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  • #16
    I agree with and support every word in SR540Beaver's post above. -Scouter Terry

    Fair enough, eh? Da guy that owns the press gets to decide how it's operated. Leaving the choice to the rest of us whether to purchase.

    And leavin' the choice to the rest of us what kind of community we want to be and represent.

    Me personally, I've never liked the rationale that "hey, we're not as bad as the UseNet scouting groups" or "We're not as bad as we were." I'd never accept those excuses from scouts. I honestly hope none of us would. "Gee, Mr. Beavah, I don't swear as much as some guys in my school" or "Golly, Mr. Beavah, I'm not as big a bully as I used to be, I don't punch kids any more."

    I think we should push our selves and push each other to live up to higher standards, same as I hope each of us does with da kids every week, eh?

    Yah, I've also never liked the notion of ignoring other users, tempting though it's been. Too much like ignorin' the bully or the kid who needs help in a troop. Just me, perhaps. Seems like it works for the individual but doesn't help the community.

    I do share da crowd's more general aversion to "heavy" moderation, which quenches the voices and ideas of anyone but the moderators. Never would I suggest that, especially here where the moderators are already the most frequent voices.

    So I'll keep an eye out for a friendlier and more courteous venue that also allows those of us who serve in official capacities (or who just don't like givin' out our emails) to keep some degree of anonymity.

    In the meantime, since we're agreed that moderation is goin' to be "light", I'll keep the conversation goin' with a once-a-month thread in Issues on Forum Courtesy. Always have believed that education is a darn sight better than rules and policing, so I suppose it's OK to be asked to live the principle.

    Beavah

    Comment


    • #17
      The forums which have the least amount of visible moderation are the most successful. I have been a moderator for over 10 years on numerous forums (not this one) and have found that off-forum moderation is by far the best recourse to take. Most of the forum members do not know moderation is being done, except the person committing the infraction. This lack of distraction by the moderators goes a long way to insure a balanced and civil discussion.

      Forums that have problems are usually ones that limit discussion topics to anything non-controversial. Will shut down threads. Will delete posts. Will moderate in front of the forum, i.e. tell everyone to knock it off or post a list of rules, etc.

      I haven't been on this forum all that long, but as far as I can see, things seem to be very well run.

      Stosh

      Comment


      • #18
        I participate in this forum. It is the only online forum of any kind in which I participate. This is because it has a membership that is, for the most part, sincerely looking for honest and objective answers to real problems. And I haven't found another forum of any kind that compares in its integrity. I attach this high character to the forum members as well as to the forum owner.

        I think the moderators do an exceptional job and are as good as could be expected although I always side with completely open access and freedom of expression.
        I support Terry's decision to rid the forum of a personality who evidently was dishonest at multiple levels...although it might have been interesting to actually meet that guy at the campfire.

        Thanks to everyone involved for making this such a great place to meet.

        Comment


        • #19
          Gonzo1 writes:
          I gotta disagree with Ed on this about merlyn. I don't think merlyn wants to really destroy scouting, but rather doesn't like BSA stance on religion, God, I assume homosexuals in scouting, use of public taxpayer facilities (which we all pay taxes to use) for scouting, etc. I think merlyn would be OK with scouting if BSA included atheists. Maybe gays and girls too, I don't know.

          So, I gotta wonder, am I right merlyn?

          It would be a big improvement in my opinion, yes.

          Also note that I'm opposed to privileged use of public taxpayer facilities by the BSA; the BSA should be treated the same as any other group.

          Comment


          • #20
            Merlyn,
            Here's the rub: BSA is a private organization, .........

            But, I disagree that BSA gets priviledged use, gay and lesbian clubs are on school campuses, but the religious groups can't meet (or have a difficult time to meet), that doesn't seem fair.

            I'm not trying to hijack the thread, all I'm saying is that I don't agree with Ed where he said "His sole purpose, in my opinion, is to destroy Scouting as we know it and that bothers me." I just don't think it's your SOLE purpose. It's our SOUL (spelling intended) to keep BSA membership the way it is. I'm sure some atheists have managed to sneak in, but that' fraudulent on their part, they know the rules going in. Same for gays too.

            If a group of atheists want to use a school gym, scouts should be allowed to also. If gays want to meet in clubs at school, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes should be allowed also. The community , that is THE COMMUNITY should set the standard for who meets at the school, the library, the fire station, etc. But, BSA has done a good job of changing charter partners away from schools.

            I think you don't like that BSA has DRP and doesn't admit atheists, gays and girls. There is that First Tarrant group in Texas, isn't there? So, you don't want to destroy scouting, you think boys should learn knots, first aid, swimming, lashings, camping, backpacking, etc, you just want atheists involved. Only problem is, we don't.

            Comment


            • #21
              Gonzo1 writes:
              But, I disagree that BSA gets priviledged use, gay and lesbian clubs are on school campuses, but the religious groups can't meet (or have a difficult time to meet), that doesn't seem fair.

              You'll have to be a bit more specific. There are examples of gay & lesbian clubs (and atheist clubs) being denied meeting space, too. There are also examples of the BSA getting privileged use.

