Skip to comments.THE END OF THE BOY SCOUTS IN PHILADELPHIA
Posted on 06/02/2003 6:39:40 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
Philadelphias Cradle of Liberty Boy Scout Council self-destructed last week. Its executive board voted unanimously to include "sexual orientation" in its nondiscrimination code. The outrageous move came after years of intense pressure from radical homosexual and atheist rights groups in the area and nationwide.
The Philadelphia Council is the third largest local council in the country, serving 87,000 boys and men. It is an unfortunate addition to a list of councils that have eagerly given the finger to the Boy Scouts of America and its associated moral codes. Last year, San Francisco and Boston became the first branches to reject the concept of moral straightness.
We must be reminded that the Boy Scouts are not an intolerant, homophobic, racist, anti-Semitic bunch. In fact, the Boy Scouts have always taught tolerance and have been at the forefront of celebrating diversity. Since 1911, the BSA has reached out to disabled youth, racial and ethnic minorities, Native Americans, and inner city children.
And Scouting has also taught the difference between right and wrong, between honor and indecency, between justice and perversity.
When it comes to a Scout troop, sexual orientation is an issue that goes beyond differences in skin color or economic status. It affects such matters as tenting arrangements and the development of pre-teenage masculinity in a close-knit group of boys and men. But the BSAs position against homosexuality is not just an issue of moral principle in an effort to affirm the Scout Oath and Law, it is a serious safety effort to prevent cases of sexual abuse and harassment.
To the vast majority of Americans who understand the importance of Scouting in every community across the nation, preserving the traditional moral code of Scouting is a no-brainer. It is time for families in Philadelphia to show that they oppose the leadership of their local council by leaving the organization.
Furthermore, the BSA national office must entirely disconnect itself from the Philadelphia, Boston, and San Francisco Councils. And Boy Scout councils around the country must take notice that their entire mission is staked upon the moral character of the boys and men involved, and that if they sever those core principles from the program they will destroy the entirety of Scouting.
The pressures from the radical Left must be dealt with as well. As the Left has opened fire on the Scouts, the reaction of Americans has been interesting. Ive heard some say that the Scouts dont need to be defended because they are strong enough. Many would argue that ignoring the opposition is the best thing for the Scouts. Perhaps that would be true in a small-scale conflict, but those who lead the drive against the Scouts have proven their capacity for a dangerous perversion of morality when, in a hundred other scenarios theyve struck deepest when decent Americans chose not to fight back. They didnt fight back because they werent looking in the first place.
Now, America - now is a time to turn our sullen eyes on Philadelphia. Now is the time to awaken to the awful stench that arises from the moral relativism condoned by Boy Scout Councils in Boston and San Francisco. Now is the time to fight back and defend the Boy Scouts from further damage.
As an Eagle Scout and an assistant Scoutmaster, I cannot couch myself in the dark chamber of apathy as my organization is taken over by special interests whose political agenda contributes to a breakdown of character and the family. The Boy Scouts have the God-given right to establish standards for membership, and those standards have been highly respected for over 90 years. Citizens across America have the God-given obligation to see to it that the Boy Scout Oath and Law are upheld for another 90 years.
Hans Zeiger, 18, is an Eagle Scout and an outspoken advocate on behalf of Scouting with the Scout Honor Coalition. He is a Seattle Times columnist and chairman of Washington Young Americans for Freedom. He may be contacted at email@example.com.
On my honor . . . By giving your word, you are promising to be guided by the ideals of the Scout Oath.
. . . I will do my best . . . Try hard to live up to the points of the Scout Oath. Measure your achievements against your own high standards and don't be influenced by peer pressure or what other people do.
. . . To do my duty to God . . . Your family and religious leaders teach you about God and the ways you can serve. You do your duty to God by following the wisdom of those teachings every day and by respecting and defending the rights of others to practice their own beliefs.
. . . and my country . . . Help keep the United States a strong and fair nation by learning about our system of government and your responsibilities as a citizen and future voter.
