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BPwannabe@137

Homosexuals in Scouting

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Rooster, I understand that you cannot see a moral distinction between committing a violent crime (like murder or rape) and being gay, but a lot of people can. There probably isn't too much point in arguing about it.

 

After all, does the Scout Law say anything about murder? How about rape?

 

Yes, it does. It says something about all acts that harm others (by incorporating the "golden rule," see below), and it also says something about all crimes. It doesn't need to single out murder and rape, which are both crimes and both acts that harm others. (But it does also single out "killing.") Conveniently enough for me, the two sections in which it does all this are consecutive in the Scout Law, so I only had to cut-and-paste once, though the time I saved was then spent in putting some sentences in italics:

 

"A Scout is Kind.

 

A Scout knows there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. Without good reason, he does not harm or kill any living thing.

 

A Scout is Obedient.

 

A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them."

 

Now, Rooster, I know you think that "clean" and "reverent" and "morally straight" prohibit homosexuality just as clearly as "He treats others as he wants to be treated" and "He obeys the laws..." prohibit murder and rape and armed robbery (and for that matter, shoplifting and securities fraud and assault.) As I've said in the past, I do not write my posts in an effort to convince you otherwise. I know that will never happen. I write, in part, so that other people willing to consider both sides of the issues can see them presented, and make up their own minds.

 

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Rooster, I understand that you cannot see a moral distinction between committing a violent crime (like murder or rape) and being gay, but a lot of people can.

 

These sins are different. Yet, all sin separates us from God. And the ability to recognize and refrain from sin separates us from animals.

 

Now, Rooster, I know you think that "clean" and "reverent" and "morally straight" prohibit homosexuality just as clearly as "He treats others as he wants to be treated" and "He obeys the laws..." prohibit murder and rape and armed robbery (and for that matter, shoplifting and securities fraud and assault.)

 

Clearly. So why muddy the waters by falsely accusing me of not being able to make distinctions between acts of violence and acts of sexual perversion and/or lust.

 

I write, in part, so that other people willing to consider both sides of the issues can see them presented, and make up their own minds.

 

As do I.

 

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Rooster says:

 

Yet, all sin separates us from God.

 

First of all, what if I disagree that something is a "sin"? What if 10 percent within the BSA disagree? 20 percent? 50 percent? What if (pick a percentage) of CO's are religious organizations that not only don't believe something is a sin, but believe that excluding people on that basis is a sin? Or at least, wrong? What if some of these religious organizations are so far from believing homosexuality is a sin that they have openly gay clergy? Or perform the equivalent of marriage ceremonies between gay people? Now, of course, Rooster, you think they are wrong. But you and those who think like you are not the entire BSA. At what point does an organization say, you know, there is enough disagreement about this issue within our organization that the principle in question really is no longer a "value" of the organization. It's really a value of some members and some CO's and those CO's can enforce that value, while those with competing values can go with theirs. Just like some believe it is right to have a female Scoutmaster and some believe it is wrong.

 

I don't know what the right percentage or number is, if there is one. Maybe it is more of a sense of a "divided organization." Or maybe when a subsection of the organization as large as a council dissents, it is time to evaluate whether a real disagreement exists, and to my knowledge there are at least nine such councils. However you measure when the "point" has been reached, I think it has been reached with regard to requiring all units to exclude gay leaders.

 

Murder or rape or any other crime do not fall into this category. Whether a Scout should be brave or courteous or clean does not either. There is no room for honest disagreement about these issues. There is room for honest disagreement about whether a gay person, or someone who may have had a drinking problem, or a one-time petty thief, or for that matter a woman, is fit to be a leader. (No offense to female leaders in that last remark, but I think it is safe to say that is the BSA's policy in light of the fact that they permit the largest CO (in terms of numbers of units) to exclude women from leadership positions.)

 

Now, Rooster, I know you think that "clean" and "reverent" and "morally straight" prohibit homosexuality just as clearly as "He treats others as he wants to be treated" and "He obeys the laws..." prohibit murder and rape and armed robbery (and for that matter, shoplifting and securities fraud and assault.)

 

Second of all, the part about what "separates us from God" once again points out that what is really driving the exclusion of gays is religion, not some "universal morality" that can be separated from religion. The BSA says it is non-sectarian, but when it enforces the belief of your religion and violates the beliefs of others, it is being sectarian.

