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'TIS THE SEASON
1 December 2006
If it's December, it must be time for my annual diatribe against the Boy Scouts of America...please note the distinction. Boy Scouts of America, not the International Scouting organization. We're the only country this stupid.
Each year the BSA puts up a Christmas tree lot in town and each year I write a letter to the editor explaining the BSA policies and encouraging people not to support the discrimination of the Scouting organization.
We've become the Hatfields and the McCoys of Christmas here in Davis. This year the newspaper even ran a front page story about the Scout Christmas tree lot, with snide comments by the head Scoutmaster in Davis saying that he loves the negative letters to the editor because it only improves his business.
Funny thing, but his wife and I used to lead a Scouting troop together. Those were in the days when there was no bigoted policy in the BSA, the days before the hierarchy was taken over by religious factions intent on bringing religious values in along with knot tying, first aid, and the Pinewood Derby.
I was a Scout leader in the 1970s, when there was no such policy. It was not until 1985 when the official policy made Scouting in the United States (the only country to hold such a policy) incompatible with agnosticism and atheism and to refuse membership to gay Scouts and to refuse to permit gay men or women to serve as Scout leaders. In some areas, the rule goes so far as to refuse membership to straight kids who have gay parents.
The Christmas tree lot here in town is the Boy Scouts' biggest fund raiser. It is to them what Girl Scout cookies are to the girls (Girl Scouts do not, by the way, discriminate or refuse membership to anyone).
I don't think I wrote my letter last year. It had started to seem like tilting at windmills. But then we had the case of the boy who was taunted at school all of last year because his fathers were gay, whose house was TP'd and egged, who was suggested to change schools to avoid the problem.
I decided I needed to write again, and so once more I took keyboard in hand and wrote...
I don't kid myself. This will marshal the supporters, the anti-gay bigots in town who will go out of their way to support the BSA, but perhaps someone who never thought about it quite this way will look somewhere else for a symbol of this season of peace and love.
In any event, whether it affects sales or not, perhaps it
gives a little jolt of guilt to people who want to support the local Boy
Scouts. Maybe they'll at least think about what discrimination does
to kids — and to all of us.
'Tis also the season for those obnoxious
Christmas Letters. What's more disgusting than someone writing an
annual Christmas letter? Someone writing an annual Christmas letter
and then posting it on line instead of mailing it out. Note that there
is a link to my Christmas letter in the left column. (Also note that
there is NOTHING in there that you have not already read, if you've been
paying attention all year!)
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PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2437