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Everything posted by NJCubScouter

  1. NJCubScouter

    Don't ask, I'll tell...

    Ed says to me: NJ, I don't mean to sound mean spirited but who really cares what you believe in this case. Well, Ed, it sounds to me like you succeeded in sounding mean spirited, regardless of whether you meant to or not. We could all take the attitude of who-cares about what the other person thinks, but then what would be the point of having the discussion. TJ posted he has told other Scouters he is gay. If that isn't avowed then I don't know what is. Not to sound mean-spirited or anything, but I'll partially agree with you: You don't know what it is. From TJ's description, he has not made his orientation generally known. He has not "officially" told the BSA. He has told several individuals in confidence, and it sounds like so far, they have respected his confidence. Now, some have said that TJ has placed these Scouters in a tough position by telling them. I agree. If it were me, personally, I would not have told anyone connected with Scouting, even though I believed they would keep it a secret. Not only has he presented these Scouters with their own case of divided loyalties, but he also has taken a risk that the information will in fact become "officially known." I do not mean that as a criticism of TJ, and I doubt that he would disagree with it. I also suggested earlier, and I don't think TJ responded, that if one of his Scouter friends did in fact "drop a dime," and inform the BSA, then he would have become "avowed." That being said, TJ should have his membership revoked. No morality issue just a direct violation of a BSA policy. As you interpret it. Does anyone think it's a coincidence that most people who favor the policy also interpret so it will have the greatest effect, while we who oppose it, interpret it so it will not. That might be seen as a criticism of both "sides," including myself. It's a natural human reaction to give ourselves, and not the other guy, the benefit of the doubt. But the bottom line is, if you base a policy on whether someone has "avowed" something, and you know that someone has violated the policy, but you don't know who it is, has it really been "avowed." My tree-in-the-forest analogy still stands. (So to speak.)
  2. Acco, it sounds to me like the remedy, both for this boy and the others who may be affected, would be to have a conversation with the registrar's boss. She is adding an age requirement for rank that clearly does not exist.
  3. Acco, I think you are correct, but I also think I know what your registrar is confused about. As you say, there are 3 options for joining a troop: Be 11 years old, have completed fifth grade (by which time almost any boy will be at least 10.5), or earn Arrow of Light. So if the boy is under 10.5, the Arrow of Light would be the way he gets in. Here is requirement 1 for Arrow of Light: Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade (or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old), and earn the Webelos badge. So, it's an either-or requirement, and your registrar seems to be ignoring the first part of the "or." In other words, she is assuming that the part in parentheses is the only option. In most places, school ends in June, meaning that a boy who is active in the Webelos den (which he presumably was already a member of, starting at the end of third grade) from that point, would qualify sometime in December. I have seen people debate the meaning of the word "active" in this context; in other words, if the boy is a member of a pack/den that "takes the summer off," is he active from June to December, or would his "active" period not start until September when the den revs up again. In that case he would not be able to earn Arrow of Light until March. That might be an issue in this case because the boy will not be 10.5 until May. So if he is not considered to have been "active" during the summer months, he might still have to wait a bit anyway. I personally think that, assuming there are no den meetings in the summer, a boy should be considered active if he participates in ANY Scouting activity over the summer. I would include Cub Scout day camp or overnight camp, even though that may be an individual registration with the council rather than a pack thing. But that is getting far afield from your question.
  4. NJCubScouter


    I think the original post suggests that this is not a matter of leaving early to go to religious services. It says the boy and his father have "a different excuse every time." Let's give the writer the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is not referring to religious services as an "excuse," much less a different excuse every time. This is an example of something I have noticed in this forum, and mentioned once or twice. Some people tend to assume that the thread-starter has not told the whole story, and they add in facts that change the answer. Why do some of us do that? Can't we just answer the question presented without turning it into a different question, and even worse, then arguing about the non-question and forgetting the original question. In this case, I think the answer is clear and has been given by several people. Leaving early on a consistent basis and without a valid excuse is not acceptable. It disrupts the event and isn't fair to those who stay behind to load up, for example, the cooking equipment that produced this boy's meals for the weekend. Maybe a talk with the boy and his father will do the trick.
  5. NJCubScouter

