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OldGreyEagle

A Test Of Morality

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Let me get this straight - a man with boys in Scouting is divorced or is a widower. He now lives with a woman and his boys, but is not married. Perhaps this man was a Scout as a boy, maybe even earned Eagle, but he's living with the woman out of wedlock. He fills out an adult leader application and everything looks good until someone points out that he's not married to the woman he's living with. You're going to tear up his application? Hmmmmmm...

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P_Swigs,

 

This is really a simple matter. Much like the gay issue...Do you believe the behavior to be wrong? If the answer is yes, then stand by your principles and act accordingly. If the answer is no, then there is no issue.

 

In my Troop, I'm not in a position to tear up anybody's application. Nevertheless, I do believe the behavior to be wrong. By allowing the man to enter the Troop as a leader, you're telling all the boys that you accept the behavior. You're endorsing the man as a mentor.

 

 

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Rooster and I are in agreement again.

 

I don't know what we can do exactly, but someone who isn't willing to be "morally straight" should not be mentoring boys who are supposed to adhere to that tenet.

 

Just because something is acceptable in society doesn't mean it is a good idea for a Boy Scout leader.

 

Brad

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I am in total agreement with Rooster, Mike Long, MrScout, and any others who see this behavior as immoral and would teach boys that it is acceptable.

 

One of the problems in America is we have become afraid to judge sins. We have been taught (brainwashed) to not comment or judge other people's actions. It wasn't too long ago where this type of behaviour was looked upon negatively. Therefore, it didn't happen too often. Now, since we are not "supposed" to comment on this, or even accept this, it is becoming all too common.

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Well, I personally don't believe that this behavior is right. I also don't believe if it's OK for society it's ok for Scouting. Actually the opposite is true. I think a discussion the the ASM is in order. I would explain the reason I was talking to him & express the questions raised by the Scouts in the Troop. Would I ask him to step down? If this is the only issues in question, no. I would ask him to try to apply each point of the Scout Law & Scout Oath to his situation.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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I'm not the owner of the Acme Judgement Company. By what I see here, some of you as individuals or as members of the unit committee sit around and pass judgement on the worthiness of each potential new leader based upon his being married to the woman in his house (the roles could be reversed also). If you can find that somewhere on the leader application, you've got different applications than I've seen.

 

Rooster, please don't start twisting the gay issue into this particular thread. They're not even in the same thought process. However, if you feel a man and woman living together outside of marraige is not acceptable, you're entitled to that opinion. For the record, I think a man and woman should be married in order to live in the same house. It's just that the BSA, as an organization, has not shown me that marraige is a requirement for leadership.

 

With that said, there are requirements for camping situations, etc. where unmarried couples may not share a tent, and there are probably other situations that may be similar. Those rules and regs must be followed. There may also be specific guidelines for leadership by your chartering organization, particularly if it's a church. I believe that to be within their jurisdiction. But when we sit back as adult leaders and pass judgement on others based upon our own personal viewpoints, I believe it causes much more harm than good.

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P_Swigs,

 

"By what I see here, some of you as individualspass judgment on the worthiness of each potential new leader"

 

This is one of the jobs of the Troop committee. It's our responsibility to take on this task even if we find it unpleasant. Yes, in part it should be based on the Chartering Organization's position regarding these types of issues. Still, one must look at the standards and values established by BSA, the Troop, and within oneself. BSA indicates that married couples can stay in a tent together, but unmarried couples cannot. This sends a pretty clear message. I'm not particularly fond of passing judgment on anyone's character, especially when I am so familiar with my own flaws. However, these leaders are supposed to be mentors for the boys. If someone is unwilling to make the effort to change unacceptable behavior, then yes, I feel he/she is not qualified to be a leader.

 

"Rooster, please don't start twisting the gay issue into this particular thread."

 

I'm not trying to mix the two issues. My point was thisDo you believe the behavior is wrong? The answer to this question will put you on one side of the argument or the other (just like the gay issue). If one truly believes the behavior is wrong, then one should respond accordingly.

 

"But when we sit back as adult leaders and pass judgment on others based upon our own personal viewpoints, I believe it causes much more harm than good."

 

Then, I must ask, who does make judgments about character? Based on whose viewpoints? We are entrusting our children to the care of adult men and women. Shouldn't we examine the character of those people? Perhaps you're ambivalent, or uncertain about your position concerning this particular issue? Because others and I feel confidently about the wrongness of "living together", does not mean we enjoy pointing it out to the transgressor. On the other, because we are confident in our beliefs, we would be fools or worse if we did not speak up. As to personal standards and values, if the majority of the committee and/or Troop share them, then it's not just one person's viewpoint. There is nothing wrong with debating the issue and determining if the committee is like-minded. I believe it is much more harmful to let your convictions drop to the wayside because you're afraid of offending someone or being labeled ("religious nut", hypocrite, etc.).

 

 

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P_Swigs, if the Scoutmaster was a compulsive liar, would you have a problem with that? Why or why not?

 

I don't see that on the adult application form either, but it would have a significant effect on both his role as an adult leader and on the boys he was trying to lead.

 

Brad

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As adult leaders, we pass judgement all the time! Many rank requirements and merit badge requirements are judgmental. This is part of our job. Another part of our job is to set a good example. We are supposed to be the ones the Scouts look to for guidance. If an unmarried adult leader is living with someone, does this set the right example. I don't believe it does.

 

P.S. Rooster7, it seems your posts are turning up twice!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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Ed,

 

Yes, it does that (double post)...It's a curse that I've been living with at this site. Don't ask me how it happens?!

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Good discussion people! I'll quickly add my 2 cents. This same situation occured in our troop with a 30ish ASM who was also an Eagle scout in the troop. Had the situation not resolved itself (they broke up), I was prepared to recommend that the committee ask him to step down until AFTER the wedding.

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I'm being dragged down a road I don't belong on and some are reading what they want to into my post and not what I actually said and then clarified further.

 

I personally don't approve and don't find the situation appropriate for someone who is supposed to be an example to youth.

 

I also stated quite clearly that I do not make the rules regarding this situation and the BSA only gets involved when the situation occurs on a BSA activity. Will I tear up the application? No.

 

I'm too busy to worry about what the parents are doing when I'm herding the boys.

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I find myself in disagreement with most of the posts on this thread.

I do agree regarding the two unmarried leaders sleeping in the same tent. They should be given the choice, Follow the scouting guidelines or Choose not to attend the events where this issue arrises.

I do not agree regarding the leader who is living unwed with his partner if he keeps the situation private. It sounds like he may not be though since one of the scouts knows about it.

The reason I feel this way is because none of us are perfect models of morality. I personally measure morality by what is in the Bible. In the Bible, it says that living together out of wedlock is wrong. So by doing that, you have an imoral trait. It also says to treat your body as a temple. So someone who smokes or drinks could be considered to have an imoral trait. It says, "Thou shalt not lie." So again, a very large percentage of the population has this imoral trait. It says homosexuality is wrong. Another questionable trait.

My point is that as long as the boys are not exposed to the trait in question, there's nothing wrong with the person being a leader. The person is not being a bad role model if he/she doesn't model the imoral trait.

If they boys don't know, how does it hurt them. If they do find out in a fasion other than the person exhibiting the trait in front of the boys, they learn that their leader has a flaw, as does everyone.

 

In one sentence, We can't (IMO) keep someone from becoming a leader due to an imoral trait because if we did, there would be no one left to lead.

 

I know that many of you disagree with my opinion on this, and I respect that. This is not an attack on anyone, just my two cents.

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