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Everything posted by NJCubScouter

  1. BubbaBear, with all due respect, I think we do know what the "general consensus" of readers of this forum is as to whether "this debate" should continue. And your poll has confirmed that result. Let's look at the votes: As of a few minutes ago, 4 people had voted, yes, stop the debate, and 14 had voted, no, don't stop it. (In the interest of full disclosure, I think I just accidentally voted for a second time, while trying to see the results on a computer other than the one I first voted from. "Cookies" only know from computers, not account names. So it may actually be 4 to 13.) Much more interesting, however, is the fact that 86 people had read this thread. (I realize that this may include multiple readings by some of the same people, but I choose to assume that most of these 86 are different people.) So even if you assume that the voters are also people who post regularly, I think the answer is clear. Those who do not post also do not care enough to vote. They will read whatever is here. They don't seek to control the content of what they read. Maybe we who do post should charge them an entertainment fee or something. But the point is, they are not "tired" of the debate to the point where they will actually click a form to indicate that they are tired. That is known as an "abstention," or in other words, "whatever the majority of everybody else says is ok with me." In other words, those who wish to post, post, and those who wish to read, read, and those who wish to do neither, do neither. Is this a great country, or what?(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  2. I have noticed that in the troop that is the leading contender for my son to join next spring, the adult leaders wear a customized patrol patch (in the patrol patch position) reading "Old Goat Patrol." Technically proper? Clearly not, but it seems harmless. I have not asked about it, but my guess is that the "old goats" hanging out together became a joke within the troop, and they decided to wear the joke on their uniforms. (By the way, this may be a clue that this troop uses the patrol method, as the "old goats" are keeping to themselves on campouts rather than hanging out with the patrols. It may also indicate why all the leaders from this troop who I have met are men, as I have never met a woman who would refer to herself as an "old goat." ) Obviously I will recommend a unit to my son based on other considerations, such as do they use first class - first year (this one seems to, I have to have a more detailed talk with the scoutmaster), is it boy-run (apparently yes), do they have an active outdoor program (apparently yes), and does my son know other boys in the troop (yes, 9 boys from my pack crossed over to that troop this past spring.)(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  3. BobWhite, your comment about a "parallel to Scouting" is very cute and clever, but I see a different parallel between this forum and Scouting. The owner of this forum and BSA National set up a "program" and have issued certain rules and guidelines within which participants may operate. The participants in the forum are individuals who may say whatever they wish, subject to those rules and guidelines. The participants in the BSA are CO's and their units who may select their leaders within the BSA's rules and guidelines. Within the wide range of those guidelines, participants may make their choices. The actual rules for selection of leaders basically prohibit appointing leaders who have shown a propensity to harm others or seriously disobey the law, and the rest is left to local option. Except on the gay issue. And contrary to what you have said or implied, Bob, there is no rule or policy against a gay person being a leader. It is a current practice of the current leadership, as reflected in press releases and legal briefs. It is not a rule or policy. If you can cite a book or page reference to the policy, please do. In fact, in order to not further offend BubbaBear's delicate sensibilities, I suggest you start a new thread with the book and page number. I'll be waiting. Sorry, BubbaBear, but I thought it was important to dispel this fallacy, for the benefit of those whose minds are open to the truth.
  4. BubbaBear, I have observed that different people can stand to debate this subject for different lengths of time. If you only had a few weeks in you, I hope you don't begreduge those of us who prefer to keep batting it back and forth for a longer period. In my case, I did get tired of the first forum on which I was debating this issue (for about a year, in AOL's Scouting forum), so I switched to this one. Changing the minds of the people on the other side is not the main goal; as you say, that is probably impossible. But there are dozens or hundreds of "lurkers" out there at any given time, whose minds may not have been made up so solidly as ours. And maybe some of us find it fun, in some odd way. Posting in this forum is recreation for me. There are worse things I could do in my spare time. Unfortunately, I too will probably stop posting on this subject in the near future. The time required by my "real life" often prevents me from posting for a day or 2, and by that time so much material has gone by that I want to respond to, that I cannot possibly respond to it. And it does get tiresome to keep repeating things I have said in the past, in response to the same things said by the same people. And I am about to take on a new time-consuming challenge in my life, as I expect to be appointed this coming week to a vacancy on my local school board. That may be the thing that forces me to stop spending time doing this.
