Boy Scouts of America and Mainstream Conservative Bigotry

We have one party in this country that has no problem with discrimination. On one hand Republicans say they don’t want to talk class or race or sexual orientation, on the other hand, everything they do and say shows their open support for bigotry within the ranks. As always, it needs to be repeated that not all conservatives and Republicans are bigots. But if a person is a bigot, that person is more likely to be a Republican.

That brings us to the incredibly open bigotry on display when it comes to the Boy Scouts of America, and it’s continued discrimination against gays. The organization is contemplating an end to their ban on gay scouts and leaders, but a chorus of prominent Republicans are coming to their defense. And as is typical in cases like this, the cited reasons for continued discrimination? — Values and morals.

Well I gotta tell ya, I don’t derive my values and my morals from a bigoted interpretation of scripture. I used to be a scout, and I used to recite the Scout Oath.

SCOUT OATH

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

Boy Scout Memorial - photo by Ted Eytan

There are several issues I have with this oath now, but that’s not the point of this article. I think too many bigots are hiding behind the “morally straight” part. To these bigots, who are most certainly religious, one cannot be morally straight if one is not straight. Obviously not the same word use, but it’s awfully convenient.

But I’d like to now turn our attention to Scout Law.

BOY SCOUT LAW

A Scout is:

Trustworthy,
Loyal,
Helpful,
Friendly,
Courteous,
Kind,
Obedient,
Cheerful,
Thrifty,
Brave,
Clean,
and Reverent.

I’d like to focus in on that last word, reverent. Let’s forget about the religious meaning and simply look at the general meaning — to show respect. One thing I can say with certainty is that every single person who is attempting to defend status quo when it comes to the Boy Scouts of America, is breaking Scout Law. They are not being reverent. They are not being respectful.

So if the Boy Scouts of America is truly going to change with the times and become accepting of all human beings, then I propose a new Scout Law. This Scout Law will make it clear the organization is setting itself on a new path, even if it’s only a subtle addition of text.

“NEW” BOY SCOUT LAW

A Scout is:

Trustworthy,
Loyal,
Helpful,
Friendly,
Courteous,
Kind,
Obedient,
Cheerful,
Thrifty,
Brave,
Clean,
Reverent,
Tolerant,
And Benevolent.

Tolerant and benevolent, as in — open to new ideas — willing to accept — allowance for change — compassionate.

photo by Ted Eytan

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EqualityHuman InterestHuman Rights

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