Target: Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner, hosts of Generations Radio
Goal: Formally apologize to Boy Scouts of America for extremely offensive, anti-gay comments
In a recent airing of the radio show Generations Radio, hosts Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner targeted the Boy Scouts of America and their recent decision to allow openly gay boys to join the organization as scouts. Swanson and Buehner claimed that Boy Scouts of America, in allowing openly gay boy scouts, were contributing to the “decline of manhood,” and accused the organization of purposefully “trying to add abomination on abomination.” In addition to these offensive comments, Buehner went on to speculate that soon boy scouts would be able to earn a “sodomy merit badge,” while Swanson quipped that scouts could also earn incest and cannibal merit badges.
While these insensitive comments are disturbing enough on their own, they are unfortunately not a first for either of the two radio hosts. Swanson, a Colorado-based pastor, is especially known for his highly offensive, anti-LGBT remarks, and his emphasis on shock-value. He has been quoted as stating that, “gays will burn Christians at the stake,” and implying that innocent children will be forced to live with pedophiles. While this sort of rhetoric is easy to write off as simply too extremist to be taken seriously and aimed only at shocking people for the sake of publicity, Swanson’s comments are not without consequence. The Boy Scouts of America’s recent decision to allow openly gay scouts was hailed by many as a progressive step forward for the organization. Swanson and Buehner’s comments are aimed not only at the organization as a whole, but also at the young boys who participate in the program. This type of discrimination and bigotry can be especially harmful to youths who are already struggling with their own identity.
In addition to being potentially harmful to young, gay boy scouts, the radio hosts’ comments are destructive in that they encourage this type of thinking to a wide audience. By using the radio platform to preach their anti-gay sentiments, the hosts reaffirm fears and bigoted attitudes of susceptible listeners, rather than provide accurate information. This, in turn, leads to an increasingly uninformed public with unfounded fear and hatred towards LGBT people.
Swanson and Buehner’s comments were not only outlandish and offensive, they were also incredibly harmful and completely inexcusable. Demand that the radio hosts formally apologize to the Boy Scouts of America for their appallingly anti-gay comments.
Dear Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner,
Your recent radio program broadcasted on Generations Radio took aim at the Boy Scouts of America and the organization’s decision to permit openly gay boys to participate as scouts. The comments you made regarding “sodomy, incest and cannibalism merit badges” were incredibly offensive and harmful. While these statements were clearly made in order to shock and offend, they do more than just that.
Your comments have potential, long-lasting effects on young boys struggling with their identity. Self-harm and suicide are all too common among America’s youth, and even more so among those who identify as homosexual. Your hateful words can undoubtedly have devastating effects on young listeners.
Furthermore, your anti-gay comments contribute to misinformation, unfounded fear and hatred rather than acceptance or tolerance. This, in its own accord, can have widespread negative effects on the LGBT community.
I strongly urge you to formally apologize to the Boy Scouts of America for the bigoted comments you made on Generations Radio, and refrain from such hateful speech in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Alan Levine via Flickr