Published in the Modest Bee, Sunday, Jul. 29, 2012
Thanks to Modesto Bee for Scout policy criticism
Kudos to Eric Johnston, publisher and president of The Modesto Bee, for opposing the Boy Scouts’ continued practice of excluding gay members and leaders from the organization — thanks to a small secret committee of policy-makers (July 22, Page A-12).
As Johnston says, “What kind of message does it send when an organization steeped in strengthening personal ethics and values tells a portion of our country that because of who you are, you aren’t welcome?” I agree.
I also agree that just because the Supreme Court ruled that the privately run Scouts organization has the right to exclude people, it “doesn’t make it right.” As a former Scout myself, I feel that such discrimination violates the spirit of camaraderie that I experienced in Scouting. Perhaps if all us who have benefited from the Scouts’ character- building program appealed to the character of the 11 secret committee members, they would change their decision.
REV. MICHAEL SCHIEFELBEIN
College Avenue Congregational
United Church of Christ