  5. I disagree with the "glacier" or "flowing lava" analogy for matters of social change. Regardless of what your religious beliefs are, individual human beings are beings of free will. We have both the physical ability to make choices and the intellectual ability to gather and evaluate information to make the right choice. (We don't always make the right choice.) Combining all these free wills into a collective decision-making process is a tricky thing, and sometimes the "collective will" can be difficult to determine, but what we do as a society is nevertheless the product of our individual choices. So things like social change don't just happen to us; some person, or usually a group of people, get the changes started and the rest of us either accept or reject them. This process works more "cleanly" in a democracy (or representative republic, if you like) than in a dictatorship, but recent history has shown that "free will" can topple even the seemingly strongest dictatorship. Why is it important whether the analogy is correct or not? Because I think the analogy makes us forget that we and not forces beyond our control, determine our future while we are alive. (I suppose there are some who may disagree with this point on religious grounds, but oh well.) Again, individuals may find it difficult to have their individual wills translated into group action, but somewhere in the process, human beings are bringing about whatever change occurs. The post about "holding back the lava" also implies that in the gay-policy debate (which is what we are really discussing here), the "lava" is the trend in society toward accepting immorality, while those with the water-hose are trying to protect morality. I reject this as well. What we have here are two competing moralities: The morality of those who believe the Bible, or whatever, justifies discrimination against gays, and the morality of those who believe that it is the discrimination that is immoral. There is a definite trend away from the former, toward the latter. But it is not a mindless force such as a glacier or lava; it is the collective result of people making different choices about how other people should be treated. I don't get the whole knot thing, so I don't know whether I am passing it or not.
  6. scoutmaster says: I seem to have a bit of trouble dealing with conflict. Probably because I just don't like it and hope things can work out without it, but also because I am just not too good at it. Don't sell yourself short, it seems to me that in this case at least, you handled it just fine. Admittedly, conflict is most difficult to deal with when you are one of the adversaries. But when you are "in the middle," as you found yourself in this case, the best route often is to try to get the combatants to see reason, and otherwise just stay out of it. Often after "cooling off," one or both will realize that their conflict is costing more than whatever satisfaction they derive from being mad at each other. In this case, the father finally came to the obvious conclusion that, number one, the troop was not going to fire its CC just for him, and that second, if he didn't calm down and tolerate the CC, the one who would suffer would be his son. All but the most stubborn and childish folks will back down when the alternative is to cause harm to their own child.
  7. Do Tiger Cubs still have a separate promise and motto, or do they now start learning the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack right away, since we now have Tiger Cub dens and den leaders? The answer to the first question is definitely yes, Tigers still have their Promise (I Promise to love God, my Family, and my Country, and to Learn about the World) and motto (Search, Discover, Share.) The answer to the second question is that while they do NOT learn the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack "right away," they CAN do so toward the end of the "Tiger year," which is a change from the past. The Cub Scout Promise, Law of the Pack and Motto are introduced as part of the Bobcat requirements, just as previously. The change is that previously, the boys did not work on Bobcat until they were into their "Wolf year" (for most boys, at the beginning of second grade.) Now, the Bobcat requirements are also at the end of the Tiger Book, and the den leaders can (I don't think they are required to) have the boys earn Bobcat while they are still in first grade. I have not gone over the book with a fine-toothed comb, but it is my understanding that after the boys earn the Tiger badge, they then do electives to earn beads, and at the same time as the electives, they can (either as a group or individually) do the Bobcat requirements. Our pack had previously had a "Tiger graduation" either at the last or next-to-last pack meeting in the spring. It had no real official meaning as far as I knew, and no badges were given out, it was just a nice ceremony to recognize the boys and what they had accomplished during their first year with the pack. With the change this year, as Assistant Cubmaster, I encouraged the den leaders to have the boys earn Bobcat in time for the last meeting of the year and award that as part of the "Tiger graduation." That is what they did, and for their last meeting of first grade, all the boys recited their newly-learned Cub Scout Promise in front of the pack. Somewhat haltingly in some cases, but some of these boys are still 6 years old. I don't think you would get a very good result introducing the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack "right away," that is, at the beginning of first grade -- when some of the boys may still be age 5. I think the BSA has done a good job with the progression of "promises," "laws" and "mottos," increasing both the number, length and complexity of the things the boys have to memorize and recite as they get older and better able to