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scoutruud

hypothetical

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This is the most hypothetical discussion

I have ever seen. Gays must have a terrible

live in the states if these are the thoughts

of avarage americans... I think that most

users here are americans?

 

I know that the European Scout Association

resently officially declared that gays

are more then welcome in scouting. It was

as unanimous decision.

 

Where in our scout law does it say: 'thay

shall not be gay?' I never read this. It

is also against the United Nations Human

Rights to descriminate on sexual orientation.

What is happening here???

 

I am not gay, but I have gay friends and

I have never had any kind of problem with

that.

 

I am shocked by these very intollerant

discussion. A scout should be a friend of

all other scouts, black or white, moslim

or Christian, boy or girl, gay or not gay,

clever or not clever, handicapt or not, etc.

That is what I think we should teach our

members.

 

And, if being gay is bad, do we exclude all

members who make a mistake? If so, I can

send all my scouts away today.

 

ScoutRuud

 

 

 

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Intolerance?

 

You're lambasting us for being intolerant....hmm... None of us have said anything truly intolerant. We have not said that we'd do any harm to gays if we met them. We're not saying that we would treat them subhumanly if we met one (indeed, I have a few gay friends as well). However, what we are arguing is that we disapprove of their decision, which is immoral. Intolerance merely means lack of respect for people. We are showing the respect, however, we disagree with what they stand for.

 

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If we're required to be friends to all, I pity society. We couldn't make basic decisions for fear that it might offend someone.

 

A business owner couldn't choose between an engineer that finished at the top of his class and an engineer that barely scraped by for fear of not being entirely friendly. Speak of "intolerance" when your house collapses on you for lack of support, or a bridge falls and kills dozens. It's the same thing.

 

We should respect all, however, that does not imply that we have to agree with all that they do. I said it before, I'll say it again: it's sad that people misconstrue tolerance as letting people do whatever they want. If this idea should ever come to pass, it will be an even sadder day for mankind.

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Welcome Scoutruud,

 

Where are you from? I would guess Europe from your posting, but which country exactly? Or not from Europe possibly. Do you have a co-ed program or boys only? I would ask that you remember the views expressed on these forums may or may not represent the views of all scouters. Whether you are from Europe of America, you should know that of all the rights Americans hold most dear, one is the right to have an opinion and be able to express it. This forum is an expression of that right.

 

If you check my postings you will see that while I do not always approve of the manner of some postings, each person has a right to express themselves however they wish. I may not agree with the context of what they post, but still they have the right to post their opinion.

 

In America thats what freedom means.

 

And if I come off too preachy I am sorry, I do welcome you and just want you to know that this forum is a mix of Americans and others, dedicated to Scouting who dont always agree with each other.(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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I read this:

 

>However, what we are arguing is that we >disapprove of their decision, which is immoral.

Who is 'we' here? The whole amarican scout

organisation? On what basis can an american

organisation exclude gay scouts? Is that

not against the law? It IS agains the Human

Rights!

 

>Intolerance merely means lack of respect for

>people. We are showing the respect, however, we

>disagree with what they stand for.

I think excluding them from your organisation

is a very clear sign of disrespect

 

>If we're required to be friends to all, I pity

>society. We couldn't make basic decisions for

>fear that it might offend someone.

OK, that is a good point. We should always

be respectful, but not always be friends to

all. But that does not have anything to do

with expelling gay people I think.

 

>Where are you from?

I come from Holland, live in Yougoslavia.

 

>Do you have a co-ed program or boys only?

As far as I know are all scout organisations

in Europe co-ed.

 

>Whether you are from Europe of America, you

>should know that of all the rights Americans

>hold most dear, one is the right to have an

>opinion and be able to express it. This forum is

>an expression of that right.

Did I in anyway discus the freedom of expression?

 

>In America thats what freedom means.

I feel that if in America scouts are send outof

the scout movement as soon as the say they are

gay, this clearly limits their freedom of

expression...

