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Christian Alternative to Secular Girl Scouts Growing, Expanding

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onehour, I get the feeling that people are tossing around "diversity" as a code word for "tolerance".


I suggest you take a look at a book by Josh McDowell called "The New Tolerance". I hadn't thought it about until I read his book, but the over-riding commandment now is "thou shalt tolerate everything" and its corollary: "intolerance is bad, therefore there can be no absolutes".


Moral relativism has given way to its more politically-correct cousin, "tolerance". Anything that promotes tolerance is deemed "good" and anything which doesn't is deemed "bad", especially those holding to traditional Judeo-Christian values of right and wrong.


Its quite an eye-opening read.


Oddly enough, under the new paradigm of "tolerance", groups with some type of exclusivity like AHG and BSA are *not* to be tolerated!


Now I ask you: how hypocritical is that?

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Yah, I gotta agree with onehour and fred.


There's lots of verbal gymnastics goin' on here, but what it sure seems to be sayin' is Christian = wrong, exclusive, not diverse.


Reality is every group is in some measure exclusive. If yeh go to a model train club and try to hijack the meetin' to talk about model planes, you're goin' to be excluded. Doesn't mean model train folks don't enjoy and respect model plane folks in other venues.


Gettin' jobs done, especially jobs like educatin' kids, requires some commonly held goals and values. It simply can't be fully "diverse" because some views are mutually exclusive, and everybody would be wastin' time arguin' over whose principles should be used.




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Trevorum wrote:


"I dont believe that an artificially homogenous social group is healthy for young, developing minds."


Why? Within all the mammalian orders I can recall, social groups are homogenized by 'artifice' or, more often, by force. Those that fit and submit, are included. Those that don't, are excluded. Why should humans be different? Why would you think, based on either trendy and modern psycho-biological principles, or else on old fashioned religious ones (you pick the religion), that this is wrong?


I know it's 'diversity' is, and has been, a trendy membership 'marker' word of approbation within the community of the politically correct. But like most 'marker' words, it's come to mean almost nothing, except to indicate approval or disapproval. It's sort of like the term 'family values' in the evangelical community -- a phrase which means has no specific meaning whatsoever.


OK, we get it: you like the GSUSA's political and social values, and you don't like the BSA's. But, I'm guessing that's not news to most of the regulars here, and it's certainly not a rational argument for or against anything.





"That smacks of "separate but equal"."


Your phrasing suggests you are arguing *ad hominem*, by subtly invoking civil rights issues. If so, that seems to me to be an illegitimate and underhanded argument in this context.





'You say, "AHG allows all kinds of legitimate diversity ..." suggesting you have some notion of "illegitimate" diversity.

Presumably, you see some differences as good (hair color? blood type?) and other differences as bad (religion? gender identity?). I don't think I agree with characterizing some diversity as legitimate and others as illegitimate.'


You may have been sincere when you wrote this. You may actually think you believe it.


But it's just nonsense! Every non-anarchist social order distinguishes between tolerated, and un-tolerated, diversity. I challenge you to name even one recognizable and stable social community that does not exclude (or censure, punish, exile, whatever) individuals engaging in some behavior or other.


And, once you exclude (or censure) any person because of their nature, appearance, or behavior, the game's up! There's no longer any debate about whether a distinction exists between 'legitimate' and 'illegitimate' behavior. The only debate is about which things are legitimate, and which are not.


Whose on YOUR list of evil (or "unacceptable", if you want to be trendy) people?


Pedophiles? Rapists? Members of M-9? Old fangled primitive cannibals? New fangled Goth vampire cannibals?


Your only way out is to engage the classic, but rationally bankrupt, argument that such people aren't really people. This argument has been used often. Black slave? Not a real person: enslave them! Bourgeoisie capitalist? Not a real person: send them to Siberia! Homosexual? Not a real person: give them a pink armband, and schedule their shipment to Buchenwald! Do you really want to jump on that bandwagon?


The problem with the argument is that there's NO basis, on either traditional religious grounds, nor on PC evolutionary behaviorist ones to argue that such people are outside the species. However much you dislike it, they are still *homo sapiens* --wise apes -- no matter how 'brutish' their behavior.


Many today wish to suggest, if not quite argue, that internal compulsion justifies, or at least exculpates evil behavior. But, again there's no consistency here. By all reports I've seen, the emotional (& biological??) drive felt by pedophiles to engage in sex with pre-pubertal youths is stronger, at least in its effect, than the sexual drives of adult-oriented heterosexuals or homosexuals.


