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When will National realize this *IS* affecting membership

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"Packsaddle, tell us... do those fellows dutifully follow da BSA's position on Leave No Trace?"

That smiley indicates you didn't ask this with a straight face and that's a good thing.


No. They mostly don't even go places where LNT would apply but might, if they had the chance, run over it with some kind of 4WD monstrosity. Maybe even shoot something. ;)

I've noticed over the years, that lack of regard for fellow man tends to go hand in hand for lack of regard for pretty much everything else, the environment included. This makes 'the gay policy' just that more incongruous for an organization which has legitimate claim to so many other high ideals. I'm hoping BSA will come around eventually. And those guys...you're right, they'll feel the way they feel regardless of what comes along.

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Missed the Nazi reference.. Had to skim over page 4 for it.. Stange it came up at that time, as that fagment of the discussion was coming to a conclusion..


Eamonn always has very well thought out, reflective post that show his inner wheels are turning as he listens to others and come to an understanding of his own veiwpoints.. As always Eamonn well stated.


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I recall an era in Scouting when women had very limited roles in Scouting. After opening the door for women to hold key positions, the ladies have proven their selves more than capable. Often times they provide better leadership than their male counterparts. And yes, the level of sexism during those time was rampant, and a number of the old guards packed up, and left the program because they couldn't adapt.

Is it past time for National to end their homophobia? I say yes, and for those who would leave the program because of this change...good riddance, and adios...


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In earlier threads, I have cited the CDC which studies such things as the number of homosexuals in the society. It is important to know this partly to understand the AIDS problem better. The percentage of the population is much smaller than what most people think. I do not recall the exact way that they define this but the essence is that less than 2% of the population is homosexual (true for males and females). The studies note that in the late teens and early 20's, there is a little bump in the percentages (still less than 5% as I recall) due to folks experimenting with the lifestyle. So the

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vol_scouter writes:

Obviously, the number bothers you somehow because I drew no value judgments.


Well no, not "obviously," because you have repeatedly brought up the small number of gays or atheists in contexts to justify discriminating against them, e.g.:


Unless male homosexuals volunteer at a much higher rate than represented in the population, then the BSA is only excluding 1.9% of the population. The incidence of pedophiles is thankfully less than that. So the number of people excluded is small and therefore not much of an issue from a logistics point of view.


The CDC reports that less than 1.9% of the population are long term homosexuals - most have relatively short ventures in a homosexual lifestyle. That is a small group to change the values of an entire program. This is not to condemn homosexuals but rather to put things into a proper prospective.

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there is no way to do it with the "least amount of shockwaves",


Sure there is. Of all the ways you could do it, one of them has to create the fewest problems. You might think that it will always cause lots of problems, but some are worse than others.


because doing it at all would result in the vast majority of troops and packs having to find new chartering organizations.


Even if the current chartering organizations are still responsible for choosing their own leaders?


The BSA had to deal with all schools dropping as chartered partners. That seemed to go ok. I'm sure that some units can find new chartering partners, but I'm not sure how many would need to. How can you tell?


Are the Methodists all going to drop? The Catholics? Groups of citizens? Parent-teacher organizations (other than PTA)? Those are four of the top five groups from the BSA report quoted in wikipedia. The LDS can do whatever it wants - I don't think the rest of the BSA should worry about it.


Also in the top ten are Lutheran churches - I'd bet the ELCA would be fine with the new policy. Presbyterian Churches - PCUSA is the biggest and I'd bet they would be fine with the change too. Then there are "Business and industry" and private schools. Will there be a wholesale departure here? Remember, all the new policy would say is that units are free to choose their own leaders. Sponsors from #11 to #17 are American Legion, Lions Club, Other Community Organizations, PTA, Community Centers, Rotary, Fire departments. Any of those have big concerns about the new policy? The United Church of Christ is #18 and they've endorsed gay marriage. The Episcopal Church is #19 and they've ordained gays. #20 is Disciples of Christ, and they don't look to be all that fundamental either.


Might some drop? Sure. Might some add? Maybe. I don't know the immediate fallout any more than Eamonn does. And just as he says the policy is wrong, I'm saying it's doomed. It's going to grow bigger as an issue, it's going to look worse and worse, and it's going to come to and end.

