EmberMike, it is possible that science will produce an equivocal result (a fractional geneitic component, for example) and there is also the possibility that your belief that it is not a choice, but that being 'gay' is 'hardwired' will not be supported at all. If not, will you change your mind about all this? What leg will you be standing on in that case?
The reason I ask this question is that it seems that some of us are trying to justify a moral decision that we are making without real scientific evidence....on a speculative scientific outcome. So what happens if the 'science' doesn't go our way?
To me the answer is to better understand the ACTUAL basis for our moral decision and not to rely on some outcome in the future that may or may not go our way. We are making the moral decision now. Therefore we should be able to justify it now based on whatever it is we base it on now. (and at this time I confess to being a member of the Department of Redundancy Department).
For me, the basis is simple fairness. Gay people don't hurt me. They don't threaten my family. I can't think of any reason that I should condemn them (that Golden Rule thing). I have long ago decided that the moral way to interact with others is to treat them exactly as I would myself or my family IF I have no good reason not to. This works well for ethnic differences, economic differences, hair styles, tattoos, etc. I might be surprised by someone who reveals a body covered in tattoos but that hardly warrants denying them their 'place in line'.
Therefore, why should I apply some moral differential to persons because they are gay? I'm not gay. But their 'gayness' doesn't rub off on me any more than the tattoo. Their 'gayness' is really none of my business. Why do I need to know whether or not their 'gayness' is a choice in order to make my moral decision? It wasn't necessary for ethnicity, or hair styles.
Now I understand that prejudiced persons DO want to make the argument that being gay is a 'choice'. Let's look at some other of their decisions. Creationism, for example, is an idea that is immune to science. The fact that science has soundly rejected the creation myths has not deterred persons from rejecting science and, in fact, insisting that their faith-based beliefs ARE in fact scientific themselves. If something as clear-cut and obvious as creationism can't be addressed by science. what makes you think that prejudice in any form can truly be addressed by science?
So, while I sympathize with what you wish for, I think the way forward is here already and doesn't necessarily depend on science, nor should it.
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EmberMike commented06-08-2013, 10:02 AMEditing a commentI would gladly consider the possibility that the science could prove that being gay isn't hardwired into people, but that would be quite a reversal from what we are seeing so far. My thought has always been that if being gay were a choice, no one would choose it. It's not an easy life. For most gay people, it starts with feelings of confusion in their youth and all along the way it includes numerous struggles and hurdles that heterosexual people don't have to deal with. Coming out to parents and friends, hoping that friends and family are supportive and don't alienate them or kick them out of their lives. Dealing with societal judgements, prejudice, sometime violence, and in some very sad cases deciding that their lives aren't worth living. I don't know why anyone would choose that kind of life unless they were genetically predisposed to be gay and have no means of changing that. So if the science points the other way, I'll be amazed, but I'll respect the findings. But frankly, I find it impossible to believe that the science will ever point that way.
It doesn't mean that I'll start judging gay people, my faith tells me that it's not my place to do so and while the religious argument will have a more solid base in the scientific findings, I personally wouldn't resort to advocating for gay people to be kept out of groups like the BSA. The fact remains that most gay people aren't a threat to anyone, and I'd be a pretty terrible christian if I helped to keep any group of people from enjoying something like Scouting based solely on a choice they made in their personal lives.
TwoCub - Just commenting on the discussions I have had with conservatives on overpopulation, homosexuality and trying to change their orientation, homosexuality in relation to pedophiles, global warming etc.. The Bible passages win out over science if science doesn't agree with the their churches beliefs.
But perhaps Packsaddle stated a similar view in a more respectful manner in his example about creationism.
Packsaddle - Well said. Your right the proof of science should not be our deciding factor when right now there is no proof one way or the other, May never be.. And personally though I believe those who settle down to homosexuality after age 25 or 30 are your people wired differently, a lot of youths just go through sexual experimentation.. But that is my personal belief, still has nothing to do with my reasoning as to why they should be treated fairly.
