If you think I am going to bash the Boy Scouts, guess again. I have seen too many fine young gentlemen come through that program, and there is no way I can begrudge them, nor their parents, for making a decision that worked for their family.
I also add yet another disclaimer to yet another blog-I reserve the right to change my mind yet again. I have been flip flopping about whether the Boy Scouts is right for us, since Asa turned four. As of today, I have flipped yet again: this time to no.
As a parent, trying to get my male child invovled in the great outdoors, the Boy Scouts has held a certain appeal to me. Camping, hiking, and lots of other honorable goals, all in a nice, neat tidy package. And while a lot of people ask me if I am concerned about the recent spat of molestations, I would argue that ANY organization and ANY family is at risk for that insidiousness anywhere, anytime. (Ask Catholics how safe they feel now?) As the person who would be volunteering to be the pack leader, I am not worried one iota for Asa's safety in that arena.
What saddens me most, is the continued REFUSAL to accept self-identified homosexuals into Boy Scouts-especially after we have learned who the real predators are. I am not angry about it, nor will I make a big stink. That may surprise a few people, considering who I hang out with. A lesbian is up for taking guardianship of our children, should anything happen to Nick or I. But honestly, since no one in our immediate family identifies as homosexual, what harm would there be in joining a group that offers a lot of benefits to my kids? I am also the first to say that organizations have the right to pick their membership. As a Jew, do I really want pro-Nazi's among my members? As a bumper-sticker carrying omnivore, do I really want a vegetarian sitting next to me at my next make-believe club meeting? When we talk membership to certain groups, you have to realize it goes both ways. If I am being selective, I can't fault others for doing the same thing. All valid points, when I keep thinking about joining.
However, recently I was reminded of incident my mom told me about. In the autumn of 1958, my aunt was a freshman at U of O, and like many young woman before and since, she wanted to be in a sorority. This sorority however did her the honor of blackballing her-because she was Jewish. Because she wasn't allowed in, some of her friends opted not to join either. Because of this, the sorority reversed its position of Jews in their House and my aunt broke the "religious barrier", becoming the first opne Jew to be in that sorority. And no-I don't know the name of the sorority. What I do know is that wonderful things happen when friends stick up for one another.
At the end of the day, when I look at the Boy Scouts, all I can keep thinking, is that this is our turn to stand up and say "sorry, since my friends can't join, I don't want to either". Maybe one day they will reverse this position and allow ALL worthy people in, or maybe one day I will realize that this isn't the time nor place to take a stand. However, on this day, at this time, we will say no thank-you, and find something that works better for our family.