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A fussing and a fighting.

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The thread "What would have to change if gays were allowed in?" Is getting a little long for me.

In a nut shell here is my take on it.

Kids be they gay, straight , male or female should not be having sex.

Take the sex "Out" and I don't see how we can have homosexual or heterosexual Scouts.


I have mixed feelings about the discrimination the organization that I belong to has in place.

I am a Roman Catholic, I'm not gay. I have been married for 27 years during which time I have been faithful to my wife.

I'm very comfortable in my own sexuality. I'm very comfortable with my wife. I can look at a good looking female and express the fact that she is good looking, I can also look at a good looking handsome male and say that he is a good looking fellow.

Over the years I have worked with a fair number of guy men and I know a few women who, while maybe not "Out" like some of the men are happy with their female partners.

I don't dwell or give any thought what so ever to what other people do in their bedrooms. I don't care or want too care.

More and more of the young adults I talk with don't see being gay or being straight as being any sort of a big deal. They do see discrimination as being a big deal and see it as being wrong. - These young adults are the future leaders of our organization. I'm not sure if they will want to be part of an organization which they see as practicing something they see as being wrong?


Like it or not an organization like the BSA is very much about membership and funding.

Right now as I see it we are between a rock and a hard place.

Both the R/C Church and the LDS Church charter a lot of units and have a lot of their members in our organization.

Upsetting them is not the best idea in the world.

On the other hand many of the companies that might be willing to be seen to donate cash are unwilling to be seen supporting an organization which does discriminate.

If we put the R/C the LDS Churches to one side, there are other organizations and churches that are or seem to be struggling with the gay issue.

What happens when (Or maybe I should say if?) the military stand on gays is changed and the VFW has openly gay members? Will they want to charter a Scouting unit that wouldn't allow them to serve?

The Anglicans and the Methodists seem to taking this gay thing by the horns. Sure right now there seems to be a lot of fussing and fighting but I go back and look to the young people who just don't see any reason for the fuss.

I do think that in time the local option will come about.


Then we are still left with what to do about the agnostics and the atheists?

I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Seems that you just can't win!


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Yes, those religious bodies providing all that money probably will eventually change or turn a bind eye towards what is seen as controversial today on the gay front. Look at the Catholic church and the pill. Obviously against the rules, but also obviously "accepted". It's hard see them saying atheists are OK, but that could also become an area to turn a blind eye, at least on the Scouting front.

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Hilo you are very wrong about the Catholic Church's viewpoint. The new pope is ultra conservative and wants to return the RC church to its elitist and prejudicial pre Vatican 2 status. The pill is not accepted by the clergy and if a girl admits to using any form of birth control they can be excommunicated. So its more of a don't ask don't tell situation, but the Church states very clearly that if birth control is used that person is banned from taking communion under the threat of "eternal damnation".


I also disagree with Eamonn that the RC church will change its views on homosexuality anytime soon. As far as the BSA is concerned if the LDS and RC's and Fundamentalists pull out only a shell of an organization would be left. The reality is the BSA must make a choice as the local option would never wash, sorry Eamonn you are very wrong, because the churches would not stand for it and leave anyway. That is why I personally hate seeing the churches with such power over the BSA, but that is the reality of the situation. I would love to see the BSA have the guts to make a stand on their own without fear of reprisals from various religious groups, but I doubt that will ever happen given the state of things.

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Thanks guys. At least I understand now where many of the principles of BSA come from. As a foreigner, from time to time I've made observations about differences in Scouting practices between our two countries, not realising that there was such a huge elephant in the background.


Another innocent question.... Could Scouting run without the churches?


In the little town where I grew up we had a secular unit (that I was part of) and one created by the Catholic Church. We did a lot more with Scouts from other towns than we did with those local Catholics. Very sad. That was four to five decades ago. In retrospect I see it as very divisive. These days its very hard to find a church based Scouting body in Australia.(This message has been edited by HiLo)

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Someplace along the way, faith became a key tenet for membership in BSA. That's why the Declaration of Religious Principle is now enshrined in the documents of the Corporation that is the BSA National Council.


