Letter to an Eagle Scout
(NOTE: This letter is an open letter by Mark Alexander to his son, an Eagle Scout and Air Force Academy cadet, concerning the Boy Scouts of America national board proposal to allow homosexual members, and eventually, homosexual Scout leaders. Alexander is both a Troop Scoutmaster and Boy Scout Executive Council member. Postscript added on 01FEB.
I received your note about news of an upcoming proposal before the Boy Scouts of America national board. According to the news release regarding that proposal, “The BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation.” You are correct, the removal of this restriction will permit local BSA Councils to accept avowed homosexuals as members and, moreover, to allow homosexuals to serve in leadership positions at all levels of the organization. Given the immediate protests this proposal evoked from rank-and-file leaders and Scouts, a decision on this unfortunate matter has been delayed until the May annual meeting.
I understand your profound disappointment in this great organization, after all you accomplished to obtain your Eagle rank. I share that disappointment as your former Scoutmaster, and many years in other leadership positions with the BSA.
A decade ago, when you first joined my Cub Scout Pack, I wrote the BSA’s National Executive Board about concerns regarding advertisers in the Cub and Boy Scouting magazines. The great Scouting stories were wrapped in ads for junk food and video games.
I was struck by the fact that on the one hand, we, as leaders, were charged with encouraging our boys to develop healthy habits for life – and on the other hand, the national organization was serving them a monthly dose of junk food and video game advertising.
The BSA responded that without those advertisers, it would be difficult to fund their glossy publications. I rebutted that this was a “Faustian bargain,” that it conveyed the wrong message in every respect. I heard nothing more from the BSA.
Fast forward to the BSA news this week. In light of all the reports and litigation over the abusive predation on boys by homosexual adults in leadership positions with churches and other organizations, the notion that the BSA is considering lifting its ban on homosexuals holding such positions is mind numbing, stupefying – in fact, shocking.
While all homosexuals are not molesters of teens and pre-teens, where same-sex molestation occurs, homosexuals are almost always the perpetrators. So, why would the national BSA board consider a motion to remove its restrictions on homosexual members and leaders?
Well, for much the same reason the BSA advertised junk food and video games in its national Scouting magazines. Several corporations have pulled their support for the BSA because of their sexual orientation policies, including Intel, Merck and UPS. Verizon is now being pressured by homosexual advocacy groups to withhold its support. The national BSA board includes a few wealthy corporate executives, who appear to be more interested in dictating BSA policy that comports with their corporate bottom line than with the mission of Scouting. They are completely out of touch with rank and file Scouts and leaders across the nation.
Indeed, much of the pressure to put homosexuals in leadership roles is coming from two national board members: James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young, and Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, who is slated to become president of the BSA national board in 2014.
Despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the BSA’s ban on homosexuals in 2000, these BSA board members are endeavoring to force their social agenda on 3.6 million Scouts and adult leaders. They want Scouting to comply with their corporate policies, which have adopted the homosexual agenda under pressure, primarily from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the so-called “Human Rights” Campaign.
While homosexuals account for fewer than 3 percent of the population, they have some very loud advocacy organizations. But, there is nothing “gay” about Gender Disorientation Pathology.
The BSA also excludes avowed atheists from leadership positions, but David Silverman, president of American Atheists, said, “If they are considering lifting the ban on gays, that’s a good thing. I would hope they remove the rest of the bigotry and admit atheists as well.”
Last summer, the BSA committee charged with conducting a two-year national study and survey on the restrictions against homosexuals, affirmed by “unanimous consensus,” that upholding those restrictions was “absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts.” (Did they really need a two-year study to figure that out?) But now, a few corporate execs are attempting a policy end run around the local councils and all of us who are Scouting’s foot soldiers, and they hope for a quick sweep of the board.
So what will be the consequences if the national board approves of this measure in May?
