BSA Strikes Again

Darrell Lambert, a 10-year Boy Scout veteran who recently attained Eagle rank, has been booted from his troop in Port Orchard, Washington. The Boy Scout Law holds that members must be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. By all accounts, Darrell fit the bill--except, that is, for the reverent part.

Despite the volunteer work he did with his troop, and despite the fact that many adults considered him a role model for and leader of the younger boys, the heads of the BSA's Chief Seattle Council deemed Darrell, a college freshman and an athiest since 9th grade, unfit to be a scout unless he took the opportunity they gave him: find God within a week. (One of the Council's heads, evidently blind to the utter irony, said of the case, 'The 12th point of the Scout Law is "reverent," and that includes being faithful in your religious duties and respecting the beliefs of others.')

Much to his credit, Darrell did not take his elders up on the offer, and now he--like openly gay scouts and others the BSA deems undesirable--finds himself unwelcome in the organization he so clearly adored.

It's true that the Boy Scouts, as a private organization, is free to allow and ban whomever it sees fit. But as the Times noted in a recent article on the case, 'As for the other 11 points of the Scout Law, [a BSA spokesman] could not say whether anyone had been ejected for being untrustworthy, disloyal, unhelpful, unfriendly, discourteous, unkind, disobedient, cheerless, unthrifty, cowardly, or sloppy.'