Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Follow Me, Boys! : Gone With the Wind

by Janice Graham

The other night the sweet old 1966 movie Follow Me,Boys! happened to be on TV.  (This movie was based on a novel by McKinlay Kantor, God and My Country, 1958.) I saw this movie in the theater when I was 12 and it had a huge effect on me. My maternal little heart ached for Whitey, the lonely, troubled, courageous boy played by young Kurt Russell, whose life is changed by the Boy Scout program and a childless couple.

Troubled boys have always been welcomed into scouting. But quite suddenly things have changed. Now a certain group of boys with one particular trouble have been officially singled out and publicized while being welcomed into scouting, but they aren’t to be treated or thought of as troubled. Their trouble is off-limits to any sort of moral or emotional or spiritual or psychological correction or counseling or help. Instead, what has been thought of as an unspeakable vice for millennia is suddenly to be given respect as if it is a virtue. These are boys of any age who have decided they are same-sex sexually attracted, homosexual, “gay,” have adopted this proclivity as an identity, and are proudly making it public.

At a time when a boy should be dreaming of camping, hiking, boating, and tying knots, our oversexed culture has got him dreaming of male-on-male romance, that is, sex. Let's quit pretending being gay is about stereotypical mannerisms or talents or choice of entertainment or hobbies. It's about harmful ideas about sex, a perverse misuse of the procreative power. Every child and parent needs to know what gay is really about and where it leads. This self-determination is not based on science or professional diagnosis or anything authoritative at all. It is only based on the very immature, impressionable, and perhaps rebellious and/or damaged individual's current thought patterns and preoccupations.

Tragically, none of the horrific causes of homosexuality are to be taken into account. We are to ignore the very real probability that these boys may have serious underlying disorders, and/or that they may very well have been initiated, abused, pornographied, and trained into gayness and gay activism. The fact that some boys go through such a stage and grow out of it is not taken into account either. Parents aren’t to wonder or worry that their vulnerable and curious young sons might be influenced by gay peers or older gay boys who are their admired patrol leaders.  Instead, Boy Scout troops everywhere are to institutionally encourage and cement homosexuality into mixed-up boys and allow them to model it and recruit other boys. Apparently, boy scouts, parents, and leaders everywhere are to immediately earn their proverbial gay sensitivity merit badge!

Thinking of the misery and longing of Whitey, the motherless young character in the movie whose father was an embarrassing drunkard he nevertheless loved and tried to protect, who wanted so badly to just fit in with the other boys, I can’t think of anything more despicable than pretending a troubled boy isn’t troubled and at risk. It amounts to psychological, moral, and spiritual abuse, and in the case of developing homosexuality, a form of sexual abuse. As proud “gay” boys are welcomed into scouting as gay, authority figures are contributing to the delinquency of minors by ignoring the causes of wayward sexual development, encouraging their disorder, and marking them for an exploitive, fruitless, abnormal, dangerous, and predatory lifestyle.

We submit that BSA leaders know homosexuality is a bad deal in any form. Among other things, they are apparently rationalizing that gay boys need scouting so they can have one good influence in their messed-up lives. It sounds oh so nice but it’s intellectually dishonest and it won’t work. You can’t sink a ship to save a ship. You can’t abandon right principles in order to promote right principles. Institutionally embracing and forcing on others the perverse sexual identity these boys claim is not the way to help them. It will only aid them in their destruction, put other boys in harm’s way, and undermine the entire institution.

As C. S. Lewis warned, all institutions run by human beings end up sooner or later doing the polar opposite of what they were originally intended to do. Bingo for the Boy Scouts of America. So much for pledging to be "morally straight."

It was with a great overlying sadness that we watched Follow Me, Boys the other night. In this sweet movie the characters were nowhere near perfect and caused a lot of trouble for each other, as always happens, but the public conscience had a firm hold on proper living. Excellence and virtue, founded on belief in God, were the unspoken goals for everyone. In the midst of problems and pain, good was known as good and evil was known as evil and all authority figures were dedicated to and acted according to this knowledge. In one generation the values portrayed in this movie (and most all the movies and books our country has produced up to recent times) have been turned completely upside down. 

What a sad day this is for boyhood and for the family in general, and for individual boys, parents, and youth leaders in the trenches who have been placed in a very difficult and cruel position. Not only are confused “gay” boys being thrown under the bus, it’s everyone else, too. You see, it’s not the “gays” who are being bullied and marginalized and shamed today. It’s those who wish to stand for the good and the true. What a sad day this is for those institutions formerly founded on and devoted to traditional, God-based values who have bowed to the relentless pressure of contemporary society, compromised their principles, betrayed the trust of their members, and gone the way of this wicked world.
-Janice Graham

P.S. I've heard Hollywood is doing a remake of Follow Me, Boys! with John Travolta. Hmmm. How timely. Brokeback Mountain for kids? Want to make a bet that it portrays the opposite values of the original book/movie, whether explicitly or implicitly? I certainly hope not, but some people just can't leave anything good alone. They have to turn it evil. What a disaster.

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