When Libertarianism becomes an ideology

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Libertarian Nick Gillespie, editor for Reason.com, wrote an article about The Boy Scouts’ stance on homosexual membership in the organization. 

I like Nick Gillespie, enjoy Reason magazine and will continue to read articles produced by both. However, Gillespie reminds me of why I am not a true Libertarian. It is not because I don’t want my children to be homosexuals ( I don’t). It is because the Libertarian movement has essentially become just another ideology, to be followed at all costs.

In Gillespie’s WSJ piece, he outlines extensively the benefits he received from being a Boy Scout. But at the end of the article he says that he will not allow his children to take part in the Scouts because of the organization’s official stance on homosexuals. This is a classic example of throwing the baby out with the ideological bath water.

First, Gillespie forgets why it’s so great to be a kid: Innocence. Kids aren’t thinking about who’s gay and who isn’t. Gays seem to want kids to think about these things, as well as sex, race etc, at the cost of robbing them of their innocence.  Boys want to be Boy Scouts because it is fun. I was a Boy scout, and I loved it. I never once thought about who was gay and who wasn’t. Modern children are cursed with the presence of idealogical and political organizations bent on impressing their “life styles” upon kids, because how better to change society? Meanwhile, classic Scouting involves inculcating Natural Law into one’s life and thinking: Do good deeds, be prepared, do not lie.

Secondly, why is Gillespie saving his ire for Scouting, an organization that he admits has so many benefits to offer? Why is Scouting worthy of a critical article in a national newspaper, but not the North American Man-Boy Love Association, an organization that I assume does not admit many straight, conservative Christians?

Thirdly, Gillespie’s “all or nothing” politics is obviously standing in the way of his own children’s development: He writes about the Scouts’ own positive effects on his own life, so why deprive his children of the same benefits he had?  I grew up a Catholic. I was an alter boy. I am no longer Catholic, but I realize the many benefits that going to weekly CCD and Sunday mass provided me.

People need not agree with every dot and tittle of an organization’s creed to accept the fact that the organization is good for our civilization. And the Scouts are just that.

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7 thoughts on “When Libertarianism becomes an ideology

    ajmacdonaldjr said:
    February 5, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    He’s not advocating Libertarianism. Libertarianism would allow any group to do whatever it wanted to, so long as it wasn’t directly harming anyone.

    Royce said:
    February 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Not surprisingly I agree with you. I tend to be on the conservative side but I totally resent these extreme people on the right quite as much as I resent those on the extreme left. Did I care if my friends when I was a child were “gay”? I didn’t even know the meaning of the word until I was a senior in high school. Do I care if the Boy Scouts admit gay boys (or girls for that matter) — no I don’t. It’s their business and none of mine or the government’s as far as I’m concerned. I guess if Gillespie chooses to not allow his child to join the Boy Scouts that is his right but what an ignorant thing to do.

    I support many of the things the Libertarians support but not all and this is one of them. I believe that the government has no right to refuse to issue a marriage license to same sex couples. I see that as a constitutonal issue of equal rights. So I remain conservative but not libertarian.

    magus71 responded:
    February 6, 2013 at 4:32 am

    I like Gillespie. I wish he’d reconsider his position. Just teach his kids what he wants them to believe and give them the good experience he had. But they are his children.

    Joshua Letchford said:
    February 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    I agree completely with your post, especially the part about innocence, but I don’t understand; how Gillespie’s Liberterianism comes through in the article?

    magus71 responded:
    February 11, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Gillespie is a champion of Libertarianism. He writes extensively about it. His views on gays in the Scouts is a product of his Libertarianism.

    Joshua Letchford said:
    February 11, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Sorry, I still don’t follow- what is so Libertarian about taking your kid out of Boy Scouts because they’ve now got gay members?

    In the interests of full disclosure, I disagree with his decision, and I’m not a pure Liberterian either, which is why I’m interested to see how his Libertarianism leads him to this.

    bill said:
    December 30, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    You’re killing me here but love you’re writing again. I study it a lot among a lot of other things and don’t think sexuality has any place in something like Boy Scouts. But Scouts also aren’t what they were in our day. There’s a reason this war is going on and it’s not good. It is idealogical and the kids are getting caught in the middle, but if you’re an attentive parent.

    I repeat though – and can back this up with plenty of empirical data, the scouts today isn’t what it was. So that would answer why one could deprive their own kid of something that benefitted them. I’m libertarian and we (libertarians) don’t agree on anything. The anarcho-libs drive me almost as nuts as the progressives (traditional progs). It’s definitely to the point it’s about idealogical purity and passing purity tests and that’s always the sign it’s last call, or time to leave the party.

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