- Mar 2013
Let's see if any other executives here in SC follow suit. I respect his decision but do not agree with it. Our pack has yet to address it in any form or matter, wonder if they'll bring this up next meeting (doubt it.)
06-08-2013, 12:33 PMEditing a commentA few things stood out to me:
The What of the matter: "In late January, National BSA's CEO and his cabinet of Executive Committee members, began calling for a change in membership standards; this was a complete reversal of statements they released just a few months earlier (that their two-year study affirmed our traditional policy, with no plans to reopen the issue). Suddenly the push to change was coming not from the pro-gay lobby, but from the inside."
In other words, the change WILL happen even though BSA practically promised it wouldn't last summer.
The Why of the matter: "Each member of the National Key-3 has stated publically that they believe homosexuality is "morally wrong, BUT it's in the best interest of Scouting" to make this change." So we move the goal post from what is "morally" right to what is in the best interest. Is that best interest the revenue stream, better publicity, your best guess??
The How of the matter: "All 286 Scout Executives were called to gather in Dallas on March 1 for policy change indoctrination--what we were to say, and how we were to communicate it to our local constituents." Let's work real hard to control the discussion in a certain way. A further example of this was at the voter meeting itself; "The night before the May 23 vote, BSA held a one-sided "Voter Education" meeting, where each member of the National Key-3 told stories about how important the passage of this proposal was. This was followed by many scripted speakers (who decried BSA's "discriminatory policy", comparing it to racism and anti-Semitism) during an open mic session."
Frankly, when the guys at the top reversed trail in January, I knew it was a done deal. Something changed drastically in the Board room and even if 90% of the survey respondents said no way to openly gay youth it would happen.
King Ding Dong commented06-08-2013, 01:52 PMEditing a commentWhat/Will: We all know the BSA will change, the WHEN is the question. I for one, was one that spoke up at that time and voiced my opinion. The statement that there were no plans to reopen the issue was my calling that they needed to her from membership.
Why: Just because the key 3 think is is morally wrong does not mean they need to impose their religious beliefs on the membership of an organization that is non-sectarian. I applaud them for recognizing that.
How: They spoke their opinion that the policy needed to be changed. You have a problem with that ? Although the majority of membership is Christian, they did not need to the discussion to be. "We are Christians, we are right, we are morally superior. We must impose our beliefs on everyone else who does not believe as we do."
We are here to serve the youth. The survey results showed what they think loud and clear. So in that respect, it is a done deal.
The board did make a decision and there was a vote after much discussion. Is there an accusation the voters were not able to cast a vote in the manner they wanted ?
06-08-2013, 04:04 PMEditing a commentWell, I'm not sure how I would feel about voting for this after being called a "racist and anti-Semite" if I didn't vote the right way. The name-calling that has been the hallmark of the pro-change supporters sure hasn't been a pleasant thing to watch. I don't think that should have had a place at the voters meeting, but it did, and apparently it was just a cute emotional ploy to win people over. If one has to revert to the activist's default setting of ad hominem attacks to try and sway votes, that alone takes big chunks out of what respect I might have for the "leadership" of the BSA.
Also, if the Board thinks customers of Scouting have such strong desire to end discrimination, why didn't they propose an all or nothing policy? There shouldn't be a need to sugar-coat it and ease it in incrementally if the overwhelming desire of the Scouting community wants it. Truth of the matter is, all the data collected from adult respondents tilted very strongly against any change.
- Jun 2011
There are several interesting things he said, such as:
In late January, National BSA's CEO and his cabinet of Executive Committee members, began calling for a change in membership standards; this was a complete reversal of statements they released just a few months earlier (that their two-year study affirmed our traditional policy, with no plans to reopen the issue). Suddenly the push to change was coming not from the pro-gay lobby, but from the inside..
