Believe it or not, I was a Boy Scout. I spent more time in Cub Scouts, I was only an actual Boy Scout for about a month and a half. Then it was Summer and I was getting older and got tired that kind of extra responsibility. I don't recall the full rules for how to be a Boy Scout but I believe you have to complete at least three ranks of Cub Scouts and be of a certain age.
Now, my friend Tim actually was a Boy Scout and I wish I had him here as a reference tool. The entire time I knew him in high school and even a little bit after, he was a Boy Scout. Some people may have thought he was a geek or nerd for doing it, but that's a level of dedication that goes above just a hobby and a level of knowledge that hundreds of thousands of people just fuckin' don't know. Sure, I could make a fire with two sticks if I needed to, but I can make a much better fire with matches and I know how to build a fire pit. I kinda know how to tie a bowline knot. I get it about half the time. It's such a good knot that the Navy and Air Force use it to tie down planes and fuckin' ships, man. A lot of people use it to hang themselves. I think it was the knot Quint was trying to teach Roy Schneider in JAWS.
I can't really put up a tent, though.
But the Boy Scouts of America has several... rules, we'll call them, that are, for lack of a better term, fucked up. As you can see right there in the Boy Scout Oath, on you honor you must do your best to do your duty to God and Country or else you're breaking Scout Law. Hmmm.
When I was in Cub Scouts, I was just an 8 year old kid, I was havin' fun with my friends, learnin' a few new things, wanting to get home in time to watch Alf. I was still a good kid who didn't try and rock the system, I didn't bother it and it didn't bother me.
But then one day, my Dad shows me an article in the paper where the Boy Scouts of some other local town wouldn't let two Jewish brothers join. Even had a picture of the two kids. He asked me to read it, tell him if I understood it.
Well what's wrong with Jewish people?
"They don't believe in God and Jesus the same way we do."
Whadda they believe?
"I don't really know all that they believe, but the Scouts don't want them to participate because they only want Christians to be a part of their group."
Is that us?
See? I didn't even know. Most kids, especially in the Cub Scouts, they don't understand that kind of political bullshit, because they're kids. See... this is just one aspect of the BSA's fucked upped-ness, religion. The BSA website says, and I quote, "The Scout Oath represents the basic values of Scouting and it addresses the 'Duty to God' before a Duty to Country, Others, or Self."
This has been slackened a bit over the years and I've found that many more Jewish children have been let into the Scouts. Maybe there was a lawsuit, I dunno. However, what I can find, is that the major majority of Scout packs across the United States do not allow children of atheists or agnostics, nor children of Islamic backgrounds who believe in Allah. I couldn't find proof of it, but I'm sure the same could be said of Hinduists, Buddhists, Taoists, Shintoists, Scientologists... anyone who doesn't believe in God the Father and most likely Jesus Christ as well.
When we had free time, we'd either play dodgeball or "Smear the Queer." Once our pack leader heard us, he said to stop saying "queer" and say something else, it wasn't a nice word, not one "loyal scouts" should be saying. I don't recall what we came up with, but we did. At the time, I didn't know what "queer" meant. I knew "gay" and I knew "faggot" but "queer" was just another insult. I mean, hell, I said "screw you" to a teacher one day 'cause I saw it in subtitles on TV. I didn't know what it meant, but it got a laugh on the show, so I figured she would think it was funny, too. I'm getting off point.
I don't think our Pack Leader was specifically targeting the word "queer" because he personally didn't like them or because the Boy Scouts do not allow gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transgendered people into the Scouts, not even just to work for them. He just wanted us to clean up our language. Regardless, once again, straight from the website horses mouth, "Homosexual conduct is not compatible with the aims and purposes of Scouting and that a known or avowed homosexual does not present a desirable role model model for the youth in the Scouting program."
