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This should have been dealt with at the same time as youth membership.

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  • Originally posted by dcsimmons View Post
    I agree now that the path has been chosen the BSA will need to move quickly down it to get themselves out of the lime light.
    Really? We have seen folks on this forum for the last 15 year claim that all BSA's membership problems would go away if they would just accept gays. Well, it's obvious the problems are o worse, not better. What do you see that makes you believe that a further acceptance of gays will fix the problem? It hasn't even been a year since the first change, who knows what that has done, now we should dig deeper and faster? Even you admit that the local option has it's own problems. I've seen nothing that makes me think that doing anything would be better than doing nothing. In fact, I've seen no evidence that the membership change made last year has improved anything. Are we really better off now? Barry

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    • We are not kicking (under 18) Scouts out of the program for no fault of their own. Yes, we are better off.

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      • @Eagledad, no, we are obviously not better off now. The May 2013 decision to go half way towards full acceptance has hurt the BSA by putting us more in the lime light, to use dcsimmons' expression. The local option would also have been unacceptable to those activists who support full inclusion. Until homosexual adults are considered acceptable as Scoutmasters, Den Leaders, Committee Chairs, etc, this is going to remain an issue. Doing nothing now will just keep the MSNBC stories coming...

        Now, I'm sure there are those who think the membership policy is the one thing standing in the way of keeping more youth in Scouting. I don't see it that way. Take, for example, the current thread on whether or not Scouting is on the way out. There are lots of activities now that weren't necessarily available in the 50s and 60s--Scouting's golden era. The membership policy is only ONE issue that keeps some folks away from the BSA--a big issue, yes, but not the only one.

        There's not going to be a panacea for the declining numbers of Scouts. Allowing homosexual adults to be Scouters isn't going to make people flock to their local Troop/Pack. But I think full inclusion would keep more people from leaving--at least in the long run. Sure, some left when the BSA allowed homosexual youth to remain members. I'm 100% certain others will leave when BSA chooses to implement full inclusion. We've seen waves come and go over the years.

        Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...

        LeCastor

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        • LeCastor, why wouldn't the local option have been acceptable? Surely your not advocating forcing religious institutions to change their own membership standards. I also have never bought the argument that local option would open the door to litigation against those churches that have membership standards excluding gays. They are not subject to that litigation now, how does what the BSA allows or does not allow change that ?

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          • @King Ding Dong, as I said, until ALL adult homosexuals are considered acceptable as Scouters those advocates for full inclusion will continue to push for...full inclusion. As Martin Luther King, Jr said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere".

            Now, as for individual religious institutions being "forced" to accept homosexual leaders, yes, I think those who advocate for full inclusion will want BSA Troops/Packs to allow homosexuals as leaders. HOWEVER, as you know, the chartering organization chooses who they want as Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, etc. If a chartering org--that happens be a religious institution--doesn't accept homosexuality then they wouldn't be "forced" to choose a homosexual as their Scoutmaster, for example.

            I think it would be very unfortunate, though, if a religious institution chose a Scoutmaster and then ousted him/her later when they found out he/she was a homosexual. That would be the case where the religious institution would be faced with a tough decision--kick 'em out or realize that the upstanding person THEY chose as Scoutmaster is, actually, a good person regardless of sexual orientation. As for litigation, I can't speak about that having no working knowledge of the legal implications.

            King Ding Dong, I agree with you that we are a bit better off now that we aren't kicking youth out "for no fault of their own". But the BSA is not better off in the long run, as Duck Foot's subject suggests, because the new policy allows neither full inclusion nor complete restriction of homosexuals...

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            • ... Ultimately there will be activists that will go after local charter organizations deemed to be insufficiently tolerant. The bakery in Colorado is the analogy in my opinion...

              Nope. Here's why:

              The bakery was violating existing laws.

              Any chartering organization that cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, religion, sex, and age cannot charter a BSA unit, because chartering a unit requires them to discriminate in just such a manner.

              If it isn't legal for any current chartering organization to discriminate in all those ways, they can be sued NOW.

              That's why government schools, police, etc. can't charter units. Going to a local option doesn't change these legal aspects at all -- churches can discriminate in all those ways and charter units that discriminate in all those ways, if they want to, and will be able to in the future. The Colorado bakery is subject to public accommodation laws insofar as the products they sell to the general public, but they too can charter a discriminatory youth group because that doesn't fall under public accommodation laws.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by LeCastor View Post
                There's not going to be a panacea for the declining numbers of Scouts. Allowing homosexual adults to be Scouters isn't going to make people flock to their local Troop/Pack. But I think full inclusion would keep more people from leaving--at least in the long run. Sure, some left when the BSA allowed homosexual youth to remain members. I'm 100% certain others will leave when BSA
                Well! It seems you have covered yourself pretty good on your predictions. I try to keep my emotions out of it as much as possible when I'm so bold. Because I used to collect a lot of membership data, I had a pretty good feel for membership trends in the BSA. But all bets are off now. Political correctness isn't about right and wrong, it's about power. The BSA issue has finally been pushed up into the light of those who have the power or want the power, so it's future is unpredictable.

