Friday, April 11, 2014

American Boy Scouts

Former  Boy Scout William van Druten has had it with Boy Scouts of America. He is encouraging other former Boy Scouts to speak out, return medals to BSA or otherwise protest BSA bigotry.
William van Druten, M.D., who founded Lake Superior Freethinkers, a chapter of FFRF in Duluth, Minn., was part of Troop 88, San Francisco. He sent a photo of himself to BSA pictured with his Eagle Scout medal and the words “ashamed.” Van Druten called BSA’s stance against nonbelieving members and its recent decision to reaffirm its stance against gay membership “a gross disgrace.” For van Druten, it will not be “once an Eagle, always an Eagle” after BSA ‘s reaffirmation to ban openly gay members. The discrimination against nontheists is apparently so entrenched BSA didn’t even bother to reaffirm it.
Van Druten recalled being “proud” when he earned his badge. “Nobody bothered us with what superstition we had or did not have, whether we were straight, gay, black, white, yellow or grey. We learned lashing, tenting, knotting, truth telling. We hiked the California coastal mountains, learned the trees, shrubs and birds. We backpacked the High Sierra. Yet now I discover that my youth’s delight is captured by bigots. So I am now ashamed of my badges and of my eagle award, too.”
Van Druten’s daughter, a high school teacher, wrote BSA that she will no longer be writing “recommendations for young men who are pursuing an Eagle Scout Badge. I will be telling them that there is nothing wrong with being gay, there is nothing wrong with being an atheist, and there is nothing wrong with being black. Yes, I equate them all. It is a hateful policy, and I refuse to help you perpetuate it.”

 “The Scouts had the chance to live up to their code. To set a good example for the youth of this country. Instead it chose the wrong path.”

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