 

So why muddy the waters by falsely accusing me of not being able to make distinctions between acts of violence and acts of sexual perversion and/or lust.

 

Rooster, maybe you should ask yourself that question. When I re-read your post from yesterday at 2:28:18 p.m., the first post in this exchange about "murder," it is really you who accused me of that first, by "supposing" what you "supposed." Everybody can go back and read it and see for themselves.

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Due to a cut-and-pasting error and my computer's inexplicable inability to edit posts in this forum, a paragraph appeared in my last post that should not have been there. It starts "Now, Rooster..." It was in a previous post of mine and was not supposed to be repeated. Everything else was supposed to be there. Or, as my favorite radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh would say, the opinions expressed in this post are absolutely correct.

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Its the insidious nature of over eating and obesity that I loathe. And as one human being speaking to another, I have to assume that you understand this. Food temptation is the only sin, which the Bible exhorts us to fleeto run away. Why? For most, almost everyone, this sin has power that is uncommon and pervasive. People risk losing their health whom they love; because they are drawn like a moth to flame to fulfill their lustful desires to be satisfy their tastebuds. Others, become so twisted in their lust, they are consumed by their own selfish impulses and force themselves to gorge and purge, steal food, over indulge and to covet things that their doctors have expressly forbidden them to have. And still others, due to their lack of discipline to ignore or to resist their unsatiable appetites, relent and become enveloped by even sicker desires to satisfy their flesh. Insidious is almost too subtletoo kind of a word to describe the vile and unrelenting nature of this sin. So yes, I loathe obesity, like I loathe all sins that defile the temple of the soul. Not because the men who embrace this sin are lesser beings than other sinners, but because so many have fallen prey to its lure, and they have become so enamored by its ability to gratify the flesh that they fail to see how wicked they have become.

 

Now, as most can see, the above is my attempt at parody - with a purpose. Rooster, I don't share your beliefs about homosexuality just as you probably don't agree with the above parody. However, can't you see NJ and others point that sin, just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder (or as in my college days beerholder).

 

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Funny, Acco, though I have to say your parody hits a bit too close to home for me. Some of the more colorful imagery does not apply to me, but if overeating is the sin, I have to admit that I have -- what's that you said? "Fallen pray to its lure." Too funny.

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NJ,

 

I don't know why I continue to make attempts to get through to you, but alas, I do.

 

I only referenced murder and rape in my first post to make the point that while the Scout Oath and Law do not specifically condemn those behaviors, one can reason by implication that they do (your subsequent post restated and reinforced this idea). Similarly, one can reasonably deduce that homosexuality contradicts the Scout Oath and Law (again, by all appearances, you comprehended this line of reasoning). Yet, in the very same post, you implied that I correlated the nature of homosexuality with the violent nature of rape and murder. Obviously, by your clear understanding and restatement of my position, you must have known that was not my intent. Thus, in my response to you, I asked, "Why muddy the waters..." I hope that makes sense to you. I don't know how I can make it any clearer.

 

And by the way, numbers will not drive the decisions of an organization such as the BSA that embraces and promotes true values. But if you believe they should, I suggest that you vote for Kerry. He seems to espouse your idea of majority rule when it comes to making tough choices about right and wrong.

 

Acco40,

 

I'm afraid I don't appreciate your humor. I'll just leave it at that.

 

However, can't you see NJ and others point that sin, just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder (or as in my college days beer holder).

 

Interesting concept. Let me know how that one flies in 40 to 50 years. I hope we're in close proximity and enjoying the same comfortable surroundings.(This message has been edited by Rooster7)

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Rooster, are you suggesting that not only homosexuals but those who disagree with you about whether it's a sin or not are bound for Perdition? If so, I really have to wonder how you can tolerate an ecumenical organization like Scouting at all.

 

Let me ask a more pointed question--if you were in charge of BSA, would you allow divorced people who have remarried others to be leaders in Scouting? A literal reading of the Bible will teach that those people are all living in a constant state of adultery. If you wouldn't impose such a rule, would you allow individual COs to impose such a rule? If you would, how would you justify allowing them to do so?

 

I think the more general point here is that the leaders of BSA have the legal right to impose their values on units if they want to, but they sometimes do this and sometimes don't. I guess I just don't understand how they make these decisions. It appears that they sometimes respond to changing views of society (i.e., allowing female leaders, prohibiting race discrimination), and other times they don't.

