Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
scoutruud

hypothetical

Recommended Posts

Welcome Scoutruud, I'm pretty new here myself.

 

You are correct that gay and lesbian persons have a terrible life here in the States, in some areas risking being beaten and killed if their preferences are detected. Here the worst insult that can be hurled in junior high (11-14 year olds) is "he's GAY" and if the label is believed to be accurate the unfortunate child may walk alone the rest of his school years (never mind the fact that many kids that age truly don't know yet if they are gay; never mind that something as simple as a speech impediment may falsely label a kid as gay).

 

I'm not real sure why anyone would choose this life voluntarily and so I personally have come to the conclusion that it cannot be voluntary at all. God created them this way, and God doesn't make junk. He has a purpose for all of us, including homosexuals, the mentally and physically retarded, and the intolerant bigots. I don't always get it, or understand what the purpose is, but that's why HE or SHE is GOD and I'm not.

 

This puts me in a minority, I guess, and puts me personally in a uncomfortable bind as a BSA volunteer as I am very aware that I cannot state my personal opinion to Scouts outside of my own son of course. However, on the plus side, no scout has ever asked me about it as it simply isn't a big priority to most of them. They are more interested in knowing how to get their tents up and whether or not we can go to the coast to work on their Fishing badge.

 

My guess is that I have known and liked many gay individuals without realizing it, and the few "out" individuals I've known I've also liked. It's a shame they can't be BSA members, but that is how it is and although I do strongly disagree with the BSA policy on this and would love to see it change, I do think that the BSA has a right to set it.

 

Personally, I find it almost funny that surely Scouters have been known to commit adultery with other Scouters (ok, or at least Scout moms, I know female Scouters are kinda rare), causing divorces and incredible pain to the families involved, but I've never heard of heterosexuals who have done this kind of stuff being tossed out of the BSA. Perhaps it has happened but just never got Supreme Court attention, I don't know.

 

Anyway, I wanted you to know that there are people who support the BSA in most areas, but do NOT support their exclusion of gays. It is a similar situation to that in which I love my husband but abhor his smoking habit - the rest of the man is worth the stench to me....

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

scoutruud;

 

You and I have something in common -- we have both lived in The Netherlands. I found it a wonderful place to live, although I didn't always agree with the politics, or the fact that many Dutch people had a "holier than thou" attitude about the superiority of their society. Using the UN Human Rights Declaration as a benchmark, I'd like to know:

 

- why the Dutch government required my wife, a legal resident of The Netherlands, to present herself annually to the "alien police" for questioning and registration? Couldn't that be considered a violation of Article 5, which prohibits degrading treatment?

 

- why the Dutch government uses expressway photo radar on a nationwide basis, mailing tickets to the owner of the photographed vehicle without regard for who was driving the car and without opportunity to represent oneself? Couldn't that be a violation of Article 11, which assures due process?

 

- why Dutch local government officials repeatedly inspect the contents of the trash cans of residents of foreign citizenship, presumably to ensure we're properly recycling? Couldn't that be a violation of Article 12, which assures individual privacy?

 

- why the Dutch government requires employers to pay higher wages to older workers for the same job, which creates a disincentive for these employers to hire older workers and essentially "traps" older workers at jobs they don't like because they're essentially unemployable if they quit? Couldn't that be a violation of Article 23, guaranteeing equal pay and the right to work?

 

I'm sure the answers are complex and intertwined with Dutch culture and custom. My point is not to counter criticism of my country with criticism of yours, but to point out that such a broad, sweeping declaration such as the UN UDHR is probably best seen as an ideal or a goal that may not be completely attainable, even in as liberal a society as The Netherlands.

 

I live outside the United States now, and while I enjoy the opportunity to sample other cultures, I wouldn't trade being a middle class American for being the king or queen of anything -- even with all our faults and the occasional ham-handedness with which we conduct ourselves.

