The Mormon Church has announced 185,000 of its Boy Scouts ages 14 to 18 in the U.S. and Canada will leave to start their own program beginning January 1, 2018.
The church made clear the move was definitely not because of gays. (Spoiler alert: It's because of gays). Rumors of a rift between the Mormon Church and the Boy Scouts circulated when the B.S.A. decided to admit transgender boys into the program and publicly considered admitting girls. The Mormon church responded in a statement, and I'm paraphrasing here: "Ewwww, Icky! Cooties!"
This split represents a cultural cleaving. Social progress is being recognized by even some of the most beloved, conservative stalwarts. The Boy Scouts is an institution more wholesome and more American than a Norman Rockwell painting of a puppy saluting an American flag. And when the Boy Scouts don't give a damn about that puppy's sexual orientation, we know we're making progress as a society.
Embracing social equality for an institution like the Boy Scouts comes at a cost. The B.S.A. isn't appealing much to its base or racking up "likes" in the social media echo chamber. For standing up to the troglodytes, I hereby award the Scouts my Honey Badger badge because they just don't give a damn.
The Mormon Church, on the other hand, has taken a partisan stance, forgetting the prime objective of Boy Scouts. No, not being prepared, loyal, trustworthy or helpful. The duty of every scout is to wantonly light shit on fire. Gay or straight, transgender or cis, all boy scouts are united in their pyromania.
The Mormon Church claims to have severed its century-old relationship with the Boy Scouts because young men "are not being served well by the Varsity or Venturing programs, which have historically been difficult to implement within the Church."
Oh, for sure. The Church is only now getting around to this historical difficulty just when the Boy Scouts formally admit gay troop leaders and transgender boys. I wonder why this difficulty only seems to affect their teenage boys. The answer, I believe, rhymes with shmomophobia.
The Church recognizes its anti-gay stance is not socially acceptable in this day and age, but not savvy enough to realize genitalia preference has absolutely no bearing on moral character.
Here are a few of my predictions for breaking news headlines in the aftermath of the Mormon Church severing ties with the Boy Scouts:
- Church of Scientology Cuts Ties with Secret Squid Scouts of Planet Xavier.?
- Catholic Church Enthusiastically Takes Up Partnership with Boy Scouts.
- Mormon Church Launches "The Totally Not Gay All Men Group for Men who Like Camping Alone with Men Scouts."
Scout Law tells me "to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight." While the Mormon Church hangs itself up on the whole "straight" part, the Boy Scouts looks positively and officially mentally woke.
Why should I care? I was a member of the Boy Scouts of America. I was a Venture Scout and I served on my town's Boy Scout Council. I marched in parades, received my gold award and pulled off a neckerchief like nobody's business.
One day a long time from now, I hope to watch my trans-robot, bi-curious son receive his Eagle Scout award. I know that Ze will carry the torch of generations of scouts who came before, using it to enthusiastically light all kinds of shit on fire.