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I have always felt the reason that the BSA does not want gay leadership is the fear that these young impressionable boys may want to emulate their leaders and follow a similiar lifestyle. While that might be possible the odds are very small at best. Even with that said I agree with the BSA position, if even one boy could be corrupted that is one boy too many. The Catholic Church is now under close scrutiny with priest sex scandals because they did nothing for so many years and now their efforts are too little too late. I hope the BSA remains firm in their position to protect our youth, unpopular as it may be. I do not hate gays, I work with several and for the most part they are decent human beings.

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Rooster, are you suggesting that not only homosexuals but those who disagree with you about whether it's a sin or not are bound for Perdition?

 

No. Im suggesting - one should not champion the philosophy that sin is in the eye of the beholder, and expect redemption from a Holy and Righteous God. As to what God tolerates from those who refuse to yield to His Will and/or who are blinded to the truth, I cannot say. While I can fall victim to a contentious debate, I have no malice against those who disagree with me. I am merely relaying the truths, which I believe the God of Bible has given us through His Word. Its not my teachings that they are refuting.

 

Let me ask a more pointed question--if you were in charge of BSA, would you allow divorced people who have remarried others to be leaders in Scouting? A literal reading of the Bible will teach that those people are all living in a constant state of adultery.

 

First, the Bible teaches that divorce is allowable under certain circumstances. If ones spouse commits adultery, then one may divorce. Also, if you are a believer and your non-believing spouse leaves you, then you are free to remarry. Furthermore, while the Bible has many teachings, all believers are free from the laws judgment through Christs grace. So, not all divorcees are viewed as living in a constant state of adultery.

 

I would not impose such a ban unless certain facts came to light. That is to say, if the person in question was commonly known to be a womanizer or worse, I might consider it. Yet, I would not make a concerted effort to obtain this kind of information. I dont believe its practical or wise for COs to conduct fact finding searches like this for obvious reasons. They become witch-hunts and/or subject to gossip and innuendo. But if I stumbled upon the information I wouldnt ignore blatant cases of unfit character either.

 

If you wouldn't impose such a rule, would you allow individual COs to impose such a rule? If you would, how would you justify allowing them to do so?

 

I believe, COs are allowed to impose such rules. That is, a chartering organization can subtract individuals from their list of candidates based on their own criteria, but they cannot add people to their list of candidates by ignoring or subtracting from the BSA's requirements. For example, they cannot add convicted child molesters and homosexuals to their list of candidates because the BSA rejects those individuals. But they can subtract women from their list of candidates as in the case of the Latter Day Saints. So, if a CO felt that they should reject divorcees, they are within their legal right. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

 

Morally, I may or may not agree with the decision to do so depending on the specifics. Regardless, I dont think there is an effective way to determine the necessary facts, across the board for all current leaders and future candidates, in a practical and/or polite manner. This would be like rejecting ALL liars as candidates. My point being - most everyone has lied at some point in time in their lives, but what are they like today? What were the circumstances? Is it habitual? How can a CO determine whether or not someone is truly trustworthy? As a practical manner, I would rather assume that these individuals have the proper character until it could be revealed otherwise, without conducting an investigation beforehand.

 

Now, the next step in this circular argument is (allow me to save you the time and effort) Why not do the same for homosexuals? Assume they have good character until its proven otherwise. That assumption would be wrong and put the boys at risk. One cannot embrace sexually perverse behavior, and posses a high moral character, simultaneously. They are mutually exclusive.

 

I think the more general point here is that the leaders of BSA have the legal right to impose their values on units if they want to, but they sometimes do this and sometimes don't. I guess I just don't understand how they make these decisions. It appears that they sometimes respond to changing views of society (i.e., allowing female leaders, prohibiting race discrimination), and other times they don't.

 

In regard to race, way before the 60s, the BSA adopted a new policy in response to an intrinsically obvious, moral wrong. While some may criticize them for not standing up even sooner, the BSA should be recognized as being one of the first organizations to cease an immoral practice that was being perpetrated throughout society. Point of fact, the BSA was not responding to a changing society, but was proactively seeking to create a change, based on principle not popularity. The popular thing to do would have been to continue the discrimination. Blacks suffered greatly due to this kind of discrimination merely because of the color of their skin. It should come as no surprise that a character building organization such as the BSA was convicted to change its policy.

