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fgoodwin

Boy Scouts' values never go out of style

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LisaBob, you misunderstood me. I never said I thought Liberals hated scouts. I said I thought they wouldn't be INTERESTED in scouts since some of the ideals are against what they believe in. There is a difference between hating an organization and disagreeing with it. I felt liberals would not want to be a part of something that they disagreed with. I'm not sure how my statement got twisted around!?

 

Here's an example of disagreeing without hating. When my Jewish friends come to church with me, they do not take communion. It is not because they hate Christianity, it is because they do not believe in it.

 

I hope that clears up my message!

 

I agree with you, LisaBob, politics can be a very heated and divisive thing. Luckily, all my relatives are of the same political persuasion as me, so we have a great time discussing politics at family gatherings. Now religion is a different matter... My mother-in-law prays for me daily because I'm Methodist, and not Catholic. We get along just fine as long as we don't discuss religion!

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I would like to add one more thing - about the Pledge.

 

When you recite it, do you pause after saying "one Nation......Under God.

 

No comma in the actual legal (Congress approved) version. Should be said with one fluid sentence

 

One Nation under God, - all one sentence, no pause

Indivisible,

With liberty and justice for all.

 

Not like we all learned to say and most of us still say it:

 

One Nation,

Under God,

Indivisible,

etc. etc.

 

The Scouters in my District and Council are making an effort (at leader trainings, district and council camporees): if you're going to recite the Pledge (as is written now), at least do it correctly.

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Gee Brent, I didnt think I attacked you, I just answered your post, or at least thats what I thought I did

 

I accept your right to your views and I am not sure where I or anyone else asked you to apologize for your views.

 

I said I was independent and it was fun watching from the sidelines. I meant watching the mud slinging, not issues that I am concerened with.

 

I have stated before that I beleive abortion is murder, You can look it up on this forum. Thats a conservative view. I don't think the world would end if the BSA allowed gay leaders, thats a Liberal View. I don't think Capital Punishment is moral, that would be Liberal, but then again I voted for GW in both elections, that would be conservative. I am for conservation and Leave no trace camping, thats liberal, I dont beleive in welfare, but think "work fare" should be required, thats conservative.

 

Where do I fit in political spectrum? Comfortable in my beliefs.

 

I found this on the web, http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=750

 

I dont know if its an unbiased site, but it says what I thought was true, so at the very least its biased to my thoughts so I'll use it. Accrding to it, 30% of the population identifies themselves republican and 31% democrat, that a dead heat. Oh, and BTW, that means approx 40% of us consider ourselves independents. Democrats and republicans need the independent vote to win elections, wonder if they will start to describe what they each plan to do rather than talk about how lousy the other one is.

 

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Boy Scouts' values never go out of style?

Someone once wrote that we spend our lives at the back of the church, the front of the bus and live in the middle of the road.

But getting back to "Boy Scouts' values never go out of style"

It is nice to see Scouting receiving some good ink.

I have just recently been asked to sit on the board of a foundation. It is new to me. So in an effort not to come off seeming like a complete twit I have been looking at other foundations.

Sadly nearly all the ones I have looked at have wording in the literature that they give grant seekers that would exclude BSA based organizations.

I'm not in any way saying that we need to lower our standards or move full speed ahead to make changes.

I do however think that we need to let the people who are donating money to these foundations that because of the wording Boy Scouts are not receiving any of the available funds.

I spoke with a very wealthy business man, who gives away millions of dollars to different organizations and serves on the foundation based in the county next to the one where I live. He is a very big supporter of Scouting. When I asked him what he felt about the foundation that he donates a considerable amount of money to, sits on the board and doesn't fund any BSA projects. He said that he didn't know that the language was there. He wasn't very happy.

We need to really start making our case and do a better job of telling it like it is.

Eamonn.

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Funscout, I apologize if what I said came across wrong. You're right, it would be incorrect to characterize your post as suggesting that liberals all *hate* scouts.

 

Let me try to re-phrase what I was trying to say. I think it is more accurate to put it this way: while many liberals don't agree with some specific BSA policies, many of us *do* still value the larger ideals and lessons that scouting teaches. This difference gets overlooked a lot of times and many people seem to assume that liberals are all out to get the BSA. Happily, I have noticed that matters of interpretation and emphasis (unlike bedrock ideals) differ from one unit to another. Most of the liberals I know who are involved in scouting belong to units that take a big tent approach and try to keep the overtly political stuff to a minimum, rather than alienating otherwise good volunteers and members.

