RedState.com's Erick Erickson is a former CNN and current Fox News contributor and a regular on the punditry circuit, always ready to give his right-leaning point of view on any number of issues. And while decidely conservative (his site is called "Red State" after all) and clearly opposed to LGBT equality (his organization co-sponsored the National Organization For Marriage's recent march on Washington), Erick Erickson is usually fairly mainstream in terms of his commentary.
That changed dramatically yesterday afternoon.
Immediately after the Boy Scouts of America made the decision to no longer ban or banish young boys who happen to be gay, Mr. Erickson took to his Twitter account to go after these very vulnerable children in a really ugly way. To his 90k Twitter followers, this prominent conservative commentator began painting a picture of a hardcore Jesus Christ who simply can't tolerate gay boys:
Then, when writer and former White House staffer Jon Lovett directly confronted Erickson about what this view means for all of the little boys who are, quite simply, gay, Erickson doubled down. He suggested that these young kids, who are presumably not sexual, need to be told not to act on their "sin":
But if that weren't clear enough, Erickson took to Red State today to expound even more. He writes, in part:
My son will not be in the scouts. While I have no problem with the scouts allowing in self-identified gay youths, and I believe churches should welcome in gays, I do not believe an organization that works to foster morality and strong character in young men can continue to do so while allowing in young men who identify as gay if the homosexual act is to still be considered a sin.To be sure, being gay is not a sin. All of us have temptations. But to act on that temptation and engage in sin, is sinful. We live in a day and age where many expect the government to subsidize birth control because sexual behavior in and out of marriage is the norm. Society no longer recognizes homosexual behavior as a sin, nor does it recognize sex outside of marriae [sic] generally as sin. Government now subsidizes the behavior.While churches should not turn away gays and should preach the full Gospel to us and them and require us all to repent, an organization like the Scouts will no longer do so in the context of teaching healthy morality and character to young men. The moral component to the Scouts will collapse in favor of knot tying, tent pitching, and badge collection.While being gay in and of itself is not a sin, we fool ourselves to think that secular society does not rapidly then move to the act itself as another form of normal. The truth is, for Christians the homosexual act is a clear sin and an organization such as the scouts that lets in gay scouts will not long maintain its compass in declaring the scout fine, but his conduct not. The scouts will lose that distinction just as society has and will, over time, allow gay scout masters. The wall is breached and cannot be repaired.
FULL: I Have No Problem With the Boy Scouts’ Decision [Red State]
This is truly dangerous messaging. It's one thing to have your opinions about homosexuality and whether or not people should "act on" it, or to publicly oppose something like marriage equality. But here we are talking about minors—little kids. They are not sexually active, and in fact the Boy Scouts would not, and should not tolerate them being sexually active or sexually suggestive while in a BSA program. These are kids who simply know, as most gay people know at fairly early ages, that they are geared in a certain way. They may grow up and adopt any number of beliefs about their sexualities, but at this point they shouldn't be forcibly removed from a program they enjoy simply because of the feelings and emotions they have inside them.
Mr. Erickson continues to state that being gay is not a sin. But when he's pressed, as he was in the Twitter exchange with Jon Lovett, he says "there is very little difference between being and doing." He cannot believe that gay people exist outside of a sexual act.
And here we have a grown adult using his platform of influence to tell these kids, who are among the most vulnerable members of our society, that they actually should be forcibly excluded? Going further, he is using his personal theology to tell these same children that "repentance" is their only path forward? Oh, and because the BSA will not exclude the young kids, Mr. Erickson is making a public point about barring his own children from the Boy Scouts simply because—SIMPLY. BECAUSE.—other children will no longer be kicked to the curb if their gay sexual orientation is known? That is venturing right into the land of Bryan Fischer or Tony Perkins.
I knew his state was red, I just didn't know the tint was so resemblant of hellfire. Mr. Erickson has gone from conservative political commentator to someone who invokes fire and brimstone, which is always a dangerous move.