Those North Texas Trail Life Scouts Weren't Saluting Hitler After All

Categories: Media

traillifemercurynewsscreenshot.jpg
The Associated Press photo, as it ran in the San Jose Mercury-News.
Trail Life USA, the splinter group that formed when Irving-based Boy Scouts of America decided to admit openly gay members, is many things: openly evangelical, unapologetically homophobic, generally lame. It is not, however, a modern-day incarnation of the Hitler youth.

You'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Over the weekend, The Associated Press ran a big feature on the group, focusing on a newly formed chapter in North Richland Hills. Included in the spread was a photo of maybe 20 kids standing in a circle, their arms extended in an unmistakable sieg heil as they recited the Trail Life USA creed.

What isn't clear from the caption, and what the AP failed to point out until well after the Internet had gleefully seized upon the photo as evidence that Trail Life is a neo-Nazi brainwashing operation, is that the kids were actually taking part in a "Taps" ceremony. They started with their hands straight above their heads and lowered them as the song progressed.

The photo was debunked earlier in the week by The Washington Post, among others, but I had only seen the photo described as a neo-Nazi salute until Fox News' Todd Starnes began accusing the AP of intentionally "smearing" Trail Life USA.

In this case, Starnes has a point. That photo just screams Nazi. There's no way that escaped the notice of every person at the AP who worked on that story.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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38 comments
manpanties
manpanties

nazi or not, this stuff just comes across to me as really dumb.  the timing of the pic adds an element of humor to the dumb.

pak152
pak152

"but I had only seen the photo described as a neo-Nazi salute until Fox News' Todd Starnes began accusing the AP of intentionally "smearing" Trail Life USA."

did you bleach your brain and eyes after gazing upon the the Fox News website?

pak152
pak152

classic example of how the MSM pushes a theme. The AP got caught, and they've been back pedaling ever since. not surprised it took the DO so long to write about this incident

Rod Dreher does a good job on the story here

www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/nazi-christian-youth-alert/

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum

Gotta feel sorry for these poor kids. Most are probably also home-schooled and sheltered as much as possible from this "sinful" world. They live in the evangelical reality bubble.

ruddski
ruddski

Starts above the head, lowers slowly. The kids are in a circle.

It signifies the rise and fall of the socialist third reich, in a circular firing squad formation. Just be thankful it doesn't end by rising again.

Do they wear rainbow patches?

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

Miitary-style uniforms? Loyalty oaths? Merit badges? Building birdhouses?  How much more Nazi Youth can you be?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

The Establishment Media lies.


It's their nature.

jmckee3
jmckee3

To be fair even if they aren't doing a Nazi salute they are persecuting a vulnerable minority group and attempting to deny them civil rights so...

dingo
dingo

@pak152  

The Fox News site is a good place to catch Jay Carney holding the latest Obamacare delay briefing. He is the most experienced of any WH press secretary regarding Obamacare delay briefings (by a wide margin), so he is actually getting quite good at it.

dingo
dingo

@CogitoErgoSum  

Most probably participate in an educational setting that you do not have a clue about but thanks for contributing your wild-assed guess to the conversation.

ruddski
ruddski

@whocares

For the State to properly function, everyone must behave in a like manner. When there is individuality within the designated groups, this places additional burdens upon the State. Anything that works against the State is an assault on The People.

There can only be so many State-created groups. Too many, and the distributions of abilities and needs becomes hopelessly problematic, hindering equality.

pak152
pak152

@jmckee3 persecuting a minority in what way? they are just enjoying their Constitutional right of association

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

@jmckee3 How are they "persecuting" anybody?  And even if you think that not letting gays join their little club constitutes "persecution," that's a long way from systematic and institutional genocide.


So, . . . .

ruddski
ruddski

@dingo

You left out "illegal"

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum

Uh oh, sounds like someone was home-schooled ...

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum

@dingo @CogitoErgoSum  What sort of setting is that -- listening to self-styled "men of god" teach iron age myths that include the idea that gays, aka "Sodomites," are damned to hell for eternity? I'll pass, thanks. Reality is a better teacher.

ruddski
ruddski

@monstruss

Homophobe.

ruddski
ruddski

@dingo

I always wondered why gays are so bad at tying knots.

Threeboys
Threeboys

Actually it makes this an editorial, not a news article.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@bstewart1987 @everlastingphelps  Some part of it, yeah.  This part jumps out as likely -- "unapologetically homophobic, generally lame".


If you think that they ever get it right, then you haven't been involved with anything that has ever been reported in the media.  At best, they just get little details wrong, like names and times.  Most of the time, they get the entire honking thing wrong, like "wet street causes rain".  


Once you've actually seen a couple of things get wildly and completely misreported, you start to realize that everything gets misreported.

jmckee3
jmckee3

@James_the_P3 @jmckee3  


"Accordingly, all boys are welcome irrespective of religion, race, national origin or socio-economic status."


"The basis for the program’s ethical and moral standards is found in the Bible. In terms of sexual identification and behavior, we affirm that any sexual activity outside the context of the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman is sinful before God and therefore inconsistent with the values and principles of the program."


So they are remarkably open about their acceptance of all religions, race, national origin or socio-economic status but one group that has an immutable characteristic and has been subject to systematic discrimination is excluded from joining.


But in case that wasn't direct enough for you:


"The basis for the program’s ethical and moral standards is found in the Bible. In terms of sexual identification and behavior, we affirm that any sexual activity outside the context of the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman is sinful before God and therefore inconsistent with the values and principles of the program.

Within these limits, we grant membership to adults and youth who do not engage in or promote sexual immorality of any kind, or engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the program."


Now we have spelled out they believe that group, gay people as sinful and immoral. Surely you understand the danger of taking impressionable youth and labeling a minority group that already suffers systematic discrimination and oppression and labeling them with such loaded terms as immoral and that their very existence is an affront to god.

ruddski
ruddski

@James

Scouts can earn badges by beating up gay kids.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

They aren't. Attend the rodeo or a BDSM party.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@jmckee3 @James_the_P3 "Within these limits, we grant membership to adults and youth who do not engage in or promote sexual immorality of any kind, or engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the program."

Looks like they would exclude child predators, adulterers, prostitutes and promiscuous people as well as homosexuals from their club.  I don't see where they specify any particular 'sexual immorality' over any other.  I'm sure, from context and inference, everyone can guess what their motivation is, but what you quoted does not, in any way, single out homosexuals for discrimination.  In fact, 'behavior that would become a distraction...' could include gambling, drinking, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, athletics, school..., just about anything.  In other words, they are, in essence, a religious youth group, subject to the dogma and doctrines of the church that spawned them.

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

@jmckee3 @James_the_P3And that still doesn't make them the Nazis.  Only the Nazis are the Nazis.  Unless you think that excluding someone from a private organization is the moral equivalent to the systematic and ordered genocide of 13M people.


But this isn't Nazi Germany.  This is America, and while the NSA is going to spy on you and the IRS is going to audit you, you're still free to organize clubs that aren't open to all comers.  I certainly wouldn't want to join this particular club (or have my son join), but they have a right to set up their club however they want.  And if they don't want you in your club, there are other clubs that'll have you.


Besides--this club sounds like it sucks, anyway.

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

@jmckee3 @James_the_P3 Looks like by that standard they are against strip bars too.  But does that mean I am persecuted or merely ostracized by a private group of people that won't go to Silver City with me?

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