When my kids were in scouting they grew up and established long friendships with scouts who were gay. It was never an issue, for the kids or the leaders. In fact, when the subject came up ten years ago or so, I recall a scoutmaster spelling it out pretty plainly: regarding gay scouts, it mattered not at all, and as long as a leader was there for the troop and to be a scouter, and not just to advance a political agenda, who cared? That’s the BSA we have known and have supported for many years.
Increasingly, it seems to me that understanding, acceptance and peaceable, respectful human relations must be built by meeting people one-on-one — not by identifying them as a part of a “group” other than the one you belong to, and immediately turning on the hate — but actually getting to know the people behind an organization, because every organization, every church, every corporation, every trade union, every fraternal group (even the “private” ones, be they the Boy Scouts or the Augusta National Golf Club) is made up of people. And once you get to know people, you can suddenly see the human being behind the policy and then — oh, well look at that…we just have different outlooks. Let’s dare to say, “so what”?
There was a story earlier this week about Sir Elton John and his friendship with Rush Limbaugh. It’s a friendship that would seem incongruous on its face, but the two men have met each other as human beings — not as representatives of a suspect-and-fearsome “other.” They both take a measure of heat from their “clubs” for publicly acknowledging their friendship. They both say, “so what?”
Do read the whole thing. It's necessary.
Trust me on this.