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BSA National leadership or lack of and the local option

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  • BSA National leadership or lack of and the local option


  • #2
    I think this idea is being explored in a number of other threads. However your questions are still good.

    As has been brought up before the BSA is now in a no-win position where there is no answer that will please everybody.

    I still think the local option is the best solution. I don't think the BSA can continue being exclusive, not when it appears that two thirds of the
    councils don't want it that way. And I don't think you can force a CO to accept members they don't want.

    There will be people who will stomp off but I am agreeing with some of the other posters here that there won't be very many.
    There will be troops that will avoid each other but overall I am really thinking this is going to settle down, and fairly quickly.

    Comment


    • ghjim
      ghjim commented
      Editing a comment
      The two thirds figure was provided by Lodge489 in a previous post. I think it was under "Boy Scouts close to ending ban on gay members, leaders NBC". I can't find it now because I can't search through all the posts in that topic, one of the bugs in this new software. He states he got the information from a member of the executive council.

    • Mad Max
      Mad Max commented
      Editing a comment
      Believing in anything coming from NBC is like believing in the tooth fairy.

    • ghjim
      ghjim commented
      Editing a comment
      To repeat, Lodge489 states he got the two-thirds figure directly from a member of the executive council, not from NBC.

  • #3
    Keep in mind that even now, the BSA policy does not encourage gay or heterosexual members to "flaunt" their sexuality - that is not what the program is all about. If the BSA goes to a local option, I don't see any issue at all with camporees or "mixing" of units that may have different membership standards.

    Right now, many units do not allow female leaders of troops (SMs & SAs). Those units don't have an issue mingling with troops that do. Why should this be any different?

    Comment


    • dcsimmons
      dcsimmons commented
      Editing a comment
      Because female leaders aren't in the shower house or the latrine or the tents with the boys?

    • ghermanno
      ghermanno commented
      Editing a comment
      dcsimmons, the male leader should NOT be in the shower, latrine, or tents with the boys unless there is a safety issue.

    • moosetracker
      moosetracker commented
      Editing a comment
      I think dcsimmons is more afraid of showering with "those gays guys" himself (adult leaders with adult leaders).. Only trouble is, he already does, it is just they are there but having to be more quiet about their sexual preferences.. Sort of the idea that being ignorant, means you can "pretend" you are in a "gay free" zone..

  • #4
    But what is going to happen when a boy or parent that is gay wants to join a troop that excludes gays and gets turned away? Then we are right back in the news again and that's my problem.

    Comment


    • perdidochas
      perdidochas commented
      Editing a comment
      Troops can turn boys away already, for almost any reason except for race.

  • #5
    The worrisome issue of bad press is not my concern. Right now, chartering organizations have the right to exclude non-catholics, females, etc. I believe they should still have the right to do so - at their own risk. I think, maybe naively, that there will be enough COs that would not turn away homosexuals that it would not become an issue.

    Comment


    • ghst
      ghst commented
      Editing a comment
      I have a bit of a problem with any CO excluding anyone (non-catholics,etc.). I really think BSA on a natinal level should set the standard on exclusion and any CO who wishing to be part of BSA has to follow the rules in place by the BSA not the CO organizations. The CO's should have structure their program to BSA program not the BSA structure the program to any CO's idea what the BSA program should be.

    • DeanRx
      DeanRx commented
      Editing a comment
      ghst- the problem is the BSA has already set their precedent the other direction... BSA currently allows CO's most notably the LDS units to "tweek" the national program to fit the individual unit's needs. BSA allows individual units to keep females out of leadership roles if they want to. But, BSA says a unit cannot currently CHOOSE to allow a gay or atheist to be a leader.

      That really is the rub in my book. Why can certain CO's impose their will on the program in one direction, while another CO cannot? Its an option to exclude, with no option to include right now. Might have something to do with the number of LDS units and $$ brought in, I'm guessing...