    Just can't resist...this time on media bias

    I have to admit that I do not watch Rather, Jennings, Brokaw, etc., so I have no opinion on whether they present the news in a biased manner. I am somewhat suspicious about the fact that the claims of "liberal bias" in these shows are always made by conservatives. But I don't think it matters. The range of news sources is now so broad and diverse that the claims of "liberal bias," if they were ever correct, have become irrelevant. I get most of my news from the Internet, basically its the Associated Press and Reuters wires, and I think most people would agree that those services are fairly accurate and unbiased. I also sometimes watch Fox News Channel, where, by the way, I do NOT agree that a strict line is drawn between "news" and "opinion" on the conservative side. Fox News has news shows anchored by Tony Snow, who clearly skews things toward the right, and the same is true to a lesser extent of Brit Hume. As for O'Reilly, he does not acknowledge taking a conservative point of view, which is clearly what he does. He claims to be "fair and balanced" and that his show is a "no spin zone," which are ridiculous claims to make for a show that has an obvious ideological point of view. I could go on. Anybody who thinks that the New York Times has a liberal bias, read the real leftist press (like the Village Voice) and you will see what leftists think of the New York Times. To them it is the voice of what used to be called the "Establishment," which is not a liberal institution, and of "big business." And then there is the Washington Times. It claims to be a real newspaper, but it is a conservative mouthpiece -- and not just on the editorial pages. More people read the Washington Post, but I hear the Washington Times quoted every day, as if it were a real newspaper, on my friendly local talk radio station. Which is yet another example of "conservative media." The leading New York City talk radio station, WABC (which claims to be the most listened-to talk radio station in the U.S., which is probably true) has a lineup that is heavily tilted to the right. It is the station where both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity's shows originate from (notwithstanding Rush's lofty references to the "EIB Building.") These shows are labeled as "opinion," but it is still all part of the "media."
  6. NJCubScouter

    Don't ask, I'll tell...

    Rooster says: What's truly disheartening is not TJ's confession, but the responses of his supporters - fellow Scouters who are not plagued by unnatural desires, just perverse politics. Uh huh. "Perverse politics." Rooster, don't you think it's possible that some of us simply do not believe that homosexuality, in and of itself, is immoral? Why would we support a policy of excluding people whose conduct is not immoral?
  7. NJCubScouter

    Don't ask, I'll tell...

    TJ asks: if this were a matter of principle, how am I more desirable to BSA as a "closeted" homosexual than as an "open homosexual"? This relates to something I have discussed a few times. If it were up to me to choose whether a leader in my son's troop were a "closeted" gay person or openly gay (though not discussing his/her sexuality with the boys), I would choose "openly" every time. (That is, assuming he/she could be openly gay without getting booted out.) TJ, I do not mean to disparage you, obviously I do not know you or how you have dealt with your own situation, but my observation is that it is not "good" for a person to have to keep a major aspect of his life hidden for his whole life. I am not talking about keeping one's private life private, everyone should do that. What I am talking about is living a "double life." TJ, if you are not "openly gay," doesn't that mean that at some time in your life you have had to lie or deceive someone as to where you were going, what you were doing, etc.? And if this is not true for you, I am sure it is for other people you know. I can't imagine having to go through life keeping my different "worlds" from meeting each other. I think it could cause a psychological strain that could lead to other problems. On the other hand, most of the openly gay people I have known seemed reasonably well adjusted. Quirky sometimes, but I have known plenty of quirky straight people as well. At least they did not have the stress of trying to be one thing in a tiny part of their lives, and another thing to the world in general.
  8. NJCubScouter

    Don't ask, I'll tell...

