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NealOnWheels

800 Pound Gorillas

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GernBlansten,"then the LDS church is an 800lb gorilla on setting BSA policy"

 

Call it what you would like.

 

However, the facts are the LDS church is the oldest chartering organization the church adopted the program as it activity arm for boys and young-men because of its high moral standards shortly after BSA was officially established.

 

The LDS church due to its involvement has officials that sit on the National Board of Directors, and its the NBoD that makes policy for BSA.

 

You may not like it but that is how the program was set up. Its the same in every region, council and district. There is a BoD which makes policy pertaining to the program in their areas, and the number one rule it they have to stay within the guidelines of the BSA.

 

GernBlansten,"Yup. As long as there's an 800lb gorilla in the room, there will never be a local option."

 

There already is a local option. Every CO has the right to pick it own leadership as long as that leader meets the approved BSA guidlines. The have the right to not allow someone to be in a leadership position or to remove them from their leadership position.

 

If you don't like the policy then I suggest you do what ever it takes to get on the BoD and work for change through the organizational system. Instead of the court system.

 

OR

 

Go and start your own program.

 

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Every church has some sort of policy board centered at some headquarters that makes policy and procedure as a whole.

 

But there is still variation by region. It may not necessarily be an open and conscious thought to have that variaition, but alot of factors take place.

 

I realize , that what I mean by regional in not coming across as clear: I am talking mindset. People from different geographical regions do not think the same way, even if members of the same religion. Again, as an example, compare a hillbilly from the mountains of W Virginia, with somebody from New Orleans, San Fransisco, Seattle, Washington DC, Houston, and Salt Lake City.

 

Tradition, economy, the mixture of people ( or lack of) all make a difference.

 

I am willing to be that if you took actual members and talked to thm from these various areas. you'd find some people to be more tolerable to other lifestyles ( not just gay , okay) than others.

 

Another example: Polygamy vs monogamy. Depending on what group or sect of LDS ( ar many offshots and avariatuion) not all think exactly the smae. So when and where did the difference come from?

 

Different people within the same group having variaton in opinion.

 

Might be the San Francisco based LDS church doesn't care about the gay bar 2 blocks over as long as the bar is not too loud or boisterous.

 

But the Salt Lake or W Virginia LDS church might activly seek shut that bar down by pickiting it, while the Nee Orleans LDS unit might burn the bar down while it's closed and empty.

 

Not saying any LDS unit would specifically do that, but saying that in different geogrphical areas...people think differently under the umbrella of the same organazation.

 

Baptist church is the same way. Southern Baptists and Norther Baptits do not necessarily think or act the same .

 

Episcipals too. The policy board of the main office said "This is what we are gona do!". yet not every church has done so. Anthing from complete dissagreement to slight variations have resulted.

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Gary,

Thank you for confirming my position and making my case.

Its clear the LDS church has drawn a line in the sand for the BSA. If you change membership policy at the national level to allow local COs to determine, on their own, the makeup of their volunteer leadership, the LDS church will leave BSA. BSA will not cross that line because of this threat. The LDS church, as the 800lb gorilla, has in effect established a national policy that all units must follow and none have the power to change it.

 

Keep in mind that a local option would have zero impact on how the LDS church delivers the program.

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Scoutfish

 

If the Quorum of the Twelve came out and officially dropped the BSA from the program it would be dropped in every ward. The LDS hierarchy makes the Catholic church look like a bunch of congregationalists. There might be individuals that joined traditional units, but no ward would ever be a chartering organization.

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If BSA were to change policy and allow gay leaders, how many parents would pull their kids? I bet we'd lose more than the 15% represented by the LDS membership.

 

At least in that respect, LDS is just verbalizing principals that many of our old-fuddy-duddy parents believe in.

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I can tell you that when Scouting for All had a protest outside the Southeast Louisiana Council's offices to protest the Dale decision in 2000 or 2001, the council had a lot of calls in support of the BSA's policy. The office is visible from I-10, so the protesters were also visible form the interstate.