                I remember talking to someone about 20 years ago explaining that the BSA, (and Canada at the time) held a big advantage over other youth scouting organizations because the organization had a lot of very wealthy alumni supporters. A LOT. He said that so long as those supporters are around, the BSA will do well. I don't know how true it is, but I heard that the BSA has lost a lot of that support in the last year. I don't know why. But, you only have to look at the Canadian Scouts to understand that they are glad to hold on to the 35% or so they had back in the early 90's.

                It's a cultural thing, I'm starting to understand that. But because it is a cultural thing, I can't really see the future. As much as the progressives have advanced their agenda, scouting is still a conservative program. Gays and their supporters aren't going to flock to scouts anymore than they did 20 years ago. But, conservatives by their nature are more religious and that is more difficult. The BSA will always be a political correctness target, so either the program will have to stand tall and take the harassment, or they will have to eventually give up some of the values of the program like God. Without God, or gods, the BSA becomes just another after school camping program.

                So while I can't predict the uncertain future of the BSA, I think it is safe to say today is the best it will ever be. Thank goodness my sons were in the program before the activist took hold.

                Comment


                • @Eagledad, thanks for those thoughts. This is a touchy subject--undoubtedly--and I appreciate your willingness to engage me in debate.

                  Let me point out that I don't consider my personal desire for full inclusion to be in any way related to "political correctness". In fact, I loathe that expression. Rather, I see full inclusion as completely normal. What does this mean? Well, we all work with homosexuals; we ride buses with homosexuals; we eat in restaurants with homosexuals; our congressmen and congresswomen are sometimes homosexuals. I could go on and on. In short, homosexuals are just people trying to get along in life like you and me. In some cases, homosexuals have children who want to be Scouts. Just like you or me, a homosexual parent is interested in his/her son/daughter and some want to be involved in Scouting with the youth.

                  Regarding the idea that "scouting is a conservative program", I would argue that Scouting is a worldwide Movement that supersedes the BSA. Scouting is neither conservative nor liberal. In fact, I view Scouting as progressive because it is constantly evolving to meet the needs of today's youth. If I may be so bold as to bring William Hillcourt into the discussion, I think he would argue that we need not make Scouting too difficult; rather, we should get back to the basics of giving boys and girls real responsibility to lead each other using the outdoors as a classroom. You don't need to be heterosexual to do that.

                  Again, I really appreciate your thoughts on membership but I must disagree with you on the subject of politics. I don't this as a vast liberal conspiracy or a BSAgate or something like that . No, I see this as allowing other humans to be Scouters. Do you see what I mean?

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                  • LeCastor; while your overall comments make perfect sense, and most of us on this board likely agree to some extent, the problem currently is that a very loud, politically and financially connected group of individuals have made it their goal to drag the whole issue into a political window. Scouting is apolitical, and that is part of the problem I think. National has tried, granted very poorly thought out, to keep this from being a political dog fight; but they are not successful because the other side specifically wants it to be political, and they do not really care what it does to the program because of that. So, if we put it back into local control completely in regard to membership and leadership, there is no longer a big dog in the fight. In our current cultural environment we will never win if we stick to the apolitical standard that has always pretty much been the position.

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                    • Originally posted by LeCastor View Post
                      @Eagledad, thanks for those thoughts. This is a touchy subject--undoubtedly--and I appreciate your willingness to engage me in debate.
                      It's not touchy when folks are willing to respect each others opinion even when they disagree.

                      Originally posted by LeCastor View Post
                      I see full inclusion as completely normal.
                      That's nice, but who considers the cost of sacrificing the good so to be acceptable? Schools were closed off to scouting because they don't accept atheist, yet I am convinced less boys in atheist families are in scouting as a result. I had several scouts of atheist parents in my units. Considering what a boy will gain to what he lost, is it worth it? [/QUOTE]

                      Originally posted by LeCastor View Post
                      Regarding the idea that "scouting is a conservative program", I would argue that Scouting is a worldwide Movement that supersedes the BSA. Scouting is neither conservative nor liberal.
                      You can certainly regard scouting as a worldwide movement, but ALL things are local. It's debatable that the Canadian Scouts would have as many scouts today as they did before their progressive changes in the 90s, but let's assume for a moment the Canadian Scouts didn't change. Would you willingly give up the 60% of boys in the last 20 years for the sake of world wide progressiveism, or keep them with the intention of developing men who make moral and ethical decisions based on high behavior principles? Isn't that the question? Are you willing to throw out the baby with the bath water?[/QUOTE]

                      Barry

                      Comment


                      • Eagledad, I can't really answer your question to me. Whether I think we're better off or not is immaterial. The path is chosen and I believe it's a one-way trail. I tend to think it's better to rip the bandage off rather than nurse this along for another who knows how long. The survey data before the decision last year suggested a mass exodus if we went to local option or full inclusion. I suspect it will be bad but probably not as bad as advertised. I don't think there are many people waiting in the wings to join or money waiting to rush back in. Certainly not enough to offset what will be lost. However, better to get it over with and get started on the rebuilding process. The cynic in my thinks this is why Dr. Gates is the new President rather than Stephenson or the guy from E&Y. Gates can take the heat, Stephenson can get credit for rebuilding.

