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Jim Austin's Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
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is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 11.18.01

JIM AUSTIN

BS from the BSA

There must not be much going on in Seattle these days. Most of the population have got their knickers in a twist about Darrell Lambert, a 19-year-old Eagle Scout who had to hand in his neckerchief for not believing in a God.

Any god will do, apparently.

"He could even have professed a belief in Mother Nature" one of the Scouting underbosses was quoted as saying.

I had a brief stint in the cub scouts back in the 50s. We met every Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the bottom of a church hall in Windsor, Ontario. As a newcomer I had to wear a white neckerchief indicating that I had not been through whatever ordeal they had in store to make me a legitimate cub.

As I recall we spent half the hour hiding behind screens and then creeping out on our hands and knees when the "Akaila" (translation: fat guy with dimpled knees and funny hat) chanted the sacred wolf cub runes. I quit after two weeks because cubs clashed with Robin Hood starring Richard Greene on TV.

Back to Darrell. Why would a 19-year-old want to be in scouts anyway? He should have realized that any group that banned homosexuals wouldn't hold with godless atheists.

The anti-gay element of scouts is no big deal anyway. Can you imagine any self-respecting gay teen wearing those dopey outfits? In fact I think maybe Saddam Hussein is a Scout. Have you seen the rig he wears?

If the Boy Scouts of America can make Saddam Hussein a Scout, where do they get off giving Darrell the heave-ho?

The Scouts are very particular about who they let in. I'm told. One of Mathew Shepard's killers was an Eagle Scout.

A Mormon and an Eagle Scout murdered Mathew in a grisly fashion because he was gay. Mormons take a rather dim view of homosexuality too. It's okay to marry several women and it doesn't matter if they are underage, but they can't be gay.

Now, I wonder how that Eagle Scout and that Mormon got the idea that gays were such an abomination that murdering them was okay?

People defend the BSA by emphasizing the positive aspects of scouting. Weenie roasts on a starry night, Singing "John Jacob Jingle-Heimer-Schmidt" with other lads are the stuff that memories are made of no doubt.

I'll bet the Ku Klux Klan had some great keggers after the rally. Just a bunch of good ole boys suckin' up the suds and talking about catfish jiggin' and who won last year's pissin' for distance contest at the Grand Dragon's birthday party. (For the record, his wife won for the third year in a row).

Sure, there are great aspects to these clubs but there is always the niggling reminders of what they really stand for. Their core beliefs are exclusionary to gays, secular humanists, agnostics, and atheists. That's what the BSA is all about.

The Klan and the boy scouts aren't the only social clubs with problems these days.

"Hootie" Johnson is the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club where the Masters is played every year. He has all of his chins aquiver over the temerity of the National Council of Women's Organizations President Martha Burk, who suggested that it was time for Augusta to have a female member.

Hootie claims that Augusta is "timeless" and "What's wrong with that?" (Nov. 18 issue Sports Illustrated)

Hootie is really one of the more progressive members at Augusta. He organized the annual Christmas Wife's Bus.

Once a year, on the Monday before Christmas, all of the wives and female children of members are picked up and transported to the pro shop where they are allowed one hour to choose gifts for their member husbands or dads.

This shows a real radical streak in the old Hootie that probably has older members muttering into their juleps. I believe he should rethink allowing a female to join though. She could keep the black member company.

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