I fail to see a "Velvet Revolution" option for Scouting. It would be confusing to the public, not to mention the Scouts. The use of facilities and activities coordination boggle the mind. No, I think we must decide on one standard (no gays) or the other (local option). Either decision will cause problems and cost members, but we need a starting point to go forward from. LFL Cub Scouts? Really? I'm not ridiculing, I'd just have to be convinced that it even might work.
Personally, I think the local option is the only thing that makes sense at this point. The God issue will also arise in time and we will have to deal with that. I am Buddhist, which means I can believe in no single god if I so choose. However, there are moral principles (none of which have to do with sexual orientation) that one must practice in order to be a good Buddhist. Something like that is, I think, needed in Scouting, but how to achieve requires someone with a deeper insight than mine.
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- Mar 2005
- Oct 2008
Originally posted by Rick_in_CA View Postdkurtenbach wrote: “I suppose that there might still be some Christians in this day and age who would consider that denying the divinity of Christ is evil, but personally I've never come across one that I know about.” 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.
This weekend another scouter asked me “why do you want the conservatives to leave scouting?”. I answered that I don’t, I just want them to give others the same respect they wish to receive. Why does it have to be about the other side leaving?
I really feel strongly about this. Ever since I was a youth in scouting, I believed one of the great things about it was that people of every faith and stripe could sit down together as welcome members of the same scouting family. I want my scouts to be able to see people of other faiths and beliefs as good and reasonable people who happen to have different beliefs, not as bad people who are wrong. And one of the best ways to accomplish that, I believe, is to have them encounter such people in positive settings. I don’t know, maybe go to camp with them? It’s much harder to think of a group of people as simple caricatures if you know some of them personally and realize that they are not idiots, or morally bankrupt, or out to destroy X, but decent people with some different opinions or beliefs.
I want my scouts to be able to say or think the next time they hear something of the form: “You know all those X people think that ...”, they can reply “Actually, that’s not true. I went to camp with an X, and he was a decent kid and didn’t say anything like that.” That is part of growing up to be a decent citizen and human being. That is why I want my scouts to get an opportunity to meet and interact with people of a wide range of faiths, political views, nationalities, personality types, physical and mental abilities, etc. - and to learn to see them as human beings, not cartoon characters. To learn that what make someone a decent, or not decent person has very little to do with which faith, or nationality, etc. they are.
In my life I have been privileged to get to know and be friends with people that are deeply conservative, strongly liberal, straight, gay, Catholic, Jewish, Unitarian, Protestant, Sikh, Atheist, Agnostic and Wiccan. And to know them as good and decent people. Some are very thoughtful, some are a bit flighty, some are gentle some are rambunctious. But they are all people that it is an honor for me to be able to call them friend. Yes, some of are discussions can be filled with strong opinions and sometimes generate some heat. But we usually end with a smile and sometimes a hug, but always as friends.
Yet I do know people that say things like: “all republicans are jack booted thugs”, or “all democrats are socialists that hate America” or use phrases like: “liberal scum” or “#@#& conservatives”; and I say: “have you actually got to know any?”
So when I hear scouters say things like: “I don’t want my scouts associating with X”, “X won’t be happy until they destroy scouting”, or “why don’t they just leave and form their own group?”, it make me sad. Because if they get their way, scouting will be a poorer place, and the youth will loose one of the great parts of scouting.
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- Feb 2012
Originally posted by moosetrackerPerhaps each group will get a new uniform change, or maybe just a change in their epillet colors, so you will know who to avoid if they are wearing their class A uniforms.
I hope these comments about the separating conservative and progressive scouts/scouters are meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Do you really believe there exists conservative people who are so anti-gay that they won't attend a camp where there *might* be gay people? Really? How do they live like that? Seriously, how to they leave their homes, shop for groceries, stay in a hotel, tour a museum, attend a concert or visit an amusement park where there might be gay people?
dkurtenback wrote: “There is a big difference between (a) living in the world that you have to live in and you don't have any choice about who else is there, and (b) voluntarily joining and participating in an organization because you want to associate with certain kinds of people. A lot of the wistful comments from progressives express a desire to have the conservatives be exposed to people they don't want to be exposed to, because it will be good for them -- they will learn that their conservative views are, well, wrong. And that is the sort of thing that gets the conservatives upset. And the progressives can't understand why.”
