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Broward County at it again

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To those of us who were bemused by the antics of the partisan Broward County canvassing board over Thanksgiving, comes more news from that part of the Sunshine State. Apparently the Broward County School Board has moved to exclude all boy scout and cub scout units from using any school facility in Broward County because of the scouts' stand on homosexuality. We have seen this happen in California on a smaller scale, but this action would affect many many units and hundreds, if not thousands, of boys. There is room for honest disagreement about the policies of the boy scouts, but this is political strong arm tactics by an influential minority to punish those who disagree. Apparently the local BSA council in Florida is standing up this time, and suing the school district. This will be an important situation to watch.

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I am a member of the National Association of United Methodist Scouters. Our purpose is to encourage all Methodist Churches to support BSA units as Charter Partners, and to help provide meeting space for Cubs, Boy Scouts, 4-H, Campfire Boys and Girls, and Girl Scout Units.


This support is offered without any requirement to become involved with the church, but instead offered as an outreach of each Methodist church to it's community. I would encourage all units effected by this loss of support from the school system to contact your local Methodist church.

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The issue BSA is facing Broward County is one we will all be facing at some point in the not too distant future I'm sure. The solution to this and other moral problems is simple. Stand up for what is right. If everyone one opposed to the immoral behavior the country is being subjected to would get up off their bottoms and pay a visit to our local governments and let them know we are not going to stand for this any longer we might get thier attention. Let everyone opposed to the degrading of our society vote with those who stand the moral high ground and with hold money from those organizations we find offensive we just might get their attention. If people who claim to be in the majority would do what those in a corrupt minority do, push-push-push our values, we may see a positive change. A positive change that would do our children, government, and America people good. Please don't take this a being intolerant or right wing. I'm far from perfect and like everyone has faults but I only know that right is right and the Bible has proven to be the best road map out there. If anyone can give evidence that the country is better off(look at todays children, divorce, drug abuse, crime, TV, movies, news) because we now accecpt what was abnormal as normal, make your case.

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I always get nervous when I am asked to join a group that knows it has all the "right" answers. I am not sure what gives them the power to be the arbiter of conduct. I also think to summarily toss out the wisdom of the Torah(my personal favotite), The Koran, The Teachings of Buddha and Confuscious may not be the best idea. Should be be allowed to set out own rules, YES, Should we be prepared to face the consequences, YES. Do we tell other people how THEY should behave no, for I dont beleive in judging others, my faith leaves that up to another much more well informed than I

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It saddens me more than anything in my 16 year association with the BSA, that those who are doing all the talking on this issue seem to have lost sight of the those we serve. Almost every day we see news items about another youth serving entity that has decided to cut ties with the BSA and boot out the troop or pack. And exactly 'who does that hurt'??? In my area of the country there seems to be a extraordinary number of churches and school systems that see fit to do exactly that. Their arguement is an adult issue, not a childs issue. Why do adults see fit to make the children bear the brunt of adult disagreements? I personally have experienced adults saying things to our Scouts at fund raising time that make my hair stand on end! The boys had nothing to do with the issue that the adults are arguing about. But they are made to bear the brunt of the issue. They lose their meeting place. They lose their troop. They lose the program. And it seems to me that no matter which side of this issue ones finds him or herself on, no one remembers that the Scouting program is unique and valuable. It's the old 'baby thrown out with the washwater' scenario. Every time I see a troop losing it's place to meet and/or being disbanded through no fault of their own, I cringe. As I said at the outset, I am positively saddened beyond measure that adults have made the boy the whipping post on this one. For sure, this is an issue that goes right to the core, but whose core? Adults!! Let the adults settle the argument as adults and gentlemen. Let's not continue to saddle the boys with the burden of losing that which is truly unique in this world.

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Thanks for the reply folks. I'ts great to get different view points. First off I don't think any one person has the 'right' answer but I do have my views and many are shared by my friends who are of different religions. Second my point was if the people who are unhappy with the attack BSA is under want change or preservation they need to stand up and be counted. Third, the issues of politics should be seperate from the program. I too am sadden to see youth groups losing meeting places because of politics. As adults we often allow our agendas to fog our commitment to the boys and program. What ever our position or feelings may be the welfare of these Scouts should be paramount. Happy holidays to everyone.

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I reread my comments and I apologize for being as harsh as I was. I did not intend to come off as I now read my comments. If we think about the program, and the boys in it, then the rest is obvious

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The 2000 WorldNetDaily.com published this story on Thursday,

December 14, 2000:



School board delays Boy Scouts' eviction

Officials still intend to punish

organization for policies on homosexuality


By Jon E. Dougherty


Officials with the Broward County, Fla., School Board have decided

to delay a planned eviction of area Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from

all its public schools, following a lawsuit filed by the Boy Scouts

of America.


The Tuesday decision to delay the eviction by more than three

months is not a capitulation, stressed school board attorney Ed

Marko, because the board remains opposed to the BSA's ban on

homosexual scoutmasters and scouts.


