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Thursday, May 23, 2013

This is my Eagle Scout card

I received it during my Eagle Scout ceremony at Fairview Baptist Church in Reidsville, North Carolina on August 16th, 1992.

It immediately went into my wallet.

I have carried my Eagle Scout card with me ever since.  It has been with me through college, across the ocean, through some very dark times and into some very wonderful times.

I've never been without it.  I had long planned to someday be buried with it.

Moments ago I removed my Eagle Scout card from my wallet.  I do not plan to carry it with me ever again.

Within the past hour it has been announced that the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America has passed a resolution to allow openly homosexual members.

This is incompatible with the spirit and the meaning of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.  The principles of Scouting are about being the best that God intends for us to be.  Strength of mind, strength of body and strength of character are inherently essential toward this.  And part of that means developing personal restraint.  God intended for us to control our own bodies.  Not for our bodies to control us.

The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America has demonstrated that it does not understand the meaning of either the Scout Oath or the Scout Law.

And so it is, with great sadness and a grieving heart, that I choose to no longer be associated or affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America.

Maybe someday I'll be able to pick up the card and carry it with me again.  I pray that day does come.


Two Cub Scouts's Father said...

THANK YOU! I was an Eagle too and have had my card since 1996. It's not in my wallet any longer either.

My two sons are in Cub Scouts. 1 Wolf and 1 Webelos. We are all leaving. Boy Scouts that can't be trusted to uphold its own oath can't be trusted at all.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't wait to run to my computer to see if you were already whining. Sure enough, you didn't disappoint.

You'll live and so will the program whether you carry an Eagle Scout card or not.

So wake up and join the rest of the world in 2013. Life is passing you by while you mourn. Tomorrow is another day.

Anonymous said...

Keep standing up for your values. You are not alone. It isn't popular right now. But being popular isn't the goal, now is it?

Chris B said...

"You'll live and so will the program whether you carry an Eagle Scout card or not."

A very tiny minority wanted and voted for the pro-homosexual resolution. They don't represent the millions of scouters and parents who did not want it.

You think BSA will survive when most units are chartered to churches and synagogues opposed to homosexuality and won't be rechartering those units again? You think parents will let their sons be in BSA that teaches premarital sex is wrong but buggery is acceptable?

Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

I don't think a grown man carrying around a card from a youth club has any social wiggle room to judge folks on sexuality.

Joshua Facemyer said...

Bravo. They are still trying to bully those of us who are holding fast, as evidenced even in some of these comments. It is acceptible to be a bully, but not to hold to the eternal truths of morality upheld in the Oath and Law. That's okay - let's make something better!

Andrew said...

I am also an Eagle Scout and I on the other hand am proud of this first step that the BSA has taken towards equality. The second will be acceptance of adults. In time, hopefully atheists will be openly welcome. There are timeless values of good ethics and kindness and equality that are independent of any religion.

Anonymous said...

This is a sad day.

Anonymous said...

My sons will both be turning in their uniforms tomorrow.

Paul said...

Mine is from 93. I'm an Eagle, Brotherhood in OA, ASM, and more importantly the father of 3 boys. We will finish up our charter, because nothing changes in BSA until then. I will encourage my oldest to meet the goal he set for himself of earning star by the end of the year. As of Jan 1 though, the charter will end, and so will our involvement with scouting, as well as 100s of thousands more across the country.

I'm not worried. I know that out of the ashes of this, something better will be formed. It's already in the works.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious why we haven't seen any posts about local scout leaders who knew at least one serious sex crime had been committed in the local program, yet to protect the program (never mind the scout VICTIM) they swept it under the rug in a cover up.

Come on Chris. You know all of them through the scouts and on a personal level. Afraid to tackle it when you know them personally? A lot easier to talk about people you don't know personally?

Back to the case. One local leader who swept it under the rug was a business owner in Wentworth, another ran a business in Reidsville, and they were all joined by a minister of one Reidsville's largest Christian churches. The scout leader who committed the sex crime even openly admitted his wrong, but they (the other scout leaders) allowed him to resign because he was getting married and he was a school teacher with a career. All of them knew and all of them never bothered to report it to police. They covered it up. They tuened their heads. And until the offender died years ago, he got away with it.

