Re: Boy Scouting and Sexual Morality
Ted Burton (tedbrtn@CYBERHIGHWAY.NET)
Wed, 18 Sep 1996 06:26:36 -0600
>I don't know of any
>scriptures that would say safe sex is okay.
Does the Bible say that 'unsafe sex' is okay?
We would all say that safe sex is assuredly OK, between loving and
consenting married people. What of loving and consenting adults mature
enough to understand the consequences of their action? It is in our
tradition that we like to think of as the prevalent pattern in America, to
have such relationships only within marriage. The truth is something quite
different. Monagomous marriage between mature people is a minority family
situation; 'serial polygamy' is common.
It is abundantly clear that the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, adhered
to by some national organizations of Scouting and not by others, is
strongly against unmarried sex. I agree because of the effect of a sexual
relationship upon the ability of the participants to look at each other
objectively, the imprinting effect, as I call it, in which many of the
obligations of marriage are incurred without the corresponding benefits. It
is equally clear that many young people regularly have sex outside the
bounds of marriage, as do many of their single parents.
I do not believe that the Creator wishes young people to expose themselves
to AIDS, ghonnorhea, or the myriad other sexually transmitted disease of
greater or lesser immunity to treatment. I am as willing to believe that
safe sex techniques are Creator's response to the new diseases, as to think
that the new diseases are the Creator's response to immorality.
I do not think that our obligation as adults is to thrust our heads into
the sand immediatley after instructing young people to be celibate. I do
not buy the argument that teaching healthy practices increases the
likelihood of sexual contact. I think it only increases the chances that
the contact which will occur anyway will be without health hazard.
That being said, it is a far different question to decide what BSA might
ever wish to do in this area. It is a minefield as far as parental
attitudes are concerned.
Whatever the policy may turn out to be, please let it not be arrived at
with any blissful notion that parents will in fact adequately deal with the
issues. The middle class notion that the members of the average family have
a healthy attitude toward each other and are able to discuss such issues
maturely is essentially false. The kids most in need of assistance in
forming a moral outlook on life are least apt to be getting any such help
at home. As Scout Leaders we are all familiar with encountering the young
person who comes to our unit in search of a father or mother figure, and it
would be a mockery to then say that that same family at home should be
entrusted with life's most important lessons.
To be morally straight means not only mature abstinence, but also mature
sex. Morally straight does not include the idea of reckless exposure of
one's self or one's partner(s) to disease. Not to teach children health
techniques is to really roll the dice. Ideally it would be taught when they
were young enough to have the "oh, yuck" reaction, and then when they are
older and beginning to be entranced by all this, to have the knowledge just
in the of-course background instead of being some new key to the kingdom.
Thank you for listening.
This message was created with Eudora 3.0 on a Macintosh Powerbook 540c
"Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less travelled by, and
that has made all the difference." -- Robert Frost
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City