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Side comment to BadenP: Usually your negative (and sometimes nasty) comments about BSA National seem very exaggerated and unnecessary to me. But on this subject, it is difficult for me to image a group of highly paid professionals, with their public relations advisors and consultants, handling a situation worse than National has handled this one, and I am talking specifically about the last month. It is almost as if they were TRYING to damage the organization that pays their salaries. I don't think they really are, which I guess just leaves massive incompetence as the explanation. However this all plays out, and assuming there is still a BSA to run after it's all over, I hope this organization can figure out a different and better way to govern itself.
- Nov 2004
> how then do the local units differentiate?
How do local units differentiate now? Some focus on full uniforms, some focus on merit badges, some focus on boy-led. Some go to Philmont regularly, some have never gone. Some only go backpacking, and others only go car camping. Some are more boy-led, some are chaotic, some are adult-led, some are small, some are large. Some place more emphasis on religion (awards, services, etc). Some have young leaders, some have old leaders. Some have women leaders, some don't. Some earn JTE Gold, some don't.
How do people find out? They show up, they observe, they ask questions. They look at websites. If they care about something, they ask. Why would gay leaders be any different?
skeptic commented02-14-2013, 07:07 PMEditing a commentWhy they will all be sort of effeminate, overly fastidious about their camps and uniforms, and may even speak a bit funny, Patrol flags will all have rainbows of some kind. They also carry the Gay Cooties. How can you not understand that? And even the wind blowing can waft the infectious cooties onto you from afar, so camping anywhere near them will be dangerous.
- Nov 2002
This is one of the strangest things I've ever seen. I just tried to add a comment to something AZMike wrote and it ended up here in this post by Eagledad.
If this just deleted something, I apologize. It was completely unintended.
Eagledad, if you DID try to post something, please post it again. I have no idea what happened.
I would just like to put out there......
If your unit is in jeopardy of your CO drop their charter you can find another CO for your unit. If this is what you must do then so be it. But, please, work with your current CO to try to make the transition a smooth one. For example, you will need to get your existing CO's permission to move the unit to another CO even if they drop the charter. The reason for this is that the CO owns all equipment and funds of the unit. If they are not chartering a unit, they have the option of donating these items to the Council, donating to another unit, or holding them in their possession for the future use of a scouting unit. I only say this so that someone doesn't face legal action should they decide to find another CO and just gathering up everything and taking it with them without permission.
AZMike commented02-15-2013, 08:26 PMEditing a commentMilitary units used to charter scout troops. When I was in the Army, I was "encouraged" by my rather scary First Sergeant to assist his troop on a Scoutarama event. I expected to spend a day watching him bellowing at the boys in the troop where he was a Scoutmaster like he did at us, only to find him relaxed, having fun, approachable, and obviously adored by the boys in his troop. (At the end of the day, when I told him I wasn't used to seeing him in that setting, he said, "Well, they're boys. You can't treat them the same way as I do you guys or they won't have any fun. Scouting is about having fun." Then he punched me in the solar plexus. (No, just kidding about the last part.)
That all ended in 2005, when as the result of a settlement between the ACLU and the Pentagon to close all of the hundreds of chartered BSA troops on military bases in the U.S and overseas:
"In a letter dated March 11, 2005, the Director of Registration at the Boy Scouts of America National Office notified the ACLU of Illinois that it intended to advise "all local councils to transfer charters issued to government entities to private entities immediately." The Boy Scouts' letter came in response to a February 9th letter from ACLU of Illinois Staff Counsel Adam Schwartz. In his letter, Mr. Schwartz noted the recent action by the Pentagon, and stated that the direct sponsorship of Boy Scout units by local government entities violates the First Amendment because current Boy Scout rules require government officials overseeing the charters: 1) to exclude any youth from membership in the Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts simply because they do not believe in God; and, 2) to compel youth to swear an oath of duty to God. Schwartz noted that direct government sponsorship of BSA units violates the religious liberty of youth who wish to participate but do not want to express a belief in God. The ACLU of Illinois noted that transferring the charters to private organizations would "avoid the need for further litigation in Illinois regarding the direct government sponsorship of Scouting."
(source: ACLU Press Release http://www.scoutingforall.org/data/layer02/articles/2006050505.html)
The military now allows both homosexuals and atheists, so the military would be acceptable to the ACLU, but the BSA would not. The ACLU would still have problems with the military reopening any charters as the atheists are still not allowed, and would also probably not allow the military to charter any local option troops that hold to pre-millennial morality. Most public schools would also not accept the BSA as a whole or local option troops that aren't part of the New Model BSA. I'm not sure what other organizations would rush forward to charter troops if their CO drops them. There are only so many Methodist, Anglican, and Lutheran churches that are pro-homosexuality and don't already have a troop.
Man, this is even weirder! I tried to write a response to Eagledad, and I wound up in a post by AZMike! What's going on? Where am I? I'm lost in cyberspace!
