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erickelly65

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Posts posted by erickelly65


  1. I actually don't believe that, if the BSA were to changes its policy on Homosexuality, the Catholic Church in America would necessarily change its support of scouting in a significant way. I base this belief on two things:

     

    One: Currently, the Church actively sponsors Girl Scouting, which folks here at this forum seem to think is the end-all-be-all of inclusivity, as one of its youth ministries and takes no issue with their stances on sexuality or faith.

     

    Second the teachings of the Church are not in conflict with allowing homosexuals (youth or adult) to be involved in parish ministries. The Church does not condone homosexuality but neither does it seek to persecute those of that inclination. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: #2358 "The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. .... They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."


  2. This op/ed piece best summarizes my view of this entire fiasco....

     

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20070903/cm_huffpost/062928;_ylt=AmXiLQ9fCL.neVwlSzEUbMn9wxIF

    Opinion

    In the Age of Terror, Isn't Busting Toe-Tappers an Insane Use of Our Law Enforcement Resources? Arianna Huffington

    Mon Sep 3, 6:22 PM ET

     

     

     

    In the consensus judgment of America's 16 intelligence agencies, the terrorist threat to our homeland is "persistent and evolving," placing our country in "a heightened threat environment."

     

    Given that chilling assessment, isn't it the height of madness to use America's finite law enforcement resources to seek out and arrest people for tapping the foot of a cute undercover officer in a restroom?

     

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not wild about walking into a public restroom and seeing a couple using the a stall for something other than, as Sgt. Dave Karsnia, the arresting officer in the Craig case put it, "its intended use."

     

    But that is not what Larry Craig did. If he had, someone in the restroom could have done what most people do when they see a law being broken: go get a cop.

     

    And as it happens, since Craig was arrested in an airport, presumably there were plenty of law enforcement officers nearby looking for, you know, real threats -- like explosives or folks on a Watch List. Assuming, that is, they weren't all hunkered down in other bathrooms across the airport, protecting the public against people who might be thinking about having sex.

     

    Let me be clear: I'm no fan of Larry Craig. Indeed, I disagree with almost everything he stands for. And I'd much rather he not be in the United States Senate. But I'd also rather have had his exit be the result of his constituents voting on his ideas and policies, instead of a ridiculous sting operation in an airport bathroom.

     

    At least it's nice to see that, while the cable networks have been giving the incident their usual nuanced treatment, bloggers across the political spectrum have taken a step back to look at the real issues here.

     

    Garance Franke-Ruta of The American Prospect asks: "Was there anything criminal about Sen. Larry Craig's gestures if they suggested a desire for consensual lewd behavior of some kind with the man in the adjacent restroom stall?" Her answer: no.

     

    Conservative University of Minnesota law professor Dale Carpenter, blogging at the Volokh Conspiracy, agrees with her:

     

    "Disorderly conduct is a notoriously nebulous crime, allowing police wide discretion in making arrests and charges for conduct or speech that is little more than bothersome to police or to others."

     

     

     

    As Carpenter and Franke-Ruta both point out, soliciting someone to have sex with you is not a crime in Minnesota. If Craig had solicited someone, which then led to a round of bathroom sex, then yes, arrest them. But that's not what happened.

     

    It's unsettling that more people here in the land of the free aren't at all discomfited at leaving it up to the prognostication skills of Sgt. Karsnia and his crack team of B-men to determine what crimes people might have committed if not for the mind-reading and daring-do of Minneapolis' Special Forces Bathroom Unit.

     

    Conservative pundit Mark Steyn thinks that Craig was up to no good, but says, "Karsnia sounds just as weird and creepy: a guy who's paid to sit in a bathroom stall for hours on end observing adjoining ankles. I'd rather hand out traffic tickets."

     

    But beyond them being weird and creepy, these kinds of stings also have a huge opportunity cost to them. There clearly are very serious potential threats to our safety to be found in airports -- outside of bathroom stalls. Is sending Sgt. Karsnia into the men's room to spend all day trying to get other men to look at him and tap his foot really the best way to use our limited law enforcement resources?

     

    And just how much money is Minneapolis/St. Paul spending on sting operations like this one? Just since May, 40 men have been arrested on allegations of illegal sexual activity at the same airport. And how much taxpayer money in total is being allocated across the country by local police to protect us from people whom the Sgt. Karsnias of the world think might, at some point, commit a crime?

     

    We at HuffPost are working to pull these numbers together by calling local police departments all across America, since the numbers don't seem to be readily available. We'd love your help on this; please send us any figures or worthwhile information you can find (post them in the comments section below or email max@huffingtonpost.com).

     

    Here's another question to ask: does the Minneapolis police force look around its members for officers they think might be attractive to gay men? Or do they specifically search out recruits who would make good undercover "twinks," "bears," and "silver foxes"?

     

    And, yes, I know, Sen. Craig pleaded guilty. But given the inevitable humiliation that would have ensued had he challenged this arrest, it's not hard to imagine that he felt he had no other choice. The same goes for the thousands of other men who have been snared in these wasteful sting operations.

     

    But those of us who prefer that our public servants go after actual lawbreakers rather than use our resources to humiliate gay people do have a choice. And we should make it clear that we want our police going after terrorists -- not toe-tappers.

     

    Since the news about Craig broke, the media focus has been on his sexual perversions -- it's time to turn the spotlight on the perverted priorities of America's law enforcement community.

