Saturday, December 1, 2012

Down With the Boy Scouts

Ah, Boy Scouts… I never got beyond Cub Scout myself, but I enjoyed playing with knives and fire so much that I never gave it up. I just stopped wasting time at those stupid meetings, and I don’t miss wearing those fruity outfits. Frankly, I’m happy to have gotten out before I earned my Molestation Badge. Between Scouts and the Catholic Church, I definitely dodged two bullets in my childhood.

You find a lot of similarities between the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts, besides the child abuse and institutional cover-ups. You also have God, for some reason. I know most atheists would focus on the God stuff (and by extension, their anti-homosexual agenda), and that’s fine. That’s a fair point, I suppose. But I look at the Boy Scouts as being more like the Pledge of Allegiance… you can take God out, but why bother with it at all?

Seriously… what is the point of Boy Scouts? Unless you think the Hunger Games was a poignantly accurate look into our dystopian future, there’s really no use in the traditional survivalist skills being taught in Boy Scouts. Well, no scratch that… there may be some use, but I can’t think of any legal reason why you need to be skilled with knots today, in the 20th 21st century.

Some people are undoubtedly in favor of fixing the Boy Scouts, but I say scratch the whole concept and start over. Today’s kids need real skills, and they’d be better off learning how to use and program computers than learning how to build a fire with just some wood and your ass hair. Kids could even be doing something that was actually fun, as opposed to sleeping outside like homeless people.

When are you ever going to use camping skills today? I mean… besides waiting in line for the next iPhone or Peter Jackson epic…

We also need an organization with updated attire. Can we all just agree on jeans and a t-shirt? And not “Kick My Ass” orange, like I had to wear as a cub scout. Maybe just a plain black t-shirt, that way everyone looks like they’re about to do stand-up comedy. That seems a lot less militaristic (and strangely fetishistic) than the current uniforms… which I think make Scouts look like a bunch of little Officer Dangles from Reno 911.

In deciding whether to just scrap Scouts altogether, I thought I would look up whether there have been any famous people who were in the organization, men who were perhaps molded by it. I just wanted to get a feel for what society might be missing out on if we got rid of the group entirely. So, here’s just a few of the names you might recognize from the list of Former Scouts:

George W. Bush (current worst President of the century)
Bill Clinton (blowjob aficionado)
Barack Obama (current second-worst President of the century)
Ted Bundy (women’s hacktivist)
Richard Gere (gerbil lover)
Jimmy Buffett (professional alcoholic)
Jim Morrison (Lizard King)
Jimmy Stewart (went to Washington)

Oh, and the list gets even more interesting when you look at just those who achieved the highest rank of Eagle Scout:

Donald Rumsfeld (popularized waterboarding)
L. Ron Hubbard (alien worshipper)
Fred Phelps (hates fags)
Michael Moore (baseball cap enthusiast)
Michael Bloomberg (anti-soda crusader)
Steven Spielberg (college drop-out)
Gerald Ford (only unelected President)
Rick Perry (Governor, Presidential candidate, and… um, I forgot the third one)

The more I look into it, the more it seems like Boy Scouts is a worthless, meaningless, and altogether useless organization, one which is required by law to be provided space to use on government land, including public elementary and secondary schools, parks, and other facilities. The ACLU has already successfully fought to end direct sponsorship by US military bases and schools, which before 2004 had held the charters of over 10,000 Scouting troops.

I certainly don’t agree with the creed the Boy Scouts live by:

Scout Oath
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

I love how they snuck in “morally straight.” And the “Scout Law” is even worse:

Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

Obedience is pretty bad, and I can’t ever respect someone who pledges to be obedient, but I think the worst has to be “cheerful.” I cannot abide someone who is cheerful; cheerful people should be put out of my misery. I’m also not too keen on the idea of being “reverent.”

Which brings me back to the Pledge of Allegiance, and I suppose religion. Kids don’t even understand what is going on here. They don’t know what “reverent” means. How does a kid take an oath to “do [his] duty to God and [his] country” when he’s in 2nd or 3rd grade? How does a 2nd grader even do his duty to God and country? I feel that if by that age you aren’t picking your nose and wiping it on the underside of your desk, you’re ahead of the curve… but I can’t imagine you’re capable of taking on the Ruskies.

We as a society shouldn’t be foisting complex – and often controversial – ideas on children, nor should we have them mindlessly drone on about upholding petty ideals they don’t even understand. I don’t think any of this crap is particularly noble, but even if you’re the sort of twisted fuck who cherishes such notions… you ought to be ashamed of pushing this stuff on children.

Kids should be learning, not pledging oaths. Kids should be finding out what they believe, not being told what to believe. But perhaps most importantly, kids should be part of an organization that sells delicious cookies, not stale popcorn.

And that is why, if I have a son, he’s not going to be a Boy Scout; he’s going to be a Girl Scout.


  1. "but I can’t think of any legal reason why you need to be skilled with knots today, in the 20th century"

    Stuck in the past, huh?

    1. Oh snap, I guess it's me and 20th Century Fox.

  2. Now we turn our attention to the Masonic Order.

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