At the last minute my scheduled extra shift was cancelled and I found myself able to briefly attended the anti-abortion protest in Fitchburg which while part of a series of national protests for defending planned parenthood was delayed a week by winter storms.

In the seven years that Planned Parenthood has been in Fitchburg there have been many demonstrations there and lots of prayer but over the last year our friends on the left started counting protesting so there were two distinct groups, one near the entrance of the parking garage that was prolife and wanting to defund planned parenthood

And one directly opposite the “clinic” that was in favor of abortion and planned parenthood

When we first started protesting planned parenthood before the building even opened we had no opposition (unless you count the painter working on the building before they opened who told me that said if it gets rid of some of the Spanish in town he’s all for it) the other side never bothered to counter protest. It speaks well of the effectiveness of the pro-life prayers that our foes now, in the last year have found it necessary to counter us (if we had no effect then they’d ignore us) and it speaks even better of us that in a college town in this bluest of states we outnumbered them on a Saturday, but the most interesting part of my brief visit was completely unexpected.

At one point as the rosary began a young lady from the other side walked over and started engaging one of our group, the organizer, not wanting the prayers to be interrupted, asked her to postpone her engagement until the prayer was done at which time they’d be happy to talk to her but I was intrigued, so I walked over to her and we spoke literally between the two groups.

Other than age we had a lot in common, we attended the same university (although it was a college when I was there before she was born) we were both engineers (although she has a double major) but most important of all she was willing to talk to people she disagreed with which suggests both curiosity and a liking for people, this and her civility given what we’ve seen in the land is rare and should always be encouraged.

At this point I offered to interview her and she consented (which given my association with the other side shows a level of trust I’ve rarely experienced when engaging opponents)

I thought she did quite well, particularly on the question of funding and after the interview we talked briefly. She said that I had given her things to think about.

Meanwhile I moved back to my side of the aisle and there I found Olivia who also consented to an interview. She was a few years younger than Natasha and talked about the pressure that she gets from her peers for her open pro-life stance.

It seemed to me in many ways Natasha and Olivia were very alike and as I pondered it something clicked in my head. I asked Joyce (the protest leader for our Pro-life group) If I could speak to the group before leaving and she agreed.

I asked them to pray for the folks on the other side noting that some of the greatest pro-life warriors of our age started out on the other side and for all we know one of those young people (and most of them were college age with a few older feminists sprinkled in) might be leading our protests some day. On my way out I quietly asked a pair of people, strong in faith & prayer to pray for Natasha and found myself not only doing the same but adding her to my lengthy prayer list remembering that God changes hearts.

That very day the news of McCorvey, a.k.a. ‘Jane Roe,’ death broke:

She had a troubled, difficult life, but eventually renounced her pro-abortion views and converted to Catholicism

Her conversion story is here an excerpt in her own words

The sad story of my days as a pro-choice activist, days that I am happy are long gone, is recounted in the book I am Roe. The marvelous story of my journey to a new life in Christ and the pro-life movement is recounted in the book Won by Love. Now it is time to add a new chapter to the story of my life, because God had more in store for me even after He made me 100% pro-life and washed me in the waters of baptism.

He wanted me to “come home,” a message that scared me at first, because I did not know what it meant.

Eventually she would figure it out and become Catholic

The day finally arrived when I would be received into the Catholic Church. I did not have to be baptized again, because the Catholic Church recognizes the validity of baptism by flowing water in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. So the ceremony, scheduled for August 17, 1998 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Dallas, was a Mass during which I would profess my adherence to all that the Catholic Church officially teaches, and would receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and of First Holy Communion.

I did not want this day to be a media event. No part of my journey of conversion was for the media; it was for God. I did not want distractions, or a distortion of the day’s true meaning…The first time Fr. Frank Pavone interviewed me for his radio program, he started by saying, “So you are the Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade.” “No Father,” I responded, “I was the Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade, but now I am a new creation in Christ. I am Roe no more!”

The primary goal of us in the pro-life movement is to save lives, both the lives of the child (and all those generations that would follow) and the life of the mother, father and all of those who will suffer, sometimes in silence, and sometimes in public over abortion.

But the 2nd goal is to change hearts and minds, because it will be those changed hearts and changed minds that will make the first goal possible and will even more importantly lead to changed souls.

And it’s a changed soul that is the different between eternal life and eternal death which in the end is the bottom line we will all face.

