Follow-up 3: Boy Scouts and bigotry
Two weeks ago, I noted that the Boy Scouts of America, the BSA, is expected in the near future to rescind its ban on participation by gays.
To no one's surprise, the BSA has driven the right wing BSC - and it you don't know what that means, email me and I'll tell you but know now that the B is for "bat" and the C is for "crazy."
For example, some 42 wacko groups ran an ad in USA Today calling on the Scouts to maintain the ban, claiming the change is being considered only because of the threat of loss of corporate support - which is rather funny because about 70 percent of all Boy Scout troops are sponsored by church groups, many of which are threatening to withdraw their own financial and logistical support if the change goes through. Indeed, the public policy agency of one of them - the Southern Baptist Convention - signed the ad.
There are three particularly disgusting parts of this ad. The first is the wild claim that criticism of the BSA's bigotry is an attack on "free thought." This is a standard trope of the right: Call them out for their racism, their sexism, their homophobia, their bigotry, their greed, their stupidity, their callousness, their whatever, and they'll screech that it's an assault on their freedom of speech. The claim, at bottom, is that they can say whatever they want without challenge.
The second is the assertion that banning gays, this bigotry, is a "moral principle."
The third and last is the worst. It makes reference to the so-called "perversion files" the BSA released last year. The group had kept a secret list of people banned from scouting because of having molested scouts - which it kept secret, never informing authorities. The ad refers to this and then says, quoting, "How will parents be able to entrust their children to the Boy Scouts if they trade the well-being of the boys for corporate dollars?"
In other words, the ad makes the old, bigoted, paranoid, and utterly false connection of homosexuality to pedophilia. It is completely, totally, bogus without a shred of evidence. But still they will use it to deny gays participation in society. You want it even clearer? Bryan Fischer, director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, one of the groups signing the ad, recently declared than ending the ban on gay membership would mean that pedophiles will soon be “bunking down with your kid at jamboree.”
These people are both incredibly vile and mind-bogglingly ignorant. Then again, those two qualities often go together.