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About LeaderNC

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  1. LeaderNC

    Moral Values

    What I find most disturbing about this discussion is that the defenders of BSA's exclusion of gays see some sort of moral high ground in their position. Yes, the Supreme Court said that the BSA is a private organization, and can therefore set its own membership guidelines. "Enough said," say the defenders of exclusion, "Let's move on." I do not always agree with the Supreme Court. But I am a a loyal American, and I recognize their role as umpire. They have ruled, and I accept the legal authority of their decision. But just because the BSA has the right and the power to exclude does not make the exercise of that power just. Those who justify the exclusion of gay leaders on biblical grounds are ignoring the fact that a growing majority (yes, majority) of biblical scholars question the validity of the words used to condemn homosexuality in the Bible. Whether we accept one side or the other, we cannot ignore that many major Christian denominations accept gays as "fully Christian." We MUST have and maintain the protection guidelines that protect the boys from sexual advances from their leaders, either male or female. But we must also recognize that the BSA is wrong in its (albeit lawful) discrimination against gays. I have been a Scout and a Leader for over 40 years. I will continue to support scouting with my time and my resources. But I will also continue to work to change this officially sanctioned discrimination by our national office. It is my duty to God and Country which compels me to work within the system to right a wrong. Discrimination against Blacks in scouts was accepted as moral and right and biblically correct forty years ago. But it was wrong. The same flawed reasoning is behind the current discrimination against gays by our national organization.
  2. LeaderNC

    Bad Example in Scoutmaster

    Little Dove, I have been through this, and successfully dealt with it. Let me tell you my solution. First, what you have done so far is a good start. You have (anonimously) notified the sponsor of a problem. The next move, I propose, is to do what I did. I was a trained scoutmaster who moved to a new town, and began to work as an assistant with the troop sponsored by my church. That troop was one of the oldest and most respected in the area. It was obvious that the SM had a drinking problem. We never had a problem at meetings (as you have) but it was a very real problem on camping trips. This SM was a great guy, and had been a wonderful influence in many boys lives over the years, so nobody wanted to acknowledge this problem. I found out later it had gone on for years, and people had just looked the other way. I went to the troop committee and informed them of the problem. It was hard, because every one of them knew and loved him. But I told them that I had witnessed the problem, and was reporting it to them. I told them that, now that they knew, they had the fiduciary duty to do something about it. If they did nothing, if a child was hurt, and the SM's alcohol use in any way contributed to it - or if he had been sober, he could have rendered better aid - they would be personally liable for any damages, and COULD face criminal charges, under certain circumstances. Within a few days, he was removed. They hated to do it, but none were willing to risk their own homes and savings accounts to protect him. If this doesn't work with your committee, it should work with the governing body of your sponsoring church - because it will apply to them as well. It is a drastic step. Maybe the lives and safety of the boys are not worth it. No, you have already shown you know the right thing to do. (By the way, in addition to being a trained scouter, I am also a lawyer, and this doctrine of "respondeat superior" liability is valid in all states.)
  3. LeaderNC

    Moral Values

    I am new to this forum, but as someone who has been in scouting for 40 years (since joining cubs at age 8), this is exactly the discussion I was looking for. I have known a number of gay scouters. I have known a number of straight scouters. None of them would have had sexual contact with the boys. Just as there are female leaders in my district who are (presumably) attracted to males, I am confident there are a few male leaders who are also attracted to males. With neither sex, however, is there any intimation of pedophilia, even though there is the possibility with either sex. We are all there to serve the boys, and to give them a healthy and safe environment in which to grow into adults. To that end, we have child protection guidelines that protect against inappropriate conduct by leaders or youth of either sex. While there are still those who refuse to accept the facts, we know that, statistically, between 10% and 20% of the boys in our troops are or will eventually discover themselves to be gay. Are we doing our duty to them to tell them that they are bad, or that they are not deserving of good role models? When I was a Second Class scout in 1963 South Carolina, I was hearing the same things about blacks in scouts that I am hearing today about gays in scouts. We look back on those attitudes as embarassingly ignorant prejudices. I suspect that in the decades to come, our children will look back on our positions in the same light.