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tolerance

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  1. tolerance

    My Council, Right or Wrong???

    Okay, cjmiam. Let's get a few things straight. So, It sounds like you did your homework. I was not looking for chapter and verse on the "clean" thing. I failed to find how often I'm supposed to clip my toenails, as well. My point with the "clean" is that all people understand all points of the Scout Law in their own way. We all strive to be trustworthy and loyal, but clearly we must all interpret this differently because good scouts all over the world display varying levels of trustworthiness and loyalty. As for the reverent part, you have done your homework in saying that the book reads A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others. I still maintain, however, that this is very subjective. Everyone is reverent towards God in a different way. The other points of the Law are freely interpreted by members, as well. Are scouts being loyal when they turn their backs on members of their group who share different opinions? Are labeling and prejudice examples of courtesy? As you can see, we all have our own way of interpreting these ideas. For the record, a state-level BSA official has agreed with me that the values held within the Oath and Law are, and I quote, "highly subjective and open to interpretation." No, I am not trying to figure out the meaning of "is." However, this very conversation demonstrates how we have each interpreted the Oath and Law differently. Obviously, if we both had the same definitions of loyalty, kindness, and reverence we wouldn't be having this disagreement. I consider you to be a good Scout, though I never met you, and I consider myself to be a good Scout. If two good Scouts disagree on the interpretation of the Oath and Law, then the values within must be subjective to some degree. As you said, we won't always agree on everything. Ahem. "A very good resource about what the BSA thinks a good family is." Since when is it hte BSA's job to decide what makes a good family? By suggesting that families with a father and a mother mliving together with children are the only type of acceptable families and that other styles are less than acceptable, you alienate many families. In fact, a closer examination reveals that no two families are alike. I was also unable to find any family that perfectly exemplified the BSA's ideal family. News flash! If a member of your family announced that he was gay, the right thing for you to do would be to accept and love him. Similarly, if a family associated with the BSA has homosexual parents, the right thing to do is to acept and love them. "Father and Mother" families indeed are most common, but ignoring the fact that other families exist and refusing to accept them is shameful and contrived. My point still stands firm because you have failed to tell me how homosexuality is inconsistent with the Oath and Law. Which points of the Law and which phrases of the Oath say that you can't be homosexual? A Scout vows to live by the Oath, not by the handbook. Furthermore, the Oath and Law have never been changed and the handbook is in its eleventh edition. My question asked for specific points of the Oath and Law that would prohibit homosexuality, not for the phrases in the hanbook that you so eagerly quote as if it were Shakespeare. Your final paragraph is inexcusable. The phrase morally straight has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with sexuality. Morality is the distinction between right and wrong, and having straight morals means that you understand this difference and listen to your heart when you're doing the wrong thing. Do you actually think that the founders of the BSA meant "not gay" when they wrote "morally straight"? We don't have to agree on everyting, I agree with you there. Our disagreement as good scouts demonstrates that the Law and Oath are indeed subjective, and the failure of you and BSA officials to explain how the Oath and Law are inconsistent with homosexuality show that they have fabricated values.
  2. tolerance

    Agnostics excluded from BSA?

    It's all very simple. If a Scout decided that the best way for him to fulfill the requirement of spiritual responsibility (ie duty to God) was by asking questions, thinking philosophically, and acting morally, he would be doing his duty to God. Agnosticism is founded on the philosophy that when humans stop asking questions, we stop learning. Many agnostics feel that if they stopped asking questions about spirituality and decided precisely what they believe in, they would stop learning, too. They find it as hard to understand how a man can go through his entire life in the same religion as others find it hard to understand why he won't make up his mind. If a Boy is willing and able to agree to live by the Scout Oath, then he is allowed to be a member. Therefore, agnostics have every right to be members of this organization. After all, as long as a boy believes that he is doing his duty to God, what right do we have to tell him that he's not?
  3. tolerance

    To The Colors

    To the Colors When I first heard on the news that the Boy Scouts of America were proud of their newly affirmed legal right to discriminate against homosexuals and other minorities, I didn't want to be an Eagle Scout anymore. When I considered the fact that, as a Boy Scout, I represented the vicious forces of bigotry, I felt ashamed. When I remembered the famous adage "Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout," I knew that it was my duty to remain in the program and put an end to this unfounded, hateful prejudice. One of the closest ideals to the heart of any Scout is respect for our nation's flag. It seemed rather ironic to me that an American flag patch should come fused, glued, and stitched to every new Boy Scout uniform. The fact that the Boy Scouts of America think they represent the flag is frankly offensive - indeed they represent only their own selfish intolerance. With this in mind, I used my trusty Boy Scout pocket knife to liberate the flag from my uniform shirt. I could not allow our nation's flag to fly on the very shoulder of discrimination. I urge all of you, Scouters or not, to consider what grave disrespect the Boy Scouts of America have shown our colors, and I implore you to act responsibly. It is time to show some respect. Respectfully Submitted (published in the Valley News - NH, January 2001)
  4. Has our National Council fabricated values? The flagship claim from Texas has been that homosexuality is "inconsistent with the values held in the Oath and Law." As an Eagle Scout and ten year member, I find this very tough to swallow. Although I have made many demands for clarification of this issue, no one at the state or national level seems to be able to tell me precisely how homosexuality is inconsistent with the Oath or Law. However, according to BSA claims, there is a value in the Oath and Law that is against homosexuality. Duty to God left as a very subjective goal. When we teach that a Scout is "Clean," we do not mandate how often showers are to be taken or how often toenails are to be clipped. No, these values are far to subjective for such concrete interpretations. In fact, a closer examination of the values in the Oath and the Law reveals that they are all very broad and ambiguous. This is by design. When the founders of the BSA drew up the Oath and Law ninety years ago, homosexuality was quieter and far more secretive. It is only in the last ten years that it has surfaced as a real part of the mainstream of American life. Keeping in mind that the values in the Oath and Law are highly subjective and open to interpretation, and that homosexuality was seldom (at best) discussed when the program was incorporated, I find it absolutely impossible that the founders of Scouting intended to take a side on the issue of homosexuality. Apparently there is a value in the Oath and Law that is inconsistent with homosexuality, but I can't find it (and I'm a pretty smart cookie). No one at the national level has enlightened me as to what this mystery value is. Perhaps it's a secret value, and perhaps they just haven't figured out what to call it yet. I call it prejudice. I call it intolerance. I call it unfair, and I call it hatred. As for me, I've decided that I won't stand for sitting by and watching as national fabricates interpretations and waves the flag of values as they discriminate.
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