Right now I have a lot on my plate and I suspect so do you but I’d ask that you add a daily prayer for both Natasha and Oliva, may they both, like the brother in scripture, find themselves in the end together in their father’s house, one there from the start, and the other after a wrong turn and a long detour, but both in the end together in celebration.

That’s a result worth praying for.


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Yesterday I spent my morning in the ER with DaWife who came home around 3 pm with a diagnosis of gallstones & plans to schedule surgery.

Tonight we’re heading back to the ER this time in Worcester, and everything is up in the air including CPAC trip

Posting will go on here as normal but my own blogging will likely be light.

Update: Suddenly the phones in the house are iffy and every single piece of personal ID of my has mysteriously vanished, my son is taking my wife to the ER and I’m stranded here.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – I’ve written before about the negative effects of cell phones on our youth but this article in the Wall Street Journal only confirms what I already know.  Our kids are addicted to phones, so much so that it is detrimental not only to their classroom performance, their attention levels, and even their socialization.

What prompted my interest in this topic was my own experience as a high school classroom teacher and my reading of Matt Richtel’s A Deadly Wandering which tells the story of Reggie Shaw who crossed the center line one morning while texting and driving which resulted in the death of two scientists.  Interspersed with the chapters about Reggie and the aftermath of the accident, we meet the neuroscientists who work in “attention science” and the result is an engaging page turner.

Now a Wall Street Journal article examines the social habits of teenagers who are now apparently making their friends online rather than in social settings. They are using apps like Kik and Houseparty, among many others, at alarming rates:

These apps make sense now in part because more teens than ever have access to smartphones. In 2015, the Pew Research Center reported 73% of U.S. teens have access to a smartphone, and that figure is growing. Those teens are checking their phones on average more than 80 times a day, according to Deloitte .

Think about that for a moment: they’re checking their phones “on average more than 80 times a day…”.

That’s a lot.  And if you believe the science, each time they check their phone they’re chasing a dopamine hit.

With the Houseparty app, for example, you’re basically Facetiming with more than one person at a time. So rather than go to a movie, to a playground, or out in the neighborhood, kids are sitting on the couch glued to their phone screens.  Some would advocate that this is much safer than the risk of having kids abducted or hanging out in malls (do they still do that?). At least if they’re home, you know what they’re doing. On the other hand, this kind of behavior leads to sedentary, inactive kids who will likely have problems with real, in-person situations.

Not to mention the increasingly addictive factor of the device itself.   I see the detriment of this in the classroom every single day. The attention span of students has decreased significantly in my twenty years as a teacher. Teachers must find a way to be more entertaining than the phone. I find the statistics, frankly, alarming.

For American teens, making friends isn’t just confined to the school yard, playing field or neighborhood – many are making new friends online. Fully 57% of teens ages 13 to 17 have made a new friend online, with 29% of teens indicating that they have made more than five new friends in online venues. Most of these friendships stay in the digital space; only 20% of all teens have met an online friend in person.

Give the kid a library card instead of a smart phone.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

 

The media right now is, to use a common phrase, experiencing a huge degree of what is commonly known as butthurt because people like Katie Pavlich asked a question at a press conference.

Having questioned candidate Trump at press conferences a couple of times and having listened to the various reporters from assorted outlets coordinating with each other before Mr. Trump’s entry I can see why they are upset. After all how can you create a media meme if the entire media corps isn’t asking variations of the same question to create the false image that it’s the only thing anyone cares about?

This is bad enough but I think the real problem for the media is this:

If conservative media is called on a few more times and asks relevant questions like this

It’s not going to take long for people outside of the media bubble to realize that any competent person can ask a question that actual people want the answer and folks will realize that the MSM on TV are basically no different than the various celebs on Match game.

Once that’s done the game is over.

I was shocked and revolted as I watched the rioting unfold on the UC Berkeley campus back on February 1st.  Here is a link which consists of a collection of videos and tweets: Twitchy craziest protest.  The sole purpose of this senseless violence was to prevent one individual, Milo Yiannopoulos,  from speaking.   This should not happen anywhere in this country, let alone at Berkeley, which was the birthplace of the free speech movement.  It is true that only about 150 individuals, most likely outsiders, committed the violence and destruction, however a very large number of student protesters cheered on and gave the anarchists cover.  What did Milo do to deserve such an unfriendly welcome?  He is an outspoken, charismatic, and popular libertarian-conservative.  Yes, he is outrageous and provocative, but that is no reason to silence him.  There is no legitimate reason to silence anyone.  Most disturbing of all is the reaction of the university. They did nothing to stop the rioting, they did nothing to protect Milo’s right to speak freely, and they did nothing to protect the rights of those who wanted to listen to him.