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Yah, I've always been a bit disappointed in da prejudice shown by the gay rights movement against religions like the Mormons and Catholics. Yeh see that in a lot of tracts, even in stuff by da UUA who are usually better than that. I think they're just big targets because of their institutional/hierarchical structure.

 

Fact is what JoeBob points out, eh? This isn't an LDS issue, or a Catholic issue. It's the moral and ethical position of a clear majority of our chartering partners and therefore of our elected board members. It's also the quiet opinion of da majority of our parents and donors.

 

Blaming LDS is just nonsense. They're an important partner, but not da only one. There's no gorilla in da BSA, or perhaps there's a herd of gorillas (what do yeh call a herd of gorillas anyways?).

 

If yeh want to change the position of the BSA on something, yeh need to participate in the BSA. That's why I always felt the hacks who insisted on pulling public school charters were some of da worst policy strategists I'd ever met. A bit like da Sunnis in Iraq boycotting elections and then being mad when the other folks got all da seats at the table.

 

Beavah

 

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Beavah;

 

You seem to have forgotten the new doctrine:

 

The majority no longer means anything if it is deemed

"politically incorrect".

 

 

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A social group of gorillas is called a 'band' or (ironically) a 'troop'. ;)

 

I'll point out for JoeBob, as I have in the past: gay leaders ARE in BSA already. BSA allows it as long as they don't 'avow'. In this sense, the 'local option' is already being practiced. Those local units who allow gay leaders (and the ones I know about are 'known' to the community) do what they want and the homophobes can do what they want. This is the black market for BSA leaders, working freely under the BSA radar screen, but it is working. The local parents already are making their decisions and 'gayness' seems to be pretty far down the list of important things to consider...if the success of the units is an indication.

But this is the unavoidable reality. Gay leaders exist, JoeBob. You just don't know who they are, and it's always going to be this way as long as the membership policy remains as it is.

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Well there is that pack.

 

But really, isn't the CO the best place for determination of who is ethical and moral? They own the units, right? Do we really need a national policy dictating it? A national policy that puts us at odds with greater society and restricts our access to public resources?

 

 

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"I've always been a bit disappointed in da prejudice shown by the gay rights movement against religions like the Mormons and Catholics."

 

Or perhaps it is in reaction to the Catholic and LDS churches pouring millions of dollars into political campaigns to restrict the rights of gays. Prop 8 comes to mind.

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Gern, Yes, yes, and no. I am in agreement with you on those questions. However, I would feel this way even if the result did not negatively impact other aspects of the program.

I am amazed at how persons who otherwise profess an interest in individual freedom are glad to allow a central authority dictate such matters to them and everyone else.

 

Dan, I guess my revulsion toward the stonings, facial and genital mutilations, and similar acts based in other religions label me as prejudiced as well. But it's still hard for me to conclude that support for individual freedoms thereby comprises prejudice just because it disagrees with those who would suppress individual freedoms.

 

Edit: Brent, reality check. You think those 'unavowed' gay persons don't already interact across those CO and district boundaries? Really?(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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Scouts don't just deal with adults from their CO. They meet with MB counselors in the district, interact with other Scouters at camporees and training events, at jamborees and Summer Camp and OA events. So, yes, a national policy is needed.

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Or perhaps it is in reaction to the Catholic and LDS churches pouring millions of dollars into political campaigns to restrict the rights of gays. Prop 8 comes to mind.

 

Yah, normal political dialog, eh? Da money is donated by Catholic and LDS individuals who are expressing their views. Just as conservative episcopalians and Methodists and Muslims and baptists and some agnostics and atheists and traditional immigrant communities and just plain blue collar folks share da view and contribute to lobbying for da political position. No point in unfairly singling out da LDS.

 

But let's not use too much spin language, eh? Government-recognized marriage is not a "right.". It's a grant of special tax, inheritance, and financial partnership status designed to encourage cohesive family units.

 

Beavah

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