So we are to hold two Woodbadge courses per year in our council, one for those who accept homosexuals and one for those who do not?.. At what cost? Why when right now the WB course is for all programs, CS, BS, Varsity, Venturning, and Sea Scouts?.. And it would be the same course..
Who will go out and rebuy all the camps sold off so that they don't intermingle at camps?
Where will you find the extra District level volunteers to host two seperate camporees and trainings etc?
Split the money from donations?? You first have to get them to stop intermingling the LFL donations with the rest of the scouting programs..
Forget it, most councils have a difficult time pulling together enough volunteers to keep the current program afloat..
But, I do see some benefits also, after all.. The group that is inclusive will be able to add back in scouting groups chartered by schools and other public organizations.. Of course to do this, our inclusiveness would have to be more then homosexuals.. But, why not?.. It seems ridiculous to make such a move as having every unit choose which name they want to be name A or name B, just because 1 or 2 homosexuals just may join your group and not have to hide their spouse or significant other in order to be a leader..
Of course that would mean camporees and scout camps intermingled with not only homosexuals, but girls and athiests and people with green hair or rings in their noses..
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Let's start with this: What do you want the result of this policy debate to be, and why? Then we can talk about the real issues related to this very serious, and quite workable, proposal.
Rick, the bugs won't let me post a comment to your question so I'll respond here. Non-sectarian means the BSA lets in members of any religion. It doesn't mean we adopt all the beliefs of any and all of those religions. We should accept Christian Scientists if they want to join, but we are not obligated to use their theories of faith healing if a Scout breaks his arm. Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to join the BSA, but if they wanted to we would welcome them but would not adopt their practice of refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Pretty much every religion allows both males and females to be members, but we do not include girls in the ranks of Boy Scouts. Several Protestant faiths, (including Unitarians, several branches of the Episcopalians, the Disciples of Christ, several of the Lutherans groups that are schisming the denomination over the issue, the UCC, et al) have altered their doctrine to suit the times, and declared that homosexual behavior may not be sinful after all, and that two dudes can get married if they want, a view that probably would have triggered a heart attack if you had suggested it to James Freeman. Fine, obviously you can believe whatever you want, but we are not required to adopt your views to be non-sectarian. If we adopted every religion's new beliefs we would not be non-sectarian, we would be pan-sectarian, which would be impossible due to the divergence of beliefs.
AZMike - Sorry, I disagree with you.. If we allow in Christian Scientists and there is a unit who is chartered by them and they want to follow their beliefs (be it medicine or what not) we do not force them to conform to a conservative Christian practice.. Likewise, if you had a member who was a christian Scientist in your group and HE broke HIS leg, you would not force him to go to the hospital against his beliefs and adament protests against it.. It is called being reverent of their beliefs.
Merlyn why would an atheist be a member of a religion? Do you mean that they were raised in a certain faith but no longer believe or practice it?.. I thought we did allow in Buddhiest and other religions even if their belief in God is practically non-existant. Not sure about pagans, but we should, if you can believe in a rock then that is just as good as believing in the power of sacraficing a chicken, or believing that Satan is a higher power.. After all, all you have to believe in is that something is of a higher power. I don't think I have seen anything that your higher power has to be dressed in white rather then black or red.. Wouldn't be surprised if BSA did not though, probably one of those unwritten rule things..
Separate but equal...
Wasn't that tried once before....How did that work out?? anyone anyone.
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Originally posted by Basementdweller View PostSeparate but equal... Wasn't that tried once before....How did that work out?? anyone anyone.
2. The separation would be totally voluntary, and doesn't force anyone to be separated if they don't want to be -- which was never the case in the example you mention. If gays or lesbians want to remain in the traditional program, they can, under the same conditions as exist now. If someone who doesn't care for homosexuals wants to join an LFL Scouting unit (for example, to meet girls), no problem.
3. The Venturing/Exploring split seems to have worked out.
The difference between the result we would have with this proposed split, and the result we would have with either a local option or a complete disavowal of discrimination by BSA is this: Instead of the conservative churches leaving BSA and establishing their own exclusionary programs, they would still be within BSA.
I realize that on each side, there are folks who think that the other side is wrong, illegitimate, has no right to assert their fundamentally evil position, and thus deserve no concessions and no consideration. These hardliners on the anti-homosexual side do not favor the local option or any option that would offer anything to the anti-discrimination side. The hardliners on the anti-discrimination side would prefer a complete rejection of the exclusionary policy, but realize that the local option is a foot in the door and their ultimate goal is just a few years away (after local option proves unworkable); and they would not at all mind if the anti-homosexual crowd left BSA entirely (and good riddance). And so this proposed split is offensive to hardliners on both sides, precisely because it recognizes that each side has sincere and legitimate arguments and concerns.
