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LDS membership declines

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An interesting article in this months National Geographic on a polygamous offshoot of the Mormon Church: the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS).

 

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/02/polygamists/anderson-text/1

 

Not sure if this group has anything to do with Scouts, but what struck me as I read the article were these two paragraphs:

 

"Although the issue of underage marriage within the church has garnered the greatest negative media attention, Dan Fischer has championed another cause, the so-called Lost Boys, who have left or been forced from the community and wound up fending for themselves on the streets of Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and St. George, Utah. Fischer's foundation has worked with 300 such young men, a few as young as 13, over the past seven years. Fischer concedes that most of these boys were simply "discouraged out," but he cites cases where they were officially expelled, a practice he says increased under Jeffs.

 

"Fischer attributes the exodus partly to a cold-blooded calculation by church leaders to limit male competition for the pool of marriageable young women. "If you have men marrying 20, 30, up to 80 or more women," he says, "then it comes down to biology and simple math that there will be a lot of other men who aren't going to get wives. The church says it's kicking these boys out for being disruptive influences, but if you'll notice, they rarely kick out girls."

 

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BDPT00, There is nothing in the Dale case that explicitly states the BSA is a religious organization. Apparently that was not viewed as germane.

 

The BSA has stated this point in other venues, though. It was hard to find a definitive statement on-line - and this is in part due to the ambiguity in the term "religious organization", and sometimes the BSA says it is and sometimes it says it is not. Here are some quotes:

 

From the BSA in Barnes-Wallace v. BSA: Boy Scouts of America is composed of persons who believe in God.

 

In the same case, interestingly, BSA makes this point: Courts across the country have examined Scoutings private speech

and have concluded that, for purposes of the Establishment Clause, Boy Scouts is not a religious organization. [this will seemingly conflict with other statements from the BSA in other cases.]

======

March 4, 2004 (bsalegal.org): The Justice Department will submit a brief today in federal court in San Diego in support of the Boy Scouts of America. The brief argues that the Boy Scouts are not a religious organization, and that its operation of a facility on city-owned property does not violate the Constitution's prohibition on the establishment of religion.

======

Indeed, in February 2003, the city agreed with the Boy Scouts in documents submitted to the court that while Boy Scouts is not a religion and is completely nonsectarian, Boy Scouts is a religious organization.

======

From the court finding in a San Diego case, indicating that the BSA did agree it was a religious organization: Not only does the BSA-DPC concede that it is a religious organization, but it insists that its religiosity

is fundamental to its purpose and mission of instilling values in its youth members.

======

CAC is Chicago Area Council. May 1, 2001. CAC argues that the injunction and fine should be vacated because:

(1) application of section 2-160-030 violates CAC's first amendment rights of expressive association (U.S. Const., amend. I);

(2) Richardson lacked standing to sue for employment discrimination; and

(3) CAC's employment policy was exempt from the Ordinance under its express exceptions for religious organizations or

bona fide occupational qualification.

======

 

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,108666,00.html

 

On October 21, 2003, Greg Shields, a national spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, said this to Fox News: "The Boy Scouts are not a religious organization. We cannot be described as a religious organization or a religion."

 

However, in several legal briefs, including one in a 1992 case in Kansas and another in 1998, lawyers for the Boy Scouts put in writing that the Scouts are a religious organization. Here's the quote in '98:

 

"Although Boy Scouts of America is not a religious sect, it is religious, and, while the local council is not a house of worship like a church or a synagogue, it is a religious organization."

 

 

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The Dale case was not determined on the issue of whether the BSA is a religious organization. The BSA correctly argued we are a private organization, protected under the 1st Amendment - the right of people to peaceably assemble. It was our right to discriminate that brought up the ACLU cases and the final agreement not to charter to public institutions.

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In the western states, which do have a strong LDS membership. You will find a great deal of pressure to not hold events that included Sunday. Be it WB, camporee, or summer camp. They as practice charter 4 units in a ward. With packs, troops, teams and crews of only five boys and sometimes get waivers to have smaller units than the minimum size. Again they do not have girls in the crews and they have no crew members older than 18. The men are assign by the ward's bishop to scouting positions and many times you are lucky that they are last 2 or 3 years before they are resigned to another position in the church.

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Just haven't looked in scouter.com for a while, NJ, for a while there it was all non-scout issues here.

 

The BSA still isn't honest, it has a few hundred "traditional" charters with law enforcement agencies and correctional institutions, plus I'm sure a lot of the playgrounds & recreation centers in their list are unlawful, too. I wrote to Adam Schwartz of the Illinois ACLU about these units a while back, but I haven't heard anything yet.

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I may regret this but...

 

Playgrounds as charter partners? I have never heard of that beyond this board. I notice that Merlyn has used that example a few times over the last couple of years and I do not doubt that he has some specific examples to back it up. I wonder, though, if it is something most of us (or any, or many, of us) who are active in scouting have seen in our localities?

 

So I ask: Who here is personally familiar with a BSA unit that is chartered by a playground?

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Lisabob, I think Merlyn is referring to use, not charter, in regards to the playground. If the city owns the playground, no Scouts allowed. You're probably familiar enough with the "reasoning" behind that.

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Well, actually if what we are talking about is a Public Playground, I would expect the BSA and its units to have the same shot at it as any private group would have. If that means they stand in line to get a permit, or pay for a reservation, they should be treated as well or as poorly as any private group.

 

If its a public playground and the governmental unit who owns it has an organized program consistently there, basketball in the summer under the lights and maybe flag football in the fall, etc. And the playground has a staff, I could see that they, supported by public funds, would not be eligible to be a chartering organization for the BSA

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The BSA still isn't honest, it has a few hundred "traditional" charters with law enforcement agencies and correctional institutions, plus I'm sure a lot of the playgrounds & recreation centers in their list are unlawful, too.

 

Ah! The old not honest ploy again! It's getting old Merlyn! The charter partner is just as honest as the BSA yet you fail to mention this!

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WAKWIB writes:

Lisabob, I think Merlyn is referring to use, not charter, in regards to the playground. If the city owns the playground, no Scouts allowed.

 

Nope: I'm quoting directly from the BSA's "NATIONAL CHARTERED ORGANIZATIONS USING THE TRADITIONAL SCOUTING PROGRAM" list as of Dec 2008, under their own category of "Playgrounds, Recreation Centers", which has 584 units.

 

Ed, the BSA dishonestly said they would stop chartering units to government entities. Why do they still have 85 units chartered to "Law Enforcement Agencies"?

 

Answer: because the BSA is dishonest.

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Ed, the BSA dishonestly said they would stop chartering units to government entities. Why do they still have 85 units chartered to "Law Enforcement Agencies"?

 

Answer: because the BSA is dishonest.

 

The answer could be because the charter partner is dishonest as well! But that doesn't matter does it, Merlyn. And another answer is maybe the charter partner doesn't care about it! Ya see, there is always more than one answer.

 

And do you have a list of those 85 law enforcement agencies that are chartering BSA Units, Merlyn?(This message has been edited by evmori)

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I don't know whether the LFL units are included in Merlyn's list, but there is a post in my town that is sponsored by the police station. There are also some volunteer fire dept. packs, troops, and crews in my district. I don't know whether those are considered "law enforcement," or whether the voluntary nature of the fire depts makes this acceptable. But I do know they exist.

 

 

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Lisa, if the volunteer fire depts get any funding from taxpayers, then they should not be chartering BSA units. They may volunteer their time, but where does the money come for equipment and utilities?

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