You can't have it both ways: either there is a valid distinction between "legitimate" and "illegitimate" diversity within social groups, or you must go hug the nearest pedophile on your state's registry, and invite them to volunteer with your GSUSA or BSA troop!





"You also say, "Diversity ... is a lesser-order good than ... Judeo-Christian values" Here, I am pretty sure that my Hindu and Buddhist friends would disagree with you."


I'm not sure what you mean.


If you mean that your particular friends, who you know by name and personal history, and who happen to be include both Buddhists and Hindus, would also happen to disagree with the other posters, and agree with you . . . who can argue with you: you certainly are better acquainted with your friends than we are. And after all, it's not so surprising that you are friends with people who think like you do -- people do that, no matter what opinions they have about 'diversity'!


But, if you are speaking of Hindus and Buddhists generically, and are using the term 'friend' only as an expression of your attitude toward them, well that's another matter.


There's enormous variation, among Buddhists and Hindus, in their religious practices and philosophical beliefs. Those faiths, when considered as they are actually practiced, embody an overwhelmingly confusing jumble of austere and acetic philosophies mixed all together with varying proportions of animism, demon worship, ancestor worship and more. The jumble is so great and the variations so extreme, that simply identifying someone as a Hindu says very little about what they, as individuals, either believe or practice. The saintly and pacifistic Hollywood Buddhism so popular in the press is not, so far as I can tell, much practiced by anyone. People forget that both Richard Gere AND Steven Seagal claim to be practicing Buddhists.


So, when you try to bring in the genius of the tolerant Buddhist or Hindu, in support of Western post-modern ideas of diversity, you are claiming support from a doubtful ally. Such arguments are likely to carry weight only with the converted, the careless, or the uninformed.


The fallacy is especially obvious, since two nations clearly exhibit the level of 'diversity' tolerated by practicing Hindus and Buddhists. Again, not all may be old enough to remember what was at stake in the Pacific Theatre of WWII, but I am. There are plenty of Koreans -- Buddhist and Christians alike -- still alive that could give you lessons in the practical and actual diversity tolerated by the Buddhists of Japan. Likewise, you can, if you wish, go and talk to the Dalits of India, in many places still forced by the 'tolerance of Hinduism' to creep out at night, where they clean up the ordure of Brahmin or other members of higher castes, who possibly are relatives of your friends.


If you wish to retort that 'real' Buddhists or Hindus do not behave so, I can reply, without either irony or hypocrisy, that 'real' Christians do not despise or hate homosexuals, though they may not wish them to be teachers for their children.


Hindu and Buddhist 'tolerance' is a chimera, a phantasm of optimistic west coast wishful thinking: historically, really real Buddhists, and particularly, really real Hindus have made up some of the most intolerant societies in history.





"Not that it matters of course, because you evidently wouldn't want to associate with them in the first place."


Not "evidently", at least in terms of the posts themselves; unless you have outside or prior knowledge of the poster, you have no evidence, only presumption concerning who he/she would want to associate with.





"But of course it begs the questions of which "Judeo-Christian values" you mean. The ones shown by Lot when he offered his virgin daughters to the crowd? Or later, slept with them himself?"


Are you truly unable to distinguish in the texts that which is descriptive, from that which is prescriptive? Or have you just never actually read those passages? The relevant passages are found in Genesis 18 & 19; even a cursory reading makes it obvious that Lot's behavior throughout exemplifies both evil values and evil actions!






"Or the ones shown by Abraham when he tried to murder his son?"


Admittedly, a more difficult passage, and far too complex to either explain or try to defend here. But, whatever Abraham was doing, it was NOT attempted murder. By definition, murder is not simply killing, but rather *wrongful* killing. Contrary to the misleading translation, the command has always been, "Thou shalt not kill wrongly (or murder)" and never simply, "Thou shalt not kill". By very definition (within Judeo-Christian ethics) God (or YHWH) owns the lives of all creatures; taking such a life by His command clearly IS killing, but is just as clearly -- by very definition -- NOT murder. If there WAS an Abraham who attempted to sacrifice his son, then there was also a God who owned the very lives of them both.


I realize that in current post-modern Western culture, the very idea that anyone could have a RIGHT to take your very own personal life is odious in the extreme. But, throughout most history and most religions, there has been nothing strange at all about such ideas. Japan's Buddhist Samurai, for example, clearly and explicitly accepted their lord's right to command their death, either by execution or by suicide.





"But my point is that "Judeo-Christian" values are all over the moral compass and have no natural advantage over say, Buddhism or the Wiccan Rede."


This is just silly. You are throwing undefined terms -- "natural advantage" -- about with abandon.


