Friday, February 08, 2013

Zach Wahls - the religious right's worst nightmare

If you don't know who Zach Wahls is, you had better learn.

He is a young man raised in a lesbian household, intelligent, articulate,and not shy about defending his family or gay equality. Wahls, an Eagle Scout, has also been on the front lines for the lgbt community in the recent Boy Scout ado. In short, he is the religious right's worst nightmare. And nothing says that more than two interviews this week in which he went head-to-head with Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The first interview is when the Boy Scouts were deciding whether or not to change its "no gays allowed" policy. To say Zach did rather well would be an understatement:

 

This second interview was done after the Boy Scouts decided to postpone its decision.  Zach mops up the floor with Land. But for those who think that the second video is too long, allow me to clue you to a juicy part. At 6:40, Zach decides to ask Land a question about the talking point he keeps repeating concerning the Boy Scouts' "core values." It got a bit vicious after that and Zach did not back down :

 

6 comments :

BJ Jackson Lincoln said...

I love Zach. He has a real future ahead. Good kid.
Lands is trying to create a problem that will not happen. Lifting the ban will not cause a massive amount of scouts to leave any more than the military saw happen.
People have time and money invested when their kids are scouts. There are the books and uniforms, dues, paid activities as well as the boy and his friends.
If left up to each troop, we would have to call around to find one that will take my son or myself.
That is still discrimination.

Julia Southwick said...

Thank you AGAIN Zach! This young man has consistently impressed me since he first entered the public eye. He's intelligent, articulate, logical, and he stands his ground. I find myself always looking forward to seeing what he has to say next. I admire him, and I know he has great things in his future. Wouldn't it be wonderful to see him run for office?

Anonymous said...

I don't get what the Southern Baptists are so afraid will happen if the ban is lifted. Presumably there are a lot of gay scouts at the moment that haven't come out so nobody knows about them. Yet the sky hasn't fallen in. What's the problem?

lorimakesquilts said...

Their membership has fallen dramatically in the last 13 years, 30% in the younger groups (cubs, webelos). They're losing corporate sponsorships. It varies from year to year somewhat but about half of their revenue comes from registration fees. About 15% of their members are Mormons (who automatically register all boys with the BSA), another 10% are Catholics. Meanwhile, people like me with a child that is only a year away from being eligible for scouts wouldn't dream of getting him involved with them. They cannot afford to lose those religious organizations. They won't stop weaseling out of making a national decision anytime soon.

Alexander Bauer said...

Can these places cut mics? I know most of the problem was Land, who appears to have no sense of courtesy, but it's extremely obnoxious to hear two people try to talk over each other for fifteen seconds while the moderator tries to restore order.

Danny said...

It isn't just that Zach is a good debater and presents well on TV. He is a strategist. He was the driving force behind the effort to get corporate sponsors to drop the BSA. For years and years, pro-gay companies like UPS and Intel have been funding the BSA and no one on our side was doing a damned thing about it. Where was the so-called "Task Force"? There's a group that takes in a lot of money on the claim that they are smart professionals who will work hard to achieve our rights. But, just as they have failed to achieve legislative goals that they announced 40 years ago, they also managed to do nothing about this funding of BSA. Wasn't even on their radar screen.

Zach Wahls saw the problem, stepped up and made things happen. His online petitions went after each one of these corporate funders, and within something like 6-8 months, most of the top funders had dropped BSA. And he did all of that without a DC office and a bloated salary. That's thoughtful, strategic leadership. From a 20-year old.