So in all this noise you're making about gay kids being scouts and the torment you feel about it, why haven't you posted about the beloved local scout leaders who allowed a sex offender to get away with a crime? And all to save the "good name" of scouting.

Let's see you express some outrage at that. Or are you afraid to offend the people you call friend?

Anonymous said...

Here's what I wrote to the BSA tonight (which they will obviously ignore):

Today is a very sad day for me in that the leadership of my beloved Boy Scouts of America has not only turned their backs on the stated mission of the BSA, the Scout Oath, the Scout Law and the foundational principles of scouting, but knowingly betrayed and trampled on them. Instead of upholding those, the leadership chose to bow down to the very opposite agenda and ostracize millions of scouts.

Until today, I have been very proud to be associated with scouting. But now you have chosen to leave me and millions of other scouts. I understand why you chose this path; instead of being brave and moral, the BSA has taken the path of cowardice and political correctness. Of course, as a private organization, you're free to do that, but today, the BSA cannot, with any integrity, continue to use its mission statement, Scout Oath or Scout Law as currently written.

I have been involved with scouting for over 30 years now, as an Eagle Scout, a parent of scouts as well as a volunteer who's donated thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars to multiple troops and councils. I believe in helping teach young boys to grow up to be men of courage with a strong ethical code to do what is right, even when it's not easy. I strongly believe in the tenets that the BSA abandoned today and I will work with others to continue the original goals of the BSA - just with another organization.

Because the BSA has abandoned us, I, and my boys, can no longer be part of the BSA nor associated with it. I have already contacted each of the Scoutmasters that I currently help and my boys will resigned from their troop this week. This is not a knee-jerk reaction - I, and many others, have been contemplating this possibility since the BSA announced it was going to vote on it. We knew that if the BSA voted against scouting, then we had to make a choice to abide by the tenets of scouting, or join you in rejecting them. We choose scouting.

Chris Knight said...

"I'm curious why we haven't seen any posts about local scout leaders who knew at least one serious sex crime had been committed in the local program, yet to protect the program (never mind the scout VICTIM) they swept it under the rug in a cover up.

"Come on Chris. You know all of them through the scouts and on a personal level. Afraid to tackle it when you know them personally? A lot easier to talk about people you don't know personally?"

With the utmost sincerity that I can possibly muster: I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. And I have no idea who you are talking about either.

Now if you would like me to research the matter - and I would be interested - shoot me an e-mail to theknightshift@gmail.com and share what you know and I'll look into it.

Otherwise, I have to wonder if there's anything substantial to what you are claiming. Parse that as you will.

What would that have to do with the subject of the national council changing the policy, anyway? Your allegations are not germane to the discussion at hand.

Anonymous said...

What does it have to do with the national council? It has everything to do with the national council and the entire scouting program down to the little meeting held down at the church. Yes even down to little old Rockingham County.

I won't email you the sordid details. It is a public record so there is nothing to hide or to hear you swear you never got the email so we'll never hear about it again.

And I'll remind you again, all this was swept under the rug to protect a so-called "scout leader" who was getting married and had a job as a high school teacher. Oh, and to protect the so-called good name of scouting. Don't air the dirty laundry! Sweep it under the rug. After all, who will every find out? Uh-oh!

So here it is. Now what do you have to say about your beloved scouting program?


Chris Knight said...

I've spent most of the past hour (as late as it is) reading the document. I've read over it three times now, wanting to make sure that I was understanding everything. That I was comprehending all of the available material.

And I see no evidence that there was a "cover-up" attempted or that any of the executives involved were trying to "sweep it under the rug". Indeed, it looks like everything possible was done to comply with policies of what was then the Cherokee Council and the Boy Scouts of America.

You have claimed that there was an attempt to hide Mr. Fisher's actions from law enforcement authorities. Well, I've looked this file up and down and I can't find any evidence remotely suggesting such a thing.

So... what exactly is your angle here?

Ben said...

Gays and lesbians could make their own organizations. But they can't. They don't make anything. They infiltrate and corrupt and destroy.