Freedom of speech is one of our most important God given natural rights.  This right must include speech that others might find offensive.   We are all unique individuals.  What offends one person, others might enjoy.  Some of the most fundamental truths may offend a very large portion of the population.  Being offended is a purely emotional response.  We are all supposed to be rational and intelligent beings, ruled by intellect rather than emotion.  Only the most emotionally fragile of us need to shelter ourselves from everything that might possibly be offensive.  Free exercise of speech and free expression are far more important than the emotional well being of fragile individuals.  Unfortunately, political correctness has completely reversed this.  Far too many people believe that their right to never be offended far outweighs everyone else’s right to freely express themselves as they wish.  The right to not be offended does not exist.  It interferes far too much with everyone else’s right of free speech, therefore it is not a valid right.  If we have to refrain from possibly offending anyone we would never be able to speak.

Political correctness has always been a weapon used by the political left to try and silence those on the political right.  Far too often, conservative principles and ideas are labeled offensive or hate speech, and then these labels are used as a justification, by colleges, to ban individuals from speaking .  The latest buzzwords used as justification are white nationalist and alt-right.  Before this last election, I never heard of the alt-right yet, according to the left. it is everywhere.  I believe the white nationalist alt-right exists but it a very small fringe group.  Mainstream conservative publications, such as the Breitbart family of websites, have been unjustly labeled white nationalist alt-right, along with Steve Bannon and Milo.  These accusations, which have been loudly trumpeted by the media, were used as justification by the rioters at UC Berkeley.  Milo discussed the complicity of the media in this interview: Media Legitimizes Violence on Conservatives.  One of the organizers of the Berkeley riots spoke to Tucker Carlson.  Here is a link to the interview.   She used these accusations as justification for the riots.

Thanks to political correctness , conservative speech has become unwelcome on college campuses.  Immediately when a conservative or a libertarian speaker is announced, the cries to ban them begin at once, and then the protests start.  There absolutely nothing wrong with individuals peacefully protesting because they do not approve of the speaker.  People have a right to peacefully protest for any reason.  Blocking entrances, rushing stages, shouting down, and drowning out a speaker with your voice are not valid forms of protest.  These tactics interfere with the rights of the speaker and those in the audience who want to listen to the speaker.  Far too often speakers on the right are uninvited by the college the moment the protests start.  This is a gross violation of free speech.  Liberal speakers far outnumber conservative speakers.   College campuses have become “safe spaces” where conservative ideals are not welcome and often labeled bias incidents.  According to this article, seventy colleges now call authorities for bias incidents.

Thanks to decades of political correctness, more than half of all high school students believe the First Amendment goes too far when protecting free speech.  This is not just a disgrace, it is a national tragedy.   Here is a link to a survey on this subject.

Political correctness is predominantly a phenomenon on the political left, however those of us on the right have, at times, demonstrated our own bad habits when it comes to free speech.  At times we try to force others to be “patriotically correct.”  Everyone has a right to do and say things that are unpatriotic.  No one should ever be punished for being unpatriotic in speech or behavior.  We can criticize individuals for what they say if we do not agree with them because free speech is a two way street.   No one has a right to silence anyone.

 

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Full disclosure: I’m writing this post pre-Grammys.

The pundits are already salivating over potential political diatribes from the podium, however. Via Page Six:

As such, Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich has a message for those who will take the stage on Sunday’s ceremony: Bring it on.

Ehrlich has no reservations about political messages or anti-President Trump statements flying during CBS’ three and a half hour Grammycast. Artists expressing passionate opinions about real-life issues are the stuff of memorable moments, he said.

“One of the tenets of our show is artistic freedom, and over the years we’ve shown we do believe in it,” Ehrlich told Variety. “How many more times do we need to hear ‘I’d like to thank my publicist, my agent, my wife and kids.’ The great acceptance speeches are ones that have a point of view and are more personal.”

For some reason, celebrities seem to believe that their opinion on immigration or trade policy matters more than yours and therefore you need to hear what they have to say.  So instead of graciously accepting the award, be it the Oscar, the Grammy, the Tony, whatever, too often they launch off into a tirade against whatever hot-button issue or politician is currently at the forefront. Right now, it’s all anti-Trump.

Meryl Streep, for example, lashed out at Donald Trump at The Golden Globes earlier this month and again this weekend in accepting an award from the Human Rights Campaign.  Meryl Streep is a brilliant, stunning actress, and while it’s true that she is also a human being with opinions just like the rest of us, is the Golden Globe podium the right place for that tirade?

