scouts-l Mail Archive for September of 2000: A Scout Is...
Anthony Mako (ajmako@NLS.NET
Thu Sep 07 2000 - 11:08:03 CDT
The Boy Scouts have been getting a lot of bad press lately. I know this
because every time an editorial is printed or a news item goes over the air,
I get a message in may inbox pointing me to a web site. There's a reason
this list has a rule about discussing the 3 G's (Girls, Gays, God), and it
should now be painfully obvious to everyone, even the newest members, why
that rule exists. It should also be painfully obvious that there is a reason
a great many of the more prevalent voices on this list have been silent of
late. There comes a time in any discussion where forward progress is no
longer being made. I'm afraid we've gone well past that point here.
Let me tell you just how important this discussion is to MY Scouting life.
Since the SCOTUS decision I have NOT been publicly attacked in uniform. I
have NOT been inundated with calls from parents demanding that I remove them
or their sons from my troop. I have NOT been asked to explain the BSA policy
by my Scouts. I have NOT been directed by my council, or National, to begin
routing out homosexuals. I have NOT been told by my city or state that we
cannot use their facilities. I have NOT experienced a drop in membership, or
difficulties recruiting. I have NOT been asked to change "my" policy by my
chartering institution. In short, Scouting hasn't changed one sliver.
Chances are pretty good, had the decision gone the other way, Scouting in my
local area wouldn't have changed one sliver either.
I, like many others on this list, live in what Washington likes to call
"middle-America." I live in a community that is predominantly middle-class.
A community where the overwhelming majority of families go to church, and
live their lives according to a set of values that are of primary importance
to them. Most of these families have more important things to worry about
than whether or not the BSA should accept homosexuals. They have mortgages,
food bills, medical bills, loans to pay off, and kids to look after. And
they worry about their kids a LOT. They worry about all the same things my
parents worried about when I was a kid. Some of those families look to me,
and people like me, to help them raise their kids, and teach them the values
they want them to have.
None of the right-wing/left-wing discussion on this list of late has been
helpful in doing my job as a Scouter. At times it has done a fine job of
drowning out other voices on other topics. It is now well past the time to
"agree to disagree" and move on to topics of more immediate concern (like
Webelos-2-Scout Transition, Open Houses, and all those other topics that
have been vying for space).
While I may be saddened by the recent "attacks" on the BSA, it takes only a
few seconds every Tuesday for me to be renewed. All I need do is look at the
faces of my Scouts to realize that Scouting will survive not only this
dilemma, but the next one as well. I know all they care about is having a
good time. I know their greatest worry is hiding a sudden outbreak of acne,
getting their homework done, or surviving the latest level of the latest
video game. Their greatest concern is whether or not they'll be able to get
everything done on the next campout. They remain blissfully unaware of the
"attacks" on the BSA and I'd prefer it stay that way.
A. J. Mako, Scoutmaster, firstname.lastname@example.org
Old Portage District, Great Trail Council