Twenty years ago, I was happy to enroll my six-year-old son in Cub Scouts. No organization held a higher image in terms of instilling values in boys.
The Boy Scouts were never political. They honored God and were strongly patriotic.
Organized through our parish, the troop was a fun and active way for boys to be together with other boys and their dads. There was no hint of racism whatsoever, with black boys and their fathers involved. It was just a non-issue.
Five years ago, the Boy Scouts bowed to pressure from the so-called LGBT community and changed their rules to allow open homosexuals to be troop leaders.
Now the National Executive Committee for the Boy Scouts of America has submitted to the demands of the far-left, anti-cop Black Lives Matter movement and just announced a new badge for “diversity and inclusion.” Incredibly, the new badge will be a prerequisite to becoming an Eagle Scout, according to the committee.
Yet racism was never an issue in the Boy Scouts, locally or nationally. Any boy, of any race or religion or background, could be a Boy Scout. Numerous troops in our area had black Scouts and black Scout leaders. It was as irrelevant as their hair color.
“The Boy Scouts of America stands with Black families and the Black community because we believe that Black Lives Matter,” the executive committee stated. “This is not a political issue; it is a human rights issue and one we all have a duty to address.”
The overriding human rights issue of our day, the abortion of thousands of unborn human babies every day (including an estimated 247 unborn black babies daily), is not mentioned and is not part of any Boy Scout badge.
“That is why, as an organization, we commit to [i]ntroducing a specific diversity and inclusion merit badge that will be required for the rank of Eagle Scout,” the letter continues. “It will build on components within existing merit badges, including the American Cultures and Citizenship in the Community merit badges, which require Scouts to learn about and engage with other groups and cultures to increase understanding and spur positive action.”
The Scouts will also be “[r]equiring diversity and inclusion training for all BSA employees starting July 1” and “[c]onducting a review of property names, events, and insignia, in partnership with local councils, to build on and enhance the organization’s nearly 30-year ban on use of the Confederate flag and to ensure that symbols of oppression are not in use today or in the future.”
The organization noted that these moves are only its “next steps but certainly not our last.”
When the Boy Scouts began allowing open homosexuals to lead local troops, the Mormons and some Catholic parishes pulled their support of the troops. (One Catholic alternative that arose is the Troops of St. George.) It also created a hazardous environment for boys without the benefit of their fathers’ involvement in their lives. The mothers of those boys would be extremely hesitant to sign their young sons up for camping trips with gay men without even their own fathers present to watch over them. Never for a second would I have considered sending my son on a camping trip with gay men, knowing the statistics on homosexuals grooming or molesting boys and adolescents.
The very boys who need Boy Scouts the most can no longer rely on it for men of strong moral character.
That was bad enough. Requiring the ultra-liberal mindset of Black Lives Matter as a step toward the until-now highly revered Eagle Scout status is a tragic mistake. The organization is pro-abortion, pro-sodomy, and pro–men pretending to women. It is anti-cop, and it promotes a distorted image of American history and historical figures, including on the issue of slavery. Numerous pro-family black leaders are speaking out against BLM, including Alan West, Dr. Ben Carson, Larry Elder, and Candace Owens, who have pointed out that the new powerful movement ignores the real issues in the black community: fatherlessness, abortion, and welfare. Again, there’s no Boy Scout badge for “unborn babies matter.”
Aren’t respect and “love one another” better taught through daily example than by mandated curriculum? The Boy Scouts have fallen and will never be the same.
Here’s the full and disturbing letter from the Boy Scouts executive committee, below:
Dear Scouting family,
As our country reckons with racial injustice, we all must consider our role and our failures and commit to meaningful action.
The twelve points of the Scout Law that define a Scout are all important, but at this moment, we are called on to be brave. Brave means taking action because it is the right thing to do and being an upstander even when it may prompt criticism from some. We realize we have not been as brave as we should have been because, as Scouts, we must always stand for what is right and take action when the situation demands it.
There is no place for racism – not in Scouting and not in our communities. Racism will not be tolerated.
We condemn the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and all those who are not named but are equally important. We hear the anguish, feel the heartbreak, and join the country’s resolve to do better.
The Boy Scouts of America stands with Black families and the Black community because we believe that Black Lives Matter. This is not a political issue; it is a human rights issue and one we all have a duty to address.
That is why, as an organization, we commit to:
Introducing a specific diversity and inclusion merit badge that will be required for the rank of Eagle Scout. It will build on components within existing merit badges, including the American Cultures and Citizenship in the Community merit badges, which require Scouts to learn about and engage with other groups and cultures to increase understanding and spur positive action.
Reviewing every element of our programs to ensure diversity and inclusion are engrained at every level for participants and volunteers by applying a standard that promotes racial equality and denounces racism, discrimination, inequality and injustice.
Requiring diversity and inclusion training for all BSA employees starting July 1 and taking immediate action toward introducing a version for volunteers in the coming months.
Conducting a review of property names, events and insignia, in partnership with local councils, to build on and enhance the organization’s nearly 30-year ban on use of the Confederate flag and to ensure that symbols of oppression are not in use today or in the future.
These are our next steps but certainly not our last.
We will also continue to listen more, learn more and do more to promote a culture in which every person feels that they belong, are respected, and are valued in Scouting, in their community, and across America.
As a movement, we are committed to working together with our employees, volunteers, youth members, and communities so we can all become a better version of ourselves and continue to prepare young people to become the leaders of character our communities and our country need to heal and grow.
Yours in Scouting,
The Boy Scouts of America, National Executive Committee
Patty Knap is a freelance writer from Long Island, a Catholic book hoarder, and the mom of two young adult sons.