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Letter to the Editor: Columnist ignored facts about BSA's policy on homosexual membership


Editor:

Regarding the recent column concerning the Boy Scouts of America's policy on homosexual membership, the columnist ignores a few facts.

The policy is based on biblical teachings and many troops and packs (including the ones in Strasburg) are chartered by churches. Tolerance is a wonderful idea, but it's a two-way street. Freedom of religion is as fundamental to the religious as it is to the non-religious.

By pulling financial support from the BSA, companies such as Intel and organizations such as The United Way of Cleveland are the ones "willing to abandon" the youths served by Scouts. The BSA will continue to serve these youth; they will just have to work harder to replace the funding withheld by the companies that disagree with the policy.

As a Scout leader, my opinion of the policy takes a back seat to the service being provided to the 6- to 10-year-old boys in our pack. I don't voluntee so I can have discussions about sexuality. I volunteer so boys in our town can meet together and have fun learning to respect themselves and others (including their differences), keep themselves physically fit, and learn about their community, state and country.

I would be willing to bet that most Eagle Scouts, gay or not, had a positive overall experience in Scouts. Withdrawing their support of Boy Scouts would be similar to cutting their nose off to spite their face. If they want to change the policy, they will make greater progress from within the system rather than abandoning the organization that helped make them who they are.

Rodger Van Norton, Strasburg




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