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NealOnWheels

800 Pound Gorillas

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I appologize. I didn't know you were the one who decided what was right.

 

Maybe I'm just trying to blend in with the rest of the forum. Most people here seem absolutely sure of what is right or wrong all the time, why single me out? And all I'm saying is, with such a contentious social issue, just let each unit's CO decide. It's not a big deal. I've given the reasons so many times I'm tired of doing so, but I think Bando did a very good job of it a few posts earlier.

 

Heck, even California voted to keep marriage as a social contract between a man and a woman. If California feels that way (federal judges not withstanding), the bulk of Scout parents have to be to the right of the Hollywood State.

 

How do you jump so quickly from non-discrimination against gay people in joining an organization, to gay marriage? For whatever reason, people are a lot quicker to drop discrimination against gay people in employment, places of public accommodation, etc. than they are to allow gay marriage. My state government banned discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation about 20 years ago, but still does not allow gay "marriage." (Civil unions, yes, but not "marriage.") You can discuss gay marriage if you want, I'd rather discuss Scouting.

 

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I agree with NJCubScouter's assessment that I'd rather talk about Scouting. I do, however, feel that if we are going to talk about the 800 lb. gorilla, we should be discussing the whole gorilla, not just one aspect of the gorilla...(This message has been edited by sherminator505)

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IMO, question of gay leadership in BSA being a cause for the LDS or any other church to pull support for BSA is weak at best.

 

Every church has gay or bisexual membership...every church has pedophiles...to attempt to deny that is to simply stick one's head in granular rock.

 

I suspect that as long as the various churches believe that their influence on BSA remains intact they will continue to support it. That is why, by and large, (gasp...here it comes) BSA is a Christian-only organization...because the sponsoring organizations want it to be...

 

Now, you all can flail away at that notion, but have you looked in the book section of your local Scout Shop lately? You'll find dozens of books on faith and Scouting...yep all Christian. Not one single item on any other faith.

 

The 800 lb Gorilla in BSA may not be the LDS by itself.

 

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Maybe it would be best if we tried to discuss all of the issues in this thread, and all the other threads, without using metaphors. No more 800 pound gorillas or elephants in the room or whatever else. It's just getting the discussion totally confused. How about just plain English?

 

After the metaphor battle is won, we can go on to trying to discuss issues without using analogies. That's more difficult and trickier and might not work. But this is the place to start.

 

(I do realize that with this suggestion, I'm swimming upstream, rowing against the tide, spitting into the wind... oops.)

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Sherminator:

It's not about you. I made a historical query about your screen name:

 

"Grady spotted General William T. Sherman in the audience, the celebrated Yankee soldier who was credited with defeating and burning much of Georgia, and particularly Atlanta, on his infamous march to the sea. Without missing a beat, Grady acknowledged the general by noting that the people of Georgia thought Sherman an able military man, "but a mite careless about fire.""

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_W._Grady

Being careless with fire is un-scoutlike.

 

Where's the 'no sense of humor' flag?

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"Now, you all can flail away at that notion, but have you looked in the book section of your local Scout Shop lately? You'll find dozens of books on faith and Scouting...yep all Christian. Not one single item on any other faith."

 

Not to mention the long-running comic strip adaptation of Bible stories in Boys' Life every month. Go figure.

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"The people, for the most part, that continue to harp about the Gay issue are outside the the organization; though there are a few apparently here that are not happy, and have an agenda. "

 

I am somewhere in that mix, although I cannot accuratly describe where or what the name of my position would be.

 

But let me try to explain it...You can give it a name.

 

I have nothing against gay people. Nothing. I do not advocate gay people or promote them.

 

I have nothing against athiests either. I do not advocate or promote them either.

I am not racist, bigoted or predjudiced, I also do not believe in affirmative action.

 

I belive the best person for the job should get the job. I want the most qualified to get the job.

 

Now, the religios part withstanding, I want the best leader to be the one who leads. The guy who somehow connects with the boys and enlightens them to the bigger world, the outdoors and being self substainable.

 

Now, if that person ( on their own time) worships car tires, dates inter-gender or has relationship with sheep..... I do not care.

 

Why? Because my 9 year old son - while attending den meetings and campouts, does not get any address by any leader about heterosexuality, the proper way of dating, or how one god is better than another.