America is made up of countless families and communities. When you work to improve your community and your home, you are serving your country. Natural resources are another important part of America's heritage worthy of your efforts to understand, protect, and use wisely. What you do can make a real difference.
. . . and to obey the Scout Law; . . . The twelve points of the Scout Law are guidelines that can lead you toward wise choices. When you obey the Scout Law, other people will respect you for the way you live, and you will respect yourself.
. . . To help other people at all times; . . . There are many people who need you. Your cheerful smile and helping hand will ease the burden of many who need assistance. By helping out whenever possible, you are doing your part to make this a better world.
. . . To keep myself physically strong, . . . Take care of your body so that it will serve you well for an entire lifetime. That means eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly to build strength and endurance. it also means avoiding harmful drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and anything else that can harm your health.
. . . mentally awake, . . . Develop your mind both in the classroom and outside of school. Be curious about everything around you, and work hard to make the most of your abilities. With an inquiring attitude and the willingness to ask questions, you can learn much about the exciting world around you and your role in it.
. . . and morally straight. To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.
The national office needs to revoke the charters of these councils post haste to draw a line in the sand.
.. The 25th Annual National Conservative Student Conference..Michael Reagan, Milton Friedman, G. Gordon Liddy, Ann Coulter................. [July 20-26]
I wonder what would happen if they were to change their press release to read:
The Philadelphia Council is the third largest local council in the country, serving 87,000 boys, men, and faggots.
Often people will ignore issues when they are couched in careful terms to hide the truth. If the Scouts were up front with the truth, I wonder how many children would be yanked immediately from the Scouts?
I know you just used a turn of phrase but I would hope that a parent wouldn't have to consider it carefully at all. My hope is they would make their decision after about two seconds and protect their children without a second thought.
Local BSA Councils are not-for-profit corporations consisting of local business and community leaders, as well as a few Scouters. They receive, and must renew annually, a charter from National Council to establish, oversee and support the BSA program in a geographic area. They in turn charter local organizations such as churches, veterans' organizations, fraternal organizations, schools, etc., to sponsor Packs, Troops, Ships, and Crews. These are also renewable annually.
If the sponsoring organization does not follow National and local Council guidelines and policies in running their units, the local Council can refuse to renew their charter. If the local Council does not follow National guidelines, National Council can refuse to renew their charter. In the former case, the unit folds and the Scouts would have to join another unit to continue in Scouting. In the latter case, either a new not-for-profit corporation would have to be started up to take over the charter, or the region the old Council covered could be taken over by one or more Councils contiguous to it. What's going to happen here is that first a delegation from National will meet with the Council's Executive Board (tha above noted local community and business leaders) to see just what their intent is, as opposed to what's in the press. If they persist that they are going to register "avowed homosexuals" as leaders, then I expect that they'll end up taking one of the steps I've outlined.
Note that it is the responsibility of the local units to select leaders. While the BSA is often brought into lawsuits on these matters, it's the sponsoring organization that has failed to do it's homework in registering an unqualified leader, and in failing to make sure that he or she is conducting the program properly.
National's basis for excluding homosexual leaders is because they provide what the majority of the BSA's sponsoring organizations believe are improper moral role models for youth. According to the BSA's own web site, any risk of paedophilia has nothing to do with it. And practically, if you search on Google for cases of molestation of Scouts by Scouters, you'll find that the Scouter involved either has no known sexual relations with adults at all, or is married and has kids.
What the BSA depends on to prevent child molestation is the proper selection of leaders by sponsoring organizations, and the strict application of the Youth Protection guidelines by the sponsors and the leaders. These steps will prevent child molestation of any kind.
The other way for parents to make sure that things of this sort don't happen in their unit is to show up. The BSA is not a program designed so that you can drop off your kid and a check once a week. "BSA" does not stand for "BabySitters of America". It's a family program, not a youth program, and you need to put some time in. Even if you can't be a leader, you can go on the occasional campout, hang around for a Troop meeting, run the Popcorn sale, help with the Pancake Breakfast, get your hands dirty helping with a service project, and in general observe what's going on.