 

I even read that there is a rule in america that

as soon as you express that you thin being gay

is not a problem you can be expelled. How does that limit your freedom of expression?

 

>who dont always agree with each other.

if we all agree about everything, live would be boring, wouldn't it?

 

Does amarican scouting accept the universal

declaration of the human rights?

 

ScoutRuud

 

 

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scoutruud

Welcome! I look forward to learning how you all do things. We can always learn something. In my opinion "most americans" do not agree with the posts that you've read. But as OGE stated we hold dear our right to our opinions.

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Scoutruud

Welcome to the forum.

"I feel that if in America scouts are send outof

the scout movement as soon as the say they are

gay, this clearly limits their freedom of

expression...

 

I even read that there is a rule in america that

as soon as you express that you thin being gay

is not a problem you can be expelled. How does that limit your freedom of expression? "

 

I want to submit that the above is not correct, at least in our council. The policy as I know it is that a boy who expresses his sexuality is told to get counciling from parents, clergy etc. We as scouters do not discuss it. If public comments become distracting from the program after warnings action may be taken. To my knowledge no boy has been forced out of scouting anywhere in the US over this issue. Leaders are a different story. Again

Comments in a public forum are not considered proper. However our Council Exec. has told me that if he catched any Adult leader asking someone if they are Gay he will remove that leader. The policy is "Don't ask Don't Tell" It is none of my business what a person is however if that person makes it my busuness then the policy kicks in. I hope I have not confused the issue any further then it is :)

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ScoutRuud,

 

Simply put, the United States of America is not Europe. We're not perfect, but we've done pretty well without much help from our European friends. That's not meant to be an insult. It is fairly accurate. You can turn your nose up at us all you want, but that doesn't make you, Europe, or even the United Nations, right. Time, and God, will tell.

 

Unlike ScouterPaul, I'd like to believe the majority of Americans STILL believe the things that I do (including the opinion that homosexuality is immoral). If you feel we are unenlightened, then I guess we're going to have to live with that thought.

 

By the way, to my knowledge, the United States has not signed the United Nations "law" declaring that sexual orientation (i.e., homosexuality) is a protected human right. If so, please point me to the document.

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Scoutruud,

I'm guessing you meant hypocrytical not hypothetical.

 

I realize that the European programs differ from the U.s program. But, nearly every country that has scouting has program differences from every other. I don't feel it would apprppriate for U.S. scouters to determine what is right or wrong about your country's program.

 

The controling body of volunteers for the Boy Scouts of America (the National Executive Board have identified, through input from other volunteer committes within scouting, beliefs or activities that they feel are not in keeping with the goals and methods of our program. The fact that our programs differ does not make either one right or wrong, merely different.

 

This is an on going debate within the governing bodies of the BSA. Our movement is constantly evaluting how we do what we do. Although it is doubtfull that our stand on homosexuality or athiesm will ever change, we continue to discuss it.

 

Its Trail Day,

 

I think if you talked to your local professional staff you will find you are in error. Youth and adult members who avow to be homosexual or athiest are indeed removed from membership. it is not a local council option. The reason you have never heard of it happening is due to a strict adherence to a policy of confidentiality. This policy is to protect the privacy of the individual and to provide legal protection to the program.

 

You only hear of these situations when the former member (or more likely thewir lawyer) inform the media of their removal.

 

Do we as an organization discriminate? Absolutely. But before you get all fired up, you need to remember that there is 'discrimination' and 'illegal discrimination'. Discrimination is defined as determining the difference between characteristics of good and bad. Someone who can tell good wine from a bad wine has a discriminating taste. In the BSA we discriminate between actions and beliefs which we feel meet the Aims and metods of our program and those that interfere.

 

The Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the determination that private organizations have a right of free assosiation, and that limiting membership by identifying the characteristics and behavior for members in our organization is not a violation of anyone's rights or is it illegal discrimination.

