Friday, November 13, 2009

Dawn Rises - Morning Breaks - Night Falls

The Boy Scouts of America

A couple of years ago, maybe 65 or so, I was a Cub Scout. Even earned a few badges. Never did move on to Boy Scouts - but did join the Sea Scouts when I was about 13. My tour of duty only lasted about a year. An old rich guy named Milbanks from Flintridge had a slick wooden sail boat that he made available to the Sea Scouts couple of times each summer. He kept it in Newport Harbor at the Sea Scout Base, and gave sailing lessons to Sea Scouts from all over Southern California. The boat was a beauty. Long, low, narrow and fast. Probably about 36 to 40 ft. long. Slept six as I recall. The cabin was all fine varnished woods and excellent craftsmanship. For rebel city kids my age a day cruise with Milbanks was an adventure into the unknown. Okay, so much for my exposure to Boy Scouts.

The years have passed by and the Boy Scouts has changed, but much is the same. It's still a great way to learn about nature, living in a tent, and to work together as part of a group. To finally become an Eagle Scout is still a wonderful goal for a youngster.

The Boy Scouts of America have decided not to admit openly gay kids or adults into the organization. It's a very controversial decision and has fostered a backlash way out of proportion to it's impact. The gay community looks upon this prohibition as unfairly biased against them. The straight community believes the decision is the only way to protect the Boy Scouts from learning about an un-natural life style (at best), and exposure to potential sexual predators (at worst).

To many of us this entire matter smacks of political correctness, in fact haven't we become a society that has accepted the anti-common sense rules of the political correct crowd?  Yes, we have.  In so many cases our resulting behavior is positively stupid. 

First, the Boy Scouts should be free to discriminate. All social groups should. The League of Red Haired Men needs to be able to accept as members only those who are Male and have Red Hair. The Neighborhood Women's Tennis Club needs to be able to accept only women for membership. In either case whether or not a person is openly gay or in the closet gay should have no bearing whatever.

Secondly, gay men and women are not an unusual threat to children - ever. An organization should be able to insist on rules of behavior to discriminate. A Muslim, for example, should be prohibited from trying to promote his religion. A Christian should have to follow the same rules.

I suspect the concern is not so much about gay or straight as it is about pedophiles. The experiences of the Catholic Church in this area, and their response, has been awful. Certainly the Boy Scout can learn from that example and take more appropriate measures to shield their membership from pedophilia.

So, in the end I understand but disagree with the Boy Scouts decision.

What say you?

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