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  • #76
    Beavah, you hit smack on the head. It does feel like a betrayal. Yes, it was a place where I felt safe as a woman and felt somewhat safe for my kid to be with people I barely know, if at all at times. Now I am very thankful that we decided not to send him to Jamboree this year and have reservations about him going to a specialty camp as a provisional camper.

    One thing I would like to point out is that there already WAS a group of people that hashed this whole thing out, looked at it from every angle and made a recommendation. That committee was made up of volunteers from around the country. and the Board adopted their recommendations, resulting in the statement affirming the policy that has been in place since 1910. That statement was just issued 7 months ago. And that was the end of it. Until Monday, when we all learned otherwise, that is.

    So yes. It feels like a betrayal in the worst way.

    1910 .... NOT 2010 ... NOT 19:10 or 20:10 today ... 1910. Yeah. Betrayal is the right word.


    • #77
      I reckon it feels like betrayal, eh? A stranger who doesn't care for yeh is one thing, but a friend or loved one who stops bein' a friend really hurts.

      Let me tell you what felt like a betrayal, it was when the BSA was hijacked by the religious-right. When Unitarian scouts were basically told "we don't like your religion, and believe it's central tenets of faith are incompatible with BSA values", that was a betrayal. When the Boy Scouts basically stopped believing in their own policy:
      "The Boy Scouts of America, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the organization with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life";

      and effectively replaced it with:

      "The BSA is a conservative Christian organization that allows others to participate as long as they follow conservative Christian values";

      that was a betrayal.

      I feel like this policy change is just a first step in undoing a betrayal of the real BSA values I grew up with as a cub scout, boy scout and explorer scout. The values of tolerance, honesty and respect for others.


      • #78
        Yah, but Rick_in_CA, yeh do realize that da BSA you grew up with that taught you those values had exactly the same policy in place then as now, right?

        Even as they objected to that lifestyle and kept Scoutin' clean and wholesome for you and your friends, they also lived and taught respect for others.

        Bein' a conservative Christian and bein' committed to tolerance, honesty, and respect for others aren't incompatible, eh? In fact, they go together quite well. Provided yeh remember those lessons about respect and tolerance apply to everybody, not just da folks who agree with you.



        • #79
          Woapalanne, the Scout Oath does not say anything about sexual orientation.


          • #80
            Beavah writes: "Yeh don't come into someone else's house...."
            And I agree. If I visit someone and during the visit I learn that they are racists (this still happens from time to time) I don't go on a quest then and there to change their mind. I leave. However, the unit I serve is NOT the house that belongs to BSA. As you and plenty of others have stressed over the years, the unit 'belongs' to the CO if not to the boys and families involved with the unit. I agree with you. If BSA had charged into this unit when a gay leader had been 'outed' and revoked their membership I would have felt terribly betrayed. The CO would have felt betrayed. The DADT approach can logically ONLY lead to this conclusion. And there is no other policy that BSA could logically have since 'detection' is impossible if a gay leader doesn't 'come out' or isn't betrayed by a friend or acquaintance.

            I agree that some people will be so worried about the possibility that at summer camp or at a camporee, their child might come into contact with a gay person. GUESS WHAT? That happens already, thanks to DADT! Their sense of security is an illusion and if you claim that the loss of their fantasy world can make them leave, I concede that this is possible. Is that really the reason?


            • #81


              • ghjim
                ghjim commented
                Editing a comment
                Rick, I agree with you. Many posts on this forum have complained about the left coming in to force the BSA away from their traditional values. Nonsense. The BSA turned in the 1980s. I don't think a majority of parents and scouters ever agreed with that decision. Now it looks like the tide is turning. I hope the BSA rides this wave without swamping.

              • moosetracker
                moosetracker commented
                Editing a comment
                I agree with Rick too.. The conservative "rules" were NOT there from the creation of BSA..

                I would also like to add that conservative family values, is not the only type of family values seen as the only values to instill in our youth. It seem like when conservatives bring up family values, it has to be "conservative" or it just plain isn't valuable.

            • #82
              Write something here


              • #83
                I remember back when the "Litmus test" for religion for Scouting was that they believe in a higher power. Does NOT have to be Christian. I would love to see more Jewish and Pagan Troops.

