About two and half weeks ago, I wrote a post titled “Just put the damn pedophile enablers in jail already.” Well, yesterday’s LA Times had this article on how the Boy Scouts helped alleged child molesters avoid prosecution:
Over two decades, the Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and often hid the allegations from parents and the public.
A Los Angeles Times review of 1,600 confidential files dating from 1970 to 1991 has found that Scouting officials frequently urged admitted offenders to quietly resign — and helped many cover their tracks.
Volunteers and employees suspected of abuse were allowed to leave citing bogus reasons such as business demands, “chronic brain dysfunction” and duties at a Shakespeare festival.
Please read the entire Times article.
I was a Boy Scout back in the day. I achieved the rank of “Star.” The troop was sponsored by the Methodist church right across the street from where I lived, classmates were in the troop as well as boys from my grandmother’s neighborhood. I was so proud the day I was old enough to join and the only reason I didn’t keep up with it was because I went away to military school for high school.
It saddens me to see what the Boy Scouts are doing to themselves. My memories of the Boy Scouts were of an inclusive organization but today’s Boy Scouts seem intent on being exclusive and consequently marginalizing themselves. One of my younger cousins has a young son who has expressed an interest in scouting and just last week she questioned how she could give him a scouting type of experience without actually having him be in the scouts.
The Times article states that of the 1,600 plus cases they reviewed, 500 of them were of cases where the scouting organization was informed by the boy, parents, staff members, or anonymous tips yet in 400 of these cases, did not make a report to authorities. Reading the article, it appears that at least some of the lack of reports were specifically to “protect the reputation of the Scouts and accused staff member.” And where have we heard of this happening before? Oh right. The Catholic Church. Penn State.
It amazes me to see groups like the Catholic Church and the Scouts refusing to report child molesters to authorities, preferring to let the alleged offender shuffle on off to do damage elsewhere. At the same time both the Church and the Boy Scouts seem to consistently equate being gay with being a pedophile no matter how many times reports and studies show this is wrong.
I won’t even get into someone like Mike Huckabee making the same claims but I keep hoping that someone in the Church and the Boy Scouts will enter the 21st Century. I’m not going to hold my breath but I will keep hoping that at some point they will recognize that pedophiles are not the same thing as two caring individuals who happen to be in love with a person of the same sex.
Cross posted from Just A Small Town Country Boy by Richard Taylor