Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How To Respond When The Boy Scouts Ask For Money

The Boy Scouts were a big part of my adolescence.  I learned a lot from my involvement with them.  I even remember a few bits of it.  While I didn't properly appreciate it at the time, it was one of the ways I spent time with my father.  I was involved enough that I was at the 1993 National Jamboree, a trip that I still have fond memories of.

I was bothered by the 12th part of the Scout Law and other references to a god[1], but I never said anything about it, as I was used to ignoring religion in all sorts of places.  I had already been not saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school for years.  My troop never kicked me out for being atheist.  Although, I'm not sure if any of the leaders, other than my father, even knew I was. I was an adult before I learned how bigoted they are regarding atheists[2] and homosexuals[3].  Seeing them be this bigoted has been incredibly disappointing, especially with all the drama of maybe ending their bigotry[4].

This has been the first time, since receiving it, that I've wished I could find my Eagle Scout Medal.  So I could send it back[5].

If it weren't for the bigotry, I would probably be eager to donate.  But they are bigoted.  So, I'm left unable to morally justify supporting them.  That's why I like the letter[6] Josh Hyde[7] recently sent in response to a request for a donation.

He even included some quality snark with the stamp[8]

Activism isn't just protesting with signs.  It's showing people they're why wrong in a variety of ways.  While this one letter will not magically make the Boy Scouts be as inclusive they should be, it helps show the bigotry does not go unchallenged.  The more of us who let people know that bigotry isn't acceptable, the more they'll know bigotry isn't acceptable.

And if we let them know in such a polite, straightforward way as Josh's letter, it's that much better.
1.  http://www.usscouts.org/advance/boyscout/bsoathlaw.asp
2.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/29/boy-scouts-atheists-policy_n_2576493.html
3.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/boy-scouts-anti-gay-policy
4.  http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/06/us/boy-scouts-policy
5.  http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/08/11/2949665/as-gay-ban-stands-firm-eagle-scouts.html
6.  https://twitter.com/jrh3k5/status/312961892601720832
7.  http://jrh3k5.blogspot.com/
8.  https://twitter.com/jrh3k5/status/312962157652369408

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