Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mormons and Boy Scouts in Child Sex Abuse Coverup

This one cuts a little close to home for me. It looks like Mormon church leadership may have colluded with the Boy Scouts to cover up the sexual abuse of seventeen boys by a BSA scoutmaster. I was in the same organization, under the same leadership, in the same church as those seventeen boys, at the same approximate time period. I'm realizing retroactively that I wasn't nearly as safe as I thought I was, and it is alarming, especially now that I have kids of my own.

Now I understand my naivete, and while it makes me sad for those boys, it does make me all the more certain I made the right decision quitting both the Mormon church and the Boy Scouts as a kid. While it never occurred to me as a teenager that a bishop would behave in such a reprehensible manner as described in the article, the behavior is still consistent in theme with what I came to understand in both organizations as a young man, namely, more emphasis on the appearance of virtue than upon virtue itself. Upon reflection, the events described in the article do not surprise me, sadly; they are merely the natural extension of the trajectory the church and the BSA have been on for decades.

It is why my children will not be joining the scouts. Any parent who entrusts their kids to the BSA organization is a fool, because the BSA has made their priorities clear by fighting legal battles to avoid revealing what they know about sexual assaults against kids they were responsible for. They seem more concerned about avoiding embarrassing headlines than they are about the kids in their care.

The BSA is not about the boys. It is merely about the BSA.

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