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As they have done every November for many years, the Boy Scouts have tied a blue plastic bag to my front door handle, asking me to fill it with canned goods that they'll pick up next Saturday and distribute to food pantries. This year, the only thing I'm donating is a note explaining why I can't support them anymore.

Instead of filling up the bag with cans of vegetables, soups and fruit cocktail, I've written a little note that I hope someone will read: "Dear Boy Scouts," says the note,"In the past, I've donated to your canned food drive every year. But then I learned that your organization discriminates against gay people, so I can no longer support your activities. I will continue to donate to canned food drives, but only those sponsored by more open-minded organizations."

Just to make sure that they actually pick up my donation bag, I threw in a can of garbanzo beans, so it won't look empty, and so they'll have to reach inside, where the note is.

Anyone care to join the protest?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    Life's a dance you learn as you go; sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.

    by gloriasb on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:30:42 PM PST

  •  maybe (3+ / 0-)

    attach the note to the can, so they can't miss it. and maybe make it an empty can, while giving the full one to someone else.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:37:40 PM PST

  •  No, I don't want to join the protest. (6+ / 0-)

    Not this way. It only hurts your local food bank. Send that letter to Boy Scout headquarters. The local kids and leaders have nothing to do with the troglodytes in power in Texas. Remember, the asswipes in TX may set the regulations, but they are actually carried out, OR NOT, by local leaders. We never encountered anti-gay bigotry in the 12 years my son was in Scouts. As I posted in another diary, it was not all sweetness and light, but nevertheless I have to say that many, many men in Scouting do NOT persecute kids, despite what the powers-that-be wish. Don't hurt your local food bank. Send the letter to the actual perpetrators of these awful acts of cruelty.

    •  The diarist said they would donate, just not (6+ / 0-)

      through the Boy Scouts.

      I will continue to donate to canned food drives, but only those sponsored by more open-minded organizations.
      It's not like the food has to go through the Boy Scouts to get there; there are opportunities other times of year, as with the USPS's food drive, or with the barrels for donations at grocery stores.  Besides, as the donation drives at DKos have said over and over, food banks and food pantries can make your monetary donation go far further than you could at the grocery store, no matter what sales you catch.  

      Giving through the Boy Scouts may be a good opportunity for the kids to do volunteer work, but it's also an opportunity for Boy Scouts of America to make itself look good.

      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:05:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No. (8+ / 0-)

    The boys are not the problem. Please don't diminish their joy in service by this. If you don't want to donate, just don't donate. Make your protest to the organization, not to the boys.

    If you wish to support food pantries, please check your area for them. Likely they prefer money to goods, anyway, as they may be able to buy food for a few cents on the dollar.

    Love is the part of us that lasts. Share it while you can.

    by Melanie in IA on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:47:35 PM PST

    •  I'm listening... (6+ / 0-)

      I do, in fact, support a local food bank with a check every year. And I will increase that check this year. And I hear what you're saying about raining on the Boy Scouts' parade. So, I'm thinking about it. I haven't put the bag out on the door yet...

      Life's a dance you learn as you go; sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.

      by gloriasb on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:51:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Stick to your guns (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rb608

        Their Homophobia does nothing more than protect pedophiles.

        "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:59:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your message isn't going to get to the people (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grover, operculum

          who need to hear it.

          Do you think those Boy Scouts are somehow going to send your piece of paper to Boy Scout Headquarters?
          More likely it ends up in a trash can.

          They may not even know anything about this issue -- they are kids, even the teens.

          I share your disgust with the Boy Scouts, but I think it would be better to just ignore their request -- don't put anything out -- and then send your message directly to someone in some authority.

          And send that check ASAP.

          "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

          by gfre on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:34:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It will teach them the difference (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cai, caseylaw

            between right and wrong.

            It is an excellent moral lesson.

            "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

            by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:39:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Only if there is someone to teach it. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              grover

              I've been a parent of two boys, now in their 20's, and I just don't see this moral lesson happening...because I don't think the scoutmaster is going to teach it, I don't think you can count on a parent who might be chaperoning/driving to teach it...and I don't think there's any guarantee that the Scout is going to take it home and start a conversation with his parent(s) about it.

              Now, all of those things COULD happen. It could turn out exactly the way the diarist -- and you -- hope it will.

              If you want to be SURE your message is heard, don't risk it in the hands of a 9-13 year-old boy.