                I have noticed that we change the Scouting Program for certain religions. An example in my area is that the LDS Boy Scouts attend Cub Scout Day Camp because the Church will not allow boys to have multiple nights camping before a certain age. I do not want to change thier religion but I do NOT want the Cub Day Camp to be responsible for Boy Scout items either as they do not advertixe it's availability to non LDS Scouts.

                If you really want things to change in Scouting, we either have tostep up as volunteers or find an endless amount of money to make National change.

                My $0.02



                • #84
                  The most common arguments I've seen and heard for maintaining the ban are usually based on flawed logic. It's usually something to the effect of gay men are more likely to molest children, so banning gays is protecting kids. Of course this idea ignores the various studies that show that gay men are no more or less likely to molest children than straight men. There was a study done a few years back that looked at 200+ pediphiles and only 2 of them were openly gay.

                  Then there is the less popular notion that gays want to convert our kids to be gay as well. Seriously, I can't make this stuff up. The belief is that gays shouldn't be in any position of authority over kids because they will use that position to influence the kids into being gay themselves.

                  Yeah, I know what you're thinking, I'm thinking the same thing.

                  On the issue of religion, I can sort of understand that one. If we're going to say that there are right and wrong reasons to be on either side of this, I'd say religion is one where you could be right on either side of the argument. Bible purists believe that God disapproves of homosexuality. People like me believe that God created us, gay people are born gay, and God would disapprove of me discriminating against anyone he created based on something they were born with. I'm Catholic, but I don't believe the Bible to be the perfect interpretation of God's will. It's got flaws, and I believe the interpretation of God's disapproval of homosexuality to be one of them.

                  The religious issue we'll never settle. We've argued theology fo centuries and will argue it for centuries more. But what frustrates me immensly is the incorrect belief that banning gays fro the BSA is an act of protection for youth. I really hope that none of that kind of thinking is being considered in the upcoming decision. But sadly, people who erroneously believe that there is this threat to our children from gay leaders still have a voice in the debate, and will still be heard by the people who will make the call.

                  You don't have to be correct in your reasoning to still have a say in the debate. And I'm afraid that there are enough people with these incorrect ideas about gay people to sway the decision in their favor.

                  And that, I believe, might kill the BSA. Reaffirming the ban and doing so with even a slight hint at the idea that this is a measure of protection will make the organization seem further out of touch with reality. I'd hate to see the BSA become known as the organization that has this irrational fear of gay people, and I think that sort of stigma will begin the process of dismantling the organization.


                  • #85
                    Beavah, excellent post. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I won't be nearly as eloquent as you, yet I'll give it a shot. First and foremost, I believe this is an adult leader issue and rarely a youth issue. Granted, there may be older Scouts that are discovering "who" they are from a sexuality perspective. Respectfully, there are other venues within which youth should explore this part of their lives. As a parent I would prefer to discuss these issues with my son or daughter and would be very much opposed to this becoming a dialog for Scouting. I'd never support removing a Scout from Scouting that was dealing with an identity issue and verbalized such. As an aside, I'm all for happiness. If two people can love one another and they happen to be the same sex? Great, good for them.

                    I am very much in the "don't ask, don't tell" camp. My partner is the only one that really needs to know about my sexual proclivities - whatever they may be. None of you, and certainly none of the youth in our Scout troop, need to know that I prefer blondes or redheads or Jack or Jill.

                    Having said all of that, I am concerned about an individual that is so wrapped in his or her sexuality that s/he must be identified as Jack/Jill the gay Scout leader. Why can't it just be Jack or Jill the Scout leader? I think (and this isn't my viewpoint) that many people are fearful that gay men are going to use this as an opportunity to get close to young, vulnerable boys. The reality is that most adult leaders involved in Scouting today are there because they have (or had) kids in the Scouting program. Most gay men probably aren't going to have sons. So... right away, you're going to have people say "hmmm". It is a good point. Quite frankly, well before this issue became the lightening rod that it is today, if I'm honest with myself, I'd probably have kept my eyes open if a single man with no children in Scouting wanted to become a Scout leader. I guess that some would say that makes me homophobic. I say that makes me a parent that is safeguarding his children. I'd do the same with any adult male that showed an interest in my teenage daughter.


