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Is Obama re-election and 4 states passage of equal marriage a membership mandate for BSA?

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jblake - you write that if BSA wants to be like everyone else, what is the point of continuing in scouting?


Does that mean you believe the ONLY thing that sets BSA apart from other youth camping / outdoors programs (such as Campfire, Mik-o-say, and Indian Guides) is the membership policies with regards to gays and atheists?


I'd like to think the membership policy issues (while a big issue) is not the ONLY thing that makes our organization unique.


P.S. - Appreciate the feedback, and thanks to everyone for keeping an emotionally charged issue on point. Doing a good job with the 4th point of the law...



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I'm not sure the Presidential vote can be seen as a referedum on Gay Marriage. The referendums on Gay Marriage can be. But the fact that this time around the issue went 4 for 4 in those states that had the issue on the ballot in some way indicates a continueing shift in society. As noted, for the long term the BSA needs to decide if it wants to be a national organization serving a broad spcetrum of American youth and families or be niche organization serving a shrinking demographic.


The fact is there are more and more Modern Families and fewer and fewer Nelsons, Reeds and Cleavers.





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I think the greater acceptance of gay marriage will require more states and a greater majority before it affects BSA policy. I could be wrong.

As far as marijuana goes, however, I remind everyone that it doesn't have to be smoked. I seem to remember the terms 'magic cookies' and 'magic brownies'. THAT train has now left the station, big time. I predict that the feds are going to 'fold' on this fairly quickly.

(on the other hand I also predicted a Romney presidency so take this for what it's worth, probably nothing) Cheers!

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Well as I understand the Feds have sued both Colorado and Washington top stop implementation of the marijuana legalization in those states. Typical Obama abusing state's rights.


But if the FEDs lose that legal action and it does become legal I wouldn't be suprised to see many other states follow CO and WA. I read one estimate WA state was looking at potentially $500 million in additional revenues from taxes on marijuana sales, not to mention the decreased cost in enforcement.





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A couple of states and a narrow popular vote does not a mandate make. Then again, "Elections have consequences."


The BSA should look at the results and consider how they reflect the society that we serve. If Washington State has legalized gay marriage (it appears to have passed based on the latest count of absentee ballots, etc.), then perhaps it is time to let the Councils in Washington State to make a decision on how to allow their Charter organizations to apply one line in one part of one bit of our spoken creed.


But we should not have a knee-jerk reaction due to just one election. We should be instead consulting with our Charter Orgs as well to determine the path forward to ensure that we keep the ideals of Scouting strong - even while we reflect a changing nation. We now have members of Congress who are Hindu, Buddhist and Lesbian - plus one state rep in Maine who is an Orc on World of Warcraft (yes - this was raised as an issue by her challenger).


We do not want to find ourselves irrelevant due to a misguided intransigence, but we also don't want to blow around like a burning leaf tossed into the campfire.

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(snort!) One election hardly makes a tide! One election makes nothing permanent in a democracy, where votes can shift like the wind and image is everything.


The problem with homosexuality is that its bad for the person practicing it. The problem with homosexual "marriage" (eh, similar to an "married bachelor" in terms of logic)is that it is deeply destructive of genuine marriage, which is designed for building and supporting the next generation.


Obama is the luckiest man on earth. He's been given cardboard cutouts to compete against. If you study his political presence in Illinois, you find very little substance, just hype.


Read The Amateur by Ed Klein and you'll find what a genius the man is.


Obama = the Wizard of Oz.

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BSA is unique on a variety of different issues other than going out into the woods. To a lessening degree in recent years, BSA was a staunch program of leadership development, citizenship, and honest values. The use of the woods and woodcraft was more of a lure into the program rather than just the program itself.


Scouts used to be respected for what they stood for. People had an instant trust of Scouts and to a degree could rely on them for their training.


I don't know how much of that translates into how scouting is viewed today.


As each year passes and BSA tries to market it self competitively, the more it becomes generic. Once the message gets out there that BSA provides a generic program just like anyone else, except we go out and camp, people will find it a lot easier and cheaper to stay in town and get the same benefits.



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BSA has had certain values and standards, embodied in the Oath and Laws, that have stood us (and the USA)in good stead for a century. Yes, America is moving away from those standards. No, that does not mean that BSA should abandon its core principles.

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The election was not a "mandate" for the BSA to adopt local option, but no mandate is necessary to compel the BSA to do what is right. Right is mandate enough, and it existed before the election.


Will a continuing series of decisions by various segments of the public to accept gay people as full-fledged fellow human beings make it increasingly easier for the current BSA leadership to change it's policy -- or if you prefer, more difficult for them NOT to change? Perhaps. But I continue to believe, with sorrow, that the change will be made only by a future leadership -- and perhaps a future generation of leaders.

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Just a note of correction, if one examines TV families of the 50's and 60's one will find the Nelsens, Ozzie and Harriet, the Cleavers, Ward and June but I am unaware of any Reeds. Now, there was the Donna Reed show in which she played Donna Stone, the wife of Pediatrician Dr Alex Stone.