      See, if the ACLU and gays come at BSA with enough money, we'll drop the religious CO's in a heartbeat and all be flying rainbow flags at the next Jambo !!! ACLU has been going about it all wrong these so many years

  • #6
    ghst, to begin withl, that 'problem' is speculative. It is just as likely that IF there is some such controversy, it will be focused on that particular CO and NOT the rest of us. It's their problem, not BSA's.
    Local option, local responsibility.

    Comment


    • AZMike
      AZMike commented
      Editing a comment
      Sounds like we should be looking for a new title for our Balkanized organization, then no longer - the Boy Scouts of America, but The Boy Scouts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 123, The Boys Scouts of St. Dymphna's Church, The Boy Scouts of the Ancient and Benevolent Order of the Platypus, The Boy Scouts of the Reverend Joe's Church of Total Inclusion and Check Cashing Service.

    • ghst
      ghst commented
      Editing a comment
      AZMike thats a good one........I'm sad to say probably going to be fairly close to the mark.

    • perdidochas
      perdidochas commented
      Editing a comment
      AZMike, we already have that. Troops have the option to exclude scouts and leaders for almost every reason except race.

  • #7
    AZMike, why do we need to rename the organization? We already have certain units that have their own twist to the program and don't camp on Sundays (LDS units). We already have local option with regards to allowing or not allowing female leaders. We already have local option on membership requirements regarding religious beliefs for certain CO's...

    I understand that some hold the gay and athiest issues very near and dear because they believe it to tear at the very moral fabric that THEIR view of BSA represents. However, there are others who see exclusion based on gender or religious affiliation just as bad.

    BSA national has mucked this up really good, and I'm in agreement with the OP that they have shown just about everything BUT leadership on this issue.

    Local option is their ONLY course at this point to save face internally with members and CO's that have different views than one another. Local option is really the ONLY optionleft to attempt to appease extrenal pressure for change (both in lawsuits, land use, and corp. donations) and yet allow the miraid of religious CO's (each with their own views / levels of acceptance of homosexuality) to make a local decision that will keep them in the game.

    If national made a policy change across the board to accept gays, would the LDS and Catholic CO's (maybe some others) drop their charters? Maybe, maybe not... I'm guessing on principle, most would want to, but I'm not sure how they face the youth they serve once they no longer have access to the program and the council camps . etc... Local option plays the best parts of each side of the coin. You allow for tolerance of gays in units that are OK with it, without pissing off your huge base demographic of LDS / Catholic / other religious CO's that might bolt if you make an outright national mandate.

    Its really the lesser of all the evils considered... the current policy cannot stand any longer, and a complete reversal of the ban is not acceptable to a large enough majority of the membership at this time. What else are they supposed to do?

    Comment


    • #8
      Leadership? Not so much, IMHO. Merely capitulating to "market forces." It's seems to them to be the most expedient thing to give in to the pressure of our culture that declares that any and all sexual behavior should be embraced and celebrated. The group that trumpets their sexual behavior loud and long wins day. BTW: that loud chorus has no love of the local option and will continue their chants until the BSA someday completely forbids any CO to charter unless fully inclusive.

      Comment


      • #9
        As others have pointed out, we already have "local option" insofar as COs can pretty much limit leadership and membership, so I don't see much difference. As to summer camp and camporees, I don't see the issue. In the first place, if you go to one of those today and observe how different the units are in conduct, membership, uniforming and leadership, you can see vast differences. We also take our boys to public places like theme parks, water parks and other public venues where the dangers of some kind of actual molestation are much greater than they would be at Scout camp.

        National should just bite the bullet and endure the kerfuffle that is sure to follow. I believe it will go much more smoothly than most think.

        Comment


        • #10
          I have asked this before, and will again, Why when the talk of the local option first started years ago did no one bring the arguments we have today?

          Next, there are several Churches that do not accept "openly gay" members. Do they get sued because an openly gay person wishes to join them? Why would a BSA troop sponosred by that church be any different?

          At Camporees and other Distrct and Council events there is a fear of "mingling" with gay scouts and scouters? Do you ever go to State and National Parks? Or a commerical Campground? Are all those people straight?

