Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Dirty Secret

I am the leader of a local chapter of what I have come to learn is viewed in many circles as a disgusting, despicable organization. Just plain evil.

The organization used to be chartered by the high school PTA. It was dropped several years ago without notice.

People who find out I’m involved suggest we change the organization’s name so that it’s not recognized as a local chapter of the larger organization.

I should feel dirty, cheap, even ashamed.

Skinheads? KKK? The Taliban?

Nope, nope and nope.

I’m the Cubmaster of Monkey Boy’s Cub Scout Pack.

There, I said it.

I bet the FBI has been alerted and I’m no doubt under double secret investigation in 14 states.

Look, I’m a very liberal person. Somehow, in some way, I’ve come to learn to be respectful and tolerant of people with differing views than my own. Could have been due to my East Coast college education. Could have been genetics. In either case, I know that there are times that my opinions and perspectives may be very different than this country’s majority (heck, I learned that when I thought it was a sure thing that Dubya would not be re-elected). I still get to live here even though I didn’t vote for the guy.

To hear some people talk about the Cub Scouts, you’d think it was the Taliban farm team.

Yes, I know that Scouting’s main establishing organization is the church (one of several I believe). I also know that Scouting has taken some intolerant views with respect to sexual persuasion. I think the views are narrow minded and probably driven by ignorance and arrogance.

There are plenty of gay men with sons who are model fathers to their kids, model citizens and great role models. There are also plenty of straight men who are deadbeat Dads and criminals.

But when I learned tonight that someone in my community suggested that we change the name of our pack from Cub Scouts to the Outdoor Club, I wonder if we’ve gone too far.

As a national fundraiser, Cub Scouts sell popcorn. It is to Boy Scouts what cookies are to Girl Scouts. I’ve heard people refer to the product these kids sell as homophobic popcorn.

As far as I can tell, popcorn has no views on sexuality. And frankly neither do the Dads involved in our pack. We couldn’t care less.

Scouting is a fun, rewarding program that teaches boys a ton of different skills, offers leadership opportunities, provides a mechanism through which a 7 year old like Monkey Boy and his friends can perform service projects for the community.

Let’s not destroy or dismiss the organization simply because it hasn’t arrived in the 21st century yet. Heck, I read that some state like Louisiana still has a law on its books that makes it illegal to tie your alligator to a fire plug.

I can’t imagine the local cops issue many summonses for violating the law these days. The law just hasn’t caught up with the times.

I think in time, Scouting will catch up and allow any male without a prison record to be a scout leader. It’s bound to happen. It just may take some more time.

Frankly, I don’t care if you tie your alligator to the hydrant. As long as it doesn’t hurt me or mine, he can stay there all day.

He can even be a scout leader.

1 comment:

seemaxrun said...

Well. The problem is, by participating in and supporting an organization that ostracizes gays, members participating in and supporting that organization, regardless of their personal perspectives, silently condone the behavior. Tolerate the behavior. Pass it off as just an oh by the way. Just "not catching up with the times."

But it is not an oh by the way. It is not "just not catching up with the times."

A parallel would be me belonging to a club that ostracized Jews and saying, Oh well it is not a big deal, the club has just not caught up with the times. But --

This is not "just not catching up with the times."

This is fostering intolerance. Fostering bigotry. Tolerating both. And perpetuating both through participation that constitutes silent consent.

You would not like me much if I belonged to a club that did not allow Jews.

I'd ditch 'em.