Should celebrities just keep their mouths shut? Should they act like one-dimensional people without opinions and just act (or sing, or dance, or write…)?

For the most part, people don’t really care what celebrities think, or at least people aren’t particularly influenced by what celebrities think. It might make us feel good, or vindicated, when our favorite entertainer hold the same opinion that we do. But the opposite also holds true that if an artist holds a different opinion than us, and is perhaps very zealous in promoting their opposing opinion, we may be turned off of their work and regard them differently. I can think of a couple of entertainers that I simply will not support any more because of their outspoken, less than gracious, opinions. Not to say that’s the right way to respond, but it is in fact my response. And that is my right just as it is their right to speak out.

In the end, we are all human, celebrities included. They have just as much right to an opinion as anyone else, but there was once a time in the golden days of Hollywood when the studios saw their actors as “property” and expected them to reflect the image of that studio. It was their job to act, not to promote their own social issues and woe to the celeb that stepped out of line. Even today there are certain professions were political silence is mandatory.  Things have changed in Hollywood and many actors own their own studios or produce their own films, so they can behave and speak however they choose. Those golden days are long gone in more ways than one.

I, for one, rather miss them.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

by baldilocks

Originally posted November 23, 2009. Edited.

There use to be a mosque near my home, but the adherents have since move their digs to Crenshaw Boulevard.

The congregants were all black, but I’m not sure if they were Black Muslims (Explanation: back in the day, the distinction “Black Muslim” indicated that the persons under discussion belonged to the Nation of Islam and therefore subscribed to the ideology set forth by Elijah Muhammad—an ideology considered an anathema to other Muslims.  These days, the term merely means a Muslim who is black, that is, they may be NOI adherents or they may not be. I make the distinction to indicate that I did not see anything other than black people coming and going from that mosque, but that’s not a surprising thing in South Central Los Angeles and, therefore, no indication of whether the mosque belonged to NOI or not.)

A several years ago, something occurred that I’ve thought about every now and then, especially after reading about terror attacks.  At midday, I was in the back of the house in my office—blogging, of course.  At some point, a noise entered my consciousness.  It was a voice, a tinned one and, as I listened I became aware of three things: that the voice was male, that it was coming out of a bullhorn and that it was repeating the same phrase over and over again.  However, I could not make out the words at first.

As the volume decreased, I originally thought that the origin of the voice had moved on.  But it had only gone around the block a few times.  Finally, the origin of the voice came back around on my street and, apparently, the driver decided to park for a few minutes almost directly in front of my house. The unintelligible phrase was being repeated once more.  And once again.

Finally I got up from in front of my computer, went to the front of the house, peered through the blinds of the large picture window in the living room and…froze.

The voice was coming from speakers attached to the type of truck that is sometimes used by ice cream vendors. The truck was spotlessly clean and gleaming white except for the design on the side: the huge blood-red star-and-crescent symbol of Islam.

The occupant had been exhorting the residents of this neighborhood using a two-sentence phrase, most of which I have blocked out of my memory.  But I do remember one part and, really, it’s the only relevant part.  The occupant was advising us to…

“Embrace Islam.”

By the time I gained the presence of mind to grab a camera, the gleaming white truck had moved on.  I haven’t seen it since.

From the time that it came to light the Major Nidal Malik Hasan basically warned the FBI and the Army of what he was–if not of what he was about to do [at Fort Hood in 2009]—I’ve been thinking of that “ice cream” truck and what that particular vendor was selling.  Aren’t jihadis required to warn their infidel foes and invite them to convert before any attack?

“Embrace Islam,” he said.  Left unspoken was the alternative.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks

 

All was well the day of my daughter’s surgery.  Despite waiting an additional two hours because of a higher priority case, the surgeon came out around 4 pm to tell me everything was finished and looked great.  He said someone would arrive in about 15 minutes to take me to my daughter’s recovery room.

Unfortunately, that person never came.  I sat in Yale’s Pediatric Surgery waiting room for another hour, and when the lights went dark, I realized I had been forgotten.  An hour after that, after speaking with various Yale officials and frantically scouring the hospital, I finally found my daughter on the 7th floor in recovery.  Right about that time, I received a Yale text message asking me for my opinion of today’s service.

