Friday, May 24, 2013

Boy Scouts Decide to (Sorta) End Discrimination … and Conservatives Freak Out

Yesterday, the Boy Scouts of America voted to allow openly gay children to be members of the Boy Scouts. I salute them for making this decision (though I’m dismayed at the decision to continue to ban gay scout leaders or to, in essence, kick out a gay scout once he turns 18). However, reaction on the conservative side of the political spectrum has been … well … less enthusiastic.

Before I offer a sampling of those conservative reactions, it’s worth pointing out that the decision of the Boy Scouts of America doesn’t require Boy Scouts to be gay or to even approve of homosexuality. Gay sex won’t be a requirement for an Eagle Scout badge. Rather, the decision simply means that this organization will no longer engage in an organized, regimented form of discrimination.

So, on to some of the reactions from conservatives on Twitter (thanks, in part, to Think Progress for compiling most of these):

  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry: “Saddened the BSA bends to the whims of political correctness.”

Because, you know, it’s just terribly sad that some people think that everyone should be treated fairly or view discrimination as a bad thing. It’s kinda like how sad it was when people bent to the whims of political correctness and adopted the 13th amendment to outlaw slavery. That was sure a sad day.

  • Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Oklahoma): “If the Left were truly tolerant, they would tolerate the Boy Scouts being who they have always been.”

That’s, right, the measure of tolerance is whether you allow others to discriminate. I suppose, then, that we should also tolerate the KKK and Nazis and maybe even al-Qaeda and allow them to “who they have always been”.

  • Tony Perkins (President of Family Research Council): “Boy Scouts’ Decision Another Casualty of Moral Compromise”.

Because morality is all about discrimination, isn’t it? Is the moral compass of the Boy Scouts to teach that it’s OK to discriminate? But then I forgot that the current view on the far right is that “compromise” is a bad word.

  • Matt Barber (Liberty Counsel): “Boy Scouts of America: Born February 8, 1910. Died, May 23, 2013”.

Yep, allowing gay kids to be scouts will clearly kill the scouts. Just like allowing gays killed the military. Or schools. Or marriage in the 10 states that now allow it.

  • Dana Loesch (former CNN contributor; current talk radio host): “I’d rather start my own group rather than bitch and moan about what a private group does and launch a suit to force them to comply.”

Yeah, maybe we should have separate groups for straights and gays. And blacks and whites. Jews and Christians. Excellent plan. Oh, wait. We’ve tried that already. It was called “the past”.

  • (a group founded to oppose acceptance of gays in the Boy Scouts: “Today’s vote teaches our kids that you should not stand up for what is right instead - stand up for what is popular”.

Yep. Discrimination is “right” and tolerance is merely popular. Think about that one for a minute. This group really wants to teach our kids to stand up and discriminate instead of finding the means to be inclusive and tolerant. Are those the sort of kids with whom you want your kids to associate?

  • Peter LaBarbera (founder of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality): “Sad day for the Boy Scouts. Sad day for America: formerly ‘morally straight’ organization votes to allow openly homosexual members”.

It’s so, so sad, when organizations decide that they want to live in the reality of a tolerant 21st Century.

  • Bryan Fischer (Director of Issue Analysis, American Family Association): “BSA now stands for Boy Sodomizers of America, because that’s what will happen. Mark my words.”

Ah, yes, the old “your gay kid will make my kid gay” canard. Bryan Fischer is, perhaps, on of the most hateful people in the country; he’s one of the very few who might be able to compete with Westboro Baptist Church for most hateful. Oh, and he refuses to talk about his own gay impulses.

And perhaps my “favorite” comes from a man I’ve heaped criticism on before for his repeated hate speech:

  • Erick Erickson (Editor-in-Chief of, former CNN contributor, current Fox contributor, and NPR’s voice of choice for the conservative viewpoint): “I honestly have no problem with the Scouts deciding that way, but I honestly cannot see me now enrolling my son in the scouts as a result.” And “Yes, Christ is love, but he is also wrath, vengeance, and redemption. The modern emo Christ is a fiction. Christ could throw a punch.”

Christ is “wrath” and “vengeance”? Really? Well, then, perhaps that does explain things like the Inquisition and slaughters of Jews (and others) over the preceding two millennia (though you’d think that, by now, we’d have a Michael Bay movie about Jesus throwing some punches and taking out a legion or two of Romans). Moreover, just think about what Erickson is saying in the first tweet: He’d rather keep his son out of scouting than possibly expose him to a gay kid. Oooh, shudder. He might catch “teh gay”.

That’s just a brief tour of comments from the conservative movement about a decision for tolerance and against discrimination. It’s sickening.

If you’re interested in reading more of what some of these kind-hearted folks have had to say about homosexuality or any of a host of other issues, it might be worth your time to prowl around over at RightWingWatch (click on the People tab).


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At Saturday, May 25, 2013 7:32:00 AM , Blogger LauraKB said...

I can't stand to read any more comments from the "kind-hearted" right. And BTW, I was hesitant to put my son in Scouts BECAUSE of their discrimination against gay members. I really wish they would recognize that gay Scout leaders could and should have a place in their organization.

At Tuesday, May 28, 2013 11:02:00 AM , Blogger MSWallack said...

It continues to amaze me that so much discriminatory speech comes from people who base their statements on religion. As to the scouts themselves, I'll offer an anecdote: A few years ago, I was walking into the grocery. Some Boy Scouts were standing outside selling popcorn. They asked if I wanted to buy any and I politely declined. They asked again. I declined again. Then one of the fathers standing behind the kids sort of gave me a hard time about not buying popcorn. I again politely declined and went into the store for my shopping. When I came out the boys asked again and again I said no. Then the father called to me rather loudly and asked why I wouldn't buy any popcorn. I again just said that I wasn't interested in buying any but he persisted. Finally, I stopped and turned to him. "Do you really want to know why I don't want to buy your popcorn?"

"Sure," he said.

"Even with your boys standing here listening?" I asked.


So I told him: "I'm not interested in supporting an organization that is willing to litigate all the way to the United States Supreme Court for the right to discriminate against people." And then I got in my car and drove away. But as I did so, I could see a bunch of very shocked and puzzled faces on the Scouts. Gee, I wonder what sort of questions they had for the father.


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