Be prepared … for that slippery slope

Mark Tooley objects to the Boy Scouts no longer discriminating against gay scouts.  He sees it as a trend of the emasculation of male culture, a kind of conformity to the kind of society “determined to echo the preening voice of the sort of nagging school guidance counselor whom every adolescent boy dreads and seeks to avoid”.  Yes, Tooley is analogizing contemporary politics to high school boys and their attitudes.  The point for the NS readers is that he’s not just got a concern about the reasons, but also a concern about the consequences.  He sees larger trouble brewing, and more than just the fact that BSA scoutmasters will likely be gay, too:

[It is not yet clear]what this policy means for transsexuals. Cross-dressing Scouts? Only one of countless issues that inevitably now will arise under the rubric of protected “orientation or preference.” For a more likely scenario, how about teenage Scouts wanting openly to celebrate their pornographic interests?

Yes, so Tooley’s mind has run from the question of whether there should be no prohibition on gay scouts to whether if they let them in, whether they’ll have to let them wear, you know, Priscilla Queen of the Desert wear for the backpacking trip.  Or whether their interest in pornography will be allowable and protected.

It’s really two slopes, and separate ones.  The ‘transsexuals’ line is an error for the simple reason that if there’s a uniform, there’s a uniform.  So the same reason why Johnny can’t wear his All-State football jersey on the backpacking trip is the same reason why Sam can’t wear his sundress.  Done.

The pornography issue is, again, simple.  Exposing the boys to sexually explicit material, even if they do it themselves, isn’t lawful. What does Tooley think? That once you let the gays in, you might as well fire up the film projector for the stag films?  (I suspect that it’s a background equivocation of protecting the boys’ interests — what if they’re interested in porn?, he asks.)  He even thinks it’s “more likely”!  More likely than what?

3 thoughts on “Be prepared … for that slippery slope”

  1. The transsexual / cross-dressing thing argument is also flawed on a couple of additional levels. First, as Rudy Giuliani can attest, “cross-dressing” and “transsexual” are not synonyms. Second, as Rudy Giuliani can also attest, the fact that somebody likes to cross-dress does not mean that the person is homosexual or even has a fetish.

    Also, when commenting, “The Canadian Scouts, after sexually liberalizing 15 years ago, lost 50 percent of their members,” to avoid inadvertently misleading your readers into thinking “sexually liberalizing” means “deciding to admit gay youth”, would it not be appropriate to note that the Canadian Scouts are co-ed? Would it not also be appropriate to acknowledge that the decline in membership started in the 1960’s (source) and the policy changes toward inclusiveness didn’t materially affect (and perhaps did not have any affect upon) the trajectory of the decline, but correlate with a slight increase in enrollment in 1996?

    Also, what to make of the suggestion that declining church enrollment indicates that a sect has lost its way….

  2. I’m sorry, did I see the word “think” used in association with Mr. Tooley? And how deliciously Dickensian is that name?

  3. @Aaron, I like your observation that Tooley plays two sides of the ad populum game. On the one hand, saying the conservatism isn’t about having the masses on their side, but then when the masses aren’t on the side of their opposition, pointing that out as though it’s a reductio.
    @Brian, the Dickensian overtones of Mr. Tooley’s name surely have lent him some measure of credence regarding what happens in his head.

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