 

In regard to women, it is my belief that the BSA did not yield to the politics of the day, but to the realities of the day. That is to say, they were more concerned about filling a numbers void in the adult leadership than they were about deflecting criticism as being chauvinistic. In short, they inadvertently killed two birds with one stone. Personally, in an organization that espouses to make boys into men, I think it makes more sense to have male adult leaders. But I understand the realities confronted by the organization at that time and still today. Furthermore, I appreciate the women who have stepped forward to lead, and especially those whove tried to remain true to the spirit of the program (building good character in boys). Still, given the choice between two equally qualified candidates of the opposite gender - to achieve the goals sent forth by the BSA, including mentorship - Id rather see a man in the position.

 

In regard to homosexuality just as the BSA was a leading light when, in spite of popular opinion and the social pressures of the day, they boldly adopted a new policy and made their organization inclusive to all races I am convinced they are continuing that tradition by not relenting to the fashionable sentiment that accepts homosexuality as normal. In essence, while many on the left are screaming, whatever the freedom of the law permits should be viewed as morally neutral, the BSA is standing steadfast and rejecting this idea. Throughout society, more and more special interests groups are popping up and demanding their rights. In the midst of it, the BSA is once again being a moral leader by refusing to cave into this kind of pressure - even at the risk of losing membership. I applaud them for their perseverance and dedication.

 

To me, they have been quite consistent since their inception. They are driven by morals, not by the changing views of society. If they happen to coincide, so be it, but morality is not a function of popular opinion. Fortunately, the BSA recognizes this. If you want someone to put up a finger and see which way the wind is blowing, then dont join the BSA. Their leadership is committed to something greater moral principles. However, I would recommend that you vote for Kerry hes the perfect leader if you want someone willing to shift directions based upon current trends.(This message has been edited by Rooster7)

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They are driven by morals, not by the "changing views of society". If they happen to coincide, so be it, but morality is not a function of popular opinion. Fortunately, the BSA recognizes this.

Fortunately/unfortunately (thus my confliction), they don't necessarily agree with you. As discussed before, it is about the membership numbers. These rare public remarks were made shortly after the Supreme Court decision, and I suspect that this kind of candor has not been uttered much in public since. Roy Williams, the Chief Scout Executive: The "single most important person" in this controversy is the parent, he said.

 

"They chose Scouting to help their children be better people, and when they start walking away from us, that's the signal to tell us to revisit the issue," he said.

 

"I don't see that on the horizon."So the BSA's policy on this "value" will be revisited if parents start pulling their kids from the organization. And while Roy Williams and others might not "see that on the horizon", it's pretty blind not to understand how differently the younger generation of parents with kids entering Scouting age feel about this issue than Rooster. It's disingenuous to think that all parents in the organization today agree with this "policy", and are "voting" by keeping their kids involved.

 

(This message has been edited by tjhammer)

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This unit has already had families 'walk'. Some left after joining and others declined to join because of the policy. I guess they eventually will NOT be in "close proximity and enjoying the same comfortable surroundings" as Rooster7.

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Packsaddle,

 

You know what's great about sarcasm? It's a quick way of discounting somebody else's thoughts without using much of your own.

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Discrimination based on race,

Discrimination based on gender,

Discrimination based on religious choice,

Discrimination based on sexual orientation,

 

Wouldn't it be more appropriate if we used the same ruler for all our measurements?

 

Sometimes it's accepted as a Local Option,

Sometimes it's accepted as a Moral Value,

Sometimes it's NOT accepted as a Moral Value,

 

Wouldn't it be more appropriate if we used the same ruler for all our measurements?

 

None of these are "legal" in the USA.

 

Wouldn't it be more appropriate if we used the same ruler for all our measurements?

 

Gender Equality is seen as a Moral Value by most of America.

Yet, we allow COs to Local Option.

Religious Equality is seen as a Moral Value by most of America.

Yet, we allow COs to Local Option.

Sexual Orientation Equality is seen as a Moral Value by most of America.

Yet, we allow COs to . . .oooooooooooops! Apparently, This is MY bad. . .

 

Wouldn't it be more appropriate if we used the same ruler for all our measurements?

 

Is there such a thing as mental hazing? Sometimes I feel like a Bobcat being flipped!

 

jd

 

 

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