Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

True Worship II

December 20, 2017

Thinking further about this, it came to me that it isn’t just a matter of people deciding not to go to church any more on Christmas that is at issue.  Once again, it’s a complicated subject.  One that is complicated to great extent by our mobile culture and our oft-cited idea that one can (or even should) work and live wherever they want.

I’ve ended up doing this more by hook than by crook.  I understand the appeal of living in different places and seeing different parts of the world and learning about culture and food and all sorts of ancillary aspects of God’s amazing creation (and sometimes our sinful twisting of it).  We recently bid farewell to a young woman headed for multiple parts of the world over the next six months, after living four years away from her family so she could attend university and then another two years after that as she waited to figure out what her next moves (heh) in life would be.

But this mobility is a somewhat new phenomenon, historically speaking.  It used to be that in general, you stayed where you were raised.  In great part because work and family were more closely intertwined, and so the odds of going away from home and finding work were much smaller for most people than the odds of already having work at home.  Most people didn’t go off to work, but lived and worked all in the same or closely related setting.

Family members were more apt to stay put, which meant you had larger networks of extended families all in the same location.  Which meant that Christmas worship wasn’t something that was separate from all your other Christmas traditions – it was a part of them because practically all of your extended family was going to be at church as well.  Church was a more natural part of the larger family celebration of Christmas (or Easter, or just an average Sunday).

Now that’s not as often the case.  Most of the members in my congregation have to travel somewhere else to be with their kids and grandkids for the holidays.  Or their family has to travel to them, often from multiple locations around the country, which of course is hard to coordinate and often doesn’t happen.  Our Sunday Happy Hour Crew is mostly still of the age (early 20’s) that they go home to be with their parents for Christmas.

This sounds at one level as though not much has changed.  Family is still together on Christmas, so they should naturally be at church, right?  Sure, I can agree with that.  Except that mom and dad’s church may not be son and daughter’s church.  Or it may be the same church with a new pastor.  Or the pastor may be the same, but son and daughter were whisked away to children’s church every Sunday and never formed relationships with the pastor or the other adults in the congregation, so effectively their parent’s church really is a different church from the one they went to, even if the location and the preaching pastor is the same.

All of which continues to contribute to a sense that church really isn’t part of the family’s Christmas observance, even if technically they were all at church together before.

I’m not advocating throwing our hands in the air and saying well that’s that, we might as well cancel our Christmas worship.   There are plenty of people who still incorporate church as part of their Christmas day celebration.  There are still a few who will wander out on Christmas by some indefinable prompting even if they don’t go to church the rest of the year.

And while people may relocate away from family more often these days, this highlights the important aspect that church can play as a new family to transplants.  Few of my parishioners were born and grew up here.  Most came from elsewhere, generally in their 20’s with spouses and children in tow.  But they found a home away from home, a family away from family in their congregation.  I visited a woman in the hospital who is 91-years old.  She was sitting and talking with a woman she has been best friends with for 60 years.  Many of the people in my congregation have known each other for more than half a decade.  They are family to one another, which is an incentive for them to come to worship regularly.  They’re getting to see their family that they didn’t get to see most of the rest of the week.

Just like people did centuries ago.

The rise of the Church and particular celebratory observances was facilitated in great part by the fact that families – extended families – would all go together.  It was part of their tradition (and if they were Roman Catholic, also an obligation on their part!) together.  While we can lament that this is no longer the case, we should at least acknowledge that this will have an impact on church attendance patterns on holy days.  And we should, as the church and parents and grandparents, be encouraging our kids and grandkids to plug into congregations where they live, so that they can begin building the relationships that will serve as surrogate family to them all the rest of the year when they don’t travel home to be with Mom and Dad and the rest of the clan.

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Sin and Sexuality

November 30, 2017

It’s on most everyone’s minds, whether they say it or not.  The recent spate of high-profile offenders only makes the topic both less accessible and more salacious.  We don’t talk about us, but we talk about it, and we talk about others.  I would argue this is the nature of most sexual thought and conversation that goes on in people’s heads and hearts as well as in rare exchanges with people they can be honest with.  We are forever removing ourselves directly from the conversation to project outwards.  This essay does some good work in talking about this from a male perspective.

