Boy Scouts Need to Stop Hiring Pedophiles

boy scoutsI know they're an American institution and all, but the Boy Scouts have some serious image revamping to do. And they really should get on it, like, yesterday, before the next sex abuse case surfaces -- which, really, can't be all that long. Oh, look at that, a new one just popped up today.

Four Oregon men are suing the BSA over childhood sexual abuse they say they suffered at the hands of a pedophile, who was knowingly appointed as their scout master in the 1970s.

Oof, that's gonna leave a mark.

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According to the men's Portland-based lawyer, Kelly Clark, the lawsuits accuse the national Boy Scouts of negligence and fraud in connection with the repeated molestation of the men, then aged 12 to 15. And you want to hear something ironic? Clark and his co-counsel, Paul Mones, brought another case against the Boy Scouts just last week on behalf of five women, who are claiming they were sexually abused by the leader of a coed Scouting program in Montana during the 1970s.

That puts the number of individuals who have filed child sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America in 11 states since 2007 at least 35. (Thirty-five! Since 2007!) That could actually give the Catholic church a run for their money.

Look, the Boy Scouts (who, side bar, reported cash and other assets in excess of $1 billion last year) of the past is done. All these accusations have completely tarnished the once-wholesome reputation of the 100-year-old organization, which prides itself on building good character, citizenship, and physical fitness among the 2.7 million youth -- mostly boys aged 8 to 17 -- who are its members. It's time to do away with the anti-gay, archaic beliefs and make the leap into the 21st century, a century that, unfortunately, includes background checks and references. I get that a lot of these lawsuits are pertaining to incidents that happened in the past, but I think it's safe to believe that it's still going on.

The idea of the Boy Scouts is a good one. I'm all for it. Camaraderie, sport, learning to tie a perfect sailor's knot. But there's something very, very wrong with it. And it ought to be fixed.

What do you think of the Boy Scouts?

 

Image via anja_johnson/Flickr

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