Don’t tell me: former Eagle Scout Rick Perry was none too pleased with Madonna’s pseudo-controversial statement about the Boy Scouts of America.
Dressed in a blue Scout uniform, the pop singer used the occasion of the 24th annual GLAAD Awards March 16 to speak out against, among other things, the BSA policy banning gay Scouts and troop leaders. “I can build a fire,” Madonna said. “I know how to pitch a tent. . . . Most importantly, I know how to scout for boys. I think they should change their stupid rules.”
Perry weighed in on the singer’s costumed antics in an interview with his buddy Glenn Beck on the latter’s radio program March 19. When asked about his recent appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Perry told Beck that it was more exciting than Madonna’s award show spectacle, wrote the Houston Chronicle.
The governor thought Madonna’s remarks were flippant. “It’s fascinating that someone would make that kind of gratuitous shot at an organization that has probably done as much to promote young men to the type of values that the vast majority of the people in this country aspire to,” said Perry.
Perry, an Eagle Scout, wrote the 2008 book On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For, which supports the traditional values of the BSA including banning openly gay members and Scout leaders, wrote the Huffington Post. In February, Perry reiterated this position before a gathering of the Texas Scouts’ 64th annual Report to State in the Texas House of Representatives. “I think most people see absolutely no reason to change the position and neither do I,” said Perry.
Perry holds individuals who follow the path of the BSA in high esteem, especially those top troopers, the Eagle Scouts. He told Beck how he gives Eagle Scouts preference when looking at applicants’ resumes:
I know that as a young man they made a decision to follow a long and arduous path to reach that Eagle Scout award and that if they went through that long process between the ages of 10 and 15—16 years old, that those qualities, those characteristics, those values are still very much alive in that young man who’s asking to work for you and that’s the kind of people I want surrounding me. That’s the type of individuals I want to be working with and I’m counting on to take the great State of Texas forward.
But should boys be refused the Eagle Scout award on the basis of their sexuality? How many are marginalized who might otherwise help Governor Perry take Texas forward?