learn and repeat information verbatim. On the other had, I myself get confused sometimes. As a den leader and now ACM I have never been able to memorize the Cub Scout Promise because it is so close to, and yet different from, the Scout Oath, so when I need it I read it from a book or paper. I cannot keep both in my head at the same time, and I have no desire to un-learn the Scout Oath which I have known since I was almost 11. In fact, a few weeks ago I was "flying solo" running a pack meeting for the first time because the CM was away, and when it came time in the opening ceremony to ask the boys to recite the Cub Scout Promise, I had to think for a second whether it was called an "oath" or "promise." I did get it right, and I hope my momentary fumbling wasn't noticeable to the boys. Of course, I had forgotten to bring anything with the Promise to the podium, so it was really "led" by the boys, which was not a problem since the flag ceremony was being done by an incoming Webelos den, and they can do it in their sleep.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  8. Weekender says: Sounds like his problem lies with being a homosexual pedophile rather than a married Mormon. But not an avowed homosexual. The BSA's anti-gay policy would not have affected him at all. In all the cases I have read of in which a male Scouter (or other youth group leader) molested boys, the perpetrator always seems to be "in the closet." It isn't healthy in there. I myself would worry much less about my son being led by an openly gay person than someone who seems on the surface to be happily married but has all this conflict going on in their mind about whether to live their real life or not, until one day they "snap" and start hurting innocent children. Problem is, you don't know who that person is until it's too late, if not for your own child then for somebody else's. We just need to be clear on what actions we want to exclude. The BSA anti-gay policy does not exclude any actions. It excludes talking about what one's sexual orientation is, if one is gay.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  9. KoreaScouter says: Allowing COs or even councils to set their own policy regarding this would turn into a real briar patch. As opposed to what the BSA is in now, you mean? Wherever a "briar patch" may fall on the scale of good-to-bad, I would say that where the BSA is now is worse. Maybe then Scouting could again be mostly known for what we are trying to accomplish, and not for needless controversies, lawsuits and funding disputes. Local option would work if people want to make it work. You have no need to ask the sexual orientation of the Scoutmaster from the next town who happens to be running the orienteering station at the next camporee. Maybe his troop knows he's gay and doesn't care. It's really none of your business. And the vast majority of units that have a non-discrimination policy would not have gay leaders anyway. So it wouldn't be a problem. It's just an excuse that some people use for keeping the current noncompromising, counterproductive policy. (Oh, and it's not actually even a policy, it's just a bunch of press releases.)
  10. "Absolute morality" is just another way of saying "Whatever I and the people like me believe and do is right and moral, and the rest of you people are therefore immoral." This type of thinking ignores the fact that somewhere in the world, maybe just around the corner, and in various times in the past, there are those who follow (or have followed) an even "higher" moral code. To them, YOU (meaning you "moral absolutists" are the sinner. If you take a drink of alcohol now and then, even in moderation and never to excess, you are a sinner in the eyes of some. If you fail to follow all 600+ commandments in the books of Exodus and Leviticus, you are a sinner not only to the ancient Israelites, but to the ultra-Orthodox Jews of today, who follow ALL of the commandments except for those whose exercise would violate the law of wherever they are living. Now, along comes Rooster and says that the commandments that Christians do NOT follow were wiped away by Jesus Christ and are not moral laws, but rituals. Nice try. Those who still follow these laws today would not recognize the distinction you are trying to draw. From the discussion here, it seems like this wiping-away is not even stated by Jesus anywhere, but was stated by his followers. What actually happened, in the late Roman Empire and early middle ages, is that Christians replaced many of the Jewish laws and traditions with their own rituals and traditions in order to distinguish themselves and their new religion from Judaism. Many of these Christian traditions had their roots in Roman and pagan rituals, because the Christians were trying to win over the local populations. The point is, you are picking and choosing which moral principles to follow, and calling the ones you don't follow something other than moral principles. As I have said before, Ask not for whom the bell of moral relativism tolls, it tolls for thee. And me, but at least I acknowledge the truth. (This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  11. FScouter says: The addition of under God in 1954 was not unconstitutional until just last Wednesday. Hmmm, I don't know, that sounds a lot like "constitutional relativism" to me. Considering that the court has stayed their own opinion, we can ignore it for the time being. I agree completely. It would be far preferable to all of the pseudo-patriotic chest-thumping, hysterical exaggeration of what the decision actually says, meaningless Congressional resolutions, and calls for impeachment of judges (I heard that on a radio talk show) that I have heard about over the past 2 days. This is not an invasion of our shores, it is a legal argument. It will play itself out, and in the meantime the Pledge of Allegiance has not changed.
