July 27, 2012
Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive &
BSA National Executive Board
1325 Walnut Hill Lane
PO Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079
I am writing to request that you accept this letter as forfeiture of my Eagle Scout award in protest of the Boy Scouts of America’s policy of denying membership to gay people of all ages and atheists.
I earned the Eagle Scout award and was a member of the Order of the Arrow as a young man. In the years since, I served as a volunteer scout leader. I donated and raised money. But I do not wish to be represented as an Eagle Scout, nor do I wish to be associated with the Boys Scouts of America in any way, while these policies are in effect.
As a boy scout I was taught by good people to respect myself and others. I learned to sacrifice and to serve. I learned personal responsibility and global citizenship. I learned to leave the world around me better than I found it. Today I consider forfeiture of my Eagle Scout award a moral imperative consistent with those values. I am reminded of the words of Nazi concentration camp survivor and peace activist, Martin Niemöller, published in 1955:
First they came for the communists,
And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me,
And there was no one left to speak for me.
I am speaking out. These policies are incompatible with your own mission of “helping youth to build a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.” Whether or not intentional, they promote narrow-mindedness and bigotry. You should change them now.