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NealOnWheels

800 Pound Gorillas

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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...

 

 

Which is the point of accepting role models who exibit immoral behavior, there were no adults like that in my troop when I was a scout and I am pretty sure they weren't invited to be a leader. So what has changed in the last 40 years?

 

Barry

 

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The fact that a Scoutmaster gets dropped off and picked up by his boyfriend says a lot to the scouts.

 

First of all, if a troop has chosen an openly gay Scoutmaster (in the hypothetical world where they are allowed to do so), presumably his orientation is not a secret anyway. (Even less so if you happen to be in one of the states that allow gay marriage or gay civil unions, and the person is actually being dropped off by his or her spouse.) But when you talk specifically about Scouts (the youth members), I don't think the Scouts need to know the details of anyone's adult personal relationships. So one adult male is dropping off another adult male. So what? There are straight people with roommates of the same gender. Some people get dropped off by friends. I remember one time I was having car trouble and got a ride from one of my daughters' (adult) boyfriends. What did it say to the Scouts? Nothing at all, other than that my car was in the shop and I happened to get a ride from a man.

 

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.

 

(I hope this is not an actual situation, but in any event...) I guess it would say a lot to the Scouts, but so would the likely consequences of the SM's actions, which would be that he would soon be arrested and hauled off to jail. After all, the Scouts know what the relationship is, then so do some of their parents, and one of them is probably going to call the cops. (This is assuming that the word "girlfriend" implies an intimate relationship, which is illegal between an adult and a 14-year-old regardless of gender.)

 

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.

 

So now you're equating being gay with murder?

 

That aside, there have been past discussions as to when certain crimes might be "long enough ago" to allow a person to be selected as a leader. One factor is when National will step in, and when the local unit gets to make the choice. I would assume that in the case of a murderer, when the results of the background check come back, National says no, period. A more interesting case is that of someone who was convicted of drug possession 15 years ago. As far as I know, National would let the unit make the choice.

 

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.

 

All the Scouts know, but the wife doesn't know? But again, this is up to the unit. Why can't the issue of a gay leader also be left up to the unit?

 

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"So now you're equating being gay with murder?" NJ, you sound like USA Today and CNN with the way you are twisting words.

 

No, being gay is not the same as committing murder. It is a different immoral act. Just like any other immortal act - it should exclude the leadership from choosing that individual to be in front of the youth as somebody they should aspire to be like.

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I can see how letting openly gay scout leaders could be possible on a unit by unit basis--I doubt that many units would choose that option, so I don't see how it would be harmful. I don't see how it would be possible to let an open atheist be a scout leader, just based on the Scout Oath.

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bacchus says:

 

"So now you're equating being gay with murder?" NJ, you sound like USA Today and CNN with the way you are twisting words.

 

No, being gay is not the same as committing murder. It is a different immoral act. Just like any other immortal act - it should exclude the leadership from choosing that individual to be in front of the youth as somebody they should aspire to be like.

 

So you're equating them, in terms of their effect in the context of Scouting.

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NJ,

There are some religions and Christian denominations that do view homosexuality as immoral. Hence the the splintering of the Anglican union over this topic and an exodus of Episcopalians and Anglicans to Roman Catholicism as well.

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"Which is the point of accepting role models who exibit immoral behavior, there were no adults like that in my troop when I was a scout and I am pretty sure they weren't invited to be a leader."

 

Really? I think the immoral behavior was just a different immoral behavior...

 

When I was growing up nearly all of the BSA troops in my area were run by KKK members and that was Central Ohio. I suspect that in the more rural areas of the country, there are still cases of it.

 

"So what has changed in the last 40 years?"

 

Intolerance of intolerance is what has changed.

 

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"[Homosexuality] is a different immoral act."

 

By whose standards? Why should the BSA be defining moral standards on sexuality, which is not a part of our program in any way, and something that is not universally defined as immoral by membership? And equating it with a criminal activity is not an acceptable rebuttal, as homosexuality is not a crime.