First, did you know that BSA's long-standing policy did not prohibit gay members, or even gay leaders? It simply did not embrace homosexuality.This is designed to play on an emotional reaction: "Don't discriminate against children". But deeper inspection reveals that this is just a smoke screen : I have never kicked out (or denied) a kid for being gay . That's out of over 100,000+ youth members through my 20 years of serving in two Councils. Nor have I ever known a Scout Executive in any Council -- representing millions of youth -- who has! So if this is not the issue, what is?
But it could get much worse than that. The resolution puts all Scouting units in a legal catch - 22. The new policy requires every chartered Scouting unit, regardless of religious convictions, to accept “open and avowed homosexual” youth (up to age 18) in their program.Second, it will put Scout units in legal peril if they do accept gay members (and in the near future, gay leaders), since they will comply with the policy despite being aware of the risk they are putting Scouts in.
Our Council's position was that we would do what we could to uphold the Biblical standards that Scouting has held for over 103 years.
So his argument appears to be that since the old BSA policy didn't deny youth entry or require them to be kicked out for being gay, the resolution wasn't necessary ("just a smoke screen"). And that now the resolution is passed, run for the hills because now we are going to have gay scouts??? I think his argument is a bit disingenuous.
I wish him well, but I think the BSA is better off without him as an SE.
- 1 Like
"The name-calling that has been the hallmark of the pro-change supporters sure hasn't been a pleasant thing to watch."
The sound you just heard was my irony-meter exploding, as I think back on some of the nasty, vile, un-Scoutlike things I have read in this forum from some supporters of the "old" BSA policy over the past 10+ years. Not all, but some. On the other hand, the "name calling" that has come from people who wanted a change (I am not talking about this particular baby-step the BSA just took, but the real change that has been discussed in this forum) was basically that the BSA and supporters of the policy were discriminating against gay people. Well? The truth is the truth even if it's unpleasant.
What astounds me is the wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments (not to mention the resignation of an SE and the departure of some unknown number of people from Scouting) over an action that did not even address the actual issue that Scouting faced -- and still faces. Of course, I think that not throwing out a youth who reveals that he is gay is better than throwing that youth out. But if you read this forum from over the years -- even if you read what BSA's leaders were saying from January of this year until the Executive Committee announced its resolution -- the treatment of gay youth really wasn't the major issue. Many people (including me) were unclear on what the actual policy towards gay youth was, because the BSA made contradictory statements over time. The policy toward openly gay adult leaders, on the other hand, was pretty clear. Nothing has been done to change that bad policy, in fact it has now been reaffirmed. As far as I am concerned, those of you who want to keep gays out of Scouting mostly won. For now.
As far as the actual subject of this thread, one SE leaving is not a big deal. Multiply it by 10 or 20 and its still not a big deal. There are dozens (hundreds?) of Assistant SE's, Directors of Field Service, council Finance Directors and miscellaneous other middle-managers in councils all over the country who will be very happy to apply for his job, undeterred by the quarter-step (eighth-step?) that the BSA just took toward a rational membership policy.
06-10-2013, 09:20 PMEditing a commentNJ, either you or I are pretty selective in our reading. In the last year or two, I can't even begin to count the number of times I've seen the words: "hater, hatemonger, bible-thumper, bigot, comparisons to KKK, Nazis, etc..." in regards to people resistant to the change in policy. Any of the typical slurs used for homosexuals were likely deleted by the mods before the sun went down, as they should be.
Fear not. If the BSA were to open the doors tomorrow to openly gay and lesbian adults, I would be the last to be surprised. The top leadership demonstrated clearly that they can massage the data, work the crowd, and contradict itself with great success in this recent event. Nothin' gonna stop them now. The fire of public opinion is just way too hot for them anymore, even if that opinion is contrary to what their current membership would prefer. What would surprise me would be if we were still discussing this 3 years from now. They really should poop or get off the pot about the whole thing.
Thank goodness this man resigned. He has no place in Scouting. Before this change in policy did Scouting promote heterosexuality and provide straight sex ed? Of course not - and neither will it with this change in policy. Just as politics has no place in Scouting, neither do this man's personal religious beliefs. Glad he's moved on.
