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NJCubScouter

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Everything posted by NJCubScouter

  1. NJCubScouter

    Question for Bob White

    Bob, before you talk about people "making stuff up," I suggest you read my latest post in the other thread. As for my comments about your hypothetical reaction to something that never happened, I prefaced them by saying "I suspect." Obviously I can't prove what you would have done, and neither can you. But I think I'm right, and I notice you didn't bother to deny it. I was actually thinking that I was paying you a compliment by saying that your focus was and is on the BSA and not on the "culture war." I have always viewed your position on this issue not as being anti-gay, but pro-BSA. Faced with criticism of something the BSA is doing, you seek to defend it. I understand that the best you can do is to imply that the anti-gay policy is an inevitable result of the "goals, methods, and policies of the program." That of course is just your opinion, and I don't agree with it.
  2. NJCubScouter

    Charter pulled

    Oops, I did it again. I said: I agree. (See above.) I meant to say: I agree. (See above.) Let's see how THAT comes out.
  3. NJCubScouter

    Charter pulled

    Bob says: It would really be swell if folks took some time to get some facts. I agree. (See below.) There is no such thing as the Girls Scouts being sponsored by a government agency or any other kind of group. The Girl Scouts do not use a chartering organization system. All Girl Scout units are owned by the Girl Scouts. They just meet at various locations, they are not owned by the location. The second, third and fourth sentences above are absolutely correct, and are what I already said. The first sentence is NOT true. Organizations do sponsor Girl Scout troops, but (as I also already said), the relationship is not the same as the CO-unit relationship in Boy Scouting. The sponsor does not own the unit. The exact nature of the relationship is flexible and is agreed to between the troop and the sponsor, within council and national guidelines. Here is the form one council uses as the agreement to be signed by a sponsor: http://www.gsvsc.org/forms/troopsponsoragree.pdf Here is a different, more elaborate one: http://www.gsgv.org/pdf/2235A.PDF And here, from the archives of this very web site, is a discussion that basically confirms everything I said: http://www.scouter.com/archives/Scouts-L/199309/0258.asp Sheesh! I agree. (See above.)
  4. NJCubScouter

    Question for Bob White

    I said: if the BSA had decided in late 1991 to permit local option, ... What I really meant to type was late 2000 or in 2001. That all somehow got morphed into 1991. Which certainly would have avoided the whole issue, but that is not what I meant. What I meant is the BSA doing what it did after winning the court case on exclusion of women from being Scoutmasters -- saying ok, we won, but we'll let them in anyway. Graciousness in victory, sort of like how we'd like the boys to act. That's what should have been done in this case, and 2000-2001 was the window of opportunity to do it. When they came out with that statement in Feb. 2002, that closed the window on local option. It will happen eventually, it will just take a lot longer.
  5. NJCubScouter

    Question for Bob White

    BobWhite asks Rooster: Rooster, How exactly does the BSA decide to remove an CO before they do anything wrong? I can't wait to hear the answer to this one. So I'll give it myself, though perhaps not as Rooster would give it. Bob, although you and Rooster agree on the overall BSA policy on gays, you reach that conclusion from two different directions. You treat this whole subject as if its about rules and regulations decided in meetings, majority rules. I suspect, though obviously I can't prove it, that if the BSA had decided in late 1991 to permit local option, your reaction would have been along the lines of "oh well, if that's the decision, let's move on, when is the next district training committee meeting?" That's not Rooster's approach at all. Rooster is in a war. Remember, the "culture war"? This is what the culture war is all about, and Rooster is a soldier in the war. The supposed "homosexual groups that want to destroy the BSA" are among the enemies. And as we have seen from our nation's most recent real war, waiting for your enemy in a war to shoot first is passe, a thing of the past. Now we shoot first. We don't need to wait for an organization to have done anything "wrong." What are you, a liberal or something? We don't like them or what they stand for, just kick them out. That's "wrong" enough for us.
  6. NJCubScouter