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Bando, you are the one talking about criminal acts. It is curious that you are the one mentioning about homosexual activity being illegal in some jurisdictions. But again, you are using USA Today, CNN, and MSNBC logic to twist the facts.

 

Regardless, you won't find a large gorilla person at National doing some arm-twisting to make all these decisions, you will find a board that all have a pretty similar consensus about the subject.

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"Regardless, you won't find a large gorilla person at National doing some arm-twisting to make all these decisions, you will find a board that all have a pretty similar consensus about the subject."

 

Yes, and there was a consensus on the Supreme Court regarding Plessy v. Ferguson back in 1896, too.

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"Bando, you are the one talking about criminal acts."

 

You were just the one who posted about a SM being dropped off by his partner, then equating it to a SM being dropped off by an underage girlfriend, and a SM murderer getting out of prison.

 

So, in fact, it's you talking about criminal acts in equality to homosexuality. And I don't think anyone said there's a single person making the call at National, despite you repeatedly bringing that up.

 

Whatever, I don't want to turn this into a personal debate. Agree to disagree.

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Eagle92 says to me:

 

There are some religions and Christian denominations that do view homosexuality as immoral. Hence the the splintering of the Anglican union over this topic and an exodus of Episcopalians and Anglicans to Roman Catholicism as well.

 

I am aware of that. Some do, some do not, and I suspect some do not have a doctrine either way. Many of those that do not believe it is immoral go even further and believe that discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation is immoral. That is what I believe as well, although my beliefs on the subject are not religiously based, and I tend to speak in terms of "right" and "wrong" rather than "moral" and "immoral."

 

In light of the divisions over these issues within society, and within and among religious groups and other groups, I don't see any reasonable solution other than local option.

 

And that is the last I will post in this thread, because some seem to be claiming that I am one of those "blaming" the LDS church for this controversy. I am not. I do not really know which individual churches and groups have exactly how much influence in the BSA, and how they wield that influence. It does seem pretty clear to me that a GROUP of organizations, most of which are religious, including but not limited to the LDS church, exert a very large influence in the BSA, including on this issue. I also know (generally) what the LDS church said in their brief to the Supreme Court, in which other churches joined as well. But the problem is not what religion people are, the problem is that the decision-making body of the BSA has made a decision that needs to be changed, and they refuse to change it. I will make further comments on the issues in threads that do not have 800-pound gorillas, or any other zoological metaphors, in the title.

 

Oh, and Happy Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) to all.

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Many of those that do not believe it is immoral go even further and believe that discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation is immoral.

 

Yah, I may be wrong, but I don't think most people discriminate on orientation so much as on activity, eh?

 

Some folks are sexually oriented toward children, or sheep, or multiple women. An orientation is what it is, eh? We really don't know where it comes from. Most of us are tempted to steal on occasion, or to drink too much, or whatever. Don't know where that comes from either. But acting on those temptations or orientations, or "avowing" that yeh are acting on them, lots of folks think that is a sort of moral flaw which shouldn't be an example for kids.

 

In each case, yeh have a minority that thinks avowing/acting is OK and shouldn't be discriminated against. Same with many other activities between consenting folks, or individuals acting in private, or individuals who feel they should have control/power over others. What's da harm? What's da harm in consenting adults rushing a fraternity being hazed? Yah, sure, there's a chance of physical harm, but then there's a chance of physical harm or death from gay male anal sex, too. And it's a far bigger risk than from rushing a frat.

 

So da only question, really, is not if we draw a line, eh? It's just where we draw the line. Which private acts should be criminalized? Which should not be criminalized but also not publicly endorsed? Which should be publicly recognized?

 

In da BSA, and in da country, that gets decided by a majority of the voting "membership." The reasons why they vote as they do are often complicated and nuanced, and yeh can't reduce 'em to "oh, he thinks that way just because he's a Mormon" or "she thinks that way just because she's from New England."

 

Beavah

 

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