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Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor

From Fox News:

Activist groups, including Scouting for All, urge President Obama not to accept the honorary Presidency of the Boy Scouts of America until they stop discriminating.

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Father Edward Correll, 2006 Recipient

I am as grateful as I can be for the opportunity to work for S4A, to helpextend compassion and alleviate fear, todissolve prejudice with education and tohelp securean opportunityfor a sizable group of people who are disenfranchised by that very prejudice and fear.

Grateful, indeed...but every single one of us is engaged in the same effort, and everyone at least as wholeheartedly as I. What's more, I am the new kid on the block. So many others have paid more dues than I with S4A.

But, Barry explained, "You are a priest...and no other clergyman has ever been willing to offer a public voice and show a public face for us and with us."

Well....I am still stunned, but not in such a way as to cap my gratitude toour Board of Directors and the membership of S4A whom they represent. No one, I am sure, enters S4A or any similar group expecting to win awards, but this unexpected citation is not, for me, an occasionfor bragging. It is most humbling to receive such a testimony of gratitude.

When I first told my parishioners that I was joining S4A, one of them stood to say, "This is what the Church should be expecting you to do." Amen! Her statement gave me a great deal of inspiration, and that inspiration has always been further encouraged by every email I have received from S4A, and by every encounter I have had with another member. I am so grateful to know you all, and so grateful to be working with you to affirm the human spirit and its limitless, generic and unconditional worth.

The dictionary definition of "priest" is: "one who offers sacrifice." In common parlance, only ordained clergy, especially in the sacramental Churches, are usually referenced thereby. That is shortsighted however, because the word "sacrifice" really means, "to make whole: to take that which is incomplete and perfect it; to take that which is broken and put it back together again."

So in the formal context, I stand at the altar with vestments on my shoulders and incense in my hand...but the truth is that all of us...ALL of us...are priests in the truest and most comprehensive way, because in our battle against bigotry we take the still uncompleted awareness of ourfearful fellows and attempt to perfectknowledge in the service of Truth; and we take the joy, the trust, the enthusiasm, which for so many have been broken by fear and hatred, and put them back together again in the love which always comes from the acknowledgment our common humanity.

That is a privilege of joy, not merely a duty of conscience, a "sweet but heavy burden" as the Church describes priesthood. The path is still long, and none of us can see when it will it end, but I do indeed thank-you for letting me walk with you.

Father Edward Correll




Scouting For All is not an alternative scouting program.
We are an education and advocacy organization reaching out to gay and nontheist youth and adults in our effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to rescind its exlusionary policy.

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