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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 1, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 5
Scout board earns merit badge for BS
Section One
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Scout board earns merit badge for BS

by Mark Segal - Philly.com

Is there a Boy Scout merit badge for bullshit? If not there should be, and the first recipient of it should be the BSA's National Executive Board.

And the second should be the LGBT activists and writers who were gushing all over themselves without having the least bit of concrete information. Here's the down and skinny:

The Boy Scouts leaked to NBC News that the National Board is considering lifting its 100-year, controversial ban on Gay scouts and scout leaders. Leaking a story like that is what's known as a trial balloon. It's good politics to gauge public reaction, which was positive.

But did you notice there were no details? As your parents always told you, that's where the devil is. In this case, these details are very sinister. They're all about money and shifting it around.

As the discrimination of the Boy Scouts became more and more controversial, and they continued to slam their heels into the dirt by sticking to an unpopular policy of tossing out Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, mothers of Scouts who are Lesbians, and even Eagle Scouts, corporations began to drop their funding.

How serious is that problem? Well, the Boy Scouts have corporate leaders on its board who fund them and whose companies have nondiscrimination policies. Those CEOs have pledged to work to end the ban.

Translation: If you don't change the policy, I'm outta here, and my checkbook is going with me.

THE STICKING POINT
Here's the fun part, still sinister. The LGBT activists and writers who are claiming victory haven't read the small print.

The Board will state that each chapter will be given the right to decide its own policies on ending the ban or not ending the ban.

So, what's wrong with that?

Seventy percent of BSA chapters are sponsored by either Mormon or Catholic congregations. So in reality, the Scouts have merely shifted the controversy from their own front door to thousands of localities, setting up a city-by-city battle.

This may be a good thing for big, progressive cities, but what about the rest of the nation?

And here's another thing: they can do this without ever admitting that it is wrong to discriminate. Now they simply say it's up to the chapters themselves, with no culpability for what they've done, or how their policies have ruined lives.

So the reality is, the head honchos might change a minority of chapters nationally and escape the glare of the media spotlight.

But those 70 percent of troops sponsored by the Mormons and Catholics - can you see them changing anytime soon?

Do you remember the vast support the Mormons gave to stop marriage equality in California? And do you remember that as the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was busy closing their schools in Philadelphia, they had enough money to send $50,000 to New England to fight against equality?

As mother always said, the devil is in the details.

Mark Segal can be reached on Facebook at MarkSegalPGN, or on Twitter @PhilaGayNews.

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