     


  3. Just to clarify, I have been to Baloo Training. I have attending every training needed for me to assume my leadership role(s) in the program and never used my previous scouting experiences as a way to try to "opt out" of any class. That isnt to say I found all the courses I have attended valuable. Baloo was one of them but that was my personal experience. (I found it to be way too basic)


  4. Short answer to the initial question? YES hehe.

     

    Actually, taken alone, I don't think simply being an Eagle Scout is enough to ensure you will be a good leader.

     

    I do think that having been a scout as a youth and especially being an Eagle Scout provides one with a frame of reference and understanding of the underlying goals of the program not easily gained elsewhere. That said, any leader still needs to go through all the necessary training and follow the policies and procedures of the BSA and his/her council and chartering organization.

     

    I am an Eagle Scout ('81) and an Arrow of Light recipient. I have found my scouting experiences as a youth invaluable in my scouting experiences as an adult. I have taken all my training and then some. Sure some of it has been redundant (i.e. does an Eagle Scout really need to go to BALOO?) but I imagine it, at a minimum, levels the playing field for all leaders.

     

    I was a bit suprised and disappointed to hear how many "negative" experience folks have had with leaders who are Eagle Scouts.


  5. GernBlansten

    Once again the differences in your example are huge.

    An obese child isnt rejecting the tenant of being physically fit he just doesnt happen to achieved that status (which could be for a myriad of reasons)

    The atheist boy in the example is "Stiving" to meet the requirement of faith. He is out right rejectiing it.

     

    It couldnt be more "apples and oranges"


  6. GernBlansten

    Once again the differences in your example are huge.

    An obese child isnt rejecting the tenant of being physically fit he just doesnt happen to achieved that status (which could be for a myriad of reasons)

    The atheist boy in the example is "Stiving" to meet the requirement of faith. He is out right rejectiing it.

     

    It couldnt be more "apples and oranges"


  7. GernBlansten

    Once again the differences in your example are huge.

    An obese child isnt rejecting the tenant of being physically fit he just doesnt happen to achieved that status (which could be for a myriad of reasons)

    The atheist boy in the example is "Stiving" to meet the requirement of faith. He is out right rejectiing it.

     

    It couldnt be more "apples and oranges"


  8. GernBlansten

    Once again the differences in your example are huge.

    An obese child isnt rejecting the tenant of being physically fit he just doesnt happen to achieved that status (which could be for a myriad of reasons)

    The atheist boy in the example is "Stiving" to meet the requirement of faith. He is out right rejectiing it.

     

    It couldnt be more "apples and oranges"


  9. DanKroh

    While often used to refer to relationship among various Christian denominations, Ecumenical's definition is "involving or promoting friendly relations between different religions" (Encarta) and that is the definition to which I was refering.

     

    As for the boy in your example that grows up to not believe in a higher power, why would he want to remain a group that had that belief as part of its tenants? Why would he want to keep an affiliation with such a group as Boy Scouts (because they camp) or Fellowship of Christian Atheletes (Becuase they have fun events) or his local Church (because the sermons are entertaining?) I never looked at this a punishment being meated out by the BSA but rather a statment of "We believe in X, if you believe in X great, but if not why would you want to affiliate with this group"

     

    And what would we tell the other members of the group? That originally we said faith is a critical element in life but we were wrong and now it doesnt matter one way or the other?


  10. GernBlansten

    If a person is willing to say the scout oath and law and subscribe to the precepts of the BSA Declaration of Religious Principle and comply with the Bylaws of the BSA they should be admitted to membership. The BSA does not nor should it entertain conducting a deeper assessment of whether or not a person is one of faith (Truth be told that is only known in our own hearts).

    But I would ask you this, why would an atheist want to or even be willing to state they will strive to live by the tenants of the scout oath and law as they currently are written?

    I agree with you that the list of beliefs and standards outlined in the scout oath and law are principles to strive to achieve in our lives. However, there is a difference in not living up to each of these principles and refusing to accept them as valid.


  11. Personally, I think the BSA has it right on Religion and needs to rethink its stance on sexual orientation.

     

    I agree with the BSA's stance on religion. My view has nothing to do with keeping "atheists" out but to keep faith in the program. The belief in a higher-power is a central and explicit part of the BSA program included in elements of both Scout Oath and Scout Law. I personally don't want the program to consider dropping the Scout Oath's "Duty to God" nor the Law's "Reverent" components. There are a plethora of youth organizations that are comletely secular in nature. Why can't the BSA retain this element of ecumenical faith without being vilified as "hate mongerers" or religated to having no-access to public resources as other youth programs that do far less good and have far less impact. As a side bar, I think the courts and the ACLU view of seperation of church and state and what implications that has on access to civil resources and the public forum are dead wrong.

     

    As for sexual orientation, I think the BSA should never have taken such a strong stance in the first place and that a more inclusive policy should be implemented. There is no explicit component of the program that has any view of sexuality and the policy stance is built on morality of a subset of the faith's involved in the BSA program. My particular faith believes that homosexuality is a sin but also it teaches that is not an acceptable reason to ostracize or descriminate against people of that inclination.


  12. Packsaddle,

    Although I dont have a definative list of groups who are exclusionary but arent the PC presses "whipping boy", one that springs to mind immediately is Girl Scouts of America.

     

    They have no program for boys at any age, even supporting programs for male siblings.

     

    While men can technically be adult volunteers they are, in my opinion, extremely limited in role and not typically welcomed. It is also my understanding they can not hold certain leadership positions.

     

    As far as organizations that are exclusionary based on Race, lets go down to the local chapter of La Raza or the NAACP and see what a warm welcome my pasty irish-america self would recieve.

     

    http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=55854

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