The Rowe Tribe

The Rowe Tribe

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Boy Scouts of America and my own BSA

Note:  This blog post was written on June 4, 2013, the night of Troop 260's meeting and the night of Andrew and Harris's Cub Scout Recognition.

"I disagree with the Boys Scouts' decision but....."

Really?  I am listening but I am having trouble my friend, hearing you, I am listening to your compromising words, your acceptance and resignation amid your sighs and resolutions to duty...this is the way it has to be.  You don't like it but you don't see any option, any choice but to go along with the change and make the best of it.  You will somewhat vocalize your displeasure but that's all it is, displeasure. 

This my friend is much bigger than our comfort or our displeasure.

Really?  And I mean Really?  I just listened to you earlier tonight, thought hard long thoughts, tried to understand where you where coming from and all I could say to your words of:  "let's change this policy, let's show these people a better way, a different life, different morals, let's change them, let's minister.....and I am thinking, yes, let's.  Let's send our 5 year olds to the heart of Africa,

to the inner cities and small towns of this nation and tell them to minister and change a hurting godless culture.  Let's tell them to be in it but not of it.  Don't let it influence you, don't let it change you, don't accept it, don't participate, but get them all to change.  You stay the same way you are now and don't change.  How about our 8 year olds?  Our 11 year olds?

And all I can squeak out while someone is waiting for me to toss the ball of conversation back is:  "Not at the expense of my child." 

Later, I am thinking about this change.  Where does all this really take us?  What about the all the other children out there?   This is not okay at the expense of my sons, but what of other's sons?  
Is this okay at their expense?  Really?  Change is not always what it's cracked up to be.

Displeasure, a loss of comfort?  Sure, but so much more than that.  This is conviction, this is truth, this is about moral absolutes.  This, not your shocked displeasure, is what stills people, what makes them look at you like you've lost your mind.  This commitment, sense of integrity, this is where the "rubber meets the road."  Do you stand for something?  
For anything?  Do you care, or do you really really care?  

Can we all just commiserate, shake our heads and say what the old-timers used to say while they leaned back in chairs, chewing their tobacco, stained garden shirts and overalls on, worn boots, and even more worn faces, "what is this world coming to?"  Or can we all decide that what is truth is truth and that this is not about us, not about our reaction, that the time to change has come and gone, and now we are faced with a moral dilemma and we are not responding but the response has been taken away.  

We are not leaving anyone, they have left us.

If you thought this was only about slight discomfort, maybe some embarrassment, but you haven't all out wrung your hands and your heart is squeezed dry, seemingly lacking oxygen over this, then absolute morality and truth are not overflowing out of the heart being wrenched.   This decision, this mandate, this resolution is much bigger than just words.  It's the culture, it's the money, it's what makes the world go 'round, it's everything, but...but... what the Bible says.  

James Dobson of Focus on the Family used to say that the culture is like a raging river and a lot of us think we can resist the culture so we take our stand and that is what we do, we stand in the river, unmoving, refusing to go along with the raging waters of culture change, and it's not good enough.  Standing still will drag you along with the current.  But moving upstream, moving against the tide is what is tougher, that's where we can all be divided.  To not become part of the raging culture, one must continually plow against the raging waters; it's no longer enough to be still in it.  

Oh but we tell ourselves it's good enough.  We gnash our teeth, shake our heads, and say, "how could they; really?  What were they thinking?  Why are they messing with such a good organization? Why mess with these young boys and men?   How unfortunate this all is.  And we sigh.  And we sigh some more when we go home and push. this. to. the. back. of our brains in the compartment of disappointing circumstances of our lives.  But we will not look bad because of it or really admit what is going on here, no one wants to get stared at or talked about.

This is it my friend.  You take your stand one way or the other.  You can fuss and whine and in the end, try to make it all work out or you can recognize that this isn't about us anymore.  No one is pulling away, no one is leaving the Scouts, no church is disbanding their charters.  Just because we personally did not have a vote doesn't mean that now we are voting.  This decision isn't ours, it was made by others, by those who are following the almighty dollar and the culture, following the drummer of tolerance and acceptance of weakened morality and abominations of our Creator. 

In case you don't yet understand it, here again is the heart of the matter:

We are not leaving Scouts, Scouts has left us.  

Scouts has pulled away from the heart of morality, Scouting has broken with absolute truth and followed the sweet sinister song of tolerance, Scouting has abandoned the principles of right and wrong and muddied the waters, Scouting has tipped its hat towards change, Scouting has drowned out the voice of God, Scouting has left us in the murky waters, and Scouting has expected us to ride the float downstream.  Scouting has abandoned us and biblical principles, Scouting has left its roots...Scouting has left the building, the leaders, the dads, and the boys.  

