I know it’s not news to most of the readers here that the Boy Scouts of America is a bigoted organization. If you’re gay or atheist, they want nothing to do with you.
But it always helps to have a reminder.
Ryan Andresen just accomplished all the requirements needed to become an Eagle Scout. He’s not going to get the award, though, because the BSA doesn’t think he deserves the honor:
Andresen recently “notified his unit leadership and Eagle Scout Counselor that he does not agree to Scouting’s principle of ‘Duty to God’ and does not meet Scouting’s membership standard on sexual orientation,” Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, told NBC News in a statement. “While the BSA did not proactively ask for this information, based on his statements and after discussion with his family he is being informed that he is no longer eligible for membership in Scouting.”
The BSA is a private organization. If they want to be homophobic and God-centric, they have every right to do that.
But public schools shouldn’t give them space to recruit members, the government shouldn’t give them taxpayer money, and the rest of us shouldn’t give them any respect.
That’s not to say people like Andresen did anything wrong. In fact, he did everything right. He’s the role model in all this.
Yet, after a decade spent doing everything the BSA wanted him to do, the Boy Scouts would do well to learn some lessons from Ryan. They would become a better, more inclusive organization if they did.