After dashing off my response, I figured that was it.  Yale is a massive hospital, just the sort of place where little people like myself get ignored.  To my surprise, two days later a young man called me and wanted details.  We spent almost an hour going over what was great and finding where the breakdowns were.  By the time we were done, he told me the two very specifics things that Yale would work on to make sure that breakdown never happened again.  A few months later, when my daughter returned for surgery, I observed first-hand a smoother post-surgery process.

Thinking about it as I’m typing still makes me smile.  Yale took my feedback and acted on it, making their process better.  They took a negative interaction and ultimately made it a positive.  They didn’t pay me compensation, apologize profusely, or give me candy to make the problem go away.  Instead, they acted on the problem, solved it, and continued to provide great medical care.

I’m also part of the military’s medical system, and the difference is stark.  When a doctor at Eisenhower Army Medical Center messed up my wife’s surgery, instead of working to fix the problem, he told her to essentially shut up.  I was at work and got a sobbing phone call, which I acted on.  Our command’s medical team met her at the hospital to address the issue.  She filed an ICE complaint, and our patient advocate met with the hospital to try and resolve the issue.

And in the end, none of it mattered.  The doctor was never disciplined.  The hospital never corrected anything, nor allowed her to go out in town to see a civilian doctor.  Despite all the documentation, nothing was ever done.

This isn’t a one-off.  I’ve had movers break and steal items.  I’ve had an investigator negligently list false information on my security background check.  I’ve had big issues with the Navy’s handling of special needs children.  I’ve discovered yeomen throwing away submitted awards for my Sailors (if you ever wondered how a Medal of Honor could get “lost,” now you know).  And in almost all cases, despite filing complaints, documenting the issues and saving emails, nothing happens.  Nobody gets fired.  Nobody gets disciplined, especially DoD civilians.  I’ve had some great advocates get me compensation in some cases, but the process rarely gets fixed, meaning the Sailors after me probably got screwed too.  Worse, I’m often told that my claims are baseless and I should watch what I say.

Too many people think the military is some sort of wonderful organization that can get stuff done.  Maybe that’s why people are calling (foolishly) for a military coup.  News flash: there is a lot of inefficiency that you don’t see and don’t want.  All too often, uncaring people are allowed to make life miserable for the young men and women in uniform, with no repercussion.

Plenty of people freaked out when Congress approved rules that could zero-out a civil servants pay.  Are you surprised though?  There is plenty of frustration when organizations like the VA still aren’t cleaned up.  And I have to give Congress credit, because when nobody would fix a situation where almost 200 Air Medals for my Sailors “disappeared” (thrown in the trash), a letter to my Congresswoman actually got results.

For those of us who have been constantly screwed by the system, we’re a lot more hopeful that this might bring about real change.  Maybe as we’re improving the military we can truly make our bureaucracy great again.


This post does not represent the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.  It only represents the views of the author.  But that should have been obvious from the start. 

Have you donated to DaTechGuy yet? You should!  Instead of buying that latte from Starbucks, drop him 5 dollars.  I guarantee he’ll put it to better use.

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Saint Scholastica was born in Italy in the year 480 A.D., and she was the twin sister of Saint Benedict of Nursia (AKA The Father of Western  Monasticism).  She was called to serve The Lord at a very young age and her name means “she who has leisure to devote to study”.  Her feast day is February 10, and it is an Obligatory Memorial.

Scholastica is the Patron Saint of nuns may be called upon for intersession:

In 543 A.D., Saint Scholastica died of natural causes. Here is a story about her life and legacy, and something amazing that happened shortly before her passing:

Life
Scholastica was born in 480 in Nursia, Umbria, of wealthy parents and according to Gregory the Great’s Dialogues, was dedicated to God from a young age. She and her brother Benedict were brought up together until the time he left to pursue studies in Rome.

A young Roman woman of Scholastica’s class and time would likely have remained in her father’s house until marriage (likely arranged) or entry into religious life. But wealthy women could inherit property, divorce, and were generally literate. On occasion several young women would live together in a household and form a religious community.

Benedictine tradition holds that Scholastica lived in a convent at Plumbariola about five miles from Monte Cassino and that this was the first “Benedictine” convent. However, it has been suggested that it is more likely that she lived in a hermitage with one or two other religious women in a cluster of houses at the base of Mount Cassino where there is an ancient church named after her. Ruth Clifford Engs notes that since Dialogues indicates that Scholastica was dedicated to God at an early age, perhaps she lived in her father’s house with other religious women until his death and then moved nearer to Benedict.

The most commonly told story about her is that she would, once a year, go and visit her brother at a place near his abbey, and they would spend the day worshiping together and discussing sacred texts and issues.