Of course it’s a misleading essay as well, and certainly a misleading title.  As though only men are brutal or capable of brutality – sexually or otherwise!  It lacks the raw honesty of the Biblical take on the topic of human sexuality as well as sin, a take that understands that both men and women have issues in their sexuality and otherwise.  It might easily be argued that these issues are some of the deepest and most pertinent to who we are as people day in and day out.  I can’t imagine it’s for nothing that the first things we’re told about Adam and Eve after falling into sin by eating the forbidden fruit is they recognize their nakedness and cover it.  It isn’t just woman who recognizes the dangerous vulnerability in her sexuality, but man as well.  Both know they aren’t safe any longer.  It isn’t safe because of the opposite sex (or homosexual variations), and it isn’t safe because of ourselves.

A few comments on the essay.  The first paragraph is misleading and inaccurate.  Marche asserts that what a man says and believes have no bearing on their behavior.  I think this is patently untrue and a straw-man whitewashing of the issue for simplicity’s sake.  The reality is far more complicated.  What a man (or woman) believes, and therefore what he (or she) says, has a great deal of relationship and correlation to how he (or she) acts.  But it isn’t air-tight.  It isn’t bulletproof.  It isn’t perfect.  It’s marred by sin.  By a fundamental disjunction in the individual that makes the perfect  alignment of belief and practice at all times and in all circumstances impossible.  I believe that some of these men believe very strongly and practice very faithfully acceptable ideas about the relationship of men to women.  But I also know that in any particular moment, or even potentially multiple particular moments, their beliefs have not been enough to alter their actions, their words, and their needs or desires.  Sin crouches at each one of our doors, and its desire to have control over us, to eat us alive now and eternally is insatiable.  The life of faith is keeping that sin at bay as best as possible.  But such efforts are inevitably imperfect and flawed.  We all fail in one way or another, at one time or another.  Sexual sin may be the  bête noir of the moment (but hasn’t it always been?) but it is not fundamentally different from any sin in this respect.

Granted – I believe some of the accused are serial perpetrators, actual predators who may say things that people expect them to say but don’t really believe them and had no intention of living them out.  These are the folks who duly deserve to be held accountable in the fullest sense.   I believe others are guilty of actual sin that is not serial in nature.  Their failures are lapses in otherwise good belief and behavior.  They have fallen prey to sin in their hearts and minds, but this is Biblically a different situation than assenting to, endorsing, or validating their sin.  Some of these folks may have sinned in spite of themselves.  And as sin almost always does, this causes harm not just to themselves but to others, and ultimately and always is first and foremost an offense against God.  Should they be censured for these failures?  Certainly.  Should they be destroyed for them?  That’s a question that isn’t going to get much traction in the witch-hunt atmosphere currently gripping our culture.  If we’re going to talk about power imbalances, we should certainly note the huge one right now, where any allegation or accusation can instantly cause irreparable damage, even before it’s substantiated.  In the public court of Twitter, there is no legal principle of innocent before proven guilty.

But to simply say that men (and by implication only men) are incapable of ever being trusted in what they say or profess, and are always and only actively looking for ways to act contrary to their professions is dishonest and inaccurate to any sense of observable reality internally or externally.  Would the author characterize himself this way?  Then why should I bother even reading what he has to say?

The second place I disagree with Marche is in his  second paragraph, where he asserts that the men in question have nothing in common except their sexual misdeeds.  This is not true.  The men in question all share power.  They are all men in position of influence and control of one sort or another.  In other words, they are all men who in addition to the temptation to sexual sin have perhaps a greater opportunity to indulge it.  Impropriety can happen in a great variety of situations but it more naturally lends itself to power imbalance, as Marche rightly understands.  Unfortunately, Marche later in his essay makes the assertion that the nature of sex itself is power or a struggle for power, something inherently unBiblical.  Sexuality is intended not as a power struggle but as the very opposite, the most intimate act of vulnerability.  But of course such vulnerability is only appropriate in a mutually vulnerable situation, which is what Scripture describes in marriage.  Sin changes the dynamic, of course, so that Adam and Eve sense the danger right away, and we continue to live with it today.  But to make our sexuality into something inherently evil, as some feminists including the one Marche quotes do is to overstep the Biblical description.  Sexuality was created good!.  But it must be guarded now because there are sinful instincts to indulge it outside of the proper relationship.  Outside of marriage it is destructive to the individual, the other person involved, and society at nearly every level.  In the midst of sin we have to be careful with the good gifts of God.  We need to cover ourselves.

