Originally created 09/21/00

Cub den leader defends Boy Scouts



I have been a leader of a Cub Scout den for the last three years and I serve with pride. In all this turmoil there is one thing that people seem to be overlooking, and that's this: The Boy Scouts of America is an organization based on Christian values.

The oath the boys take is "... to do my duty to God and country ..." The parents who allow, encourage, or have their children join also know that BSA teaches citizenship as a core principle and, let's face it, we could use a few more good citizens in our future.

These factions that are screaming about the intolerance of BSA make it sound like we, as leaders, are teaching the Scouts to hate and bash those who are different ... In fact, we are teaching them how to take pride in the work they do and to do the best that they can.

This is more than I can say for those groups which find it necessary to shout nasty slogans at children who choose to be the best they can be and to do it with pride. If anyone is spreading hate in this country it is those who find it necessary to push themselves and their beliefs on others.

Not one of the children in my den was forced to be there; not one parent was forced to have a child join, so why are you forcing me to accept what you do or say? My children are a part of BSA because I know that they will learn what it is to be good citizens and not how to bully people into things they don't want.

Thank you for forcing me to explain to my 7-year-old that "gay" isn't always a word referring to someone who's happy.

Cherie Lee Portinga, Evans



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