There is no greater tragedy than for us, a scouting family to see this decline, this treachery.  How dare they?  Really?  At first I was sad, I shed some tears while talking and listening to my friend.  She and I explained how we felt.  I reiterated our Scouting Heritage which goes back to 1920 ~ 93 years ago, to Arthur Harold Rowe, Sr., Scott's Great-Grandfather.  
It is sorrowful but as I sorrowed I began to feel something more, something stronger.

Anger may be the best word to describe it.  Now there is a pall on everything, every event, every conversation.  I think about it tonight as 2 of my sons stand and receive their badges for the year, their belt loops, so proud, working so hard, my mind reels back to the fall and the winter when they begged me and we worked on different activities because they wanted it so much; there was a desire among them to work hard and achieve.
Scouting leaving me behind makes me downright mad, mad for these boys who will not understand at this age.  Mad for my eldest son who is an Eagle, mad he will have his ceremony amid the rubble and rousings of this.  Mad that while his work is not tainted, he will always carry this on his shoulders.  
The work and effort are his but the organization which gave him the award will not be.   This same child, whose first 3 initials are BSA.  While we did not do this purposely and only recognized the similarity later, it was rather apropos, knowing before he was born that his "Eagle father" would be taking him in a few short years to his first Cub meetings and coaching him all the way through to Eagle if that be what he desired.
I am Mad for my husband, an Eagle, mad because I see it in his eyes, he had hopes of all his sons achieving Eagle and now Scouting has let him down.  Mad because I listen to him tell his tale of while we were at one Scouting event tonight, he and BSA, our oldest, were at another, listening in a meeting, listening and responding to the efforts of some parents to take a stand and exclaim what is truth but others saying that this should all be for the boys and that we should move on and accept this and try to change it.  There's that word again.  I am mad at that word.  The time to change has come and gone!  Did you try to change when the Board was meeting?  Did you call?  Did you send emails?  Did you write?  Did you sign petitions?  One of the Executive Committee members I have never met, but have had conversations with on the phone, he was against this change.  Quite the successful billionaire, he was a strong Christian.  He went onto his eternal reward in April.  I'm glad he's not here to see this.  He knew his money was temporal; he didn't take it with him, but he took his conviction and his willingness to stand against a change, a harmful one.  He had what mattered, a heart and mind solely after the Lord, solely after what is right, he knew the difference between right and wrong and he lived by it. 

Those who said in my husband's meeting tonight that it's for the boys...That's right, it's for the boys, Scouting has left the boys and it's up to us as parents to do right by the boys.  They are watching us, wondering are we going to compromise, are we going to chase after an organization that doesn't match what we sit in the pew on Sunday and spew?  Does it match what we read in our Bibles?  Does it jive with what we are teaching in our homes when we lie down, when we get up, and when we walk along the way?  If you really think this is for the boys, don't be a hypocrite.  If you want to go downstream, if you want to hold the balloon strings of compromise, fine, but explain to your children that the rest of your life is false also.  If anything is a blessing, it's knowing that my husband has stood for what he believes and isn't jumping after false doctrine, and while sad and disappointed and a little angry too I suspect, he showed our son an example of faithfulness, communicated by his willingness to go tonight as well as speak words of truth there and with our eldest afterward, and in doing so blessed him.

Tonight, I realized I was witnessing the end of an era, one of the last times I will see my children achieve in an organization which has severed its ties from us.  Scott's Eagle ceremony, scheduled for August 10, was already precious in my mind even though it has yet occurred.  But now, I cannot even imagine the feelings it will evoke.  My husband spoke tonight of taking the true principles of Boy Scouts of America
and continuing with the boys, alone, apart from an organization we cannot find anymore.  There are other options starting to pop up as well.  Scouting was only 100 years old, not ancient by any means.  
Maybe some more change needs to occur.  Maybe in climbing upstream we can affect change in a positive way, maybe a new beginning is on the horizon, a new future, a new way, maybe one that is ancient, that's as old as time itself.  

Maybe we can go back to the book and start over.  Really?  Really...


  1. I appreciate your post and may God bless you and your family!

  2. You articulated well all the angry and hurt emotions I feel when I think of what was and what now is. Yet keep in mind that Scouting has not walked away from you, only BSA. Scouting predated BSA and it will survive it.

  3. Thank you for your comment, Dr. Burkitt. I appreciate you reading my post.