July 30, 2012: Two unlikely voices for inclusion with the Boy Scouts of America

Posted on : Jul 31st, 2012 | By | Category: Still Speaking

“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain ‘move!’ and it will move.” Matthew 17: 20

The Boy Scouts of America are being urged to change their policy of excluding gay and lesbian scouts and leaders by some unexpected voices.   One person is an Eagle Scout, Zach Wahls, who happens to have two moms.  Zach is an engineering student at the University of Iowa.  He addressed the Iowa House of Representatives supporting gay civil unions in January 2011 and his address went viral.  If you haven’t heard it, I highly recommend that you listen to it!  He was only 19 when he spoke.  Brilliant and articulate!

Then last month, Jim Turley, chairman and CEO (chief executive officer) of Ernst & Young – a global tax and accounting firm who is also a member of the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America, joined the call to end the discriminatory practices of the Boy Scouts.  In a statement issued by Ernst & Young, Jim Turley said he will “work from within” the Boy Scouts to help change its policy that prohibits gays from being members or leaders of one of America’s largest youth organizations.  Turley also said, “As I have done in leading Ernst & Young to being a most inclusive organization, I intend to continue to work from within the BSA Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress.”  Another Boy Scout board member, Randall Stephenson, CEO of the telecommunications giant AT&T, said he favors diversity but did not go as far as Turley in speaking against the Scouts’ policy.  (from a Reuters posting

Margaret Mead, the great American anthropologist and pioneer of social change, once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does.”

Here we have three unexpected persons speaking up for change and inclusion: an Eagle Scout with two moms, and two corporate CEO’s serving on the Board of Directors of a national organization.  A while ago, a dad came up to Jesus, knelt before him and said, “Rabbi, have mercy on my child, who has seizures and is very ill.  The child will often fall into the fire or into water.  Even your disciples have failed to effect a cure.”   Jesus replied, “Bring the child to me.”  Then Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out, and the child was healed from that moment.  The disciples asked Jesus, “Why couldn’t we expel the demon?”  And Jesus replied, “Because you didn’t have faith in yourself.”

How many times do we not have faith in ourselves?  A couple weeks ago in worship we prayed these words:

Gracious God, surprise us this morning with your generous love!

If any of us has come here this morning thinking we are not good enough or not worthy enough, show us we’re wrong!

If any of us has come here feeling less than full of joy and thanksgiving for the gift of life that you have given us, show us we’re wrong!

If any of us has come here thinking our lives and our actions don’t make a difference, show us we’re wrong!

Show us, gracious God, what a difference our lives make when we let your light and love shine through us.

In Jesus spirit we pray,  AMEN!

We could add, “God, if any of us doesn’t have faith in ourselves, show us we’re wrong.”  One small voice can begin a massive movement for change.  Have faith in yourself and you will be able to move mountains.



Leave a Reply