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Boy Scouts, sex abuse, and privileged ethics

Let's say you're an organization dedicated to helping kids. Your entire mission is focused on ensuring that kids can have fun while growing into healthy, responsible adults. Now let's say you discover that some activities carried out within your organization are doing exactly the opposite -- hurting kids and damaging their growth. Which of the following would be a more sensible reaction?

A: Oh crap, we need to solve this problem so that kids aren't hurt!
B: Oh crap, we need to make sure we're not implicated in this problem!

It seems that if the organization is the Boy Scouts of America, and the problem is sex abuse of scouts, they're going with option B. This is absolutely, unequivocally wrong. The details of the specific cases are somewhat beside the point -- the BSA has clearly taken the liability-minimization approach, rather than the sex-abuse-minimization approach, and that is the wrong way to deal with this situation.

The point of this post is not just to condemn the BSA for violating at least 11 of the 12 points of the Scout Law (they might be able to get the Roman Catholic Church to sign off on covering up pedophilia as being "reverent").


The aim of religion

I criticize Joel Monka a lot (in my head even more than makes it into print), so it's only fair to highlight a good post he wrote that ends with an excellent articulation of some of my own feelings about religion:

To me, undue concern over an unknowable future in an unknown reality is an abuse of religion. I believe that the proper role of religion is to address the needs of the soul in the here and now... helping one make sense of life's daily absurdities, sharing pain and joy, understanding how to live and how to die.

And it's convenient that I came upon this the day after I "officially" became a UU, having just signed the book at Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church in Pittsburgh.