This is what we’re seeing.  For over 50 years elements in our culture advocated with increasing persuasiveness and influence that sexuality should be unburdened from the Biblical restraints placed upon it.  They have argued that sexuality should be freely enjoyed by practically anyone (including those who argue for decriminalizing sex with children and the ongoing sexualization of young adolescents in advertising), with practically anyone (including people of any gender and regardless of marital status), practically anytime (thanks to tax-payer funded contraception).  Sex is to be freed of any inhibitions and everyone should enjoy themselves without the worry of complications (the celebration of divorce as an option along with the government-enforced option of killing any unplanned on and unwanted children that might result).  Discarding Biblical notions of sexual propriety and protection (only between a man and a woman who have publicly committed themselves to each other for life in marriage), we’ve been told and shown that sex is easy and fun and simple and everyone should be doing it.

Is it any wonder that we have people who abuse that philosophy – or more accurately, take it to logical conclusions?  And instead of being celebrated as ideological idols they are crucified.  Careers are disparaged and destroyed.  Art and other creative works are immediately jettisoned and rejected.  As though everything a person was and did was bound up specifically with their sexual behavior.

Marche asks the critical question near the end of his essay – How can healthy sexuality ever occur in conditions where men and women are not equal?    The Bible has already provided an answer – put sexuality back where it belongs between two people who are equalized in the relationship of marriage.  Admit that the hyper-sexualized culture we’ve created – where everyone  and anyone is a sexual possibility – is unhealthy and dangerous to everyone, and teach people once again about respect and self-control rather than damage control and spin.  Preventing the abuses that are coming to light, whether predatory and ideological in nature or slips of otherwise good people requires an entire culture grounded in terms of the power, the danger, and the beauty of sexuality.  Such steps will not eliminate all abuse, but they will move towards minimizing it.

Towards this end it isn’t just men who need to examine their masculinity, but women who need to examine their femininity.  And more accurately, both need to examine the reality that there is always a break, a gap, sometimes a chasm between who they claim to be and truly to want to be, and who their thoughts and words and occasional actions show them to be.  There is always a difference between the ideal and the reality.

Modern society has no answer to that gap other than to deny it and excoriate anyone it catches publicly in that gap as some sort of misfit.  But the reality is that every one of us has that gap.  Denying it only exacerbates the problem, and modern philosophy and culture has no answer either for why it is there or what to do about it.  Both are convinced that it can be eradicated through proper breeding and education and controls, which explains the massive shock and indignation in discovering that decades of abortions, contraceptives, educational indoctrination, government dictates and other controls have not eradicated the gap at all.  Thus the shock to find out that people – even people we think are good – fail.  There is no mercy in this system of philosophy and culture.  No forgiveness.  So ultimately everyone dies because everyone fails – some are just better at covering it up than others, or some sin in ways that are more socially permissible than others.

Only the Bible gives an actual explanation for the gap, and offers a solution to the gap both here and now and in the long-term, eternal sense.  Only Christianity acknowledges that we cannot fix the gap on our own no matter how badly we want to.  It has to be closed for us, fixed for us  While that isn’t going to happen this side of eternity, we do have real reason and hope in fighting against our sinfulness, in little by little closing that gap a bit.  Not simply by our own force of will or through fear of societal punishments, but by the very power of God who created us and saved us, living within us and working with us and for us, leading us in the life-long process of battling against sin towards a day when we no longer have to because it will no longer be there within us.

Names will continue to be revealed and heads will continue to roll.  But until we acknowledge the abject failure of the sexual philosophy of the past 50 years, we aren’t going to make any progress towards positive change.  It’s only going to get worse.

 

Exhausted

October 30, 2017

I am.

The last of our guests left five minutes ago.  As my wife prepares for bed I have to take a second to try and process, but there’s too much.  A wonderful mixture of familiar faces and one new one tonight.  And then a multi-hour discussion that spanned the authority of Scripture, the roles of men and women here and now in a fallen world in Christ, and the pain of feeling marginalized as a woman in a male dominated world.

We covered immense theological and emotional terrain.  Tempers flared.  Tears flowed.  Many stood and listened without actively engaging.  By and large people hung into the discussion, but not everyone could or would.  My prayer at the end of the night, as I articulated to one of our recent regulars, is that Satan not be allowed to drive wedges and discord through theological wrestling.  That the relationships that have been built and the community that has formed over the last year and a half would not simply endure, but strengthen and deepen and thrive.  If we can’t struggle with the Word of God as it applies to our lives here and now, what hope is there for any reality of Christian community?  And if this can’t be a place where people can bare their hearts and know that even when they don’t hear what they want to hear they are still loved, then it doesn’t really have a purpose at all.

