The BSA Policy: One Step Forward, Two Giant Steps Back


Any discussion of child sexual abuse is difficult enough. In today’s moral climate, add homosexuality to the mix and the conversation instantly turns pricklier, and it’s tempting to just shut up. Hardly anyone wants to touch this baby, not with a ten-foot pole. But silence doesn’t solve anything, and can even make things worse, as the history of BSA shows.

In 2012, the Boy Scouts of America was ordered by the courts to release information on 1200 abuse cases that occurred under BSA’s watch between 1965 and 1985. Those files were hidden for decades, and the BSA reportedly destroyed many more to keep things under wraps.

A majority of those, if not all, were cases of homosexual abuse, but the word “homosexual” never made it to mainstream media. We all instinctively know that child abuse is abhorrent, but conditioned by LGBT propaganda over the years, we immediately recoil at any hint of labeling male-to-male abuse as “homosexual”, lest we be accused of being homophobes or bigots. These abuses were presented to the public under the blanket term “child sexual abuse”, pedophilia, or simply “child abuse”. The only homosexual abuse that ever counts as far as the media and the LGBT crowd are concerned, are those where homosexuals are the victims.

By helping to bury the reality about these cases, the BSA effectively accomplished two things: 1) they retained a reputation for being a moral stronghold for boys growing into manhood, and 2) they made themselves unlikely protectors of this particular kind of abuse, and hence vulnerable to eventual pressure from the very people the secrecy protects. But any type of male-to-male abuse, while classifiable as pedophilia depending on the age of the victim, needs to be classified homosexual as well, since homosexuality by its very definition pertains to attraction to and engaging in sexual activity with people of one’s own sex. The CDC refers to any male-to-male sex as homosexual or bisexual: never heterosexual. Note also that by definition, most Boy Scouts would be past the age where abuse could still be classified as pedophilia. Many of these victims weren’t necessarily seen as children by their abusers.

Psychotherapist Kali Munro offers a defense of the victims that most of us can agree with: Victims of homosexual abuse aren’t necessarily gay. He takes great pains to make readers understand the depth of injustice that victims face. We can agree: prejudice of this sort is unacceptable and does nothing but victimize these children a second time. However, in referring to homophobia, Munro cleverly leaves perpetrators out of the picture. While it’s true that we shouldn’t be labeling the victims homosexual, what about the perpetrators? [cue crickets]

For decades, the BSA reputation was given priority over the protection of scouts. It wasn’t until 1987, when the Youth Protection Training program was established, that changes were made in the right direction. All scout leaders today have to go through it, and the program is comprehensive, to a point. It still only addresses adult-to-youth contact, touches only ever so briefly on the very real danger of youth-to-youth abuse. It also hasn’t been able to prevent abuse completely, as recent cases show:

From Boy Scouts Forced To Reveal Scope Of Abuse:

The previously private records show the Boy Scouts have ejected at least 5,100 adult leaders nationwide for sexual abuse allegations since 1946. And the files reveal that despite efforts to keep potential abusers from joining, the problems persist: In the past 15 years alone, the organization has kicked out leaders for such allegations at a rate of once every other day.

With the policy that takes effect in January 2014, the BSA took two giant steps back and renounced the commitment they made to protect boys. Several items crying out for attention:

1. Youth-to-youth abuse happens.

Do Children Abuse Other Children? Yes.

2. There is such a thing as a cycle of abuse.

Cycle of Child Sexual Abuse: Links Between Being a Victim and Becoming a Perpetrator
Adolescent Sexual Aggression: Risk and Protective Factors

What steps are we taking to ensure that none of our boys even get initiated into that cycle?

3. There are predators who were just waiting for the policy change to happen.

1992 NAMBLA Letter to the Boy Scouts. If you’ve never heard about NAMBLA, click here. Try to stop yourself from being shocked.

4. Grooming is a valid concern and can involve either adult-to-youth or youth-to-youth interactions, or both.

From Boy Scouts’ confidential files show pattern of ‘grooming behavior’ in molesters:

Many suspected molesters engaged in what psychologists today call “grooming behavior,” a gradual seduction in which predators lavish children with attention, favors and gifts.

The organization released a prepared statement by Mike Johnson, the organization’s national youth protection director, who underscored the difficulty in identifying predators before they strike.

Beginning in the early 1990s, some experts on the Scouts’ youth safety advisory panel urged the organization to study the files for patterns, but they were ignored, according to two of the experts.

The problem here is that the LGBT crowd has built up such a fortress around themselves as to make themselves virtually untouchable! There isn’t a Child Abusers Pride Parade. Hiding these abuses under an umbrella term of “child abuse”, when there are clear connections to homosexuality being hidden from view, serves neither the boys who are abused nor the homosexual abuser who needs help.

Whatever it was the BSA decided they needed to protect the boys against has not ceased to exist. There is no legitimate reason to relax on the rules they’ve decided were necessary to protect boys. Inasmuch as the BSA saw fit to provide for separate sleeping facilities and latrines for boys vs. girls and youth vs. adults, they should foresee that introducing a third sex/gender (for those self-identified, “open and avowed” homosexuals) presents the same situations that were inherently problematic to having shared facilities between opposite sexes in the first place.