                        LeCastor, in my neck of the woods people aren't leaving because the decision went half way. Maybe that's an overall reality but it's hard for me to say. We've had a few folks refuse to buy popcorn or support the BSA because of the decision but it's been very few.

                        Merlyn, while I'm sure you are absolutely correct in your interpretation of the law, I think your logic is flawed. LeCastor made the point in his post "~~until ALL adult homosexuals are considered acceptable as Scouters those advocates for full inclusion will continue to push for...full inclusion." That suggests to some folks that no charter organization is safe.

                        The BSA is the target of the law suits today because they are the creator and owner of policy. Once they have shifted the responsibility to the charter organizations, the crosshairs will shift as well. In my opinion these kinds of law suits are targeted at the largest entity with the biggest exposure risk and deepest pockets. We all know that whether an organization has legal standing to sue has little to do with forcing an organization to defend itself in court. Activists, regardless of political affiliation, need enemies.

                        The more I think about local option the more I doubt it will get BSA the Corporation out of the news anyway. It seems like a small matter for folks to sue the BSA for damages because a chartering organization declined a leadership application consistent with BSA local option policy. It may require significant structural change to the BSA organizational model to survive. Hard to tell.

                        Comment


                        • @Eagledad, I certainly respect your opinions!

                          Though, I'm not sure I understand your argument about schools and atheists. I, too, have Scouts of atheist families in my Troop. They also support full inclusion but stay involved because Scouting is so important to them. Vis-à-vis schools, the Pack that is affiliated with our chartering org was booted out of the public school where they met for 70+ years because of both issues. That made me mad but I get it.

                          I, too, have read about the drop in membership within the ranks of Scouts Canada. But I tend to agree with dcsimmons who says that we should "get it over with and get started on the rebuilding process". I don't see my point as throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Rather, I see it as making the right decision (obviously my opinion) and continuing on the path of Scouting.

                          I'm really looking forward to our lodge's OA Ordeal this weekend and doing some Scouting in the woods...

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by dcsimmons View Post
                            Eagledad, I can't really answer your question to me. Whether I think we're better off or not is immaterial. The path is chosen and I believe it's a one-way trail. I tend to think it's better to rip the bandage off rather than nurse this along for another who knows how long.
                            This furthers my belief that the political correctness is purely self serving and is incapable of compassion. In fact, I believe PC is just a form of restricting free speech. It's a power grab.

                            I remember once a friend had to deal with a scout at his EBOR who said that he was reluctant to accept the Eagle award because the BSA was being unscout-like to gays. When my friend ask what guidance leads to being Scout-Like, the scout said Oath and Law. When my friend ask which part of the Oath and Law the BSA was not following with gays, the scout couldn't answer. The board was in no hurry to force the scout to answer, so they told him he could have all the time he needed. It had been a few months when he relayed that experience to me and the scout had yet to call the board back. My friend said that he was a very good scout and would approve the him no matter what he said, but they were leaving it up to him. My friend said he wasn't really trying to make the scout think, he thought the scout had already thought it through and my friend just wanted to learn the scouts reasoning. But the logical question had tripped up the emotional base of the scouts motivation.

                            Barry
                            Last edited by Eagledad; 04-30-2014, 02:16 PM.

                            Comment


                            • dcsimmons:
                              "until ALL adult homosexuals are considered acceptable as Scouters those advocates for full inclusion will continue to push for...full inclusion." That suggests to some folks that no charter organization is safe.

                              The BSA is the target of the law suits today because they are the creator and owner of policy. Once they have shifted the responsibility to the charter organizations, the crosshairs will shift as well.

                              What lawsuits?

                              Like I said, any organization that would be sued in the future could be sued today -- the legal issues are identical, whether it's a national policy or a local policy.

                              What lawsuits are you referring to?

                              Eagledad:
                              Schools were closed off to scouting because they don't accept atheist, yet I am convinced less boys in atheist families are in scouting as a result. I had several scouts of atheist parents in my units. Considering what a boy will gain to what he lost, is it worth it?

                              By stopping official government discrimination against atheists? Yes.

                              By the way, you realize that this is a legal issue that cannot be ignored, don't you? Any atheist excluded from any unit chartered by a public school has an automatic-winning lawsuit against that school. The only choices the BSA had were (1) allow atheists into any unit chartered by a government entity, or (2) remove all such charters. Both the school and the BSA would probably be sued, and they would lose.
                              Last edited by Merlyn_LeRoy; 04-30-2014, 03:23 PM.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by King Ding Dong View Post
                                LeCastor, why wouldn't the local option have been acceptable? Surely your not advocating forcing religious institutions to change their own membership standards. I also have never bought the argument that local option would open the door to litigation against those churches that have membership standards excluding gays. They are not subject to that litigation now, how does what the BSA allows or does not allow change that ?
                                I agree. I don't see how the local option would have caused any more problems. I think it would have been a compromise that would have been acceptable to both sides. Most of the Scouters dismissed for being gay had local unit approval.

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