Breaking Up with the Boy Scouts.

July 24, 2012 at 12:21 am (Community, Faith, Kids) (, , , )

Last year my son became a member of his school’s Boy Scout pack. As a tiger cub, he ding-dong-ditched our parish priest, rode the city bus to get hot chocolate at a local coffee shop, played games, watched movies, made a Pinewood Derby racing car (New York Giants themed), and of course, camped out. He had an awesome time.

My husband is a terrific guy and an A+ dad. However, he’s not what I’d call an outdoorsman. He’s not going to take my son fishing or camping. He won’t teach him how to start a fire or recognize animal tracks. Those gifts aren’t in his bag of tricks. That’s okay – he has other skills. And we had the Boy Scouts…until recently.

Earlier this month, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its ban against gay members. As a result, I think my husband and I can’t in good conscience permit my son to continue to be affiliated with the BSA. And furthermore, I think maybe my school should consider whether or not they continue to have a pack. Here’s why.

This is from part three, section two, chapter two, article six, paragraph 2358 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “[People with “homosexual tendencies”] must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

Boy, the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay members seems to me like the very definition of unjust discrimination. You can’t belong if you’re gay. Period. So, I’m wondering…is the Boy Scouts of America organization a group that is not compatible with Catholic teaching?

I don’t pretend to be an expert, just your average, garden-variety Catholic mom trying to do the best she can…and trying really hard to live by asking, as goody-two-shoes as it sounds, the question “what would Jesus do?” So what would the Big Guy do? Hate on gay teens coming to terms with their sexuality and a large population that despises them? Strip them of their achievements and medals based on who they are? Tell them, in essence, “you’re not good enough, you will never belong?” Come on. Jesus didn’t hang with the popular kids. He kept company with the lepers, the prostitutes and the tax collectors. He preached love…not just love when it’s convenient.

So as much as we loved our pack and the honorable and dedicated men and women who ran it, it looks like we’re not going to participate in Boy Scouts this year. And it looks like I’m going to take my son camping.



  1. Janet said,

    You’ve carefully considered this issue and I admire your decision.

  2. Barbara Menefee Diamond said,

    I look forward to camping with you my friend!

  3. Amy Drew said,

    Thank you for giving me chapter and verse, Emma. I plan to approach our school about this.

  4. Beadgirl said,

    I can kinda sorta maybe see why the organization would want to ban gay troop leaders, even though I wouldn’t agree with the reasons. But why on earth ban gay kids? What good does that do?

  5. Nadine Haven said,

    Straight to the point and well written! Why can’t everyone else be like this?

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