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NJCubScouter

OK Bob (subtitled, Bumper Sticker Politics)

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By the 1981 Jamboree ( July 29 - Aug 4 ) Reagan had recovered enough to travel. His first trip after the assassination attempt in March was the Notre Dame commencement in May. His trips in July 1981 included 3 trips to Camp David, Canada and Chicago, as well as a fundraiser in Atlanta on July 30. He went to Camp David from Atlanta, staying until Aug 2.

 

The 2nd polyp surgery was July 13, 1985 - before the Jamboree (July 24 - 30). He hosted a State Dinner July 23, followed by a trip to Camp David.

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Gee Be_Prepared, I guess Ronald Reagan just doesn't like the Boy Scouts. :) Does it really matter that much? Rumsfeld is probably the highest ranking Government official with an Eagle, shouldn't we expect him to show at these things? I think if the President sends someone in his place, that is sufficient.

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As a private organization, why should a sitting President attend a Jamboree? As a private organization, why should the military support it with their resources? As a private organization, why should tax dollars support the Jamboree?

 

The BSA can't have it both ways.

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Bob says:

 

If we were to take a scientific survey of the scouters who want to open the BSA membership to anyone, do you forcast that the political affiliations would be primarily Democrats or Republicans?

 

Actually I think that, because of how you have chosen to phrase the question, you would not get a scientifically significant number of people of either party to survey. I don't know of any Scouters "who want to open the BSA membership to anyone." I personally support making one change in BSA membership policy, others support two changes, and I suppose there are some who still wish to debate the "girls" issue as well.

 

Now, if the survey you took was of Scouters who believe that local units should have the option of accepting a leader who happens to be openly gay, if he or she meets all other requirements for membership and the unit finds him or her to be of good character and can offer something positive to the program, I do believe there would be more Democrats than Republicans in that group (though the independents would probably outnumber the Democrats.) From my perspective, of course, that is a plus for the Democrats.

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Acco, for that matter, why is the President of the U.S. the Honorary President of the BSA, if is a private organization? I think the answer to all of the support and recognition that the BSA (and GSUSA) receive -- presidential attendance at events, honorary office for the President of the U.S., and more tangible favors and benefits that go beyond what other organizations receive -- is that while the BSA is a "private organization," it is a private organization that has a special place in our society. In fact I think the BSA gives something special and unique to society, and society gives back to the BSA. I think that there are some obligations that go along with this relationship, and one of those is that the BSA not arbitrarily exclude people from being involved. And I know this will come as a shock, I think that the exclusion of people on the basis that they are openly gay, is arbitrary and unjustified.

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Where is this list of obligations that you refer to NJ, or did you just arbitrarily determine based on your personal preferences that allowing avowed homosexuals membership should be one of them?(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Bob, my statement is based on my observations and experience. More to the point, do you disagree with my statement? And if so, on what basis?

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acco40, How does the military support BSA? How do tax dollars support the jamboree? This is interesting.

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"As a private organization, why should a sitting President attend a Jamboree?"

 

For the same reason that he goes to MLB or NFL games.

 

"As a private organization, why should the military support it with their resources?"

 

Because BSA is good source of recruits.

 

"As a private organization, why should tax dollars support the Jamboree?"

 

As our district chair pointed out to the State park commission, the value of the volunteer hours that our Scouts put into upkeep of public facilities far exceeds any revenue that they could gain by charging us to use the parks. It's a quid pro quo which is Latin for "you scratch mine and I'll scratch yours.

 

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The question NJ, is what makes your arbitrary decision (based on your opinion, observations and experience) correct, but the BSA's arbitrary decision based on their opinions, observations and decisions incorrect.

 

You have the right to believe in your sphere of influence that your opinion is superior, but that also gives the BSA the right to determine in there sphere of influence that their opinion is superior.

 

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Sorry to resurrect this thread after a whole week, but I've been busy.

 

Bob says to me:

 

The question NJ, is what makes your arbitrary decision (based on your opinion, observations and experience) correct, but the BSA's arbitrary decision based on their opinions, observations and decisions incorrect.

