NO BADGE PHOTO BECAUSE I MAILED IT ALREADY!
24 July 2012
To Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive, and the BSA Executive Board,
With this letter I am returning my Eagle Scout medal, badge, scarf, and merit badge sash, thereby relinquishing all previous and current association with Boy Scouts of America.
I act in solidarity with all gay boys, fathers, and mothers who will no longer be allowed to participate in this organization and its activities which I, as a boy who was not yet even considering his sexual orientation, was accepted into and benefitted from.
I act to prevent the indoctrination of assumedly heterosexual boys and families who might accept BSA’s current ruling as anything more substantial than sanctioned ignorance (at best) or institutionalized homophobia (at worst).
Reflecting upon the Scout’s oath which I was led to memorize and repeat—and believe—I recall that bigotry and discrimination are not included in said values. As a Scout I was educated, via multicultural-appearing pamphlets and rank-advancing service projects, to appreciate and embrace diversity. I was expected to recite “with liberty and justice for all,” then acknowledge a Christ portrayed as all-accepting by stating the Lord’s Prayer in conclusion of every troop meeting. Given this “moral” education and current BSA policy, a hypocrisy exists with which I cannot ethically accept or abide in any way, shape, or form.
Until this egregious and antiquated policy is reversed, I will only speak of BSA with direct and legitimate criticism. I will not deny the discipline, skills, and solidarity I gained as a Scout. However, until these experiences become available to all youth and families, I remain a Former Eagle Scout.
I am quite proud of my effort and accomplishment achieving this rank circa 1981, and I tremendously appreciate the support of my parents, leaders, and community in this success. Thanks to all of you! I am no longer and not at all proud or appreciative of Boy Scouts of America. Rather, I am sad, disappointed, disgusted, and taking great umbrage.
I imagine questions my own son—almost five years old—might ask when he learns an enticing club from which I, his father, joined and retired, categorically rejects and denies some of his friends and community members for sake of whom and how they love. The tough answers I will give, so long as this letter speaks in vain and intransigent prejudice persists, will unfortunately enlighten my boy (be he straight or gay or otherwise) to the ways of this culture in it’s very poorest inculcation.
For myself and my inclusive family, Boy Scouts of America now serves to represent the sick and ailing shadow of American society rather that the optimistic shine I was sold on as a Tenderfoot, honored for as an Eagle, and expected to uphold as the contributing member of society I have since become.
Thank you for officially removing me from your ranks.
Sincerely and regretfully,
Mark Dooley of Bellingham, WA, Former Eagle Scout and Senior Patrol Leader Troop 301 Hutchinson, KS
MA Clinical Psychology, Master of Environmental Studies, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Child Mental Health Specialist, Certified Sexual Assault Services Provider, WA State Approved Clinical Supervisor