Nevermind! The Boy Scouts Can’t Even Take The Smallest Step To Curbing Their Bigotry

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boy scoutsRemember just last week when we thought that maybe, just maybe, the Boy Scouts of America were going to take a small step in the 21st century (and the world of human decency) and allow individual troops to decide if they would welcome gay members or pack leaders? Yea, nevermind on that slight feeling of optimism you had for the increasingly irrelevant children’s group. The Boy Scouts have decided to “postpone” their vote on this matter for months, mostly in response to the conservative outrage over their marginally less bigoted guideline change.

According to the statement from organization:

“After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy.”

I have a feeling that the dialogue from “outside the organization” is from none other than noted commentators like the Family Research Council. One of their reps, Peter Sprigg, argued on CNN that Scout parents should have the right to “protect” their kids from “potential risk” of sexual abuse.

By the way, even if you look past how glaringly prejudice, false, and insulting that statement is, (if one could do that), the argument doesn’t make sense. The new guideline would still allow individual parents to have a say in whether or not gay members and pack leaders would be allowed. It would be up to the troops themselves to decide. So an ignorant, bigoted parent would still be able to express that belief and ask that their troop not welcome gay kids or leaders.

Another opponent of the Boy Scouts’ idea to be possibly more inclusive in some areas, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, argues, ““This verges on being beyond the realm of the rational, and it’s going to lead to human tragedy.” Because obviously, telling young boys that they can be accepted and valued no matter who they find attractive is completely irrational and potentially dangerous. Insert frustrated teeth-grating and disbelief here.

The most ridiculous thing about this entire debate is that the Boy Scouts weren’t even taking some huge, progressive step. They weren’t announcing, “Part of our mission is to teach young boys respect and integrity, and with that in mind, we want to welcome to every child who believes in these concepts and wants to be a part of our organization.” They weren’t standing up for equality.

They were shifting the focus of the discussion and attempting to weasel away from criticism. They weren’t taking a stand. They were hiding by turning acceptance into a “local issue.” And now, even that is too much for the organization.

Whatever the group decides months from now when they get back around to debating their outmoded views, it doesn’t really matter. They’ve proven that the leadership and morality they once claimed to stand for are no longer ideas that they care about or value.

(Photo: Matt Ragen/Shutterstock)