  12. sctmom says: If you look back historically at Cub Scouting, the Den Mother role came about because dens met in the afternoons when the dads were away at work. And that was still the case when I joined Cub Scouting as an 8-year-old in 1966. Once a week I would wear my uniform to school (something my son and his friends would never agree to in a million years), and instead of walking home from school (there was no busing), I would walk to the Den Mother's house. Her son was in my class, and her older son was our Den Chief. Once you got to Webelos, however, it was totally different. The position of Webelos Leader (which I believe was a new position in 1967, and my father was the first one in our Pack), was exclusively a male position. And at that time, Cubmaster and assistants, and Scoutmaster and assistants were exclusively male, and I believe troop committee chairman was also, though I do recall that our troop had a woman committee member (but she held the title "secretary" so maybe that was considered ok back then; but I know she was also an active member of the committee.) This all remained true through the end of my "youth time" in Scouting (1976); I have read on the Internet that the position of Den Mother was actually changed to Den Leader and opened to men in 1967, but I never knew that while I was a Cub Scout; it probably took a few years or more before the first male "Den Leader" (for Wolf/Bear) actually appeared. During my non-Scouting years (1976-1998) I had heard bits and pieces about the BSA allowing women leaders in various positions, but nothing prepared me for what I found when my son joined a pack, and later when I became a leader and started attending events where people from other units were present, and participating in Scouting forums on the Internet. Mothers as Webelos leaders, women as Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters, female commissoners; what was the world coming to! But obviously the change was in keeping with the modern world where the subordination of women is no longer accepted, and where 2-earner households are the rule. Something deep in my brain is still surprised when I see a woman Scoutmaster, but I think it's fine; though as I said, the ideal would be for Boy Scouts to have role models of both genders. This will inevitably be true in Cub Scouts, where a higher level of parental involvment is necessary, and I think it would be unusual to find a pack that did not have both genders in leadership positions. My final thought relates to the first time I had heard that a woman was suing to be allowed to be a Scoutmaster; I think that this was in the early 80s. My father was still SM at that time. When I next visited my parents' house I asked him about it, and his reaction was, how could a woman be a Scoutmaster, a woman could never go camping with the boys and the male leaders, it just wouldn't be right. (And my father is a pretty liberal guy, but like most of us, he is a product of his times.) Last summer he was complaining that only women were going to summer camp with the troop, and then this spring I heard him asking one of his fellow old-timer ASM's, "can't we get one man to go this time?" Times sure have changed.
  13. Let's everybody (and I mean the whole country) just calm down for a minute. Yesterday, I was going to predict that not only would the Supreme Court overturn this decision (which I still think), but that this decision would never even go into effect in the territory of the Ninth Circuit, because either the panel or the entire Court would issue a stay. I chickened out from making such a prediction, but as it turns out I should have paid more attention to the 10th point of the Scout Law. While driving back to my office around 4 p.m. today, I heard on the radio that the panel had stayed its own decision. This is fairly common with decisions that are of major constitutional importance. The issue may not even get to the Supreme Court, because every Court of Appeals has a procedure for the entire Court (in the case of the Ninth Circuit, I would guesstimate 15 to 20 or more active judges) to reconsider a decision of one of its panels. Rulings are not overturned in this way very often, but I would give it at least an even chance of happening in this case. If not, the stay will remain in effect, and the state's appeal will almost certainly be accepted by the Supreme Court, and I cannot imagine the current group of justices affirming this decision. (Of course, I couldn't have imagined a few other Supreme Court decisions either...) As for the decision itself, I printed it out today and will read it tonight and hopefully will have a chance to comment on it. I find that news accounts of court decisions, especially broadcast media, almost never give you the full picture. It's not that they don't want to, it's that they don't really understand it and believe (probably correctly) that the public does not want to hear all the legal minutiae. Unfortunately, the minutiae is usually crucial to understanding the basis for the decision.
  14. Ed says: God destroyed an entire town because the men of the town were having sex with each other. Actually the people of Sodom were committing quite a number of sins with great frequency. There is one, exactly one, passage that some have interpreted to mean that there was homosexuality going on. I have read it, and different interpretations of it. The most likely interpretation that I could give... Cover your ears, kids... The most likely interpretation is that what the men in the passage in question were doing was attempting to rape another man. Not quite the same thing as simple homosexuality. I don't have the citation handy, but I'm sure you do, Ed. Read it and tell me what you think. Of course, there are others who say that the passage in question in not about sex at all, but about inhospitality. I don't know... even in the Old Testament, that seems a flimsy excuse to destroy a town. I can't recall God destroying an entire town because of slavery. I don't know, maybe General Sherman was divinely inspired to burn down Atlanta. Seriously though, in the Old Testament, of course God would not have destroyed anything over slavery, unless maybe an Israelite was enslaving another Israelite. Within the guidelines set down in the passage that I quoted earlier, slavery was perfectly acceptable to God at the time. If you believe the book of Leviticus, that is.
