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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Friday, November 8 2002 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster Don't go there

I've never been a big fan of the Boy Scouts, though the concept or the ideal of Boy Scouting seems admirable and I did encourage my sons to participate in the local troop in their childhood for the time they were interested, but being careful not to let them think it was anything other than their decision to stay or quit. They didn't stay long, becoming disgusted by the favortism the troop adult leaders showed to their own children. They concluded they would never get an even break in their troop, and I thought it would be better for them to put their time and energy into the church youth group anyway.

Though I was a member of the Belsano Scout troop for a while at about age 12, I had reservations about the group and my participation for two reasons. The first was that although the Scouts pledge that they're "reverent," as a group they were anything but reverent and I felt hypocritical every time we said the pledge. My second reservation was even more off-putting. When the group went camping or was together on any extended time beyond the weekly one-hour organized meeting, the boys were so "randy" they were scary. I always felt like a jail inmate wondering when the first rape during my stint was going to occur and who the victim would be.

Eventually, I just purposely started missing meetings and was dropped from the troop roll. (I'd love to hear from others about their perceptions and experiences with the Scouts.) I should stress that I never saw any immoral activity, but from the talk that I couldn't help overhearing I suspected there was some going on. I never mentioned this to anyone, considering it "my problem," but that kind of thinking is, of course, the reason so many child victims of adult abuse suffer alone for decades (and in our troop I never thought the adult leaders were guilty of anything more than being too indifferent to what the boys were talking about).

It's from this background that I approach the current controversy over gays in Scouting. I can only think that if "accepting gayness" were to become the policy of Boy Scouting, the average Boy Scout camp would be no less than an orgy every time the boys got away from unapproving adult supervision (and, it has to be said, there are plenty of adults, unfortunately, who would not "disapprove" such behavior). The issue is not homosexuality; even Freudians believe that 12-year-olds are neither "gay" or "straight." The issue is sexuality and carnal activities which are inevitably going to occur when any sexual activity is approved among children. And it has been manifestly proven in hundreds of court cases that such activity leaves permanent psychic scars on children, yet in today's climate it has to be said again; even such seemingly intelligent people as Steven Spielberg just don't get it.

The point is that children should not be sexualized. ABC-CBS-NBC-Fox-WB-UPN are already doing more of that than is healthy through sleazy programs, though according to the research this generation, statistically, seems to be withstanding the pressure better than some of their parent generations did.

Even though I've disqualified myself to vote on what should happen in Scouting, my recommendation is to make it a policy (or keep the existing policy if it has ever been articulated) to leave sexuality and all discussion of sex play off the agenda of Scouting. When it's brought up by children, defer the discussion. Tell them, "don't go there"; it's not a topic appropriate to a group of various ages and stages of development (surely it is not). Leave it to the sex ed classes in the schools which, at least, reach their students at a uniform and somewhat scientifically determined age and stage of maturation.

Of course I believe all children should be welcomed into Scouting (Boys and Girls), but I also think no child should be asked to decide to declare whether s/he is "gay" or "straight." Neither should he or she tell voluntarily what sexual proclivities or activities he or she has engaged in or would like to experiment with. And any child who does make such an adult decision should resign from Scouting and any other children's or youth organization.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Funniest thing I read today

(But maybe you had to be there.) From a review of the new film, 8 Mile, in which Eminem plays "a rapper nicknamed Rabbit as he tries to work his way out of his traditional rust belt job as a bumper presser. You've seen this movie a thousand times before."

—Sent by Steve Rhodes

Thought for today

To overcome evil with good is good, to resist evil by evil is evil.

—Attributed to Prophet Mohammad (founder of Islam)

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