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Perry book to tout Scout values

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TJ, apologies if you misinterpreted my intention. The :-) symbol was meant to convey a 'tongue in cheek' comment.


I was merely addressing the overuse of the term 'hate' in general terms. I see it used in many subjects, homosexuality, race, gender, religion, hair color, etc. ( Please note that I did not specify any subject in my original post, though in the context of the article I can see where I should have been more explicit in my statement. )


Your statement about 'implicitly' teaching hate, well shoot, it just doesn't happen. Don't try to tell me that because the BSA has this policy that I teach it or even agree with it. It just never comes up. Based on your logic, I might interpret your own statements as 'hatred' towards me!


I don't care about sexual orientation, I don't care about race, I don't care about hair color... all I care about with regard to my troop is if we are running a good, scout-led program and they ( and we adults ) are having fun.


However, it seems I have lit a small fire here.. kinda knew something like this might happen, but I honestly wanted to focus on the overuse of the term...





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Arguments are always weakened by overstatement. Claims that BSA is "under siege" are pretty overstated, in my opinion, as is the argument that BSA is "hatemongering" by declining to allow gays to join. Of course, most people who make arguments aren't really trying to persuade undecided people--they are trying to stir up people who already agree with them.

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On this Forum, I hope to only give pause to a leader who might not have thought much about this issue, or thinks it doesn't really involve them or their unit.


I'd hope my arguments cause that leader to understand they could have a quietly suffering kid in their midst today, coming to grips with their sexuality, and not concerned with interpreting the nuance of their leader's unintended judgment or implicit endorsement of prejudice against that boy.


What's so sadly ridiculous about some people believing gays have chosen to be gay, is that the vast majority of gay people will tell you they've felt this way from the first moments of their sexuality. This is not a "decision" that a bunch of bad acting twenty-five-year-olds make... it's a realization that begins with young teenagers, and most spend the next decade of their lives quietly fighting, ignoring or denying this fundamental part of their being. You can guess how that alone damages a person... add to it prejudice from the people around them that they respect, and it becomes nearly unbearable for some.


No, I don't expect I'm going to change the hearts and minds of the zealots among us... but I do hope to find a few hearts and minds that are already a little open. And I'd like to cause them to think through their implicit endorsement of the prejudice, and prepare them for the day when this issue does suddenly show up in their unit or family, so they'll be prepared with more than a knee-jerk reaction.







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Where was all the indignation and strong opposition to politicians politicizing the BSA when Gov. Richardson made his comments?


Gov. Richardson would not accept honorary BSA chair if elected




First off, I dont think there is anything inherently bad about an Eagle Scout talking about his views on Scouting or writing a book etc. I have heard many such Eagle Scouts speak Astronauts, Military Officers, Doctors, Business People, Judges(but you think Politicians cant?) As far as Gov. Perry goes, I say let him speak. He is a fellow Eagle Scout, hes earned the right.


Secondly, Governor Perry made his comments on scouting AT a scouting function!! Of course hes going to talk about Scouting!


Thirdly, this entire issue IS political. Keeping politicians out of it wont change that. (Its all over the place from every point of view)









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Regarding: "...the nuance of their leader's unintended judgment or implicit endorsement of prejudice against that boy"


I am not sure what to make of this statement. Does this mean that by the simple act of being a leader in the BSA, that I'm guilty of prejudice against one of my scouts?



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Thanks for the reminder about Richardson, Eric. I'd already forgotten about that...



TJ, I don't think there are too many people left who think being gay is a choice. It isn't.


I'm sure you're a good example of citizenry. Most of the gay and lesbian people I've known over the years are extremely private, and are decent people. And having worked in both fine arts and the travel industry, there are times where I was in the minority as a hetero. I had several roomates in college who were gay, so it's not that big of a deal to me for someone to be gay.


What some people feel is a choice is how you choose to act, and what I personally disagree with is the "in your face" lifestyle some choose to live.


