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campcrafter

Friendly & Kind Association

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CalicoPenn wrtoe in the other thread: It seems interesting to me that the BSA tells units on one hand that they can set their own membership requirements (within the rules of the BSA of course) that allows a unit to say no Wiccans, Catholics, Baptists, Jews, etc. allowed , thus preserving the unit's right of free association while at the same time telling units they can't allow athiests or gays in, which seems to me to violate unit's right of free association. This is a wishy-washy and ultimately untenable position to take - my opinion is that if the BSA is going to make the determination of what the rights of free association for the BSA is going to be, they have to do it all the way - to me that means if they tell units that may have no problem with gays or athiests that they can't have them, they have to tell units that may have a problem with (pick your religion here) that they cannot refuse to take them as long as they are allowed in the BSA by the corporation's rules.

Interesting and I feel stupid for not having seen it this way before.

So what you are saying Calico (pardon the redundancy) is I have the right to freely associate with who I want in the BSA as long as they are not on the "rejection list" issued by BSA. And if they are on the list and I wish to freely associate with them by having them join the unit to which I belong, my right of free association is invalidated.

However, if my unit /CO wishes to add to the "rejection list" - it may.

Friendly & Kind, eh?

Who makes these policies? Did the membership at large get to vote? Reminds me of a particular religious denomination to which I also belong.

Working for change beating a dead horse,

cc

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BSA national should get out of the business of deciding which group can be clean and morally straight and which cant. Let the COs do it.

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Camp - that's pretty much the gist of it.

 

A Charter Org can charter a troop and say that its not a place for Catholics but a Charter Org can't charter a troop and say its okay for athiests to join. I just see a double standard.

 

Calico

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Calico,

 

While I personally do not agree with the BSA's position on this matter, I suppose that they might argue they are setting a "floor" or a "base" requirement regarding who may join, and that while additional restrictions may occur at the whim of the CO, those base restrictions cannot be removed.

 

In that regard, if we put it in context of the right of association, the CO may choose to run any youth program it wants, inviting whomever they want to join (or prohibiting whomever they want as well) but if they choose to run the BSA program then they have to live with the BSA guidelines. This isn't a blow to one's right of association then. Again, not that I agree w/ BSA policy here (personally I think it is short sighted, strategically speaking, and misguided, ethically or morally speaking.), I just don't particularly think it works to put it in the context of the free association argument as you've suggested.

 

Lisa'bob

 

 

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Could a CO, within the guidelines of the BSA charter and free association, discriminate by race? I dug up this article from 1974, could this still happen today?

In 1974 the Mormon doctrine of discrimination against blacks brought the Boy Scouts into a serious confrontation with the NAACP. The Boy Scouts of America did not discriminate because of religion or race, but Mormon-sponsored troops did have a policy of discrimination. On July 18, 1974, the Salt Lake Tribune reported: "A 12-year-old boy scout has been denied a senior patrol leadership in his troop because he is black", Don L. Cope, black ombudsman for the state, said Wednesday. Mormon 'troop policy is that in order for a scout to become a patrol leader, he must be a deacon's quorum president in the LDS Church. Since the boy cannot hold the priesthood, he cannot become a patrol leader.' " Shortly before Boy Scout officials were to appear in Federal Court Friday morning on charges of discrimination, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a policy change which will allow black youths to be senior patrol leaders, a position formerly reserved for white LDS youths in troops sponsored by the church. An LDS Church spokesman said Friday under the "guidelines set forth in the statement, a young man other than president of the deacons quorum could (now) become the senior patrol leader if he is better qualified". - (Salt Lake Tribune, August 3, 1974).

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ohadam has the easiest solution, eh?

 

Da whole BSA notion and congressional charter is building character by supporting community organizations in their work with young people.

 

The membership choices should be left where they belong, with the CO. It seems like there would be a lot of work to be done buildin' character and fitness and citizenship among non-religious youth for some service-minded CO out there.

 

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Plus, when the flak for discrimination comes down we can say it wasn't us, because we're for letting people and charter organizations associate with whom they please--it's the American Way, and by the flag and by God, we're the BSA.

 

Plus, kids who are discriminated against by one CO would have a choice of scouting with another CO, which now they don't. Meaning that we'd have a chance to reach and help them, which now we don't, which over the years might prevent, what, a suicide or two, for example?

 

Eh?

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It's my guess that this is exactly what the BSA will eventually do. Obviously, the position of no atheists and gays will become more untenable as time goes on. I would also hope that the number of people who would pull their kids out of scouting because there are gays and atheists in it will drop.

 

Leaving it in the hands of the CO would take the monkey off their back.

