(NNPA)—All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. This statement is the best way to express my thoughts and feelings about what the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is constantly going through.
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the U.S., with more than 2.7 million youth members and more than 1 million adult volunteers. It is estimated that more than 110 million Americans have been members of the BSA since in founding in 1910, including me.
The BSA’s stated goal is to train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations. For younger members, the Scout method is part of the program to inculcate typical Scouting values such as trustworthiness, good citizenship, and outdoors skills, through a variety of activities such as camping, aquatics, and hiking.
I am fed up with the relentless attacks launched against the BSA by the homosexual community. The reason for the attacks? Because the Boy Scouts of America prohibits avowed gay and lesbian children and adults from participation, citing its principle to be “morally straight.” They also do not allow atheist and agnostics to participate citing its “duty to God principle.”
In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale that Boy Scouts, and all private organizations, have the constitutionally protected right under the First Amendment of freedom of association to set membership standards. In 2004, the BSA adopted a new policy statement, including the following as a “Youth Leadership” policy:
“Boy Scouts of America believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath and Scout Law to be morally straight and clean in thought, word, and deed. The conduct of youth members must be in compliance with the Scout Oath and Law, and membership in Boy Scouts of America is contingent upon the willingness to accept Scouting’s values and beliefs. Most boys join Scouting when they are 10 or 11 years old. As they continue in the program, all Scouts are expected to take leadership positions. In the unlikely event that an older boy were to hold himself out as homosexual, he would not be able to continue in a youth leadership position.”