 

BrentAllen, yes, this is the issues and politics forum. Does that mean we check reasonable discussion at the door? I find some threads here to be quite interesting too. I just personally don't see a need to engage in polemics. I find it makes it difficult to have a serious conversation about the very issues and politics that we're here to discuss. Also it gets quite predictable. Now, others may disagree and if you prefer to let loose, go right ahead, I'm not trying to stop you. I just usually don't respond to that sort of "discussion" because to me, diatribes and rants tend to signal that the people involved aren't interested in having a serious discussion anyway.

 

Lisa'bob

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gwd, that's an interesting point regarding the history of the pledge. Let's add that in the Barnette case it was a religious group (Jehova's Witnesses) who opposed mandatory recitation of pledge in public schools. It is also worth noting that, among those who objected to a mandatory salute (right arm extended, palm upward) to the flag while reciting the pledge (which was required under WV law at the time) were the Boy and Girl Scouts of America, and the Red Cross.

 

After this case, this was pretty much a dead issue (at least, legally speaking) until after 9/11 when several states started trying to pass laws mandating the pledge again. I believe Pennsylvania was one that did this fairly recently.

 

I've lived in other countries where there is no comparable public repetition of loyalty, yet I did not find people in those countries to be less patriotic; they just expressed it differently.

 

I guess my question is: do arguments about how, or if, people recite the pledge further the cause of patriotism? Is this necessarily the best or only way to demonstrate one's loyalty and duty to country? I've seen some groups get so caught up in arguments about how to say the pledge that they seem to lose track of the actual meaning of the words.

 

Lisa'bob

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Lisa'bob, Thank you for your participation in this thread. Your intelligent, cool-headed discussion adds greatly - not just to the conversation, but to all of our efforts to meet your high standard of careful thought and respectful manners.

 

That being said (and heart-felt), I'm not lisa'bob and I tire of the "Issues and Poitics" forum as a place without manners, respect or good thinking. Free speech is a powerful tool, let's not weaken it by overuse of labels and over-generalized, under-thought rhetoric. It's possible to debate, disagree, and even argue, without calling out or insulting those who disagree with us.

 

I think we feed the rhetoric-asauri when we try to create archetypal truths from individual incidents. Singular events (like the 2000 Dem convention speak little as to how "democrats", "liberals", "Californians", "homosexuals", "whites", "blacks", "hispanics", "middle-aged politically connected people" or anyone else feel about Scouts, the Flag, the Convention process, or anything else. On that day, those 50 people felt that way about that moment. That moment speaks even less to the "Quality" of followers of different political agendas.

 

IMHO, we'll be better served when we can stop summing people up with these labels -- conservative, liberal, red, blue, etc. They mean little and are almost ALWAYS used to negatively sum up an individual (or a state) so as to disregard their complicated contextual content as simple, one-dimensional and flawed.

 

A "conservative"?? A "liberal"?? A "red" state?? A "blue" state?? This is dumbing down politics, issues and ideas. If one of our goals is to help young men grow into good citizens then we ought to teach them to fight back against these days of "sound-bite" Truths, and see ideas as more powerful than labels - to see facts as more powerful (and more useful to the general good) than opinions.

 

The fact that 50,000 Ohioans voted Republican probably doesn't give this administration a mandate from God. Yet, when we talk about liberals, conservatives, reds and blues -- then it becomes unfortunately simple ------ I'm right, you're wrong; let's not let ideas and facts get in our way. And, BTW, not only are you wrong, but everyone in my state agrees with me that you're evil because 50 people onced booed the Boy Scouts, and WE KNOW you're just like them!

 

Around here we use the "Issues and Politics" thread to speak freely. That's fine, but we need to stop thinking of "opinions" as "ideas", and over-generalized demagoguery as Truth. Speaking freely has little to do with speaking well. It's possible to argue ideas without lowering our behavior.

 

But that's just my opinion...

 

 

jd

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jd, you're absolutely right about labels and broad caricatures. And I second your acknowledgement of Lisbob. However, I would like to point out that she is a Bob White, and everybody knows that Bob Whites are far more "intelligent and cool-headed" than other critters ...

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Especially in this forum, we should remember that most posts here should be assumed to have a "header" of "this is my opinion". Opinions are fine, and we should welcome them. And to not agree, and say so, is part and parcel of what we do here. But, having a friendly disagreement becomes difficult when preconceived attitudes come into play. Among those are things like "I'm on the religious right, and therefore more moral than you" and "I'm a liberal and therefore more openminded than you", etc. You've got some people out on the extremes of both sides, and those people tend to get a lot of ink. But most people tend to straddle the middle, and have a mixture of views.

