Tag Archives: Children

Lies the Boy Scouts Told Me

22 May

Another rainy day in NYC.  Up at five, shower and shave.  Listening to NPR while we put together the kids lunches.  Seems the Boy Scouts are to decide today whether to allow gay membership.  It amazes me that any organization that still has to ask such a question even exists.  It’s a bit like learning that the Hitlerjugend are still active, and contemplating a more restrained attitude toward the Jews.

But I differ on this point from proud Eagle Scout, Governor Rick Perry, who feels that the Boy Scout’s “…values and principles have worked for a century now, and for pop culture to come in and try to tear that up because it just happens to be the flavor of the month, so to speak, and to tear apart one of the great organizations that has served millions of young men, helped them to become men and to become great fathers – that is just not appropriate.”

So, if I’m getting this right, Governor Perry is defending the values and principles of homophobia and intolerance, while further maintaining that the desire to end discrimination based on sexual preference is being driven by “pop culture” and is merely “flavor of the month.”  And of course, the implication that gay men will be less than great fathers.  I don’t know why this kind of happy-horseshit continues to surprise me.  But sadly, it does.

Now I’d like to point out that,  aside from the casual bigotry and overt sexism, I have nothing against the Boy Scouts.  Honesty, integrity, self-reliance.  I love these things.  And what young man hasn’t been attracted to the idea of testing his mettle against the wilderness: building shelters, starting fires with flint and steel, surviving a blizzard with nothing more than a can of beans and a jackknife.  I would have joined myself if it hadn’t been for the uniforms.  And the taking orders part.  And the fact that there were no girls.  But I digress.

What I do have something against are the lies we tell ourselves, and the ways in which we harm others in an effort to conceal our own uncomfortable truths.   So let’s clear some things up.

Lie #1:  Gay men are a threat to boys.

The truth it hides:  You fear homosexuality.  Why you feel this way is your business, but it’s also your problem.  It should have nothing to do with some little boy who wants to build a campfire, or the adult that wants to teach him.

Lie #2:  Homosexuality is against my religious beliefs.

The truth it hides:  See Lie #1.  But also, open your heart for a second.  Because if you believe in a God, he’s talking to you that way too.  And if religion is ultimately about loving one and other, that may be the best way to hear him.

Lie #3:  Gay people are different from me.

The truth it hides:  They’re not.  No more so than any other person on this planet.  They are your neighbors, they are your family, and if memory serves, they’ve certainly been your scoutmasters.

So, with that in mind, Godspeed, Boy Scouts of America!  Check your rations and hoist your pack!  Got your compass?  Map?  Good.  It may be a long  journey, but the 21st century is out there.  I hope you can find it.

(Originally posted at Playing in the City with Trains)