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Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor

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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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John Guthmann Indian Head Council Board of Directors member, Cub Master, and Eagle Scout says the BSA Should Be Decided by the Chartering/Sponsoring Organization and Scout Units

St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 13, 2001
345 Cedar Street, St. Paul, MN, 55101
(Fax: 612-228-5500 ) (E-Mail:

Summarized Article

John Guthmann Indian Head Council Board of Directors member, Cub Master, and Eagle Scout discusses in his op-ed piece the thumps and challenges facing the Boy Scouts of America. Scouting for over 90 years has helped children develop into mature and productive adults in our society. Though the BSA has been successful in facilitating the development of youth, it is facing criticism for its policy witch bans Scout leaders of different sexual orientations. Guthmann states it must be recognized that there is no common ground for one to address a debate that "threatens to tear Scouting apart." However, he states we can find common ground from the 12th point of the Scout Law, "A Scout is reverent," that on page 50 of the current edition of the BSA Handbook is described as "A scout is reverent towards God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others." The Scouting program consists of many religions that either support the Boy Scout's policy or disapprove of it. The conflicts of beliefs are apparent in the amicus briefs filed in the Dale case as one organizations stated "to promote the view that homosexuality is immoral is incorrect and ignores our beliefs and policies." Guthmann adds that any policy enforced by the BSA to either include or exclude homosexuals puts members in a position where they have "to choose between Scouting and their religious teachings." He recommends that the Boy Scouts of America allow chartering organizations choose leaders "in a manner consistent with both BSA policy and its religious teachings." Similarly, the BSA leaves the selection of leaders based on
gender up to the chartering organization.

The opinions in this piece represent the views of John Guthmann and not any organization affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America.




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