 

That stuff just doesn't come up. That's not part of our program.

 

Now, we do say a non denominational ( well generic) prayer during ceremonies and what could pass for Scouts Own, but really, as we have members from different religions in our pack, and of different heritages, we kinda gloss over it because in most cases, the family is where the scouts get their religious direction and education.

 

Just like the religious award, it's not BSA goverened or awarded, as it shouldn't be. That is up to the individual religions and families.

 

So my agenda isn't about pushing for or promoting gays, but as a parent and volunteer who had time and a chld vested in the program, I want the best program possibble , not the best that we can muster with non issue limiting circumstances. If he/she happens to be gay or athiest, so be it.

 

And I can compare that to my job: My boss does not care what religion I practice or if I dress up in a cow suit every night as long when I am on the clock, I do the best job possible and he gets what he pays for.

 

My boss is smart enough to know that wether I worship 3 gods or the one God that I do follow..it has nothing to do with the integrity of the garage doors I install. Wether I dress up in high heels or Star Trek costumes at home has nothing to do with the quality of work or my punctuality.

 

And honestly, there are so manty guys at my job who cheat on their wives, hang out at bars all night, who pay child support for kids they have NEVER seen ( part of the cheating ), have lost their drivers license to DWI/ DUI, or who cannot spell their own last name the same way twice in a row,........He really doesn't care about what I sleep in or who with...all he cares about is that when I am on the job, I do it professionally and to the best of my ability.

 

And I'd be cool with that in scouting too.

 

 

And that's my position.

 

 

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Scoutfish, well put.

 

My position is that I see religious intolerance destroying the good the BSA provides. The BSA is so much larger than any one religion or even the combination of all religions. It transcends it. It should people together, not tear them apart.

When the religious sects pull and tug at the BSA to met their demands, it inhibits a great movement from delivering on its promise.

 

I ask again, if the BSA relaxed prohibitions on adult leadership, how would that effect your individual unit? I'll tell you, my UMC CO wouldn't change a thing. I bet the LDS ward in town wouldn't change a thing. Or the Catholic unit up the hill. But I tell what it would change, public schools could charter units again. Fire departments, police posts would be allowed to charter units. But your unit would be unaffected. If you don't want gay leaders, so be it. You don't want women leaders, so be it. You don't want athiests, so be it. But your unit would be unaffected. The only effect would be more field uniforms at the parade, at the camporee, at the scout shop, at summer camp. Is that bad?

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My Co is a Methodist Church. I do not even pretend to think I completely understand what their game plan ( mission statement) is as a religion. I "am" an Episcopalian. Sorta, Haven't been to my home church since I was young. Althought I truely believe, I have minor issues with organized religion.

 

But if the BSA relaxed prohibitions on adult leadership. we'd lose a few parents , no doubt about it.

 

But that happens anyways for some of the dumbest reasons: popcorn sales , no smoking in the CO ( not even our choice, even though we'd ban it too), for not being a baby sitting service...We even had one parent quit because we had boiled potatoes and green beans as a side dish at a fundraiser instead of potato salad! :o

 

So yeah, a few might quit. But we might gain an equal amount back. Maybe more, maybe less.

 

 

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>>The only effect would be more field uniforms at the parade, at the camporee, at the scout shop, at summer camp. Is that bad?

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Scoutfish, Very well put.

 

I still have to disagree. The fact that a Scoutmaster gets dropped off and picked up by his boyfriend says a lot to the scouts. The fact that a Scoutmaster gets dropped off and picked up by his 14 year old girlfriend (I guess her mother drove) says a lot to the scouts. The fact that a SM is finally out of prison after serving 10 years for killing somebody while robbing a liquor store says a lot to the scouts. The fact that a SM is dropped off by his pregnant girlfriend that his wife still doesn't know about says a lot to the scouts.

 

There are certain role models we do not want leading our youth. It is NOT a job, it's a CALLING (and I mean that generically, not in the LDS sense of the word).

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I think that a Scoutmaster who gets dropped off by his second or third wife, or the girlfriend he left his last wife for, sends an equally powerful message, particularly in a unit that is chartered by a Christian church of some sort. Jesus spoke specifically on that point. If we are to be an exclusive organization, then perhaps we should be a bit more consistent in our exclusions. I wonder how many leaders we'd lose if we actually walked the talk...

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