 

The only argument left is "is this a moral desicion". Morality, as we have proven through these many posts, varies by individual. We cannot be all things too all people. Instead, in order to maintain a consistant vision within the program we have chose a particular core set of beliefs. We make no secret of what they are. Individuals who disagree are not required to join. Once a decision is made to join an acceptance of these core values are required, otherwise one must question your reason for joining.

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It is also against the United Nations Human

Rights to descriminate on sexual orientation.

What is happening here??? Ummm what are you talking about?

If the U.N. subcommittee granted NGO status to the Family Research Council and not the International Gay and Lesbian Association (IGLA), how can you say the U.N. supports homosexuality? Further, can you please specifically point out where in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights exists a clause for the behavior of homosexuality?

 

 

http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html

 

 

 

 

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Which has precedence in the U.S. -- the U.S. law and code or the U.N. declarations?

Maybe some of you legal gurus can answer that for me.

 

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I'm no lawyer by any stretch of the imagination, but unless our high school civics teachers lied to us...

 

No foriegn government or organization has the power to make laws that supercede our own, within the boundaries of our own country.

United Nation referendums are simply governments agreeing to agree. They are only binding as long as the individual governments choose to continue to abide by them. But, they do not constitute law within our country until they are made law by local, state or federal government.

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Welcome scoutruud to these discussions. As you can see, we can disagree, often intensely. But I would say that we all love scouting, and work hard to make it a great program for our youth. A characteristic of Americans is to often vigorously disagree amongst ourselves, but defend to all our right to disagree. We take unkindly of others who tell us what we must believe. A common feeling is "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Although attributed to Voltaire (not actually said by him), who was not an American, I believe that it better sums up American philosophy than that of any other country today.

 

Regarding your reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Dedicated Dad kindly linked us to, I confess I have never read it before today, but I am amazed how tolerant and generous it is. I am also amazed at how few countries follow even a few of them, with probably the European nations and America at the top of the list. Your citing of the Declaration however does not help your argument, in that the following is contained therein:

Article 20.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

 

The US Supreme Court, in recognizing our own constitutional right of free association, acknowledged the BSA's right to set its own membership criteria, outside of governmental control. As you can see from these discussions, we in the organization can disagree, but it is for us, not the government or the UN, to settle the issue. I believe that all of us who have posted are in agreement that it is for BSA, not the government, do decide.

 

Again welcome to these discussions. We can learn much from each other and share ideas. However, I have yet to hear of any American scouter tell non-American scouting organizations that they should change their rules to conform to ours. Please do not interpret this to mean that I am saying that we do not want to hear your views, merely that we do not wish to be told how we should behave.

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Sctmom, the issue is controlled by the "Supremacy Clause" of the U.S. Constitution, contained in Article VI:

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

 

Some may read this to the effect that a ratified treaty will override all other law, which could include the US Supreme Court Dale decision, which allows BSA to set its own membership standards. However, this would allow the Congress alone to effectively amend the Constitution, a power which it does not otherwise have without the approval of the states. I did a quick Google search and found the following article posted by Amnesty International USA about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states the following regarding treaties and the Supremacy Clause:

 

Q: Does the Convention threaten our national sovereignty? Will the United Nations control our laws and children?

 

A: No. The Convention contains no controlling language or mandates. Moreover, under the supremacy clause of our Constitution, no treaty can "override" our Constitution. The United States has historically regarded treaties such as this Convention to be non-self-executing, which means the Convention can only be implemented through domestic legislation enacted by Congress or state legislatures, in a manner and time-frame determined by our own legislative process. Moreover, the United States can reject or attach clarifying language to any specific provision of the Convention.

Therefore, neither the United Nations nor the Committee on the Rights of the Child would have dominion, power, or enforcement authority over the United States or its citizens. Ultimately, the Convention obligates the Federal Government to make sure that the provisions of the treaty are fulfilled. http://www.amnesty-usa.org/group/crn/crcfaq.htm

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Welcome scoutruud!

 

It's always refreshing to get another opinion whether we agree or not. After all, isn't that one of the purposes of this forum - to debate issues!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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