Jump to content

Community Day backs away from BSA over its gay policy

Recommended Posts

so it's not just the LDS throwing their weight around where issues of faith and morality are concerned.


eolsen... ever sat in the National Relationships Committee meetings, or spoken to anyone that's aware of this crucible for the policy? The LDS are the only ones that have actually threatened to cancel their charters with the BSA. The LDS were the only ones cited in amicus briefs before the Court threatening to cancel their charters. Sure, some other religious chartering partners would oppose a change in the policy, but none of the rest have threatened to yank their kids from the program (or more importantly, the program from their kids).


This explicit ban on gays joining scouting began to percolate in the mid-80's, coinciding with the LDS's increased influence over the BSA. Since the BSA program (or at least the LDS's modified version of the program) is the defacto youth program for boys in the LDS Church, their membership numbers are significant. But as you correctly point out, their percentage of chartered units is about DOUBLE their percentage of members (and in terms of influence, cash contributions trumps number of chartered units, which trumps number of members).


At one time the United Methodist Men, a group within the UMC (itself deeply divided over the issue of gays and the Church) was on an active campaign to register as many new units as they could, thus increasing their influence at the table and helping to overturn this policy.


BTW, it was also the LDS Church that was staunchly opposed to women serving in adult leadership roles, and helping to drive the BSA's court battles to avoid that. After BSA changed their policy, LDS units enjoyed the "local option" and continued on excluding women from troop leadership positions. That compromise seemed to work out just fine for them, after years of resistance.



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 107
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Absolutely nothing OGE. Re-read and deleted my post. Unfortunately not before you saw it. Must be raining where you are, too.


The "never mind" was from, I believe, RoseannaDanna, immortalized by the very funny Gilda Radner.



Link to post
Share on other sites

TJH, I'm not questioning the LDS's influence. They account for 40% of the units in my district, and 30% of the units in our council.


But while they were public in their stance, I think you're being a bit naive if you think that other CO's (major and minor) aren't standing in lock-step with the LDS regarding this.


The difference is that they haven't been as public about it, so the Mormons get used as a perennial whipping horse.


I'm by no means a fan of how the LDS implements Scouting, but the fact is that the entire nation isn't singing Kum-bay-yah when it comes to the gay agenda. Some 80% of states have either statutory or constitutional amendmendments banning gay marriage. Granted, three or four of those states have pending legislation looking to modify that position, but you can't ignore the fact that it's the will of the voting majority in those states.


There's never been a referendum by unit or district on either of the controversial stances BSA takes (homosexuality and faith) because BSA isn't a democracy, but it wouldn't surprise me to see similarly large percentages in favor of the status quo if you were to have a way of polling adults in Scouting.(This message has been edited by eolesen)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Folks, this isn't about agendas, or majority opinions or traditions. It's about morality.


This is about an entire class of real people, especially young people, who some of you (and collectively all of "us" in BSA) are prejudging. Without knowing a thing about them, without a real understand of what makes them gay, we're labeling them incapable of being good citizens, and unworthy of association. Most of these gay youngsters suffer from the prejudice around them, most make it through, but some don't.


I find it hideously immoral that we're contributing to the prejudice. I find it shameful that we allow prejudice to contribute to the destruction of young people's lives.


Look, I haven't been in this Forum much lately, and usually jump into the discussion after long breaks and exhaustion from trying to use logic to counter passion. And really, part of the reason I stepped away from the debate here months ago, is because I started to realize the debate was already over.


The hearts and minds of people all around the country have opened very wide in just the past decade, and more and more people are realizing the irrationality of prejudice. Those of you reading this post with a knee jerk reaction to deny my claim need not get too worked up about it... day by day, they truth is being revealed, particularly with the young generations, who are becoming parents for the first time, and with kids entering Cub Scout age.


When Roy Williams was Chief Scout, he was quoted in the Rotarian magazine (in a rare slip of the tongue) saying the BSA would have to revisit their policy if a significant number of parents started turning away from BSA's position. More than anything ever argued about this matter, that summed up just how little the BSA's position is really based on "morality".


As I mentioned in another post, it has a lot to do with familiarity, when people realize their sons and daughters, nieces and nephews and the guys next door are gay and "not bad people". And if they have any "agenda", it's simply to be treated equally for what they are... normal people who happen to be gay.


Like most of the population under 35 (and quite a few over), I'm a fan of Jon Stewart's Daily Show... primo political satire (and one of the best ways to kill hours lost in YouTube).


Comedy Central spent the past couple of months yanking all their shows from YouTube, only to recently post the ENTIRE history of the show up on their own site a week ago, going back to 1999. http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/ Great stuff.


In a rare serious interview with Bill Bennett about a year ago, he makes the point of "familiarity" defeating prejudice. Pointing out that Dick Cheney, otherwise the very definition of a social conservative, doesn't oppose gay marriage. Bennett concedes it's probably because his daughter's a lesbian, and Stewart's poignant response: "But isn't every gay person someone's son or daughter?"




Here's the clip if it's not appearing above: http://www.comedycentral.com/motherload/player.jhtml?ml_video=110539&is_large=true


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not about not knowing people - it's about people who have chosen to live an immoral lifestyle. "Tolerating" others does not mean accepting immorality. If you choose to teach your children that there is no absolute morality, that's your decision. I think you're doing them a great disservice, but they're your children.


It's not about "judging them incapable of being good citizens", it's about standing for what is right. If you don't agree with BSA's assessment of what's right in regards to homosexuality, there ARE alternatives. BSA is not for everyone. It's never been intended to be for everyone. It's a private organization for those that agree with its values.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gern, fortunately for me and the majority of the nation, BSA's policy obviously shows they disagree. I doubt very many people believe it's a sin to be blue-eyed.


The point remains that it's a policy here to stay. Those who cannot deal with that ought to put their efforts into youth programs with a different perspective. I know that Big Brothers welcomes homosexuals with open arms. So do the Boys & Girls Clubs. And Spiral Scouts. Why would someone *want* to be in an organization that considers their lifestyle immoral? What GOOD PURPOSE could that individual have? What *motive* might there be?

Link to post
Share on other sites


I believe I read that the UMM actually presented a friends of the court brief on behalf of the Scouts in the Dale case. The United Methodist social action agency, the Board of

Church and Society, urged the Supreme Court to rule against the Boy Scouts.


In the Stroud case, the UMC more precisely defined the church's position on the gay issue, and continued to move in a more conservative direction. When one's religion teaches that homosexuality is immoral, it doesn't matter how familiar you are with the issue - the members of that religion will still see it as immoral. It isn't prejudice, it is religious belief.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...