Now... I'm not gonna sit here and click through all my past rants, but I believe I've spoken a little on this before and said that... I don't wanna call it "sexual deviancy" but there are some deviants out there and all of that crazy shit as well as bein' gay or a lesbo or bi or wantin' to change gender, I believe that ALL of that can come from either nature or nurture or a combination of both, but the fact is that the Scouts are these idiots that believe if you're around a gay person, it will turn you gay. It's simply not true. I promise you the first homosexual that walked the planet had heterosexual parents. These rules that keep gays and lesbians and whatnot out of Scouts are mostly in place so as not to have queer Scout Masters or Den Mothers. Don't want them "infecting" the youth of tomorrow. That's what TV is for. Regardless, the Boy Scouts of America will not allow children of same sex couples to join the Scouts.
So why is all of this? The religious shit, the anti-gay crap?
Well, originally, it was because the Boy Scouts were created in 1910. It celebrated it's 100th anniversary this February, it's centennial if you will. In the early 1900's, America was pretty bland. The founders, William Boyce, Ernest Thompson Seton and Daniel Carter Beard created a couple of small movements to make sure that young men were staying patriotic. With a little help from the YMCA and the Church of Latter Day Saints (more on them later) the three joined together and BOOM! The Boy Scouts of America was formed. And of course, they had certain old-timey ideals so they wanted every boy to be morally clean and straight laced as possible. That stayed basically the same for many years.
However, in the early-to-mid-70's and early 80's (I'm sorry, I can't find a specific year or anything, try as I might), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church, became the largest funding backer of the BSA. With this came a huge shift in attitude, a change of several rules and regulations, and a movement toward the conservative.
The Mormon Church sponsors at least 1 million of the roughly 5 million Boy Scouts that are currently active. Brigham Young University goes so far as to offer a cheap ass major in "Scouting." In April of 2000, Salt Lake City attorney Von G. Keetch filed a brief supporting the Scouts' ban on homosexuals saying that if the Scouts were forced to accept homos into their "club" or as Scout Masters, Church of Latter Day Saints would withdraw from the organization and take it's funding as well as 400,000 troops with it.
Wow. Man, I tell ya, I've met a few Mormons, mostly when they've been going door-to-door, and I liked'em they're nice and happy with their lives, but the people who run that joint are fuckin' assholes, man.
But it's not just the Mormons and it's not just the Boy Scouts and it's not just the nonreligious and the gays that they're fuckin' over.
See, you may be wondering what exactly put this bug up my ass. I don't see a lot of news like the Daily Show or anything so I check the Associated Press every other day or and about two weeks or so ago, I saw not one but two articles on the same day about the Boy Scouts. One about a troop in Philadelphia possibly losing the building they meet in and the other about an assistant Scout Leader (amongst others) who was a known pedophile, known even to his superiors in the BSA, and they hid this fact from the public to "protect themselves." More on those in a minute.
So obviously, the conservative right wing thought took over when the Mormons became the larges financial backer, and like I said, they're not the only ones. The Roman-Catholic Church, or at least the American Catholic League, is the second largest financier to the BSA. They believe that "God Hates Fags" as well. But when did all this fag bashing start?
In 1990 or so, an Eagle Scout named James Dale came out of the closet, kind of by accident, and the Boy Scouts kicked him out. So he sued them all the way to the Supreme Court. Fuckin' A. However, The results were not in his favor. The Supreme Court ruled that forcing the Scouts to allow a leader that was homosexual would convey the message that homosexuality is okay.
Well, duh. It is... if that's what you are, if it's what you want. Regardless, it's contrary to what the Boy Scouts of America teach. Well fine then. It's their club, their organization. They can do what they want with it. They can keep their private little fraternity to themselves and we won't be bothered.
There's always a catch, though.
Beside the Mormons and the Catholics, the BSA use public funding, IE, taxes, to run their programs. Since 1910, when they were founded as a "patriotic organization," they've been getting huge grants of government money, money that comes from your tax dollars based on a Congressional Charter. Money used to keep faggots and atheists and women the shit out of their troops. Also, the BSA gets use of Fort AP Hill, a military site, in Virginia for their Annual Boy Scout Jamboree. Rent? One dollar. I promise you, each troop pays a lot more than one dollar to go there. Over a thousand US Military Personal are dispensed to set up for the event. It costs the US Government over 5 million dollars to hold the event. I didn't go to any Jamboree, but we went to Oak Mountain and Tannehill several times, and our pack probably only had to pay either one dollar or nothing for the space we used. Each of us kids and our families that came had to pay a lot more.
