“With the country moving toward inclusion, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have instead sent a message to young people that only some of them are valued…They’ve chosen to teach division and intolerance.” Such was the response by the president of the Human Rights Campaign (described as the largest U.S. gay rights group) to a recent decision by a Boy Scouts of America (BSA) review board to maintain its existing membership policies, as reported by the Associated Press. After reading the article I am left with feelings of dismay and wonderment; and with a lingering question: In contemporary society in the United States of America is this what passes for rational thought and legitimate argumentation? Based on the frequency of such statements it would seem the answer to that question is “yes." In my opinion, the reason for such disconnected thinking is systemic yet explainable if one considers the foundational principles undergirding contemporary viewpoints on fairness, tolerance and the like as expressed in the AP article. Indeed such reasons are worth taking time to consider.
The first foundational principle emerges with the following: “With the country moving toward inclusion…” Notice please the question begging, as the dissenter assumes the good to be defined by the direction the country moves and then proceeds to use that assumption as proof that those who move differently are wrong. Obviously this is nothing more than foisting an arbitrary ethic on American culture and demanding its acceptance. Surely what is good and right and true must come from outside culture, from outside the individual in a culture, lest morality become transient and ultimately meaningless for all members in a society.
Secondly, the assertion is made that the BSA “has sent a message to young people that only some of them are valued.” This is nothing more than a bald and baseless assertion. Once again, it is assumed in this statement that valuing young people is equivalent to celebrating any lifestyle any individual youth or group of youths might choose to adopt. However, it is obvious all ideals are not equally true and legitimate. Values are not so capricious as to be defined by some select group in society. They also must transcend culture.
Like much of the reasoning permeating American culture today, the president of the Human Rights Campaign is doing nothing more than foisting, conditioning and presenting question begging and self-stultifying arguments. His view that everyone must accept his groups definitions of values, fairness, inclusion and tolerance (which are based on the current whims of a segment of contemporary American culture) or be derided into submission seems somewhat less than tolerant of others viewpoints. Apparently the position that a young person can be valued for their personhood while declining to celebrate their lifestyle is tolerance that will not be tolerated.
This nation was not founded on such arbitrary and vapid principles. Our Declaration of Independence begins and ends with transcendent, objective, self-evident truths: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” American society was established on the principle that each member is created by a divine Sovereign Creator that He endows with unalienable rights by members who once pledged themselves to the sacred. This Creator then is the definer and arbiter of the right and the good, and He says: “at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be untied to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:4-6, NIV) and “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21, NIV). Futile thinking and foolish hearts permeate the society who neither glorify nor give thanks to the Creator who has created them in His image.
In my opinion, the only hope for mankind, the only way back to reasonableness of thinking undergirded by foundation of the Truth, is Christ Jesus. “Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:31b-32) With this firm foundation, ideas of tolerance, fairness and equality can be carefully considered against the backdrop of a transcendent absolute moral law that does not ebb and flow with the cultural current, for the betterment of society.