 

Is your impression of Americans and American thought (not an oxymoron I assure you) based on a visit to our country? If so, where and when? Our regional differences can be as pronounced as those between South Limburg and Friesland...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rooster7 -

 

I read it despite your warning, as I AM usually offended by "conservative" commentary on liberal thinking. (Some of the articles explaining that the public schools are promoting homosexual promiscuity, for instance, I thought were really pretty off-the-wall, exaggerated, and hysterical, as some posts here from other Scouters - without mentioning any names....) However, this particular conservative commentary didn't really offend me at all, and I even found myself agreeing in many ways with it.

 

I guess for me it goes like this: if the Boy Scouts were as careful as the Girl Scouts about establishing and enforcing child safety standards (two-deep leadership, family involvement welcomed), there would simply be no problem with gay scout leaders as pedophiles of either sex would have no chance and know it. The Boy Scouts historically were not that careful and I gather that in times past boys HAVE been molested in Boy Scouting - whether by leaders or older boys.

 

It is always a tragedy when a child is abused and seems far worse when abused in an organization dedicated to child development - whether it's church, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or middle school. Bad things happen to children in all settings, because bad people hang out in a bunch of different places, and it's quite unfortunate. It is incumbent on those of us who feel strongly about this to protect the kids in our care at all times.

 

I don't know what the incidence of problems in Girl Scouting is. I do know this: MY references were checked when I became a GS leader, and are periodically re-checked. I was contacted by a council in another state for a reference on a mom who listed me as a reference after she and her daughter moved. I've now volunteered in two separate BS troops and while I don't know for sure, none of the good friends I've listed as references have told me that they'd been contacted. I don't honestly know if this is an area in which the BSA needs improvement or not but I just mention that it seems from my subjective standpoint as if the girls are a little more careful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I submit that the jury is still out on the Girl Scout policy. Give it a few more years. Hopefully your claim will prove to be true.

 

Regardless, I do not like the Girl Scout policy because it tacitly condones homosexuality. Which in fact, is why BSA has their policy. They believe that a homosexual is not the proper role model for boys.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SagerScout, I've heard some people say Girl Scouts are not AS friendly as BSA about wanting family involvment. Especially at the younger ages. Cub Scouts MUST have a parent on all campouts. Siblings are not only welcomed but encouraged in Cub Scouting. Boy Scouting is different, because it is also teaching independence.

 

I've heard many others also say that Girl Scouts seem to do more thorough background checks than BSA.

 

Can we accurately compare sexual abuse cases between Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts? Aren't most, not all, but most sexual offenders male?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/22/nyregion/22BIG.html (Link requires registration - free)

 

This column in the New York Times, of all places, centers on the Catholic Church's problems with a number of the Church's priests. The article makes a distinction, which the press often does not, between pedophilia and the more common problem of priests involved in sex with teenagers. The column ends with the following:

 

"The issue of gay priests is very sensitive, and not just for the Catholic Church," Dr. Jenkins said. "It bears on controversies like allowing gay men in the Boy Scouts. I'm sure that most gay scoutmasters would be responsible, and I don't know that gay men are any more likely than heterosexual men to have sex with teenagers. But the experience of the Catholic Church suggests there will be problems if you send gay scoutmasters on camping trips with teenage boys."

 

I post this not to say that I have converted from my earlier posted views, which I have not. Sorry Rooster, we still don't agree here. :) But for those of you who may recall my first posts, they centered on an issue of what to do when a troop gets a scout with two moms or dads. I stated that my position would be to look at the motivation of particular adult who may be homosexual. Instead of a blanket denial of participation, I would look at a homosexual adult wanting to be a Scouter in the same way that I would look at any adult - why do they want to be involved? If they have a son in the troop, the motivation seems pretty clear, or at least as clear as any other parent. However, if for example a 23 year old gay man, with no previous scout experience, wanted to be involved, I would wonder why the interest. The same would be true if a 23 year old heterosexual man wanted to sign up as a Girl Scout leader, with no apparent connection to Girl Scouts. And in each case I would understand and expect that parents of the boy or girl scouts would be at least concerned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read the Ann Coulter article, and while Rooster says it is "nicely written" (personally I find very little nice about her writing and tv commentary), it is nevertheless incorrect as far as Scouting is concerned.

