If you’re cheering the Boy Scouts’ decision to allow transgender kids to join their ranks, consider doing so out loud.
The century-old organization announced Monday it will now base enrollment on the gender listed on the application, rather than the gender listed on a child’s birth certificate.
“The Boy Scouts of America is committed to identifying program options that will help us truly serve the whole family,” the group said in a statement on the Boy Scouts website, “and this is an area that we will continue to thoughtfully evaluate to bring the benefits of scouting to the greatest number of youth possible — all while remaining true to our core values, outlined in the Scout Oath and Law.”
This is fantastic news – both for transgender boys who now have a chance to serve as Scouts, and for the boys who will learn and work alongside them in friendship. It’s hard to imagine a better prescription for an open heart and open mind than standing side-by-side and pledging to help other people at all times and stay mentally awake, as the Boy Scout Oath requires.
Not everyone agrees.
“This is Exhibit A of the insatiable demands of those pushing this sexual anarchy,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told Fox News contributor Todd Starnes, who says it’s time for “every church and every parent in America to sever ties with the Boy Scouts.”
I hope churches and parents across this fine, fired-up land refuse to heed his call.
And here’s where cheering out loud comes into play.
It’s tempting to focus our energy on phone calls, emails, tweets and boycotts in response to policies with which we disagree. We’re pretty adept — and getting more so by the day — at telling leadership (corporate or political) what we don’t like.
It’s equally important to tell them what we do like.
When you’re under fire, it’s harder to retreat if you know you have people on your side — people who vote, people who spend money, people who are counting on you to use your platform to push the nation toward progress.
So it should be with the Boy Scouts. They’ll get an earful from people opposed to the new policy. People will continue to throw around phrases like “sexual anarchy,” which have nothing to do with children and everything to do with ideology.
If you side with the Scouts on this one, speak up. If you have a church, urge it not to sever ties. If you have a moment, drop the group a note. They’re @boyscouts on Twitter, Boy Scouts of America on Facebook, and their website has a “Contact us” page.
The Boy Scout Law says this: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”
Tell me whom it harms to welcome more children into that club.
©2017 Chicago Tribune