The VFW and the American Legion have been willing to pick up dropped charters, indeed their National bodies tell the local posts to be Chartered Partners when other folks drop Scouting. That said, they are also strong on the values of America, and that includes faith. BSA opens the door, this support may also evaporate.


Within the National Council, there is a major Committee of Scouting: The Relationships Committee. These are the folks who tend after the Chartered Partners ... the Religious Relationships Committee is a subset of this. Senior level professionals and volunteers work these committees; I've met some of them at PTC.


I'm not smart enough to know which way things will go.

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I would love to see the new BSA without the religious strangle hold, if it ever happens.

John in KC really overly exaggerates when he states the "the DRP is a major tenet for membership in the BSA." It is contained in the application but in reality those units not sponsored by churches, and some that are, it is basically given lip service more than anything else. I think the DRP will be dropped by the BSA long before they allow homosexuals into the organization, but only time will tell. A lot will depend on how much membership decreases or increases over the next decade. Until that decision is made by the National office all discussion is merely speculation and guesswork.

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C'mon folks, we already know that gays and atheists are IN the membership already, just not openly. Think about it...how does anyone really know what is in the mind of another person? We don't. If an idea (atheism) is absolutely undetectable, who are the 'geniuses' who think this absurd DRP is actually enforceable?

What this means is that the whole issue of exclusion is a smoke screen to allow the religious extreme to feel comfortable with an illusion of being free of 'undesirables'.

I agree with eamonn that these things will eventually loosen up. It IS possible that some chartering organizations will choose not to continue as a result...this happens anyway for whatever reason. What also is possible is that the whole legal issue regarding government and religion COULD go away and a huge number of potential new charters could be formed.

Who knows, maybe the 'geniuses' at BSA will even figure this out.

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Two Points


BadenP - you ought to get that apperently raving bigoty of yours under control. "Elitist and prejudicial pre Vatican 2 status"? Ignoring the fact that Vatican II was the biggest FUBAR to hit the Roman Church since Avignon, BSA would only be a shell of itself if RC, LDS, and other Churches who actually have the audacity to insist on morality pulled their sponsorships, so frankly, from a pure business perspective, it would be suicide to do as you seem to wish. Who's gonna sponsor a Troop if not not a Church? The local Public School? I don't know if it's different in other places, but my analysis of the NYC PS system leads me to the conclusion that a significant portion of it could be blamed for society's woes. The theoretical Troop would probably have to share space with the Junior Chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society, all the while having to somehow secure their equipment from the warring Bloods, Crips, and Latin Kings. The Churches, regardless of your opinion of their politics, at least provide reasonably secured facilities.


Eammon - I have to disagree with you about the Anglican taking the bull by the horns on the gay issue. Episcopal Church USA has certainly been wrestling the issue, but that effort has severely fractured them, not to mention the outrage it has caused in the Anglican Communion. The Enlish Church may not object too strenuously, but the Africans are practically having kittens, save a few particular leaders. Having said that, I have to agree with something you said before that; kids should not be having sex, regardless of personal inclination.

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Eagle it is fairly obvious you know NOTHING about Vatican II, you are probably one of the fairly small minority of old fashioned and BIGOTED Catholics living in the glory of the Church of the pre 1950's however Benedict is old and won't last very much longer and when he is gone the post Vatican II church will return and people like you will leave once again.


The intolerance towards any ecumenical dialogue or events by this pope will be the undoing of the RC Church and even more will be driven away until it becomes a small cult of corrupt clergy and ignorant naive laity who truly think they have an exclusive to heaven. That kind of bigotry not seen since the Inquistion will be Benedicts eventual undoing. Avignon, which apparently you never studied, was when the then duly elected French pope who feared for his life by the corrupt Italian cardinals threats against his life set up Avignon as a refuge of peace to run the RC Church outside the internal corruption Of the Vatican Italian cardinals.


