By now, you've probably heard the news about this BSA press release:
Prepared. | For Life.™
It was reported in the local paper. I was disappointed in the vitriol and narrow-mindedness expressed in the comments, though I was not surprised. "My Eagle Award is worthless now, I'm giving it back," some complained. I was also encouraged by some more level-headed thinking. My response was the following:MEDIA STATEMENTBoy Scouts of America
Monday, Jan. 28, 2013
Attributable to: Deron Smith, Director of Public Relations
“For more than 100 years, Scouting’s focus has been on working together to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. Scouting has always been in an ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the best interest of the organization and the young people we serve.
“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.”
This is only an issue to the BSA. Scouts Canada, Scouts Australia, and other national Scouting organizations worldwide admit all freely - male, female and in-between - and their programs are thriving. It is high time to openly serve all youth, regardless of background. Scouting will not die, nor will Sir Robert spin in his grave. Scouting is about Character with a Purpose and Citizenship. Local organizations will still determine their own composition, so if you have a narrow mind, you can always find a Troop that shares it. I will welcome anyone who wishes into my Troop.That is all I shall say on the matter.