Supreme Court of the United States has given Boy Scouts of America [BSA]
carte blanche to discriminate against atheist and gay children and their
leaders, under the hypocritical pretense that BSA is a private club. Meanwhile,
the BSA actually is stitched to government on many levels, including contributions
of fundraising personnel from the Combined Federal Campaign, dedications
of enormous tracts of government land for exclusive BSA use, donations
of military equipment, and troop sponsorship by police and fire departments
and public schools.
By continuing symbolic, personnel, and material
support of the BSA, government is sending vulnerable children the profoundly
damaging message that they're not considered worthy of being trained in
citizenship and survival; thus, creating a lesser class of citizenship,
defined by religion or gender preference. Concerned citizens should work
to strip BSA of all forms of government backing.
Parents should discourage their children from
joining an organization in which the adult leaders model bigotry. Scouts,
sometimes even without the help of their parents, can make a powerful statement.
If you think that the government should treat all people fairly,
this is an excellent time to make a difference. You may be able to convince
other troop members to join you in seeking a solution to this problem.
You might want to see if you can get your
troop to stand with you and persistently pressure the national organization
to reconsider these policies. The leaders of your troop may not go along
with your idea at first, so give them an opportunity to let it grow on
them. After a while, you may decide that the best way you can express your
disagreement would be by resigning your awards and/or membership, in the
most visible way possible (e.g. at a scout meeting or a protest event),
until such time as the BSA's discriminatory policies toward atheists and
gays have been reversed.
Those who are already not members of BSA can
help by boycotting the numerous charities and private corporations that
prop up the BSA. For example, the United Way provides approximately 25%
of the BSA operating budget while using employers to pressure wage earners
to contribute. Perhaps you can convince your employer to discontinue support
for United Way until they stop giving any money to the BSA. Also, companies
should explicitely exclude both organizations from eligibility to receive
corporate matching funds if employees choose to donate to these organizations.
More recently ('03-Jul-16th), Delta Airlines has encouraged customers to donate their frequent flyer miles to the BSA. The program rotates select charitable organizations on a quarterly basis. This would be a good time to avoid flying Delta and to let them know why.
As consumers, we can ask the businesses that
we patronize whether they support the Boy Scouts or the United Way. If
they do, we can encourage them to stop, and we can ask their competitors
the same question. At some point we may decide to take our business to
the competition. Let's take a moment to tell them why, perhaps in writing.
Businesses, also, can ask their suppliers to not supoprt the BSA or the
these ways, each of us can play our part to produce a sea change of public
attitude toward the BSA: end government underwriting, work from inside
or resign membership, stop donations from the United Way and other charitable
organizations, and discourage private companies from contributing.