I question the original author's characterization of the Minuteman Council's (Boston) announced policy re: sexual orientation of leaders. National doesn't seem to have a problem with it. Minuteman Council's policy seems to be "Don't ask, don't tell", which is National policy. They just stated it in a fashion that makes it a little more palatable for the locals. But I am unaware of any "avowed homosexual" who has taken a leadership position, "told", and stayed registered at Minuteman Council.
It's also worth noting that Cradle of Liberty Council isn't telling units that they have to accept homosexual members; they're saying that they can if they want to. Note as an analogy that BSA units can accept women as leaders if they wish, but many don't and are supported by both their local and National Councils (Troops sponsored by Mormon stakes do this) in their decision. The choice of leaders is up to sponsoring organizations and they are free to accept or reject leaders on whatever reason they choose (gender, profession, health, etc.).
Finally, cutting off support to your local BSA Council because there is an unresolved situation in Philadelphia is a sure way to hurt a bunch of youth and to make sure that they don't get the program from someone who wants to do so properly.
For example, there were 7 units in Oak Park, Illinois sponsored by the local PTAs where said PTAs refused to renew their charters unless the local Council allowed them to ignore sexual orientation when registering Scouters. A number of the parents apparently didn't object to this. The local Council (Des Plaines Valley Council) refused and refused to renew the charters. Most of the Scouts moved to other units. There are numerous sponsors such as the Unitarian Universalists, the Episcopal Church, etc., that sponsor units and object to the BSA's policy in this matter. And remember that about 45% of Scouts are registered to units sponsored by secular organizations, such as the VFW, American Legion, Odd Fellows, Elks, PTAs, public schools, etc., that either have no official ban on homosexuals or even have anti-discrimination policies that include them as a protected class.
Now, whether individual units of these organizations would actually register avowed homosexuals is another matter. Your child wouldn't actually have a gay Scoutmaster unless your unit decided to register one, and as a concerned parent you'd certainly find out about that if you wanted to.
I don't necessarily agree with you there. I believe adult consenting homosexuals should be left alone to do what they will. I believe pedophilia is a separate and distinct problem.
But naively opening the door for grown men who are possibly homosexual pedophiles to be sleeping side by side with adolescent boys is like chumming the waters for pedophiles.
What you probably will see is a lot more parents starting to question their unit's sponsor, asking "Are we going to register a gay Scoutmaster?", and then switching units if they don't like the answer. The Cradle of Liberty Council isn't saying that the units have to register gays, just like they don't say they have to register women or any other particular class of people as leaders.
They should be formally de-listed from the BSA, and then the parents should form a new council, with members who aren't enablers.
If the Cradle of Liberty Council persists in this new policy, then this is probably exactly what will happen.
How has the BSA failed to do this? I am certainly unaware of any of this kind of thing going on in my area, and I'm in a position to know even if someone's trying to hide something from the media? What local Council do you live in?
There's a significant difference between the GSUSA (the GSA is a Federal agency and the acronym is too similar to the BSA's; the GSUSA loathes the use of that acronym) and the BSA. GSUSA units are essentially "owned" by the local GSUSA Council. Whereas BSA units are "owned" by the sponsor. If your GSUSA Council is quite liberal, you could have an issue with the leaders they've approved, and you may find it difficult to get all the information you'd want about why they were selected. Whereas if your BSA Council is liberal, but your unit's sponsor is conservative, you'll not see the problem you fear.
And you should be aware of, and ideally involved with, your unit's sponsor as well as your unit. We do have some children in our unit who are from single-parent families where Mom (never Dad, eh?) has to work a bunch of hours and can't put much time into the unit. But if a family has the resources to contribute time to the unit, but refuses to do so, well, then I can do without their son.