 

The article is mainly about the sexual misconduct scandal involving Catholic priests. After introducing that subject, Ms. Coulter says the following:

 

Meanwhile, no spate of sex scandals is engulfing the Boy Scouts of America. Inasmuch as the Boy Scouts were not taking risk-assessment advice from Norman Mineta, they decided to eliminate a whole category of potential problems by refusing to allow gay men to be scout leaders. Perhaps gay scout leaders just really liked camping. But it was also possible that gay men who wanted to lead troops of adolescent boys into the woods were up to no good.

 

In other words, she is saying that the BSA policy against gay leaders is a youth protection device. Because gays are more prone to pedophilia than non-gays, she seems to be saying, the Boy Scouts have reduced the incidences of pedophilia by excluding gays. I don't think the above-quoted passage can be interpreted any other way. Additionally, the first sentence of this passage implies that the BSA is not experiencing a pedophilia scandal because it has banned gays.

 

Now some people may believe what she says, but the BSA does not -- or at least, her statements are contrary to what the BSA has said. The BSA has been very clear on the fact that its anti-gay policy is not based on the need to exclude pedophiles. I looked for some proof of this, and found some. The following is from the Scouting magazine web site (and was apparently published in the March-April 2001 issue which I probably still have around somewhere:

 

FICTION: The Boy Scouts of America has chosen to exclude avowed homosexuals from the ranks of its members and leaders because of a fear of pedophilia.

 

FACT: The BSA does not equate homosexuality with pedophilia, but neither avowed homosexuals nor pedophiles are appropriate role models for Scouting youth.

 

Now, there is a very good reason why the BSA would not want to equate homosexuality with pedophilia -- other than the fact that gays are no more likely to be pedophiles than straights. The reason is that the BSA does not exclude all gays, just those who "avow" their orientation. If it were necessary to exclude gays in order to protect the boys from sexual abuse, as Ann Coulter believes, then the BSA would have to exclude all all gays, and in order to do that they would have to go on a gay hunt to find all the closeted folks in the BSA. The policy is not to do that, and specifically not to ask prospective leaders about their sexual orientation. That part of the BSA policy I agree with. Ann Coulter, however, appears to be unaware of the reasons behind the anti-gay policy and the details of its application.

 

Ann Coulter is also wrong about her comments on "no spate of sex scandals." There was, if not a "spate," then at least a series of sexual abuse cases in the BSA in the 70s and 80s. The BSA's response was not to ban gays -- a "policy" that was not even made public until around 1990. Rather, the BSA's reaction was to adopt its youth protection guidelines: Two deep leadership, no one-on-one, as well as education of youth and adults about the problems of sexual abuse. The BSA has been applauded for its response to this problem, which has largely been successful. Ann Coulter apparently does not know about this, and therefore makes statements that have no basis in reality.

 

I also have to comment on her statement about the efforts of "liberals" at "turning the Boy Scouts into a gay-rights re-education camp." How about, turning the Boy Scouts into a place that doesn't disciminate against gays? Her statement basically says that it is natural and proper to deny gays equal rights, not surprising coming from her, and it isn't surprising that Rooster agrees. But you shouldn't be too surprised that a lot of us don't quite see it that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rooster wrote:

 

 

I didn't think I had actually claimed anything, but I agree totally with your sentiment that I hope that the Girl Scout policy is protective of the girls!

 

>

 

If "tacitly condones" means the same thing as "considers it irrelevant" I guess you are right. However, if you look at it in another light you might like it better: The Official Girl Scout position is that education on these and other sensitive topics including religion is best left in the hands of the PARENTS so that the FAMILY may communicate their own FAMILY VALUES to their own child. What a concept! I get to teach MY OWN CHILD what I BELIEVE! And you can do the same! How radical! (Now that one of my children is a homeschooler I have begun to question the force-feeding in public school of the public school curriculum as well, but that is a whole other thread.)