 

You have the right to believe in your sphere of influence that your opinion is superior, but that also gives the BSA the right to determine in there sphere of influence that their opinion is superior.

 

We have had this same basic discussion several times, but since you have introduced a new metaphor, I will respond to the metaphor.

 

First, the phrase "sphere of influence" sounds to me like saying that morality is agreed to by majority vote. I thought we have all agreed that morality by majority is a bad thing. As a matter of fact, I think that for something to be considered immoral, what is required is a social consensus, which is much more than a majority. There is no magic number to determine when a consensus exists, but it is clear that the social consensus that homosexuality is inherently immoral no longer exists. It was merely a social taboo that still exists in some circles, but it is becoming more and more outdated and irrelevant.

 

Second, "sphere of influence" implies that "might makes right." Is that what we want to be teaching the boys? No. To the contrary, the explanation for "A Scout is Obedient" says something along the lines of, when you see something that seems unjust, use peaceful means to try to get it changed. That applies perfectly here. Just because an organization CAN do something does not mean it is the right thing to do.

 

Third, and I think this goes to the heart of our disagreement on this issue, I am part of the sphere. I have my own sphere and am part of other sphere's as well, but Scouting is one of my spheres. I am a tiny insignificant part of the sphere, but the number of people who believe as I do is not insignificant. I think that my opinion will prevail someday; the open issues are whether I will still be alive to see it, and how many states Scouting no longer exists in, by the time this foolishness ends.

 

As to the first paragraph of Bob's quoted above, this is the basic issue, and I have explained and defended my position on it too many times to repeat it. I will just briefly say this. My general attitude in life is that everybody should have the ability to do what they want, unless they have demonstrated that their involvement would be incompatible with what they want to do. Scouting claims to be a diverse, inclusive organization. It actively opposes bigotry -- with one unfortunate exception. That being the case, if someone is going to be excluded from Scouting, there should be a good reason. The only reason for excluding gays from Scouting is that it offends some peoples' religious beliefs. It is no longer an "offense against society" (and I do not mean that in the legal sense) as it once was. It is a contentious issue among people of different religions and even within religions, and in Scouting, one religious vision is carrying the day. That is against the principles of Scouting.

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Hi NJ,

 

If you want to read "sphere of influence" in the way you have, that is up to you, but that is not the way it was meant or applied.

 

Where does the BSA say it is neither predjudiced or bigoted? Before anyone goes ballistic please look up the definition of each and understand that those words do have a LEGAL and positive application.

 

To be bigoted one needs only to hold an unalterable position or opinion. To say "no one who has committed a violent crime against children can hold membership in the BSA' is bigoted. Everyone who wants that to change raise your hand...hmmmm.

 

To say that "I prefer a troop that uses the patrol method over a troop that doesn't use the patrol method" is predjudiced. It is also true. An elementary school PTO that charters a pack only for students at that school is predjudiced. They are also allowed to do that both legally and by the BSA regulations.

 

So the BSA has always been bigoted and predjudiced. As a lawyer you know that to be true and legal.

 

We still have not answered my question. You think the BSA is wrong because you do not like what they think the rules should be. The BSA thinks you are wrong because they don't like the way you want the rules to be. So what is the difference?

 

The difference is that it is not within your responsibility to set the rules of the BSA. As volunteer leaders our job is to deliver the BSA program as designed by the BSA. That is what you promised to do when you signed your application.

 

Just because you are the choir director at the Baptist Church does not give you the authority to set the tenets of the church, and you can't see any song you want just because you like it. Your actions be within the needs and wants of the church. This is not your program, this is the program you agreed to follow and deliver.

 

Bob White

 

 

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NJ,

 

I disagree with many of your premises here, but the one I want to single out is your contention that homosexuality is no longer considered immoral by societal consesus. I can't for the life of me figure out how you feel that is true.

 

In my circle of friends and aquaintances, I know of VERY FEW who accept homosexuality as moral. Many of my friends refuse to watch Will and Grace and other shows that celebrate homosexuality because we feel they promote immoral behavior. Many of my friends feel that it is likely that homosexuals will meet an Angry God at their Judgement Day.

