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Bob Russell

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Everything posted by Bob Russell

  1. Pioneer, if you read my post carefully, you may discover that there are many areas that we do not disagree. First, you point out that statistically, homosexuls lead a more dangerous lifestyle. Do I disagree, no. But my post was to the effect that if we recognize those homosexuals that lead a "normal" lifestyle, and I believe that to be many more than you recognize, the gay community can differentiate the mainstream from the fringe. If you want to only look at averages, you marginalize many fine people. Say we look at African-Americans - by percentages, are young black males more likely to
  2. NJCubScouter, welcome to the board, and thank you for your involvement in scouting. I hope you continue, as well as your son, into Boy Scouts. I believe that you will find many dedicated scouters that share your views. Your son when looking at Boy Scout troops needs to consider his comfort level with the policies and views of other members of the troop. DD, I disagree with your comparing bestiality and incest with homosexuality. As you know from reading my posts, I disagree with your views toward homosexuality. I do not believe that homosexual relationships are automatically wrong, a
  3. "I suspect that is the solution that will take hold over the next several years (either through action by National or simply by default out of local units ignoring the policy)." tj, I suspect that this is the solution that has already taken hold - that is, by default by local units ignoring the policy. I stated under a different topic, that would be my approach, if it has the concurrence of our CO and parent's committee. For gay/lesbian adults that want to participate in scouting for the right reason, and who are known to the troop and respected as individuals, I think that most scouter
  4. I disagree with those who say make it the CO's problem. Some of us are fortunate to have actively involved CO's, but we all know that probably the majority of CO's are there in name only. If you leave it to the CO, there is a good chance that the program will fail. The people who care about the scouting program are those of us in the trenches. I believe that the best course of action is to give a firm deadline, and then schedule a number of conflicts so that the outgoing CC is unavailable for the regular obligations such as committee meetings. Yet the outgoing CC can be available to a
  5. The right footgear depends on a number of factors you haven't mentioned. Steep and rocky trail or gentle trail? Deep stream crossings or are they small rocky streams that you can hop across? I'm in favor of light hiking boots for most hiking, and if the streams are small enough, you may be able to cross without getting feet wet. Assuming that the crossings will result in feet totally under water, I'd go with sandals or sneakers, w/o socks for the crossings. If the crossings are gentle, go with sandals - they are light and dry quickly. If faster current and rocky, I'd go with sneakers, si
  6. Since the boy was in scouts, I assume the troop or the pack has his original application to join scouts. This will have his birthdate on it. I would check this first to see if there is documentation as to his age.
  7. You sure do have a bunch of problems, but I will address the obvious first - the Eagle ceremony. Our practice, which I believe to be the norm, is that the Eagle scout and his family plan the ceremony. I would turn it over to the family, and then cooperate fully with their plans. Thinking like Ann landers would, I believe that you and the troop should take the high road and cooperate as fully as requested. I think you will look back on it later as the right thing to do. The other issue is your comment that the troop is dying. You said that is another story. I would rather change the
  8. Rooster, my comment re "when, not if" did not address a change of the BSA policy. It recognizes the fact that there are families with gay/lesbian parents. In my community, my children have been on sport teams and gone to school with kids with gay/lesbian parents for as long as I can remember. The purpose of my post is to recognize the reality of the world around us, and to discuss how I expect to deal with this reality. I strongly support the US Supreme Court's ruling that permits the BSA to set its own standards. This is essential for any group that has values as a fundamental reas
  9. We can talk about gays/lesbians in scouting forever, and not reach a consensus. But how will we actually respond when we have to make an actual decision? As a scoutmaster, I have given thought as to what approach I will take when the troop's first scout with 2 moms or 2 dads joins up. (Notice that I said when, not if). How will I and the troop respond? I personally will welcome the scout and his family to our troop, and I will encourage family participation in all activities, just as I would with every other scout family. What if one of these parents wants to take a formal role in t
  10. Merlyn, your lack of response and your repetition and sidestepping are growing tedious, so its time to end this conversation. Good Day.
  11. "You assume WHAT is directed at you? I try to quote what I'm responding to; if I quoted YOU, I'm generally responding to YOU. If I didn't, I'm not." Calm down Merlyn, the rest of the post was a response to my previous post, so I made an assumption. If you are not careful, your blood pressure may need checking. "And what did the ACLU say when you informed them about it? Oh, that's right, you don't believe in people fighting for their civil rights, so I guess you don't really care, you just want to gripe." Merlyn, I am not griping. I said that the program should continue as
  12. Merlyn, I assume this is directed to me. I've already stated that school sponsorship should be avoided, so quit trying to make an issue where there isn't one. But since you brought up the issue of Explorers and Learning for Life, let me tell you of our experience here in Portland. The issue of police sponsorship of an Explorer post came up recently, as it has in many communities. Our police chief decided to cut the ties totally, even though Learning for Life does not have the membership restrictions the rest of Boy Scouts has. He felt that the "discrimination" of the other parts of Scouti
  13. "And again, you are trying to hedge your bets and say the KKK might NOT be allowed. I thought you just said ALL means ALL." I have tried to state my position that all groups should be treated alike. However, I am aware that there are restrictions that schools can place, and to be honest I tried to point that out, without some absolute stance such as what you appear to take. Excuse me for trying to be less than absolute, where I understand there to be some power on the part of schools to restrict some disruptive groups or communications. I do not claim to be a constitutional scholar, and
  14. "You keep OMITTING other discriminatory groups from YOUR list." Merlyn, I do not omit any groups, as I state that ALL groups should have equal access. ALL does mean ALL, and I do not need to name each group. If a jr. Klan group wants access, we may be forced to accept that. I do believe that schools have the right to restrict disruptive groups and expressions, and depending on the facts, the jr. Klan may qualify. If not, that is the price we pay for free speech. As you know, the ACLU defended the Nazi's right to march in Skokie. As despicable as the Nazis are, as are their ideas, fr
  15. Could you give us a few more details on your method? I assume you squeeze as much air out as possible. Do you weight the bag down with rocks to sink it? If in more rapid current, do you use multiple stakes? Thanks.