 

As a GS leader, anytime we are going to do any program regarding one of the sensitive issues - "growing up female," drug and alcohol use, child abuse and child safety, anything that might be remotely controversial, we get written permission from the parents after allowing them to review the materials or activities to be used. This is expressly to retain the parental prerogative to educate their own children as they see fit on these matters.

 

Some troops - including mine - do skip some of these issues when we know that there are individuals in our troop that might be made uncomfortable. For instance, one of my troop members is currently in a group home and soon to enter foster care due to allegations of sexual abuse by her father ... she does not really want to discuss her situation with the troop as it is uncomfortable for her ... and so this seemed like it was just NOT a good time to go over child abuse situations with the whole troop. So we did a drug abuse prevention unit instead. Am I worried that the rest of the girls have missed something vital? Well, yes, a little, but there are only so many hours in a troop year and as I have said elsewhere, we really do have other things to do anyway.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You wrote:

 

,,SagerScout, I've heard some people say Girl Scouts are not AS friendly as BSA about wanting family involvment. Especially at the younger ages. Cub Scouts MUST have a parent on all campouts. Siblings are not only welcomed but encouraged in Cub Scouting. Boy Scouting is different, because it is also teaching independence. >>

 

I've heard this too, and all I can figure is that it must be a localized situation. OK, yes, we do take Brownie scouts camping without parents where the boy's MUST have a parent along. But most Brownie troops in my area "camp" in comfy cabins at our local program site, not quite as scary as tents in Yellowstone or where ever! Also much easier from a leader standpoint (no tents to pitch or strike). If you're anywhere in central texas and want to volunteer with a GS troop, hey, I'm here for you!

 

With very young girls, I know that some troops have to ask parents to stay home, but I've always had the opposite problem: begging for parents to camp with me. I have pretty good support for other activities but for some odd reason most of the parents in my troop are not keen to spend all weekend with a dozen or so noisy, hyperactive girls. Can't explain it, myself, to me nothing sounds better.

 

Imagine my shock when a parent of a new boy in our troop did not let him stay overnight in an overnight campout in the scoutmaster's backyard because she just didn't know yet if he would be ok. This is a 12 yearold boy, and we had 5 deep leaders all day and 3 all night. Made me feel like a very careless mom, as my kids went on backyard campouts at friend's houses when they were 9 and 10, with only the friend's PARENTS there.

 

In GS I took 10 3rd graders cabin camping in the pouring rain with only a firstaid mom with me. We started out with two more moms but after they saw the dead mouse in the cabin and we killed a black widow spider in the girls cabin the extra moms bailed out on us early Saturday morning. (left their daughters with us so they must have thought we had it under control....) OK, I don't recommend that...having only two leaders meant we ALL went potty at the same time and we ALL did EVERYTHING together, with not a minute of down time for the adults.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NJ,

 

I'm aware of BSA's official stance on this issue. I've seen their fact sheet and the disclaimer. Regardless, I'm pretty convinced that they are killing two birds (improper role model and reducing risk of pedophilia) with one stone. Of course, as always, you're free not to believe it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rooster says:

 

I'm aware of BSA's official stance on this issue. I've seen their fact sheet and the disclaimer. Regardless, I'm pretty convinced that they are killing two birds (improper role model and reducing risk of pedophilia) with one stone.

 

So in other words, you are saying the BSA is lying? That they really do equate homosexuality and pedophilia but are saying the opposite?

 

As for reducing the risk of pedophilia, the "gay exclusion" policy seems a pretty odd way to go about it. To my knowledge, approximately five (5) "avowedly gay" men have been excluded from leadership positions, and that includes the two in the Washington, D.C. area who, if I have my facts correct, applied for leadership positions mainly so that they could challenge the policy in court. Now, just as a reflection of society as a whole, there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of gay leaders who keep quiet about it. The BSA says they will not ask anyone about their orientation. So how are they killing two birds with one stone? Not only are the overwhelming percentage of gays in the BSA "non-avowed," but I find it difficult to believe that a pedophile, knowing that some in our society equate homosexuality with pedophilia, would announce that he was gay. Especially if he planned to become a Scout leader. So it seems to me that the BSA policy excludes those very few gays who are least likely to be pedophiles. And no, I cannot quote any scientific studies on this, it just seems logical.

