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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Why the Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For


Take a look at the Boy Scout Oath. It reads:

"On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."

Now take a look at the Boy Scout Law. It reads:

"A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, Reverent."

Those are ideals the Boy Scouts of America strive to instill in all of its 3 million youth members and 1.1 million registered adult leaders. These members comprise 122,582 local Scout troops that annually log more than 34 million hours of community service.

These are the ideals and activities that I ascribed to when I was a Boy Scout in the 1950s.


What parent would not want their son to be in an organization that emphasizes such behavior?

Yet, now the Boy Scouts of America are coming under increasing criticism because of the organization's policy of excluding openly homosexual boys and leaders. The official policy reads:

"While the B.S.A. does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the B.S.A."

What kind of a distraction? you might ask yourself.

How about the thought of homosexuals taking your sons into the woods overnight? What could possibly go wrong? Right?

In 1998, the Boy Scouts of America fired any troop leader who announced his homosexuality, a decision that the Supreme Court supported in 2000.

The Supreme Court upheld the policy of the Boy Scouts of America to decide who joins their ranks in asserting that they have the right to bar openly gay troop leaders based on their constitutional right of freedom of association and free speech under the First Amendment.

That legal battle followed the discovery that a 42-year old scoutmaster of a New York scout troop repeatedly sodomized a young teen in his troop over the course of a three-year period during the mid-nineties.

And that case was not the only issue involving scout leaders and homosexuality. Ex-scoutmasters nationwide have recently faced charges ranging from rape to sodomy. Cases of sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts have been on the upswing in recent years--from 70 a year in the 1980s to more than 200 a year in the early 2000s.

Let's look at some facts--facts that you won't hear or see in the mainstream media or mentioned by the Obama White House.

The US Census reports that homosexuals comprise 3-4% of the American population. The percent of pedophiles in the general population is about 4%, but according to FBI Crime Statistics, the rate is 35% among gay men. Can you imagine sending your young son off into the woods with boys and men who see males as possible girl friends, and who are 35% more likely to commit a sex crime?

For that reason, most parents of Boy Scouts view this as a safety issue more than a moral issue. 
 Naturally, if you raise these points you are accused of being homo-phobic, an anti-gay bigot, or some other form of 21st Century cretin.

Let's look at the Boy Scouts of America. Since its founding in the U.S. in 1910, more than  110 million Americans have been members.  

It was started as a private, members-only organization--and it still is.

Recently, someone sent me a post by someone calling himself "The Dad." What he (or perhaps she) wrote made a lot of sense. Take a look:

"If you want to start a club shouldn’t you be allowed to decide who the members are? It’s your club. You started it. Why, if I start a Dallas Cowboys fan club, should I be forced to admit Redskins fans? And why in the heck would they want to join anyway? Start your own club. 

"If you start a club for bald people, why would you want people with long flowing locks to join?

"If you start a club to teach boys skills for life that you think are important, why should you be forced to allow people who hate your values to join and become leaders in your organization?It makes no sense.

"If you disagree with the Boy Scouts start your own club! The Scouts have worked hard for many years to create their organization, you have no right to move in and try and take it over. If you think your idea of what scouting should be is so much better – start your own organization and see how many people leave the Scouts to join your group."

Or, failing that, perhaps you might consider joining the Girl Scouts.