I don't really want to do it, but I guess I should address some Boy Scout stuff. I honestly don't know that much about the Boy Scouts, and truth be told, they were always really lame to me when I was a kid. This may have been my dad's influence, but they always, always looked goofy to me. They were also kind of touchy-feely Christian when I came across them. Not a real big fan of that. But this post isn't really about what I thought about the Boy Scouts as a little kid. It's about the Boy Scouts considering changing its policy on homosexual membership. More than that, though, it's about the concept of "inclusiveness" and how that concept is a means of subversion.
I was going to sort of ignore the whole thing because, as I said, I don't really care that much about the Boy Scouts, but I came across this article, which kind of bugged me. Take a look at it, but I'll be pulling the stuff out I think is relevant to my point. I was going to originally sort of address it piece by piece, but I don't wanna be that guy.
In the article, the author, the Executive Director of Scouts for Equality, praises the Boy Scouts for considering changing its national policy on homosexual membership. But that's not really what the article is about. The author really tries to argue that the Boy Scouts are actually about inclusiveness, and that this homosexual ban is some strange inconsistent anomaly that is only finally being straightened out. In it, he cites the fact that the Boy Scouts vow to serve people of all faiths and includes people from all racial and socio-economic backgrounds. What he's taking into this argument is that homosexuals are just another type of those groups that are already included in the basic framework. This sort of ties in to what I said in the last post in this series about gay being the "new black."
What the author miraculously fails to realize is that homosexuals are not just like any other group. They are a group that not only do things the Scouts consider immoral, but advocate and spread the doing of these immoral things. Or, to put it more accurately, he doesn't feel like that fact really matters in determining what the Boy Scouts should do. Of course, I genuinely doubt he'd extend this standard to other groups. That is, I truly wonder if he's as adamant about polygamists, people in incestuous relationships, or people who practice bestiality joining the Scouts. He'd probably consider those things immoral that shouldn't be spread to children. What he really means, then, is that he thinks there's nothing wrong with homosexuality. But that much should be obvious. What I want to really focus on is how he pulls off this argument. Because the article isn't really an argument trying to prove that homosexuality is moral. It's an article about inclusiveness.
The inclusiveness argument plays on some strange sense of equality that is ingrained in Western thought. It comes from Christianity, I think, but it's common among all Western people, even if (and especially if) they are atheists. It appeals to the same thing the "don't judge" mentality appeals to. But it perverts it. It goes an extra step. Traditional Christian concepts of inclusiveness are based on the idea that any person can be a member of the Church so long as he is willing to give himself to Christ and everything that comes along with that. What modern inclusiveness does is chop off the italicized part of that sentence---the most important part of the sentence. What's left is the idea that you should include everyone, period, no matter what. This is precisely what this author is playing on.
The trick here, I think, is to make it seem like "inclusiveness" is just a given. That it's some neutral moral value that we can all agree on, and that a group is just being mean by not going along with it. And what's really brilliant about the whole strategy is that people who preach "inclusiveness" always say things like "it's not our place to force our values on other people," willfully ignorant of the fact that they are forcing their value of inclusiveness on everyone else. Specifically, it is saying that inclusiveness is a value that supersedes all other values, including strong moral values that one might hold. In other words, you better put away your beliefs about right and wrong if they get in the way of inclusiveness. He even says as much when he writes: "While I have no doubt that some truly believe these claims [that homosexuality is immoral and condemned by Christianity] that does not mean that any one particular belief system should get to impose its views on others."
In reality, inclusiveness really means change. It is the means for the non-dominant group to get the dominant group to change by invoking some moral standard that no one can disagree with. They may say, "oh, you can believe whatever you want," but they really mean, "change, because we don't like what you're selling." It's weak and perverse and enormously successful.
What's more is that people who strive for this strange sort of all-inclusive message seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that they're destroying the thing they're trying to be part of in the first place. "Catholic" has a meaning; a Catholic thing is something upholds Catholic values. Not something that looks and sounds Catholic but really has the same values as everything else. (I have an upcoming post addressing this in more detail.) The same goes for Boy Scouts. If a person tries to change a group into something else, he is not elevating himself to it; he is instead pulling the thing down to him, ruining the thing in the process. What such a person should do when he doesn't like the values of a group is not be part of the group. He has no right to have the group change for him so that he feels better being a part of the group. I don't join PETA and tell them they need to change their position on eating animals. Because once I got them to change, they would no longer be PETA.
I think this desire to change the dominant group exists for a couple of reasons. Mainly, though, it's an attempt to be part of something valuable and traditional without having to give up anything to do it. For example, the Catholic Church is magnificent. Even if I weren't Catholic (and before I was) I would be ridiculous not to recognize this. If not just for its art and history. More than that, for the Catholic, it is the means of attaining lasting salvation. The Church is a mother who guides her children into the infinite. Awesome, sounds good. But what do you do if you want all that neat, good stuff but also want to have anal sex with your boyfriend, even though sexual morality is an enormous part of Catholicism? You invoke inclusiveness! Problem solved. Now you're justified, and the Church is the morally reprehensible group that has to constantly show that it's worthy to outsiders, instead of the other way around. The same thing's happening with the Boy Scouts, no doubt. And sadly, they'll probably give in (if not today, soon).