- Apr 2006
My Church CO does not like the direction the BSA is taking but is comfortable that the CO's keep their authority to select leaders. This one factor was key that helped us to recently complete our re-charter.
- Aug 2008
With the exception of 2 folks in my neck of the woods, everything I've heard is negative, very negative. So negative, that only two of the liberal folks I know are for the change. When the topci came up at RT, I mentioned how the UMC and Presbyterian Churches are internal movers for this change. One of the comments was "Can I give you my dollar now?" as my CO is more conservative and he is sponsored by a local UMC.
I do not know what will happen, but I see us losing members. As stated repeatedly, I lost one CO when DALE was going to SCOTUS. And I think we just loss the district commissioner over this issue. When I talked to him prior to the postponement announcement, he was furious.
One fear I do have if the change occurs, those outside groups applying pressure will NOT be happy with local option, and will continue with the iractivities. Several folks have already said "it is a good first step," and "while not the ultimate, it's better than 7 months ago" (referring to the report that came out on the topic after a 2 year study).
AZMike wrote, among other things
Thanks for bringing this up, as it probably is an issue that hasn't been fully addressed in this discussion. If people will dissolve their congregations and long-standing synods over their moral stands, which are presumably much more important and intense relationships for them than which scout troop their sons are in, what does that bode for the future of Scouting under the New Model?
This formerly thriving church in St. Paul closed its doors after the congregation rejected the pastor's new hobbyhorse of support for gay marriage: http://www.twincities.com/stpaul/ci_20975779/pastor-whose-congregation-dwindled-after-supporting-gay-marriage
The Lutheran schism over gays will wind up impacting many of the social service networks they have built up, which also doesn't bode well for the BSA - again, the demands of the few will outweigh the needs of the many: http://www.pewforum.org/Religion-News/Lutheran-split-over-gays-and-the-Bible-shakes-up-multibillion-dollar-social-service-network.aspx
The Ethiopian Lutherans just severed their relationship with the English church over this issue: http://www.christianpost.com/news/ethiopian-church-severs-ties-with-lutherans-over-homosexuality-89745/
First of all, your constant reference to the proposed new local option policy as a "New Model" of Scouting is clever, but I don't think it's correct. The new policy would really just be a slight expansion of the very wide latitude that local units already have in selecting their own leaders. Almost all factors that I can think of are already matters of local option. The exceptions are child abusers, criminals (generally speaking; even there, ther is some local latitude) and atheists -- and currently, people who are openly gay. Maybe there are one or two others but I cannot think of them at the moment. All the new policy would do is move openly gay people from one column to the other column -- the one that already contains most factors that go into selecting leaders. This does not seem like a "new model", especially not with capital letters.
Second, your observations about the different churches only confirms what is already obvious: Our society is deeply divided over how to treat gay people. It is inevitable that this division will be reflected in our institutions, including religious organizations and the BSA. Since the BSA tries to encompass all segments of society, including all religions, a policy that reflects this division, and allows the unit-owners (the CO's) to make the decision that works for them and their members, is the right policy.
AZMike commented02-17-2013, 10:05 PMEditing a commentMy (admittedly somewhat snarky) Cromwellian reference refers to the acceptance of a range of potential new policies, as we do not know for sure what will arise - a local option that survives legal challenges from homosexual political committes, a local option that causes the collapse of Dale under legal challenge from the same committes, or as some have demanded, the removal of any restrictions in any troop for homosexual membership. It's a convenient shorthand for a range of possibilities, all of which their individual proponents are eyeing with revolutionary zeal.
My comment on the recent history of churches and denominations and synods collapsing after the change of their doctrine to the acceptance of homosexuality (in the face of opposition by many of their members, who had devoted much of their lives and their tithing to their denominations) was in response to a request for information on the subject, which I thought was common knowledge. I bring it up merely because I was asked, and as a cautionary tale.
Eagle92, what I am hearing is just the opposite.
I suspect that this has something to do with the fact that I live in New Jersey, and you live in North Carolina. Across the country, there are a number of states that are more like New Jersey on this issue, and a number that are more like North Carolina. So how does the BSA deal with this issue and continue to be a nationwide organization?
- 1 Like
Oak Tree commented02-18-2013, 06:18 PMEditing a commentNorth Carolina is far from homogeneous on this issue. County votes on the gay marriage amendment ("Amendment 1") ranged from roughly 80% in favor to 80% opposed. The bigger cities all voted against banning gay marriage and the rural counties voted in favor. The map looks overwhelmingly against gay marriage, but the large urban areas and biggest college campuses were all against the amendment (Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Asheville, Boone). See the island phenomenon here: http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2012/05/nc-results-map.html
- Jun 2007
Yes. Actually I believe that our troop and pack are beyond the danger threshold . Without any discussion with the church/ CO, we were sent a certified letter (via the council, I understand) that our 36-year relationship was ending.