    TJ: First of all, wow. You sure know how to liven up a discussion. I had mostly stepped away from this whole subject, because it was the same old arguments with the same old people, over and over, round and round and round. I personally think that the bit about genetics really took us off the track. I think you have added something new to talk about. What do you think, 15 pages or so for this thread? Obviously the main issue here is, what is "avowed." My assumption has always been that it basically the same thing as "out," though only if you have "outed" yourself. In other words, have you voluntarily made it generally known. From the gay people I have known, this is not always so simple. I have known gay people who were out to their mother but not at work, and people who were out at work but not to their mother. If you are able to compartmentalize the information, are you still avowed? It is sort of like the question, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does it make a sound. I think the practical answer is that if the "BSA," however you define it, knows that you have "declared" yourself to be gay, you are then "avowed." Therefore, even though a few Scouters may know, you are not really "avowed" -- but if someone violates your trust, then you are avowed? I don't know. It's not easy. My answer would be that at present, you are making efforts to keep your sexuality confidential, and that the "world" in general does not know, and therefore you are not "avowed." This also means, in my opinion, that the Scouters who "know" are not violating anything. But again, if one of them were to "tell"... The fact that you are now "out" online does not change anything, because it is not really "you." None of us know who "you" actually are. "You" actually could be a straight 75-year-old woman or a college student sitting at a computer in Japan, just playing games with us. (As could I.) We take you at your word that you are who and what you say you are, because otherwise the whole basis of discussing things in a forum like this begins to crumble. I think I disagree with one of your comments. I do not think that the BSA defines "avowed" only to mean "don't advocate against the BSA opinion in front of Scouts". I also do not think there is anything in the Supreme Court opinion that limits the definition to this. Look at James Dale. He did not advocate anything to Scouts. So far as anyone knows, he was not "out" to anyone connected with Scouting. He was "out" in another part of his life, in which he presumably did not discuss Scouting with anyone. However, when the "out" part of his life took him to a conference discussing the issues facing gay teenagers, and he was quoted in a newspaper as being an officer of a college gay rights organization, the two parts of his life ran into each other. Someone at council apparently read the newspaper, and that was it. There is no indication that there was any inquiry with Dale's troop, to see if he had discussed his sexuality with any Scouts or Scouters. Merely by the council finding out of his "avowedness," he was deemed to fall within the policy, and he was terminated. But as I have suggested, this sounds like more of a philosophical issue than a real issue to me. If the BSA finds out you have told anyone, by definition you are "avowed." Based on the facts as you have presented them, I don't think there is any violation of "policy." But it may no longer be completely under your control.
  9. NJCubScouter

    Can BSA 's antigay policy....

    Littlebillie, if you believe that a scientific finding that homosexuality is genetic would make a difference to certain people, I suggest that you think back to some of the discussions that have taken place in this forum regarding evolution. Some of the same people who are the most insistent that homosexuality is immoral, were the ones taking the position that the theory of evolution cannot possibly be correct, because it contradicts the Bible. In other words, the Bible wins over science every day of the week. How prevalent this attitude is within the BSA as a whole, I'm not sure, but I'm also not sure that I want to find out.
  10. NJCubScouter


    Just a note on "Supremes": On a number of occasions I have heard attorneys refer to the U.S. Supreme Court as "the Supremes." I wasn't sure if it was just a New Jersey thing or what. I do not think that it is necessarily a term of disrespect. It is a more of a shorthand; when an attorney says "the Supremes" other attorneys know that he/she is NOT referring to the New Jersey Supreme Court or any other state supreme court; it means THE Supreme Court: the Supremes. Is there a bit of a joke behind it? Sure. To my recollection, attorneys who refer to "the Supremes" are almost always of the generation that grew up listening to the singing group of that name. Perhaps it is a bit sarcastic. But I do not think it necessarily means disrespect.
  11. NJCubScouter

    Too Soon To Bridge?

