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Current BSA Policy Vs local option poll

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  • It looks like some parents have filed suit against National over what they see as an attempt to pack the voting group in violation of the organization's bylaws:


    • This policy is a cluster flub. At best, another ham-fisted attempt at walking a fine line or, at worst, a wet finger in the air trying to please everyone. Yet no one will be pleased, conservatives will bail over the lack of principle. Do we really think religious COs with deeply held convictions against homosexuality will suddenly accept open gay Scouts? Will we now be spend out time divining "other" reasons for excluding them? Will the disruptions to the program caused by their orientation be sufficient? Will it matter if they are sexually active or not? Will there be a spot on the application for that?

      And liberals will continue their non-support due to the discrimination against adult homosexuals. No corporate sponsors are going to accept just a little bit of discrimination. Our Scout Executive told me Tuesday he expects no new contributions based on this policy change.

      Anyone who thinks BSA can come up with a wise and reasonable implementation of the new policy in over the next seven months (or seven years) is dreaming. BSA can't roll out a trash can much less a major policy shift. Does anyone really think we'll get rational changes to youth protection policies?

      And the gaping hole in all this is What's Next? Clearly, once caving the moral position that homosexuality is a sin for which youth are somehow exempted, how long will it be before the utter silliness of differentiating between adult and youth homosexuals falls? A year? Two? We're just boiling the frog here.

      Yet I support the proposal. When on of my Scouts, who I have known since they were Tigers and love like my own sons, tells me he believes he may be homosexual, the absolutely last thought in my mind will be to remove that young man from the troop. All the above problems with the policy is just swirl. THAT is the bottom line.


      • An Interesting if controversial read on the controversy in the link. There was a thread (which is probably dead) earlier by a liberal scouter asking conservatives to help him or her understand their mindset. This essay probably explains a traditional way of thinking as it applies to scouts pretty well, even if many will not agree with it:


        • Twocub, I actually agree with most of your post. This new policy is like a waterballoon about to burst, all it will do is get everyone wet and mad. National has once again proven they do not have the ability or guts to come up with a viable and workable policy. Giving this decision to the CO's to decide is the only way it will work. With the way it stands now the BSA will continue to see corporate money givers continue to diminish and more CO's decide to look for alternative youth programs. Time for a restructure of the National Office starting with the CSE and giving the power back to the CO's.


          • I think the constituency that matters most in this case is the kids.

            The Scouters that don't agree something must be done, when you consider that the boys are comfortable having gay role models and friends, are kinda missing the boat here.

            While there is rightfully concern about gay leaders and scouts, the fact that the boys are heavily in favor of welcoming them to Scouting should mandate that we figure out how to make it happen in a way that makes sure everybody remains safe and respected physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.


            • BadenP says: "Time for a restructure of the National Office starting with the CSE and giving the power back to the CO's."

              I am curious about your use of the word "back" in that sentence. When, if ever, did the CO's actually have "the power" in the BSA? I don't mean in the theoretical sense (which I believe has always been the case) but in the actual sense. When I think back to when I was a Boy Scout (late 60's to mid 70's), my general sense then was that National was "in charge", with some intermediate role for the councils, just as is the case today. (While I was a youth and therefore didn't know everything (even though I probably thought I did), I think I did pay enough attention to get a somewhat accurate sense of what was going.) On the other hand, the CO's of the two troops I was a member were definitely CO's "of convenience" -- just like the CO's of the pack and troop I have been involved with starting in the late 90's through today. I am doubtful that the fundamental balance of power in the BSA shifted after the mid-70's and then shifted back before the late-90's, so what time period are you talking about? The 50's? The 40's? I doubt you are that much older than me.


              • Originally posted by AZMike View Post
                "Boy-led" doesn't mean we let them make immature decisions relating to safety, yo.
                There are several studies that have found that religious fundamentalists are more likely to be child abusers than non-fundamentalists*. Isn't that a YPT issue? Do you think mothers will be willing to send their sons off into the wilderness with two fundamentalists? What about fundamentalists at cub camp? It's a safety issue!

                * I have only read two of them, and that was many years ago in college. Both of them were rather weak, and took very broad interpretations of the word "abuse".


                • Originally posted by AZMike View Post
                  Could you cite those for me, Rick? In which academic journals did they appear?
                  I don't remember. It was back in college, and that was <mumble> years ago. I do remember being unimpressed with the quality of the two that I did read at that time.

                  The point I was (trying) to make was: just because you can find an academic study or studies that appear to support a point of view, doesn't mean that they are good studies, or that their conclusions are being correctly interpreted.

                  As for addressing your quote, it was probably miss-placed. I agree with you that teen and pre-teen boys shouldn't always be given a final say on safety issues. We I was trying to address, was the implied point that having gays in the BSA was a SAFETY issue. And to support that claim, some people cite a few bogus studies. Hence the jibe about academic studies.

                  As for the studies themselves, like I said, I don't even remember their titles. However, after a quick Google search, I was able to find references to several more recent ones that appear to address the issues of religious fundamentalism, abuse and violence in the "Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion". I haven't read any of them (and don't plan too - this is not an area of interest to me), so I can't comment on their relevance or quality.