 

Of course, as always, you're free not to believe it.

 

On this issue, I believe what the BSA says. You, apparently, think they have a hidden agenda.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NJ,

 

I couldn't say one way or the other if they have a hidden agenda. I'm merely stating, from my perspective, the policy achieves two ends. Whether or not BSA planned it that way is not within my powers to discern.

 

As to your claim, "...there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of gay leaders who keep quiet about it."

 

While this claim does support your argument well, it is hardly factual. Indulge me and I will draw some conclusions about society and the gay community using the same kind of "facts". In today's word, it seems to me that "being gay" is to be celebrated. In today's world, where every reality based TV show has at least one gay participant, homosexuals are striving for attention. In today's world, gays equate themselves with black civil rights leaders of the 60's. In today's world, gays parade down the street half dressed. In today's world, gays have their own magazines and newspapers. They even have their own holiday - "Gay Pride Day". In short, homosexuals (as a group) are no longer in the closet. That being said, I find it difficult to believe that "thousands of gay leaders" populate the BSA's ranks unnoticed and unchallenged. This seems logical to me and much more likely. Hardly factual, but it has at least the same amount of merit as your previous statement.

 

As to your claim (or anybody else's, including BSA) that the homosexual is no more likely to become a pedophile than a heterosexual, I submit this FACT for your review:

 

While no more than 2% of male adults are homosexual, some studies indicate that approximately 35% of pedophiles are homosexual. K. Freund et al., Pedophilia and Heterosexuality vs. Homosexuality, Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 10 (Fall 1984): 197. http://www.dadi.org/punfmvlu.htm

 

If the homosexual population is 2% and account for 35% of the molestations they are many times more likely to commit this crime.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rooster writes:

 

"In today's world, gays parade down the street half dressed. In today's world, gays have their own magazines and newspapers. They even have their own holiday - "Gay Pride Day". In short, homosexuals (as a group) are no longer in the closet. That being said, I find it difficult to believe that "thousands of gay leaders" populate the BSA's ranks unnoticed and unchallenged. This seems logical to me and much more likely. Hardly factual, but it has at least the same amount of merit as your previous statement. "

 

A friend of mine who is gay, hates these parades where they go around "half dressed". This is only a small part of the gay community. While the gay lifestyle is more "out of the closet" than ever before, there are still many individuals who are "in the closet". They look and act no different than anyone else in their daily lives. They hold regular jobs, dress the same, live in the same neighborhoods, etc.

 

About the quote of 35% of pedophiles are homesexual, does that mean they have had some time in their life had a homosexual experience or they consider themselves homosexual and are participate in homosexual relationships with other adults?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sctmom,

 

You said -

 

A friend of mine who is gay, hates these parades where they go around "half dressed". This is only a small part of the gay community.

 

Whenever I see one of these events on the news, they sure seem to be out in force. I keep hearing about these "reserved" gays who don't want to be associated with the "on the fringes, outspoken" gays at these events and elsewhere. This "small part of part of the gay community", would they be the same ones that sponsors these parades all over the country? Would they be the same ones disturbing the masses at St. Patrick's in NY? Would they be the same ones posting garbage all over the Internet? This small part of community seems to be everywhere.

 

They look and act no different than anyone else in their daily lives. They hold regular jobs, dress the same, live in the same neighborhoods, etc.

 

Your statements may be true for some, many, or even most of the homosexual community. I don't know. Regardless, these same statements could be applied to many folks who are held captive by a vice (addicted gamblers, adulterers, alcoholics, pedophiles, etc.). People do a very good job of hiding their vices. This is particularly true if/when they realize others would not like what they would see.

 

About the quote of 35% of pedophiles are homosexual, does that mean they have had some time in their life had a homosexual experience or they consider themselves homosexual and are participate in homosexual relationships with other adults.

 

To my knowledge, they are self-professed homosexuals who committed acts of pedophilia.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×