Look at the Girl Scouts. When the feminists and the lesbians started coming in that was the end of Girl Scouts. Now it will be the same with the Boy Scouts.

It is only time before openly gay men will be accepted in leadership positions in Boy Scouting. Then it will be gay scout masters sharing tents with boys.

No responsible parent will put a son in the Boy Scouts after what national has done to our BSA.

Anonymous said...

It was a courage-less act by the BSA no matter which side of the issue you fall on.

For those who hold the opinion that one cannot be both openly homosexual and hold to the scout law and oath, the organization has demonstrated a lack of conviction by not standing by the principles that have guided BSA for over 100 years.

For those who hold the opinion that one can be an openly homosexual scout and it doesn't contradict scout law or the oath, guess what? You can be involved in scouts only until you are an adult, and then you're out.

Way to go, BSA. You tried to please everyone, and in the end, you screwed over everyone.

Anonymous said...

I earned my Eagle wings in 1957 and was heavily involved in Scouting up until recently, including being a Scoutmaster for over 20 years. My children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have also been in Scouting. Last night, after hearing about the decision, I couldn't sleep at all and finally decided to pack up and mail my Eagle, merit badges and other awards back to the BSA.

Make no mistake, the progressives chose not to create their own LBGT version of scouts, but instead perverted our organization. As someone stated above, the BSA cannot in good faith continue to use the Scout Law or Oath as this decision violates both. I fully expect that God will be the next thing officially removed from the BSA.

We all know that this is atrocity is in blatant violation of Robert Baden-Powell's vision for Scouting.

Anonymous said...

As should be obvious to everyone, it is only months before adults are admitted. Next year, religion will be the target--why does a scout or a leader have to profess a belief in god...isn 't that old fashion too.

Then what about patriotism. "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to god and country".

These will all go...in time. Unfortunately, this is what the activist are about. They only need to now drive out the experience adult scouters who actually believe the scout law, and oath--they they will have the brand and money in the treasury to pervert the system.

Soon, we'll have all sorts of interesting merit badges--family life will be "family alternative lifestyles", religous awards won't exist--well not unless there is an atheist award. Citizenship will be replaced with "world citizenship".

So as adult leaders we can stay involved, and "hope this doesn't happen"...while investing our volunteer experience or time, or admit what is happening and then form another youth development program outside scouting, while there is still an immense talent pool of adult leaders and parents who want no part of this.

So stop complaining, and lets get started with something that will be better than what is happening now.

Phil said...

The sarcasm and name calling that is typical of those who support what the BSA have voted to do shows that it was a bad idea.

Jim H said...

My story is much the same. I put my Eagle scout certificate on my wall as soon as a got it and always had it prominently displayed wherever I lived. Next to it is the award my father and I got for being second place in the BB gun completion at a Cub/Dad event. That was one of my favorite childhood memories and was the first time I realized with hard work and determination I could excel at something. By comparison my college diploma never even came out of the envelop. These treasures will come down now and be mailed back to the BSA now that they are worthless. I had hoped to pass on the legacy of Scouting to my two sons and my unborn grandchildren. That will never happen now. I hope as the reports of child molestation and open homosexual activity at summer camps start to arise as they most certainly will that the people who voted on this still feel it is worth it.

Anonymous said...

30 years from now, I hope you will at least have the decency to feel ashamed that this is what you thought in 2013.

Anonymous said...

Jim H,

So you're worried about child molestation and open homosexuality now? Have you been worried about it for the decades that it has been going on and swept under the rug by national and even local leaders in the program? Were you worried about it when a judge ordered the Boy Scouts to open their files of molestation cases that had been hidden for years? What about the victims of sex abuses placed into folders in a filing cabinets and never reported to police, and allowing the offenders to move on and do it somewhere else?

Where was your outrage before? Were you really that blind that the BSA was sweeping crimes under the carpet?

No wonder so many local chapters met in Catholic churches. The leaders used the same protocol for hiding felonies and ruining lives for YEARS before this vote ever came about.

Jessica Britton (jessicaash@aol.com) said...

I can't help but notice that most of the comments trrashing the Scouts for this decision are "anonymous". I thought Scouts were supposed to be Honest?

