Wednesday, August 8, 2012

on my honor

In my youth I was a Boy Scout. I earned the rank of Eagle Scout and was elected a member of the Order of the Arrow.

I had long felt Scouting was an excellent program, I learned much which benefitted me in life.

Last month the Boy Scouts reaffirmed a policy which I deem unacceptably out-of-date and prejudicial: a ban on any members, child or parent, who are gay.

I am fortunate to know very many excellent, honorable human beings. Some just happen to be gay. The idea of any of my good friends being excluded from a thing merely because of whom they may fall in love with is appalling to me and at the same time really silly too.

As if we have an excess of love in the world.

Sure, the Scouts are entitled to whatever policy they choose. They are and have always been a private organization, with a long connection to a religious belief system. 

Yet for me, so long as they continue to function with what I feel is a dark-ages mentality, so long as their policies are based on mistaken morals, I am compelled to distance myself from the group.

Therefore, I am returning my Eagle Scout medal as a small way of protest. It is in the mail to them, a faded, tarnished symbol of outdated thinking, prejudice and intolerance. It is no longer the badge I earned.

Paul Schmid