  16. "Both statements are true: 1) the BSA gets special access other groups don't get. 2) the BSA *should* get the same access as other discriminatory groups." Merlyn, then in your posts you state: "The BSA should get the same access as other discriminatory groups." So we are not saying the same thing. I say that they get the same access as all outside groups. You know, EQUALITY. You limit to groups you define as discriminatory. If you agree that ALL outside groups, scouts, soccer leagues, little league, etc., are treated the same, then we agree. If you will not treat scou
  17. "It's the BSA's duty to KNOW the laws, and considering that a judge in Michigan found that both the school and the BSA violated the civil rights of an atheist student, they'd better start learning fast." Merlyn, you state this with the typical conviction of a true believer, one who cannot fathom that their are often 2 sides to an issue, and that outcomes are often in doubt. In most legal issues there are many viewpoints, and the result often cannot be predicted. That's why we have lawsuits, courts, lawyers, etc. And as you well know, many cases are determined one way at trial, reversed
  18. Merlyn, you keep twisting my response. I said: "If other groups are allowed to recruit in schools, and they often do, then to ban scout groups from doing the same type of recruiting is discrimination on account of religion." You then respond by stating: ". . . the Scouts got special access that other groups didn't get. The BSA should get the same access as other discriminatory groups." First you say special access that other groups don't get, then you say they can have the same access as other discriminatory groups get. This is not the same. I have agreed that if outside gr
  19. "I don't CARE what the BSA's reasons are; I care that the BSA continues to dishonestly charter units to government agencies that obviously can't enforce the BSA's religious requirements, and that the BSA continues to push for in-school recruiting." I believe that I stated earlier that I agree that it is probably impermissible for government agencies to sponsor a Boy Scout troop because of the religion requirement. I say "probably" because I'm not sure where the case law will eventually settle out, if it ever does. As we all know, court rulings change - remember when "separate but equal"
  20. Another explanation may be based upon the saying we have in the legal profession: "Good facts make bad law." The situation you described is the "white flight" phenomena which had the effect of stalling integration. Often it was done improperly with local government blessing. As you said, the feds came in and objected. If the result was a court ruling against the school, it was probably reached in federal court, and improper local procedures may have been found. Or the court, offended by the apparent white flight, just put a stop to it. (Hence the bad law). The reality today is that l
  21. Marcy, in planning your first campout, place an emphasis on one word you used: FUN. Make sure that both the scouts and adults have fun, and they will come back for more. Be sure to plan a program to keep everyone busy, but not overwhelmed. The campout is a good time to work on rank advancement, and also merit badge requirements. Also put in times for games and also unplanned free time. A campfire at night will add a lot to the experience. You referred to a 1969 Fieldbook that you have. Although I am not familiar with it, I can guess that much of what is in it is outdated. Boy Scout
  22. Wiccans are allowed in Boy Scouts, based upon my personal experience. Several fine adult leaders I know are Wiccans, as are several recent Eagle Scouts.
  23. "I disagree, since the DRP (which all BSA leaders must subscribe to) states that only theists can be "the best kinds of citizens"; that directly implies that atheists CAN'T be the best kinds of citizens. I'd say that's teaching prejudice." Merlyn, I will always resist the labeling of Boy Scouts as being prejudiced, when what we have is a value-based organization following its values. And before you bring up the possibility of banning minorities, etc., characteristics such as race, sex and national origin are unchangeable and are not values. Religious beliefs, or lack of them, are values
  24. KoreaScouter, you inquired : "What do you all think of removing the grounds for the complaint by allowing youth members who do not profess a belief in God?" The problem with this approach is that under standard discrimination approaches, merely saying "lets all get along" is not good enough for our opponents. Recall the Citidel case, where first women litigated to be enroled, wanting to be part of the program. But then the program was too tough, and had an unfavorable impact on females, so the standards have to be changed. Just in the last week a court ruled that grace could not be said at
  25. Merlyn, you stated: "I feel it propagates prejudice against atheists and gays, and is a thoroughly dishonest organization, as shown by its government charters." The Boy Scouts follow standards that have become unfashionable to many in society, who do not feel we should judge others, yet by condemning Boy Scouts they in themselves judge. I have been a scout leader for many years, and do not believe that we propagate prejudice, as at no time do I or others I deal with in scouting state that athiests or gays are evil or wrong, but that the conducts or beliefs are not consistent with the orga
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