I think things will be OK.  For most of us at the very least.  For all of us I pray.  And in the meantime, sleep.

Inconvenient Truths

October 28, 2017

Common sense says that a child needs their parents.  Common sense says that a child would have a special bond with the mother that has carried him or her for nine or more months.  Common sense would say that this bond is unique and special and should be honored.

Common sense is really inconvenient to ideology, however.  And sometimes, so is science.

The author of a book detailing how important it is for mothers to be primary caregivers for the first three years of their child’s life is being shunned by liberals dismayed at her scientific findings.  No matter that the author herself is ideologically liberal.   The problem is that she validates an inconvenient truth in the continuing war on motherhood (and parenthood in general).  Parents matter.  Mothers matter.  Mothers and fathers are not created equal but both are necessary in order to provide children with the best possible circumstances in their most vulnerable years of life.  Replacing mothers and fathers with younger and younger pre-school and early childhood caregivers has potential long-term consequences that have nothing to do with the collective good intentions of all involved but everything to do with how we are created.

 

Two Follow-Ups

October 26, 2017

The strange case of President George H.W. Bush photo gropes continues to emerge.  My questions yesterday about how we define sexual assault remain, but it seems clear that President Bush and his condition have indeed been an occasion of embarrassment and perhaps offense to some people during photo ops.  This more detailed account both demonstrates that Ms. Lind’s claims of being touched are likely true, though whether or not they should be classified as sexual assault remains to be seen.

However Ms. Grolnick does acknowledge, towards the end of the article, that President Bush may not have been in full possession of his mental faculties, further calling into question the appropriateness of publicly describing his behavior as sexual assault.  Is there a difference between the inappropriateness of a senile person and the calculated manipulation of a rapist?  Is there a difference between publicly calling a former President a sexual offender and demanding belated justice against those in power who actively and knowingly use their position to bully or harass others?

I hope that President Bush and his family and friends will take this situation seriously, and realize that a lifetime of honorable behavior can be smudged in the last years of his life by the insistence of some to equate his actions with sexual assault.  I hope they make sure that in the future he isn’t positioned in a way where his joke could be misinterpreted – or frankly, even pulled again.  I also appreciate and empathize with Ms. Grolnick’s desire that Ms. Lind’s claims be taken seriously.  I just question whether the claims of sexual assault were appropriate or not.  It would have been far more appropriate to take up the matter privately with Mrs. Bush or others who look after President Bush, to let them know it was not appreciated and that they should work hard to ensure future incidents are avoided.

And on another matter, why are we here?  No, seriously.  Scientists don’t understand why the universe is rather than isn’t, based on the nearly identical properties of matter and anti-matter, which should have ensured a monumental and incredibly brief explosion followed directly by the cessation of any sort of existence of the universe at all after the initial Big Bang.  More good questions….

 

Sexual Vocational Assault

October 25, 2017

All the discussion about sexual assault these days gave me an interesting perspective on this article.  So why isn’t the idea that we must have equal numbers of men and women in the workplace as well as within specific vocations in the workplace a form of sexual assault if we’re trying to manipulate women into doing what we want them to do?  The Wired article above laments that only 12% of engineers in the US are female.  This is called a depressing number.  Why?  And to whom?  The preferred reality for that writer would be to have as close to 50% of engineers be women as possible, I assume.  The language in the article is patently offensive in terms of seeing women as something to be manipulated.  The United States has a serious problem with getting women into STEM jobs and keeping them there.  How is that not the language of abuse and objectification?

Anecdotally, I’ve known several female engineers.  Very capable women who were clearly doing what they enjoyed.  I have yet to meet a woman who has expressed a secret longing to be an engineer, but was never able or willing to act on that longing.  My anecdotal conclusion is that fewer women are jazzed about engineering than men. My anecdotal conclusion is not that we need to figure out ways to convince more girls and women that they should be engineers.

What if women don’t want to be engineers?  Or what if once they become engineers, they don’t want to stay there because there are other things in life that become important o them?  There’s the unstated assumption that there are all these girls and women out there who desperately want to be engineers, they just don’t know it.  Or they don’t think it’s possible.  We just have to make them aware that they really want to be engineers, and then of course make sure that companies are forced to hire them in equal numbers to men.  And there’s the other assumption that once in a STEM field, women shouldn’t want to leave for any reason.  Like to raise children.  Or pursue other interests or other careers.  Those impulses are for some reason not preferred.  Not desirable.  They skew the pie charts in ways some people don’t like.

