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

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  • I'm pretty sure that the kids are exposed to more gay people in our school systems than they are in scouts. They'll survive a gay teacher/classmates, they'll survive a gay scoutmaster/scouts.

    KDD: I'm pretty attracted to your avatar...just sayin'

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    • Originally posted by Rick_in_CA View Post
      The BSA needs to live up to the American values of pluralism.
      Which definition of "pluralism" are we using here. As I recall my US history, call immigrant groups until around the 1970s tried to assimilate into US culture while still maintaining a modicum of their native cultural identity. The multiculturalism we have today has only lead to pockets of people claiming their own special needs. It has balkanized the US more than it has brought us together. Everyone is a "Hyphenated American".

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      • Personally, I need at least a half dozen hyphens.

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        • As a new scouter, but AOL alumn, I'm struggling with this myself and among my friends. I'm certain our CO would stay on if the policy became more inclusive. I'm certain there are some COs in our our area that would drop out, if inclusiveness was mandated by BSA, as I live in a generally very conservative region. What isn't at all clear to me is what would happen if BSA just erased the current policy entirely and went back to what it was when I was a scout in the 70's/early 80's. Just be silent on it entirely, let the COs decide, preferably with as much discreteness as possible to avoid calling attention to themselves in either direction. Someone wants to try and sue a conservative church - go ahead and try, but what's the point if there is another CO that is inclusive is in the area - or a new unit could be formed by an "inclusive" organization? Of course, with the current policy, backing up to exclude gay scouts would be nearly impossible (not that I would favor that). I guess the problem with local control is that donor organizations that would require an anti-discrimination policy wouldn't be satisfied, but nothing will make everyone happy. If it was all about the money, that ship already sailed.

          I am certain that the current policy does hurt recruiting and new COs from signing on, so it is not all in the negative column. I can't understand the logic behind a CO bailing out if it goes to local control.

          I have a few acquaintances who won't let their kids (CS-age) join scouts only because of the policy. I think I could easily recruit them to join if the policy changed.

          I also think the current policy causes a lot of friction within the community. I'm certain it causes awkwardness between our local elementary school and the Pack, as I believe we would have a lot more recruitment opportunities in the school if BSA wasn't viewed as a discriminatory organization.

          Just hope Gates can lead us well through this quandary.

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          • Originally posted by duckfoot View Post
            KDD: I'm pretty attracted to your avatar...just sayin'
            Sorry I can't reciprocate, maybe if hang out in the wetlands more often I will change.

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            • Skeptic, I know how you feel. My hyphens all ran together back before the Revolution. I guess it must have been a multicultural orgy or something but that's ok, there wasn't any homosexual sex involved so all is well. Of course if there HAD been, it wouldn't have led to anything I guess. At least we don't have a long family history of gayness, whatever.

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              • Originally posted by King Ding Dong View Post
                Eagledad, what other destructive lifestyles does homosexuality lead to ? .
                According to the CDC?

                Higher risks of suicide, of substance abuse, of depression, of promiscuity, of risk-taking behavior, of not wearing seatbelts, of smoking, of unhealthy eating habits, and many more.

                One could reasonably argue that all those behaviors are just a result of society's aversion to homosexuals, but we see similar rates (or worse) in societies that are more accepting of homosexuality.

                Also I am having a hard time understanding how exposure to homosexuals can lead a person to homosexual behavior. ​Maybe its just me, but I can't imagine how I could ever be attracted to another man no matter what I was exposed to.
                I can't imagine it either, but - and track with me here - I'm fairly sure one would need at least one other homosexual for a person to engage in homosexual behavior.

                I know that's not quite what you meant, King Ding Dong, but I note that the research clearly shows that men who self-identify as gay report a much, much higher rate of pre-adolescent sexual contact with adult males than those who identify as straight. How do you explain that disparity?

                You could argue that adult gay males somehow sensed that this pre-pubertal kid was going to eventually decide he was gay, and seduced him, but that seems unlikely. It seems more likely to me that early homosexual contact may cause some to doubt their sexuality, or seek psychological accomodation in some way to remove the stigma of what happened. We know that people who experience trauma often question "why" it happened to them, and can often blame themselves or recast themselves internally as the sort of person who "deserves" such behavior. This seems to be the explanation for the prematurely sexual behavior seen in molested female juveniles, why is it hard to believe this is an explanation for the psychological formation of some - by no means all - gay youths?

                Again, early sexual contact with predatory pederasts is not an explanation for all homosexual identification, despite the disparate statistics in molestation. It's generally recognized that any complex human behavior can have multiple etiologies, so there are probably multiple reasons - some people may have a genetic predisposition, some may have been molested, some may be experimental and risk-taking by nature and try it out of curiosity, and either decide they like it or discard the practice. Some may even decide that they like a role model, and pattern their behavior after them, which can include sexuality. Kids copy style of dress, ways of speaking, hobbies, interests, and other behavior that is just as unusual as sexual behavior when they pattern themselves on a role model.

