|A New Jersey appellate court
has ruled that the Boy Scouts of America violates the states
laws against discrimination by excluding homosexual scoutmasters.
The Boy Scouts, who consider homosexuality a serious moral wrong, argued that as a private, voluntary organization they are entitled to set their own criteria for membership. A lower court agreed, and a higher court may yet agree. The question is why anyone should disagree.
The New Jersey court all three members explained unanimously: There is absolutely no evidence before us, empirical or otherwise, supporting a conclusion that a gay scoutmaster, solely because he is a homosexual, does not possess the strength of character necessary to properly care for, or to impart BSA humanitarian ideals to the young boys in his charge.
Note the lingo: The court adopted the cant-word gay, showing its guiding ideology. There is nothing wrong with homosexuality, and nobody is entitled to believe otherwise.
On this principle the court arrogated to itself the authority to define character and BSA humanitarian ideals for the BSA. By the same logic, it could have ruled that women, just because they are women, cant be presumed to lack the qualifications to be Catholic priests and teach Catholic doctrine and never mind what the Catholic Church happens to think.
Theres a word for this: totalitarian. If a group cant define its own purposes, standards, and criteria for membership, if such a basic prerogative can be usurped by the state, lets have no nonsense about freedom and pluralism. We are living under the comprehensive, monistic, centralized state, which can dictate its standards to us.
In the name of opposing discrimination, the state is gradually stripping away another basic freedom, freedom of association. At first the targets were public accommodations. Now it turns out that the Boy Scouts are, in the eyes of the state, a public accommodation. Just as the Interstate Commerce provision of the Constitution has been turned into a wedge for federal control of all commerce and lots of things that arent commerce at all, the term public accommodation is being broadened to extend state control over private associations.
Not incidentally, the government, both state and federal, has thrown its power on the side of the sexual revolution. The New Jersey court, with its airy contempt for the ancient code of sexual morality, fits a larger pattern.
Why should a government that increasingly limits the sphere of freedom, privacy, and choice in every other area show such consistent favor to sexual libertarianism alone? Because the traditional code is designed to support the family as the basic unit of society, and the family, like religion and private property, is one of the foundations of liberty and resistance to monolithic state power.
Without religion, the state faces no rival moral authority. Without property, freedom has no material basis, and everyone becomes dependent on the state for support. And without the family, the individual belongs almost wholly to the state, with no stable competing loyalty.
The sexual revolution is really an attack on the cellular structure of society. Under communism, free love, including abortion, was the only freedom left, because its the only freedom the total state finds congenial. Citizenship ceases to be just one aspect of identity and becomes your only identity. In short order, citizenship is reduced to total subjection to the state.
Sexual freedom is what we used to have: the freedom to choose ones mate and to build a family. But the term has been redefined to mean sexual anomie and irresponsibility.
There is no real paradox here. The state continually releases us from our duties to our families as it increases our obligations to itself. You can leave your spouse, abort your children, abandon your parents. But you cant divorce the state.
The state gives you two options. If you wont be its dependent, you must pay taxes to support those who are. Living off others taxes is legitimate; refusing to pay those taxes is criminal.
The comprehensive state sees no reason why it shouldnt change all our traditional morals and relations, however ancient, to suit itself. The New Jersey ruling is just the latest instance of the public devouring the private.
|Copyright © 2008 by the
Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation.
This column may not be reprinted in print or
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