On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight
Well, there it is - in black and white and italics. It says "I will do my best...to keep myself...straight." It says so right there in the Scout Oath. Why should anyone be shocked or dismayed when the Boy Scouts of America don't allow their Boy Scouts to be Gay Boy Scouts? Maybe it has more to do with the "duty to God and country" than keeping yourself physically strong and mentally awake. But it does seem, at times, that this group and their quirky fashion sense might protest too much.
Apparently, there is a long, not-so-proud history of less-than-straight sex in the Boy Scouts. Maybe that's the reason why, if someone were to say loud and proud that they were gay, it might make people nervous. Of course, if that gay person happened to be an eighteen year-old who has spent the better part of the past ten years trying to earn his Eagle Scout badge, it might stir things up quite a bit.
Deron Smith, spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, released this statement last week regarding Ryan Andresesn: "This scout proactively notified his unit leadership and Eagle Scout
counselor that he does not agree to scouting's principle of 'Duty to
God' and does not meet scouting's membership standard on sexual
orientation. Agreeing to do one's 'Duty to God' is a part of the scout
Oath and Law and a requirement of achieving the Eagle Scout rank."
Somebody might have mentioned this to Ryan before the completion of his Eagle Scout project, a "tolerance wall," that was inspired by the years of hazing
he endured in middle school and later at Boy Scout summer camp, where
his nicknames were "Tinkerbell" and "faggot." While this particular project doesn't compare with clearing a creek of debris to make it more passable for fish, it does address the dual objectives of Citizenship and Community.
Who knew that "Don't ask, don't tell" would be in place longer in the Boy Scouts than the Marines?