    Question for Bob White

    Rooster says: I think the BSA would be wiser by being proactive and rejecting these chartering organizations before they have the opportunity to exploit the Scouting movement. I have no doubt that you do, Rooster. That is one of the "options" I was talking about earlier. The one I said would take the BSA further down a path that it shouldn't be travelling in the first place. I have no doubt that that is exactly the path you would like the BSA to take. And at the same time, society is on its own, opposite path. I think that as time goes on, more and more religions are going to stop teaching that being gay is immoral and that gays should be excluded. More and more states, and eventually the federal government, will outlaw discrimination against gays. Some sort of "union" of people of the same gender, having most or all of the characteristics of marriage, will become commonplace. The military ban on gay conduct, and with it the ban on gays in the military, will be repealed (if it is not already unconstitutional based on the recent Texas case, which it probably is.) Rooster, you recently said in some thread that in 100 years, the issue will all be resolved, and I think you're right, though I don't think you will like the resolution. In the meantime, I am afraid that as the paths of the BSA and society diverge, the BSA will become more and more of a marginal organization. And that would be a real shame.
  7. NJCubScouter

    Question for Bob White

    Bob, as a purely technical matter, you are probably correct. But think about the messages being sent here. A boy is a member of a church or a student at a school (and let's make it a private school to avoid entangling Merlyn into this.) His pastor (or principal) is openly gay. The church (or school) is CO of the troop the boy is a member of. The openly gay pastor (or principal) is IH. The Boy Scouts says an openly gay man is not a good role model. The church (or school) has placed an openly gay man into a position that by definition is supposed to be role model for both youth and adults. (Maybe not in all aspects, like if the pastor is required to be celibate, but you know what I mean.) The church (school) owns the troop and to paraphrase the BSA, uses the Scouting program as part of its service to youth. The same individual is being identified as a good role model and a bad role model within the same organization. Doesn't this strike you as being just a bit incongruous? By the way, I do realize that this is why this situation would almost never arise. But on a theoretical level, it could, and it doesn't make much sense. At least Ed and I can agree about something.
  8. NJCubScouter

    Charter pulled

    Ed, who I think knows better, says: The GSUSA doesn't admit boys as members. That's discrimination! The BSA doesn't admit girls! That's discrimination! What's the difference! Um, I think the difference is that that's only one "g" in common. And it's the least controversial of the 3 "g"s, precisely because both organizations exist. Though, I guess that in the case of the GSUSA, that "g" stands for "guys." If the other 2 "g"s were resolved, you'd never hear another word about that "g."
  9. NJCubScouter

    Question for Bob White

    Ed, how is it contradictory? There have been openly gay Episcopal priests for years. There have been openly gay Reform Jewish rabbis for years (probably more years, I would guess.) I am sure there are a few other faiths in the same category. The BSA has never banned Episcopal or Reform Jewish places of worship from being CO's. How does changing one gay clergyman's title from "priest" to "bishop" change that? (It has probably never come up with Reform Judaism because there is no Jewish counterpart to a bishop. The only higher authority in Judaism is, as they say in the Hebrew National hot dog commercials, The Higher Authority.)
  10. NJCubScouter

    Question for Bob White

    So Ed, what are YOU saying about the issue of gay clergy and the BSA? Do you think a religion should be barred from being a CO if it permits gay clergy? The BSA's answer to that last question, so far anyway, has been: No. I think Bob's point, if I put it in my own words, is that if the answer is no, then promoting a clergyman from priest to bishop wouldn't make a difference. Now, you may think that a religion that permits gay clergy at any level is not suitable to be a BSA CO, but the BSA would not agree with you. On the other hand, if you think that the BSA is being "contradictory" by banning gay leaders but allowing religions with gay clergy to be CO's, I wouldn't disagree with that. I would probably phrase it as "sending a mixed message" rather than "contradictory." Of course, there are two ways that I can think of to resolve such a mixed message. One way, perhaps the way you would choose, would send the BSA further down a path that I do not think it should be travelling in the first place. I would choose the other way. And it would fit right into the idea of local option. An Episcopal Church or Reform Jewish synagogue might have an openly gay pastor or rabbi, and probably would have a policy of non-discrimination against gay leaders. A Catholic or LDS or Baptist church, or an Orthodox Jewish synagogue, would not have an openly gay pastor or rabbi, and almost certainly would not have a policy of non-discrimination against gay leaders. Sounds like a plan to me. It certainly would resolve this particular "mixed message."
  11. NJCubScouter

