Re: Sexual Preference and Scouting
Mon, 16 Sep 1991 15:22:34 -0400
Date: Mon, 16 Sep 1991 13:52:01 -0400
From: James Brown <aa473%CLEVELAND.FREENET.EDU@VM1.NoDak.EDU>
Then Chuck McCaffrey sent his reply. He appears to feel that
Scouting has an obligation not just respect an individuals
privacy but to provide a platform to further the myth that
sexual abnormality is in fact normal.
I think that, given the rather inflammatory tone of this message, some
definitions are called for. What do you mean when you say ``sexual
abnormality'' and ``normal''. When defining these, please consider
whether you consider left-handedness to be abnormal or in any way less
good than right-handedness.
For most of the history of mankind homosexuality has been
recognized as abnormal behavior. A few years ago the "mental
health experts" got together and ruled that this was only an
illness if the ill person thought it was. (I wish we could
stop cancer the same way "you only have it if you want to
have it.") Regardless of this self serving approach most
people still instinctively realize that this orientation is
neither normal or healthy.
What is it about being gay that is abnormal and/or unhealthy. Again,
given the rather inflammatory claims, I think that it would be nice to
find out exactly what it is you are trying to say, or whether you are,
in fact, merely trying to upset people and bandying about poorly
defined concepts. Homosexuality is hardly comparable to cancer. Much
of the reason that the American Psychological Associate and the
American Psychiatric Associations both came to the conclusion that
homosexuality is not a disease is because it is a completely
independent variable. It does not correlate with anything
disfunctional. The trait is only unhealthy to the extent that society
tends to discriminate against people who possess it.
Let me illustrate my point by using another chronic illness,
addiction to alcohol. The addict has an illness and should
not be "blamed" for the illness, rather assistance should be
made available to help the individual control it. If the
person does not wish to seek help and confines the resulting
problems such that only he or she is effected (ie Does not
drive or in other ways impact the safety of the public) their
illness is their concern.
However an individual with an uncontrolled alcohol addiction
is not be an appropriate role model and has no right to
expect Scouting to provide a platform for him/ her to extol
the joys of staying in a mild to moderate stupor at all times
to impressionable 8 to 18 year olds.
What is the basis of this analogy. A person who is gay does not need
help; they are not damaging their livers and they are not hurting
those around them. If there is a problem which you associate with
homosexuality, perhaps, you should explore whether or not the problem
is actually related to homosexuality. If you have a gay 8 to 18 year
old and are feeding them a myth that there is something inherently
wrong with their sexuality, you are hurting that child in a very real
It is appropriate that young people be taught to respect
all human beings regardless of their physical, mental,
or intellectual capacities or deficiencies. It is another
thing completely to promote "alternate lifestyles" as
appropriate behavior through providing adult leadership/
role models who present their mental illness as a valid
socially acceptable activity.
I do not believe that homosexuality is a deficiency. If you disagree,
please explain the basis for your belief. Do you consider
left-handedness to be a deficiency? Do you consider dark skin color
to be a deficiency. Claiming that others are worse because they are
different is bigotry. If you have some reasons for claiming that
people who are gay are worse other than the fact that they are
different from people who are straight, please share them with the
rest of us. Otherwise, I'm left to assume that through ignorance, you
have adopted a bigoted set of values.
PS I am sure I have both hurt some peoples feelings, for which I
am truly sorry, and that my post will engender some strong
Please send replies who's main message is to call me names, point
out that my thinking is not Politically Correct or impugning my
humanity direct to me. Comments on how my thoughts/beliefs
should or should not effect scouting policy are IMHO appropriate
to the list.
Or as it is often put "flames" to me discussion to the list.
Well, I've tried to have my message be less inflammatory than yours.
Whether or not I've succeeded is left to those reading this message.
While I have conditionally called you bigoted, I have explained my
definition of bigotry and offered an opportunity for you demonstrate
that your views are something other than bigotry. I don't really care
whether your views are Politically Correct -- I think that the term is
fiarly meaningless. I do care that your views strike me as hurtful
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City