One day they had supper and continued their conversation. When Benedict indicated it was time for him to leave, perhaps sensing the time of her death was drawing near, Scholastica asked him to stay with her for the evening so they could continue their discussions. Not wishing to break his own Rule, Benedict refused, insisting that he needed to return to his cell. At that point, Scholastica closed her hands in prayer, and after a moment, a wild storm started outside of the guest house in which they were housed. Benedict asked, “What have you done?”, to which she replied, “I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery.” Benedict was unable to return to his monastery, and they spent the night in discussion.

According to Gregory’s Dialogues, three days later, from his cell, he saw his sister’s soul leaving the earth and ascending to heaven in the form of a shining white dove. Benedict had her body brought to his monastery, where he caused it to be laid in the tomb which he had prepared for himself.

Legacy
Scholastica is the foundress of the women’s branch of Benedictine Monasticism.

She was selected as the main motif for a high value commemorative coin: the Austria €50 ‘The Christian Religious Orders’, issued 13 March 2002. On the obverse (heads) side of the coin Scholastica is depicted alongside Benedict.

The Franciscans offer on their website this reflection on Saint Scholastica and Saint Benedict:

Scholastica and Benedict gave themselves totally to God and gave top priority to deepening their friendship with him through prayer. They sacrificed some of the opportunities they would have had to be together as brother and sister in order better to fulfill their vocation to the religious life. In coming closer to Christ, however, they found they were also closer to each other. In joining a religious community, they did not forget or forsake their family but rather found more brothers and sisters.

What a remarkable woman she was, and what a beautiful relationship she and her brother had. May we all learn from her example. My humble suggestion for honoring her memory is to get in touch with your siblings if you have any, and make peace with them if you need to. You will be glad that you did!

*******

MJ Stevenson is best known on the web as Zilla of the Resistance at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about with her family and a large pack of animal companions. 

“You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”

– Aaron Tippin

“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?
Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Well, it finally happened. After more than 100 years of standing on the principles of teaching boys and young men to do their duty to God and our country, and to keep themselves “morally straight,” in just four short years, the Boy Scouts of America has completely betrayed those principles and caved to the ridiculous demands of homosexual and transgender minorities. After fighting all the way to the Supreme Court in the 2000 BSA v. Dale case to affirm their right to exclude homosexuals from their membership, and reaffirming that policy as recently as 2012, the BSA decided in 2013 to allow homosexual boys to join. And when one of those boys became an adult, the BSA, as predicted, in 2015 decided to allow homosexual adults to be troop leaders. Now, the BSA has decided to let girls join the Boy Scouts.

The Boy Scouts used to be a special organization to me. My son started as a Tiger Cub in first grade and considered quitting after that first year because he didn’t like the Den Leader. Having been a Scout myself, I knew the positive influence Scouting could have for my son, so I asked if he would continue if I were to be the Den Leader. And so began an 11-year journey through Scouting that my son and I were able to share together. We shared a lot of memories on weekend campouts, Summer camp and High Adventure trips together, and his journey to Eagle Scout and Senior Patrol Leader helped him to become an outstanding leader and a man of principle. But the moments I really treasure were being able to see him interact with his peers in unguarded moments and see him grow into a young man who is self-confident, compassionate and fun to be around. Through Scouting, my son learned many things about how to handle different situations, how to lead, and yes, how to be masculine – more than I could have taught him on my own. We both know that he would not be the man he is today without his experience as a Boy Scout.

And I am so glad he made it through the program before all this lunacy began.

To think that a girl can be a Boy Scout is just insane. With all due respect to the BSA leadership, anyone who thinks this is a good idea simply has no idea what it’s like to be a Boy Scout.

These boys spend a huge amount of time together and, even with adult leaders around, spend much of that time by themselves. And there are many situations where the boys bond in a way that would simply not be possible with girls around. And yes, there are times when the boys get changed or shower in front of each other. On our trip to the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico a few years ago, the communal shower after summitting Mt. Baldy was an endless source of laughter for the boys. It was a classic “boys will be boys” moment and one that simply cannot be shared by a girl no matter what gender she claims to be. There are countless other situations where a boy simply cannot let his guard down like that in front of a girl, even if he accepts that she thinks she’s a boy. And to ask boys to sacrifice that innocence to accommodate someone’s delusion is selfish and a betrayal of some of the best parts of the Scouting experience.

My son and I will always treasure our time in the Boy Scouts. But if I am blessed with grandsons, I’m going to suggest that they join Trail Life USA instead.