Thursday, September 6, 2012

Boy Scouts and My Son

Just a heads up, this is probably going to be a controversial post. I do not mean to offend anyone with anything I say, but this is something I hold near and dear to my heart.

Sebastian came home from school yesterday with a form to join the Cub Scouts. He handed it to me and asked if he could join. I said that I'd rather he didn't and he asked why. The conversation went something like this (and keep in mind, I'm paraphrasing, but this is the jist):

Me: Do you know what a Homosexual person is?
Him: No
Me: That is when two boys or two girls love each other, like Daddy and I love each other.
Him: Oh! Like T and T (a friend of mine in a lesbian relationship that he knows)
Me: Yes, exactly. The Boy Scouts don't think that people like that should be allowed to be part of their club and are against people like them getting married.
Him: Why?
Me: I don't know, son.....'cause they think it's wrong.
Him: But it's not, Mommy. People should be able to marry who they want. T and T should be allowed to get married and things like that.
Me: I agree, kiddo
Him: I don't want to be part of a group that doesn't like everyone.

Sebastian is 8 and in the 3rd grade.  He has been exposed to the Gay community from birth, because I have many Gay friends. Gay rights and equality is something I hold near and dear to my heart. I believe that marriage is based on love and not gender and that it shouldn't determine who can marry, etc, etc.
I recently shared this with members of a website for moms called Cafemom and I came under fire for teaching my son "to hate those who do not believe the same as us" and for "using son as a pawn in my political agenda", among other things.
I don't see how I'm doing that. I encourage my kids to have open minds, to stand up for what they believe in and to accept those who are different. I teach them against bullying and discrimination. As a result, my kids, especially Anastasia, who is quite the social butterfly, play with and accept kids from all walks of life. They treat everyone as equals.
That makes me proud.
I get compliments on how my kids are very well mannered and well behaved. They are and that's something extremely important to me. They hold the door open for people, they say excuse me, they say please and thank you, etc, etc. These things are VITAL lessons everyone should teach their children.
I believe my children are a reflection of me. I want that reflection to be a good one. I want my kids to be known for being good, not being bad. Every year, we take them shopping and let them spend about $10 each at Dollartree to buy gifts, then we take those and donate them. As they get older, we will get them involved in volunteer work. We feel it's important that our kids be thankful for what they have and understand that people come from all walks of life and that doesn't make them (my kids) any better than anyone else.
I don't feel that The Boy Scouts will teach my son the values I feel are important. Especially in my area, where the homosexual community is still not accepted and often spoken out against. Sure, I could let him join and try to become a Den leader, but I'm not sure what good that would do when you have pack leaders that are open about their disapproval for thing you are for.
Their Anti-Gay policy aside, we aren't Christian's either. I won't say we are Atheists, we just don't believe things that others in our area do. So it would be hard to allow my son to be part of an organization that has strong Christian principles and practices.
I realized not everyone will agree with me and that's fine. It would be boring if they did. But this is my stance and I'm PROUD of my son for getting it.
Here are some links to articles about the Boy Scouts stance on homosexuality, as well as a link to their rules and regulations:
Why Do the Boy Scouts Exclude Gays?

Missouri Boy Scout Kicked Out of Camp for Being Gay

Gay activist: Why the Boy Scouts kicked me out

Charter and Bylaws and Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America

~Sarah

3 comments:

  1. Could not agree with you more, and have written a few posts myself about acceptance of others and not being fearful of those who are different from us. I live in an area where you are in the majority or you are wrong, makes it harder to instill my values in my kids, but not impossible. Toughest part for me was always saying "no, thanks" to the Boy Scouts selling whatever at the door. Can't support their organization, but I'm not about to start discussing values with these little kids either. Keep on saying what you feel, it makes the world a better place.

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  2. Well... I agree with you. I teach my children tolerance and acceptance and its hard in a small Bible-belt community. And you know how I feel about cafe mom... those people are psychooo. You are raising awesome kids who will be awesome adults. Keep it up

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  3. We should start a new group called ALL Scouts. Open to every child from all walks of life. I am sure we all have great things we could teach each others kids.

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So....what did you think? And are you THAT Sarah Michelle?