              Also, I'm a very liberal person, but I'm telling you -- there are a lot of parents who just really don't think a total stranger is the person to teach their kids moral lessons.

              "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

              by gfre on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:13:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No by telling them you will not support (0+ / 0-)

                their project because of discrimination is the lesson.

                Apartheid is an excellent way to explain it to them. Especially considering the BS's history.

                Would you balk at letting a child steal? Same level of morality regarding the golden rule.

                We aren't discussing the mating habits of LGBT's we are just pointing out that the BS hate LGBT's and that is wrong.

                "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

                by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:20:17 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  fine - I hope it works out the way you want it to. (0+ / 0-)

                  All I'm saying is, don't count on it.

                  You can't control how the message is received. You can put it out there, and hope.

                  "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

                  by gfre on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:43:12 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sounds much better than your way (0+ / 0-)

                    Which is shut up and take the abuses because we are not worth teaching children to respect.

                    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

                    by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 09:04:19 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Oh, give it a rest, for God's sake. (0+ / 0-)

                      You don't know me, and you are deliberately misinterpreting pretty much everything I've written in these comments.

                      I've worked my whole life with a ton of LGBTQ people, and my children were taught the right values from day one.

                      I taught them. They didn't learn the right values from a piece of paper from a stranger. If someone can be reached that way -- fine. Go for it. I thought we were allowed to express opinions here at DK, and my opinion was that I thought this method had a small chance for success.

                      Apparently I can't meet your standards tonight, so I'm throwing in the towel. I'm not your enemy, so if you think I am, you're simply wrong. I just don't have a lot of faith in Boy-Scout-age kids to get that lesson delivered that way.

                      "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

                      by gfre on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 10:22:20 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  The boys can also volunteer at the food banks (4+ / 0-)

      directly themselves, through the Boy Scouts or on their own.  Nothing's stopping them.  But if they're old enough to lift bags and sort cans, they're old enough to know what the Boy Scouts of America really is.

      As for the kids' feelings, I participated in many a "tag day" donation drive for the team sports I played, and usually there was some old person (often a woman) telling us girls shouldn't play sports.  That was a sexist and retrograde message.

      The diarists' message, on the other hand, is one of inclusion and noble sentiment.  And it might just be an important message for a young Scout to get, either if he realizes later that he's gay himself, or if he decides he wants to be a straight ally.

      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:11:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  P.S. -- Importantly, while I got annoyed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, irishwitch

        with these old people telling me I shouldn't play sports, it did not damage me: I had parents and friends and coaches and all the OTHER old people who thought we were cute saying, "Yes, you should play sports.  It's great that you play sports."

        Meanwhile, kids in the Boy Scouts are part of an organization that may teach important lessons, but also demands that kids (and adults) meet their exclusionary idea of what a Scout can be: no gays, no atheists.

        Society at large is still virulently homophobic, and many churches still preach a gospel of hate, not only for gays, but for anyone who questions their teachings.

        It's possible these kids have no one in their lives saying it's ok to be who they are.

        And the diarist would be one small voice saying it is.

        That's laudable.

        © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

        by cai on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:17:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's a fine line, but I would make the boys aware (4+ / 0-)

      of why their job is just a little tougher.  If all they experience is from within the BSA info bubble, they'll miss out on a genuine opportunity for consciousness raising.  

      I was an Eagle Scout.  I say tell the boys.  

      "It is not, you fucking liberal prick." ..My RW friend Dave's last words to me.

      by rb608 on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:36:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wouldn't a letter to HQ be better ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InsultComicDog

    That way kids aren't involved. They will be picking the stuff up and sorting the goods. At the local level they will give to some adult who will throw it in the trash. I detest their position on gays,but the kids didn't do anything.

  •  I feel badly about the little kids; it is not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover

    their fault that their leadership are knuckledraggers and (sometimes) pedophile enablers.

    I talked to a friend whose gay, non-religious son just got his Eagle; at this time he is not comfortable being in the spotlight about this issue.

    So I am going to put out canned goods for my nice neighbors autistic Scout to give to our local needy.

    But I do understand your position; I just wish it was easier to point our disapproval at leadership and spare the kids.

    ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

    by slowbutsure on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:53:19 PM PST

  •  To feed people in need (4+ / 0-)

    consider donating to Occupy Sandy Relief.  You can be sure Occupy Sandy doesn't discriminate.

