Edwin George, Ph.D., Eagle Scout, Sends a Strong Message to Members of the BSA: Support Scouting
in America by Taking a Stand Against It's Policy of Discrimination
Today I received a letter in the mail from Beasley Reece, Sports Anchor at KYW-3 TV in Philadelphia, and Executive
Board Member of the Cradel of Liberty Council, BSA.
Addressed to "Fellow Eagle Scouts," Reece's letter indicated that as an Eagle Scout, he has always been
thankful for the great times he had in Scouting and "for the skills that Scouting taught me that have served
me well all my life." His letter continues by telling me how he feels it is important to give back to the
program that taught him so much.
I strongly agree and commend him for this position!
Mr. Reece continues his letter, stating that "many challenges have been made recently to the core values
Scouting has had during the past 90 years. The Supreme Court ruling last spring has caused an ongoing firestorm
that has resulted in the loss of thousands of dollars of our corporte and individual contributions.... That is
why I need your help."
Yes, you do need my help. And the best way I can help now is to donate $100.
However, I'll be donating this amount to the Scouting For All (http://www.scoutingforall.org/) organization - NOT
the Cradle of Liberty Council - and will be doing so for the exact reason Mr. Reece asks me to give to the Council
- to give back to an organization that has taught me so much. It is clear to me that I can best "give back"
to the BSA by assitsting the organization pledged to help Scouting end its discriminatory and un-Scoutlike policy.
The BSA indeed played a huge role in shaping who I have become as an adult - including the values which tell me
that the Boy Scouts of America are dead wrong when it comes to their policy regarding gay scouts and leaders.
Further, knowing that "A Scout is Reverent," as a member of the United Church of Christ (http://www.ucc.org/),
my religous teachings are in conflict with the position taken by the BSA ( http://www.ucc.org/news/record/pastoral.html).
I ask you, how should I reconcile the morals of my religion, which teaches me that homosexuals are just as "morally
straight" as heterosexuals, and the morals of Scouting, which suddenly advocates that this is not the case?
The United Church of Christ ordains gay and lesbian ministers to serve its 1.4 million members - are you really
suggesting that these ordained ministers are not good role models for Boy Scouts? I find this impossible to believe.
Mr. Reece and the Board Members of the Cradle of Liberty Council, I ask instead that you join the growing number
of Scouts, Troops and Councils across the country to take a stand against the National BSA policy. It is morally
wrong and it is NOT what I believe to be the true meaning of the Scout Oath and Law. As the third largest council
in the country, I urge you to follow the lead of the country's smallest council, the Piedmont Council of California,
which recently sent letters to its scouts and their families explaining that it opposes discrimination based on
religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. ( http://www.scoutingforall.org/news/viewnews.cgi?newsid970991830,65188)
Although I no longer live within the region served by the Cradel of Liberty Council, it is the council I would
directly support, if I could. I earned my Eagle Scout rank here in 1985, and had remained registered in my troop
as a symbol of my support. (My father, in fact, continues to serve as troop treasurer - he is now in his 20th
year in this position.) After the Supreme Court ruling, however, I have asked that my membership no longer be
renewed. I do this as a personal protest to the morally wrong position taken by National BSA and supported, at
least implicitly, by the Cradle of Liberty Council.
I have already donated $100 to the Scouting for All movement. I truely hope that this additional gift of $100,
as a direct result of your request for my support, helps bring and end to the un-Scout-like and immoral policy
of banning gays from the Boy Scouts of America.
Edwin J. George, Ph.D.
Eagle Scout, Class of 1985
7240 Coolidge Road
Fort Myers, FL 33912