There have been gay youth in Scouting since it's beginning and many of them made Eagle Scout, just as you did, Chris. They worked for it, they earned it, and they proved their honor by doing so. Your decision and your comments show no honor at all, Chris, along with a complete lack of empathy for what gay youth go through, often thanks to people like yourself. If you were shooting for your "fear and ignorance" merit badge, you've done a great job. Shirley Phelps-Roper would be proud.

Anonymous said...

To Jessica and the "anonymous" comment above this one, I couldn't have said it better.

And I might add that one of the most revered leaders of scouting in the North Carolina Cherokee Council was gay. Yes, gay. He was so revered that his portrait still hangs in Boy Scout buildings all around the area. And even Chris has written about him before and what a wonderful person he was and that he was a great asset to the scouting program.

And yes he was gay. Whether Chris or anyone else chooses to believe it or not or chooses to ignore it, he was still gay. Was he ever accused or doing something illegal with the scouts? No. Never. He was a prominent member of the scouting program and did so proudly and he never mixed his personal life with his devotion to scouting. He did it because he loved what scouting stood for.

I am not speaking ill of the dead. But I am saying that based on the opinion of Chris and others in this thread, this well thought of and revered man should have been kicked out of the Boy Scouts just because he was gay. Knowing who that man is Chris (and you know who I'm speaking of) do you still agree that all gay people should be kicked out of the program? Would you have looked that old man in the eye and told him that he was out of the BSA because he was gay? Could you? Of course not. That's because scouting was scouting and his personal life was his own business even though it was widely known that he was gay. But nobody cared because deep down he was a good man with a giving heart who loved what he did. He was not a pedophile. He was a man who just happened to be gay. Nobody made any noise about it.

When you're spouting off your dismay with the Scouts and why gay people should not be allowed in the program, go take a good look at that old man's portrait. The same man you wrote that you revered as a grandfather figure. Yes, a gay man who just happened to love scouting. Then let's see if you can still crow about how gay people will ruin the program.

Chris Knight said...

I know who you are talking about.

And he was not a homosexual.

I knew him from 1985 until his passing in 2004. And right this moment, reading this comment, is the very FIRST time that I have *ever* heard it suggested at all that this individual was a gay man.

I knew him for nearly twenty years. I traveled around the country with him. Visited him at home and had dinner with him many, many times. I knew him as a professional colleague and as a very dear and personal friend. I will even say that he was the grandfather I never had.

If anyone at all knew this about him, it would be me. It would not be someone who had to search through this blog to find a person to slander. I recorded your activity earlier.

I also know that you are the same person who earlier claimed that some well-known people in local Scouting tried to "sweep under the rug" a Scouter's misconduct. But you had no proof of that and you got called out for it. You couldn't reply to that. Now you are insisting that a person who has passed on was gay, but you offer no proof of THAT, either.

And since I happen to have been told by this gentleman on a number of occasions that homosexuality could never be in accordance with the Scout Law, I choose to take his own word for it over that of an anonymous twit.

Anonymous said...

I know the guy Chris is talkin about. This man was not gay. When you eat breathe and sleep Scouts you see everything and nothing of the sorts of homosexuality goin on. I for one will be takin my scout card out of my wallet. Its a very sad day, and I know Lord Powell is rolling over in the grave. This world is going to hell for homosexuality.

Jessica Britton (jessicaash@aol.com) said...

Chris, I don't know the man you're talking about, and don't know whether he was or wasn't gay. What I want to ask you is this: Does it make any difference? Would it make him less of a human being, would you think less of him if he had been gay?

Anonymous said...

Well, I think this conversation has run its course. But before I go, let me address some of your comments. Especially since you can't seem to put two and two together and get four. So let me put it in the most elementary terms for you.

"And right this moment, reading this comment, is the very FIRST time that I have *ever* heard it suggested at all that this individual was a gay man." Oh please. Are you serious? While you've said you don't believe anything I've said, let me turn the tables and say I don't believe you here either. Not one bit. Whether you're in complete denial or just that out of touch, I don't know. But to know someone as long as you say you knew him, and say you never heard that, is laughable. Maybe you should ask those who knew him a little better than you. No, a lot better than you. Oh they're around. You know them. Go ahead and ask them if it was true or not true.

