Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Scout Is Friendly.

A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
-Scout Law

I have plans to write a series of blog entries here, detailing each of the principles of the Scout Oath and Law. However an online conversation tonight, where once again core Boy Scout values were called into question, prompted me to review this one tonight briefly.

Some would have society believe that the Boy Scouts are a discriminatory, bigoted, intolerant organization. The points of the Scout Law, if applied to daily life, prove otherwise.

Boy Scouts embrace all people, regardless of religion, faith, sexual orientation, ability, race, or creed. However, this does not mean that all can be Boy Scouts. Membership in the Boy Scouts must have some basic requirements for membership. Among these requirements are a faith in God, and a willingness to lead a morally clean life.

This last point is the cause of much contention, and many say it is exclusively about keeping those with same-gender attraction out of the Boy Scouts. When in reality, it is so much more. It includes being clean in thought and deed. Clean language, proscribing profanity, pornography, premarital sex to outline just a few points.

But this does not mean that Boy Scouts discriminate against those choosing not to adhere to those basic membership requirements. To the contrary. We embrace all people who are friends to Scouts. We serve them in the community, we partner with them in service and myriad activities. It just means they cannot be Boy Scouts.

I'll be writing more on this subject in the future, because there is much more to be said. But for now, the Scout Law says enough to those that will look at the scouts with understanding, rather than with prejudice of their own, "A Scout is a friend to all".

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