Be Prepared (To Buy Your Christmas Tree Elsewhere)

This post is part of a blogosphere protest against the discriminatory practices of the Boy Scouts. Remember, if you buy a Christmas tree this season, that there are plenty of places to get them that do not support institutional homophobia and prejudice.

Be prepared! That’s the Boy Scout’s marching song
Be prepared! Though your moral stance is wrong—
Be prepared to hide the fact that you are gay
Let our antiquated stands lead you astray…

Be Prepared! To hide the person whom you love
Just pretend, that you believe in God above—
Keep your private feelings hidden where
You’re sure they won’t be found
And be careful not to show them
When the scoutmaster’s around
For the simple truth may leave the master scared—
Be prepared!

Be prepared! That’s the Boy Scouts’ solemn creed
Be prepared! Cos the Boy Scouts are in need!
Don’t pretend you’re independent—don’t make waves
Just behave like every other scout behaves

Be prepared! And be careful to deny!
Live your life—but just live it as a lie
As you’re starting to discover
What your life is all about
You should know there are some questions
That will get your ass kicked out
When the BSA discovers what you’ve shared.
They’re prepared!

You know, Lehrer’s song was much nicer when it was just poking fun at the Boy Scouts for being, well, such Boy Scouts. Now, they are not just Boy Scouts, they are institutional bigots. Fresh-faced little boys come to our door, selling tins of Boy Scout popcorn, and they just smile grimly and nod when I tell them why I won’t support them. Hey, some of those boys will eventually become politically active within the BSA and make a difference. Or quit.

Tom Lehrer’s infinitely superior version:


  1. Christoph Burschka says

    (Can’t read the words “Be Prepared” without hearing Scar sing “my teeth and ambitions are bared”…)

  2. Randomfactor says

    I’m a huge fan of Lehrer but he might have written it this way today, in view of the Mormon/Scouting unholy alliance.

    You should know there are some questions
    That will get your ass kicked out

    Loved that line.

  3. Mattir says

    As far as I know, the tree sales support the individual troop only, while the popcorn supports the troop AND the national organization. So asking the kids where the money goes might be worthwhile, and avoiding troops sponsored by Catholic and Mormon churches.

    On the other hand, I had a lovely time explaining to my local district executive (an employee of the national organization) why I would not give to Friends of Scouting this year – I gave last year, figuring that the organization was changing, if too slowly, but with the doubling down on their discriminatory policies and the official selling out of MY religious freedom to believe that gay people should have rights equal to straight people, I could no longer donate. Since the guy knows me, he was actually quite sympathetic and told me he agreed with me, then we talked for 10 minutes about Cub Scouts.

    The no-atheist policy in the BSA is just stupid, the most intellectually dishonest no-true-Scotsman I’ve ever encountered. You have to believe that there is something in the universe more powerful than yourself. Natural selection, gravity, the weak nuclear force, a tree, a rock – totes fine. Doesn’t have to be a personal concerned for human beings deity, doesn’t have to listen to anything we say or care about what we do with our sexy bits. So I’m a scout leader, despite believing that “god” is a fictional character made up by human beings. I believe in the ineffable wonder of the weak nuclear force.

    I am fairly open in scouts about my lack of belief in a Theo-god (and my high degree of skepticism towards the possibility of a Deo-god) and about my advocacy of LGBT rights. It means I can be a resource for kids who are bullied or want to discuss the issues with someone who isn’t in a conservative religious cult.

  4. embertine says

    The Irish Ballad is my favourite, because it was the song my father used to sing me as a lullaby when I was very small. This may tell readers more about me that anyone would wish to know…

  5. says

    My Festivus pole is made of high-grade aluminum which doesn’t deteriorate.

    So, no need to add another decoration to the house.

    Plus, I’m allergic as all get-out to pine tar. No wreaths, boughs, bushes, trees, cones, or any other part of the pine tree for me, thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *