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tjhammer

Scouting's Real Gay Policy

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Merlyn and Paddlesack,

 

Please enlighten us. You present arguments that are very much founded on your personal world view, yet you criticize other people for doing the same. So, you seem to think science is on your side. That's difficult to believe, since rather than stating this factual argument (that apparently in your view falls within the realm of "basic biology"), you opt out by inferring I'm too ignorant or bigoted to understand it. It doesn't sound like you have the facts on your side. You're right about one thing, even if you could prove it as genetic (and I stand unconvinced of that), I would still view homosexuality unfavorably - along the same lines as alcoholism and other diseases. But the question is not, What would Rooster7 think if it could be proven to be genetically inherited? The question is, Why is the homosexual population not dwindling? My basic biology class tells me it should be. Some might argue that it's thriving, not dewindling. Could it simply be, as society embraces homosexuality as a legitimate orientation, others are allowing themselves to sink into that depraved world?

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"I wonder, regardless if homosexuality is learned or if it is not learned, does it really matter to any of us (outside of academic curiousity?)"

This was my basic question. Rooster (or should I call you Lysenko?), did you think it was aimed at you alone? Especially that 'any of us' part? I really thought I had included myself there.

 

I don't agree that homosexuality is a disease. You have your opinion, I obviously think in different terms. But your application of the term 'disease' is interesting, what are the other ones to which you refer?

 

I have seen the tragic results of genetic diseases and I have a strong emotional response. It is one reason I have avoided the subject in my studies.

But using your disease analogy, I observe that really simple, fatal genetic diseases involving only one allele have continued through history. Hemophilia is the classic example. Two types occur but the simple story is that the trait is carried on the X chromosome. Until recent history, females homozygous for the trait never survived past puberty (can you figure out why?). But they were carriers as well (just ask the Romanovs). Males (with only one X) with the disease were more common. They rarely survived to reproduction. There is still no cure and about 1/3 of children born with this are born into families with no history of the disease, the result of constant mutation in a large population. It has continued like this through history.

More extreme examples include such diseases as Tay-Sachs in which children rarely survive 5 years. Absolutely no reproduction yet the disease continues. And this is the simple stuff.

 

Our understanding of the genetic basis of behavior is still in infancy yet we're fairly sure there is a genetic basis for at least some of it. To make the leap between the two extremes of the simple and the complex takes us through the realm of traits depending on multiple alleles (think eye color) and then to the complex mechanisms controlling the expression of certain genes only under certain conditions. This includes but is not limited to multifactorial genetics (think susceptibility to diabetes or cancer, for example).

 

And it doesn't have to be heritable in the sense of traits like the ability to roll one's tongue. Non-disjunction during meiosis has produced a continual supply of persons afflicted with trisomy of a number of chromosomes including the famous #21. These individuals rarely if ever mated and yet the probability of non-disjunction continues to this day. Its probability is well-known and tends to increase with age of the female. But (as they say on TV) there's more. A small percentage of the trisomy 21 cases are the result of a type of translocation (exchanging with a portion of #14). In these cases the syndrome IS potentially inherited. In addition, there are really interesting conditions of 'mosaicism' in which there is a mixture of cell lines. Some cells are normal and some exhibit trisomy. Or certain tissues are normal and others exhibit trisomy.

 

Fragile X is another example of an inherited disorder that, back in history, probably didn't allow significant reproductive success. It is today the most common inherited cause of mental retardation and it is more common in males than females (who having two Xs have a better chance of possessing a compensatory good gene). Methylation of the CpG island of the FMR1 gene turns it off thus not allowing it to code for the protein FMRP if needed. Then lack of the protein causes the syndrome. This is just another example of a mutation that recurs through time. I know scouts with this syndrome, really nice kids.

 

Your argument was that if homosexuality is genetic then it should not persist in the population. I have given you several examples of known genetic disorders that limit reproduction in varying degrees. And these persist in the population.

You seem to protest that I have underestimated your understanding of genetics. I think not.

I said there isn't enough space in this forum to bring persons up to date and there just isn't. However, I applaud your invocation of the natural selective process. Evolutionary forces do work in the manner that you suggest and also in those much more complicated ways as supported by modern genetics.

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Packsaddle, not sure what all that meant. Whatever it was, it certainly didnt appear to unequivocally prove anything. At least not from the short time weve been around on this earth studying that stuff. And unless youve taken a ride on General Clarks time machine, you certainly cant know the future of diseases you mention. (Note: the reference to General Clarks time machine was meant as a humorous comment and not meant to detract from my previous statement(s); please also note that if this note detracts from my previous statement(s) disregard it as well.)

 

From genes to hormone levels in the womb, to brain structure, there seems to be no end to what the media will spew out in propaganda in order to promote the gay agenda. Alone, much of the so-called studies dont amount to much, but over time the large volume of misinformation takes its toll. It amazes me how much stuff gets printed and aired with regard to junk science aka selective data collection and analysis. The fact of the matter is that most studies disprove homosexuality being genetic, but we dont hear much about that do we? We only hear of things that might show a link, but many times later is found to be wrong or simply nonreplicable.

 

Id just like to point out that genes alone certainly do not make us behave in certain ways. They may create a tendency, but definitely do not mandate certain actions. Further, according to the 1997 Hershberger study of identical twins, based on the Minnesota Registry, where one twin was homosexual, less than half of the identical twins were found to be homosexual. An Australian study by Bailey, Martin et al, at the University of Queensland found homosexual congruence in identical twins to be only 38%. I hope we can all agree that identical twins have identical genes. If homosexuality is biological, this number should be 100%, no? Now I realize these arent lizards, apes, or algae, but certainly a study of actual humans should have some bearing.

 

cjmiam

 

 

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Rooster's argument was that if homosexuality is genetic then it should not persist in the population. I merely identified several examples of known genetic disorders that have little or no reproduction and yet persist in the population. The intent was to demonstrate the fallacy of the fundamental argument that failure to reproduce removes certain traits from the population. Failure to reproduce does remove the traits of the non-reproducing individuals but it doesn't necessarily eliminate those traits from the population.

As I have noted before, absolute proof of things outside mathematics is exceedingly difficult. To ask or demand such is rather pointless especially when discussing topics still under investigation.

Your comment about the twin studies is one that I answered, as I remember, for ScoutParent long ago. To expect 100% congruence for a characteristic that, if genetic, is likely to be controlled by complex mechanisms, is unrealistic. If an identical study was performed examining the tendency of twins to acquire diabetes or colon cancer (both implicated as having genetic components), you also would not have 100% congruence. The power of the study, however, would be to compare the measured congruence with the 'background' in the population. If the measured congruence is significantly greater than the occurrence in the population, then a genetic connection is suspected. It isn't proof. Actual genes haven't been identified or sequenced. Their mechanisms producing the traits of interest haven't been found. It is merely reason to investigate further. Your argument would carry more weight if the congruence between twins was no different from the congruence between any two random groups of individuals in the population. THAT would be reason to abandon the line of investigation until a better idea presented itself.

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I dont recall my biology teacher having a real tough time explaining why I have blue eyes. Looks to me like homosexuality, as you point out is more like a disease such as cancer. Lets not make things complicated here. Your reference to complex mechanisms doesnt explain much of anything. Again, Id call this selective research. When the data doesnt help your theory, attribute it to being just too difficult for us to understand. If sexual orientation is genetic, then both identical twins will always be either heterosexual or homosexual, because they have an identical set of genes. Theres nothing complex about it.

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My hat's off to the teacher that explained inheritance involving three alleles to you. My communication skills are clearly not up to it. My original point was that the question of a genetic basis may not be important for some persons. They may continue to believe what they choose regardless of the answer. I am one of them. Rooster, I think, agreed also.

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I understand your point, but if misinformation was used to gain peoples hearts and minds, one has to wonder how many might change their opinion. Or if the misinformation wasnt disseminated in the first place, one has to wonder how many would currently be supportive of homosexuality.

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Ironically, war seldom occurs without religion. History is filled with accounts of gentle people being attacked and oppressed by the self-righteous. This was something Jesus combated over and over in the Gospels and pathetically it not only continues to this day but also often prevails in His name.

 

I guess we cant have it both ways. Science must always be grounded in reason - although imagination and conjecture are helpful in the extension of its borders. And, religion is forever dependent on faith with reason acting as a stabilizing influence. There have always been, and always will be, misleading interpretations of the phenomena of both the natural and spiritual worlds. Neither will ever prove the other they cant.

 

In that realm, I offered my personal experience as an example of why I find the BSAs policy confusing and how I could imagine how confusing it could be to a young Scout coming of age and realizing he is Gay. I appreciate individual beliefs but in my own experience of walking among the straight, I realized just how misinformed people can be and how quickly they accept it as truth.

 

Its hard to say that research is leaning toward homosexuality as a learned behavior. Most Gays have straight parents and most children of Gay parents are straight. What about twins? Supposedly twins would be raised side-by-side why wouldnt they both be Gay or Straight if it was taught or nurtured? What is so alluring about homosexuality that people would decide to be Gay? Is it the comfort of civil privilege oh, wait, they strip that away when you Come Out. Even straight supporters of Gay rights dont become Gay.

 

If the argument is God says its wrong why have we dismissed the other things God said that are written along side His condemnation? Keep it in context. It was a health code written to protect a primitive nomadic people from extinction? As previously mentioned on the list we are closer to overpopulation than extinction.

 

When we discuss what is natural homosexuality is as natural as it gets for me. Ive never experienced a heterosexual desire or fantasy. My body, mind and soul work naturally with my partner. When I went against my nature, my body grew weak, my mind suffered a nervous breakdown and my soul longed for honesty. This is what is natural for me. I am not promoting it to you. I pray my kids will be happy and healthy and most of all, I hope they enjoy the benefits of marriage and the wealth of raising children but, if they are Gay I want them to know that I will celebrate their life all the same.

 

Misinformation You owe it to yourself to know what you are reading. If you have access to the web, research the background studies referenced in the research find out whats missing. What is the margin of error? How did they collect the participants? Ask the questions that come to mind. Like the findings they used to create a fear that homosexuals were more likely to be pedophiles, the part they leave out is that all the participants were convicted pedophiles. The research is about pedophiles not homosexuals. Know the research if you are going to use it.

 

What about the benefits? There seems to be a hybrid of thought in Gay men that bridges male and female. Think of the vast amount of creative contribution Gay people have made in all areas of life but especially in the arts. Would the world really be a more beautiful place if there were no more homosexuals?

 

I live in a relatively small rural population with no Gay culture and yet, we have a significant number of same-sex couples that have been together longer than most marriages. It is also quite obvious that they are civic, social and economic contributors giving freely of their time, ideas and money.

 

My whole point of saying anything was to point out that you must reconsider the use of broad-based discrimination especially with existing Scouts. These are good men who happen to be Gay.

 

Phil

 

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I thought the BSA policy was that homosexuals could not serve in leadership positions. When did they add that homosexuals could not be members?

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"Packsaddle, not sure what all that meant. Whatever it was, it certainly didnt appear to unequivocally prove anything."

and

"I understand your point, but if misinformation was used to gain peoples hearts and minds, one has to wonder how many might change their opinion. Or if the misinformation wasnt disseminated in the first place, one has to wonder how many would currently be supportive of homosexuality."

 

I DID understand packsaddle. And if I understand the comments above, aren't they tantamount to saying that one doesn't understand something, it's gotta be wrong? Or at kindest, if one doesn't understand, it MUST be misinformation?

 

I'm not trting to step on toes, but that's really what seems to have been said...?

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As I have not read all 13 pages of posts yet (still working on it), forgive me if I am about to make a redundant response.

 

In response to the posting by DedicatedDad, RE: Scouting's Real Gay Policy Posted: Monday, February 11, 2002: 4:10:33 PM:

 

"Of course morality is linked to religious principle... not any one specific religion, but a teaching that there is a higher power outside ones self, represented in many forms.

 

No, you got it backwards, religious principle is linked to morality. Morality existed before there was religion. When man first walked upright and became endowed with reason, morality existed. Lying, stealing, murder, etc was immoral before any religion ever existed or any law ever written. If morality is only linked to religious principle, then human sacrifice was once moral."

 

and

 

...Bring it on, I love history my good professor...

 

Recall that human sacrifice was a vital part of Aztec religious ritual.

