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Boy Scouts sending hypocritical message

Guest Columnist

Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 20:02

The Boy Scouts of America is not only the most well-known organization that rounds up a group of boys to pitch tents and build campfires in the woods. It is also the most well-known organization that is against boys falling for other boys.

Several months ago, a Cub Scout pack in Maryland, Pack 442, unanimously approved the adoption of a non-discrimination policy, which stated the group would not discriminate “against any individual or family based on race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.”

However, in January of this year, Big Brother caught wind of this flaming pledge and swooped in to stomp it out. The National Capital Area Council and Scout Executive Les Baron demanded that Troop 442 rescind its statement and threatened the removal of its charter if it did not cooperate. Baron told NBC News that the council and pack are trying “to work out their differences," but when the pack’s committee chair offered to compromise by rewording its statement, the council replied that only complete removal of the pledge would suffice.

But Troop 442 isn’t turning its back on this grisly issue. To help in this matter, it has posted an anonymous poll open to the public. Option 1: Stand by the non-discrimination pledge, possibly lose the charter and operate as an independent troop. Option 2: Retract the non-discrimination pledge, recharter with BSA and resume a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The results of this poll have not yet been released.

It seems that Boy Scout troop members and their families have finally had enough of BSA’s backward anti-gay policies. Early January, Ryan Andresen, who had been a scout since the age of 6, was denied his Eagle Scout ranking after coming out the year before. The council claimed he had been rejected due to his open same-sex orientation, which apparently contradicted the Scouts oath to serve their duty to God. Similarly, last year, den leader Jennifer Tyrrell was forced to resign from her position due to the fact that she is a lesbian, and this isn’t the first time BSA employees have been dismissed due to their sexual orientation.

Baron stated that by clinging to these outdated regulations he is protecting the “quality and integrity” of the BSA. On the contrary, the BSA is inadvertently diminishing the quality of what was once a revered organization, and by its own hand. Many charities and businesses such as Intel have stated they would cease contributions to BSA; a number of scouts have turned in their badges, medals and membership cards; several troops do not follow the policy either.

The BSA is so adamant to exclude gay members mostly for religious reasons, but what’s baffling is why it chose to admit and offer scholarships to Jewish members whose beliefs directly contradict its own, first and foremost the debate over whether or not Jesus is the son of God. This is especially shocking since you choose to adopt a religion, not necessarily a sexual orientation.

But this also calls into question, is the Boy Scouts of America even a religious organization? In 2003, national spokesman of BSA, Greg Shields, specifically told Fox News that the BSA is not religious organization. If that’s the case, life choices that violate the Christian doctrine should not be held as criteria for admittance.

What it boils down to is that the Boy Scouts of America, an organization meant to uphold the characteristics of kindness and friendliness, is creating a judgmental and prejudice environment for boys of all ages. Every potential scout must take the Boy Scout Promise, which includes an oath to be “physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” But perhaps the oath should be revised and omit the word morally to read, “I will do my best to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and straight.”

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