Not that their conservative views are wrong, but that just because people disagree with them, that they aren’t worth associating with. Unless the conservative view you are talking about is the view “progressives are morally bankrupt people and have no ethics”, then yes - you are wrong!
What it sounds like you are saying (correct me if I am wrong) is: conservatives really only want to hang out with fellow conservatives, and they want all the non-conservatives too leave scouting and leave them alone? And you wonder why progressive feel upset about that?
I love scouting. It was a huge positive influence in my youth, and still is today. That is why I care so much, and am fighting for BSA national to make it’s policies match what I believe scouting values to be (you can’t be non-sectarian and then tell half the faiths “ignore your tenets, use theirs instead”).
- Apr 2004
Originally posted by Rick_in_CA View PostWhat it sounds like you are saying (correct me if I am wrong) is: conservatives really only want to hang out with fellow conservatives, and they want all the non-conservatives too leave scouting and leave them alone? And you wonder why progressive feel upset about that? I love scouting. It was a huge positive influence in my youth, and still is today. That is why I care so much, and am fighting for BSA national to make it’s policies match what I believe scouting values to be (you can’t be non-sectarian and then tell half the faiths “ignore your tenets, use theirs instead”).
Well, it isn't that conservatives (and I use that word as shorthand for 'folks who want to keep the current policy that excludes open or avowed homosexuals') really only want to hang out with fellow conservatives and want everyone else to leave Scouting. We're talking about a very specific situation here: the conservatives don't want to hang out with open or avowed homosexuals. Most of them are perfectly happy to hang out with other folks who have a common interest in Scouting. Well, unless they are atheists.
Reading many discussions in many forums, there seems to be a disconnect. You love Scouting. It is a huge positive influence. But they love Scouting too. It is a huge positive influence. That is why you care so much, and that's why they care so much. You are fighting for BSA National to make its policies match what you believe Scouting values to be. They are fighting for BSA National to make its policies match what they believe Scouting values to be. It's sorta like a math problem, I guess -- the identical values on each side of the equal sign cancel each other out, leaving just the values that are different from each other. But this is not a math problem, it is a people problem; and the solution would benefit from considering all of the values that are alike as well as those that are different.
dkurtenback wrote: “But this is not a math problem, it is a people problem; and the solution would benefit from considering all of the values that are alike as well as those that are different.”
But isn’t that the whole point of local control? Everyone gets to apply their values to their unit? This is the problem I keep running up against - there is a group of conservatives (obviously not all conservatives) that are defining “respecting my values” as unit A being able to force their values on unit B over there even though they agree with them. That is NOT respecting the values of unit B.
Is that the conservative definition of “Respect”? I get my way, and you don’t? I hope not.
That should have been: "force their values on unit B over there even though they DON"T agree with them."
I wish we could edit our posts.
- Apr 2012
To Rick's point, if we consider Dan's Plan as the Czechoslovakia Option - a velvet divorce, with each side going their merry way - the Local Option appears to be the Yugoslavia Option, with the level of infighting, disputes, hurt feelings, ruptured friendships, and boys pulled out of troops skyrocketing under the Local Option. Like Yugoslavia, disorder and chaos will rise as the central authority of the old regime - however disliked it might be - gives way to individual disputes. Instead of the Czech and Slovak Republics, we may be left with Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, and Herzegovina as our new models. We will see old troops torn apart because COs, parents, committee members, scouters, community members, and outside activists will disagree on how "their" troop will be run. Basementdweller has written on how his troop may collapse solely because of an individual with whom he disagrees. (I will point out with charity that it takes two to have a disagreement.) Multiply that by the number of troops in the country that contain strong-willed people with their own standards of morality, and which they believe to be uncompromisable.
If the local option passes, expect the Balkanization of the BSA to begin quickly.