              If a group of atheists want to use a school gym, scouts should be allowed to also. If gays want to meet in clubs at school, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes should be allowed also.

              I agree.

              The community , that is THE COMMUNITY should set the standard for who meets at the school, the library, the fire station, etc.

              But now you seem to be saying the exact opposite -- if the community can set the standards on who gets to meet, couldn't they allow the atheist group and deny the scout group, or vice-versa?

              But, BSA has done a good job of changing charter partners away from schools.

              Pretty good, but they had to be threatened into doing so. They had no problem signing up public schools as chartering partners and expecting them to exclude atheists earlier.

              ...So, you don't want to destroy scouting, you think boys should learn knots, first aid, swimming, lashings, camping, backpacking, etc, you just want atheists involved. Only problem is, we don't.

              Depends on who "we" are; a number of BSA members in this forum don't agree, so you can't say that "we" even refers to all scouts in this forum, much less all scouts in the BSA. From what I've seen, the members who are the actual "boy" part of the BSA are about the least supportive of the BSA's exclusionary policies.

              Comment


              • #22
                Careful how you define that "we" there in your last sentence Gonzo. The sentiment you express is far from unanimous even within BSA circles.

                For what it is worth, where I live (not a terribly conservative area) Christian groups and other religious groups routinely use the schools to host meetings. In fact many churches use the school gym or cafeteria on the weekends and evenings rather than having their own building. Students are allowed to start religious clubs such as bible study, etc.. The rule is, if students can have other clubs at school then they can also have these sorts of clubs AS LONG AS they do not actively seek to proselytize and they can get a faculty member to serve as their adviser. I believe there was actually a Supreme Court case dealing with this very question in the mid-90s but I'd have to look it up and I'm feeling disinclined to do so right this moment.

                But the larger problem with letting "the community" decide who should or shouldn't use school property and for what purposes is that it depends on how you define "community." If you aren't very careful then you can easily end up with a tyranny of the majority where only like-minded folks are "admitted" into the working definition of "community." But reality just isn't that simple because even the most outwardly homogeneous communities include people of different viewpoints, orientations, religious beliefs, and opinions. They may get trampled in a majoritarian model of decision making though.

                Comment


                • #23
                  LisaBob,
                  Fair enough, I tried to edit, but can't, so I'll ammend my previous post to say "most of us don't". I'll concede that nothing is unanimous. Didn't realize I stepped on your toes too. I believe that Duty to God is a vital part of what we believe, not a duty to some nothingness.

                  Merlyn
                  I think BSA is OK the way it is. On other threads, I mention that I'd like to see changes, many of us would. Many, as Lisa points out, don't agree with the DRP. However, DRP is on the application, isn't it? don't we agree to support the DRP? I could be wrong.

                  I think the only BSA units that met at schools have permission. I don't know who they get permission from, but they have it. A school in north Georgia had extra-ciricular clubs. A girl who has since graduated, wanted to start a club for gays. The school said NO. She sued, saying she should be able to start a club since other clubs existed. The school said fine, no more clubs. The case may still be in litigation.

                  I suppose the atheist group could be allowed and not allow scouts. I can't imagine why? What harm can scouts be doing? Being involved in scouts sure beats stealing hub caps.

                  Don't focus on the "we" in my last sentence of that post, focus on the scout skills, you do think its good to learn those skills, don't you? You just don't want God in the mix.

                  It's too bad BSA had to be threatened at all. I remember our discussion of the school in Glen Ellyn, IL. It's too bad those 15 kids or so don't have a BSA program now. BTW, that's a special ed school, way to go!

                  Merlyn, it's like this. BSA doesn't allow gays, atheists or girls.

                  I'm not really sure what your axe is that you're grinding. Atheists not allowed. I didn't intend that "we" was to mean all of us here in this forum, but rather "we" as in members of BSA in general. I would wager that the majority, make that the overwhelming majority of BSA adults support having GOD in BSA.

                  Would you like to join BSA? Believe in God and welcome aboard!

                  May the Master of all scouts be with us until we meet again.

                  Or, if you prefer, May the vast emptiness of nothiness that exists as all things around us just happened and crept out of the sea and can't be explained but just exists keep watch over us unitl we meet again, but can't because nothing is there to actually watch over us.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Lisa, Merlyn
                    I didn't mean to hijack the thread, it's about threads being closed, not DRP, God, merlyn, "we", etc.

                    So, PM if you'd like to discuss it further.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Gonzo, here's where I think things get interesting. I don't believe that allowing atheists to join would necessarily mean removing religion from the BSA. (although I don't think most units - perhaps outside of those affiliated with the LDS church - actually pay more than the barest lip service to religious ideals of any kind anyway.)

                      To my way of thinking, the problem with the DRP and in this aspect of the BSA policy isn't that the BSA is a private religious club (however dubious that claim of centrality may be). The problem is that the DRP suggests that one must be personally religious in order to be worthy of association with others who are already in the club.

                      Why not throw the doors open to atheists, with the understanding that there are some elements of the program that ARE religious in nature, and that some units stress these more, or less, than others? In other words, no need to change the actual program, simply the entry requirements.

