The father of a Cub Scout sat his son on his lap late last week and told him news that tore up both their hearts: The family was leaving the Boy Scouts. Aaron Butler, the leader of his 8-year-old son Evan’s Cub Scout Wolf den in Roseau, Minn., said he didn’t explain to his eldest son exactly why they were walking away from an organization they loved so much, but he told NBC News that it was because of last week’s controversial decision by the Boy Scouts of America to allow gay youth to participate…. “It was a big disappointment … he cried for about 10 minutes because I told him that the Boy Scouts were not honoring their own law,” Butler said, referring to the BSA oath that he interpreted as barring gay people. “They say it — ‘On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep [myself] physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight,’” he said….”If the BSA cannot honor their own law, then how can I stay with an organization that just does not care anymore?” he said.
I can’t (and won’t) comment on Aaron Butler’s qualifications as a parent. I don’t know him, and so I’ll limit my commentary to the matter at hand. That said, I have to wonder about a person who’d teach his son that hating a class of people, most of whom you don’t even know, is acceptable if your sensibilities are offended by their lifestyle. How someone else’s sexuality could possibly have an adverse effect on Butler or his son is an exercise in twisted reasoning that I won’t attempt to understand or explain.
Aaron Butler may be a decent parent, but he’s a miserable excuse for a human being for teaching his son to hate. It’s as simple as that. There’s simply no other way to lay it out. Rather than preparing his son to make his own decisions, Butlers is passing his own hatred to him. Instead of teaching his child that we’re all God’s children (assuming he/she exists), he’s indoctrinating his progeny with the belief that some people’s lifestyles are too “icky” to be allowed to enjoy the same rights and privileges we demand for ourselves.
Once upon a time, I was a Boy Scout. I learned about camping, tying knots, and being a better person and citizen. Sexuality was never an issue, nor was it ever mentioned. Why it has to be an issue now baffles me. If America is based upon freedom, then whom and how a person loves should be a non-issue. What consenting individual choose to do as an expression of their sexuality is no one’s damned business. Yet so many feel that their morality and prejudice conveys upon them the absolute right to ensure the LGBT community is treated collectively as second-class citizens.
Being “morally straight” as stated in the Boy Scout Law is highly subjective, but I fail to see how a Boy Scout’s (or a leader’s) sexuality has anything to do with Scouting. I suspect a heterosexual leader is far more likely to sexually exploit a child than a homosexual leader. It happens (and it’s reprehensible) on both sides of the spectrum.
When you get right down to it, this isn’t about who is “morally straight” enough to be a Boy Scout. It’s about people like Aaron Butler who think that teaching hatred is part and parcel of Scouting. Butler is the one violating the Boy Scout Law…but he feels justified in allowing his hatred and prejudice to dictate his willingness to discriminate against those who mean him no harm. The worst part of this story is that Butler is passing his hatred on to his son.
Nice work, Dad.