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With this vote, Scouting calibrates its moral compass

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  • #16
    Well said Terry, I agree completely (as everybody here already knows.)



    Ghjim, I agree that the change that has been made (and the further change that will hopefully will be made in the near future) is primarily the result of a push for change within Scouting, and not by outside groups. Of course, the actions of outside groups may have been an influence on those within Scouting, but that's ok. We all have free will and can decide our own opinions for ourselves, after hearing the opinions of others. There are certainly outside groups on the other side of the issue as well.

    However, some people here will never be convinced that this was not a "capitulation" by the BSA to "outside groups", nor will they acknowledge that even to the extent "outside groups" may have had some influence, those groups are to be found on both "sides."
    Last edited by NJCubScouter; 05-24-2013, 10:02 AM.

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    • #17
      I think that this policy is reasonable and goes far enough without need for further review.

      - It is simple to assume youth are developing an identity yet remain asexual. (even if you know better)
      - It is impossible to assume that adults are unsure of their identity or asexual.

      Since sexual subject matter is only ever presented as preventing youth exposure to it in the context of Scouting, I feel it's intellectually consistent to say that there is no place in Scouting for anyone that makes sexual matters a subject outside the scope of Youth Protection. Since youth in Scouting come to know their leaders pretty well over time, it's impossible to believe that someone who openly identifies as homosexual will be able to avoid sexuality as subject matter.

      To be clear, I want all Scouters that make sexuality an issue removed, and that should have been in the resolution. The Scoutmaster who tells boys that homosexuality is an abomination should be removed just as quick as the Scouter who says being gay is okay. The only thing that the boys need to know about sexuality in Scouting is not to worry about it now because they get enough of it already from the rest of the world and don't need to get it from Scouting too. Recognize, resist, and report sexual contact because it's inappropriate for Scouting. Recognize, resist, and report prolonged sexual conversation that persists through requests to stop, because it's inappropriate for Scouting and often used to desensitize or "groom" youth for exploitation by adults or even other youth.

      The big takeaway from yesterday's vote needs to be that sexuality, not homosexuality, is inappropriate for Scouting and at the present time an adult cannot be an open sexual minority and still prevent being a distraction to inappropriate subject matter. I understand that this mentality is changing for the boys, and so I'll be happy to see that policy change as well in the future when it would no longer as as a pothole on the autobahn of a youth's learning experience in Scouting.

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      • #18
        BS-87 ... I'm almost with you. Sexuality has no place in scouting. But it's a gradient.

        - If the unit is chartered to a public school PTA/PTO, then leader comments about abomination should yield removal.

        - If the unit is chartered to a Catholic church, then leader comments about abomination should yield a request to tone it down and be more compassionate.

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        • #19
          I agree with eliminating the restrictions in the program. But I think this decision and the way it was presented was a huge PR blunder. That's not a surprise for BSA. They generally conduct themselves in a really bad manner and have done so consistently for... well, ever since James West pushed out Seton and the two of them started fighting.

          Here's why:

          * The change basically says that homosexuality is not a moral issue
          * The justification of the change is a survey that says what the people want
          * The policy is now reflective of public opinion.

          They said it isn't reflective of public opinion, but anyone with any PR training knows that the only reason to point that out is because it is the actual reason.

          So, now that we understand that BSA just says it is a values organization, and in reality is a money-grubbing corporation which only cares about maximizing membership (those of us who are not naive already knew this), some of the gold plating is chipping of the Golden Calf.

          That means that people who are ultra-right-wing fundamentalists who like that the Bible bans homosexuality (but conveniently ignore that it bans cotton, female preachers, and sets the Sabbath on Saturday) are probably going to walk out. No surprise there. Here come the American Heritage Scouts.

          But it also means that guys who are lefties like me are left sort of aghast at how BSA boiled it all down to money, membership, and just dropped the whole morality scout law oath thing and flat out lied about the previous policy. That leaves us thinking this isn't just a bunch of misguided, uneducated redneck men in charge of a youth organization, but rather sort of exposes the ugly company that BSA national really is.

          I think this is the fork in the road for BSA, and I think you are going to see a lot of people, not just those who hate gays, leaving just because now that the covers are off, we can see that the problem isn' that they are stupid...

          The problem is that BSA itself is corrupt and evil with no moral compass.

          The purveyors of scouting are bad people.

          This is news to probably everyone, and it is slowly sinking in.

          Comment


          • Basementdweller
            Basementdweller commented
            Editing a comment
            Can't be called scouts Just ask the former Baden Powell scout association, now known as the Baden Powell service association.....

