It's been a while since I've been able to post something here that wouldn't get me in possible trouble (Jimbo, I'm not) but tonite, after getting an email from my local Scouting's CEO, I had to vent.
As an Eagle Scout, as a former Unit Commissioner, as someone who has volunteered countless hours mentoring and leading our young men in Scouting, I feel we are finally facing something that threatens the existance of Scouting, and the beliefs of a majority of those involved in it- whether they be leaders or young men.
This, this is what I received:
Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation. This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs. BSA members and parents would be able to choose a local unit that best meets the needs of their families.
The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic, or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue. The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.
Under attack are the very morals that are the bedrock of what Scouting develops. I'm no homophobe, nor am I one to go checking peoples bedrooms. Thusly, I also don't believe in forcing anothers morality upon anyone else. I certainly don't go around preaching my beliefs or expecting you to adopt or conform to them. But that is EXACTLY what the Homosexual police are foisting upon us- demanding that those in Scouting bend to their beliefs. Or lack of their 'morality' (depending on your religious point of view).
If you are of that persuasion, you are more than welcome to form your own group, and enjoin those that believe as you do. NO one is preventing you from forming the Homo Scouts or whatever you want to call them; Free Scouting, Rainbow Boys, I don't care. That's up to you. But I do expect that you respect MY ideals as much as you want me to respect yours. Period. You know why you don't do this on your own? Because so few people believe as you do that it would not stand. It would not be able to maintain itself outside your own cloistered, insulated areas.
If Scouting adopts this, I am of the mind to rescind and turn in my Eagle. I will pull family members from the organization. I will cease all donations to the organization. There have been exactly TWO organizations that I donated to exclusively- Scouting and The Salvation Army. When United Way ceased giving donations nationally to Scouting, I ceased dontating and volunteering for UW (I also ceased giving to the CFC due to its funding of charities I wholly do no believe in.) While Scouting formed my abilities and made me as successful as I am, bending the Scouts of today and tomorrow threatens everything we stand for.
One thing I need to address: Scouts are a PRIVATE organization. They are NOT a public entity, and they are not supported by the government. So why should we bend our rules to outsiders? Why do outsiders wish to so vehemently protest ANY rule of a private organization? What is next- that the Legion or VFW will now have to allow ANYONE who served in a uniform to join? I'm going to demand participation in the FOP- even though I've never been a cop. I just feel like joining, and they are discriminating against me. This push against Scouts has something far more nefarious to it- I just don't know what it is, yet.
Scouts do not discriminate; we are taught tolerance. We are expected to help one another, and that we do very very well. I grew up in Scouting with people of many religions, creeds, races, beliefs. I expect that a good many of those I grew up with were gay. I never cared- we were too busy having fun to worry about it, and at the younger ages, really didn't have a NEED to know. But outside organizations, hell-bent on forcing THEIR agenda down our throats in such a permissive environment, think that we need to be forced to understand and accept their 'beliefs' and lifestyles. I vehemently disagree.
I understand that in the above statement from the CEO that they are not forcing everyone to abide; they are leaving it up to local charters to establish it. What you may not understand is that this is just language to have so that local funding organizations, who contribute a great deal of money to these charters, will have the final say- not National Scouting. This is a complete cop-out. If you look at what has happened to Scouting over the last few decades is that they have been forcing Scouts out of what has established their 'base'- churches, synagogs, temples, meeting houses, EVEN SCHOOLS. They have forced Scouting into a corner; and don't tell me its about 'catching up to the 20th century' either. This is all about taking the Man out of being a man.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell worked for the military. It was similar in the Scouts- keep your private self to yourself, you were fine.
Scouting builds leaders, men, and families. I see this as another attack on the foundation of the Family in American society. Many of our leaders that we have looked up to have been Eagle Scouts, and proud of it- Pres Ford, Ross Perot, Michael Moore (yes, that one), Rick Perry, Steven Spielberg, Neil Armstrong, Samuel Pierce, Togo West, Gary Locke. This list is VERY long and varied. It doesn't appear that any of them have been in any way harmed with the way Scouting is now. And I can GUARANTEE that Scouting helped shape exactly who and what they became. I have been offered good jobs soley on the fact that I am an Eagle; they based the offer on this alone, no other skill or experience of me. It is a key indicator of successful men- there are quite a few successful men without Eagle, but very few Eagles who were or are not successful. Scouting's goal is to build boys into men, and to offer the opportunity to every boy to become an Eagle if they are willing to work for it.
The CEO tells us to write them here (firstname.lastname@example.org) to tell them our opinion. Ok, I'm sharing that here so you too can do so. Here is the phone number they asked us to call: 972.580.2000. Fine. I'll do that one too.
Tolerance is essential; understanding is growth; submissiveness brings tyranny.