Specifically, I struggle to understand why someone feels it is necessary to show up in thongs, leather, or drag for Gay Pride parades, or to come to Mass wearing rainbow wigs and then expect to receive the Eucharist. At the other side of the spectrum, I have an ethical problem with groups who actively lobby for the elimination of age of consent laws, or who insist on having the religious institution of marriage changed (which is an entirely separate issue from the civil or corporate recognition of marriage). And yes, I also have a problem with those who file lawsuits against private service organizations claiming that they've been damaged because of that group exercising their right to association.


That doesn't mean I hate gays. I means have no respect for those actions. They're mutually exclusive, which is something you and others don't appear to be recognizing on a consistent basis.



We just happened to be at Disneyland during Gay Days last month, and most of the participants in red shirts were more or less blending in and just there for the fun. But there were some fairly borderline offensive slogans on a few of the shirts, and we saw several drag queens literally walking up and down Main Street for the shock effect.


Perhaps you can explain what was accomplished by throwing their sexuality in everyone's face, or why it was necessary to do so in a place where people bring young children. To me it was about as inappropriate as running Viagra commercials on Nickleodean or The Cartoon Network.(This message has been edited by eolesen)

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Yeah, I hear you eolesen... it's funny, when I was 18 or 19, one of my friends (who was a couple of years older than me) announced he was gay. It was a complete and total surprise to me and all of his friends (BTW, he was also a very active Scout/Scouter). At the time, very few people knew I was also gay (this fellow had no idea I was either, despite the fact that we were close friends for years, it just wasn't something that we ever discussed).


I was still struggling with accepting my own sexuality, and was still deluding myself that "it was just a phase" (one that started when I was about 12, and continued well into my mid twenties before I decided the "phase" was probably not passing ;-)).


I remember saying to this friend of mine, when he came out (and without admitting that I, too, was gay... I just couldn't bring myself to announce that)... I told him "listen, it's fine your gay, but just don't be up in people's face about it". Imagine the irony? I haven't seen him for years, but whenever I think about him I regret making that comment.


Fact is, this is a guy who surprised every person in his life when he announced he was gay... he had concealed it so deeply, and struggled with it so personally, that not one other person helped him through the process. And when he finally acknowledged the fact to his closest friends (one of whom was too chicken to even admit back that he knew exactly how this fellow felt), the first thing we said was "OK, but don't buy a billboard to brag about it".


I understand the frustration over the "thong wearing, in your face crowd", and I can tell you I've personally never felt it necessary to demonstrate like that.


But at the same time, I do have some friends (most of them professional, successful people) who do love to join in the parade from time to time, and I think it's fun to watch. I suppose it has a lot to do with the a psyche that was forced to conceal such a basic part of their identity for so long, and the occasional opportunity to proudly declare it must be incredibly cathartic.


And I'll also grant you there are quite a few gay people who take the "dramatic flair" well beyond the occasional parade. Like in all segments of humanity, there are also some pretty damaged, screwed up folks in the gay community. But I wonder how much of that has to do with the damage their psyche suffered through years of shame, silence and judgment from others? In that context, it's pretty easy to understand how a person could wind up pretty banged up, and act out in extraordinary ways.


That being said, this is a generational thing. Kids are coming out at a much younger age today, than even just a decade ago, and they are making it through the process far less damaged. The result is remarkable... a lot of gays in their late teens and early twenties today are just normal, assimilated kids, with social networks that don't even think twice about their sexuality. Many of them look at gay people in their forties that have spent a lifetime acting out to justify their existence, and just can't relate.


As more gay kids come out and are accepted for who they are, there's far less reason for Pride Parades and "in your face" attitudes. In many ways, the "gay culture" is swiftly, definitively disappearing.


Sorry for the long post in response... but the point of my rambling is this: I totally get your point, and have even used the very same words as you... "fine, your gay, just don't shove it in my face". And while I don't own a leather vest or rainbow thong, I can nonetheless see where that culture came from, and don't really judge it too harshly. I can also see how that culture is disappearing, and it starts with kids who no longer feel the need to "be in your face" about who they are.







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Does this mean that by the simple act of being a leader in the BSA, that I'm guilty of prejudice against one of my scouts?


