Letter: Future of Scouting Is at Stake

To the Editor:

Tim Baldwin’s letter of Feb. 22 suggests that “gays should form their own Scouts organization” and leave the existing one to maintain its historical bias against gays. Baldwin seems to be laboring under the misapprehension that the American institution of Scouting is the private property of a particular religious constituency, one that apparently recoils from America’s increasing sense of inclusion.

That is not the case. Scouting as an institution is a national icon, serving a highly diverse range of youths. When American culture matures to embrace previously marginalized groups, it is appropriate that our shared institutions grow as well. The current conflict within Scouting on the role of gays runs deep and will ultimately determine whether Scouting remains a vital part of American life or dwindle into irrelevancy as the times move beyond it. It speaks to our vision of the nation that we are and the nation that we wish to be.

We have met and overcome many challenges in our history. I am confident that we will meet this one.

Martin L. Smith



Letter: Respect Our Rights, Too

Monday, February 18, 2013

To the Editor: In response to Steve Nelson’s column, “Scouts Aren’t Alone In Tolerating Bigotry” (Feb. 17), I say if Nelson doesn’t want religion forced into his institutions or his own life, then he should recognize the right of others to not be forced to accept gays or gay culture into their institutions or lives. It’s quite simple, really. I …