    First of all, I am assuming here that this boy is in the fifth grade. If so, sometime in February through April is the time to crossover. I am not sure if this is "official" anywhere, but it is the right answer. This is a subject of great interest to me, because my son is 11 years old (since October), is a Citizen badge and a couple other requirements away from Arrow of Light, and is the only Webelos 2 in the pack. (The Webelos den this year is a combined den, though with about 15 Webelos 1's (I know, they should have had 2 dens) and my son. The other boys in my son's year drifted away gradually over the years, and I feel compelled to say that it was mostly during the time I was not their den leader.) As a result of my son's unique situation, the choice of crossover date was left to me. For whatever reason, my pack has traditionally done crossover in May or June. From reading various forums (including this one) it became clear to me that this was too late, mostly for the reason that has been stated above several times -- you want to get the boy "going" in the troop prior to summer camp. Also for whatever reason, the person doing the scheduling for our pack decided that the Blue and Gold dinner is going to be March 21. I decided that that was the logical date. My son gets one more Pinewood Derby (in early February), and the next thing after that is Blue and Gold. With regard to this parent who does not want her son to cross over before the end of the year: Has she visited a troop with her son, and discussed the program with the Scoutmaster? Quite probably the Scoutmaster would explain to her the timing of the crossover, in terms of the program. That might work better than "because that's how it's done." I also have to say that if my son were ten and a half, as some boys are when they are about to cross over, I might feel differently. I might have concerns about whether he was "ready." However, because of the random chance of when my son was born, he will be 11 years and 5 months old when he crosses over. That seems like moving-along-time to me. Theoretically, there could be one or more boys in the troop who are only 12 days older than my son, but will have been in for a full year when he crosses over. So this is what is right for my son. It might not be ideal for all. But a parent has to get their mind geared to the fact that the boy is now old enough to be a Boy Scout, so the parent and boy might as well conform to how the Boy Scout program works. Put another way, Scouting does a pretty good job of deciding what kinds of activities and programs are age-appropriate. Unless a boy has a particular problem with maturity, or whatever, by the spring of fifth grade, the Webelos program really is not the age-appropriate program anymore.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  12. NJCubScouter

    Calif. Judges Possibly Banned from Scouting Activity

    The whole thing with the Unitarians is one of the ways the BSA violates its own declaration of religious principles. That declaration says that the BSA is "non-denominational" in its approach to religion. It is not. If your denomination believes gays have the same rights as everybody else, and should not be excluded, and your denomination says so, you are penalized by not having your award approved for wear on the BSA uniform. That is not non-denominational. One type of religious belief is being favored over another.
  13. NJCubScouter

    Rebuilding a troop - I need advice!

    My understanding is that a unit checkbook is supposed to be in the hands of the unit treasurer, who is a member of the unit committee. (The unit being the troop in this case.) Ideally, two signatures should be required on checks, but again, both of these should be committee members (for example, the committee chair and treasurer.) If the CO insists on handling the checkbook and writing the checks, then the person doing that is effectively your treasurer. If you have to go through a lot of bureacracy within the CO to get a check written from the troop checkbook, then in effect the "bureacracy" is your treasurer, and perhaps the governing entity of your CO is really acting as the troop committee, at least on financial matters. I don't think it's supposed to be that way. That does not mean that the CO necessarily has to give up all "control" over the checkbook. Technically, the CO (through the CR, I believe) appoints the committee, though in the case of my pack's CO, this really consists of the IH or CR signing whatever applications for committee membership, or annual charter papers, that we put in front of them to sign. The CR could, if he/she wishes, effectively appoint himself/herself to the committee, as treasurer. The IH could do so as well, I believe. But the difference between that and what you have now is that the person controlling your checkbook, though still the IH or CR, would actually be sitting there in your committee meetings, as a member of the committee, rather than being high on a mountaintop somewhere, with your checkbook. If they want to be the troop treasurer, let them be the troop treasurer.
  14. NJCubScouter

