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Scout Leader Finds The Courage Not To Remain Silent, Silence Just Colludes With The Bigotry of the Current Leadership Of The Boy Scouts of America


3/02

Ms Howard: (Letter to the Four Lakes United Way)

I'm forwarding a news release from the Scouting For All Organization, sent me by a social work colleague and fellow Boy Scout leader. In the wake of the recent community forum on funding the Four Lakes Council, I believe this release adds credence to the position that Four Lakes' United Way funding be suspended pending significant change at the National BSA level.

In January of 2002, I quietly resigned as an Assistant Scoutmaster of a local troop, following 20+ years of service with the BSA in their Cub and Boy Scouting programs in two differnet communities and two different councils. While I will acknowledge the influence of my own sons' aging out, I had always intended to remain on as an Assistant Scoutmaster, providing the time, expertise, and leadership needed at the troop level to help Scouts achieve their Scouting goals. However, the BSA National
decision to aggressively pursue their right of association, their active negative campaigning against people of other sexual and religious persuasions, and their refusal to consider alternatives convinced me that I could no longer participate as a member of the organization in any way.

The BSA's current actions mock their own Scout Law and Oath; there is nothing "friendly", "courteous", "kind", or, I would submit, "reverent" (given most religious faiths' tenets on tolerance) about the BSA actions. The "morally straight" argument is specious; I recall "straight" in the 1959 Cub Scout Oath ("...Be straight, and obey the Law of the Pack."); it had nothing to do with sexual orientation, and everything to do with honesty, forthrightness, and dependability, all qualities lacking in the BSA National position.

I strongly urge that funding for the Four Lakes Council be rescinded immediately. The local Council cannot, it seems, influence the National policy. Since it also cannot meet the Dane County United Way non-discrimination requirements, it's United Way funding must cease.

Thank you for your consideration of my position.

Neil O'Connor
Former Assistant Scoutmaster
Four Lakes Troop 47; Bay-Lakes Troop 21



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