As a 14 year-old, and a freshly-minted Eagle Scout, I had a terrible crush on my 11 year-old cousin Mary, and she on me. Although not a first cousin, Mary was close enough to the family that she spent a week or two down the New Jersey shore with us that summer in our ramshackle one-bedroom bungalow. My parents got the bedroom, and the dozen or so visitors and kids slept together in the all-purpose general room.
So intense was my desire just to reach out and touch her that it kept me awake at night. That is the way 14 year-old boys are. As it happens, a variety of restraints, some internal, many external, kept me from doing so, but I can still remember the frustrated passion of it all.
I suspect that 14 year-old boys who are attracted to other boys feel that passion just as intensely. If the leadership of the Boy Scouts of America has its way, though, these boys will be able to indulge their passions in ways I could not even have dreamed of. They will get to shower with their 11 year-old crushes, skinny-dip with them, maybe even share a two-man pup tent. Even though I was more self-disciplined at 14 than most, these are temptations I could never have resisted.
Those parents who would willingly expose their 11 year-old sons to these scenarios are flirting with criminality. The fact is that 18 year-old boys have little more control over their passions than 14 year-olds. And as Jerry Sandusky proved, if proof be needed, some 50 year-old men can be just as reckless. No, not all homosexuals are pedophiles, it is just that a newly reconstituted BSA will attract those who are.
The BSA Board must know by now that to lift a ban that common sense has long dictated will destroy the organization. For some on the Board, and for millions who are not, that must be the goal.