I have debated writing this for several days because it's one of those topics. But I can't get it out of my head. I know that I'm going to anger and offend some people with my opinions, but that is what they are: my opinions. I am not writing this in order to stir up controversy or drama or fighting or anything else - I'm writing it because I need to get it out of my head.
All that I ask from you is that if you want to comment, please be respectful. Everyone has opinions. Everyone's opinion is right - to them. Just because you may not agree does not give you the right to be disrespectful to anyone.
Which brings me to the subject matter at hand.....
I don't remember when the subject came up for me, but I believe it was last summer sometime. The opportunity to enroll Alex in Boy Scouts presented itself. I didn't think much about it - I mean, come on, it's Scouts. Teaching boys how to camp and be respectful and all sorts of good stuff. What could be bad about that, right?
I admit that I was pretty oblivious about some things - and now, I so wish that I had done some research.
But I didn't. I went by my own preconceived notions and beliefs and we got started in Scouts.
He has had a blast. I have had a blast. He's in with a great group of kids and adults. He's already gotten to do a lot of really fun stuff and he's learning. All in all it's been a very positive experience for him.
However, the controversy surrounding Scouts has me more than a little concerned. And upset.
In case you haven't heard, the BSA is talking about lifting its ban on homosexual members - boys and adults.
Lifting a ban on homosexuals? Are you serious?!?!?! You can't be serious.....
Are you telling me that I enrolled my son into an organization that BANNED homosexuals?
I. am. mortified.
And I am angry.
For whatever reason, I didn't know that Scouts had this ban. I seriously didn't know. I should have known, but I didn't. Had I known, Alex wouldn't be in Scouts in the first place. I assumed that since it was 2012, discrimination against any group of people wouldn't be an issue. I just went back and read through the paperwork that I signed when he joined - nothing in the paperwork says "you must be straight". It says something about following the "Declaration of Religious Principles" which I didn't even know existed until tonight.
And without quoting and getting all sorts of technical about it, basically the Declaration says "Hey, we're a religious organization, but we don't dictate what religion you follow. If you don't belong to a church, we assume that your parents are teaching you about whatever religion you choose to follow. If you do belong to a church, we assume that you follow the rules of that church."
OK, so the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. So theoretically....if you're following any sort of Christian religion, you shouldn't be gay. I get that.
But the last time I checked, Christians weren't supposed to judge each other, either.
I go to church almost every week. I was raised Methodist, and that's the kind of church that we go to simply because that's where I'm comfortable. I don't claim to be a Christian, because even at 42 years old I'm still not sure what to believe. I do believe that there is something way bigger than I am out there but whether it's "God" or "something else" - I haven't figured that part out yet. Regardless, I don't have a problem with religion in general.
(For the record - the older three kids also attend a Baptist church with their father, and Alex occasionally goes to his stepmother's church, but I'm not sure what denomination that is. If I felt that my religious views superseded all others, my kids would not be attending other churches.)
I do not believe that ANY religious views should overrule others. None.
What I do believe is that no person - regardless of religious affiliation - has the right to judge another person.
No one has the right to discriminate against another person.
My children will NOT be taught that it is ok to judge or discriminate against anyone for any reason. My children have always been and will always be taught love, acceptance, and tolerance. They will be taught that it is ok to stand up for what they believe in and that it's ok to stand up for others who are being discriminated against for any reason.
I do not want to pull Alex out of Scouts. I really don't. I think that the experience is a good one for him. But if this ban is not lifted at both the national and local levels, I don't feel that I have a choice. I can't teach my children that judging others is wrong if we are participating in an organization that does exactly that.
How can BSA teach these young boys about honor and respect for others when they aren't modelling the same behavior as an organization?
|Found on Google Images|