Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Surely this is Connected

The Greater Alabama Boy Scout Council is being investigated by the FBI for inflating their enrollment figures on grant applications. It's not just in Alabama, but the same problem exists in the Atlanta area, where the Coucil claimed 20,000 African American scouts with a head count closer to 500. Sounds like Bush Administration math.

Let me say that I am an Eagle Scout, as was my father. A picture of him as a boy in his uniform sits on my bookshelf. My three brothers are all Eagle Scouts. And I will be attending my nephew's Eagle Scout induction in the Spring.

I expressed myself long ago about the Boy Scout policy concerning gay leaders and boy, that it was against inclusive principles long in place in the organization, and that the policy would lead not just to dozens of agencies cutting their ties, as United Ways in many cities have done, but also that the policy would weaken the moral fiber and authority of the organization. So what comes with the Boy Scouts scrambling for funding in the face of the United Way pulling it? Cheating and lies.

It's time for reform of that organization, but I'm sure what we'll hear, as they've firmly aligned themselves with the religious right (a huge amount of their funding is now given by the Mormon Church), is denial. It is sad that such a proud organization has sunk so far.

Yet there is hope. The volunteers on the front ranks are evidently diming out their superiors. Let's hope they don't get the shaft.