                    • #86
                      Originally posted by danbrew View Post
                      Having said all of that, I am concerned about an individual that is so wrapped in his or her sexuality that s/he must be identified as Jack/Jill the gay Scout leader. Why can't it just be Jack or Jill the Scout leader?
                      You just don't get it. There is this fantasy that we are going to get gay scout leaders showing up in a feather boa and high heals, and shouting in front of the scouts "let me tell you how great it is to be gay!". It's total BS.

                      The problem is that you declare your sexuality every time you introduce your wife as your wife. Gay leaders just want the same freedom to get dropped off at an event by their "partner" without the fear that somebody is going to report them and cause pain for them and their unit. "Don't ask don't tell" doesn't work because "telling" really means "someone found out and complained".


                      • #87
                        Originally posted by Rick_in_CA View Post
                        Originally posted by danbrew View Post
                        Having said all of that, I am concerned about an individual that is so wrapped in his or her sexuality that s/he must be identified as Jack/Jill the gay Scout leader. Why can't it just be Jack or Jill the Scout leader?
                        You just don't get it. There is this fantasy that we are going to get gay scout leaders showing up in a feather boa and high heals, and shouting in front of the scouts "let me tell you how great it is to be gay!". It's total BS. The problem is that you declare your sexuality every time you introduce your wife as your wife. Gay leaders just want the same freedom to get dropped off at an event by their "partner" without the fear that somebody is going to report them and cause pain for them and their unit. "Don't ask don't tell" doesn't work because "telling" really means "someone found out and complained".
                        No, not really. Every time I introduce my wife, I'm introducing my wife. I'm not telling anyone anything about my sexuality. Sometimes a wife is just a wife. You say " leaders want the same freedom to get dropped off at an event by their partner..." how would "don't ask, don't tell" impact that? It wouldn't. Let's be honest with one another here for a moment - we've had gay leaders in Scouting for as long as we've had Scouting. And I'm sure that "gay leaders have been dropped off at events by their partners" from time to time. And maybe even those inclined to wonder why Mr. Jones is always being dropped off by Mr. Smith, the youth really didn't "know" anything about the sexuality of the adult leaders. Sure, they may have guessed. They may have intuited it as they got older. But it wasn't out in the open so to speak.

                        So what we're really talking about is that those who feel passionate about forcing the Scouts to accept gay leaders really do want to have "Joe the gay leader" instead of "Joe the leader". I'm not smart enough to know why this is so important, but suspect it has something to do with mainstream acceptance and changing the cultural and moral values of our country. But that's just a guess. I may not get it.


                        • DigitalScout
                          DigitalScout commented
                          Editing a comment
                          The big problem with DADT is that it takes away all rights from the person. A gay scouter doesn't have to tell anyone about their sexuality but it allows them to be tossed out if anyone complains for any reason and there is no recourse. Jennifer Tyrrell is a good example. Her pack was fine that she was a lesbian because she was a great leader and she never discussed her sexuality. But someone had an ax to grind, maybe she crossed someone, a complaint was made to the council and she got tossed out without any hearing or anything. How is that fair?

                          Also, how do you hide the fact that you may be married or in an long-term relationship with someone who is the same sex? Do you think you can hide the fact that you are married? How do you keep the scouts from talking about "my mom and dad" or "my two dads" or "my two moms?"

                        • ghjim
                          ghjim commented
                          Editing a comment
                          DADT is wrong on several levels. But the most important is that you have to hide who you are. This is bad for everyone involved, for the gays, the homophobic, and the kids. It is never a good idea to deny the reality of the world around you.

                      • #88
                        Some analysis from the anti-Resolution folks on why, from their POV, this is bad policy:


                        A Legal and Ethical Analysis of the Proposed BSA Resolution to Allow Open Homosexuality in the Boy Scouts

                        1) The proposed BSA resolution is logically incoherent and morally and ethically inconsistent. Under the proposed change in policy, open homosexuality would be officially consistent with the Scouting code throughout a Boy Scout’s life until the moment he turns 18, when it suddenly becomes a problem. Under the policy when a 16- or 17-year-old “open and avowed” homosexual becomes an Eagle before his 18th birthday, right after he turns 18 he is removed from Scouting. No troop leader would want to put himself in the position of enforcing such an irrational rule. A de facto change in the rule against openly homosexual adult leaders would also occur almost immediately. This inconsistency between the membership policy of youth and adults will surely draw an equal protection lawsuit by gay-rights activists groups against the BSA in which the association rights established by the Supreme Court will no longer be available. (See #7 infra.)