The national BSA restriction against homosexual members and leaders has provided a cover policy for the 290 BSA Councils across the nation, and the more than 115,000 religious and civic groups under which BSA Troops are chartered. Abandoning this restriction will move the cultural battlefront to the front door of every council and troop across the nation – including their sponsors and chartering organizations, and fracture the organization at every level. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
In short order, those of us who have devoted so many years to the BSA’s outstanding character-building programs, will be labeled “intolerant bigots” if we do not comport with the “gay agenda.” Likewise, every chartering and sponsoring organization will be threatened with such labels.
The BSA celebrated its centennial in 2010, but if this proposal is approved, Scouting, as we know it today, will cease to exist. Case in point would the Scouts Canada, the Canadian counterpart to the BSA. When their national board reversed their policy on homosexuals, membership plummeted by 50 percent.
Obviously, a few elitist corporate types on the BSA’s National Executive Board hail from some alternate universe. The mere suggestion of lifting the restrictions against homosexuals, particularly in leadership positions, is an insulting affront to the vast majority of Scouts, Scout leaders and parents, Scout Councils and chartering organizations.
The National Board should provide cover fire for their local affiliates, not spotlight them as targets for infiltration and annihilation. If the BSA Board is more devoted to its corporate sponsors than the organization’s mission, and fears it will collapse without those sponsors, then let it fall with honor rather than decline in disgrace.
Finally, in this era when few of our national leaders abide by their oaths of office, I know you will stand firm in the oath you took upon becoming a Scout, and repeated many times on the road to your Eagle rank: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”
And what is the Scout Law? “A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.”
I know you will always honor your Scout oath, as you will your oath to “support and defend” out Constitution. Hold your ground young man!
Note:If you have an opinion on this matter, please contact the Chief Scout Executive, Wayne Brock by email (Wayne.Brock@Scouting.org) or phone (972.580.2000). You can also respond to the BSA’s national poll at 972-580-2400 and leave them a message here (http://www.scouting.org/ContactUs.aspx To call select board members directly, click here for their phone numbers.)
Postscript 01FEB: By way of followup to my Letter to and Eagle Scout, if you are one of those who is “mixed” when it comes to opinions on the homosexual agenda, the strongest words against this BSA proposal would be Obama’s endorsement of it: “I think that, uh, you know, my attitude is, is that gays and lesbians should have, uh, access, and, and, opportunity, uh, the same way everybody else does, uh, in every institution and walk of life, and, um, you know, the, the scouts are a great institution, uh, that, are [sic], uh, promoting, uh, young people and exposing them to, uh, you know, opportunities, and, and, leadership, uh, that, you know, will serve people, uh, for the rest of their lives.” (For the record, the most distinct “poker tell” which betrays Obama’s efforts to deceive, is his prolific use of “uh” when he is telling a lie that is not scripted from a teleprompter. Additionally, he was turning his head back and forth as to say “no” when answering “yes” to on this issue.) After the national protest from BSA rank and file leaders and members, I would like to believe the BSA board will defeat the proposal to remove its proscription against avowed homosexuals. But then, as is often the case with national government, religious and civic “leadership,” most are insulated from the those they, ostensibly, serve. Consequently, too often their actions are wholly inconsistent with the positions of their constituents – on the arrogant assumption that they are much wiser than grassroots Americans. Thus, if the BSA board passes this measure, and straps the responsibility for enforcing this restriction on Councils nationwide, then every Council, chartering organization, Troop, sponsor, donor, and even Scout, will become subject to being labeled “bigots” by homosexual advocates in their Council area. Even if just one homosexual protests against a Council, that will be trumpeted in the local media, and the result will be a challenge to every organizational and support level of that Council. For the record, over the past four years, Barack Obama has been signing Eagle certificates, even though for the first three of those four years, he opposed homosexual marriage and open homosexual military service. Last year, Obama reversed his position on both counts. That leaves one to question from whom does the BSA national board take its orders…? Some have suggested if the BSA board passes this measure to shift the burden to local Councils, Scouting as we know it will be over in a decade. I must respectfully disagree – it will be over in a year, not ten…