    Charter pulled

    Ed, I don't know, it seems to me that Merlyn is treating BSA and GSUSA even-handedly. He is saying that a military unit can "own and operate" a unit of either organization as long as the organization follows the same principles of non-discrimination that the military unit (as a part of the government) is required to follow. Of course, the issue would not arise in the case of a GSUSA unit, for two reasons: 1. The GSUSA (apparently) does not exclude atheists. (I say "apparently" because this is what I have heard, and I have tried to find a clear statement confirming this on the Internet, but the statements I find are somewhat ambiguous. I think they do mean that a girl will not be excluded for being an atheist. 2. Girl Scout units apparently (there's that word again) are owned and operated by the GSUSA or sub-units within it -- not by chartering organizations as the BSA does. Girl Scout units do have "sponsors" but it is not the same kind of relationship as a CO has with the BSA unit. Therefore, a governmental unit or agency would not be in a position of owner/operator of a GSUSA unit, and the same legal issues would not arise.
  12. NJCubScouter

    Question for Bob White

    Packsaddle says: It is my understanding that the degree of difficulty for the religious award is also dependent on age group. Cubs may not be held to as rigorous requirements as Boy Scouts or older children. Actually, in looking around the Internet a bit, many of the religions have different awards depending on age group. "God and Country" is actually four different awards with eligibility determined by grade level (1-3, 4-5, 6-8 and 9-12, which follows the major divisions of the Scouting program except that a brand new Boy Scout who has not finished fifth grade would still go for the same award as a Webelos Scout. See http://www.praypub.org/main_frameset.htm In other parts of that same web site we see that Roman Catholicism has 4 different awards, explicitly divded according to level in Scouting (1 for Tiger-Wolf, 1 for Bear-Webelos, 1 for Boy Scouts not yet in 9th grade and 1 for Boy Scouts and Venturers 9th grade and above.) (Plus 1 more for Eastern rite Boy Scouts.) Judaism also has four awards, with Bears in the youngest group. Interestingly, the PRAY site indicates that some religions have different awards, with different requirements and groupings, for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Campfire Boys/Girls.
  13. NJCubScouter

    Your Favorite Comedy Movies

    Packsaddle, as for Jerry Lewis, I used to watch some of his movies when I was a kid and thought they were funny -- "Way Way Out" is one I remember and I remember seeing some of the Martin/Lewis movies though their names escape me) -- but when I see them now, they really aren't. They just don't hold up in my opinion. And this is someone who is the only celebrity (to my knowledge) to go to the same elementary school that I did, and who (family legend has it) used to visit the house I lived in in that town, because it was owned by his aunt and uncle. (Hmmmm; if that isn't clear: Supposedly Jerry Lewis's aunt and uncle owned a house that was later my house, and when the aunt and uncle owned it, Jerry would visit. I don't think my parents or I ever met Jerry.)
  14. NJCubScouter

    Question for Bob White

    Bob, if the UU award did not "count" toward the the requirement (which it does, according to dsteele), what you're basically saying is that as long as there is an option, it's ok. I don't think so. You would be saying to boys that if you're this religion you get to choose, but if you're that religion you don't. You don't see a problem with that? How is that "non-sectarian"?
  15. NJCubScouter

