Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Not Doing the Popcorn

Last Saturday afternoon, a den of Cub Scouts was selling popcorn outside H-E-B. I was once a Cub Scout, attaining the lowly rank of “Wolf” before dropping out in favor of not missing ABC's Tuesday night line-up.

While I always buy cookies from the Girl Scouts, I can’t bring myself to give money to an organization with policies banning gay people from leadership positions and banning atheists and agnostics from taking part in scouting altogether. I know this sort of overt discrimination doesn’t necessarily represent the views of everyone involved with the Boy Scouts of America, so I feel bad about withholding my support for what might otherwise be an enriching experience for boys. But I’d feel even worse giving tacit support to those policies.

4 comments:

booberrypancake said...

I feel the same way about the Boy Scouts. In fact, it's a topic I've chosen for my students to choose as the controversy they'll write about this semester.

I used to boycott the Girl Scout cookies because I felt that having a glorified bake sale as a way for girls to fund-raise reinforced gender roles. But the siren call of the Thin Mint is too strong for me to resist.

Anonymous said...

There is something about the Boy Scouts that makes me think of the Hitler Youth. Ick.

Georgina

Dan said...

How about you, Greg? Do you think this comparison to Nazism is apt?

Greg said...

In a country where uniformed children are not the norm (at least not yet), I can see how one would associate a bunch of boys in faux military garb with totalitarian youth organizations.

However, Hitler Youth was a co-opting of the scouting model for sinister ends and membership was mandatory, not voluntary. And even though I find BSA's discriminatory policies disgusting, I don't believe they actively promote hatred toward gays, atheists and agnostics among scouts.