  15. BubbaBear asks: Maybe you know (I don't), when the LDS Church banned polygamy, was it because of moral reasons or political (i.e. was it mandated through law or did church members decide it wasn't right)? It's amazing what you can find on the Web: http://www.dced.state.ut.us/history/HistoryFacts/uhstruggleforst-hood.html This is an official Web page from the government of the State of Utah describing the 40-odd year struggle between the leaders of the people of Utah (basically the leaders of the LDS church) and Congress over Utah statehood. It is a remarkably frank document to find on a government Web site, in my opinion. (For example, I doubt that on New Jersey's official web site, you would find a detailed description of the squabbling between the earliest colonists in the 17th and early 18th centuries, resulting from the fact that at least two different groups claimed royal permission to control all the land, and these groups in turn granted competing deeds for smaller parcels. Imagine you bought a farm and some "lord" shows up with a deed from the Duke of York, demanding that you leave.) Anyway, the Utah site reveals that in order to achieve statehood for Utah, the LDS church had to advise its members to refrain from polygamy. It was a political, not a moral decision.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  16. Last year in my old troop (of which my father is still ASM so that's how I know this), the only leaders/parents who agreed to go to summer camp were women. Not a single male leader/parent could/would go. (My father, the former SM, who used to go summer camping every year and on every other camping trip with the troop, is 76 and "retired" from overnighters a few years ago.) My father thought it was a bad idea to have no male role models around. It doesn't sound like a great idea to me either. I think the boys benefit from having both male and female leaders.
  17. BobWhite says: A person who volunteers to be a scout leader agrees to, and is expected to, follow and support the tenets of scouting. If I believed that exclusion of gays, for no reason other than that they are gay, was a "tenet of Scouting," I would not be here, either in this organization or in this forum. I don't believe it is. It is a misinterpretation of the principles of Scouting, by people who wish to impose their religious beliefs on everybody else. That being the case, I will stay in Scouting, and will continue to devote about 99 percent of my efforts to helping to run my pack and den, and about 1 percent to help try to change the policy.
  18. Ed says: Popularity & morality are mutualy exclusive! I see. So, since 95 percent of people are heterosexual, then heterosexuality must be extremely immoral. Right? That was just too easy.
  19. Rooster, I will readily admit that I am not a Biblical scholar, but I can read, and for better or for worse, I am trained in reading and interpreting the law. And that is what these passages are, part of the Mosaic law. They are not taken out of context, in fact the verses preceding the ones I quoted only confirm that the idea that you may not make slaves of your fellow Israelites, but only from the surrounding tribes and strangers. I read a chunk of what was on the web site you refer to. It doesn't change what the words say, or the fact that 2 of 3 Christian bible versions chosen at random use the word "slave" instead of "bondmen" as does the writer of that article. I can fully understand why an anti-slavery religious scholar, writing in the 1850s, would do everything he could to refute biblical arguments that were being used to justify slavery. In this case, the ends justify the means. But it still doesn't change what it says, or means. Slavery was once accepted and now it is not. Our understanding of morality changes, and not just about slavery.
  20. Ed says: Maybe I'm being stupid but where does it say a woman can't be a SM or ASM? It doesn't say it anywhere, Ed. (It did up until sometime in the 80s I guess, and there is one major chartered organization that still will not allow this in its units.) This thread was apparently started because in another thread, BubbaBear questioned having women leaders working with the boys at the Boy Scout level (translation, SMs and ASMs.) I don't think his opinion is shared by many around here. I think the vast majority of male Scouters welcome good leaders regardless of gender. So I don't think Sctmom will get answers to her questions from too many people, because most don't believe the premise of the questions.