    Question for Bob White

    Well, dsteele, obviously that is not the answer I was expecting. I apologize for my assumption. But it does raise another issue, that of fairness and, I guess, "quality control." What if a local church decides it is going to have its own religious award and the requirements are "Attend church 5 times in a year." Unless I am mistaken, the requirements for the "recognized" relgious awards are all much, much more rigorous than that. I never earned one, nor has my son, but parents of boys who have earned them have described the work the boys had to put into them. They are real achievements requiring a lot of effort. I have to assume that if a church gave the BSA its emblem program for review and the requirements were as deficient as my ridiculous hypothetical has described, the BSA would not approve the award for uniform wear and would tell the organization to improve the requirements if it wants approval. And yet can it be the case that an award with so few requirements counts just like "God and Family" or the "Aleph" award toward the Wolf and Bear requirements? (Just to check THIS assumption a bit, I found an online source for requirements for the Bear/Webelos religious award of my faith, the Aleph award. Check this out: http://laurence_18.tripod.com/jewishscouts/id8.html Those are some pretty impressive requirements. And although I am not aware of any Boy Scout requirement that can be fulfilled by earning a religious award, here are the requirements for the Jewish award at that level: http://laurence_18.tripod.com/jewishscouts/id9.html You'd probably place into the second or third year at a rabbinical seminary after all that. ) Anyhoo, I still do have to question the statements of BobWhite and dsteele that draw a parallel between the religious awards and such things as a Little League award, President's Physical Fitness, American Legion etc. Unless I am mistaken, none of those awards are pictured in any Boy Scout youth handbook. Religious awards (not necessarily every one available, but as a group) are listed and pictured in EVERY BSA youth handbook. So it seems to be that there is a bit more of an affiliation there.
  16. NJCubScouter

    Charter pulled

    I was going to respond to TwoCubDad, but OGE has said basically everything I was going to say. There is a big distinction between the government allowing use of its facilities on an even-handed basis, and actually "owning" a unit by being the CO. I don't see how a military unit (which is just a subdivision of the government) can own a sub-organization that is required by its own national rules to discriminate on the basis of religion. I think that eventually, this issue will be decided against the government. Note, not "against the BSA," which is really just a bystander on this issue, though the result will be that military units cannot be CO's of Scout units. That would not necessarily deprive anyone of Scouting, by the way. The units could try to do what one troop in my town does, for other reasons. Troop 62 (not the real number) is chartered to Friends of Troop 62, Inc., which is a nonprofit corporation consisting of parents and leaders of the troop. "Friends" applies to the school district just like the Girl Scouts, rec basketball, senior citizens club and whoever else to use the school gym on certain nights -- without fee, because all of these groups fall into various fee-waiver categories. "Friends" also made arrangements with a church to park the troop trailer, store the equipment and also allow use of a meeting room at times when school is closed. Obviously the benefits of having a "real" CO are absent, but there also is a degree of independence that has a certain appeal. So, back to Camp Swampy, if the military base can't be the CO for Troop 62, why can't the parents and leaders (though gov't employees) form Friends of Troop 62? Then if the base allows meetings of the chess club, youth basketball etc., Troop 62 gets to use the meeting room on the same footing. It's not an elegant solution. It is not exactly the way Scouting is supposed to work. If the troop gets direct cash assistance from the military base (as my troop does from its CO, a church), then the troop would have to find an alternative source of these funds. But people have to find other sources of funds all the time. It could work, right?
  17. NJCubScouter

    Question for Bob White

    BobWhite says: The scout did no less a worthy deed for not being able to put someone elses award on the BSA's uniform, nor is his participation in the scouting program altered by one iota. I have a question about this. Both the Bear and Webelos ranks have requirements that say: "Earn the religious emblem of your faith." Can a boy satisfy these requirements by earning the UU religious emblem? And, if the answer is no, doesn't that affect the boy's participation in the Scouting program, by more than just an iota? Now, I realize that each of these requirements does have a matching option, in other words there are religious requirements that can be fulfilled instead of earning the religious emblem. But if a boy is told that all the Catholics and Jews and Hindus and whoever in his den can choose a or b, but he gets no choice because he is a Unitarian, I don't know, that seems like it might have an effect. These requirements also suggest to me that the statements that I have seen some make, that the religious awards are completely separate and apart from the BSA except for the "uniform wear" issue, are not completely correct. If the BSA has nothing else to do with these awards, what are they doing being part of the Cub Scout advancement program?
  18. NJCubScouter

    Transfer charter, how?

