Hopefully Modesitt won't take swiping that too personally (also, you should all read 'Octagonal Raven', it's a great book. Whoever 'you all' actually are.). The following post was inspired by an article I read and was disgusted by over at CNN a fair while back. It wasn't until recently that I decided to spend sometime learning Inkscape enough to actually generate this image however.
Raven Among Eagles Replacement Logo (all rights reserved)
Anyone that's read some of my non technical postings on here will know my sentiments towards homophobics and zealots tends to lean in the 'burn in hell' level of sympathy. What I don't believe I've mentioned before is that I'm also an Eagle Scout. Which of course means I'm a horrible Eagle Scout as I directly fail the tenant to be 'Reverent'. With a mild secondary failing in the 'Cheerful' category since lets face it, I'm cynical, jaded and mildly sardonic. For the curious, both of those appear as requirements in the BSA 'Law' and are reinforced in the oath. I can't argue with the idea that you want all of your scouts to be cheerful, that's a given, a downer is a downer if they are 8 or 28. What I do take issue with is the arrogance of believing that not having a religion or desiring to sleep with men instead of women inherently makes you less good than your counterparts.
To this end I've created the above logo to stand in protest and replacement of the standard Eagle Scout Badge / Logo as represented below.
To some this may be regarded as an offense against the concept of being an Eagle Scout, basing this claim on the argument that to be an Eagle Scout you must fulfill the Oath and Law. Anyone who believes this is missing the point of being an Eagle Scout. I'm unclear if this is different in other regions of the country, but the God requirements in the northeast are given as much reverence in the Law as it is on our money. It's an incidental hold over, not a fundamental requirement for being an exemplary Scout. These holdovers are to be noted for what they are, bygones of an era where America was considerably less diverse. In much the same way as the concept of God in scouts has been dialed out to accommodate non Christian beliefs, it must also dial out to accept the ever changing landscape of the American public.
Being a scout is about community, friendship, social and life skills as well as the basic core values of patriotism and individualism. Being an Eagle Scout is about leading people in such a way that they can learn those afore mentioned skills and traits. These are not traits that are unique or specific only to prescribed sub branches of the American public. If your starting off that education saying a large segment of the modern American public is 'not good enough', your teaching those same scouts a very specific lesson about equality. Namely, that despite our the Declaration of Independence, we are not in fact all equal but some of us are better than others and those others should be marginalized as a threat.
To put it bluntly, this approach is pathetic. The mentality required to take that position is so juvenile that if that is the true goal of scouting these days, I no longer wish to be associated with it. The world is changing and I'd rather be looked upon as a Raven than an Eagle if the Eagle is going to be used to represent homophobia, religious bigotry and fear. To the Council in charge of the BSA, you are cowards that use your position to marginalize those you are afraid of.
- A Raven Among Eagles