Merit badge for thinking

I was a Boy Scout. Not a good Boy Scout—I think I had enough merit badges for Eagle, but I fell short in meeting attendance. So I made Life. A trifle ironic, because I remember hiding in the woods with a couple of like-minded rebel Scouts, wearing the yellow neckerchief and khaki summer uniform, striking up cigarettes with barnburner matches, so I must have started smoking around then.

Bad scout. But good with fires. And I made stew with dumplings in a big Dutch oven, buried in coals, for my cooking merit badge…and all around the campfire agreed that it was quite delicious.

I grew to become a more or less good citizen—someone who paid taxes, voted regularly, and believed that a person’s sexual orientation was nobody’s business but his or her own. So I’ve instinctively—that is, with no great thought—come down on the side of LGBT rights as long as I can remember. And I’ve always known that families come in a wonderfully interesting variety of configurations within and without whatever it is we mean by American society.

It’s important to note that I never experienced one moment of anything I thought was sexually uncomfortable or untoward during my years in Scouts (you start out as a Cub Scout, you know, with the blue uniforms). And I remember W.E. Toner “Tony” Hollick, the unflappable scoutmaster of Troop 31, as a little nerdy, but caring and smart—a man who taught me how to identify poison ivy, tie a bowline and half-hitch, follow a map, and at least 20 other things I can think of that have been more useful over the years than college calculus.

But I stopped short the other day when I came upon an article about the California state assembly, honoring a gay Eagle scout.

I had to stop and think. How do I feel about that? How do I feel in general about gays in the Boy Scouts? About gay Scout leaders? Where, suddenly, did my reflexive support for LGBT rights go?

I confess—my reflexive support immediately gave way to this question: What is the relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia?

God damn it. I know. I’m sorry. But I’ve forgiven myself. Get over it.

At least I thought about it, didn’t succumb to any reflexive conclusion. At least I did some research and found:

• Pedophilia is defined as an adult having “recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (DSMIV, reference below).”

• Pedophilia is almost exclusively found in men, and the great majority of these men identify as heterosexual.

• Even among people who sexually abuse children of their same gender, most are attracted to adults of the opposite gender.

• Sexual orientation, whether heterosexual or homosexual, describes attractions to and sexual behavior with consenting adults. Sexual behavior directed at children is a disorder or a crime, and does not constitute a sexual orientation.

So I’m giving myself a merit badge for thinking. And I’m thinking I don’t have a problem with it. Quitting smoking should be as easy.

Advertisements

About Keith Croes

Nice to meet you. Thanks for dropping by.

Posted on December 4, 2012, in Autobiographical, Short short and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Well good on ya for thinking! And if you need a little help to stop smoking, there’s a phone number you can text with “crave” whenever you have a craving, and it sends you helpful support. Here’s the article about it http://www.scpr.org/news/2012/12/03/35103/text-messages-help-smokers-kick-the-habit/

    Like

Thanks! Your thoughts always appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Wear, Tear, & Care

Conquering Chronic Pain

Logical Quotes

Logical and Inspirational Quotes

ARES . THREE

First person reserved writing on various topics. Some photography, too.

%d bloggers like this: