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jmenand

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About jmenand

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  1. jmenand

    Gay rights vs. religious beliefs

    I apologise for all the typos in my post... Let this be a lesson to all: if you wake up and can't sleep in the middle of the night, don't go posting things on online message boards!
  2. jmenand

    Gay rights vs. religious beliefs

    No one's mentioned the possible solution of removing the instution of "marriage" entirely from the functions of the government. I still wonder why the government endorses the concept at all. If you want to enter inter a legal contract with another person that has similar benifits/obligations as the current marriage has, that's fine and dandy. People who argue that there is a potential slippery slope where people will want to marry children and inanimate objects are sort of right, except that really what should be done is to leave the spiritual, emotional, and societally binding concept of marriage to the private and religious sphere, and the leave the legal arrangements that marriage typically brings to the government/courts. Pretty simple answer if you ask me. Unfortunately the argument that "marriage has been around forever and every other society has something like it and blah blah blah" continues to 'count' as a rational for keeping government marriages. I could easially evoke the, "if every other society jumped off a bridge, would you?" argument that my mother was fond of using on me when I was young, but for some reason I think it would go in one ear and out the other of most people.
  3. jmenand

    New Activity Pants that zipoff and become shorts

    The shorts on the switchbacks are not too short. They don't hang down all baggy below the knee as some youth might prefer, but I wouldn't call them "daisy dukes" either. Unless the fabric just starts falling apart after constant use, these pants are perfect. Everyone owes it to themself to go try em on. Also I've never heard of a "no daisy dukes" rule being specifically mentioned as a troop rule! Bizarre...
  4. jmenand

    New Activity Pants that zipoff and become shorts

    Just picked up my pair today. They seem really great so far! Everyone go check em out.
  5. jmenand

    Your postion time

    Our Scoutmaster is on his 17th or 18th consecutive year with our troop.
  6. jmenand

    Famous/infamous Eagle Scouts

    Quote: "Kinda dispels the notion that most scouts are Republicans, doesn't it?" Unfortunately it seems to prove that eagles are incapable of winning the presidency, eh?
  7. jmenand

    Troop Uniform Policy?

    Talk about bad timing, Merri. Is your troop aware that the BSA is releasing official Zip-Off uniform pants later this month? They will be the same color green and everything!
  8. jmenand

    What the heck? BSA Website.

    Hah! They changed it. They must have sensed a disturbance in the scouting force...
  9. jmenand

    What the heck? BSA Website.

    Even though he's wearing the working WB necker, he's also wearing the beads. I picture this actor showing up at the photo shoot and the photographer pulling out a box of random uniform parts and slapping them together.
  10. jmenand

    Does BSA have a monopoly?

    I would like to clarify and rephrase what I am trying to say. I do not deny that the BSA has done a lot of the 'heavy lifting.' No doubt, some people want to make alternative youth organizations and call them scouting just to emulate and "steal" some of that success. However, I feel that my comparison to religions is at least appropriate when talking about the legal classifications of different organizations as being companies for business, non-profit organizations, or religions (or anything else). Why is it that religions can take a fundamental element of another religion, and build a slightly different religion around that core principal? To take my previously used example, the LDS church is an example of a religion that has many similarities to other christian organizations, with a number of fundamental differences. They are arguably very successful and operate in many ways very efficiently and business-like. So can anyone explain in plain language what the difference is between an organization like the BSA and an organization like the LDS church? We keep coming back to the word "scouting" as the definitive aspect that is under contention, but it is really the entire history, connection to Baden-Powell and the Scout Law, etc. that is being held by the BSA. If I make a scouting organization called the Monkey Treemen that talks about the history of Baden Powell and his vision for a worldwide scout movement and all that, will the BSA leave me alone just because I don't have the word "scout" in the name of the organization? Why can christian churches start their own non-profit religious organizations with nearly identical beliefs and histories, while alternative scouting organizations cannot? It just doesn't make sense to me, and for that I apologise for my ignorance. If someone knows the answer, please tell me/us!
  11. jmenand

    Does BSA have a monopoly?

    Actually, on second thought, I'm not so sure the BSA lacks a spiritual theology. After all, it does require the recognition of a duty to God. It may be different from many religions, but there are a lot of religions out there, and many have fundamentally different beliefs about who/what created the universe- yet they still all qualify as religions. I don't see why the BSA is any different, and the scouting movement in general could certainly be a religion to a lot of people.
  12. jmenand

    Does BSA have a monopoly?