                        2) Opening the Boy Scouts to boys who openly proclaim being sexually attracted to other boys and/or openly identify themselves as "gay" will inevitably create an increase of boy-on-boy sexual contact which will result in further public scandal to the BSA, not to mention the tragedy of countless boys who will experience sexual, physical and psychological abuse. BSA’s own Youth Protection videos indicate that “70% of abuse to boys is by teenagers”. Two-deep leadership will have to be at least three-deep for units with homosexual youth. The complexity of sleeping arrangements will create a myriad of social and liability challenges. Sexual awareness and harassment training will be required in all Scouting units. The leaders setting forth the proposed policy clearly did not have the safety and security of the boys in the BSA as their paramount concern.

                        3) The proposal forces and requires every chartered Scouting unit, regardless of religious convictions, to facilitate open homosexuality among boys in their program. The proposed resolution is much worse than the original idea for a local option where each troop would decide whether to allow open homosexuality in its unit. It fails to respect or reverence the religious beliefs, values and theology of the vast majority of Christian churches which charter well over 70% of all Scouting units.

                        4) If the proposal is enacted, it will gut a major percentage of human capital in the BSA and utterly devastate the program financially, socially and legally. Of the faith based Scouting units, the vast majority of them are Latter-day Saints, Methodists, Catholics or Southern Baptists. Despite what denominations may decide for political reasons, the majority of local churches that charter Scout units will not be able to embrace this policy without violating their religious convictions. The BSA’s own “Voice of the Scout” surveys provide solid evidence that tens- and possibly hundreds of thousands of parents and Scouts will leave the program if the proposal is adopted. The financial impact from such a significant membership loss would be enormous. Camps will close, executives will be let go and properties will be sold off as a result of the vast loss of finances from major donors, private foundations and declining membership.

                        5) The Resolution robs parents of the sole authority to raise issues of sex and sexuality with their kids. Parents should have the exclusive right to raise issues about sex and sexuality with their children in their own time and in their own way, in the privacy of their homes; not brought up by other older boys around a campfire. Allowing open homosexuality would inject a sensitive and highly-charged political issue into the heart of the BSA, against the wishes of the vast majority of parents. Under the longstanding current policy, boys who have a same-sex attraction are not banned or removed from the program unless they act out in a manner that distracts from the mission of the BSA. Under the new policy all Scouting units would be required to accept a 17-year-old gay activist openly flaunting his sexuality and promoting a leftist political agenda.

                        6) The proposed policy directly contradicts the BSA’s comprehensive 2010-2012 study which unanimously concluded last summer that prohibiting “open and avowed homosexuality” was “the absolute best policy” for the Boy Scouts. Only months after the BSA affirmed the policy that was clearly in the best interest of its boys, a handful of top BSA officials caved from the pressure and criticism they received from their own adult peers. What kind of message are we sending to young people when the adults trying to teach them to be “brave” cannot muster up the courage to stand up for the values that are clearly best for the BSA? Sadly, instead of looking out for what is best for the safety and security of the boys in the program, BSA’s top leadership is more concerned about what is popular in the polls taken outside the Scouting family. To try to undermine the results of the unanimous 2012 study, the 2013 Voice of the Scout national survey was a carefully crafted tool to persuade and “condition” those surveyed to the idea of openly gay BSA members. The full survey results were not even reported publicly or to the wider Scouting family.

                        7) The proposed resolution leaves Scouting units with no options or legal protection if they refuse to allow open homosexuality among the boys of their units. This proposed policy completely retreats from the principles hard-fought in the U.S. Supreme Court case BSA vs. Dale in 2000. The legal protection under Dale will be completely removed for both adults and youth members. Any Scout unit which refuses to accept or abide by the new policy will either have their charter revoked by national BSA leadership or become fully exposed to legal attacks for alleged violations of nondiscrimination ordinances. Many units and chartering organizations will be forced to fold, unable to withstand the enormous time and cost associated with the legal attacks.

