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The local option on gay membership in BSA

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I read the original article and the first few posts of this thread a week or so ago. I decided not to follow it becaue I figured it would be the same old arguments rehashed. Then I realized no one was paying much attention to the other threads, and that this one was pushing 150 posts, so I decided to have a second look.


After reading a several pages, I realize my initial assumptions were correct.


Hey Bob! How about a thread on female Venturers joining the OA! ;)



(All intended with tounge planted firmly in cheek. Don't anybody get your shorts all in a wad.)

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I don't tire easily, but I'm tired of this topic.


Can't we get back to the stuff we can change or build upon? I'll do my part. I'm outta this particular thread.


11 pages is enough for me. In the interim, we've been kind of neglecting the people who don't post but look to us who do for information, insight and advice in areas they can use it for the betterment of their programs for youth.


In the words of the old joke, "Break's over. Back on your heads!"


At least for me it is. Following is voluntary.



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It makes you wonder why this is such a widely discussed issue. There's something about it that brings out arguments in people. Maybe because it's an issue that most of us feel strongly about, but we're not willing to compromise. It's too bad that we can't reach some kind of middle-ground. But I think we talk about it because we all know it is a problem that won't go away. BSA's hand will be forced again in the future and we'll all need to stand up and defend what we believe.


I would like to throw one thing on the table before everyone abandons this topic for the next month (at which time it will appear again, as is the cycle). I just want to sum up the position as I see it. Most of us agree with the Supreme Court policy. BSA has the right to choose membership. But we don't agree with the BSA membership policy.


I know that many of you feel that homosexuality is morally wrong. I can't even attempt to influence your morals (I'd lose some respect for you if you abandoned your morals based on any argument I make). I just hope there's a middle ground. I have spoken with many deeply religious people who feel homosexuality is a sin and wrong. They despise it. Yet, they still don't agree with the BSA policy. They feel that a person's sexuality (as long as not a topic of scouting conversation) does not affect the boys in their troops. It doesn't put the boys in harms way and won't influence them and their sexuality (as some people believe homosexuality is like a disease). They choose to leave a person's choice of sexuality between themselves and God. Only there should judgements be made.


This is where I stand on the issue. I can't change how you feel about the morality of homosexuality, but I hope you can see that it does not harm the boys. Anyway, I've said my piece.

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This whole topic realy quite simple.

Drop the memberships of those who are against following the accepted policy. Then appoint new leaders. We (BSA) are a private organization, if those people disagree with policy and there points of concern have been addressed (maybe not to their liking) they have two choices. #1 Follow National Policy, or #2 Leave the BSA and start their own organization.

Knowing that a large majority of Chartering organizations are Conservitive Churches. I can not believe that these Councils have a majority of members supporting these actions. Considering that the United Way is behind a lot of this. It looks like extortion. Our rights are protected by the 1st amendment and reaffirmed by the Supreem Court.

Just remember this, Scoutings Values are NOT for sale!

Now could all you disenters PLEASE go charter a Gay Scouts of America and leave the BSA alone!

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CptRon, I appreciate your zeal, but suggest to you that your proposed solution is misguided.


Let's step back a minute and look at what is going on here. There is a deliberate process being employed by gay rights activists. Individuals working to secure special privelages for gay and lesbians have set their sights on the Boy Scouts of America for a very simple reason; it is a fight they can not lose and the BSA can't possibly win. You gotta give 'em credit for their strategic planning.


My assertion is not that they will inevitably gain membership. That is not their main objective. What they want is media attention enabling them to change public opinion. Their goal extends well beyond the BSA.


Whether they affect change within the BSA or not, they will get headlines. Those headlines are a victory.


The BSA, on the other hand, cannot win. They either fight and get bloodied or capitulate and lose their integrity.


Firing the board and replacing them would virtually guarantee a media circus. No, the right move is to do what was done in Boston and work things out in private as quietly as possible.


I understand the next year's national meeting will be held in Chicago. Hopefully the professionals will be proactive and not get caught flat-footed like this year.


This isn't rocket science. Boston was one of the original nine councils petitioning national for a change of policy with respect to homosexuals. Philadelphia was another. Chicago was a third.

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So people would be able to choose units based on what their policy on this is. As a result, I can't see what the overwhelming reason for the national policy is.


Its interesting that you brought up the example of a church. I say that, because, many churches are having the same problem that the BSA is encountering. To the point, most churches, except perhaps Universalists (and I dont mean that as a slamIt just so happens to be true) have fairly narrow definitions of what it means to be a believer of their faith and subsequently a member of their church. In the last 20 years or so (probably longer), many churches have come under attack from their own members and lay persons. The Pope is criticized by Catholics (mostly in America) for speaking out against abortion. Baptist leaders are under fire for not allowing women in leadership positions. The Presbyterian Church is being denounced for not allowing s to become clergy. The list of religious institutions being besieged by dissenters from within is endless. So, I find your comparison of the BSA to a church to be very fitting. While the BSA is not a church, they do have a set of beliefs that they want all of their members to embrace. Theres a reason for this. Like a church, they want all people, internal and external to the organization, to know what it means when one says he is a member of the BSA. People across the nation, around the world for that matter, know and understand what values the BSA embraces. They know what it means to be an Eagle Scout, or even just a Scout. If local councils or troops are allowed to set their own membership criteria, the BSA would gradually degrade to the point where there would be no universal understanding of the organization and its values.

(This message has been edited by Rooster7)

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