"If anyone at all knew this about him, it would be me. It would not be someone who had to search through this blog to find a person to slander." Oh that's rich. It's a blog. I don't get my news or facts from bloggers. Especially bloggers who are obviously in the dark and in denial.

And slander? Here again Chris, in your anger, you missed the whole point I was trying to make. Even Jessica understood it so it isn't that complicated. My point was, the man was revered as a leader. Some, like you, even idolized him. So what if he was gay? What does that have to do with him as a leader? How has he harmed anyone? He obviously didn't do anything to anyone in all the years he was in the program and he went to his grave as one of the finest scouting leaders since time began. What difference does it make if he's gay or not? Is he or any other gay person less worthy than you?

"I also know that you are the same person who earlier claimed that some well-known people in local Scouting tried to "sweep under the rug" a Scouter's misconduct. But you had no proof of that and you got called out for it." Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And one more time you missed the whole point. So let me turn the tables. Do you have any proof that any of them did anything? Did any of them pick up the phone and let the police know? Did any one of them bother to report a crime had been committed against a young person in the scouts by a leader in the program? The man in question was never arrested for anything. And according to the Boy Scouts file, he admitted what he did so there were witnesses. Yet no one called the police and all that came of it was he was allowed to resign. No cops, no anything. Why?

Anonymous said...

"Indeed, it looks like everything possible was done to comply with policies of what was then the Cherokee Council and the Boy Scouts of America." The policies? Policies? The policies of the council and BSA stopped those people from calling the police to report a crime? A policy must be followed to the letter? Especially when it comes to a crime? A serious crime? Are you serious? So you're saying that if I belong to a group or a club and I know a serious crime has been committed, I should follow some bogus policy that tells me to let them resign and then put it in a file and just forget about it? Once again, are you serious?

My point (which totally blew over your head) was that if the scouting program was so full of high morals and decency, why were there policies in place that said the program will handle the problems? If everything was so great, why did BSA national president Wayne Perry apologize in 2012 and extend his deepest sympathies for their failures in handling abuse cases for DECADES? Why would he do that if all was well? Gee, it just doesn't make sense does it?

The Boy Scouts tried to police themselves and failed miserably. Miserably. That's why the BSA was ordered by the courts to pay $20,000,000 and release 1,200 files that had been kept secret for decades. They would still be there if a judge hadn't ordered them to be opened. The BSA "policies" as you called them cost them dearly in money and embarrassment. Every penny they had to pay out was a victory.

And "twit"? So now you've resorted to name calling? That's usually the sign that the person is defensive in a weak argument. Kind of like name calling in a school yard fight. In addition to being in the dark about a lot of things, I would say you need to grow up as well. A grown man using "twit" in a disagreement is childish. Next you'll say you're taking your toys and going home. But it is your blog so throw out names if you like. Doesn't help your case though.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but I'm done with this. I've made my points and I think it was pretty easy for most people to follow what I was saying. As someone said above, I hope one of these days you can look back and realize how silly your thoughts are on this whole matter. But I hope it won't take 30 years. But just to be on the safe side, I won't hold my breath.

Before I go, I will leave you with this link to an editorial by Issac Bailey of the Myrtle Beach Sun News. It is about Jesus and scouting and gay kids. All I would ask is that you read it carefully and let it soak in. Go into it with an open mind. But again, I won't hold my breath.


Anonymous said...


I'm Life and the approval for my Eagle project was signed off on last week. I've worked for this for 5 years but I can't stay in Scouts now. Our oath is to be physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight and a person can't be those things and still be living the gay lifestyle. If the adult leaders in the national office can't live up to the oath then the oath is worthless. I'm not taking part in their hypocrisy.

Eric, Minnesota

Anonymous said...

Is this the basic version of the card that comes with the regular membership to NESA or is it the one that comes with the Lifetime membership?

Chris Knight said...

"Is this the basic version of the card that comes with the regular membership to NESA or is it the one that comes with the Lifetime membership?"

Neither. It's the standard card you would receive at the time for achieving Eagle Scout. It was given to you as part of the ceremony.