                        8) The effect of the phrase “sexual preference” in the BSA resolution could be used by LGBT activists to push for transgendered girls in the BSA. If a biological girl “prefers” acting out as a transgendered boy, she must also be allowed into any Boy Scout troop. In October of 2011 the Girl Scouts admitted a 7- year-old boy named Bobby Montoya into their program who preferred to be treated as a girl. Because the vague and undefined phrase “sexual preference” is used in the resolution, it opens the door and requires Scout units to accept any sexual preference expressed.

                        9) The “whereas” clauses in the resolution are symbolic and not part of the actual proposed policy. While the Resolution includes some positive “Whereas” clauses designed to take the edge off of the new membership policy language by advocating for some type of moral purity, “Whereas” clauses have never been binding in contract law or in the legal construction of a resolution. The only words that will become part of the official membership policy are the 141 words after “NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT...”

                        10) Top BSA leaders completely ignored the collective wisdom of rank-and-file Scouting family members when they proposed this resolution. Nationwide the BSA’s official “Voice of the Scout” survey shows respondents support the current policy by a supermajority of 61% to 34%. This survey also showed:

                        • 3 of the 4 major BSA Regions around the country collectively voted that they did not want to see a change in the policy.

                        • 72 percent of chartered organizations oppose this change and support the current policy. • 64 percent of council and district volunteers oppose this change and support the current policy. • 62 percent of unit leaders oppose this change and support the current policy. • 61 percent of Boy Scout parents oppose this change and support the current policy. • 50 percent of Cub Scout parents oppose this change and support the current policy.

                        John Stemberger is an Eagle Scout, a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, a former Scoutmaster, a Lifetime N.E.S.A. member and a father with two sons in Scouting. He is an AV-rated Orlando lawyer who practices in civil and constitutional litigation.

                        For more information visit www.OnMyHonor.Net 4853 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32806 | (406) 646-6599


                        • #89
                          So: What if this? What if that? What if space aliens wanted to join your troop? There is a lot of arguing going on here that has nothing to do with the principal point of all this. Everything turns on what the Scout Oath means when it says "morally straight," doesn't it? Belief in God or the Twelfth Scout Law don't come into it, if different religions have different takes. Ergo, it is purely a matter of your religious belief. Nothing else. Youth safety? We have the best in the world. Adult role models? Psychologists and behavioral scientists tell us that youth sexuality is not determined in the long run by role models. Boys emulate a lot of behavior from adults they admire, but not their sexual leanings. Boys seducing other boys? See above. Besides, boys DO seduce each other all the time in Scouting and out. It's part of growing up and has nothing to do with their adult sexual orientation. The BSA has always been tolerant of differing religious beliefs. We accommodate Jewish boys who are Kosher. We accommodate Hindus who don't like to see meat being eaten. We accommodate Muslims who don't want to cook bacon for their patrol. We accommodate Unitarians who believe who knows what at a given moment. Even the religions who teach that homosexuality is wrong generally (Muslims don't and probably others) subscribe to something like "hate the sin but not the sinner." I'm a Buddhist. HH The Dalai Lama says the Buddhist teachings are that homosexual behavior is wrong, but that it is also wrong to chastise, hate or refuse to associate with those who practice it. So, if this is an organization that holds that a belief in Supreme Being is necessary, but other than that we can practice our religion any way we choose so long as legal and not harmful to others, how can we not make allowance for those who don't believe that homosexuality is wrong? Why should some people leave the program because of a principle that has been there all along? Would you leave because you have boys and leaders who must pray five times daily facing Mecca? It's simple, really!

                          BTW, although I agree with Beavah on most things (excepting that Obama governs from the center ), I strongly disagree with his statement on homophobia. I think there are many out there who do hate and fear gays. A psychologist can explain this to you, but I won't. In my heart, I believe this is the main issue and that the other stuff is just self-justification.

                          Incidentally this Sunday the anti-gays in Scouting coalition is planning a big national simulcast. At least one of the speakers will say that the gay agenda is Satanic and that the object is to tear down the image of Jesus. That, my friends, is pure religion and I doubt that other speakers will say anything that will address the meaning of this as it relates to religious discrimination in Scouting. I mean by this discrimination among religions, not against or for religion, which is a topic for another time.