All of that sounds highly oppressive to me.  Equally sexist if not more so to the alleged sexism that allegedly prevents women from entering STEM vocations.  How about if instead of trying to force kids down certain paths to justify our assertions for and definitions of equality, we actually work to empower kids to pursue what they want to pursue – even if that doesn’t necessarily make all the lines on the employment graph absolutely equal?  If a girl wants to be an engineer she should be.  But it should be because she actually wants to be, not because we drill it into our kids that we must have equal gender representation in all vocations, all the time.  And if a woman engineer or CEO decides she would like to stay home and raise her kids, or tackle a new vocational challenge, we should encourage her to do what she wants in those regards, rather than making her feel like some sort of traitor to her sex.

I’d rather have 12% female engineers who are excited and happy about their work than to have 50% female engineers, many who are unhappy and dissatisfied.  The same holds true for guys, and other vocations.  Differences in interests and abilities between genders shouldn’t be seen as an inherently bad thing.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

October 25, 2017

It’s rather difficult to believe this news report, and I assume it’s going to be debunked or discredit fairly quickly.  Of course the terrifying possibility is that it won’t be, that this allegation that seems completely inconceivable will stand because nobody is willing to question this woman’s interpretation of events.  Her original Instagram post has since been deleted, which leads me to think the allegation is suspicious.  In a fuller transcript of her Instagram post, she alleges former President George Bush Senior “sexually assaulted” her during a photo shoot several years ago, while his wife and others looked on and warned her not to stand next to him.

What constitutes sexual assault?  What sort of touch justifies calling out someone for sexual assault?  Anyone can say anything about any other person online, but what does that mean?  How is someone held accountable for what they say?  What was the touching President Bush was doing?  What constitutes a “dirty joke”?

I’m not aware of anyone ever alleging any improprieties from President Bush, at any point in his life.  Which leads me to two interpretations aside from sexual assault.  One is that since President Bush suffers from Parkinson’s disease, his motor skills were impaired enough that he accidentally touched her in an inappropriate manner.  Parkinson’s might also explain a poor choice of a joke.   The other possible explanation is that Ms. Lind took offense at a touch or a joke that were not actually intended to be offensive, and would likely not be seen as offensive by the general public.  Both are very plausible explanations that certainly don’t constitute sexual assault.

I should think that women would be among the first to want to clarify what is serious enough to be called sexual assault, and what is not, even if lesser words or actions are still not appreciated.  I would think that women who have suffered actual sexual assault would want to take Ms. Lind to task for equating her allegations of (if true) at worst, impropriety, with the very real damage others have suffered from the words and actions of someone.

Is an unwanted compliment sexual assault?  Is telling a joke that someone doesn’t happen to care for sexual assault?  Is asking someone out when they don’t want to be asked a form of sexual assault?  Should intention be factored into the definition at least as heavily as interpretation?  These are all important things for us to think through but are easily lost in the blaring headlines.   Sexual assault should not be tolerated, but we need to carefully define our terms to make sure we aren’t reclassifying and even criminalizing behaviors that shouldn’t fall into that category.

 

 

 

Me Too?

October 16, 2017

Facebook’s latest protest meme is for women to post Me Too in a status update if they have been the victim of sexual harassment of some kind in the past.  The idea is solidarity with the women who were abused by Harvey Weinstein.   The intent of the Facebook thingy is to show that the headlines are only the tip of the iceberg, that it wasn’t just a few up-and-coming or hopeful starlets who have been bullied, harassed, abused, or worse.  Women of all walks of life have had moments of harassment that unite them in a common outrage.

I don’t have a problem with something that draws attention to a dangerous and sinful problem that human beings of all cultures and backgrounds have to deal with.  I have no doubt that there are many women who have been mistreated by men, manipulated mentally, emotionally, or physically simply for the gratification of another person.  This is a terrible and awful reality.

The problem I have with it is that in the effort to create unity, there is precious little talk about what actually defines harassment or manipulation.  We’re being indoctrinated to believe that it is possible to speak and act in ways that are completely inoffensive to all people at all times, yet the net result of this indoctrination seems only to be showing how completely and utterly untrue and impossible this is.  Someone is always offended, even if the person accused wasn’t trying to be offensive or was completely ignorant about the peculiar cauldron of experiences and issues that would lead someone to be offended in that moment.