    My son's troop has been around for more than 75 years, and has the "75 year" bar built into the special troop numeral patches they had made up. (The name of the town is in there (in tiny letters) too, I think that is good because I miss the old community strips.) I think some of the boys, especially the older ones, do take notice of the "75 years" and take some pride in it. Not a big thing, just a small aspect of "troop spirit." When they have an Eagle COH they make a big thing about the boy adding his name-plate to the board that has the name of all 80-something Eagles the troop has had, going back to the beginning, with the year of the troop's founding on it. I think that if you soft-pedal historical things like this and not try to hit them over the head with it, some will make it part of their experience as a Scout and gain something from it.
  19. NJCubScouter

    Charter pulled

    Merlyn, as I recall, a number of prominent Jewish supporters of the ACLU didn't get the joke either, because they withdrew their financial support over the ACLU's position in the Skokie case. I also happened to have known some members of the Jewish Defense League at the time, who were making travel plans to go to Skokie and "greet" the Nazis if they marched there. (Ideology, like politics, makes strange bedfellows.) Although I generally agree with the ACLU's positions, I had some trouble with this one as well. A group of Nazis marching through a community where most of the residents had to witness people being murdered by people wearing the same uniform and symbols, and barely missed being killed themselves, strikes me as going beyond "speech." I thought that under those unique circumstances, it could have been argued that the residents would perceive the "parade" as being an imminent threat of physical violence and therefore outside the First Amendment. I don't recall whether the city's attorney tried that approach or not.
  20. NJCubScouter

    Charter pulled

    Acco, I know you asked BobWhite, but I'm pretty sure I know this answer. The Council President is a volunteer (unlike all the other positions listed, which are professional positions) who is the head of the Council Executive Committee, which oversees the operations of the council. He/she is part of the Council "Key 3" which also includes the Scout Executive and Council Commissioner.
  21. NJCubScouter

    Charter pulled

    BobWhite says: No leader has ever been removed or exiled for expressing an opinion or idea to the BSA in a scout-like manner. You may be right, but I personally have decided not to take the chance that you may be wrong. I have thought about writing letters to the SE or to national on this issue. But then I have thought about the statements on the BSA web site to the effect that homosexuality violates traditional moral values, and have thought, how can can I really be sure that someone won't decide that if I think homosexuality is not immoral, then I must be immoral too. And then how exactly would I explain to my son that I can no longer be your den leader, or your assistant cubmaster, and I can no longer wear the uniform? (Aside from the effect on other Cub Scouts, of course.) It didn't seem worth the risk. Now that my position is Troop Committee Member and my son is starting to approach that age where he's not really sure he wants Dad hanging around all the time, such an event would not be as traumatic, but it's still not something I need to risk. I'm not really interested in being a test case. Your fear-mongering is unwarranted. I would call it a reasonable exercise of prudence and caution on my part, which I have chosen to share with others, who can make their own decisions.
  22. NJCubScouter

    What is Active????

    Not to worry, Acco, all the boys in your den (and mine) paid den dues. You (and I) set the dues rate at zero, which all the boys paid. So, at least on that score, they were all active.
  23. NJCubScouter

    Charter pulled

    Another failed attempt at editing a post. BobWhite (welcome back) replies to Acco as follows: Acco, you can express your views to your local council president, scout executive, or any member of the national council board in your area (you can get their names from the council office). Or, contact the Relationships division at the National Council Office in Irving, TX. They will welcome your input. Yeah, sure. What they probably will welcome is putting your name on a list... if not putting your name and address on a termination letter.
  24. NJCubScouter

    Charter pulled

    Acco, thank you for asking that question, I'll be interested in seeing the answer myself.
  25. NJCubScouter

    Question for Bob White

    Rooster says: Look at the BSAs mission. OK, let's. This is right off the BSA's web site, though I had to reformat it a bit. Hopefully the formatting will be correct: Mission Statement The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Scout Oath On my honor I will do my best To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. Scout Law A Scout is: Trustworthy Loyal Helpful Friendly Courteous Kind Obedient Cheerful Thrifty Brave Clean Reverent Sounds like a good mission to me. Nowhere do I see anything that says, or even suggests, that an openly gay leader cannot be part of achieving this mission. The exclusion of gays really has nothing to do with the mission or values of the BSA.
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