If Americans expect the BSA to be a safe place to put their kids into without any effort on their part to ensure that it's units are, in fact, such safe places, then Americans are very foolishly putting way too much burden on the BSA. It was, is, and always will be the parent's responsibility to do this, not the BSA's. The BSA has never accepted responsibility for unit leaders' actions, and it's not starting now.
It brings to mind the phrase, "a liberal is just a conservative who has never been mugged." Unfortunately, these people are sending their kids down the dark alley in front of them.
Yep. We don't have any kids, so we just gave up buying the cookies. I miss Thin Mints terribly.
Actually these are the guys that couldn't couldn't give a rat's ass about donating time to mentor young boys lest it get in the way of their busy social life. But don't let that get in the way of a good rant.
One of the changes that the GSUSA went though over the last decade was to allow youth to remove the word "God" from the GSUSA oath. This was justified by the GSUSA to WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guide and Girl Scouts, the international GS sanctioning body) on the basis that the GSUSA wanted to allow girls for whom "God" was too Judeo-Christian to substitute their own deity (a.k.a Allah, Jehovah, Brahma, etc.). WAGGGS requires that it's membership organizations require their individual members to profess some kind of higher power. However, the effect seems to have been to allow the GSUSA to accept members who substitute nothing for "God", either verbally or mentally. And it seems that the GSUSA is doing little to disabuse people of that here in the U.S.
As far as your son goes, if he's 7 he's Tiger Cub or Wolf Cub age, depending on his grade level (1st or 2nd grade; if he's homeschooled, you can pretty much pick it yourself). Look in the phone book or yellow pages for the name/address/phone number of your local Council. Or, go on here, enter in your zip code, and get it from there.
Call the council. Tell them what town you live in, and ask for your District Executive. Once you're talking to him or her, ask about the Cub Scout Packs in your area. Find out who their sponsors are. The DE will want to know what church you go to and what school your son goes to so that they'll know whether or not there's a Pack sponsored by them. By the way, it's possible for you to live in one District, but for your son's school or church to be in another, so you might end up talking to another DE. Get the names and phone numbers of the sponsors and the Cubmasters of 2 or 3 Packs.
Call them up. Ask them how big the unit is, when/where it meets, and what activities they do. Outings, campouts, service projects, etc. A Pack meets once a month, but your son will be most closely associated with a Den, made up of 4 to 8 Cubs his own age/grade level. Find out what Dens they have and who the Den Leaders are, when/where they meet (often in the Den Leader's home), and what the Den Leader's phone number is. Now call the Den Leader and ask the same questions.
Then take your son to a couple of Den meetings, and see if you like what you see. Please understand that a Den Meeting is not usually all that quiet. These are young boys, and while sometimes they're working on a project, a smart Den Leader sets aside some time for the boys to be active and let off steam. In short, to be boys.
Should you find a Den and Pack to your liking, you'll fill out a short application, and your son is a Cub Scout. Congratulations! Expect to be solicited to become a leader. I encourage you to do so. You'll find it rewarding (I have). The application asks for your SSN. They use this to do a background check on you. The BSA NEVER releases information of any kind about their leaders to anyone. Companies have offered fortunes to the BSA for it's mailing list, but it never releases or sells the information and never will. You'll also be asked to take a couple of basic training courses. Please try to fit those into your schedule. You'll find it very helpful (I'm on our Council's training staff).
But, even if you can't sign up as a leader, please consider helping out at either Den or Pack meetings, the popcorn sale, etc. Understand that there's a group called the Pack Committee that handles running the fund raisers, recruiting leaders, buying the awards, getting the newsletter out, etc., that you can do on your own time without having to go to Pack or Den meetings. You can join it.
Of course, if you really want to go the whole hog, you can organize a Pack at your church or other community organization. You only need 5 Scouts and 5 adults to start a Pack, and small units are much easier to handle than some of those Cub Scout Packs with 100 or more Cubs in them.