When Rosa Parks sat down in the front of that bus she was fighting a war the best way she knew how – with opposition and determination. She took a stand against many much more powerful than herself. She took a stand against a government that was losing ground with the vast majority of people. In the end, that war was won. While the civil rights movement might seem like ancient history to a new generation, it sadly is still being fought in this country and around the world. EVERY. DAY.
Only now, it isn’t the color of your skin that is fueling the fight against the coexistent of our differences (although one would be naive to think that fight is completely over) – it’s one’s sexual orientation. It seems everywhere you turn nowadays the main issues on everyone’s mind are gay marriage, Proposition 8, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, same-sex child abuse cases, companies that financially support anti-gay groups, companies that financially support pro-gay groups, and whether to allow openly gay individuals be part of long-standing organizations like the boy scouts or the military.
The recent decision made by the Boy Scouts of America has me wondering not only when society’s practice of needing to classify and crucify a group will end but when those in power will stop forcing their individual beliefs on corporate policy. When do we put our energy into working together and accepting people’s differences to create a world noticeably better for us, our children and their great-great-grandchildren.
The Boy Scouts, on their website, claim to teach children “affirmative values such as fairness, courage, honor, and respect for others”. Isn’t that a bit hypocritical to then deny those who have the courage to be open about who they are, the honor to respect themselves and tell the truth about how they chose to live their lives? How is denying membership to a select group of people, based on traits they quite possibly acquired at birth, teaching children fairness towards those who are different from them? Ignoring any group of people is not a show of respect.
Next, boys with red hair might not be allowed in. Quick, moms, start dying your children’s hair and tell them to be ashamed of who they are and what they have to offer the world.
I am baffled that this is even an issue for the Boy Scouts. Do they think by not allowing children to associate with openly gay people they will “save” their children from becoming gay by association? Do they fear that openly gay people are the primary child molesters in this country? Newsflash – when was the last time you heard a case about an openly gay person committing sex crimes on a minor? It’s the people who hide their true identities that you should be worried about. Those are the ones who need to sneak into bathrooms and basements, creating situations to be alone with children, to carry out their fantasies.
I recommend the Boy Scouts of America change their name. Maybe Boy Scouts of the Straight America Only. They do not represent America. They now publicly verified that they only represent those Americans who have a specific sexual orientation.
Personally, I would never allow my child to be part of an orgazation that teaches intolerance. I have to agree with a former male colleague of mine, who is also a minister and father of a daughter – “That’s why I’m a girl scout!” I might even buy a few extra boxes of cookies this year.