Yes, at least to a degree you and I both are guilty of implicitly endorsing the policy if prejudice. We both might rather focus on great campouts and developing leaders within our unit, and probably do for the most part.


But to the kid who is quietly coming to grips with a part of his being that he's unable to change, do you think he's able to understand the nuanced difference between a BSA national policy you may or may not agree with, one that labels him "incapable of being the best kind of citizen", and what Mr. CA_Scouter really believes about him?


Just as bad, if you and I disagree with the prejudice, by donating our money and time and adding our name to the membership count, we're lumping ourselves under this very public stance that the BSA has taken. Now we may both decide the overwhelming value of Scouting justifies our involvement, but to the young parents of a Cub Scout age boy evaluating the organization from the outside, they identify you and me and the organization as an agent of prejudice. Clearly, smart people will assume not EVERY leader in the organization believes as the national policy states, but since there's no mechanism for you to set yourself apart from the prejudice (no "local option", no tolerance for members who speak out against the policy, etc), how will you get through your implicit endorsement of the prejudice?







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  • 3 weeks later...

tjhammer - I couldn't agree with you more!


Someone told me there was a difference between my compliance with the BSA policy on gays, and my support of the policy.


And I said, as long as I stay in the organization every year, let them take my recharter money, actively recruit, do fundraisers for, represent in public, etc., I am both complying with and supporting their policies, 100% whatever they may be! This includes the policy on Gays!


You just said it so much more eloquently!


With my continued membership in the BSA, I am both complying with and supporting the discrimination against gays within this private organization, whether I agree with the policy on known or avowed homosexuals or not.


Others said they remained members of the BSA because they wanted to effect change from within. This may never happen. So however many years from now someone spends paying their annual dues to the BSA waiting for change to take place, they are most likely still going to be seen as discriminators against gays, for all the time they gave to the BSA.


I believe it's basically guilt by association on this issue....

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Couple of comments. First, TJ mostly knows my views on this so I'll try to offer something new.

I have, in the past, said that I don't 'care' about certain things. This is usually meant in the sense that those things are not part of my decision-making process. But I want TJ to know that, in fact, I DO care about whether or not a person is gay or atheist or of any particular ethnicity, etc. I care because I enjoy being with diverse people and ideas. I enjoy the new thoughts that they bring to my mind and I see the contribution they make and the loss that we all suffer when they are excluded.

I do care about TJ being gay. It is important to me because it is important to TJ.


Now, I tend to agree with TJ's assessment of the topic of prejudice as related to BSA policy. And with regard to Biblical authority, my mind focuses on the second great commandment that begins, "love thy neighbor...". And as BSA excludes boys on this basis, I think of passages from Matthew 25, starting somewhere around verse 30, I think, where Jesus says, "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

These verses resound because they make sense.


Finally, I really don't CARE what the orientation or religious views are for people parading around in thongs. I just want to shake them and ask, "what the 'heck' are you thinking?!"

If a body is beautiful, that thong isn't going to improve things. I mean, OOOOWWWWW! Why bother? If you've got it flaunt it (Thanks Flip Wilson) ;)

For all the rest of us, well, fabric is cheap and thankfully plentiful.



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There is no "hate" involved in opposing open, active homosexuality, anymore than there is hate involved in opposing adultery or premarital sex. For those who accept the argument that the natural law (i.e., the statements about what is best for human flourishing based upon the nature and ends of mankind) or religious directives convincingly show that homosexual activity is contrary to man's good, opposing those acts is a principled, rational, stand. It is in no way to be taken as an excuse for hateful acts towards homosexual persons. In fact, those who hold the traditional view for either philosophical or religious reasons, far from hating anyone, we want to convince people that they would actually be happier if they refrained from such activity.


Not surprisingly, this is all in accord with why the BSA prohibits active open homosexuality.


Nevertheless, whether you agree with this traditional outlook or think it's nuts, you have to be honest and not sling around the accusation of "hate." It's no more hateful to point out the reasons why homosexual conduct is contrary to nature or to Judeo-Christian religious principles than it would be to point out that an adulterer or a fornicator is in violation of the same proscriptions.

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