Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Churches, the Boy Scouts, and transgender first graders

This morning’s news includes a headline about Coy Mathis who CNN identifies as a “transgender first grader.”  Setting aside for the moment the moral implications, the term seems an oxymoron to me.  One of the privileges afforded to kids is that of growing up.  That is of taking the time to figure out who you are.  From a Christian perspective, it includes discovering what your gifts are, how you are different from other people, and how God can use that difference. In the body analogy we are not all an eye.  To declare that a child is a transgender first grader is like saying that a child is a first grade neurosurgeon.

Which brings me to the Boy Scouts.  There is a lot if discussion and some controversy recently about the decision of the Boy Scouts of America to admit “gay kids” as members.  Churches have long been the sponsors of a majority of Boy Scout troops.  It has been a good fit.  The 12 scout laws end with “brave, clean, and reverent.”  There has long been a “Scout Sunday” in many churches.  And now some churches are dropping their sponsorships.  That is a bad decision.  The kids still need a strong Christian influence in their lives.  For churches to separate from this healthy alternative for boys is to further the withdrawal of the church from the lives of young people.  That separation, often driven by the government, is what the churches have been complaining about.

Get this; there are no gay 11 year olds.  Eleven year olds, similar to Coy Mathis and his peers, are still figuring out who they are.  To say that the scouts are admitting gay members is to endorse a fallacious argument put forward by the gay lobby.  The argument is that one is born either gay or straight.  A child is born in the image of God, yet each child is unique.  There are no two alike.  To put them into categories, whether it be gay/straight, smart/dumb, cute/ugly or any other you might dream up is to do them a grave disservice and to set up a potential self-fulfilling prophecy.  Churches who are abandoning their sponsorship of scout troops are buying into a destructive argument and are siding with the wrong side.