                So, a long-winded explanation that yes, some youths are likely to model behavior of role models. That can include sexuality.

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                • Originally posted by mozartbrau View Post
                  Which definition of "pluralism" are we using here.
                  Really? You have to ask??? OK, the American values of pluralism include the idea that all citizens are equally American regardless of their religious beliefs. Whether they are muslim, jewish, atheist, christian, etc. they are equal as citizens (see article 6 of the US constitution or the 1st amendment) and have equal access to the public sphere (work, voting, housing, etc.). Or the idea that everyone regardless of race are equal as citizens. Or the idea that you can't be thrown in jail just because of the books you read. Or... do I have to really go on? It's the idea that just because someone has different beliefs, or looks different, that doesn't disqualify them from being "real" Americans and full citizens with full rights. The Zoroastrians get too open a temple down the street just as easily as a group of Christians opening a church. They get the same tax breaks and zoning hassles as any other religious group. Same for the Muslims opening a mosque. That is the American ideal of pluralism.

                  Have we always lived up to that ideal? Of course not. Yes there are those that don't believe in it (what was that mayor? Said something like: "I rather see the entire town burn down then let those #$#@ build a mosque here" or George Bush's "...I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens..."). Doesn't change the fact that it is a fundamental American value.

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                  • Originally posted by AZMike View Post
                    So, a long-winded explanation that yes, some youths are likely to model behavior of role models. That can include sexuality.
                    I wasn't aware our all our heterosexual Scoutmasters were displaying their sexuality for all the Scouts to model. I thought that was a big no no. . I stand corrected.

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                    • KDD, I've never observed it. Now I HAVE observed boys displaying some really silly (stupid?) behaviors but then, there's that Y-chromosome thing and testosterone poisoning. Some of them get over it by the time they're 60, some of them.
                      Why are we so, SO obsessed with sex? When I'm with the unit I don't even think about that stuff. The leaders don't gather around the campfire and discuss it nor do they groan or complain about what someone else might do in the privacy of their home, whatever. This kind of discussion seems to find its place HERE in these threads. What IS this obsession with sex?

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                      • Originally posted by Rick_in_CA View Post
                        Really? You have to ask??? OK, the American values of pluralism include the idea that all citizens are equally American regardless of their religious beliefs. Whether they are muslim, jewish, atheist, christian, etc. they are equal as citizens (see article 6 of the US constitution or the 1st amendment) and have equal access to the public sphere (work, voting, housing, etc.). Or the idea that everyone regardless of race are equal as citizens. Or the idea that you can't be thrown in jail just because of the books you read. Or... do I have to really go on?
                        Pedantic much? The reason I asked is because there are many different definitions of pluralism, and not all of them mean what you think. Even Webster's has two different definitions; one which means people of different background living together, the other meaning two groups of people living together BUT keeping their own identity. The former is true integration. The latter is the balkanizing definition I alluded too. That's why I asked. No need to be pedantic...next time you can just answer politely.

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                        • You know the more I think about this role model thing, I think we are on to something here. Physical fitness is one of the pillars of Scouting and certainly heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome are some of the top health problems this country is facing. I sure don't want my kids to model the destructive behavior of obese unit leaders. I am none to comfortable with him hanging around fat youth as well. Clearly this is a major problem we are facing in Scouting and one that needs to be addressed. I am sure most of our members would support banning as unit leaders those role models who display such destructive behavior. This must be done on a national level and not left as a "local option". Risk of exposure is just to great. Open and avowed gluttonists can go form their own scouting organization if they don't like it.

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                          • Originally posted by King Ding Dong View Post
                            You know the more I think about this role model thing, I think we are on to something here. Physical fitness is one of the pillars of Scouting and certainly heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome are some of the top health problems this country is facing. I sure don't want my kids to model the destructive behavior of obese unit leaders. I am none to comfortable with him hanging around fat youth as well. Clearly this is a major problem we are facing in Scouting and one that needs to be addressed. I am sure most of our members would support banning as unit leaders those role models who display such destructive behavior. This must be done on a national level and not left as a "local option". Risk of exposure is just to great. Open and avowed gluttonists can go form their own scouting organization if they don't like it.
                            Well I can see the role model issue is really troubling for you dingdong. You analogy is not the first time it has brought up into these forums. You can add to the list divorced adults, smokers, smokeless tobacco users, adults with short tempers, apathetic adults, overbearing, clueless and so on and so on. I have personally seen questions of allowing a stripper become a Cub master and a convicted porn movie producer an ASM. Oh yes, there was the drug pusher who wanted to be a leader in his little brothers scout unit. Sheesh.

