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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An Overview of The Golden Book of Scouting
Over the weekend, I dug out The Golden Anniversary Book of Scouting by R. D. Bezucha, Golden Press, 1959. My
brother and I had received the book from friends of the family in August of 1962; I was but 12 years of age.
In the Book of Scouting, I find BSA was incorporated 8 February 1910 [P. 14], under the laws of the District of
Columbia [P. 24]. On 15 June 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law "An Act to incorporate the Boy
Scouts of America and for other purposes" [P. 67]. In addition to federal incorporation, the Act apparently
provides protection "against encroachment and commercialization," by granting exclusive rights to the
name, Boy Scout insignia and uniform [Id.].
The book's index contains no reference to homosexuality, nor could I find any in the 165-page work. Requirements,
at least for Boy Scouts (as distinct from Cub Scouts or Explorers), seem to be limited to age, gender, and satisfaction
of Tenderfoot training and tests.
Implicitly throughout, and sometimes explicitly, Scouting is said to be "for all boys" [P. 138-9 (copy
attached)]. At least in its first fifty years, Scouting had no difficulty attracting numbers of youth. Not content,
though, with mere numbers, apart from diversity; the Boy Scouts established outreach programs to recruit rural
youth, African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and even the handicapped--before there was any legislation
requiring the Scouts to admit them!
If, forty years after the Book of Scouting, there is now a singular exclusion for gay youth; surely this is contrary
to everything the Boy Scouts stood for in their first half century in this land. Thus, as Burke would argue, our
task is incomparably easier. We need only hearken back to an earlier day, before the organization "got off
track." Far from being contrary to Scouting's
principles, "inclusion" is indeed its first principle.
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