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Lisabob

Just go join Spiral Scouts

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I agree with Lisa that the response, "if you don't like it, you should just leave," is usually a dodge to avoid discussing the issue on the merits. And it's not unusual...I seem to recall being told that if I didn't like the official uniform pants, I should just leave. By the way, did a lot of people quit BSA when it changed its policy on female leadership? And do you think that anybody who disagreed with the old policy should have quit before the policy change? As others have said, it is all about how important the particular issue is to you when put in context of the overall picture of costs and benefits.

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I just visited the Spiral Scout website. It says that it is based on Pagan beliefs. I didn't think that bikers would support any form of Scouting. :-)

 

What are "Pagan beliefs and practices"? According to my dictionary, anyone who isn't a Christian, Jew or Muslim is a pagan. That would include any of the poly-theistic religions like Hindu as well as worshipers of Baal, Zeus, Thor, and wood nymphs. Do you use a narrower definition?

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" But Russian women...I mean they are breathtakingly beautiful."

 

Some but not all. I grew up in a predominately Russian neighborhood and there were some seriously unattractive women/girls. I've found that breathtakingly beautiful women come from Russia, Texas, Georgia (the state), England, Japan, etc..

 

Then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and Desmond Morris says that the fonder you grow of someone, the better looking that they get.

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Spiral Scouts can be an alternative, but it is not the same program as the BSA. I personally don't understand how following the beliefs and practices the USA was founded on is so wrong. I do not discriminate against anyone on thier beliefs, but why am I held to a different standard for mine!

 

Sorry for the rant

YIS

Doug Buth

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I personally don't understand how following the beliefs and practices the USA was founded on is so wrong.

 

The US was founded on religious freedom, while the BSA practices religious discrimination. The BSA is not at all in line with the beliefs and practices the USA was founded on.

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The US was founded on religious freedom, while the BSA practices religious discrimination. The BSA is not at all in line with the beliefs and practices the USA was founded on.

 

And the freedom of not from religion is what makes this a great country! That is why the BSA can have the membership requirements they have!

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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Well, what membership requirements DO they have?

I've looked at www.scouting.org which seems to the the BSA's website.

Where exactly can membership requirements be found if not there?

 

best regards,

Volker

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Obviously, you have to read their press releases or their legal issues website at bsalegal.org. Doesn't every kid's organization in Germany have their own legal issues website to explain their membership requirements that are not on their membership forms? What a country!

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Slouchhat, if you are looking for Spiral Scouts membership requirements, these would NOT be listed on the scouting.org site because that site references only BSA programs. Spiral Scouts is not part of the BSA. (and I don't actually know what membership criteria they might have - good question!).

 

I think part of the frustration voiced by some people in the US context stems from the fact that the BSA has a proprietary charter from the US Congress and consequently, other scouting-type groups have to be careful of not stepping on BSA's monopolistic territory - if that makes any sense (and if I've understood it right, myself). I am under the impression that things operate rather differently in other countries, where perhaps all scouting-related groups work together on a much broader level.

 

 

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@Leroy:

The leading organisations simply put their bylaws and regulations as .pdf on their main website so everybody who is interested can download them and read them page by page to find out what one is entering into. Nobody keeps a separate legal site somewhere which, but please correct me if I have overlooked the obvious link, needs to be separately searched.

 

@Lisabob:

Actually, I was looking for the BSA's membership requirements. On their site is a lot of stuff, but not very well organized. I don't think anybody over here would trust a governmentally co-chartered youth organisation. Since the founders of the United States wanted their citizens to be very wary of the government, I find it hard to believe how such a monopolistic organisation can survive that long.

I never had much use for this "love it or leave it" type of gunboat diplomacy.

 

best regards,

Volker

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Volker, I guess sarcasm doesn't translate well. Yes, the BSA does NOT spell out their membership requirements. There is NOTHING on their membership form that says gays can't join. I've pointed out the same thing -- a membership requirement that is so important to go to court over, and so absolute that BSA national kicks out anyone known to be gay as soon as they are found out, yet they don't put it on their membership form. The religious bit is somewhat better, but if you go strictly by their declaration of religious principle, polytheists can't join, nor can some deists or others who may not ascribe to their god the traits that the BSA does in the DRP.

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That's interesting.

Well, I'm not that well schooled in US National law, but I would be surprised if this kind of practice was legal.

If this is what they do, why don't people leave the organisation en masse whatever their sexual orientation is? I always thought that the USA with their history would not tolerate this kind of discriminatory behaviour? Are these the values people want their children to imbibe?

Well, maybe I've just misunderstood all this.

 

best regards,

Volker

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Gold Winger asks about Pagan beliefs.

 

"Pagan" is a fairly broad term (and how Pagan things drive SpiralScouts is something I'm working on making more clear on the new version of the SpiralScouts website).

 

The slightly less broad view taken by the founders of SpiralScouts would be more accurately labeled as "neo-Pagan" - a wide array of modern interpretations of pre-Christian beliefs, usually polytheistic - either in the sense of many gods, or in the sense of many faces of a single god, or the sense of duo-theistic (e.g., God and Goddess).

 

There is generally (though not always) a sense of the divine in nature, ranging from nature is divine to the gods as natural processes (ie, Poseidon is the God of the Sea, Thor is the God of Thunder, and so on), and other variations on the same theme. A fairly high percentage of neo-Pagans are strongly ecologically minded, feel a strong connection to nature and the outdoors, and so on and so forth.

 

So I'm sure you're thinking, ok, how does that affect SpiralScouts?

 

Well, for starters, the duo-theistic view held by our founders drives the program to be co-ed, and to encourage co-ed leadership (which was initially a hard requirement, but this has been softened somewhat).

 

Badges are grouped into five categories - the five elements (earth, air, water, fire, and spirit) which are a metaphor for how the world works.

 

Because there are so many variations within the neo-Pagan community, local units are encouraged to find ways to work out diversity issues locally - how much or how little religion is involved is up to them, and most cases where there are references to religion, they're in optional activities for badges or other awards.

 

Membership is open to any child with parental permission. Adult membership has the caveat that leaders and some other volunteers must pass background checks.

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Well, I still find it somewhat hard to believe that a private organisation can discriminate as much as it wants. If that's what they supposedly can, they could also exclude Blacks, Hispanics, Indians, etc. That, I find highly strange and, forgive me, not very American.

 

I know that throughout the US a lot of people still never leave their State boundaries, but it should be public knowledge that sexual orientation has nothing to do if you have ever distantly met a homosexual or not and I highly doubt that BSA would be swamped with these if they could join.

How would you know if a guy's straight or gay unless he tells you? We all ashould know by now that the stereotype homosexual with pink spandex t-shirt and womanish type of voice is not representative for this sexual orientation. One would probably not even recognize a homosexual if one bumps into one.

 

If that is really what the BSA is about, it is, as far as I am concerned, a very strange organisation.

Who runs it and who elects these people? What is their religion? Where are they from?

 

Is the membership so simple-minded that it believes in a love it or leave it-attitude?

They came for the gays, but I didn't speak up as I am not gay. They came for the Blacks, but I didn't speak up as I am not Black. They came for the atheists, but I didn't speak up as I am not an atheist. When they came for me there was nobody left to speak up for me...

 

America ain't what it used to be.

 

best regards,

Volker

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