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  • I was once a Boy Scout and despite the many years and all of the memory impairing events in the interim, I can still quote the Boy Scout motto and rules perfectly.

    But now I say Shame! on the so-called Scout leaders that want to sustain the alienation of and prejudice against a whole group of people, gays.

    The oath says that as Boy Scouts we pledge, among other things, to be "morally straight." It says nothing about "sexually straight."

    The rules consist of being (by memory here), "Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent."

    I wonder, if a Scout - or any human being - is not all of these things (well, maybe back out obedient, thrifty and clean), how can one be a decent person to other people? If it turns out that someone in your troop (or life) is gay (or of color, or of a different faith, or, well, just different) does that mean it's okay to selectively dial down one's pledge to honor and practice these qualities?

    I believe that it's simply a matter of time until we see the demise of yet another bastion of prejudice, and right now the spotlight's on the Scouts and gays. If you want to read something interesting, just Google, "when did the scouts integrate." The present homophobia is no different from the Scout's first resistance to "special people," as people of color were called well into the 20th century. It's not a pretty story.

    But, for me, it all comes down to wondering with whom would I want my son (who was briefly a Scout) to spend a weekend camping....a racially, sexually, religiously diverse group with open minds, or with a lily white, sexually "unerring," Christian crowd with shuttered minds.

    Don't worry, it's only a rhetorical absolute no-brainer.

    Our own Kiki recently responded to a story by saying that some people's inherent love trumps their fear, but that there are those whose fear overrides their love.

    Shame on those Scout "leaders" who perpetuate bigotry. History is watching. Grow up. Lose the fear. Embrace love.

    Live by your own credos.

    Try being loyal (to all), friendly (to all), helpful (to all), trustworthy (to all), reverent (to all), etc etc.

    Try Brave (for yourselves).
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