          Comment


          • AZMike
            AZMike commented
            Editing a comment
            As to your second paragraph, the current administration in pressing their HHS mandate on requiring insurance payments for abortifacients and contraceptives has set out the novel legal theory that while churches themselves are religious institutions, the hospitals and adoption services and food banks and such that they operate under the dictates of their religious conscience are not (much less individual members of the religion who operate their own businesses), and so must pay the cost of providing abortifacients and contraceptives to their employees. SCOTUS will ultimately deal with this issue, but I see no reason why, under this argument, providing a meeting space for a chapter of a national youth organization (and moreover, one which may alter its own policy on this issue) would be held to be part of the church's core religious values.

            A "divide and conquer" legal strategy would also be ruinous to the Local Option. If the local chapters of GLAAD and the ACLU target each individual Local Option troop/CO that chooses to continue under the traditional policy, will the BSA fund the legal defense for 20, 30, 100 or more local legal challenges?

        • #11
          Only one of four of my post make it in the discussion, so wish me luck.

          I'm glad to see folks glass have full that this will turn out to not be a big deal and will brush over quickly. However, history is different, No youth scouting program has recovered to the level of memebership and funding they had before accepting gay role models.

          Also, I think folks are burning out on the political corrections wars in general. Politics is in every part of our lives now and we are being bombarded by media and politicians on who to hate and who to like. Cultural wars are at the highest level ever in the US. People are tired of it and the real scouting discussions on this forum (or lack of) kind of supports that.

          I don't see how the BSA can make the switch to accepting gays in any form without changing youth protection policies. As much as folks say it's not about sex, it will quickly become about sex the first time a scout molest another scout. And don't say it wont happen, it has already happened many times, it just wasn't under the context of homosexuality.

          Then there is the logical perspective. Ever since the BSA has accepted women as leaders, the majority of new leaders have been adults without a youth scouting experience. I'm guessing no more than 25 percent of new adult leaders today where boy scouts as a youth. So I am asking you folks of wisdom, why would a parent who has nothing invested in scouting want to put up with the hassle of scouting? I think it was tough before, but now it has such a stigma to it that I'm wondering who needs it. Soccer is a lot easier.

          Maybe it was inevitable, but we are watching the decline of true scouting and whatever replaces the void will not be a values program and barely an outdoors program. It will take it a little while, but scouting is going to turn into a urban focused program like the YMCA and even the Girl scouts designed more as just a place for youth to gather without program intended to improve the individual. Pack gives a quote that for him is profound, "Religion was not intended to bring people together". Well scouting is the same. It is a values program intended to develop the individual just like religion. The self-serving actions of religion and scouting naturally bring people together because the motivation of individual are selfless. The YMCA was the exact same kind of program before it started getting away from its religious foundation and ideals. Now it's just a place for the youth to meet socially. It has no noble vision or mission for the youth that it serves.

          So I'm not a confident about the present program as many here, I think we adults are very self serving and ran scoutingt into the ground. National didn't bungle it up, we did. You don't have to read very many post to see the condesending tone and hatred of the discussions toward each other. Not scoutlike, but nobody seems to care. We want everything and were willing to tear each other down hoping we would be the one left standing after the smoke cleared. We gave up our dignity for the gold ring. We were, and many still are willing to give up our virtues hoping the new world order would favor our own way of thinking. NJ keeps saying "do the right thing". Takes a lot of pride to think our way IS the best way. Nowhere does the Scout oath or law demand that our way IS the only way. There can be no concensus of peace without humility. The actions in the Scout Oath and Law require humility to be effective. There is no humilty in demanding the right thing. That might come in the new Scouting program. As for me and my sons, we are the lucky ones. We experienced the true vision of scoutings.

          I love this scouting stuff.

          Barry

          Comment


          • ghjim
            ghjim commented
            Editing a comment
            Eagledad, you are again making the assumption that organizations that are not religion-based do not have values. From my perspective the BSA starting going downhill when it became exclusive and required all members to be religious.

          • perdidochas
            perdidochas commented
            Editing a comment
            How would today's YP policies not work with gay leaders or gay scouts? They work with female leaders, and they work with Venture Scouts.