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:53:30 PM PST

  •  I give to the local food pantry/soup kitchen (4+ / 0-)

    they do a great job in the community.

    I Support Puerto Rican Statehood

    by InsultComicDog on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:57:40 PM PST

  •  Good for you. (0+ / 0-)

    Even better if you specify a specific local group or groups that your donation is going to.  

    You could then put a note in the bag of donated food -- or in the letter with the check -- explaining to the recipient organization that it was to replace what you used to give to the Boy Scouts food drive.)

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:01:16 PM PST

  •  I left my bag at the door (0+ / 0-)

    on Saturday for the local Boy Scouts.  Never even thought of the political angle.   Not sure if punishing the kids and the food banks that the kids are donating to is the right way to express displeasure with the hierarchy.  

  •  I'm with you. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, Eyesbright

    I don't get the blue bag thing here; but the little tykes are occasionally lurking outside the local supermarket.  I've avoided putting the kids on the spot over things they do not control; but I do plan to have a polite word with their leader the next time.

    "It is not, you fucking liberal prick." ..My RW friend Dave's last words to me.

    by rb608 on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:28:03 PM PST

  •  Great idea! Why not rubberband (0+ / 0-)

    The note to the can... Better yet an empty, clean can.

    This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

    by AllisonInSeattle on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 07:06:55 PM PST

  •  I just have to say this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover

    You do realize that what you are doing is attacking boys as young as 6 who have nothing to do with the national policy...Can you really justify, in your own mind, the fact that you are punishing these boys for something that is absolutely out of their control.

    BSA promotes so many positive qualities in our youth, including a service to communities, leadership, development of self-reliance, confidence-building, teamwork, and so many life-skills, that it seems like so many people are ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    So go ahead, break a boy's heart, when all he is trying to do is help someone else. Its all very easy for you to put your can in a bag and hang it on your door, and feel so proud of yourself. Are you willing to get out of your easy chair and walk blocks and blocks going door-to-door trying to get people to donate. And we do it in December and February, and you know what, its damn cold. But my own boys, and the boys in my unit do it twice a year, and we bring in usually around 2000 pounds worth of food for our food bank. Are you willing to do that service?  Sure there are issues with BSA, but are you willing to SERVE YOUR COMMUNITY like we try and teach these youth?

    I'm tired of people slamming BSA for THIS ONE SINGLE ISSUE, when there are so many other positives that they conveniently ignore.

    I will tell you I was never so proud of my own teenage son as when he was offered a $20 donation during a fundraiser 'because the Scouts don't allow gays', and when he told the gentleman that he didn't believe that because he had gay friends, and the man took his $20 back...My son just accepted the fact that he had stood up for his own beliefs, even though it cost him $20.

    So go ahead, put your can of garbanzo beans in the bag and hang it from your door...Maybe if you are lucky you can even see the expression on the boy's face when he reads your note...Just remember, its not his fault, and you are taking it out on him and his fellow scouts.

    •  This: (0+ / 0-)
      So go ahead, break a boy's heart, when all he is trying to do is help someone else.
      There are better ways to make political points. These kids and teens are trying to do good in the world.

      I don't think the message we should be giving back is that their good deeds are worthless (or worse) because of the organization that they belong to.

      If anything, I would fill a bag or two, include a kind note of admiration for the work they're doing, mention that the food bank serves everyone and that you admire the fact that they're supporting such a fine inclusive organization.

       Leave out references of sexual orientation (because some of these kids really are just little guys) and religion. Just emphasize that the message of inclusion, and leave it at that.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:39:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The kids deserve to know. (0+ / 0-)

      There's nothing mean-spirited about the OP's note.  The boys aren't being attacked at all, they're being informed.  And even though the kids aren't responsible for the policy, making them aware of it could help start a productive conversation.

      I understand that the boys are only motivated by good, and they really do amazing things.  But just because a group does good doesn't excuse the bad.  The Catholic Church is a analogous.  

      Thank you for raising a great son; that story about the donation is really stirring.  And if scouting helped him grow, scouting deserves praise for that.  

      Denying that good to people on a discriminatory basis is completely unacceptable.  The boys are entitled to an honest explanation from the leaders about why BSA thinks gay people are lesser than straight people, and if there's no good explanation, there's food for thought.

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