    Calif. Judges Possibly Banned from Scouting Activity

    OK, Kwc, let's get this straight. (Maybe this should be in the "How well do you remember the 60's and 70's" forum, if there was one.) The little girl in the big chair, by Lily Tomlin (on Laugh In) was "Edith Ann." Lily Tomlin's other major character that I remember was Ernestine, the telephone switchboard operator. Gilda Radner had a number of running characters on Saturday Night Live, including both Emily Litella and Rosanne Rosannadanna. They were probably the two main "Weekend Update" characters of hers. Gilda Radner also did "Baba Wawa" (Barbara Walters) and "Lisa Lupner" in that series of sketches with Bill Murray, which I never liked very much. And of course, she was also the assistant to Theodoric of York, Medieval Whatever (Steve Martin), one of the best characters ever.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  15. NJCubScouter

    This has a familiar ring to it

    Kwc says: Or how about leave it as it is and let everyone stay on campus, do their own thing and leave them alone. Because it's not their property or money. It's state property and money, and university property and money. The state and university rules say you can't discriminate on our property and using our money. These groups don't want to follow the same rules as everybody else. It seems to me that this argument is often used by people trying to keep gays out of the BSA. But here, it actually applies. Let these groups discriminate on their own property and with their own money. Don't ask me (and in this case, it is actually me, as a taxpayer of the state in question) to subsidize their discrimination.
  16. NJCubScouter

    Scary decision,

    I take it from what you say that you are an adult leader, as opposed to a member of the age 14-18 group. The first question that comes to my mind is, in the UK do you follow the concept that units should be "boy run"? (Or maybe boy and girl run at the age level you are talking about.) In the US, a Venture Crew (ages 14-21) is run to a very large extent by the youth members. Boy Scout troops (ages 11-17) are also boy-run, though there is likely to be more adult involvement. But in either case, the proper role of an adult leader would not involve being "loud." You would be guiding the boys when necessary and "leading by example" rather than with a lot of talk. In Boy Scout troops, the Scoutmaster may never speak to the troop during a meeting except for the "Scoutmaster's Minute" (words of wisdom) at the end. But I don't know if that's how things are where you are. My general impression, though, is that you already have a long record of serving and teaching youth, and it sounds like you would make a fine leader.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  17. NJCubScouter

    This has a familiar ring to it

    Well, it's nice to see my alma mater in the news again. (If you'll recall, the Rutgers Gay Alliance was the organization of which James Dale was an officer, which set in motion the events that led to the Supreme Court case. At least that was their name when I was there, long before Mr. Dale; I worked at the college newspaper across the hall from their office in the Student Center.) I have read this article and the similar ones linked in the other thread. I think it's much simpler than all this. It's a state university, therefore a government agency. A religious organization should not be receiving government funding. As far as whether they can have an office or meeting place in the student center, I don'f feel strongly either way. They did when I was at Rutgers. The Jewish and Christian groups were right down the hall from the gay group, one big happy diverse student family. I remember once late on a Friday afternoon, a group of Orthodox Jewish students (one short of a "minyan," apparently) practically carried me (the closest thing to a a religious Jewish male who they could find on short notice) into their meeting room to participate in a prayer service. (I had to fake the Hebrew, which isn't easy when nine people are looking at you.) But, you know, if they couldn't have done that there, they would have found a place in someone's home or in a synagogue or elsewhere. The same is true for the organization in this article, regardless of whether the school's true motivation is to prohibit discrimination against gays. Let them all go off-campus, discriminatory and non-discriminatory alike. I'd rather have a clear separation between religion and government.
  18. NJCubScouter