And while they were only set in 50's and eventually the 60's let us not forget the most wholesome of all families, Milwaukee's own Cunningham family with Howard, Marion, Ritchie, Joannie and Chuck. Yes, there was a third sibling, Chuck(This message has been edited by oldgreyeagle)

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I have no idea what the BSA might or might not do.

Thinking locally.

While some people have opinions about homosexuals and gay marriage. Up until very recently there wasn't what I'd call a gay presence??. No gay community, no gay clubs that I know of no real gay movement. There were of course people who were openly gay, but not very many. For the most part the gay issues were something that happened elsewhere.

There is now however some concerns that a fair number of boys in the local High School, who are saying that they are gay and there have been incidents on the school grounds and boys caught with gay porn on their phones and computers (Exchanging photos.)

The county I live in is very white and was one of the few that when the votes were counted went for Romney.

My feeling is that as a community the feeling is that if we ignore it all that it will go away. - Clearly if this is the plan? Then it's doomed for failure.

Still if a sleepy little town in PA feels this way? My guess is that there are a lot more sleepy little towns that also feel the same way.

I love the area where I live and think the people who live here are the greatest.

Still, I can't help thinking that we have no idea about what is happening elsewhere.

I had no idea what it was like to be a black man living in the projects until I started working in a jail. I didn't know that there are as many Muslims living in the state or that we have such a large Hispanic community. (I just completed a course with the PA State Police on Survival Spanish.) Of course the people who live around me know that there are black people and Hispanics but because they are not on our door step. It's easy to ignore them.

If there was a vote on gay marriage in the area around where I live? My guess is that it would fail. -My thinking is that if we were nearer to a big city and more people knew more gays than that might change.

Like it or not most of the families we serve in Scouting tend to be white families from middle class families. People who come from places like the place where I live.


I have no idea why over the past couple of years local boys seem to want to identify themselves as being gay?

Maybe it's just a trend? Maybe it's just part of being cool? - I don't know.

My hope is that if they are indeed gay that they don't feel the need to have to hide away and that they will be accepted.

Many years back (About 12 years.) A good pal of mine who served on the District Committee, quit Scouting because of the BSA stance on gays. He talked with me before he resigned saying that if his son came home and said that he was gay, that he felt he'd still love him and want what every Dad wants for his son and if the BSA couldn't see that he wanted no part of it.


I have no idea what makes someone gay or not gay?

I sometimes think that the people of my generation didn't have much of a choice. We did what was excepted by others? Maybe the young people today feel that they do have a choice? -I don't know.

But if more and more families see that their kids are not doing what was excepted and want to live alternative life styles than it will become something that just can't be ignored.


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I normally stay out of the politics forum. I HATE POLITICS.


As for gays and scouting, it is my opinion that you won't see a change in that stance until the policies of the BSA's top sponsors change. If you want gays in scouting, you'll need to out sponsor/spend those sponsors in order to influence the policies coming out of Irving.


Who are the top sponsors? Just look at the figures from the BSA's own sources: various conservative churches. Until you get the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, various "flavors" of Baptist, the Roman Catholic Church, etc. to accept gays as something other than a sinful offense to God, you're not going to see the BSA accept gays.


Unfortunately, money talks, even in scouting.

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"The fact is there are more and more Modern Families and fewer and fewer Nelsons, Reeds and Cleavers."


Should there still be a place for diversity in matters of opinion? Should we not still have a place in American society for the Nelsons, Reeds(?) and Cleavers?

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While I'm in agreement with you that money does indeed talk.

Money, or not having enough money? Never seems to have been a problem for the BSA at the National level. (Yes I know that they cut a few staffers a year or so back.)

My thinking is that there are people and groups of people with very deep pockets who support and will continue to support the BSA, some because of the gay policy that it has in place, some just because it's the BSA.

IMO HO, what hurts or harms a youth organization more than anything is when the membership keeps going down and there isn't any real explanation for it. (We do at times see bubbles when there are more or less available youth.)

I'd guess that almost all the regular posters in this forum, see the BSA as being relevant? We think that the work we do matters and does good.

For a very long time and even still, the guy on the street (Public opinion.) Has seen Scouting and the BSA in a favorable light.

Locally, it didn't really matter that much if a couple of units weren't that great because for every not so great unit there was a really good or great unit just down the road. When membership shrinks and there aren't as many units the not so great unit becomes the only game in town until such a time as it fails and there are no units left.

Sure lack of members means that less people buy uniforms, subscribe to Boy's Life Magazine and pay membership fees and the loss of this income hurts. Still if the time were to come when the BSA reported membership in the thousands and not the million or more? This would really hurt.

The BSA really is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

No matter what it does it stands to lose members.

My guess is that right now it's better to keep the bird that they have in hand, pander up to the big CO's and the supporters they have rather than rock the boat.



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