I was almost an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. I was two merit badges and a service project shy of completing the program to achieve scouting’s highest honor. But it was 1972, the Watergate scandal broke, and it was reported that President Richard Nixon was an Eagle Scout.
I decided I didn’t want to join a league with a crook of Nixon’s stature. After all, what could it possibly mean to be an Eagle Scout if the values and principles that went along with the accomplishment could be subverted by political ambition and the quest for power.
It broke my mother’s heart and ranks as the only act of teenage rebellion of my adolescence.
That’s why I am glad to see Eagle Scouts renouncing their Eagle achievements in the face of the BSA’s ongoing discrimination against gays in the scouting and leadership ranks.
- Section: News & Comment