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Scoutfish

1st Amendment and BSA

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Not necessarily Merlyn. If a BSA unit is charted by the public school PTA, they have just as much a right to meet at the public school as any other group.

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Sorry, Merlyn, what you're describin' is contrary to the plain text of both the law and the regulation. Yeh may wish it was da way you describe, but it isn't.

 

But I return to da core issue. You need to get out and do some good in the world. Work with schools, work with kids, work with people in disputes. Whatever. Learn what it takes to really help people, get your hands dirty in the trenches, demonstrate real compassion.

 

Until you do that, yeh really don't have credibility on any of these issues in front of a group of folks who put their volunteer time and money into helpin' children. Just the way it is, eh?

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Beavah, I think you should stop hounding Merlyn about how he chooses to spend his free time. Let's discuss issues here, not personalities.

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Beavah, a school that only allows groups that allow any student to join is not discriminating against a particular group, correct? So that would be a valid school policy. By the way, do you still think public schools can discriminate on the basis of religion?(This message has been edited by Merlyn_LeRoy)

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The rub here is the way the BSA charters units as to Merlyn's reasoning why public schools can't charter BSA units. But when it comes to another group chartering a BSA unit and asking a public school for meeting space, the school can't deny the request unless it denies all groups that have membership policies meeting space.

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By the way, do you still think public schools can discriminate on the basis of religion?

 

At no time have I ever said that, so I guess you're just being a liar again, eh? :)

 

If yeh send me a PM with your location, I can find you some youth programs in your area that have diverse clientele that would benefit from your time. It's quite a challengin' thing, to meet the needs of different kids from different beliefs and backgrounds, to treat 'em all with respect while providing 'em space to be themselves and be with people with whom they share interests, and also exposing 'em and welcoming 'em to the wider world.

 

You might discover it's a challenge worthy of your passion and intellect. And it will provide a form of social capital and credibility to yeh as you approach others about the issues you care about.

 

An average Scoutmaster puts in around a thousand hours of community service a year to kids from a wide range of backgrounds, beliefs, socioeconomic levels. Yep, includin' atheists and kids strugglin' with belief, or sexual identity, and a whole mess of other things. Odds are they provide a bit of parenting help and advice to adults too, eh?

 

Surely you can do at least that well. How 'bout it, mate? Fiddlin' with charter paperwork is easy, trivial even. Can yeh meet a real challenge?

 

Beavah

 

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EV,

 

That is why we disagree with Merlyn. I know of no club, group, etc. that does not have some set of criteria for membership. The criteria may be few but they exist. A group of atheists would not want a group of outspoken members of a fundamentalist faith to join their group. The honor society does not want someone who is in the 9th grade for the fourth time and the basketball team does not want someone who is short, cannot shoot well, or dribble. Like several on this forum, I have no problems with any of those groups and the BSA meeting after school. Merlyn does. He has to meddle in others affairs seeing harm in communities where he does not live. That is hard to respect.

 

Beavah is correct - not working with children affects the way one looks at the world. There was an NPR piece on the Villages in Florida. It is a retirement community that does not allow children. That seems a little like hades to me but I like working with youth. Denying scouting to youth by the actions of people not in the community I can only see as harmful to children but you may need to work with our youth to see that.

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Beavah writes, replying to me:

"By the way, do you still think public schools can discriminate on the basis of religion?"

 

At no time have I ever said that, so I guess you're just being a liar again, eh?

 

Nope, you've clearly advocated that public schools ought to be able to discriminate on the basis of religion, as you have said they ought to be able to charter BSA units that exclude atheists (which would require the school to practice religious discrimination). Here's just one example:

"A public body like a school board has discretion, eh? It is free to do what it feels best for its kids and program, includin' chartering a BSA unit."

 

vol_scouter writes:

Denying scouting to youth by the actions of people not in the community I can only see as harmful to children but you may need to work with our youth to see that.

 

Would that include e.g. people at BSA national who insist on kicking out atheist kids even if the local pack/troop and council want them to stay? Or don't atheist kids count?

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Now, Merlyn, in many a thread you've shouted "liar, liar!" when anybody has done to you the same thing you just did to me. In fact you did so to others in this very thread. Guess that makes yeh both a liar and a hypocrite, eh? :)

 

I don't mind. It's hard for youngsters to apply to themselves the same standard they apply to others. Yeh see what seems wrong and want to call it out. Takes some maturity to first look at another person and see what is right. And then balance that. To see others, and do unto others, as we hope they'd see us and treat us.

 

To help a person grow, and to help a group or society grow, yeh build on the good things, eh? Yeh find their strengths. Yeh don't dwell on their weaknesses. It just doesn't work to do that. Goodness knows if Mrs. Beavah ever looked at things the way you do she never would have spent any time on this old furry critter. My weaknesses are legion! We help people and groups by findin' the good in 'em. Finding weaknesses and yellin' about wrongdoing is most often a selfish act. We do it to feed our own insecurities and egos.

 

Yeh need to grow out of that, mate. You've got a good head on your shoulders, and you've got a lot of passion. Yeh seem drawn to youth programs. Yeh could do a lot of good out there. Work with atheist kids. Work with religious kids, too... give 'em some respect but also some perspective so they don't go off da rails and they learn to question a bit. Find the good in folks and programs and build on it. Start your own and do good things.

 

I think you'd find it fulfilling, and make yeh happy. It's hard not to be happy when yeh see the good in folks.

 

Beavah

 

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Beavah writes:

Now, Merlyn, in many a thread you've shouted "liar, liar!" when anybody has done to you the same thing you just did to me.

 

Then post a link. I have called people "liars" when they make false claims about what I think.

 

What I said about you is that you think public schools can discriminate on the basis of religion. "A public body like a school board has discretion, eh? It is free to do what it feels best for its kids and program, includin' chartering a BSA unit" is stating that public schools can discriminate on the basis of religion.

 

My statement was accurate.

 

Now, if you'd like to grow a spine and admit that you have stated that public schools can practice religious discrimination, I might feel a little less contempt for you. But you'd have to lose the annoying pseudo-bayou accent.

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Beavah, let me ask you a simple, straightforward question: Do you think it is constitutional for a public school to be the Charter Organization for a BSA unit? And why or why not?

 

And just so there's no confusion, "BSA unit" means a traditional unit, i.e. pack, troop or crew (or ship or Varsity team, I guess.) For "constitutional", I'm talking about both the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment and the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, and the specific classification under the 14th amendment would be religion, that is, exclusion of a person on the basis that they don't believe in God. (In other words let's leave aside discrimination on the basis of gender, which is more complicated constitutionally, or sexual orientation, which is much more complicated constitutionally, especially on the federal level.)

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And by the way Beavah, your idea of "balance" is that it's OK to exclude atheist kids if it helps other kids; I think official government exclusion of one class of people based on their religious views is both unconstitutional and dangerous. You can allow your own civil rights to be ignored, but not those of other people.

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