    Blue & Gold Banquet

    Here's another variation: Our Blue and Gold dinner is not a regular pack meeting, AND we do NOT have a regular pack meeting at all that month. We also do not have a regular pack meeting the preceding month, which is the Pinewood Derby. I do not like this because it means that after the December pack meeting, we do not have a regular pack meeting until March. (This year due to room availability issues, we do have a regular meeting in January, Pinewood Derby in February, and Blue and Gold in late March, with a regular meeting in April. I am not particularly happy about B&G being in March, but that's the way it went.) I have tried at scheduling times to get a meeting squeezed in between Pinewood and B&G, but nobody else wanted to do it. Nobody has ever been able to give me a good explanation of why we do it this way, beyond "tradition." We generally only give out the rank advancements at the B&G; no belt loops, activity badges, etc. An effort is made to have everyone earn their ranks in time for the B&G. Usually there will be some leader/volunteer recognition as well. In previous years, we have NOT done crossover at the B&G; most years the crossover has not been done until May or June, which is not right. This year, my son is the only second-year Webelos, so I pretty much get to call it, and I have decided to do it at B&G so he can have a bit more time in whatever troop he joins, before the summer starts. Besides he's been 11 since October and I think it will be time for him to move along. (Also, with one boy the ceremony will be short, so there is not the issue of it dominating the event.) As for food, we have done it different ways. Some years it has been potluck, some years "modified" potluck as someone described earlier (which is much better in my opinion.) Last year we had it catered, with a more coherent theme than we have had in the past. We also brought in some paid entertainment, two "wild-west" guys who demonstrate rope tricks and snap the bullwhip around the stage a few times. (To go with the "western" theme we used; it was not the theme of the month, but we used it anyway.) I think we paid the entertainers about $200. I think we charged $10 per family, which was not enough to cover everything, but that was on purpose because we had had a successful popcorn sale and wanted to give the families some benefit. The centerpiece of the dinner is always the den skits. We generally do not have skits at our regular pack meetings, so the skits at the B&G are a big deal.
  19. NJCubScouter

    Am I missing anything in my bear den program?

    OK, a third post, because I see you responded to sctmom. You mention "outside" patches or whatever. In my opinion, the Sports and Academics program (the belt loops and pins) is the "outside" awards program. They just came out with a new guidebook for that program, and I think they added between 5 and 10 new subject areas. There is enough in there to keep any boy buried in awards forever. I don't think there's enough room on a belt for all the belt loops. The boys love getting those, as you probably know.
  20. NJCubScouter

    Am I missing anything in my bear den program?

    I wanted to add one more point, though in the time it took me to finish my post, I see sctmom beat me to it and said pretty much the same thing I was going to say. That point is: Don't worry so much. If you are giving the boys a good program, working from the Bear book and Program Helps and whatever related ideas you come up with, and the boys are receiving the patches and beads and belt loops and whatever that the book says they should get for what you are doing, and what they are doing at home, then you are doing a good job. Patches are nice to get and the boys should get them, but the real goal is the fun they are having, the things they are learning, and the social skills they are (hopefully) developing as they go through the program.
  21. NJCubScouter

    Am I missing anything in my bear den program?

    The Bear book covers almost everything the boys can earn (other than participation patches such as Pinewood Derby, Blue and Gold, or events that you decide on your own to make up a patch for.) You didn't specifically mention the Bear badge itself and the arrow points, but you did mention Progress Toward Ranks, so I assume you have the basic achievements and electives covered since they are the focus of the book. One thing you don't mention is the World Conservation Award; that is in the Bear Book. It is earned by completing certain achievements, plus a conservation service project. Which achievements are required depends on whether the boy earns it as a Wolf, Bear or Webelos. Another thing you will find in the Bear book are the religious awards, though these are not worked on in den or pack meetings. The boys earn these individually working with their families and religious organizations, and they are actually awarded by the religious organizations. How about the Whittlin' Chip? The requirements for this are in the Bear book (and not in any of the other handbooks, though I suspect that will change in the new editions of the handbooks that are expected out next summer.) There are also other awards such as the BSA Family Award and Physical Fitness Award. I am not sure whether these are in the handbooks or not. But if you are following the Bear book, you should not miss anything significant.
  22. NJCubScouter

