Boy Scouts struggle with declining membership… perhaps because they’re bigots?

The NYT article on the Boy Scouts’ membership woes includes this odd throwaway line, that it doesn’t ever follow up on:

The organization, long an icon of wholesomeness in a simpler America, has seen its membership plunge by 42 percent since its peak year of 1973, when there were 4.8 million scouts. In the last decade alone, membership has dropped by more than 16 percent, to 2.8 million.

The declines reflect the difficulties of keeping up with changing times and shifting demographics, as well as of battling a perception that the organization is exclusionary because it bars gay people and atheists, not to mention girls under 13.

A perception that it’s exclusionary because it excludes people. Nice spin from the reporter. How about just reporting the facts and saying that the Boy Scouts are losing membership in part due to its exclusionary policies. How is it a perception that they’re exclusionary when you then go on to explain exactly how they exclude people?

I was in the Boy Scouts. If I had a kid, never again. Not only are they oh-so-70s, but they are bigots. They’re just another right-wing Christian group trying to hide the intolerant bigots they really are – just like the Salvation Army. (H/t to reader Brandon for sending this in.)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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