  21. Bubba Bear says: NJCubScouter, appears to be a young male adult... These days, I normally take "young" as a compliment, though in this case it does not seem to be meant as such. I would be curious as to how you reached this conclusion. (I will admit that I can be a "wise guy" at times, but that's not youth, it's just me.) I'm also not sure what "young" means these days, except that by any definition, I no longer qualify. If you read my profile you would see that I am an Assistant Cubmaster, and in other parts of this forum I have talked about my son who is a Webelos Scout. I also have mentioned learning semaphore instead of Morse Code to earn First Class as a boy, which depending on how old you are, may give you a clue. I may even, at some point, have mentioned that I have a daughter who would be finishing her sophomore year in college if she wasn't about to start her freshman year instead. I'm not so sure you are even as old as me, not that it matters. Not that any of this matters, but you started it.
  22. BubbaBear replies: No, I mean some physical stunt like Columbine. Oh, well, I hope not, but violence against gays because of who they are would be nothing new. They have endured many beatings and worse (e.g. Matthew Shepard) because they were gay. The term "gay basher" is not just figurative. As for people in this forum, well, I know which ones I find to be scary, but I'll keep that to myself. Do you care to address my last question, N.J.? That, I assume, being this: How do the boys benefit by homosexuals being allowed to be scouters? I don't think they benefit by homosexuals, as homosexuals, being leaders, nor do they benefit by heterosexuals, as heterosexuals, being leaders. They don't benefit by white people, or black people, or Jewish or Christian or Buddhist people, or tall or short people, or rich people or poor people, being leaders. They benefit by people being leaders -- people of good character, experience, leadership skills and Scouting skills. And some of those people are gay. Is this issue about the boys at all? I think so. When you prohibit good people from being leaders for no good reason, even a few, yes, I suppose it's going to adversly affect some boys. When the BSA gets involved in needless controversies and some organizations cut off funds and support, that also adversly affects the boys.
  23. Rooster, as for the Biblical endorsement of slavery, I don't think the issue is one of context, but one of translation. The site you link to quotes a passage from an unspecified (that I could find) version, that uses the word "bondmen" instead of "slave." I do not know what version you use, but I looked up on the Internet 2 editions that, to my knowledge, are commonly used Christian bibles, and here is the passage in question from both: New International Version: 44 " 'Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly. New King James Version: 44And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have--from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. 45Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. 46And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor. So both these versions refer to slaves, not "bondmen." Now, I did find another version, the American Standard Version: 44 And as for thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, whom thou shalt have; of the nations that are round about you, of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. 45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they have begotten in your land: and they shall be your possession. 46 And ye shall make them an inheritance for your children after you, to hold for a possession; of them shall ye take your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel ye shall not rule, one over another, with rigor. This refers to "bondmen," but talks about buying them and passing ownership through inheritance. Sure sounds like slavery to me, whichever word is used. So Rooster, slavery was considered ok, by the word of God to Moses on Mount Sinai no less. Now it's considered wrong. This proves that our understanding of morality changes, and if you believe that this was really the word of God, I would say it proves that morality itself can change.
  24. OGE, your idea is an intriguing one, but I don't think it is consistent with the BSA's position that homosexuality is not the cause of abuse, and that the reason for the no-gay policy is not one of youth protection, but rather one of values. I think that part of the reason that the BSA has said this is self-serving: Having no policy to root out closet gays, the BSA does not want to associate homosexuality with abuse because that would open up a new legal can of worms. Requiring an insurance policy ONLY for units who appoint avowed gay men as leaders would undercut that position. In other words, if a closeted gay man abused a Scout, the parents' lawyer would argue, see, you knew gays were more likely to be abusers because otherwise you wouldn't require this extra insurance, and therefore you should have done something to prevent closeted gays from being leaders. I also seriously doubt that an insurance company would write a policy specifically directed at child abuse, and if they did, it would cost so much that no unit could ever appoint an openly gay leader. Insurance is based in large part on the theory of spreading and averaging risks over a range of people, conduct and events. While the current insurance policies cover the BSA and units for child abuse committed by a leader, they also cover a wide range of other conduct, i.e. hiking injuries, rock climbing injuries, swimming mishaps, and everything else resulting from all that Scouts do, ranging from a $500 emergency room bill to repair a lacerated foot, to a multimillion dollar recovery for a greivous injury or death. If a policy was to be based on the single theory that a unit has a gay leader and therefore is at increased risk of child abuse, I think such a policy would either be impossible to get or impossible to pay for.
  25. Although you all may be able to debate this topic with some restraint, I assure you that there is at least one person from either side (somewhere reading these postings) getting worked up to the point where he/she becomes willing to do something desperate in order make a point. "Internet rage"?
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