Whats wrong with the Boy Scouts?

by , posted on Saturday, October 6th, 2012 at 11:43 pm

We had a very hot summer this year and recently I decided to repair damage to the lawn in front of my house.  I’ve had some success with it recently even though I started with seeding the bare spots.

A week ago I was watering the newly seeded and, essentially, watching the grass grow.  I still had places where I wished I would have put down more seeds but, alas, I was out of seed.   I looked up and coming toward me was a family with a young boy (maybe 13 years old) and his father pulling a wagon with a young child in it followed by mom.   I greeted the family and asked them if they had any grass seed for sale, anticipating the inevitable pitch for some fund raiser.  He said they had no grass seed but did have some pop corn that would be a good alternative.  I said I still had 3 boxes from previous fund drives but could I just give a donation?  He said sure and the youngster in the lead come over wearing his boy scout shirt and said the drive was for funds for his troop.  I gave him five dollars, he thanked me and they went on their way.  Just an all American scene, no problem.

I don’t know about you but when I’m doing mindless things like painting, washing the car or watching grass grow my mind tends to wander.   The scene reminded me that the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) had recently purged, from their ranks, hundreds (my estimate) of young scouts and scout masters because they were, OMG….GAY!   Hundreds of kids would be deprived of spending a day with their parents because of  ignorance.   The homophobic leadership of the BSA decided that it was in the best interest of the organization that the offenders be thrown out for no other reason than they were different in a way that really had nothing to do with what they were doing in the scouts.  None had been caught doing deviant acts, molesting or even looking longingly at other “straight” scouts.  They hadn’t even asked for badges in make-up or dress making.   It boiled down to a fear, a phobia from those on high that the “offenders”, being different, be purged (best word I can think of) from the “normal” ranks.  The heartbreak this caused so many young now ex-scouts was hard for them to understand.  One 19 year old eagle scout was told to leave after he lived up to the boy scout oath and voluntarily told the truth.  Scout leaders who, for years, served the scouts without problem were told to leave.  One female scout leader broke down in tears, refused to leave and was forced to get out.  See the story here for one such example.

During my musing while I watched the grass grow,  I thought that  maybe I should have spoken to the dad about the policy of the BSA but I didn’t think of it at the time and if I had I probably wouldn’t have brought it up so as not to spoil their day.  I wondered if they had sold popcorn to any gay households that day or if they had accepted donations from any gay donors not knowing who they were.  If they had realized that the sale was to a “gay”, would they have run in terror, tearing up the order, would they have given back the cash?

So…..I don’t know anybody who has been purged from the BSA or have I ever been a scout.  I really have no dog in this hunt but the idea that the leadership of this all American organization can be allowed to discriminate by their membership is particularly sad to me.  I believe that if I had a son in the scouts I would explain what was going on and let him decide what was right….a real life lesson in tolerance.  Now I’m not so naive that  the the opponents of having gay members in an all male organization may think they are justified to themselves.  I know it’s a non-governmental organization so they can do whatever the hell they want but the hypocracy of  this group is breath taking to me.  Instead of teaching tolerance for all, they choose to foment discrimination and hate.

I’m all for supporting the Boy Scouts.  I’m confident that as the next generation moves up into the leadership of the organization they will hit their foreheads and think  “What were they thinking?” and flush this ignorant policy down the toilet.  In the meantime I feel sorry for those young  kids and the dedicated troop leaders who were forced to give up something they love because of blatant, unthinking homo-phobia.

Oh yeah, one other thing I wondered about was what if Jerry Sandusky had gone to the phobics and said  “Hey, I’ve got a great idea!  How about if I take a few scouts out on occasional camping trips and maybe a few overnight trips to foot ball games?”

We’ll never know how much camping he would have gotten to do.

Just sayin………. Joe Stupec


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One Response to “Whats wrong with the Boy Scouts?”

  1. Jennifer Laesch says:

    Good thought Joe. It makes me go on to think about all the other clubs/organizations; Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis, Lions Club and how many don’t come out. Is this something that is discussed in the organization’s membership, mission statements, etc. One could stop and think about all the clubs in Aurora; LULAC, Turners Club, Luxemburg Clug, Latin America Club, 3rd Ward Club and the countless others I have missed. It should not matter, if one is doing the job/requirements to carry the organization/club forward, right?

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