I, Doug, realize the obligation to my fellow Eagle Scouts;I took that oath on January 13th, 1989. When, in subsequent years, the Boy Scouts took their anti-gay policies all the way to the Supreme Court, I cried. It was wrong. They were wrong. I knew openly gay leaders, at least one of which was involved in the Supreme Court battle, and I can honestly say they were no danger to me or any of my friends. They did not push who they were on us, and knew and taught the scouting program easily as well as any leader who I was sure was straight.
to my home, my country, and my God.
I will at all times do my best to assist other scouts
who are climbing the trail to Eagle
to give back more to scouting than it has given me
to assist my troop as much as possible
and to be a living example of the Scout Oath and Law
to the best of my ability.
But I stuck with the program, because for all they were doing something stupid, it appeared that they were still a force for good. They still taught boys to stand up for what they felt was right. They were still the best leadership training around.
But what does this teach our kids? At the same time they were banning gays because they claimed they were putting children in danger, they were keeping files on KNOWN child molesters and not doing anything about it. When it came time to put up a defense, the best they could say was "the local troops were responsible, not us" and "we didn't want to traumatize the children who had been abused". The Cascade Pacific Scout Executive had the cajones to get up on the stand and blame the parents for trusting the scouting program!
I am, currently, an active Scout leader ... so I can repeat from memory:
The Scout Oath:
On my honor I will do my bestThe Scout Law:
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.
A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly,Which of these can an organization that kept files on more than 1,000 child molesters while ousting men who weren't dangerous ... all under the lie of protecting our children ... claim to be? Trustworthy? Would you trust them? Loyal? Loyal to WHO? Helpful or Friendly? Only if you're one of those 1,000 men. Brave? Well, it certainly takes balls to do what they did, to make the claims they make ... but you can't call it standing up for what is right.
Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful,
Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.
Can such an group be called morally straight? Or was it doing their duty to god?
What Scouting has given me, recently, is a reality check ... I'm unsure if I want to be involved in this program anymore. I'm sure my boys are safe, but only because I'm active and paying attention to make sure of it. But now I'm wondering if it's worth it. I'm wondering if I even want my children associated with this program.
I teach my boys that brave means standing up for what you believe is right, even if it hurts. I teach my boys that thrifty means spending your time wisely as well as your money. But now I'm asking: Is it wise to continue with this program? Is it brave? Or is it the brave thing, the wise thing, the right thing, to walk away?
I don't know. I don't know if BSA as we know it will survive this blow. I'm not sure I want it to.