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.
Who can argue with that? Who can refuse promoting those solid, non-sectarian beliefs?
Evidently the police in northern Idaho. Ben Wolfinger, the sheriff of Kootenai County, just decided not to renew his department’s charter with a local Boy Scout troop. He had his reasons. How valid they are is another story.
He made his decision to refuse sponsorship for this national organization for one reason and one reason only. It wasn't money. It was that the Boy Scouts of America lifted its ban on gay members. According to Wolfinger, his Christian faith and reliance on biblical teachings led him to his decision. How unchristian of him. He chooses bigotry over charity.
Now sponsoring a worthwhile program like the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts of America seems like a pretty nice thing to do. Generous and uncontroversial as well. Considering the benefits to the members, the kids, the parents and the volunteers, it's to be lauded. Unless you're some kind of right-wing religious zealot.
Is this community leader, a police officer sworn to uphold the law (and that means anti-discrimination and hate laws) withholding his support? He's hiding behind the religion wildcard. Is he really saying that he can't be any support to any group that promotes equality?
According to the US Scouts Organization, the BOY SCOUT LAW:
A Scout is:
- and Reverent.
I don't see anti-Gay in there. So what's the problem?
Unless the narrow-minded Sheriff sees something there that I don't, I suggest that he turn in his badge and refuse to take his pension on religious beliefs. The police help people of all colors, races, creeds, and orientations. Sheriff Wolfinger wishes to exempt himself from that on religious belief. If that's the case, let him go.
People around the country must stop this nonsense of selectively picking and choosing which religious interpretations they want just when it suits their bigotry. This is another one of those cases and sadly, it's a black eye for law enforcement both in Idaho and in the rest of the country.
If police want to benefit from an improved community recognition, cooperation and acceptance, if they want regular people to appreciate the fine job many of them do, then giving something back to communities is just such a move. Refusing aid, help and the backing of their departments just makes them look on par with the criminals they are hired to apprehend.