                      Those who can stomach, if not downright embrace, the program will join. Those who find it offensive, won't. But they won't be able to say that the BSA kept them from joining - they will have made their own choice. Now Merlyn may not agree with that, I don't know. But I do think it is a fairly reasonable position.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Ouch! There's that pesky memory again. Gonzo1, I repeat an old anecdote regarding community standards. This happened back in the late '70s to a personal friend and his family. The school his two boys attended is located in a small rural town nearby. When they moved here, he and his family were the only Jewish persons in the area and few people in the area had any experience with Judaism. They became active in the local Lion's Club, local government, VFD, etc. Everything was fine until his boys started school.
                        The community standard as applied at the school caused the entire school, each morning, to begin the day with a prayer to Jesus. My friend asked the administration if this couldn't be modified some way. The administration mentioned something about conversion and refused. My friend took it up a notch. The boys were then sent into the hallway for the morning devotionals. My friend took it to the school board. Suddenly his sons were off the athletic team and his wife no longer got calls as a substitute teacher.
                        The community standard was maintained. My friend eventually gave up and moved away (Utah, of all places, go figure). I suppose this was a 'win' for community standards but I don't view it as much of a 'win' for anyone, really.
                        The school later changed their policy and now conforms to the standards mandated through the numerous suits elsewhere. The 'community' hardly made a 'peep' during these changes.

                        An alternative way to view your thesis that 'most' of the members support the 'community standard' that you mention is that the declining membership might be an explanation for the maintenance of your majority, assuming that it actually exists. If so, I don't see that as a good thing.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          "I suppose the atheist group could be allowed and not allow scouts. I can't imagine why? What harm can scouts be doing? Being involved in scouts sure beats stealing hub caps."

                          I sure hope that's not meant to imply that athiests are more likely than believers to steal hub caps.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Any chance we could take the "community standard" thing to it's own thread? I'd love to toss that around for a couple of pages but not here. Let's get back to the reason threads are closed and our views on that. Accepting that Scouter Terry gets to do anything he wants and that we all support him in that right. We can still respectively voice our own sides without being in dissent of Terry or the moderators. I went back to look at my early posts, mostly to see who it was that got tossed off the forum. I remembered the "problem" but not the actual members name. Threads were indeed rougher back then. Some didn't handle not understanding what another had written as well as we do now. Not all of us are English majors or writers and what we "read" in the post we make isn't always what others "read". I think as a group we have slowed down on "confronting" each other over misunderstandings of meanings.
                            John-in-KC started a thread for Ed and Merlyn to have at it, neither picked up the gauntlet. Had such a thread been opened for Beavah and I and one of us had taken the bait should that thread have been closed IF or WHEN one of us started to........ What? Obviously if Beavah and I continue to return to that thread and continue the "smackdown" we are not offended to the point of stopping. If others don't want to watch thats their choice. "Well you shouldn't do it here" Why? If it's bandwidth or a burden on the Forum itself then by all means stop it. This forum is too valuable an asset and resource but if it's just that our sparing offends..stay away. Doing it here instead of one to one allows others to watch and like in WWF fashion toss a chair or tennis racquet into the ring from time to time while the two "polarized defenders of the way" have at it. When we silence people and sanction them for not conforming to our views we limit growth and understanding. Listen to all sides and decide what your course will be.
                            LongHaul

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              To All,
                              Apparently, I've been misunderstood.

                              Lisa (and Merlyn)
                              If atheists join BSA, doesn't the applicant agree to live by the Scout Oatha dn Law? Not just give some lip service to earn badges and go camping? And oh yeah, become an Eagle Scout who happens to be an atheist. I disagree that allowing atheists would be a good position. One must agree to live by the Scout Oath and Law, can't do it if the applicant is an atheist. I don't think BSA is particularly "religious", but that it's members agree to believe in God, any God, your God, my God, whatever God the member or applicant chooses, not a particular religion (though BSA has a list of 'acceptable religions')


                              GWD,
                              Certainly not. I think believers and non-believers are as likely to steal hub caps. My point there is that being involved in scouts is a great wasy to keep kids off the streets, isn't it?

                              Pack, my dear friend Pack, by no means am I trying to say that all communities should have the same standard as another. If I moved to Skokie Illinois, I wouldn't expect any prayer to end "in Jesus name, Amen". On the other hand, In Gainesville, I don't see many Jewish Temples and only 1 mosque, a store front mosque at that. BTW, I treat the Imam. I think it's a shame that the kids were kicked off the teams just because of their belief.

                              Others,
                              It is not my intent to incite a riot on the forum.

                              LH, I'm not trying to start a smackdown either.


                              I think some of us, maybe me too, are getting too wound tight about this. BSA admits people who believe in God, not atheists. You can believe in any God you wish. Yes, even Hindu or Budhists who believe in muti-theist religions.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Hey Gonzo smackdowns can be informative but lets do that one in the other thread OK "The Atheists thing" has it's own thread now where we can all chime in let's leave this thread to the original discussion.
                                Can I get an Amen?
                                LongHaul(This message has been edited by LongHaul)

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