What started out as a marathon YouTube session has ended with me once again having to pull out my soapbox. I found a video about Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell removed from Boy Scouts for being gay.
Tyrrell was removed as den leader of her sonís Scout den after the national office learned that she was a lesbian. She fought back and, as of this writing, has 260,507 signatures on the website www.change.org. She wants the policy changed.
And so do I. But whatís behind the petition? Is she letting the Boy Scouts of America know that the organization is out of touch with 21st-century America, or is she attempting to exercise some form of political power? Is she asking they change or trying to force their change?
America was built on the free marketplace of ideas, as well as businesses. The good businesses thrive, and those whose patronage doesnít satisfy the bottom line donít. Ideas are the same way.
Good ideas thrive, and bad ideas become as relevant as Betamax. Since 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has done things a certain way that conformed with a certain zeitgeist. I contend that zeitgeist is changing, and in order to be relevant, so must they.
The fact is, the Boy Scouts of America is a private organization and can discriminate based on whatever criteria it decides. You canít force them to do anything, and neither should you be allowed to. Just like you canít force the person who swears Elvis is still alive to accept a different position.
What you can do is voluntarily sever all ties with them. Which is what I would highly encourage. I was a Boy Scout from Tigers to Star Scout (I got a job, so I didnít make it to the last two stages), and there are good things and bad things about them. I enjoyed some of the outings, and I feel confident I could survive in the woods if I had to. I didnít like getting up at 7 a.m. to go to a mess hall to eat bad eggs.
So, in this open, free market of ideas, create a competing organization that is more tolerant. Teach the youngsters how to survive in the woods, and tolerance. Teach them about the realities of life and that some people are different, and thatís OK. But, for Peteís sake, teach them how to cook better eggs.
Nicholas Van Gorden, Waldorf