06-14-2013, 11:11 PMEditing a commentNice seeing your jumping on every thread you can find to tell us we all should develop a visceral loathing for someone who you don't know but for a link to one letter he ever wrote. Just because someone thinks that scouting should be used to resist social upheaval, you think we're better up without him.
Let me put this simply: you're wrong.
DWise1_AOL commented06-14-2013, 11:50 PMEditing a commentI am a retired US Navy Chief Petty Officer and I have a couple Navy veterans as co-workers. When the impending repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" was in the news, I overheard them talking about it and about what they would do to a shipmate if they ever found out that he was gay, which was basically to shoot him in the back. Gays in the military are not a problem; we've had them with us all along and they have served our country with honor and distinction no differently from our straight sailors. All we're getting rid of are the witch-hunts (actually, DADT got rid of the active witch-hunts, but didn't do enough). The only problem are the homophobes. You do not shoot your shipmate in the back! You watch out for him, keep him from harm, because he is your shipmate!
Similarly, gay scouts or even gay scouters will not be the problem, but rather it will be the homophobic scouters and scouts. It is tragic that gay scouters are still barred, because they are needed in order to keep the homophobes in check. At any rate, the gay scouts' parents will probably need to be present if trouble presents itself.
For that matter, why would the scouts' orientation need to be known outside of the unit leadership, what with the local option? The main protection that they need is from the BSA professionals, who will reach down into a unit and expel members regardless of what the unit or the chartering organization wants. Believe me, I have seen that happen time after time.
All we're getting rid of are the witch-hunts (actually, DADT got rid of the active witch-hunts, but didn't do enough).
I do agree it will be the homophobic and the religious zealots who never got Jesus's message of "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone", but feel they have the right to judge and condemn their fellow man. without even realizing that act alone makes them a sinner. Still, while most homosexuals will want to prove that they are just a worthy as any other scout, and be working to change minds through good behavior, there will be a few homosexuals who will want to taunt and invite this reaction by being vocal about their orientation now that they can be.. Both sides can have their "not so bright" characters.
- Apr 2009
For that matter, why would the scouts' orientation need to be known outside of the unit leadership, what with the local option?
The unwritten rule around here was to simply not apply the ban to youth. Now we can say to a parent, any parent "BSA does not apply that to youth."
"Local option simply is not a viable option"
I disagree. It IS the only real option that there is and it is applied in practice more often many might realize, I suspect (perhaps a different aspect of
DADT?) But just as before the recent membership policy change, there ARE gay leaders under the continuing DADT unofficial policy and there will continue to be, social media not withstanding. And that is a result, largely of the essential correctness of 'local option'. Local option does work, it has worked in the past, it will work in the future, and at some level, it is unavoidable.
Merlyn_LeRoy commented06-15-2013, 10:27 AMEditing a commentYep, it's unavoidable due to:
1) run by volunteers
2) some people in (1) think some rules are wrong
3) rules can't be changed by (2)
Some will leave, some will follow those rules, but some will bend or ignore those rules.
Very true. When our council had it's meetings to discuss the upcoming vote, one adult leader during the meeting claimed they had a homosexual leader in their unit.. The anti-gays started demanding the Council executives should go to the unit and remove him at once. Our council basically said under the DADT rule they could not.. They were not going to ASK who the homosexual in the unit was, the adult leader in the group claiming to have one was not going to TELL them who it was and as far as they were concerned the homosexual leader was safe under the DADT rules..
Now the unit in my opinion is following local option because they know who the person in and will protect them, (as far as I am concerned good for them.)..
Some on this board will argue our council is bending the rules because they got told something and was not going to do a witch-hunt to track the person down and remove them, but others will agree with me that they followed the DADT rules as they were intended.
(not sure how to quote)
"Nice seeing your jumping on every thread you can find to tell us we all should develop a visceral loathing for someone who you don't know but for a link to one letter he ever wrote. Just because someone thinks that scouting should be used to resist social upheaval, you think we're better up without him.
