The Impending Scouting Civil War
The first shots of an impending civil war within America's largest Scouting organization were fired by Mount Diablo-Silverado Council near San Francisco in California today. The "Gay Ban" by the Boy Scouts of America has driven its first council to "directly challenge" and will recommend that California Boy Scout Ryan Andersen be allowed to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, according to Reuters today.
Ryan Andersen, Mount Diablo-Silverado Council
Read the whole story about this challenge at ABC
If this does not wake up National Council and Scouting executives around the country, we are in for a ridiculously long struggle. This issue, along with a litany of other issues pertaining to equality in Scouting, is enough to organize entire regions against national policies. It is at this time that BSA Councils around the nation should align themselves by making policy statements of their own. With this new found drive, councils and districts, and indeed troops, must take great strides in declaring their stance in this gathering storm. It may be time for councils to make many of their own decisions. In an era with a growing divide in our country over social issues, one national policy controlled by social conservatives will not bode well for the survival of a once great organization. Scouting was never intended to serve as the moral compass of the nation.
So here it begins. Councils, districts, troops, scouts, and scouters: come out on the issue. Should the BSA not alter its policies in order to appease their social conservative base, then secession it shall be. There must be solidarity among scouts with the moral drive to fight discrimination and bigotry. As things develop, it may not come to that point, but let it be known that should ignorance prevail in the current Scouting program, my flag will be one of the first to transfer, but first let us see the Councils stand up and secede if they have the constitution for it.
Darrell Rivers, Eagle Scout 2007
Previous Article: An End to Gay Discrimination in Scouting
Illustration: Frederic Church, Our Banner in the Sky, 1861. Courtesy Olana.