Motivation for “Healing our Institutions (Starting with the Boy Scouts)”

st_patricks_dayHappy St. Patrick’s Day. Life is busy for me as it is for all of us. I’ve been flying to Pennsylvania weekly for my current assignment, and I’ve been supporting my youngest son as he applies for college and auditions for music school. He also recently completed all the requirements for Eagle Scout. Here in Bedford, Massachusetts, a lot of Scouts will get their Eagle rank this year. I’ve been a coach for some of them. My son’s Eagle project was for the high school music department. Three others were recently completed for the preschool playground at the high school. Another was recently done for the public library. At least two more are in the planning stage, one for the Unitarian Universalist Church and another for one of the conservation fields. Many more were done in years past, and many more are coming. Also, in 2014, a crew will go to Philmont Scout Ranch. I’m jealous, but I’ve been there three times.

Since my last post, the Boy Scouts decided to delay their decision regarding membership for gays. This delay sparked quite a lot of vocal protest. Entertainers, including Carly Rae Jepsen, canceled her planned appearance at the National Jamboree and there have been many comments flowing on blogs and social media. People work for social change by protesting, by leaving, and by working with an organization. I decided to explore the balance between these tactics, and how they can be coordinated to effect positive change.

It took me considerable time to organize my thoughts. As I wrote my new post, I began to tug on a thread in my mind. The membership policy of the Boy Scouts is just the tip of the iceberg. After all, I’ve not talked about it, but I also support gay marriage. So, I’m not just disagreeing with the National Organization of Boy Scouts, I’m disagreeing with long established religious doctrine. I’m not alone. The Saw Doctors, for example, are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with songs that directly challenge the Catholic Church. On what basis do we do this? Well, we all dislike hypocrisy, and we want support of justice and equal rights. These are good reasons, but I want to establish some context. Considering just the Catholic Church, we are taking a stand against the policies of an institution with almost a billion adherents and approximately 2000 years of history. Add to this Evangelical Churches, Islam, Orthodox Judaism and the weight of opposition begins to look daunting. The roots of these conversations go back centuries, so if the Boy Scouts want a few more months to think about it, fine, I’ll give them some room. Beyond this, what’s at the core of my thinking? On what basis do I challenge established religion? On what basis do any of us challenge these ethical positions? These are questions that I think deserve deeper reflection.

I tried to accomplish this in my new post Healing our Institutions (Starting with the Boy Scouts). I use the situation with the Boy Scouts to ground the conversation, but it is really about much more than that. The subject matter is complex, and no single blog post can do it justice. Writing a post like this, one is humbled by how little of human knowledge and history any single person can know. Nevertheless, I hope to inspire conversation.

On another subject, I’ve also been working to build this blog, a topic that I discussed this past January. I’ve now added a Facebook page where I publish this blog along with selected Twitter posts:

WordPress publishes lots of tips for building readership. I’m working on these things as time allows for this hobby. My observation, however, is that recommendations from readers do the most to drive traffic. My best day for traffic was driven by one person posting a link to a discussion forum. To be clear, here are some things you can do to support this blog:

  • If you like a post, share it with you friends. Click the “Like” button too.
  • Follow the blog (via email, RSS, Twitter, or Facebook)
  • Post comments and join the discussion

In brief, traffic builds momentum, so your help is appreciated. If you decide to imbibe (in knowledge or otherwise) on this St. Patrick’s Day, be safe and be well.

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One thought on “Motivation for “Healing our Institutions (Starting with the Boy Scouts)”

  1. Pingback: Keep up the pressure (National Boy Scouts: Do the Right Thing) | Commentary by Allan

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