Let me put this simply: you're wrong."
No -- I don't think I am. An adult who has a religion, faith based, or political "agenda" or reason for being in Scouting -- simply doesn't belong. This is an organization that has a wide and diverse range of Scouts and Scouters -- and every one of them should be welcomed and respected, in any troop or unit. What his letter says to me is that he simply would not be able to do that. So he doesn't belong in Scouting. That's perfectly fine and I'm glad he admitted it and knows its best to move on.
- Nov 2008
07-10-2013, 05:52 AMEditing a commentThey were already bishops or on that track.
Anyway, my sources tell me pastoral jobs in he Anglican community are hard to find (slow growth of new churches) so I don't think self-promotion is in play.
FBS will likely have the same problem, although the financial pool will be broader than a single denomination.
Kahuna commented07-10-2013, 06:38 AMEditing a commentWhile I wish them, and him luck, I think they are on the wrong side of history. However, if they provide a Scouting refuge for those kids whose parents drag them out of the BSA, it would be worth something.
Peregrinator commented07-12-2013, 07:58 AMEditing a commentI think they are on the wrong side of history
I think you will find that history is not simply a progression from point A to point B, never to return to point A.
- Jun 2013
Originally posted by aj373ku View PostOriginally posted by moosetracker View PostYes, but they will except single parent and divorced Scout leaders, they see no problem with their morals keeping them from being good role models.. So, no my analogy is not flawed.. And it's been a few months, but yes I did read the survey.. There were things the conservatives pulled from it ignoring all else, and things liberals pulled from it.. Perhaps though my council data is wrong, that I got from my Council executives.
I see scouting to teach a scout to be: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent.
What we are talking about here is the last law Reverence. If a scout is reverent to god in his way that enough. IMHO it is not for the SM or BSA to force their view of reverence as the only way of reverence.
Hell i have enough trouble getting my tenderfoot to be clean.
st0ut717 commented07-10-2013, 10:30 AMEditing a commentUmm I did. but just to be clear:
"Yes My son in the future saw he wife abusing the children "gee my scoutmaster never did abuse a single child" I think i should divorce.
Sorry i missed a period after Yes
note you ahve not answered any of mine. Simply redirected with other questions.
Eagledad commented07-10-2013, 10:46 AMEditing a commentLOL, yes the period was important. I'm not sure what the abuse had to do with the question, but you did answer the question. Thanks.
st0ut717 commented07-10-2013, 10:54 AMEditing a commentBottom line (no pun intended)....
If a boy who is gay want to go on adventures, learn how to camp be in the outdoors and can lead a life that follows the scout laws that youth should not be denied that opportunity.
Now if we had to change what we do in scouting to accommodate that youth I would be against it. And I am talking concrete stuff like merit badges and ranks I would be against that.
Eagledad: I am sure you will disagree with this, but I believe the examples you use provide support for the idea of a local option for adult leaders. There is no national policy that says divorced people can't be leaders, but a local unit can decide that someone is unsuitable for this reason. Same for the stripper. Same for the pornographer (assuming it is "legal" pornography, otherwise it is a different subject.) And, although I am not sure you have used these examples, the same is true for the adulterer, the leader who cohabits with someone of the opposite gender without benefit of marriage, the alcoholic (whether "recovering," semi-recovering or non-recovering), and the smoker (of tobacco.) Maybe we should now add to the list, the leader who legally smokes medical marijuana. And I know I have posted even longer lists in the past, and I have never gotten a satisfactory answer to this question: Why do units get to have any or all of these people as leaders if they wish, but not a person who is openly gay? And to make it even more pointed, not a person who is openly living in an apparently monogamous gay relationship, as opposed to what some people call the "gay lifestyle"? And to make it even more timely and more pointed, not a person who is LEGALLY MARRIED to someone of the same gender? (Which I think is up to about 10 states and counting.) Why, other than criminals, are gay people the one group that are universally banned nationwide, regardless of their individual circumstances?