 

For example, the fight over abortion rights in the press is dominated by the extreme ends of the spectrum. In reality, tho, do you know anybody who actually likes the idea of abortion? I don't know anyone with that view.

 

Same thing with the fight over gay rights. Extreme views get the press.

 

Here, yes, it's sometimes amusing to see someone go "over the top" in a tirade, but by and large, those posts tend to not move the discussion forward. It's not as if our discussions here are going to lead BSA to change or adhere policy. The best that can come of these discussions, and I think it's a good goal, is to better understand why people feel the way they do. In some cases, that might lead to a meeting of the minds as to what might be a good compromise. Sadly, tho, our country is currently is a "phase" where very few people are willing to compromise on anything. Maybe we can be different.

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Some quotes worth remembering.

 

The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion.

G. K. Chesterton

English author & mystery novelist (1874 - 1936)

 

In a heated argument we are apt to lose sight of the truth.

Publilius Syrus

(~100 BC)

 

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Prairie,

I think the difference between a discussion and an argument is an extra dose of passion. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. (Passion is good!) Remember, a lawyer will present "arguments" to the SCOTUS.

 

But this is just my opinion (see header above).

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Semper: I've been accused of having alter egos on occasion (and usually not in a good way...) but ah, no, I can't lay claim to Bob White-hood. Only bobwhite-hood! - Lisa'bob

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Just a few thoughts, though no one gave me a penny:

 

* What Boy Scout value would liberal's not like? The values are simple and stated quite clearly: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obediant, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent. Reading the explanations beyond the words shows further that these aren't some set-in-stone mandates but that there is room for some interpretation. For instance, not obeying an order from a military superior officer to do a clearly illegal act would still be acceptable under the Boy Scout value of Obediant. Another example, buying a set of kitchen knives that cost $250 or more might on the surface not seem very Thrifty to many people but could be a much more thrifty option than buying a set of $25 knives because the more expensive, well-made set will last a lot longer (maybe a couple of generation's lifetimes) than a cheaper (in price and quality) set.

 

Beyond these values are the policies, and in my opinion, opposing policies is not the same as opposing values. Policies are not the values themselves, policies are peoples manifestations of the values, and those policies could change at some point without changing the values. There are policies against gays, girls and athiests in the BSA - these are the presumed majority's take on how to best ensure the values of the organization. At some time in the future, a different presumed majority may change one or more of those policies and this will be their take on how to best ensure the values of the organization.

 

For me, a prime example of this is the defense of the BSA in the Supreme Court as a "religious organization" - it appears to be the policy of the BSA that it be considered a religious organization. When I was a Scout, the BSA was considered and promoted as a community organization. It is this change in policy (or at the very least, in mindset at the national level) that has resulted in the loss of charters to public schools and governmental organizations - they can clearly support a community organization, it is also clear they cannot support a religious organization.

 

* Just a bit more information on the Pledge of Allegiance - it should be noted that the author of the Pledge, Frances Bellamy, was a Christian Socialist, and a Baptist minister. In many conservative circles, socialists are considered uber-liberals. Bellamy, a Christian minister, never put the words "Under God" in his pledge. It was placed in the Pledge by Congress during the height of the cold war in the 1950's as another way to indicate that "we" (Americans) were different from "them" (Soviets). I suggest that is was a cynical move on Congress' part (if I'm not mistaken, Eisenhower opposed the move) and had nothing to do with God in the first place.

 

* Finally, I find it unconstructive and offensive to pull out the old canards about "family values" and "traditional values" without defining what those terms mean. They are just 2 second sound bites with no real meaning - they just sound good, and what worries me even more is that we have many people in this country, and a so-called free press, who are willing to accept these words from their political and religious leaders without question, without critical thought. I don't take anyone seriously who uses these phrases without telling us just what they mean by them. At one time in this country, it was a "traditional value" that women remain in the home and didn't have their own careers - is this one of those "traditional values" some politicians want to go back to? Could it be those that use the term "traditional values" don't want to define it because they know that if they did, they would never hold office again? How about the old "traditional value" of slavery, of treating African-American's as second class citizens? Do we truly want to go back to those days?

 

Same for "family values". Just what do you mean by this? 2-parent households no matter what? Is it truly a better family value for a women to stay home with a physically abusive spouse, potentially putting her children in harms way, than to get a divorce? Is it a family value to throw a 16-year old child out on the street because he is found to be gay?

 

CalicoPenn

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