 

I understand that many in your circle of friends and aquaintances feel quite the opposite. And even though I disagree, I respect that. But I TRULY do not believe it is an accurate statement to say that scoiety, as a whole, now accepts homosexuality as moral. Small pockets of our society might have changed, but not so pervasively as to say "societal consensus". Our society's morals can't have changed that quickly in 40 years. If you know of a study that suggests differently, I'd like to review it.

 

I do agree with you though, that if you disagree, you should be doing what you can to change the rule. I don't think you will ever be sucessful, as I think the majority of the main stream America that the BSA represents will never allow it. But I think you have a responsiblity to try to affect the change you think is right. As long as you agree to abide by the rules as they are, or leave, I support your right to make the arguement 100%. Again, I hate the arguement that you make, I think it is dead wrong, but I think you should make it if you believe in it. I'd like to change your mind. I doubt I, or any one, can. You'll never change mine. But I respect you for trying.

 

Mark

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Zahanda,

 

Sorry that I could not reply through the PM system. For some reason, clicking on the link doesn't get me anywhere. Out of respect for the fact that you responded privately, I won't quote you, but I wish you had posted this publicly.

 

Your comment was really my point though. One person thinks the truth is..., the other thinks it's the opposite. One group of people think what is right is ..., the other...

 

I agree with that. It's really the point that I was trying to make. NJ sees from his his perspective that society has accepted homosexuality. My perception is that it has not.

Neither has been proved, as far as I know. but I think it is fair to say that everyone knows that society judged it as immoral 40 years ago. I think until there is proof that our society's values have change so that it REALLY IS accepted, we have to assume it still isn't. But either way, we're still talking about perception.

 

I absolutely did not take your response as an attack. Few people I have encountered on this board have resorted to personal attacks, even when a closely held tenet of their believe system has been attacked. Put it this way: Attack my position all you want. You'll not offend me. But I'll know when I (or anyone) is being attacked personally. Your response wasn't one of those, for sure.

 

I hope I did a fair job protecting the privacy of your message while still responding to you.

 

Mark

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Even if I bought in on NJCubScouter's theory that society now finds homosexual behavior acceptible (which I don't,) it wouldn't make a bit of difference to me.

 

I believe what I believe. You believe what you believe and we both have a right to believe it that I am willing to defend to the nth degree.

 

I still kind of laugh when I recall this story, which I don't think I've told here. If I have, please skip it and accept my apologies.

 

Last fall, under pressure from the United Way, our council was told we have to take "diversity training" from a specific board member of the United Way. We were also told that all agency professionals had to take this training, but they were going to put on the training for the 5 of us as a "pilot."

 

By the 5 of us, I mean, The Scout Executive (male), myself as the Assistant Scout Executive (male), a District Executive (female,) Learning for Life Executive (female,) and another District Executive (male.)

 

It was to be a two-hour training session. The Scout Executive didn't want to have us (or him) go through it, but I persuaded him because there were vague threats about us losing funding if we didn't, plus I don't think it ever really hurts people when they exchange points of view.

 

So the trainer showed up. She explained that she's a lesbian who is concerned because she and her fellow caucasian life partner have adopted two african-american children and those children might be discriminated against because of their lesbian parents ... and might not ever know they're being discriminated against!

 

The entire "diversity" training was about gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender acceptance.

 

The two females were totally and thoroughly disgusted. They sat in stonly silence. The Scout Executive and I asked questions as politely as we could, but we struggled to understand and found we couldn't.

 

The exchange between trainer and trainees was polite, even friendly at times, but it really wasn't going anywhere.

 

When she finished, I said, so what action do you want us to take? What did you expect of this training?

 

She said, "I want you to start changing the BSA."

 

I laughed and said, "The five of us here in this room?"

 

"Yes."

 

I told her that it isn't going to happen because of us and that we were, as a group of 5, in agreement with the policy.

 

The United Way later had another session for all United Way Agencies. Three people showed up.

 

The only thing I'm actually angry about is the United Way calling it diversity training. When the trainer handed out the evaluations, the actual title on the evaluation was "Anti-homophobia Training."

 

Homophobia is generally accepted as fearing homosexuality. I don't fear it, I just don't accept it.

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