02-17-2013, 07:22 PMEditing a commentDouble post; if I could average out the double posts with the posts that don't post at all, I'd be a happier man.
BadenP commented02-18-2013, 12:08 PMEditing a commentSequoia I think you better review how scouting works, the units are owned by the CO not the leaders, you have no authority to terminate any relationship period. As a leader all you can do is to resign from your position, so you wasted your time with a meaningless and hollow gesture. If your CO wants scouting in their church then there is NOTHING you can do about it.
Bottom line this will be a CO decision to make and no one elses, so get over yourselves already!
SequoiaWDL commented02-18-2013, 10:23 PMEditing a commentMy post seemed clear to me (in my own head) when I wrote it. My sincerest apologies. Yes, the Chartering Organization sent a letter to the CO rep or Committee Chair (heck, maybe to both, that wasn't disclosed) terminating the 36-year relationship with the troop. The letter was e-forwarded to committee members this afternoon, and was filled with vague non-sequitous explanations. Will we be better off with a new CO? When we find a place for an active, vibrant and well-equipped troop to meet regularly and stow our gear, I'll let you know. Is it the end of the world? No. The leaders and parents who want the program to continue will find a way to make it happen.
BadenP : Since you assumed correctly that my perspective was from that of a leader, then the phrase "we were sent a certified letter' should clearly indicate who was the sender and who was the receiver. Basic English. On top of that comprehension blunder, your response was unscout-like.
I sortof feel that a lot of you are missing a point here.
To me, it's not really about how it might affect my unit, my personal experience, or my son't experience..... well yes it is to a lesser degree, but there is something bigger.
It's a case of watering down the moral experience. A case of dilution.
02-18-2013, 10:36 AMEditing a commentblw2, the problem is that in the case of admitting or excluding gay people, different people define the "moral experience" differently. Some peoples' morality seems to require that gay people be excluded, other peoples' morality requires that gay people NOT be excluded. You can't completely satisfy everybody's definition of a "moral experience", but with local option you can come the closest, with the largest number of people.
- Dec 1999
Blw2, Please explain. What IS the "moral experience" that is being "watered down"?
How does the exclusionary membership policy qualify as some kind of experience? What does that policy teach boys?
Peregrinator commented02-18-2013, 02:26 PMEditing a commentWhat does the BSA's apparent willingness to change that policy teach the boys in their charge?
What I mean packsaddle, is that Boy Scout used to mean something, and still does.... call it Duddly Do Right, Call it whatever you want.
But as soon as the BSA bows to the pressures of this issue, it means far less.
IMO, Scouting should not be teaching boys about this issue at all, from either perspective. This issue has no place at all in a youth program.
So, why are we letting it have a place?
02-18-2013, 02:14 PMEditing a commentblw2 says:
I didn't mean to imply that we should not be friendly, courteous, or kind to everyone.... but we should be reverent as well.
"Reverent" does not require excluding gay people, in fact, for many religious people, "reverent" would prohibit excluding gay people. That's really one of the reasons why this is such a contentious issue. If everybody agreed on what God wanted mankind (including the BSA) to do regarding this issue, and agreed on which policy is the moral one, there wouldn't be a debate.
What I mean packsaddle, is that Boy Scout used to mean something, and still does.... call it Duddly Do Right, Call it whatever you want. But as soon as the BSA bows to the pressures of this issue, it means far less.
One could say that the BSA bowed to the pressures of this issue years ago, in one direction, and now it may be bowing to different pressures, in a different direction. In years past the BSA bowed to pressures on racially segregated units and female leaders. There's always pressure of one kind or another, whether you're the BSA or just a person. Sometimes it is pressure to do the right thing, sometimes the wrong thing. The trick is knowing which is which.
IMO, Scouting should not be teaching boys about this issue at all, from either perspective. This issue has no place at all in a youth program. So, why are we letting it have a place?
Yeah, well, you might want to talk to the BSA about that. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court described the BSA's legal position as follows: " The Boy Scouts asserts that it 'teach[es] that homosexual conduct is not morally straight,' Brief for Petitioners 39, and that it does 'not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior,' Reply Brief for Petitioners 5." Now, I don't know who the BSA "teaches" that. When I was a Boy Scout in the 60s and 70s, they never taught me that. But they told the Supreme Court that is what they "teach." In any event, the impetus to change the policy is not about "teaching", though its probably unavoidable that no matter what the BSA does (including what they are already doing), there are "lessons" for the boys, whether intentionally or not. That's not the purpose of the policy (whether the current one or the proposed one), though it is one of the results. There's no way to avoid that. The ship sailed a long time ago on keeping this a "non issue", the issue is here, and it isn't going away. It's going to be decided one way or the other, and if a change is not made now, the decision is going to keep being made, over and over again.