In addition, there are important points to consider:

Once a child is abused, that’s innocence lost forever. No, we can’t be hating on the gays, especially since we know that many of them were abused to begin with. But that doesn’t mean we should welcome with open arms any situation that puts our boys at risk, especially, I would argue, these days when there is HEIGHTENED risk for not only physical harm but spiritual harm. Those of us who chose to disassociate ourselves and our families from Scouting may be labelled paranoid nutsos, but the continuous degradation of morality in this country calls for us to make necessary judgments, even if it means we make errors on the side of caution.

Where does the cycle of abuse begin? It takes just one misguided individual.

Where does the cycle of abuse end? It ends with us, if we have the courage to stop it from taking place.

Additional Reading:

Sexual Abuse of Males: Prevalence, Possible Lasting Effects and Resources from Dr. Jim Hopper, Researcher and Therapist with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Previous Related Post: Betrayed in the Name of Tolerance
Next up: The BSA Policy change and the Catholic response.


  1. Marv says:

    The unfortunate thing about this post is it confuses what type of sexual identity is likely to abuse. There is no sociological data that suggests being homosexual makes a person more likely to commit child abuse than being heterosexual. Quite the opposite, in Virtus Child Protection Training, they emphasize that the cultural stereotype that homosexuals are more likely to abuse children is untrue. This is from a Catholic organization, not the liberal media.

    As Archbishop Schnurr said in his recent letter, the Boy Scout policy does not conflict with Catholic Teaching, and he expects Catholics to continue their support of Boy Scouts.

    • stef says:

      Hi Marv, thanks for stopping by. The links I posted above speak for themselves. We can agree to disagree.

      I’d like to point out that I happen to have somewhat higher stakes than you do. I have five souls I’m shepherding towards heaven, and I cannot in good, formed and informed, Catholic conscience, expose them unnecessarily to possible occasions of sin.

      The BSA program, before the policy change, was welcoming to all. Someone could be homosexual and still make it to Eagle, as long as they didn’t flaunt their homosexuality. As parents, we are the primary educators of our children. It is our job to teach them about sexuality at a time and in a manner that we see fit, per Gravissimum Educationis as well as Divini Illius Magistri. The teaching of sexuality does not fall within the BSA’s purview, and neither is it fellow boy scouts’ responsibility. Once upon a time, the BSA was an excellent partner in the moral education of boys, but that is no longer the case.

      As for Archbishop Schnurr, perhaps when he’s a bit more aware about the Girl Scouts’ connection to pro-abortion organizations, and the gay lobby that bullied (via $$$) the BSA into the policy change, he can be more sensitive with his recommendations so as not to confuse people, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. You are welcome to share my posts with him if you wish. Meanwhile I’m happy to take my cues from Scripture, the Catechism and the authentic teachings of the Magisterium.

      I do have a question for you: How exactly do “open and avowed homosexuality”, the Scout Oath which says “morally straight”, and the teachings of the Catholic Church dovetail each other?

  2. Dee says:

    Stef, I REALLY appreciate your post. Thank you for taking the time to address this issue!

    I’ve seen a lot going around lately…It’s really heavy on my heart and I worry about the souls of the scouts…straight, gay, either…yes they are all God’s children. BUT WHAT ABOUT THEIR ETERNAL SOULS?? That is what I am most concerned about!

    It concerns me when someone in the position of authority over youth calls the misguided Boy scout ruling “good and holy”!! Really…? God our Father, His mighty Son, and our Holy Spirit alone are good and holy. Any tiny flicker of goodness and holiness that shines from us, is a result of God in us. The Boy Scout ruling is the opposite of “good and holy”.

    If I personally was involved in serious sin, that hurt my walk with my Savior, I hope and pray that SOMEONE would LOVE me and care about my eternal soul. I would hope they would gently chastise me and lead me back to the foot of the cross. There alone, at the foot of the cross, does our Savior Jesus call us to repentance. In His mercy He shows us His compassion, mercy and grace and calls us to turn our hearts back to Him. Focusing just on our Savior’s love is only half of the equation. Jesus always calls sinners to turn away from sin and follow Him.

    God never changes, not yesterday, today or forever. God made it pretty clear how He feels about things…those in doubt might want to dig a little deeper into the Bible, it’s all in there. God’s way is always the best way, and it often goes against what is popular and trending in the world.

    Would it show wisdom to throw teenage girl scouts and boy scouts together in a tent for an overnight campout? Of course not! Nor is it wise for heterosexual boy scouts to be thrown together in a tent overnight with gay scouts. How will the Catholic Church hierarchy feel when little boys are sexually assaulted at the campouts by their gay peers? Anyone who thinks this is out of the question is incredibly naïve.

    Bottom line: Let’s try as a community to show love for all people, but NOT neglect the eternal soul of anyone. As uncomfortable, and unpopular as it is, we are all called to encourage each other in our walk with God…even when that calls us to turn from sin.

    • stef says:

      Thanks so much, Dee. I totally agree with you here. Let’s be welcoming and accepting and loving to everyone, yes, but not at the expense of souls. Christ didn’t say taking up one’s cross would be easy. Unfortunately in this feel-good world we’re expected to just cozy up to everyone and affirm and celebrate whatever makes them “happy”. Moral accountability just isn’t a concept that’s popular. Never has been, never will be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *