I am grateful to those local Boy Scout troops whose members and leaders come to All Saints Episcopal Church in Selinsgrove twice a month to carry food up from the basement to the Parish Hall for Martha's Table, our church's ministry of supper and sociability on the first and third Wednesdays of each month.
This is not a one-shot or occasional help from the Boy Scouts -- we have been counting on them for a long time now, since we don't have a lift or elevator. The Boy Scouts and other youth groups also help serve the meal.
This is just one example of what the Boy Scouts do for our community -- it happens to be one I know about.
Many organizations, including the United Way, have withdrawn funding from the Boy Scouts because their national leadership excludes homosexuals as members or troop leaders. I've read that the national organization is considering having each troop decide for itself if they want to enforce this policy.
I don't approve of any organization's trying to shut out groups of people. I believe that open and generous minds, toward people different from "our own kind" will more often be rewarded than betrayed.
However, I feel a difference between:
1. We don't want you in our organization because we believe you are inferior/not nice people 2. We don't want you in our organization because we are afraid of your possible influence on our young members. (I'm assuming this is the thinking behind the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy.)
I realize that discrimination is the end result in either case. However, No. 1 pushes my self-righteousness button right away; No. 2, not so fast.
I don't know what the members and leaders of our local Boy Scout troops think about the national policy on gays -- I don't know them well enough to ask. I do know what they do, and that's what matters to me.
Ruth Lundberg, Selinsgrove