After watching Beyonce electrify the crowd during the Super Bowl Halftime
Show...most of America not only forgives her for lip-syncing at the Presidential
Inauguration, but would now be willing to just watch and read subtitles the next
time she performs.
Ever since Milli Vanilli, midnight performances of the Rocky Horror Picture Show,
and every transvestite who wants to be Cher -- lip-syncing has had its place in pop
culture, alongside the unending renditions of "We are the Champions" and "I'm
a Soul Man" at our favorite karaoke bar.
But while Beyonce did everything but "Put a Ring on It" Sunday night, the Boy Scouts
of America were busy last week paying lip-service to it's own mission statement
of "preparing young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes."
Living in fear that one Scout might grow up one day and get a Merit Badge for
wanting to "Put a Ring" on the finger of another Scout, has led to cries of Red
Rover, Red Rover...The Boy Scouts are over!
Yes, the Boy Scouts announced that it may eliminate the ban of gays from membership at the national level, leaving local units to decide -- has drawn sharp criticism from their most religious members, who are "gravely distressed," even as more liberal churches lauded the decision.
Unlike the Girl Scouts and the United States Military, who still shop at JC Penny in spite of Ellen DeGeneres being asked to dance among the washers and dryers, up until now --the Boy Scouts have failed to boldly go where equal rights and human dignity should have taken them long before. Leaving one of the most important moral and ethical decisions of the organizations lifetime, the issue of gay equality, to the 290 local governing councils and 116,000 sponsoring mostly religious and civic organizations --with two thirds of scouting chapters religiously affiliated.
In fact the Boy Scouts won a 2000 Supreme Court decision...in order to keep
local chapters from having the very right to make this decision!
Whenever society has failed to make the tough decisions or live up to our noblest
ideals, such as equal justice and the "Pursuit of Happiness" it has usually done so
in the name of "States Rights" or "Religious Freedom."
It wasn't too long ago when former Governor George Wallace had nothing against Black
people...he just thought everyone should own one!
Many Scout organizations are sponsored by religious groups where equality may
originate as a God-given right but doctrine has far too often limited that equality
to who can volunteer at the Bake Sale instead of how we can all serve the Lord!
Religious organizations such as the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, who just
this past Thursday was revealed to have paid 660 million dollars for the cover up of
the sexual abuse of more than 500 children by 124 priests, will still be many more
years away from realizing the millions of children they have hurt, not by sexually
abusing them...but by denying them the right to love who they choose or to love
who they are!
Considering how they have handled sexual abuse...you would think they would want
to do a much better job with sexual identity.
And the Scouts should not be complicit by giving them or any other organization the
authority to discriminate in their name...in their uniform...in their honor...in the
same manner each local troop gets to decide their favorite knot!
Every religion has the right to practice their faith...and only participate with organizations
they choose...but the requirement for that participation should not be the imposition of
that faith on an organization that invites all other faiths to participate...when sometimes
that faith is nothing more than believing in yourself!
Religious tolerance is as elusive as the Holy Spirit if you don't allow your members to congregate with people of other beliefs. Sharing life experiences with someone you may not agree with, is not an endorsement of someone else's belief...but merely an acknowledgment that they have a right to believe it!Preparing young men to make the best ethical and moral choices cannot begin without making an ethical and moral decision as an organization. Discrimination, bigotry and prejudice shouldn't be allowed to hide behind religion, states rights or even the Supreme Court...and certainly not not behind the uniform of "The Boy Scouts of America!"
Before Beyonce lip-synced her performance during the Presidential Inauguration...our President sang his own live tune, when he said, "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law - for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."
I would make him an Honorary Eagle Scout for that!