Congratulations on becoming an Eagle Scout

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Photo courtesy of Eric Gay/ Associated Press.

Alex Grayson ('14)/ Eastside Opinions Editor

In the past weeks, multiple Facebook friends of mine have shared their achievement of becoming an Eagle Scout.

“Congratulations, you deserve it,” a Facebook user commented. “I’m so proud of you!”

I guess I am proud of you, too. But, at the same time, I am horrified.

In 2014 an openly gay Scout cannot retire his Boy Scout title for an Eagle Scout title under the bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America organization. According to the website: “we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals.”

Sure, thanks to the oh-so-progressive modifications this year, openly gay juveniles are no longer subjected to banishment policies and can join the Boy Scouts for the first time since 1910.

Gay or straight, Scouts across our good nation can bond over the pursuit of iron on merit badges and wilderness survival training. Some good ‘ol American fun, if you will.

Here is where it gets nauseating, though.

Once a Boy Scout meets certain requirements, he is eligible to claim the highest and most prestigious rank: the Eagle Scout.

It’s a big deal, it really is. Gerald R. Ford, forty US astronauts, former Mayor Bloomberg, the CEO of Walmart and Marriott hotels all hold the distinguished title. Along with the title comes a commitment to life-long service and honor.

Of course, any Boy Scout cannot just waltz in and slap an Eagle Scout badge onto his khaki button-down. Oh, no. There is a very rigorous, demanding list of requirements.

Read carefully: To join the ranks of an Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, demonstrate Scout Spirit, demonstrate leadership, must lead a service project, take part in a Scoutmaster Conference, and, oh, he can’t be one of dem’ homosexuals.

In other words, openly gay Boy Scouts, of legal age, who work just as hard and demonstrate tremendous devotion to the organization are ineligible to be considered as an Eagle Scout. Period.

As a matter of fact, gay Scouts must effectively sever all of their ties with the organization no later than their eighteenth birthday.

The gay Scouts cannot list the ubiquitously respected “Eagle Scout” title on college applications and resumes, or qualify for the abundant scholarship opportunities and military programs exclusive to Eagle Scouts; they cannot join the fruitful, lifelong networks; and they cannot maintain the relationships they fostered in the Scouts since they were children. They also cannot lead their own children in the organization when the time comes.

What is the logic behind this? The Boy Scouts of America, a 501(c)3 non-profit tax deductible organization, is a revered American staple. There must be something to substantiate the absurdity.

Obviously, once openly gay individuals surpass the age of 17 and become legal adults, their pedophilic tendencies kick in and they cannot be trusted around prey, I mean, children. They are just a bunch of sexual deviants with a predisposition for child molestation.

This is sickening, yes. But even more stomach-churning is the organization’s internal response to real sex abuse cases. Sexual abuse committed by straight, family men.

On October 19, 2012, the organization was court-ordered to release over 20,000 pages of buried documentation on 1,200 alleged child sexual abuse cases. These were appropriately dubbed the “perversion files.”

The perversion files were covered up by the organization and “more than a third” of the allegations and reports were never reported to the police. Most interestingly, the files revealed many cases where the alleged sex-abusers were allowed to continue in the Scouts.

Now to my Facebook friends, it is my great honor to wish you a congratulations on your accomplishment! I am proud. May you continue to affect those around you with your untainted “morally straight” compasses and uphold the values that earned you your prestigious title within the organization.

And to those attracted to the same sex, keep your distance.