Word from the Center: Friday, June 22, 2018

Welcome to “Word from The Center” FRIDAY, a Two-Kingdom, practical reflection on the issues of the day from the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s issue…

Boys, Scouts, and why “Traditional Family” matters

I just recently returned from an annual “fishing trip” with a great bunch of guys. Yes, that’s right, all guys. It’s a trip that I look forward to every year. There are young guys and older guys. There are guys from various walks of life, as well as from different socio-economic perspectives. There are even differences politically too. But there is a common bond of faith and a camaraderie and commitment to each other that is magnificent. There are a few traditions amongst the guys that I’m sure most women would find unusual, even confusing. But after our short time together, there’s a unique blessing to be together to learn what it means to be one of the guys who loves God, loves his wife and family, and strives for honor as a man. And there’s something destructive about tearing that reality down.

The recent admission of girls into the Boy Scouts is part of a long-term strategy to radically transform the Scouts, yes. But, even more, it’s a strategy to change what people think about what boys, girls, men, and women are and what they should be. See Bill Donohoe’s Newsmax article titled, “The War on Boy Scouts Will Continue,” which talks about the dismantling of the fundamental virtues of being a “boy” Scout. Noted Feminist author Christina Hoff-Sommers goes deeper. Her research over the years states that there is a concerted war on boys as boys.

Why does this matter? It matters because “Family” matters, not merely as a “relationship” but as an institution. Societies that de-emphasize or, worse, denounce the institutional nature of marriage are literally destroying an institution that makes society possible. The interrelationship of Man-Woman-Children, whereby parents feel compelled to grow their children from boys to men, from girls to women, undergirds, even creates, a civil, respectful, humane community as they fulfill their “duties” to one another born from love.

When you read about men who abandon their families, when you read about boys/men who never leave home, when you read about increasing violence in our communities, much of these generally male maladies can be attributed to the demise of traditional institutions like marriage, and, yes, like the Boy Scouts. When people seek to stay married, raise their children, and create a family that honors and serves one another, even as it honors and serves one’s community… that’s something that deserves to be respected and protected, not dismantled and demeaned.