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  • "... last bastion of anti-gay bigotry ..."

    Yesterday afternoon I was socializing with a group of colleagues, chatting about the inauguration speech and so forth. Diversity was a theme, we agreed. One fellow, noting the President's forthright acknowledgement of gay rights, and knowing that I am a volunteer adult Scouter, asked me "when is your BSA going to realize that it is the last bastion of anti-gay bigotry in this country?"

    And this was from a life-long conservative.

    I was deeply embarrassed for Scouting and I had no good answer. I felt that I had to defend myself, personally, for being associated with -as we are percieved- such a small-minded and socially regressive group of people. I see all the wonderful things that Scouting does and the character it builds in young people and I despair at how we have gotten to this place, where our once iconic American institution has become synonymous in the public's mind with intolerance and bigotry.

    To survive, we need to change this perception. We need to change. We need to reflect America's diversity and America's values. Not those of the last century, but those of today. We need to adapt or we will become in the 21st century a fringe movement that appeals to a declining mere fraction of American families.


  • #2
    Da proper answer is "The BSA is probably the largest and most diverse youth group in the nation, serving kids of all races and across the economic spectrum, with leaders and scouts of every political and religious persuasion. I'm a participant on at least one national scoutin' forum, and it is clear from my participation that we span the political and religious and cultural spectrum of America. You can't find a more diverse group servin' so many kids. Yep, that quietly includes gay youth and kids who don't have any clear belief in God."

    "The BSA has never been bigoted. It has members on all sides of this issue, and respects their viewpoints. It doesn't attempt to change other organizations, or support legislation opposing gay marriage, or try to defund other organizations with whom it disagrees. It does have a mildly religious mission in supporting Duty to God, and its current policies reflect da fact that the large majority of major religions in da U.S. and the world have moral teachings on certain topics. We respect that, and choose not to call those of faith "bigoted" for havin' moral viewpoints. We provide a safe haven for them as well as those who struggle with belief or sexuality."

    "The diversity of America is that citizens can support and work alongside each other even though they aren't members of the same faith, or the same club, or the same corporation. The BSA as the most diverse youth group in da nation continues to teach that. We don't have to be members of the same group to be citizens who respect each other and work together. You should consider joining us and learning who we really are and what we really do, before you thoughtlessly accuse us of bigotry."

    B

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    • #3
      "that quietly includes gay youth and kids who don't have any clear belief in God."

      AKA the closet. As long as they lie about who they are, they can stay.

      Sure sounds like one of the last bastions.

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      • #4
        Beavah: "Yep, that quietly includes gay youth and kids who don't have any clear belief in God".

        ??

        Whereas this statement was certainly true when I was a scout in the 1960s it most definitely is not now.

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        • #5
          "The BSA is probably the largest and most diverse youth group in the nation..."

          Really?

          My local community is 30% Hispanic, while the local troop is 99% white. The LDS troops are mostly 100% white.

          "The BSA has never been bigoted."

          Oh, come now ... infinitives?

          Boy Scouts of America allowed (and in some cases, encouraged) councils to adopt a policy of racial discrimination until 1974 (as a result of an out of court settlement with the NAACP). It was not until 1942, that the last council rescinded its ban on African Americans from being Boy Scouts.

          Scouting has never been a "leader" in the area of civil rights ...


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          • #6
            Take a group of non-WASP boys to BSA summer camp and see how the other boys treat them.

            Waiter as vocational training when they are waiters
            Watermelon comments on lake game nights when water melon is served.


            Ya those boys just didn't think them up on their own, they heard them from mom and dad.

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            • #7
              I'm strongly opposed to the BSA's position on these matters, but I'd also argue that the majority of the rank-and-file volunteers (even those who may support the policy for whatever reason) are not "bigoted" per se.

              That said, I did a spit-take while reading Beavah's take on this. Easily the most starry-eyed and revisionist "interpretations" of this issue I've seen yet...

              The BSA has a lot of strengths and positive program elements, but diversity is not among them.

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              • #8
                "the last bastion of anti- gay bigotry" That's hyperbole.

                It's still time the BSA makes the change and allows openly gay and atheist youth. The program wouldn't have to drop the religious elements at all, just can't make em mandatory in the Oath and Law. Plenty of troops at the local summer camp never attend the church services. It wouldn't be a big deal.

                You don't owe your co worker any explaination for your involvement with the BSA.

                Thank you for serving the Scouts and Scouting Trevorum.

                Yours in cheerful service,
                Sentinel947

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                • #9
                  This is exactly what moving to the middle looks like. Time to change... It's OK... No big deal. Let's just go along to get along. Don't worry about standards. Just make sure we try in every way to not offend somebody. Pick a group. Let's find a way not to offend them. Then find another group. Let's eliminate a Law or two, just in case they may offend someone. Our 100 year old Oath is probably too strongly stated. Let's change that too. Let's ask everybody else what we should or should not stand for. It's OK. Not a big deal.
                  BDPT00

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                  • #10
                    "Waiter as vocational training when they are waiters
                    Watermelon comments on lake game nights when water melon is served.

                    Ya those boys just didn't think them up on their own, they heard them from mom and dad."



                    These sound like problems/issues for the Scoutmaster, parents or camp director to address, not National. Idiots are found in any organization and BSA is no different.
                    These sound like problems/issues for the Scoutmaster, parents or camp director to address, not National. Idiots are found in any organization and BSA is no different.




                    "My local community is 30% Hispanic, while the local troop is 99% white. The LDS troops are mostly 100% white"

                    Seems to me someone shoud be doing some outreach to find out WHY those boys aren't interested, again a LOCAL issue, not neccessarily an issue that National needs to fix.

                    All that being said, can we get a policy on this issue that makes sense? Please?!?!?

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                    • #11
                      Hispanics don't stay in scouting because the extended family dynamic that I could never understand.

                      We have 4 hispanic boys, brothers and cousins, active in the troop who every single weekend go to grandmas house, which is in another town about 100 miles from us. The weekends they go I end up taking them home with me till the family gets back which is 8-9pm Sunday night.

                      I have lost a couple who quit to work in the family business at 13 years old. One whose job was to care for his grandfather.


                      So biweekly or even monthly activities are tough when your life is full of responsibility at 12 years old, camping, hiking and heck even scouting just aren't that important any more.

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                      • #12
                        The advent of 'gay marriage' in Washington State will probably result in many more homosexuals being barred or kicked out of Scouting. A person who is married to someone of their own sex is an "avowed homosexual" by definition, and screening such people out of BSA leadership positions should be easier than when such people were hiding their relationships.

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                        • #13
                          Beav, as much as I respect your views, your PR response totally misses my point.

                          Sentinel, yes clearly hyperbole. But it captures the sentiment. And, thanks!

                          BDPT00, that line of thinking (aka Camels Nose under the Tent) is a classic logical fallacy. Try again.

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                          • #14
                            >>BDPT00, that line of thinking (aka Camels Nose under the Tent) is a classic logical fallacy. Try again.

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                            • #15
                              The camel's nose wasn't intended to be logic. It's an opinion, and I see it everywhere. If nobody stands up to the movement, there's no end in sight. The labels put on things is are fine example. I don't think it proper that just because I happen to support Scouting, someone would choose to label me as an anti-gay bigot, but that's what I'm reading here. The last bastion? Does that mean that people who share my values should gather in the Alamo to await the final outcome? Just because the movement is strong doesn't cause me to change my opinion. I don't feel a need to join in at the moment. Will my opinion change? Maybe, but don't force it on me.
                              BDPT00

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