Boy Scouts

Society for Humanistic Judaism Supports Boycott of Boy Scouts

Statement Commending and Supporting Reform Movement Request
for Boycott of Boy Scouts

The SHJ commends and congratulates the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis for their courageous action in protesting the prohibition by the Boy Scouts of America of gay members as adult leaders. We believe that all leaders and supporters of the Scouts should work vigorously to change this policy and, if such efforts prove unsuccessful, should sever their ties with, and withdraw their support from, the Scouts.

We also commend those Chapters of the United Way that, by withdrawing funding from the Scouts, have refused to condone this discriminatory and exclusionary policy.

The Boy Scouts organization proudly proclaims its mission is to build the character of American youth. Yet the Scouts have a policy of actively seeking to inculcate prejudice and discrimination as fundamental moral values in the children in their troops. It should be observed that the ban on adult leadership also applies against atheists. These views cannot be reconciled with humanist values and it is simply unacceptable for humanists to stand by and blindly ignore such flagrant bigotry so that their children may enjoy an otherwise pleasant scouting experience.

All Jews have a particular concern with the issue of discrimination and exclusion. Some values are paramount and should not be subject to a balancing test against other interests. Opposition to gay bashing or other forms of invidious discrimination are among such absolute Jewish values that cannot be compromised.

— May 4, 2001