That's not all. Across the nation, Scouts use public buildings for their meetings, public buildings that are either completely rent free or have an annual rent of just one dollar. Churches, schools, city halls even.
That's where my first article starts.
There's a site, Scouting for All dot org that talks specifically about how Scout meetings shouldn't be held in a lot of these buildings because they specifically have mandates or whatever against discriminatory organizations or meetings being held on those grounds. For instance, you couldn't hold your Klan meeting at the local elementary school, but Boy Scouts can meet there.
So I saw this article about how in Philadelphia, a group was trying to evict the Scouts from a group of buildings owned by the city, like a town hall, I believe, because the Scouts don't comply with Philly's anti-discrimination ordinance. The deal was that they either vacate and find a new place to hold their meetings, or, start paying rent.
Unfortunately, the movement to evict the Scouts or to make them pay for the space lost. I'm not exactly sure why, ask anyone with higher brain function and they'll tell you "THAT'S FUCKIN' CRAZY!!!" But I'm sure had the Scouts lost instead, they would've held up their Congressional Charter Flag and you don't have much choice after that. Something should be done about that... should but it won't, because although he's not signing any Eagle Scout certificates and is keeping them at arm's length as best he can, President Obama accepted the "honor" all Presidents have been given for the past 100 years since William Howard Taft, Honorary President of The Boy Scouts of America.
Now, as I said, the Scouts believe that being around homosexuals could feasibly turn their troops into homosexuals and that's why they don't allow gay Scout Masters. One of their other fears is pedophiles. Gay men and women have no more inclination toward pedophilia than straight people do, so that's completely not based in reality, however I do recall reading an article once that male pedophiles were more inclined toward boys.
Regardless, if the Scouts are so afraid of pedophiles being among their ranks (and I'm sure you know as well as I do how many times you've seen it in the news and how cases have been settled out of court), then why would they go to such great lengths to hide them?
This case involves one anonymous victim and thus far one former Scout Master, Timur Dykes, who has confessed to abusing 17 scouts. This information was known not only by his superiors in the BSA, but also by authorities in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I have to take a pause and say that the Girl Scouts of the USA is not currently affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America in any way beside being it's counterpart and being based on the original Scout Method.
Their Girl Scout Promise says, On my honor I will try to serve God and Country, to help all people at all times and to live by the Girl Scout Law, the Girl Scout Law being awful long and wordy, too much so to write for you here, but the real point is that the Girl Scouts allow you to replace the word "God" in the Promise with whatever you individually interpret according to your spiritual beliefs. It's like the argument for the Pledge of Allegiance, hell, you could say "Dog" and still finish the same.
I enjoyed Scouts, and if motivated properly, perhaps even forced to stick with it, it does create good habits in a young man and teaches him a lot of shit that like I said, most people don't know and really in today's age? Wouldn't ever know. You love to watch LOST but you sure as shit wouldn't survive on the island.
The Boy Scouts of America needs to be rearranged. They have to stop acting like a public organization when they want money and like a private organization when they want to exclude certain children or other peoples from their so-called "private club." Have you seen the episode Cripple Fight of South Park? It's memorable because it's the first episode with Jimmy in it and he and Timmy get into, duh, a cripple fight. But the episode focuses on Big Gay Al getting kicked out of Scouts. In the end, he says that he doesn't want to be let back in. It's the Scouts' right to exclude gays if they want to. I agree with that, it's just that they must become a completely private organization to do so, meaning that they start paying for the space they use, they stop using federal building and public schools. If churches want to support them, fine. But don't take our tax dollars and use it to support a cause I don't believe in.