Yeah, that's kind of a series of category errors on your part, Merlyn. "Jewish" as an ethnic group is not the same as Jewish as a religion, so they are a unique case. A person who ethnically self-identiies as a Jew who has foolishly made the decision to abandon the faith of his fathers is an atheist, and would not be eligible for BSA membership as he would still be Jewish as an ethnic group but not be Jewish as a religious choice. Unitarian-Universalists are allowed to declare themselves as members of any religion, or none at all, so to the extent that a Unitarian-Universalist declares himself an atheist, he is an atheist and loses the claim that he is a member of a religion. He is just someone who practices a personal philosophy which makes the specious claim of a religion. Some Buddhists do believe in God or spiritual beings which are gods, those who don't still believe in a higher spiritual law that enforces an objective moral code of right and wrong which governs your spiritual faith in the afterlife, and which fulfills the essential role of a God, so they aren't atheists. Raelians are atheists who happen to believe in a mix of sexual mumbo-jumbo and ookie-bookie extraterrestrials. An alien ain't God, so what they are calling a religion is not what any sane person would call a religion. Deeming your peculiar beliefs as a "religion" does not obligate others to do so. I may feel I have a life-mission to liberate money from banks, may feel that a grand spiritual principle requires me to rob banks, and so declare that you must accept me into the Scouts as a member of the First Unreformed Church of the Willie Suttonists. Again, Merlyn, sorry. One's desire to create a new religion that does not believe in God (or gods) does not require me to recognize that contradiction as a reality.
"Merlyn why would an atheist be a member of a religion? Do you mean that they were raised in a certain faith but no longer believe or practice it?.."
"Yeah, that's kind of a series of category errors on your part, Merlyn."
There really are religions that don't require a belief in a god to be considerd a member. I forgot about the Ethical Culture Society, where the Ethical Society of Austin applied for a religious tax-exemption. The Texas comptroller denied it on the grounds that their religion didn't have a supreme being, but the TX court of appeals ruled for the ESA:
<blockquote>Abstract: On March 6, 2003, the Texas Court of Appeals ruled that the use of the
“Supreme Being” test denied the Ethical Society of Austin’s First Amendment Rights.
The primary issue considered by the Court on appeal was whether the First Amendment
afforded protection to unfamiliar religions that do not necessarily believe in a higher
power. The Court held that the “Supreme Being” test was unconstitutionally under-
inclusive and replaced it with the Malnak test, thereby affirming the lower court’s
decision that the Texas Comptroller violated the Society’s First Amendment rights when
denying a religious tax-exemption.</blockquote>
So the ESA is a religion, and it has no supreme being to believe in to be a member.
Why would an atheist be a member of a religion? Because atheist doesn't mean: "doesn't believe in religion" (though I am sure there are plenty of atheists that don't), but "disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of deities." There are plenty of religions that can fit that description. Of course, now you have to define what the word "Deity" or "Deities" refer too.
dkurtenbach wrote: “I think that the concern is this: By continuing to belong to and participate in an organization that welcomes homosexual leaders (even though they are not allowed in their own units), they would be cooperating in an ongoing moral evil. In other words, guilt by association.”
But don’t many Christians believe that denying the divinity of Christ is evil? So wouldn’t cooperating with non-Christians be “guilt by association”? What is so special about the gay thing?
Originally posted by Rick_in_CA View Postdkurtenbach wrote: “I think that the concern is this: By continuing to belong to and participate in an organization that welcomes homosexual leaders (even though they are not allowed in their own units), they would be cooperating in an ongoing moral evil. In other words, guilt by association.” But don’t many Christians believe that denying the divinity of Christ is evil? So wouldn’t cooperating with non-Christians be “guilt by association”? What is so special about the gay thing?
Merlyn will no doubt be happy to know that he agrees with Fox News - they believe atheism is a religion, so apparently you can be atheist and still be a member of a religion: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/...m-is-religion/
Many atheists will disagree quite angrily with Merlyn's faith that an atheist can be in a religion without compromising his beliefs, but then some atheists certainly want to turn atheism into a soi-distant religion - there is a Church of Atheism in London with regular Sunday services that are quite popular, many universities have atheist chaplains, and atheists are lobbying for atheist chaplains for the military. Christians have Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, atheists have Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and Dennett, and even have their apostate Judases like Antony Flew and Thomas Nagel.
Heck, Merlyn - 21% of self-identified atheists believe in God, 12% believe in Heaven, 10% believe in Hell, 10% pray at least weekly, Interestingly, 13% of atheists believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, and 14% of all atheists believe homosexuality is a way of life that should be discouraged by society. (http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/re...y-findings.pdf) You send us those kind of atheists, and we can talk.
Re Rick's question about Christians believing that denying the divinity of Christ is evil, no...one has to come to that belief through faith. One can and should cooperate with non Christians and yes, gays. They are not enemies, just our brothers and sisters in Christ. One can accept our common humanity and love the sinner without justifying the sin.
AZMike, atheism is not a religion (it can be a tenet of some religions, just like theism is a tenet of most religions), but atheism qua atheism is not a religion itself, just like theism isn't a religion. There are legal situations where it is (and should be) treated the same as a religion, just like corporations are sometimes, legally, persons, even though they aren't, either.
And you as well as a lot of other people keep misquoting that Pew forum survey -- you can't conclude that "21% of self-identified atheists believe in God", because the question was "God or a universal spirit". Looking at the breakdown, it was 6% who believe in a "personal god", 12% in an "impersonal force", and 3% "don't know". Plus, I'm not surprised that many people don't know the definition of "atheist", including some people who apply the label to themselves.
Unfortunately, I have. Years ago, an otherwise seemingly nice man was being unpleasant to a few members of our group (a Sikh man and his son). And when confronted, he said it was his Christian duty to confront their sin of denying the divinity of Christ - apparently by being rude to them. We asked him to leave. I just don’t understand some people.