Rather, Marko said, the board's aim is to "eliminate multiple

court hearings on the Scouts' request to a federal judge for an

injunction," according to a Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel report.


The board voted to evict the Boy Scouts Nov. 17 and had set an

effective date of Dec. 17.


But the BSA filed a discrimination suit against the board in

federal court Dec. 4, charging that the eviction unconstitutionally

limited the Boy Scouts' freedom of speech and right to assembly

under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.


Also, the lawsuit alleges the anti-discrimination policy does not

apply to other groups using school grounds, such as the Brownies

and church groups. The BSA, in court papers, said the district's

policies outlaw all groups serving a specific age or having a

certain belief system.


According to district documents, the school board met in closed

session Tuesday and agreed to allow area Boy Scout troops and Cub

Scout packs to meet on school grounds and use school-owned buses

until March 30.


The board acted to avoid a preliminary hearing set for tomorrow

by U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks, said Marko. Attorneys

for the Boy Scouts had filed for an emergency hearing because the

Dec. 17 deadline was approaching.


Marko also said it made no sense to have one preliminary hearing

this week and then another a few weeks later, so yesterday he

asked Middlebrooks to delay the preliminary hearing after

informing him of the board's decision to delay eviction for

90 days. Middlebrooks agreed and canceled tomorrow's hearing.


The board issued a statement of its position after executive

session Tuesday, reaffirming its opposition to what it views as

discriminatory practices.


"The school board remains committed to the vigorous enforcement of

its policy precluding discriminatory practices on the part of those

persons leasing or using school board facilities or transportation,"

the statement said.


The BSA has been under attack nationally since the U.S. Supreme

Court ruled last June that it had a right, as a private

organization, to exclude homosexuals from its ranks.


Justices held that BSA, under the First and 14th Amendments,

has the right to free association and the right to set its own

policies and practices as a private organization under U.S. law.

The justices also upheld the Scouts' right to demand that its

members and officers be "morally straight," as the Scout oath



Pro-family groups have come to BSA's defense.


"The Broward County School Board's decision to kick the Scouts

off school property under the guise of opposing discrimination

is deplorable and hypocritical," Jan LaRue, senior director of

legal studies for the Family Research Council, said last week.


"Its non-discrimination policy denies the Scouts equal access

to public facilities," LaRue said on behalf of the Washington,

D.C.-based public policy organization. "It denies them the basic

freedom of association that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld.

It seems there is no 'equal access' for the Scouts in Broward



"We believe an avowed homosexual is not a role model for the values

espoused in the Scout Oath and Law," said a BSA statement. "Boy

Scouting makes no effort to discover the sexual orientation of any

person. Scouting's message is compromised when prospective leaders

present themselves as role models inconsistent with Boy Scouting's

understanding of the Scout Oath and Law."


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As readers of some other forums know, I'm against the BSA policy excluding gays. HOWEVER I am totally FOR the BSA and what it does for our sons. I don't like the way everyone is feeling pressure to choose sides and yank good program away from the boys. I don't even know how to talk to the boys about this...so I don't... but I know they and their friends talk about it amongst themselves.


Can't we figure out a way to amend the policy so it targets what may be really "tearing down society"? Instead of focusing on gays, how about focusing on behaviors? No leaders should be involved in, advocates of, or tolerant of: sexual harassment, abuse, hatemongering, racism, promiscuity, taking advantage of the disabled, drugs/alcohol/tobacco.... that kind of thing.


If a particular chartering organization wants to set leadership requirements consistent with their mission statement then that's where a group should be able to "discriminate" if you will. Kosher only? Non-military? Non-smoker? Regular attender at Mass? Gun enthusiast? Able bodied (in the sense of able to handle the rigors of an outdoor program)? Born again? Not female?


I think we should consider a compromise for the sake of the boys' program. Parents will thank us for setting an example of how to handle disagreements without being disagreeable.


I know that I don't have all the answers.

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As a member of Lions International, I strongly urge all units and Scouters in need of places to hold meetings to contact their local club. The Lions wholeheartedly believe in Scouting and support hundreds of troops across this great nation.


Well, WoodBadger I disagree. I dont believe compromising is an option. The parents of my 45 Scouts had their kids join my troop because it fit with their values. I dont think our boys program is at stake at all. Unfortunately society seems to be forgetting what a family is. Remember the good `ol days when we used to eat together and pray together? Well, its been lost in a society that clutters the minds of children telling them that anything goes and that there are no moral absolutes. And in the name of inclusiveness we all just need to get along and accept one another. Well, believe me, I can love others and not agree with them. Why is it that the BSA should have to change the moral foundation on which its rested upon for 90 years? All in the name of acceptance? I think not! There is a reason why parents choose Scouting and continue to choose Scouting. It is the most complete program that teaches kids the values that they hold most dear. If others disagree, might I suggest that they start another organization, because the parents of my Scouts like it just the way it is.


God commanded that we love one another, not agree with one another!


By the way WoodBadger, if you dont mind me asking, what course did you attend?


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