If the Boy Scouts law was completely upfront...

I had a reminder of the Boy Scouts again today. It made me wonder what the Oath, the Scout Law, and what their Vision Statement would look like if they stated the practices of their private club more explicitly...

Something like this?


Peter Sean said...

When I was a Boy Scout it was generally understood that reverent meant something like a "belief in a higher power." Likewise, "morally straight" meant a lot of things including but not limited to "not having sex with other boys." For that matter "morally straight" went so far as to encompass chastity and celibacy.

If you are going to include a list of "nots" in your new definition, then perhaps you should include "not bestial", "not a grifter", "not a porn addict", "not a heroin addict", "not a polluter", "not a sadist", "not a dog fight enthusiast" etc. but then the list would get far too long.

I'm curious, though, is it your view that private associations should never be permitted to define the virtues that they think are important?

Calladus said...

Oh heck no. Private organizations should be allowed to set any rules they want to set!

The Boy Scouts could have a rule to disallow boys with an odd (or even) number of freckles if they wished! They're a private club - who is to say different?

But if they are discriminating against a portion of the population by excluding them from their club, then they should not get Federal money.

Think of it this way... instead of "Not a grifter" the Boy Scouts added, "Not Black". Because only non-blacks make good citizens.

Would that be okay?

Andy Hollandbeck said...

I think the point is that they need to be up-front about their exclusions. They don't claim to be a Christian organization, but they really are. There's nothing in the info they give to parents about excluding gays, but they do.

That said, the largest portion of what Boy Scouts do is controlled by the people who run the individual troops, and not all the adults involved in scouts are conservative, exclusionary Christians. There are plenty of adult Scout leaders who focus on what is best for the boys, regardless of what the main office says.

Calladus said...

Actually their bylaws are pretty upfront in that they say they are non-sectarian... in other words, any religion is good!

In practice, however, I would doubt they would allow a teen who was active in the Church of Satan join. It would be amusing to see them try.

There have been cases where the BSA has stripped legal standing from troop leaders and even entire troops for not following BSA rules.

If a troop stays "under the radar" they can get away with things the BSA would disapprove of. But if it starts making news for accepting gay kids or atheists, the BSA would be forced to act against the troop and/or the scout leaders of that troop.

Sort of like the BSA equivalent to "Don't ask, don't tell."