Re: Boy Scouting and Sexual Morality
Kim Hannemann (khannemann@WORLDBANK.ORG)
Tue, 17 Sep 1996 14:16:07 +0000
Carole McLaughlin wrote,
>In my personal opinion being morally clean includes being sexually
>inactive. I can not imagine a boy being an Eagle Scout that is
>having pre marital relations. I obviously would STRONLY object to a
>merit badge dealing with sexual behavior.
>The Scout Promise says to do your Duty to God. I don't know of any
>scriptures that would say safe sex is okay.
>What in the world do you think Morally Clean means if it does not
>mean obstaining from sex.
Without impugning Carole's views, which as she says are personal, I
think it's perfectly possible to be Morally Clean without being
sexually inactive. (I also think it is possible to be morally unclean
without being sexually active; and it is possible that a given sexual
activity may be morally unclean, for a variety of reasons, both in or
out of marriage.)
Most of us adults have sexual relations, and we don't consider what
we are doing "immoral." What "sexual activity" crosses the line from
moral to immoral? And when? And why?
To agree with Carole's argument, you have to agree that only sexual
relations that are sanctioned by an official body - religion and/or
government, through marriage and/or law - are "morally clean." Some
religions say that there is no such thing as divorce, and that anyone
who is divorced and remarried is living in sin. Are they "morally
clean", and fit to be Scout leaders? What if one's religion has no
prohibition against pre- or extramarital sex?
Most of us don't let religion or the state tell us what is moral or
ethical - we decide for ourselves based upon our upbringing, our
experience, our values, and ultimately our consciences, as to what is
right and wrong. Sometimes these dovetail with official religious
doctrine or the law, and sometimes they don't. You can probably
remember (or envisage) circumstances where you yourself were in this
sort of dilemma.
The point I am trying to make is that sexual morality, like so many
other ethical matters, is not sharp enough to define a line that no
one may cross.
As far as the merit badge is concerned, I agree with Carole but
probably not for the same reasons. I think it's covered in Family
Kim Hannemann (KHannemann@worldbank.org)
Troop 1140, Springfield, VA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City