In her Jan. 29 Metro column, “Boy Scouts can, belatedly, set an example of courage,” Petula Dvorak argued that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) should allow openly gay members and thereby earn a “courage badge.”

I respectfully assert that it takes courage to stand firm when the tide of opinion is against us.

With its policy and many others, the BSA serves the common good, just as Cardinal Donald Wuerl stated that the Catholic Church with its “too dogmatic” creed serves the common good [“Acting on faith,” Sunday Opinion, Jan. 27].

The issue is not protecting our children from pedophiles, as Ms. Dvorak suggested; the BSA has a separate youth protection program for that.

The issue is setting an example of the behavior we, the parents of Scouts, want our children to emulate.

That behavior includes being “helpful, friendly, courteous, kind,” as enumerated in the Scout Law. It does not include hate or homophobia, but neither does it condone homosexual behavior.

We’re human, of course, and we sometimes fail at setting the example that we should, but it is still our right, as Americans, to free association that allows us to choose our own leaders who will set the example we want for our children.

Christopher Durel, Arlington