Re: A Scout's Duty t...
Tue, 12 Jul 1994 19:02:44 EDT
Jim <JMillerJr@AOL.COM> writes:
Rick Busdiecker <email@example.com> wrote:
> The idea in Scouting is to promote tolerance of many cultures,
> beliefs, etc.
>I wholeheartedly agree. I hope for the time when BSA does as >many
>other Scouting organization have done: include the belief that there
>are no supreme beings among the `acceptable' beliefs which will be
"I see this pretty continually and it never ceases to aggravate me. There is
a world of difference between 'acceptance' and 'tolerance' and the two can be
mutually exclusive. Yes, Scouting teaches tolerance, but it also promotes the
idea that while we tolerate the behaviors and practices of others, we only
associate with those of similar character and ideals (I believe this is said
better in the Boy Scout Handbook under 'A Scout is Clean')."
Hmm, let's see now. My Handbook (1989 Printing, p. 8) says:
"A Scout is CLEAN. A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes
around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep
his home and community clean."
I really don't see any conflict between this and what Rick Busdiecker wrote.
"Tolerance (as in "live and let live") is a great thing to teach all young
people. It should help us all overcome the problems in society that cause
things like gay bashing and wrongful discriminatory practices."
But separating gay people (or others who we only "tolerate") sends the
message (intentionally or not) that there's something wrong, bad, inferior
about those people. After all, we associate with other clean people, so
people we don't associate with must not be clean, right?
"Blind acceptance of any group of people is a very bad thing to start
teaching at any age."
Blind banning of any group of people is _equally_ a very bad thing to start
teaching at any age.
Let's focus on how someone lives his/her life, rather than lumping them into
a group that we make assumptions about, or act towards in ignorance or
"Failing to teach the difference sounds to me like saying that the
Constitutional right to free association is an evil thing in and of itself."
Not at all; freedom of association is fine. But the anti-gay policy of BSA is
used to further promote intolerance and blind prejudice.
"Just because I am tolerant of the existance of a given part of society and
would do nothing to cause harm to came to them doesn't automatically mean
that I would invite them into my home, do business with them, or invite them
to join my personal friends at some event."
Fine, don't invite them into your home, and don't invite them to join you at
your events; with this attitude they probably wouldn't want your company
But don't deny the benefits of Scouting, the character building opportunity,
the leadership skills, the friendship, the challenges, the fun to youth
because of who they are. That's blatantly prejudice and discrimination, pure
And don't assume that someone has a character defect that precludes them from
Scouting leadership. Look at them for who they are and what they have to
offer and leave their private life alone.
Eagle Scout '80
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City