- Nov 2002
NJCubScouter commented07-10-2013, 06:44 PMEditing a commentOriginally posted by Eagledad View PostSo what you are really asking is why not the local option for behaviors that are 'lets say above' the accepted norm of most communities.
Second, "most communities" WHERE? I would say that, IF the communities that were ok with allowing gay leaders were a few small pockets of geography (or CO's) scattered here and there around the country, I think you might be able to argue that there just isn't enough of a "critical mass" (to coin a phrase) to warrant local option. But that is not the case. In the famous BSA survey of councils that was announced before the "vote" in May, I believe that 37 of 38 councils in the Northeast Region favored the local option (I'm still getting to what that means) for adult leaders. My council was one of them, as indicated by the fact that after the vote, a statement appeared on my council's web site (and I assume it is still there) applauding the vote on openly gay Scouts but expressing serious disappointment that the policy had not been changed for openly gay leaders, and stating that the council would keep working to change the policy for adult leaders. Notice, that's not the media, that's not some outside gay rights group or liberal group, that's not even some guy posting anonymously on the Internet, it's the leadership of a council, and as indicated above, they are not alone. (I can also tell you that my SE has somewhat of a reputation for being a tough, non-nonsense kind of guy, and I wasn't really sure if he would be strongly advocating for the local option, but he has.) So is that supposed to mean that an entire quarter of the country is supposed to be just ignored by the BSA? (I suppose that if you don't live here, it might be easy to say yes, but it hardly seems reasonable.)
Third, here we go, local option FOR WHAT? "Behaviors", you say. I don't think so. It's local option for the STATUS of being openly gay. What objectionable "behaviors" were publicly exhibited by the woman who was famously banned from being a den leader a year or two ago? Or by James Dale, before he was terminated as a leader more than 20 years ago? None that I am aware of. The woman (whose name I forget, if I ever knew it) was known to be living with another woman. Maybe she told someone they were gay. As far as I know she did not describe their sleeping arrangements or what they do behind closed doors. People just assume they know what is going on, and they're probably right, but should the BSA really be throwing people out for non-criminal conduct that is just "assumed"? Or "implied"? And then there is James Dale. If I recall correctly, UNLIKE the female den leader, he never told anyone he had a "partner", "boyfriend" or anything like that. An article appeared in a newspaper identifying him as the president of the Rutgers gay students' group, and as a speaker at a conference on the problems faced by gay youth. Someone sent the article to his council (which ironically, probably now also has something posted on ITS web site supporting local option for adult leaders, though it is a few councils away from mine), and that was it. He got a letter of termination. What "behaviors" did he engage in, other than those that people were assuming? (And I am talking about, BEFORE he was terminated. There have been some wild accusations in this forum over the years about him appearing in "drag" at gay pride parades, and we could debate the significance of that, but first of all I've seen no actual evidence of the "drag" part and don't believe it to be true, and second of all it is pretty clear he didn't appear in any such "parades" at all before he was terminated, or you can be certain that Chief Justice Rehnquist would have mentioned that somewhere in his majority opinion.)
And again, I get back to the inconsistency in BSA policy. Unmarried cohabitants of opposite genders are not necessarily excluded from being leaders in the BSA -- it is a matter of local option. In "most communities" it is probably NOT accepted, and yet there is still local option for those communities that choose to "look the other way", if you will. And we all "know" what behaviors THOSE people are engaging in behind closed doors, but National does not say they have to be excluded.
Finally, what's this about "accepted norms"? You might want to stop with just "accepted", or maybe "tolerated" would be the better word. But "norms"? What's the "norm", and do we necessarily exclude people for not being part of the "norm"? I can tell you from personal experience that being Jewish is not the "norm" in this country, but these days most people seem ok with allowing us to stick around. The same goes for other "minority religions." And just plain-old "minorities" as well.
I'm not going to "assume" this time that you will disagree with me. I would be happy to see you agree with what I've said.