Is asking a woman out an example of a man harassing or intimidating a woman, if she feels harassed or intimidated?  Obviously there are some behaviors and statements that most of us could and would agree upon as patently offensive or blatant examples of intimidation.  But the grey area seems inordinately large.  We can attempt to understand one another better in an effort to communicate more clearly and effectively and mitigate or reduce the number of unintended offenses.  We can be more diligent about protecting those who speak out against those who abuse their power to coerce or intimidate or harass others.  But there are limits to all of these things, and we’re also aiming at a moving target.  This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t aim, but it should make us cautious about the self-righteousness of our attempts.

Particularly it should make us cautious of applying definitions and standards we have created today to characterize situations and behaviors and individuals in the past.  Trying people in our past by standards only acceptable and recognized today is potentially unfair, recasting the past in a light that it may not have naturally experienced.  Jokes and innuendos about casting couches have been around pretty much as long as films have been.  Calling out Weinstein and others for their abuses in the past isn’t unfair because there was an understanding in the past that those behaviors were inappropriate.

Is the supervisor at a workplace 30 years ago to be thought of as a sexual predator for asking out a young woman?  Maybe.  Was he intentionally using his position as a means of pressuring her to accept?  Was there the explicit idea that refusal would jeopardize her job?  Foul play.   But not every supervisor who asks out someone in a lower power position is a sexual predator, and we ought to be careful about recognizing this.  Making someone uncomfortable accidentally shouldn’t implicate that person as predatory or bullying.

Hopefully we can all learn together how to be better co-creations of God the Father, seeing one another as someone that God the Son has died and risen from the dead for, and that God the Holy Spirit is actively trying to work within.  We can help one another towards that end by articulating what is and isn’t appropriate.  So go ahead and post Me Too if that’s appropriate.  I pray that there can be some healing and forgiveness in that honesty.  But I also encourage people to try and ensure their feelings and reactions to something aren’t coloring the event, turning it into something it might not have been.

 

The Kids Are…Well, Predictable?

October 12, 2017

I don’t hide the fact that I am not a fan of all the cultural navel-gazing we do these days.  Builders, Boomers, X-ers, Millenials.  I know there are more than these now, but I just don’t care.  We keep psycho-socially dividing ourselves up more and more, when in reality we are more alike than we think.

For those who enjoy bashing Millenials, here’s an interesting little article that shows we had pretty much the same complaints about their predecessors.  Maybe if we spent less time talking about each other and more time talking to each other, we might discover more of our similarities!

More Mixing

October 11, 2017

It’s not just Sears  mixing up girls and boys, treating them as essentially the same thing for the sake of convenience, ideology and profit.  Today the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced that girls will be fully integrated into the organization.  As Matt Walsh put it (on Facebook, so I can’t link you to it), this removes from the BSA “any remaining reason for their own existence.”  Ironically, this move was criticized by Girls Scouts USA (GSUSA) which interprets the move as an attempt to lure girls away from GSUSA and bolster a declining BSA membership.  Integration is good unless it hurts your membership numbers.  I look forward to feminists criticizing GSUSA for their response, but I’m not holding my breath for it.

At least the GSUSA understand that there are benefits to having all boys or all girls organizations, and that the existence of such organizations is not a de facto affront in any way to members of the opposite sex/gender.  But in our bizarro-world culture, such obvious truths are now given very little airplay, let alone respect.  Boys and girls, men and women in the same locker rooms and restrooms?  Sure thing!  No problem!  The common sense respect offered by single gender places and organizations has been decimated by a miniscule (comparatively) group of people bent on an agenda of deconstructing our society from the inside out.

I assume it won’t be long until BSA renames itself.  After all I can’t imagine that, once admitted, girls are going to care for being labeled as boys.  I hope that boys and men would have the courage and honesty to admit that the name is no longer accurate.  And if we continue down (and it is a downwards movement) this road of confusing sexes and genders, particularly denigrating men and masculinity, any such male-oriented label is going to be seen as a detriment rather than an asset.  Self-preservation of the BSA entity (brand), rather than the ideas upon which the BSA was founded, is ultimately a betrayal and rejection of those ideals that serves and benefits nobody.