          • Twocubdad
            Twocubdad commented
            Editing a comment
            It will sure complicate the shower schedule:

            Male Youth
            Female Youth
            Gay Youth
            Lesbian Youth
            Straight Male Adults
            Straight Female Adults
            Gay Adults
            Lesbian Adults.

            Everyone gets 19 seconds in the shower.

            (Where are the little smilies on this new software)

        • #12
          Write something here

          Comment


          • #13
            Originally posted by WAKWIB
            Leadership? Not so much, IMHO. Merely capitulating to "market forces." It's seems to them to be the most expedient thing to give in to the pressure of our culture that declares that any and all sexual behavior should be embraced and celebrated. The group that trumpets their sexual behavior loud and long wins day. BTW: that loud chorus has no love of the local option and will continue their chants until the BSA someday completely forbids any CO to charter unless fully inclusive.
            and that's the rub, aint it.
            Sad day when such a small minority screams so loud that they seem like a majority..... and they push for freedom, as long as it's their freedom and not yours.
            Capitulating indeed.......

            Comment


            • ghjim
              ghjim commented
              Editing a comment
              The most important post I have read in the last few weeks on this forum is the one from Lodge489 who stated that two thirds of the councils weighed in wanting to change the membership policies. So much for outside forces pressuring the BSA into surrendering their values. I have stated before I believe that the majority of BSA volunteers and parents never wanted the BSA to be exclusive.

              I very much hope the BSA will release the result of the upcoming vote in May. Don't be afraid of transparency, let the world see what the members think.

          • #14
            Originally posted by Eagledad

            I don't see how the BSA can make the switch to accepting gays in any form without changing youth protection policies.
            You mean we will have to Change TWO DEEP LEADERSHIP AT ALL TIMES !!!
            You Mean We will have to Change NO ONE ON ONE..ADULT/YOUTH Situations

            What part of the Current YP has to be changed?
            Tell us exactly what will have to change?
            Do we allow NonCustodial Adults to be alone with Noncustodial Youths Now?
            Do we allow NonCustodial Adults to share Tents with NonCustodial Youths Now?
            Do we allow NonCustodial Adults to teach Sex ED to NONCustodial youths Now?
            Do we only allow missionary Postions to be Taught?
            Do we Allow Sexual Heterosxual Activites between Consenting Individuals Now on Scout Activities?


            I have always wondered what the Official Uniform for a Scout troop is on a Nudist Colony?


            Comment


            • #15
              "If national made a policy change across the board to accept gays, would the LDS and Catholic CO's (maybe some others) drop their charters? Maybe, maybe not... I'm guessing on principle, most would want to, but I'm not sure how they face the youth they serve once they no longer have access to the program and the council camps . etc."

              I don't know that the large church COs would lose anything. Some churches already have scout organizations outside the BSA (Royal Rangers, Royal Ambassadors, Pathfinders, etc.). Some churches already have outdoor camp properties (I found cysc.com, here's a link to WI UMC camps http://wiumcamps.org/). Here's commentary from the SBC (http://www.christianindex.org/8614.article) on their interest in pursuing a different course based on the decision. The AHG exists for at least some of the same reasons. If the LDS church said "no more scouts" it would no doubt end. I suspect the same is true for the SBC and to a lesser level for the Catholics and Methodists. Some of their scouts might join other troops but others wouldn't.

              If in fact the local option leads to local law suits I would expect some large defections.

              Comment


              • DeanRx
                DeanRx commented
                Editing a comment
                dcsimmons-

                I guess I just do NOT see the value in a local law suit. Part of the charm of local option is if the ACLU (or any other entity for that matter) wants to sue, they have to pony up the time / resources / money to sue each individual unit... and to what end? To force that ONE unit to change their membership policy? One of the reasons BSA national is an easy target is that one ruling can and will affected EVERY single unit across the nation. No so if they win against one unit. It spreads the risk across a larger area and most likely makes it cost prohibitive to go after it at the unit by unit level.
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