Recently the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its ban on homosexuals and non-religious folks that want to be involved with their organization. That’s within their rights. Recently, the Plymouth School Committee voted to allow the scouts to use the schools without a fee. I can’t help but wonder if this violates the anti-discrimination policy of the Plymouth Public Schools. Would we tolerate another group to use our facilities for free if they discriminated against color or religion?
Many will argue that the scouts teach community and other skills that are good and necessary; that they make a difference in the lives of the boys who commit to scouting. I’m sure that’s true. But it’s also true that by choosing to enroll and stay in scouting, they are teaching their children that it’s ok to tolerate hate and bigotry if it benefits you in some way.
Also in the news is Boston’s Mayor Menino’s stance against Chick-Fil-A and his vow not to let them open a restaurant within the city limits due, in part, to their stance on marriage equality.
I don’t agree with the mayor. I believe that the best way to handle a business that wants to discriminate is to make sure that you do not frequent it. If the establishment or organization operates in a way that you find morally reprehensible and you continue to support them with your money, that’s on you and it makes you a part of the discrimination, part of the problem. Understand where your money goes. If you eat at Chick-Fil-A, a portion of your money will be actively used to discriminate. It will be used to spread hate, fear and intolerance.
I’m not arguing that the scouts and Chick-Fil-A should not exist nor am I arguing that they shouldn’t be allowed to make their own rules regarding membership or how they want to spend their profits. What I’m saying is that in order to affect change in organizations in a real and meaningful way is to hit them where it hurts: the pocketbook. Every dollar that you give to the scouts and Chick-Fil-A allows them to continue to spread hate and discrimination.
Talking with my daughter about this the other day I asked her if the mayor of Boston should be able to bar a business from opening if he doesn’t agree with how they spend their profits. I explained about Chick-Fil-A and how they actively seek to prevent marriage equality. She thought they should be allowed to open since she loves their chicken sandwiches. I then explained to her that by purchasing their delicious chicken sandwiches a portion of her money would go to fund activities that discriminate.
That led us to discuss what’s more important: her lunch or marriage equality. Thankfully, she decided that marriage equality is more important in the long run than her lunch. She’s a smart one, she is. We talked a little about being aware of where your money ends up.
I explained how important it is to understand how money travels and that it is up to us to research how and where we spend our money. If a business or organization doesn’t align with our beliefs, we try not to give them our business.
Live your conscience. If you can’t stand up for your beliefs who will?