 

In our predominantly Judeo-Christian society, morality is not even something we can all agree upon. Religious denominations espouse differing moral behaviors. The issue of divorce is but one example. Are Protestants less moral than Roman Catholics, because divorce is allowed in most Protestant faiths? (Please, no extraneous threads about the current sex abuse scandal...it's separate issue.) Certainly not. One thing is certain, though...a discussion of morality cannot be held exclusive to the religious views of those who hold particular moral beliefs.

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I am not completely sure that cjmiam gets the point of this whole debate. He continually suggests that "if it's so meaningful to you, I see no reason why you can't go start the Gay Scouts of America. You could do everything that we do, but allow people to be gay while doing it."

 

The debate can be summarized by two opposing viewpoints: 1.) The BSA is a private organization with autonomy to decide for what it stands and whom may join; and 2.) The BSA is a wonderfully beneficial organization and should not exclude any boys for any reason.

 

Suggesting the someone go start "the Gay Scouts of America" would not solve the situation, because the debate centers on EXCLUSION. Forming a second exclusionary organization would not make sense.

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I agree 100% with OldGreyEagle's post of RE: Scouting's Real Gay Policy Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2002: 10:48:24 PM:

 

"...sexuality is something best left out of scouting and in the scout's family or church whenever possible."

 

A boy's sexuality, regardless of gay or straight, should be kept completely out of the BSA. The family home is the proper forum for the discussion of human sexuality between a boy and his parents.

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I joined the BSA for what it stood for and continues to stand for including strong traditional family values. I dont want the organization changed. Some would like it to change to fit their needs. Again, what if unhelpful people want to join? What if untrustworthy people want to join? What if You can call it exclusionary, prejudicial, closed-minded, or whatever you like. The facts remain the same. The BSA is a private organization that has established rules for membership. Many members join the organization explicitly for the fundamentals it teaches.

 

You state, The BSA is a wonderfully beneficial organization and should not exclude any boys for any reason. I agree that it is a wonderful organization, however, it must be able to exclude boys. For instance I will not allow kids that vandalize property to be members of my troop. That is my right as a Scoutmaster. They have chosen to not live by the Scout Oath and Law. Scouting has a reputation of providing the world with strong leaders of high moral integrity. The term Eagle Scout has meaning for a reason. Chipping away at the fundamental principles of Scouting by allowing anyone to be a member lessens the value of membership and diminishes the high respect that the organization has attained. Would it make sense to allow a felon to be a police officer? No, it would diminish the credibility of all police officers. No one has been denied any civil liberties by being denied membership in the BSA. They are free to start their own organization or join one that fits their individual needs and standards.

 

And by the way, what you call starting another exclusionary organization is what many people would call the free enterprise system and competition. It is the reason our country is so great.

 

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Let me clarify my previous comments:

 

My assertion that forming a new group doesn't make sense was because it does not make sense relative to this debate. It is akin to "I don't want you on my team, so why don't you go form your own team...but you still can't play with us."

 

I made no comments of suggestions that anyone should be "chipping away" at the ideals of the BSA.

 

While I was quoted as saying, The BSA is a wonderfully beneficial organization and should not exclude any boys for any reason, if the post from which this quote came is re-read, there is another quote. "The BSA is a private organization with autonomy to decide for what it stands and whom may join." These seem to be the two opposing viewpoints that form the basis of the debate.

 

As other posters have said, there are a lot of opinions and a lot of information being expressed in these 13 (so far) pages in the current thread. The thread seemed to be drifting to off-thread topics, and I was trying to return focus (for myself more than anyone else).

 

"Scouting has a reputation of providing the world with strong leaders of high moral integrity. The term Eagle Scout has meaning for a reason." I agree, as an Eagle Scout.

 

"And by the way, what you call starting another exclusionary organization is what many people would call the free enterprise system and competition. It is the reason our country is so great"

 

Free enterprise is not really applicable, unless we start thinking of the Scouts as a business with the goal of making money off dues, instead of what it really is. There's no reason to go into what it is, because we all know what the BSA is all about.

 

As far as competition is concerned, two similar groups differentiated by a single issue would divide up the resources of supporters, potential charter partners, and (most important of all) boys/potential members. Not an insurmountable task, but yet another issue to overcome.

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