Don't Look to the Scouts, Look to the Church

The executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America recently proposed revising its membership policy as a sort of compromise that might please everyone on the issue of homosexuals. Unfortunately, as is the case with most compromises, nobody seems pleased.

The Boy Scouts are an admirable organization with a commitment to helping boys become men. It's been amazingly successful. And it's that success that's made it a target. The Scouts are now facing legal challenges, media bullying, and some good ol' fashioned name calling from opponents of the ban on actively gay scout leaders.

Even President Barack Obama publicly urged the Scouts to admit homosexuals. "The Scouts is a great institution that is promoting young people and exposing them to opportunities and leadership that will serve people for the rest of their lives," Obama said in an interview. "And I think nobody should be barred from that."

And now it's certainly looking like the Scouts are at least considering changing their policies. The executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America proposed a resolution that would revise its membership policy for youth members who are homosexual while retaining its policy for adult leaders. The 1,400 member national council will vote on the proposal next month.

The thing about this is that it highlights what makes the Catholic Church so unique. The Church has long faced the wrath of the bullying media, the legal system, and lots of name calling. But the Church has stood strong against it all. Why? Because the Church alone can stand strong against the culture.

While some people have made clear their disappointment with the Scouts for vacillating on this issue, it's hardly a shock. While the Scouts can find commonality with the Church on its commitment to nurturing the young, the Scouts are not the Church.

We can not expect any earthly institution to stand up to the culture. The Church is the only institution that can stand up to earthly pressure precisely because it is not merely an earthly organization.

Catholics have long cornered the market on reviled and they haven't changed their core beliefs in 2,000 years. No organization in the history of the planet has angered so many as the Catholic Church. It's gotten pretty good at it. But the Church still doesn't take a poll to edit the Catechism. In a world adrift, it's the Catholic Church's steadfastness that will make it stand out.