Yesterday, I discussed the problems a father in Utah has created, determined to insure his son, who has Downs Syndrome, becomes an Eagle Scout. Later in the afternoon, I caught an interview with him on FOX. Once again I will reiterate, the child, who is 15 and looks 10, is low-functioning Downs. While he was being ‘interviewed’ about being an Eagle Scout, he was playing with a stuffed giraffe, that looked like a Beanie Baby.
One of the ways the Boy Scouts of America determines if a child who has Downs is eligible for a special version of Eagle, is to see if he has leadership qualities. They must also be capable of reading, writing and basic comprehension. This boy is a child. He is incapable of functioning beyond the basics. To demand he be allowed to become an Eagle is doing a disservice to those very special young men who are Downs, and work to achieve Eagle – due to their own capacity for achievement. And – there are quite a few of them.
I have a friend who is Downs. He is very high functioning, with proven leadership capabilities. He is a youth minister in his church. He is a very devout Christian who is fully aware of what it is to be a Christian. He has a job, is well respected in the community, and has numerous fans and admirers. Given a half hour, Simon would not only be running the BSA, but he would some how figure out how to turn a profit with it, and collect tips. One afternoon, he carried out my groceries. “Simon, I only have a hundred. Can I give you a tip, later.”
“I can make change!”
He did, producing $95!
A dear friend has a grandson who is not as high functioning as Simon. His lower function has been caused by physical problems. There is no way he could be an Eagle. He did, though, finally beat Simon at bowling in the Special Olympics. Simon is a ringer when it comes to bowling and pool.
The point is, both Ernesto and Simon have lives and personalities of their own. While Ernesto cannot function on his own, Simon can. They both have a social life. They have friends. They are viable human beings. The problem with the child in Utah is he is terribly low functioning. The Boy Scouts of America should not be required to pander to his disability. The child doesn’t know any better. This isn’t about the child, but the ego of the father, who looks like a degenerate.
I love the fact that good conservatives, who don’t believe in social promotion or social justice, are advocating for the child, simply because they don’t approve of the Scouts. They hate the Scouts, regardless of the good they do. They are betraying what they believe, to advocate for the promotion of a child who is being used and manipulated.
Not everyone is capable of specific achievements. To demand that a child who is seriously low-functioning, and cannot possibly comprehend what he is doing, be gifted with an award even young men with Downs work very hard to achieve is wrong. Being an Eagle Scout is not about getting a participation trophy, not even when a young man is Downs.