Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bully for the Boy Scouts

Connie Schultz believes that it is "bullying" for the Boy Scouts of America to have a policy that bars homosexuals from being Scouts or serving as leaders. She has this precisely backwards.

According to my dictionary, bullying is "the act of intimidating a weaker person to make them do something." That's a pretty straightforward definition of the word as it's universally understood.

So is it bullying to have a policy that restricts membership? Most organizations have membership restrictions. I assume I need to be a doctor to join the American Medical Association, or that I need to have a law degree to become a member of the American Bar Association. Are those organizations bullying me? If so, I wasn't aware of it.

The Constitution restricts those who can be a member of the Senate:
No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.
If restricting membership is "bullying," we'd have to conclude that every person in the United States is being bullied by our very Constitution, for none of us is permitted to be a Senator of a state in which we don't live. Yet no one considers this bullying -- because merely having a membership requirement doesn't intimidate anyone. It doesn't force anyone to do anything.

So how is the Boy Scout membership policy different? It's different only in who it excludes. Instead of discriminating against those without medical or law degrees, or against young people or outsiders, it discriminates against homosexuals. And why shouldn't it? Why shouldn't a private organization have the right to define itself and determine the makeup of its own membership? Ms. Schultz may not like it -- just as I may not like the fact that I can't represent the state of Hawaii in the United States Senate -- but we don't have an inalienable right to not be offended by others' choices.

But back to Ms. Schultz' bullying charge...

Can it fairly be argued that the Boy Scouts are intimidating anyone simply by restricting their membership? Can it fairly be argued that they are forcing anyone to do anything? As far as I can tell the Scouts aren't on any crusade to combat homosexuality, or to impose behaviors or values on anyone. They're not activists, overtly political, or overtly anything, really. They simply want to be left alone, to do what they've always done, promote traditional values and foster thoughtful, responsible young men -- something America badly needs at this juncture.

And that, I submit, is what this is really all about. It's not that the Boy Scouts have intimidated anyone, or that they are attempting to force anyone to do anything. The Scouts is a voluntary organization. It hasn't bullied anyone. The true source of the conflict is Ms. Schultz, and so many like her on the Left, who hold traditional American values in contempt. The Boy Scouts represent everything they wish do destroy -- traditional families, Judeo-Christian values, personal freedom, individual responsibility.

The Left brand the Boy Scouts as intolerant and bullying. But ask yourself, who is the real aggressor here? Which side is minding its own business, and which side is trying to intimidate and force the other side to do something? Who is the real bully?

The Left -- always the Left.

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