            We will see American Heritage Boys......


            To be completely honest......I am not unhappy that we will be removing some of the WASPness from the BSA.

            I have heard and read comments from these folks that once the gays were finally kicked out they were gonna get rid of the non Christian scouts........

        • #20
          Originally posted by ThomasJefferson View Post
          how BSA boiled it all down to money, membership
          Please tell me you aren't just now realizing that? I love my DE, she really is awesome. But I hate the marching orders from above about how she has to increase the number of units, boys per unit and raise umpteen dollars. I know that I should care about at least some of that for the program to continue, but man if I really just don't care about that. I offer (or at least try to) a quality program to my unit and my day camp.

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          • #21
            Some will be for this and some will not. Our Packs sponsor is now reconsidering its ability to support our Pack. I know several of our Pack members will not be back next year because if this vote. I do not see this expanding membership but instead seriously reducing it. And if in the future adult leadership standards are changed, I know our Pack would basically disappear. I prayed last night for guidance and will continue to pray. This is the first morning since I have been an adult leader that I have not been excited to tell people everyone i meet about scouting and why their sons should join. I hope this feeling fades fast.

            Comment


            • ghjim
              ghjim commented
              Editing a comment
              A scouter friend showed me an email that everybody was supposed to receive just before the vote. Among other things it showed predicted membership changes depending upon which way the vote went. Both outcomes were bad. If the vote was for change (as it was) the prediction was for the biggest immediate drop. If the vote maintained the policy then there would be a larger corporate disconnect, a smaller immediate drop and a larger long-term decline in membership.

              Change within the BSA was and is inevitable.

            • Merlyn_LeRoy
              Merlyn_LeRoy commented
              Editing a comment
              "If the vote maintained the policy then there would be a larger corporate disconnect, a smaller immediate drop and a larger long-term decline in membership."

              While it might help a little, I don't know if this vote will help corporate $ support that much. The BSA still discriminates against atheists and adult gays, and a lot of the corporate cutoff has been due to making these corporations actually follow their stated donor policies regarding discrimination.

            • Hal_Crawford
              Hal_Crawford commented
              Editing a comment
              ghjim:
              The projections you quoted would have been my guess as well. While we may lose a lot of units chartered by conservative institutions and a lot of conservative scouts and scouters, the rapidly changing attitudes about gay marriage are an indication that the times are changing and the BSA position become even more unpopular.

          • #22
            Originally posted by ThomasJefferson View Post
            That means that people who are ultra-right-wing fundamentalists who like that the Bible bans homosexuality (but conveniently ignore that it bans cotton, female preachers, and sets the Sabbath on Saturday) ....
            Actually, that is not the case. Nowhere in the New Testament (which is the guide for Christians) is cotton banned, and the New says "bring the tithes into the storehouse on the FIRST day of the week". And the NEW Testament bans homosexual acts. It doesn't ban feelings, but says to control them.

            As for the BSA, I have tried to live the Scout Oath and Laws since 1950. Now that National is declaring part of it null and void, I will have to see where that leads to know if I can continue. It isn't easy to watch an organization you believe in, drift away from its principles.

            Comment


            • Hal_Crawford
              Hal_Crawford commented
              Editing a comment
              On the other hand, I believe the decision reaffirms the Scout Oath and Law.

          • #23
            AWE, The American Heritage Girls have dissolved their mutual support agreement

            http://www.ahgonline.org/uploads/AHG..._Statement.pdf

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            • NJCubScouter
              NJCubScouter commented
              Editing a comment
              I think the dissolution of that agreement is in the best interests of the BSA.

            • Nike
              Nike commented
              Editing a comment
              That was the first thing I checked.

            • Huzzar
              Huzzar commented
              Editing a comment
              The dissolution is irrelevant to the BSA unless an American Heritage Boys is created and it is successful enough to siphon membership away.

          • #24
            Originally posted by Basementdweller View Post
            AWE, The American Heritage Girls have dissolved their mutual support agreement http://www.ahgonline.org/uploads/AHG..._Statement.pdf
            I fear that this wont be the only one

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            • #25
              Next, look for the atheists to be encouraged by this and to redouble their attacks on Scouting. It will happen.

