I love it when someone makes an argument out of expedience not realizing the implications of it. Actually, what I love is pointing this out. I reported on one of my most enjoyable episodes of this in Successfully Nailing Jell-O to a Wall.
I have to fess up to trolling here, but what the heck. One of my conservative Facebook friends posted about Mormon Church’s angst over the Boy Scouts’ decision to allow gay troop leaders. I’m not sure how everything in his post was supposed to tie together, but this seemed be the heart of his intended message:
Recently, a father was directed to go home and told that he could not stay overnight at a Girl Scout lock-in anywhere in the same building (in this case the U.S. Airways NBA arena) with his daughter. The chances of anything inappropriate happening were beyond miniscule, but nobody demanded that the Girl Scouts change their policy because it makes sense.
Boy Scout troops frequently go on overnight camping and backpacking trips, some of which last for several days. Having gay men in charge of these events will create issues. Anyone who thinks otherwise is being intellectually dishonest.
I didn’t think either paragraph was particularly logical. My point in commenting, however, was not to debate, but to have some fun. So I asked:
Are you suggesting that gay men are more likely to be pedophiles than straight men?
Religious conservatives often get uncomfortable in this area. Truth is, many of them do confuse homosexuality with pedophilia, but they know there really is no evidence of an actual connection. So, my conservative Facebook friend conceded this one:
No. I do not know what causes someone to molest children.
At this point, his second paragraph still is defensible, barely. Although Boy Scouts are generally under the age of majority, many are “adults” from the standpoint of physical development. So, even though it makes no sense as applied to younger Boy Scouts (and all Cub Scouts), who are the ones most in need of protection, it could apply to the older ones. But we’re in kind of a game of chess here. He (and his friends) can’t salvage the second paragraph without giving away the first. In order save the queen, they have to sacrifice the rook:
Me: Then why would having gay men in charge of overnight trips create any more issues than having straight men in charge?
The response (which was from another friend of my conservative Facebook friend) was as predicted, but it wasn’t almost as if there was no recognition that the first paragraph (the rook) was in danger:
For the same reason you don’t have males chaperoning all girl events. You don’t put the person most likely to be attracted to that gender in charge of supervising and chaperoning. It’s the same as why you will never see a male coach in a girls soccer locker room. The reason more than one mother has been disallowed from chaperoning all male events (even though it is often over looked as if women are any better). This would be the intellectual dishonesty [name omitted] is speaking of.
Oh expedience! And irony, as she speaks of intellectual dishonesty. Yes, of course we don’t have male coaches in the presence of naked young girls in their locker rooms. But male coaches accompany older girls’ teams on road trips. And I’m guessing she didn’t completely understand that in order to be “attracted” to the younger Scouts, the adult would have to be not gay, but a pedophile. Oh well, thanks for playing:
Then, by that logic, going back to the Girl Scout events, it would be okay to have the gay father of a Giril Scout chaperone, since he would not be attracted to the gender he was chaperoning, right?
So I wonder: Would these conservatives really prefer having a gay man to a straight man as chaperone to their daughters’ Girl Scout outings? No, I didn’t think so. But they sure said they would. Lyin’ scum!:)