In My Opinion                             Caroline Porter


WeÕre glad Boy Scouts doing well without United Way


A letter to the Editor of the Register-Mail on August 13th, from Ray Kimbell, has the headline: ŌScouts doing well without United Way.Ķ Really, that should be good news, because we donÕt want to waste any United Way funds on organizations that donÕt need them. In fact, the Scouts apparently used United Way funds for years without needing them and if I were they, I wouldnÕt brag about it.


I wish I could say that Mr. Kimbell wrote a letter that was a good representation of the local Boy Scout organization, but he did not. My son-in-law and grandson have been active in the Boy Scouts and I would be ashamed to have Mr. KimbellÕs remarks represent their attitudes and goals about life and scouting.


Basically, Kimbell is glad to see United Way fundraising fall on hard times because their board decided not to fund the Boy Scouts in 2001 because of the ScoutÕs discrimination policies about homosexuals. The national United Way has said they cannot fund any agency that has policies of discrimination. There was a lot of controversy over the decision, with bigoted people who may have had nothing to do with the Boy Scouts, harassing the former United Way director so badly she talked to law enforcement officers. She was not safe in her office.


Then these charmers tried to take over the United Way Board at the 2002 annual meeting. Fortunately, they were rebuffed. But to come back after nearly four years and be glad our 27 local United Way agencies are under funded is mean-spirited and hardly a Christian response. Kimbell seems to think no one wants to fund United Way because of this issue. In his dreams. I think we all know that the loss of Maytag, Butler Mfg., Eagle Foods, and a total of 7,000 jobs and related jobs over the last few years would have a huge impact on United Way. ItÕs a double whammy. United way is losing contributors and those same former contributors probably need help from United Way agencies.


My position at the time was that the Boy Scouts can have any policy they want, but then so can United Way, so if they have to go separate ways, so be it.


But this letter to the editor brings up the specter of the subject of my column on May 26, 2005, ŌGod save us from religious McCarthyism.Ķ   Those who seem to think it is their job to decide who is moral and who is not are a frightening addition to Christianity and our public life. For example, in their hearts, they probably donÕt like women and minorities having equal rights either. After all, the Bible says so.


My reaction to KimbellÕs letter is to call United Way and give a good



Caroline Porter is a freelance writer from Galesburg who can be reached at Other columns are online at