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Scouting can't simply let Charter Organizations allow atheists without other alterations to the Scouting program. The declaration of religious principle would need to change. The 12th point of the Scout law would need to be changed or removed. The Cub Scout promise and Boy Scout Oath would need to be reworded.

 

Now, I'm not saying that a major disaster would follow if the above changes were made but Scouting would surely be different.

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Lisa,

 

I'm not yet convinced though you make a good point. Perhaps I'm finding it difficult to accept that gray area where the BSA tells a CO on the one hand that it has the right of free association to determine who can be a member of the CO's chartered unit and on the other hand, tells the CO that it doesn't have a right of free association to accept anyone from the "Three G's". I've always considered rights to be rather absolute - you either have them or you don't. While I can tolerate (barely) the notion that to be a member of the BSA, I may need to subsume some of my rights to their rules (no guns, quartering soldiers in peace time (just seeing if people are paying attention)), I do think that it sends a confusing message that CO's can make free association decisions about some things within the scouts and can't on other things.

 

I'm still convinced that the BSA, if its going to make those baseline decisions about who may or may not be members, should then not turn around and tell individual CO's that they are allowed to exclude additional groups of people. How difficult would it be for the BSA to tell a potential CO that wouldn't charter a unit unless it could exclude Mormons (for example - or blacks, Jews, hispanics, Catholics, ad nauseum)"we're sorry to hear that, we would have liked to award you a charter but unless you can abide by our membership standards, which is inclusive of all people that are not already excluded from membership, we cannot award you a charter" I can't imagine the BSA not saying something similar if a potential CO wanted to ignore G2SS, or wanted to cross off the Declaration of Religious Principles from any adult leader applications it turns in for registration.

 

Calico

 

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acco

The BSA Oath and Law, which is as are each country's oath and lawunique to to this country, have a rich history of nearly one hundred years and I am in no way suggesting they be changed.

But as a point of history B-P did not have Reverent in his original Law and he also made a provision for "non-believers" with the outlander promise

The Outlander Promise

On my honour,

I promise that I will do my best,

To render service to my country;

To help other people,

And to keep the Scout Law.

Baden-Powell wrote this alternative oath called the Outlander Promise for Scouts who could not, for reasons of conscience, recognize a duty to a King, for individuals or members of religions that do not worship a deity, and for members of orthodox religions that do not use the name of God in secular settings.

So I do not see whay BSA could not have an alternative. The argument is of course then it is no longer one program and the public would not know what the person - supposedly - stands for by saying they are a Scout.

Which brings me back to Buddhists - who as I understand it- do not worship a deity. Still confuses me that BSA doesn't have problem with that but does with the UUA.

(Kahuna - with respect - I personally do not have a problem with Buddhists or anyone's belief or unbelief - I am just trying to point out what I see an inconsistancyin BSA)

Also as I understand it, but may be wrong - one of the BSA's objections to the UUA emblem was the use of their pamphlet "When Others Say God" - I have read that pamphlet and think that it should not only be used for the UUA award program but for BSA in general to explain the 12th point

REVERENT - A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

CC

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So, following the logic of free association at the CO level presented here I could start a troop with one or more of the following membership requirements if I chose.

 

satanists

recovering addicts

gays only

girls only (we're a girls only boy scout troop! hoo hah!)

marilyn manson fans only (with special uniform requirements)

whites only

blacks only

vegetarian only

...

 

Now if you tell me that I can't do this I'll just say that you are not sufficiently friendly and kind and I'll sue.

 

Really though - you have to draw a line somewhere. All of you wanting to change things are just drawing the line in a different place.

 

 

 

 

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Actually, yellow_hammer, aren't the only two of those that would NOT be possible now the gays only and girls only?

 

Satanists: If the CO was the Church of Satan (a registered church in the US, btw), couldn't they say, we only want a troop with members of our church?

 

recovering addicts: is there currently anything to prevent Al-Anon from sponsering a troop of recovering addicts?

 

Marilyn Manson fans: if the CO wanted it, would national be able to nix it?

 

Whites only/blacks only: again, if the CO wanted it and was willing to put up with the flak and threat of lawsuits, would national be able to say, "no, you can't"?

 

Vegetarians only: if the CO were a religious organization that allows only vegetarians, couldn't they have a vegetarian only unit?

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marilyn manson fans only (with special uniform requirements)

 

I bet they wouldn't have any problem getting their scouts in uniform.

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Again, BSA is a private organization that legally can set their membership requirements as they see fit. National grants charters to local councils. Local councils grant charters to charter organizations. They are under NO obligation to grant a charter to any group they chose not to. You could take them to court if they refused to grant you a charter, but guess what......you'd lose.

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