Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dear Mr. Mazzuca,

Mr. Robert Mazzuca
Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America
1325 Walnut Hills Lane
Irving, TX 75015-2079

Dear Mr. Mazzuca,

My purpose in life is to help individuals, groups and organizations to learn, to live and to promote “seize the day” which can reduce suffering and enhance life. Scouting has been an incredible foundation for me discovering my purpose. Scouting runs deep in my family. My mother grew up in Boy Scout camps as my grandfather was a professional scouter. My scoutmaster, Larry Lemser, Troop 516, Centerville, OH, was a scouter’s scout, part of my inspiration for working to achieve Eagle. I earned the rank of Eagle back in 1969. My mother had my Eagle badge and God and Country badge framed in a shadowbox. Until recently, it hung on my office wall. It is now missing.

My Eagle Scout badge is missing because of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) policy of "not granting membership to open or avowed homosexuals.” If it makes any difference, I’m straight. While my accomplishment to achieve Eagle has nothing to do with BSA policy, the Eagle rank does represent values I believe in and found in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. The BSA policy is contrary, hypocritical and non-affirming to the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. Stated on the BSA website concerning the building of character, “Few will argue with the importance of teaching values...such as fairness, courage, honor and respect for others.” Character is revealed at times of adversity.

Are the BSA doing its best? Are the BSA doing its duty to God (I’m thinking of the two greatest commandments in Christianity) and our country? Other God fearing and patriotic organizations such as the Girl Scouts, 4-H clubs, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and even the U.S. Armed Forces, have put an end to such discrimination.

I was told by my scoutmaster at my Eagle Court of Honor, “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle!” I can no longer claim to be an Eagle Scout nor promote the Boy Scouts of America as a primary start to learning leadership. I hope you and the others who create policy find the wisdom and courage to walk-the-talk of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. It’s okay to be straight, but it’s not okay to be narrow.

Carrpe Diem!

David Carr

13 comments:

TerryH said...

Dave;
Thank you for sharing this courageous letter. I have been so sad since the announcement of the BSA stand on homosexuality. My brother is an Eagle Scout, and my Dad was a passionate and long-time Scout leader, who also served on Eagle Scout award panels for years. He was loved by scouts and loved scouting. My Dad loved and accepted all people, and lived a life of servant leadership in every way. He would be sad, as I am, in this backward stance.

Thank you so much for sharing, and for your integrity and courage. That's what Eagle Scouts are known for.
Terry Hasty, MindSpring Consulting

Mary Hladio said...

Dave - what a great letter. It was honest and authentic. You are a true leaders an inspirations for standing up for your values and having the courage to speak out.While so many other sit on the side lines and content to be armchair quarterbacks from a safe place you have shown us all that life is a contact sport and we need to seizing the day.

Mary Hladio
Ember Carriers

Mary Hladio said...

Dave - what a great letter. It was honest and authentic. You are a true leaders an inspirations for standing up for your values and having the courage to speak out.While so many other sit on the side lines and content to be armchair quarterbacks from a safe place you have shown us all that life is a contact sport and we need to seizing the day.

Mary Hladio
Ember Carriers

Mar Feder said...

you rock!!! what a courageous act. love you.

Kaaren said...

Great letter, Dave! The last line puts everything in perspective.."It’s okay to be straight, but it’s not okay to be narrow".

Although I never got past the rank of Brownie and, therefore, don't have the strong scouting background that so many have to feel so deeply about this experience and this policy that creates this "great divide", I can assure you that you are on the right side of this issue.

More of us should take the time to voice our deep seated feelings. Thank you, Dave.

Kaaren McNulty
Kaaren McNulty & Associates

Marylyn said...

Thanks for this letter. BSA is missing an opportunity to lead. So sad. All of us are challenged to "walk our talk." The BSA have missed it. Unfortunately they will soon be history.

Marylyn Huff

Vacant Horizon said...

do we know each other? :-)

excellent letter. i'm (was) an eagle scout too. it's nice to have some solidarity.

peace-
craig neely
atlanta, GA

Carrpe Diem! said...

Dave,
Here is my comment. I tried to respond to the blog but could not.
"Great thoughts and heartfelt comments. Our daughter and son In law have chosen to keep their son out of Scouting because of their exclusion policies.
Perhaps other parents will do the same to send the message."
Bruce E. Duke
Kettering, Ohio
Dave,
Feel free to put this on your blog. Finally, I'm sorry for your pain over what could be and was a great institution.

Bruce E. Duke

Leonora said...

Brilliant and courageous statement. Thank you Dave.

Carrpe Diem! said...

Here is another site with letter's from other Eagle's returning their badges. See http://eaglebadges.tumblr.com/

Carrpe Diem! said...

The pain, the ignorance, the hipocrisy continue. See http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/08/us/california-gay-eagle-scout/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

Carrpe Diem! said...

1/28/13 - Maybe sending my Eagle Award back to the Boy Scouts of America was worth it! See http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/28/us/boy-scouts-policy/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Carrpe Diem! said...

7/27/15 "Boy Scouts of America votes to end controversial ban on openly-gay scout leaders" Three years after I sent my Eagle Award back to the Boy Scouts of America, they finally got caught up! Boy Scouts of America. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/07/26/the-boy-scouts-are-slated-to-lift-ban-on-openly-gay-adult-leaders/