"You allowed a scouting jamboree to be turned into an ugly fascist rally straight out of Triumph of the Will. How could you? Please reassure me what was said has no relation to the scouting values we cherish ourselves and hope to instill in our kids."
Parent and grandparents, many themselves former Scouts, are flooding the Boy Scouts of America's Facebook page with furious comments in response to President Donald Trump's vulgar, politicized speech at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia.
The President of the United States is always the honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America, and President Trump was only too happy to address the gathering of 40,000 Boy Scouts Monday. In his rambling speech he swore, called for loyalty to himself, incited the young boys and teens to denounced even "boo" former President Barack Obama and Trump's former political opponent, Hillary Clinton, bragged about the "record" crowd size -- of Boy Scouts -- attending his speech, denounced the "fake news," spoke at length about his Electoral College win, threatened to fire a Cabinet Secretary, told a tale about a cocktail party, and violated every detail of the Boy Scout oath.
The Scouting oath emphasizes duty to God and country, duty to other people, and duty to self:
On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
"Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I'm in front of the boy scouts?" President Trump asked Monday on stage, and then proceeded to do exactly that.
Never before in the 80 years of presidents addressing Scouts has the inviolable rule of not politicizing an address to the children and their leaders been broken.
On the Boy Scouts' Facebook page, there are thousands of comments denouncing the President's remarks, and expressing anger at the Boy Scouts of America leadership for allowing President Trump to address the Scouts. Many say they are former Scouts, they come from a family with a history of Scouting, they are parents of Scouts -- many are all of the above.
"I am a West Virginian. My family valued scouting. My brothers went to Philmont. It was painful to see Donald Trump address a captive audience of impressionable young people in such a callous and partisan way. You should issue a statement of regret."
"How could BSA allow this? You allowed a scouting jamboree to be turned into an ugly fascist rally straight out of Triumph of the Will. How could you? Please reassure me what was said has no relation to the scouting values we cherish ourselves and hope to instill in our kids."
"My annual check to support was waiting to be mailed. It is now shredded. I will instead write a check to a voting rights group. My son will stay in scouts. He was as appalled as we were."
"Speaking as the mother of a former Cub Scout, it appears to me that these words no longer have any meaning: On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."
"You need to apologize. It looked like a group of little fascists cheering their dear leader."
"As a former Scout, as well as a former employee of Philmont Scout Ranch, I am beyond appalled that the Jamboree was turned into a political rally tonight. Unless the BSA condemns the President's conduct (which included bullying, name-calling, and swearing) in strong and clear terms, I will know that there is no place for my two sons in scouting."
"I am an Eagle Scout and Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow. I am disgusted by the sham that occurred today at the Jamboree. These are not the values that the Scout Oath and Law teach to us. Lord Baden-Powell said that 'It's the spirit within, not the veneer without, that makes a man.' It seems as if we have forgotten that fact."
Many are threatening to discontinue financial and other support for the BSA unless the organization apologizes.
"I have donated to the Boy Scouts in the past and had thought that the increase in diversity that we've seen over the past 5+ years was a good thing. However, in my opinion the campaign like rally that 45 was allowed to put on today left me sick to my stomach and worried for the impressionable young minds that he was spewing his filth into. Somebody from the Boy Scouts organization has some explaining to do if they ever hope to see anymore of my hard earned money."
"I am SHOCKED that BSA let this person speak to our children this way. BSA needs to send out an apology to the parents. Politics is not allowed in the organization. I will not support your programs if there is no retraction."
"My son was a boy scout for several years and I have much respect for the organization. I have donated consistently over the years but after the stunt pulled by the man in the office of president I'm not planning on donating after this unless the heads of the Boy Scouts organization issues an apology."
Some took a different approach, demanding an apology from the Trump White House.
"I know there was no leader at the podium. Be a leader: renounce that speech, and demand an apology from the White House."
It appears the leadership of the Boy Scouts was at least cognizant a problem might crop up, given the keynote speaker.
"As a unit leader or staff member, you can help make the president's visit a success by ensuring that any reactions to the president's address are, as we state in our Scout Law, friendly, courteous, and kind," a BSA Jamboree blog post to Scout Leaders Monday, presumably before Trump's speech, says. "This includes understanding that chants of certain phrases heard during the campaign (e.g. 'build the wall,' 'lock her up') are considered divisive by many members of our audience, and may cause unnecessary friction between individuals and units. Please help us ensure that all Scouts can enjoy this historical address by making sure that your troop members are respectful not only of the president, but of the wide variety of viewpoints held by Scouts and Scouters in the audience tonight."
That apparently was posted too late.
Here are some screenshots of some more comments. Almost all are expressing anger at the President and/or the Boy Scouts:
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