The Czechoslovakian Option certainly isn't optimal, but it's still better than the Local Option.
- Feb 2013
Interesting article regarding this topic. The last line in the article is the sad part. "the meetings have ceased"
- May 2012
Originally posted by eaglewolfdad View PostInteresting article regarding this topic. The last line in the article is the sad part. "the meetings have ceased" http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes...ub-scouts.html
"The meetings have ceased"...that will be something we hear more often than not.
I am kind of surprised at the thread title and discussion here "Current BSA policy VS the local option", if the BSA goes with the local option, as I understand it the protection of BSA v. Dale no longer applies. Now what? The reality is there is no local option, the lawsuits won't stop and any CO sticking to their beliefs will drop scouts en masse as soon as the first lawsuit is filed.
- Oct 2003
"as I understand it the protection of BSA v. Dale no longer applies" The First Amendment is still the First Amendment. Under Local Option, those private COs will still have the right of free association and the right to discriminate against homosexual leaders if they choose to do so, just as they currently can do with respect to gender or religion. The only change would be if the BSA were to treat sexual orientation the way they do race or national origin.
As far as the article goes, it seems to me the school district might be able to limit access to facilities to all groups that do not subscribe to the school's anti-discrimination policies and those may include sexual orientation. However they would have apply the policy to all organizations that discriminated against a protected class, and could not single out the scouts alone. As pointed out, one of the consequences of being a private club that chooses to engage in descriminatory membership policies.
My google-fu tells me this is likely to be Pack 3524, chartered by LDS-Cannon 5th Ward/Salt Lake Cannon Stake. Nearly all packs in Utah are chartered by LDS churches, Utah actually had the lowest percentage of units chartered by public schools back in 2005.
The school is almost certainly in the wrong here, even without the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act, as it appears to go against Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School Dist., Knights of the KKK v. East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, BSA v. Till, etc.
- Apr 2013
I have a problem with watering down the Scout oath
The scout oath says:
On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country
I do my best. My best is that I do not believe there is a God. I think it is a children's story made up to put priests in power by selling people comforting myths and legends. The best I can do is my duty to my country. I pay my taxes. I vote. And I speak out. I volunteer for things. Etc.
Likewise, I also obey the Scout Law:
A Scout is reverent. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.
I am faithful in my religious duties. My religious duties are to wait for solid evidence of an afterlife or supreme being before I believe in one. In the meantime, I spend my time respecting the beliefs of others. Our scout unit has a chaplain. As the unit leader, I ask him to give prayers before eating or at the end of the meeting. I bow my head and remove my hat during prayers. In fact, sometimes I am the one leading the prayers when he is not there. I usually do the Great Scouter of all Scouts prayer, or the Philmont prayer. You religious guys seem to like those, and it seems courteous, kind, and friendly to fulfill my expected role in those areas.
I never speak about religion to boys in the unit. I assume the parents and the fundamentalist church that hired me to lead this unit without asking my religious background would not appreciate me evangelizing for atheism. So, I don't speak of it, and I tell my son to not speak of it to scouting friends.
Should I be kicked out? I don't think so. Should I be allowed to be an atheist openly? Yes. Would I do so openly? No. I would remain secretive about it and continue to lie to people about my religion. I wish I could be trustworthy on the topic, but BSA and the COR's beliefs have placed me in the difficult position of having to lie to maintain my membership. As I teach my sons, "A Scout Is Trustworthy" does not mean that he outs himself as a Jew to Nazis. It just means people can rely on you. So far, this unit has relied on me, and I have delivered.
Without me, this unit dies. I am what holds it together.
I wish religion would go away from the world. I think it is nonsense. But, that will never happen, so I work within the confines that those who still need it require, and it is a sacrifice on my part that you who despise me will never understand or appreciate.
Meanwhile, all around me I listen to people tell me about how atheists cannot be good people, because apparently everyone will murder and steal without religion.
I am a black man before MLK came along in a way. I'm OK with it. One day, religion will start to fizzle as we continue to advance technologically. Just like in Europe. For now, this is us, and I am one of us, so I do my job. I'm the best man for it.