Tue Feb 5, 2013, 02:15 PM
kaiden (1,307 posts)
A Boy Scout Tale: Acceptance and Assholes
My grandson was born with “congenital anomalies,” which is a nice way of saying everything got screwed up in utero. Last year, a group of parents with special needs children petitioned the Boy Scouts to allow them to have a scout troop just for these special kiddos. Here is an email thread from just last week:
Pack 115 Meeting will begin promptly at 6:30pm and we will begin the process of Pinewood Derby Cars! Please see the attached flyer and distribute to as many people as you can!
Thank you to the new parents that attended our informational meeting last night. It was great to meet you and hope to see you again!
Yours in Scouting, ****
it is with regret that I send this, but I will do so in order to make sure no one is depending on me to do something that Iwillnot be doing. With National Headquarters' announcement of the change to embrace homosexuals as leadrs and members of the BSA, I immediately resigned from all assignments and commissions in the BSA. I don't want any of you depending on me to do something that I will not be doing. I cannot feign wholehearted support for any organization that I no longer wholeheartedly support.
So sorry it came to this!
I don't believe we've met, and this email may have been sent to me in error. However, I do feel compelled to respond.
I have an 8 year old son who lives with severe disabilities related to a chromosomal disorder that is so rare, he is the only known case at this time. Despite his many limitations, several people in Denver-area Scouts were willing to think outside of the box, make exceptions to usual policies, and set up a new Pack that was able to meet the needs of my son. We're a pretty unique group; we got rid of snack time because all of the kids had feeding tubes. We take breaks for diaper changes and breathing treatments. We use picture symbols and sign language. We accommodate everyone. My precious child can be seen at our meetings licking the windows, dumping out bags of glitter, rolling on the floor and filling his socks with stickers. He has also learned how to tie a lasso, make a parachute, hammer a nail, and set up a tent. He beams as he recites the Cub Scout Promise, and dances as he leads the Pledge of Allegiance. He leaves Scout meetings with wide eyes, informing me proudly that he has "friends" now. Surely anyone at Scouts would agree that this makes the extra work that our pack requires worthwhile- because every child deserves to have these experiences, even children who are different.
With that in mind, I am curious as to why my genetically-different child has been so welcome in Cub Scouts, but you are for some reason threatened and oppositional to including children who might be gay (which has been repeatedly proven to also have a genetic basis). Do boys who are gay not also have a right to the experiences that my son has enjoyed? Do you really think that a child who is gay would somehow pose a threat to other children in Scouts? I allow my son to attend school with 8-year-old girls, and I am generally not very concerned that they're going to try to have sex with him- it seems unlikely that the gay 8-year-old boys are, either. Or is the problem that you are still living in a century in which homosexuality is considered contagious?
I for one am elated to learn that people who are gay are going to be welcomed into Scouts. After children with disabilities, children who are gay are the second most likely group to experience bullying in schools, and the best place for these boys is in an organization that seeks to foster confidence and self-esteem. As for gay adults in Scouts: my son can't tie his own shoes, but he is smart enough to know that choosing his role models should have nothing to do with sexuality. It just doesn't matter to him, or to me.
If you are looking for other ways to exercise your right to prejudice, take heart! The Scouts will still, in many cases, allow you to discriminate against females, transgendered individuals, and Atheists. However, if you insist upon spewing hatred that extends beyond those particular groups, I do hope you are able to find another organization that might welcome your bigotry. I hear the KKK is hiring. Children like mine are an easy target too, so feel free to blow off some steam at our next meeting by telling short bus jokes or throwing out the R-word (but wear a mask in case we have any of those contagious gays). Unfortunately I'm fresh out of puppies for you to kick, but we can keep in touch.
In earnest: thank you for your resignation. These children have it hard enough without being judged and held back by people like you.
NOT sorry it came to this,
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Replies to this discussion thread
A Boy Scout Tale: Acceptance and Assholes (Original post)
Response to kaiden (Original post)
Tue Feb 5, 2013, 02:21 PM
d_r (4,804 posts)
1. Kaiden that is a wonderful letter
The person who sent that reply went off half-cocked anyway. They wrote "With National Headquarters' announcement of the change to embrace homosexuals as leadrs and members of the BSA." FIrst of all, a decision still hasn't been made or announced. Second of all, all that is being discussed is allowing local units to make their own membership decisions. So this person isn't exactly circumspect.
Response to barbtries (Reply #3)
Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:03 PM
kaiden (1,307 posts)
4. Oh, not my letter -- a mother's letter whose son is best friends with my grandson.
She did send it to him. It makes me so proud that parents of special needs kiddos care for ALL children.