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              • #26
                Originally posted by Eagle1989 View Post
                This is the first morning since I have been an adult leader that I have not been excited to tell people everyone i meet about scouting and why their sons should join. I hope this feeling fades fast.
                I felt the exact same way BEFORE the resolution passed. The first person I tried to recruit, the mother of a 1st grader, chewed me out and said I should be ashamed about how the BSA is unfair and discriminatory. I've been wary every since. But today is a better day.
                Last edited by DigitalScout; 05-24-2013, 01:46 PM.

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                • #27
                  To be honest, having read the change, I don't actually see what anyone can object to. It simply said that a Scout cannot be kicked out for homosexual orientation/attraction. It didn't say that gay Scouts are permitted. The CO chooses membership standards. It can't kick a boy out for being attracted to boys, but it can kick him out for dating/kissing/having sex with other boys (or girls for that matter). It simply states that who one is attracted to is NOT a violation of the scout oath, and it what way can it be. It moves the onus back onto the Unit, instead of national and the weird ratting people out to kick them out issue. In terms of adults/youth, one can presume that adults are active (or pursuing activity) in a way that youth are not. One of the squirley things with the policy. A man is primarily attracted to men, but doesn't want to be gay. He goes to therapy, marries a woman, has children, never touches a man sexually. Under the current policy, he can be kicked out of scouting for possessing a same sex orientation, despite not doing so. I mean, I really can't see a problem with this policy: who you are attracted to is NOT a matter of morality. What you do with those desires is.

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                  • #28
                    The big worst-case scenario that those opposed to the resolution were (and still are) waving around was that chartering organizations would bail on the BSA, particularly faith-based ones. But that's not as catastrophic of a situation as they'd lead you to believe when not all faith-based chartering organizations will drop their sponsorship of BSA units. Even the Catholic Church has stated that they will remain committed to the BSA.

                    Hypothetically, if lots of faith-based charters were ended, would that really be a big deal? The number 1 non-faith-based chartering group is "Groups of citizens" according to the BSA, which also ranks #9 overall. PTAs sponsor more kids than most other churches, ranking 4th on the list only behind the LDS church, Methodist church, and Catholic church. Private schools are #7.

                    Maybe I'm just woefully ignorant of the importance that chartering organizations play in scouting, but why is so much emphasis placed on the faith-based sponsors? Obviously they're the most common type of sponsor, but why can't that change? It's not like non-faith-based sponsors don't exist. They exist in large numbers, really. My recollection of what the church that sponsored my troop as a kid provided was limited to a meeting space and a closet to store gear. How hard is it to find other places that could do that? Really, if it is that hard to do, please tell me. Like I said, maybe I'm really ignorant on this subject.

                    If you listen to the rhetoric of those who view church charters as the be-all and end-all of scouting, you'd think the BSA couldn't exist without them. The fact is, they can and many units do exist just fine without them. So what am I missing? How does losing a few church charters spell the end of the BSA?

                    Comment


                    • Merlyn_LeRoy
                      Merlyn_LeRoy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      why is so much emphasis placed on the faith-based sponsors? Obviously they're the most common type of sponsor, but why can't that change? It's not like non-faith-based sponsors don't exist.

                      Public schools used to charter about 10,000 units with about 400,000 members, but the BSA's discrimination made that impossible to continue.
                      I think one of the main concerns about losing church charters is losing ALL (or nearly all) charters from a particular denomination.

                    • ThomasJefferson
                      ThomasJefferson commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Faith based CO's are prominent because during the 1990's, BSA lost most of their PTA and government based sponsors like police stations, fire stations, and mostly schools due their bigotry. They retreated to the churches, and LDS moved in to save them, and embedded themselves in it deeply eventually taking huge number of seats on the executive board (23 at last count).

                      The good news - the Methodists have more actual scouts than the LDS does. LDS just pays more registration fees due to their unethical habit of forging membership apps for every male youth in the church (a practice which I believe is fraudulent and dishonest and definitely not in keeping with their supposed morals or the Scout Law). The Methodists have had a complaint against BSA for bigotry for a long time and are relieved that this change came.

                    • Khaliela
                      Khaliela commented
                      Editing a comment
                      @Thomas Jefferson:
                      That is exactly why my boys and I transfered to a Methodist Unit!

                  • #29
                    Originally posted by fred johnson View Post
                    Charter Orgs and units do NOT have to accept you as a member. It's their choice still ...
                    That's not what the guy leading the pre-vote conference call said. When asked this specific question his answer was "a scout cannot be denied membership....."

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                    • #30
                      Not so sure about the outside pressure thing. When the FOS folks come around they've often talked about the lack of funding from United Way. UW certainly hasn't been shy about stating their position. Or Merck, or UPS or....

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