort to bring down a cultural icon. We must brace ourselves for the long haul on this one. Gird yourselves with prayer, entrust your cause to God, and exemplify all that is good and noble in Scouting and in our faith."
Meanwhile, though, the Baptist General Convention of Texas, a separate organization based here in Dallas, doesn't seem quite as upset.
"That's not us," spokesman John Hall told me this afternoon. "In fact I had to Google what you were talking about." The Southern Baptist Convention is meeting later this summer in Houston, he said. "I assume they'll talk about the Boy Scouts thing then." As for the Texas Baptists, he said, "To my knowledge, I've not heard anything about it one way or another. It doesn't mean it won't come up in our annual meeting in july in S.A. But we have no formal response at this point."
Clearly John Hall hasn't gotten the message about all the demons and angry Gods and khaki shorts-clad sexual anarchists. Someone set him straight. It all sounds quite serious.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Update, 4 p.m.: Speaking of Baptists, we just heard back from Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of that enormous fountain-studded spaceship that's landed downtown. Jeffress said First Baptist isn't planning to formally urge their congregants to pull their kids out of the Scouts.
"Our church does not sponsor a Boy Scout troop like other churches do," Jeffress said. "So we see no need to pass any kind of resolution about it."
That said, he added, "I would say most of our church members would say say well, the Boy Scouts have an oath that they've taken to be 'morally straight,' And in 2004 the Boy Scouts officially said that homosexuality violated their code of moral straightness. And of course now they've changed positions. My question would be, what's changed? If you deemed something morally crooked and now it's morally straight, what's changed? The Boy Scouts have allowed the culture rather than moral absolutes to cause them to cave to political correctness."
Just in case you found yourself still wondering where Jeffress stands on homosexuality.