If you're not up on the subject, the Boy Scouts of America have repeatedly disallowed openly gay members as well as atheists and agnostics.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA), one of the largest private youth organizations in the United States, has policies which prohibit atheists and agnostics from membership in its Scouting program, and prohibit "avowed" homosexual people from leadership roles in its Scouting program as directly violating its fundamental principles and tenets. BSA has denied or revoked membership status or leadership positions of youths and adults for violation of these foundational principles. The BSA contends that these policies are essential in its mission to instill in young people the values of the Scout Oath and Law. (source)
So here we sit weighing the (good) lessons he'll learn, the skills, friendships...with the bad. If we allow him to join BSA, will we be teaching him that it's okay to exclude people based on their sexuality or religion? What if they wanted to exclude his little brother who is African American?
By allowing him to participate in an organization that thinks being gay or atheist is wrong, wouldn't we be supporting that view too? Just as the BSA think these folks would push their beliefs and ideas on Boy Scouts, should we be concerned that the organization might push it's myopic views on our son?
Or, should we be allowing him to form his own views on the subject? Should we even be broaching such a heavy subject like that with him? At this point, he just knows that his Girl Scout sister gets to sell cookies, do fun art projects and go camping. Is a 5 year old able to weigh "cool stuff" against moral values?
I'm really interested in knowing how everyone feels about this, so please tell me your thoughts. What have you done? Do your sons know about BSA's policies? How do they feel? How do you feel? Please, views are bound to vary greatly, so let's be respectful.