Brooklyn you ought to learn more about a topic before you totally misinterpret and twist it around to fit your ludicrous argument. You truly understand little about the history of your own religion and show your own intolerance and prejudice in your argument. The rest of your speech about gangs, etc is even more dribble than your understanding of your faith, lol.



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HiLo, the Boy Scouts of America issues charters for individual units (troops, packs, crews) to Chartered Organizations. To my knowledge, every unit is "owned" by a Chartered Organization. Scouting organizations in other countries (such as Australia) may be set up differently. But the charter system has been in effect in the BSA from the beginning, to my knowledge. (Now, if you want to know why it was set up that way, I could speculate, but I don't know for sure. It is certainly not the only way a national Scouting organization could be set up, and there have been some discussions in this forum on the pros and cons of this system, but this is the system we have here.)

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Eamonn, no, unfortunately you just can't win. For example, I am sure you did not intend for this thread to become mostly a debate on the internal policies of the Roman Catholic Church.


As for the issue that we're actually talking about, I think you make some good points, and as usual on this issue, I agree with Packsaddle 100%. I think the policy will change eventually, because survey after survey shows that younger people have a much more non-discriminatory attitude on this subject. Maybe by the time my recently-Eagled son is my age...

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I am a United Methodist and due to the church structure, there is a very low likelihood of any change in the church's stance on homosexuality. Changes in the church dogma have to be approved by a majority of the clergy and a majority of the laity. The clergy has been introducing the topic for years and despite the clergy's efforts of stacking the delegations, the laity consistently soundly defeats the issue. The United Methodist Men are responsible for much of the lay work in the church and the organization is at this time not likely to change its stance. The Methodist church is along with the LDS and RC a large supporter of scouting and would likely officially withdraw if a change in homosexual standards were to be instituted.



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BadenP - I would have gotten back to you sooner, but was thwarted by technical difficulties. Please don't take my delay as some sort of concession of defeat. Now, on to my reply.


Contrary to your commentary, I'm not a bigot, nor some whackjob; as a matter of fact, I am on record on this site as being in opposition to a particular wahoo who was claiming that the OA was a secret Masonic path to the devil. I am certainly pleased to know that YOU are apparently an expert on MY religion. I am, however, curious as to your views on Benedict being against interreligious dialogue; last time I checked, he invited Muslim scholars to dialogue, has a fairly cordial relationship with varied Jewish leaders, has continued dialogue with the Anglican Communion and the Orthodox Churches, as well has having had a reasonable working relationship with the Lutheran Churches. Avignon, which YOU apparently have not studied, was the result of the French king marching on Rome in 1303 and imposing his will upon the College of Cardinals, leading to the election of Clement V, who first established a Papal presence in what you have termed a "refuge of peace". The only time Italians threatened the College during that period was when the College met following the death of Clement XI in 1378, at which point the LAY ROMAN CITIZENRY, not murderous Italian cardinals, rioted outside the Sistine Chapel. I reference Vatican II as a FUBAR largely due to the confusion and division within the Church that came about due to the "spirit of Vatican II", such as, say, Liberation Theology.


As far as the rest of my "dribble", I only sought to point out that, at least in NYC, the public high school system would not be a safe alternative as a chartering organization due to clusters of violence within said system. My commentary was strictly relating to NYC; I don't know where you're from BadenP, but I hope that the system is better wherever that is. If you do happen to be from NYC, I'd like to cite Lafayette and Washington Irving as examples of the sort of high schools I am referencing.


You are obviously a passionate fellow, BadenP, and I hope that you approach Scouting and the personal growth of your Scouts with the same gusto that you obviously approach other topics. You obviously have something against religion in general ("I would love to see the new BSA without the religious strangle hold" - 12/26/2009: 6:15:59 PM), and the Catholic Church in particular (Your commentaries from 12/26/2009: 1:19:42 PM, 12/26/2009: 10:50:16 PM). I don't know what we did to tick you off, but I do think that it's unfortunate. I wish you and yours (and anyone else who happens to read this) a Happy New Year and Happy Camping.


Yours in Scouting,



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