Boy Scouts, Magic and Screeds

Inside Magic Image of More Courtesy Poster from WPAWhat is a person to do? We enjoy (or enjoyed) Carl E. Jones’ newsletters over the years. We have never met the man but found his mailings to be filled with great leads for interesting stories related to magic and clowning.

Today, out of the blue, we received a tirade with the subject line: “Update on the update on the BAN on homosexuality in the Boy Scouts (aka) Sometimes you just have to stand up for what you believe in and let the chips fall where they may.”

Usually, Mr. Jones passed along links to upcoming magic shows, great deals on used magic or clowning equipment, commendation of gifted performers or reflections on the state of magic in Texas and elsewhere.

We read through the lengthy screed and thought maybe it was a parody or lampoon. It was filled with double entendres. He bemoans those who would foist their position on him by writing “I am sick and tired of people trying to cram things down our throat . . .” and two paragraphs later, “Gets old having something crammed down your throat you don’t agree with, doesn’t it……..” (ellipses in original).

Mr. Jones objects to homosexuals being in positions of leadership within the Boy Scouts (presumably he has no problems with homosexual Girl Scout leadership) because he believes homosexuality to be wrong, contrary to the teachings of the Bible and somehow related to the criminal behavior of pedophilia.

On this last contention he writes: “I also did NOT say that all homosexuals are pedophiles. Some are. Some aren’t. Some heterosexuals are pedophiles and some aren’t. That’s not the only issue.”

For those keeping score, that makes the pedophilia argument moot. If Mr. Jones concedes homosexuality is not causally related to pedophilia (presumably homosexual pedophilia – as if that makes a difference), then it does not advance his argument that homosexuality should disqualify one from being a scout leader. After all, if as Mr. Jones writes, heterosexual men are as likely to commit the felony of pedophilia, they too should be disqualified from scout leadership.

Mr. Jones writes: “A BIG issue for most of us that will fight this issue till the day after hell freezes over is that the LIFESTYLE of a homosexual is NOT the lifestyle that we believe in. It is NOT the lifestyle that we want our children exposed to because many of us believe, as the bible states, that it is wrong.”

One wonders how a homosexual scout leader will expose his troop to this lifestyle. Certainly many of the scouts have heard of homosexuality and, according to statistics, a percentage of the young men are homosexual themselves. Speaking of statistics, it has been proven that 100 percent of all homosexuals come from heterosexual parents. One might think that something other than environment or parenting skills influences or determines sexual nature.

Mr. Jones begins his conclusion by reminding readers, “If you are a homosexual that is NOT my business. It is NOT up to me to judge that issue for you. And to be clear, I am NOT judging you. I am commenting on a LIFESTYLE.”

Mr. Jones posits those who accept homosexuality as a “small minority” of the American population. That is not actually correct. According to a September 2011 survey from the University of Chicago, “Although 44 percent of the people surveyed felt that sexual relations between two adults of the same sex is always wrong, another 41 percent thought such relations were “not wrong at all.” “Just 11 percent were in the middle, saying it was either ‘almost always wrong’ or ‘wrong only sometimes.'”

We doubt, however, Mr. Jones would concede his point if a study showed 80 percent of Americans believed homosexuality was acceptable. Consequently, this argument fails to impress.

Inside Magic has clearly been against pedophilia and reported on the unfortunate incidents and scandals that have plagued our profession. We have also been against arson and the theft of public property. In fact, other than our enthusiastic support for government sanctioned jail escapes and Three Card Monte throwing, we have never supported any crime against property or person. We have firmly opposed the theft of public property and arson whether committed by a homosexual or heterosexual magician. You can do a search of our extensive archives to verify this claim.

We appreciate Mr. Jones’ zeal and enthusiasm for all things Magic and Clowning but do not appreciate his diatribe on Scouting leadership. We agree that he has a right to voice his concerns and share his opinions – regardless of their internal inconsistency – with whomever signs up for his email list. He has politely provided a method of ending our relationship by replying with the subject line “remove.” We followed his instructions and are now off the list. It is a shame.

Please do not think that we hate all those who would send unsolicited hate mail to us. Some of our best friends are people who . . . well you know how that goes.

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