                            Are role models really that important? After all our kids are only exposed to the adults 2 hours a week at meeting, 2 nights a month on campouts, one week a year at summer camp, and maybe another week on a backpacking trek. Is that really enough time to influence an 11 year old boy?

                            I have child psychologist friend who is also one of the best boy run Scoutmasters I know explain that youth up to puberty learn as much as 90% of their behavior by watching the actions of others. He used to teach ages and stages for the council, but his point was that we can yak at scouts all we want. But at best they only get 10% of what we say. Its actions they will mimic.

                            I remember taking a walk during a campout with an ASM who was going to replace me as SM in a year. We were a 300 ft patrol method troop long before Kudu brought it up here, so our adult camp was almost out of site and out of mind with the scouts. I asked him now that he had been on a few campouts, what struck him the most of our troop. He surprised me by saying, “ I am shocked by how much the scouts seem to mimic the adults even though they see so little of us.” That was quite profound to me. I talk a lot about role modeling and the importance of it at all ages, but it took someone from outside looking in to show me the effect of it in our troop. I told my psychologist friend about that and his response was something in the order of “makes you wonder why we aren’t more picky about the adults we allow our sons to hang around”.

                            You aren’t the first cynic of role models here, and maybe an obese adult leader isn’t a good role model. But we all have our baggage and if we did start limiting membership to the few who are the best role models, the BSA would shut down. But for those of us who really care about the safety of our scouts as well as their growth, we should have limits to the kinds of role models we push on our scouts.

                            So let me help you get off your knees to reality. I have had to personally ask several adults to step away from activities with the boys. Two were cub leaders who were drunk during the den meetings. One was a wonderful 65 year old grandmother who was recovering from brain cancer. Sadly she had episodes that were nothing less than scary, thank goodness an assistant was there. There was the ASM who kept losing his temper and threating the scouts. Another ASM on medication for depression that made him so apathetic that the scouts started wondering what was going on. Surprisingly the most dangerous SM I have ever observed was one so apathetic that when his scouts were bullying a scout from another troop, he walked away claiming boy run. I can go on and on, but it comes down to this, there are some behaviors that shouldn’t be part of a boys learning experience in the scouting environment.

                            Some adults don’t belong as role models for scouts. And if you want to debate that, then explain to me why adults have to go through a background check.

                            So as far as I’m concerned, your cynicism is just ignorance driven by emotion. We all have different life experiences that give different perspectives of how we deal with our personal life, so we need to understand if not respect that. That being said, the question in this discussion isn’t whether boys should be concerned about role models, the question is whether homosexuality is a quality that you are willing to risk giving your son a result of a gay role model.

                            Barry

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                            • The overriding question is not are homosexuals a risk to young scouts (the math is pretty clear, no they're not, pedophiles overwhelming identify in adult relationships as heterosexual). Are there some issues with 17 year old scouts and 18 year old adult volunteers (I think this is a real one, an 18 year old boy would never be employed at a girl scout camp as an adult)?

                              But the real question isn't risk, it's morality. The Christian Conservative wing considers homosexuality a MAJOR sin. The "diversity" wing considers it to be a perfectly valid lifestyle/orientation/attraction/preference/choose-your-work, and therefore wants to focus on the absurdity of youth protection.

                              This is the fundamental battle taking place in this country. The Supreme Court ruled that sodomy laws were unconstitutional with little outcry, nobody questions the rights of consenting adults to do what they want, the question is, is homosexuality a serious moral flaw. If you say yes, the lifting of the policy is insane, if you say no, then the policy seems like a misguided rule about youth protection.

                              Thought exercise: If someone was a strip club owner, publicly a swinger, living in a polygamous relationship, would you let them be a Scoutmaster? If the answer is no, then you ARE willing to prohibit volunteers based upon their sex lives. The only question is do you consider same sex activities to be immoral sexual behavior. Gay advocates scream and yell about comparisons to beastialty. They aren't comparable, but they are equally biblically prohibited.

                              The consenting adult part makes a legal difference, but not a moral difference, which is why everyone is talking past each other. The writing is on the wall, general American culture does not consider homosexuality sinful, and the proportion of the country that considers it such is declining each year. But even amongst those that consider it sinful, a large portion have a huge problem with discrimination in employment, etc., which makes the BSA position untenable in the long term.

                              Unfortunately for BSA, they pull money from the inclusive part of the country, and bodies from the religious part of the country, and have gotten slammed for it. There is no massive group of openly gay men that want to be Scoutmasters, but there is a desire to marginalize and destroy any organization that considers homosexuality a sin. Is this a hill worth dying on and not serving the millions of youth we serve?

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                              • I think that strip club owner would make an excellent Fundraising Chairman.

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