    Trevorum, there is no reason to "confuse the issue" by talking about scouting in theoretical terms. That is why I posed the question about someone starting an actual scouting religion. The BSA may lack "(3) a supernatural theology," but a new scouting religion might not. Some of the stuff in Wood Badge and the OA, for example, provides enough of a foundation for supernatural theology I'd think.
  13. jmenand

    Does BSA have a monopoly?

    "So is having a "monopoly" on the word "scout", "scouting" etc any different than "Kleenex" or "Jello"? Both have had to defend their BRAND NAME and are now very careful to say Kleenex brand tissue and Jello brand geletin. Try selling your operating system as DOS or Windows or naming your shoes nikee and see what happens. Is it truly a monopoly or is it just copyright, trademark and patent potection? " Are you seriously asking if the scouting movement is different than facial tissue and chilled sugar water? Imagine a representative of the catholic church walking into an LDS church with a cease and desist order saying, "hey, we're just prtecting our BRAND NAME 'Jesus,' no hard feelings guys!" If scouting is a business, it should be treated with the laws and regulations businesses are subjected to. I don't know very much about the legal differences between companies, religions, non-profits, etc., but it sounds like you know even less. If the BSA wants to change to a corporation and start selling sneakers, there might be a parallel. Please see in my above post where I mention that the BSA seems to want to be both a company and a religion.
  14. jmenand

    Does BSA have a monopoly?

    "So, for those who complain, what is so magical about the name "Scouting" that you want to co-opt it? Create your own program, and come up with a name for it. " I'm willing to bet most people, including you, fgoodwin, already know the answer to this question. But since you asked, I will spell it out for you. All you have to do is look at religions which branch off and start their own, slightly different church. There are so many churches that are christian, and all of them have their own little differences. If one church owned the rights to say, the bible or the term "christian" or the core fundamental ideas of christianity, I'm willing to bet there would be a vocal outrage. The scouting movement is a religion to many. Maybe you also go to chruch and when it comes to the afterlife, you're Christian, but when you believe in the message of scouting and the truth of it's ideals, it might as well be called a religion instead of a movement. That's pretty much all there is to it. People have a vested personal interest in "scouting." The BSA wants to be a corporation AND a religion, even if it doesn't come out and say it in plain language. I wonder what would happen if someone tried to start an actual scouting religion? Or for that matter, the church of Microsoft or the Temple of McDonalds? Where do corporate rights on a name end when it comes to freedom of religion?
  15. jmenand

    the other side of the coin

    I can't honestly say I know what is rattling around in the heads of the top brass in the BSA, but the optimist in me requires that I look for the good intentions in what the BSA does. For example, I have to assume that the ban on homosexuals at least partially comes from the supposedly "logical" train of thought that male adults who are attracted to men rather than women, will thus be more likely to molest boys than straight men. We have to ask ourselves: when push was coming to shove back in the highly politicized environment of the meetings to decide the way to word the policy that bans homosexuals, what forces lead to banning "homosexuals" rather than, for example, simply "molesters, perverts, and anyone attracted to children?" I mean, if they were going to ban people with certain sexual urges, it seems much more appropriate to ban those who are sexually attracted to children... or more specifically boys. With middle school boys getting their middle aged teachers pregnant, the homosexual ban fails to screen those female leaders with immoral intentions. And what of the word "avowed"? Talk about a squishy word! I picture the heads of the BSA and their many lawyers spending sleepless nights around a conference table, asking, "What word can we put in this policy that sounds assured, but is in truth arbitrary and malleable?" I picture a similar discussion taking place years ago around a table of community leaders of Salem, just before their first witch hunt. That darn word, "avowed..." But I digress. The bottom line is that these are the elected leaders of the people of the city. They are, through those democratic votes, the voices of the majority for better or worse. If they want to put pressure on the scouts, whether for political publicity and distraction from the city's real problems or for their honest moral beliefs, then pressure will be applied. The scouts will just have to deal with it, and to that degree I agree with the above article. They should stop the political publicity stunts of "he said, she said," and just DEAL with it, and move on.
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