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I think you all know where I stand on the policy, so I won't belabor that point. I don't think that the policy, in and of itself, is affecting membership nearly as much as the mindset behind it. Often I see the BSA billed as a "values" organization when we have been previously viewed as a "citizenship" organization.


Now I am in full agreement that the values we teach in Scouting are integral to practicing citizenship, no doubt about it. But the perceived shift in thinking towards a strictly "values" organization has not been without consequences. We hardly mention the word "citizenship" anymore; when I brought that word into another thread, someone actually thought I was talking about one of the merit badges! Also, when we continue to center the discussion on "values" with an increasingly myopic focus, we come to be viewed as "arbiters" of virtue, on par with churches and religious institutions. This is not how Scouting was conceived, nor is it why the BSA received a Congressional Charter in the first place.


I don't believe that a change in the policy will have much of an impact unless it is accompanied by a transition to a more complete focus on citizenship, and I really think that the latter should be addressed with greater urgency.(This message has been edited by sherminator505)

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Bit of blue sky thinking....


Could BSA change evenmore fundamentally and just drop the need for a chartering organisation? Works perfectly well elsewhere and then BSA can have its own policies without having to worry about the chartering bodies.


Just a thought!

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Cambridgeship - The change to not having a chartering organization would be a LARGE change (at least in my opinion)..


Question #1 : did England start with chartering orgs, and then remove them? How did you do that and find a place for all the dislocated units to meet?.. What happened when the charter orgs kept all the equipment & finances and the units were dumped on the street penniless?


Question #2 : How does your Scouting organization deal with being sued for boneheaded moves their units make that happen because they don't have a paid executive close enough to monitor their actions?


Not that it has isolated the Scouting movement from all law suits, but most currently can not find fault with Scouting unless they can attribute it to training. Which is why there is currently a big push for mandated training..


BSA is trying to bill themselves as selling a product to the charter org. and that they have the responsibility to monitor it.. Some units already run around unchecked, because their CO's don't realize that by accepting to sponsor them, they also have a responsibility to them.. Which will continue to be a problem for BSA until they mandate that COR's must get COR training..



But, really the chartered Org. is to my mind a reason that we have a legitimate reason to demand change on their demand to end discrimination.. To protect themselves against lawsuits they are trying to portray themselves as selling a product, to which the CO is responsible to monitor.. Yet in trying to keep homosexuals out (and atheists too).. Their argument is that they are a private organization..


To my way of thinking they are now wanting their cake while eating it too.. The further they step towards being a private organization that is simply selling a product to a charter org to insulate themselves against being sued the harder it is for them to continue to demand that all units must discriminate against certain groups of people..


Because of the charter which means the units follows the BSA policy, there is a little more tie to following the policy then there is for someone who purchases a murder mystery game from a party store.. But, it is becoming a very real argument that it should not be their right to demand that every charter follow the definition of morally straight the way that the LDS & catholic church define it.. Because they do not just charter the LDS church. Rather the charter organization should have the right to define for themselves what morally straight means to them..


Personally I can see LDS might drop the BSA charter if it becomes the right of the charter org. to define what morally straight means to them.. They are the ones who threaten to leave in order to force the BSA to cater to their conservative views.. But, I dont see the Catholic church as a organization in full dropping the BSA if they have the right to continue to define morally straight as heterosexual only.. I can see some individual units from the catholic church dropping out, if their main leadership was ultra conservative, and they want to protest the change.. After that I see individual people either dropping or shifting to charters who sponsor their viewpoint..


Then I see new charters being formed.. From schools who have dropped chartering a BSA group, and churches and other organizations that are not ultra conservative in view .. A slower pick-up of new charters then it will be of the ones who drop out with a thunk.. But, they will come.. It will also be easier to recruit new scouts, when the schools stop fighting allowing us to recruit through them..


Give it time, the fact the BSA wants to shift the responsibility of the units to the Charter Organization to protect themselves from being sued, will open up their rights to protest the forced discrimination and the ability to force them to accept what they (or their wealthy conservative sponsors that are leading them around on a leash) interpret morally straight means..(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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