    A whole new meaning to "Be Prepared"

    Before this thread disappears, just for the record, I never said nor suggested that anyone was going on a "sex tour," a phrase I am not familiar with but I guess I understand what it means. If anyone did suggest that, it was the person who started this thread with the title "A whole new meaning to "Be Prepared." However, I think the title was an attempt at humor and was not making the suggestion of a "sex tour" either. My post about the gay issue was also mostly an attempt at humor, by the way, which I thought was in keeping with the title of the thread.
  23. NJCubScouter

    Freedom of Information Act

    I see no reason why the FOIA would apply to the BSA. As you say, it is not a governmental agency. It is a corporation, though with a charter granted by the U.S. Congress, rather than a charter from a state government as most corporations have. (Local BSA councils, to my knowledge, would be state-chartered not-for-profit corporations, and they also hold a "charter" from the BSA, though the word "charter" is being use to mean 2 different things here.)
  24. NJCubScouter

    Body piercing

    fella says: But for a boy or girl with an earring I think it's no big deal, so many of them get their ears pierced these days. I didn't say earrings are a "big deal," either on males or females, it's just that it annoys me a bit, and I fail to understand why anyone would do it, especially for a man or boy. I know it is a "fad," but it's like my mother used to say, If your friends want to jump off a bridge, it doesn't mean you have to do it too. (I think everybody's mother said that.) I'm sure that my attitude is partly a generational thing, and partly the vicarious pain I experience when I see that someone has added an extra hole(s) to their head. It may partly just be me too, I don't like wearing any jewelry, even a watch. I wear my wedding ring only because of the threats that have been made against me if I were to stop wearing it. As for girls wearing earrings, it is more difficult to explain my irritation about that. It is not a generational thing, because girls were wearing earrings when I was a boy, though the average age has probably gotten younger. That particular annoyance mainly applies just to my own daughters, though I recall once when visiting my wife's brother's house, and his wife had had their daughter's ears pierced, and she couldn't have been more than 6 months old. I just thought it was stupid, but fortunately I caught myself before verbalizing my opinion.
  25. NJCubScouter

    Calif. Judges Possibly Banned from Scouting Activity

    Rooster says: Homosexuals came after BSA, not the other way around. How do you get that? The BSA banned gays, and enforced the ban, before any gay person or group took any legal action. If you're claiming the ban always existed, it did not. If I recall the history from the "Dale" decision, the first evidence the BSA was able to come up with that gays were banned was an internal memo from the late 70's. I don't think there was any public statement until the early 80's, which I believe was in response to the first lawsuit. To look at the most "celebrated" case, that of James Dale, the BSA definitely "came after" him, not the other way around. He was minding his own business and apparently, had never even mentioned his orientation to anyone connected with his troop. He was involved in a seminar somewhere and word apparently got back to council, and the next thing he knew he got a letter terminating him from the BSA. He started to follow the BSA appeal process up the line but was told that it was basically futile, so he filed a lawsuit. He came one Supreme Court justice away from winning, too. Rooster also says: Have you ever written policy statements? If so, you would realize, the more you write the more you will need to write some more. In other words, people use written policy statements to find legal loopholes. The more you put on paper, the more people will try to use that document to achieve their own selfish goals vice the goals of the organization. Apparently, BSA hired some lawyers who were smart enough to know that. I have to laugh at that one, because in fact the BSA lawyers (who I agree are smart, and I would add, crafty, clever and shrewd as well) have found it necessary to rewrite the "policy statement" a number of times over the past 25 or so years, before they "got it right." If you read the "Dale" case and the various things that the BSA has posted on its Web site over the past 2+ years that I have been following this (not sure if they are all still there), you will see that both the scope of the ban has changed at least once (from "known or avowed" to just "avowed")and that the "justification" for it has been revised a number of times. The first few times it was for legal purposes, and then after the Supreme Court decision, the changes were for public relations purposes.