What can you possibly mean by such a term? If you mean the obvious, then you are obviously wrong. Cows who prefer long lives obviously experience a 'natural advantage' under Hindu ethics as practiced in India. On the other hand, Dalits who wish to walk in daylight obviously experience a 'natural advantage' under Western laws which reflect (poorly, perhaps) Roman jurisprudence mingled with Christian ethics. The 'advantage' found, depends on the outcome valued.


But this only begs the question which is, after all, about which values should prevail.


The more fundamental point is whether it's possible for one ethical system to be more correct than another. Post-modernist thought trumpets the idea of a kind of truth that applies to all men, whether they like or not, as both impossible and self-contradictory. But, of course this concept is immediately abandoned by all the post-modernists I know of, every time they count their change at Walmart, or ask for the correct treatment for a chest infection, or file a complaint against an unknown burgler who robbed them. Somehow, under these circumstances, they miraculously recover their faith in a truth that the same for them AND for the cashier!


If there's no universal truth, then preference for one ethic over another is only a matter of he-said-she-said, with no resolution in sight. Yet again, all the post-modernists I know seem to consider the command, "Thou shalt not kill ME" to be both universal and absolute!





"I'll take diversity every time."


I doubt it.


I rather imagine you'll take diversity, only so long as you get to define it YOUR way, either with content specific to the occasion, or else as a marker of membership, approbation or disapprobation. Your arguments suggest that your real objection is NOT with exclusion itself, but is really just a quarrel over WHO should be excluded!


I remain confident that your 'inclusive' diversity STILL excludes pedophiles, cannibals, . . . and possibly even, 'right wing nut jobs'. If someone else defines diversity to include some of those you wish to exclude (even though you lack, by your own argumentation, any apparent basis for doing so), I rather imagine you will object strenuously to such an *inclusive* diversity!


After all, I very much doubt that you ARE a member of NAMBLA!




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I realize that some seem to like to argue just for the mere sake of arguing.


However, I believe the current argument started, not necessarialy with someone bashing AHG, BSA or GSUSA, (although some of that has happened), but because of a question of the definition of "diversity".


Onehour claims that AHG is a "diverse" organization. Others have stated that because of the way it is organized it is not "diverse".


THAT is the whole question here, although some have wrapped it up in a lot of off track retoric and name calling.


Perhaps this might help -


From Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary -


"diversity" - 1 : the condition of being diverse : VARIETY; especially : the inclusion of diverse people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization

2 : an instance of being diverse


"diverse" - 1 : differing from one another : UNLIKE

2 : composed of distinct or unlike elements or qualities

synonym see DIFFERENT



From MSN Encarta Dictionary -


"diversity" - 1. variety: a variety of something such as opinion, color, or style

2. social inclusiveness: ethnic variety, as well as socioeconomic and gender variety, in a group, society, or institution


"diverse" - 1. consisting of different things: made up of many differing parts

2. differing from each other: very different or distinct from one another


3. socially inclusive: composed of many ethnic, as well as socioeconomic and gender, groups



From these definitions, I think it is fair to say that while AHG are diverse, or different, from GSUSA and even BSA, that both GSUSA and BSA have much more diversity, or variety, of religions and ethnic backgrounds, in their organizations.


That is not to say that one is better than the other. They are simply diverse - different.





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fgoodwin writes:

Oddly enough, under the new paradigm of "tolerance", groups with some type of exclusivity like AHG and BSA are *not* to be tolerated!


Well, whites-only groups and Restricted clubs aren't exactly tolerated nowadays either; however I''d be satisfied if groups like AHG and BSA would be up front about who is and is not allowed. The BSA never seems to tell public schools under what circumstances they are expected to practice religious discrimination, as the recent SafeRides incident at John Jay High School shows, and it still takes some digging on AHG's website to learn they are exclusively Christian. They also claim to be a "scouting" organization.


[apostrophies are now coming out as double quotes; my guess is that is connected to a fix to prevent javascript phishing](This message has been edited by Merlyn_LeRoy)

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I''m happy to see AHG expanding. Their rapid growth isn''t a big surprise given the choices GSUSA has made in the past few decades.


GA, my sister worked in the LA Headquarters for a time and her experiences are very similar to yours.


Are there great GS troops? Absolutely! But for those that disagree with the *POLICIES* of GSUSA, AHG is a wonderful alternative. If you support what they''re doing, you should stay! Just as if you don''t agree with AHG''s policies, you certainly should NOT put your daughter into it. In the same way that if you reject BSA''s "Duty to God", Spiral Scouts is a much better alternative.

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Eagle in KY... yes we''ve been involved with both the AHG Troop and the Cub Scout Pack at SECC for several years now.


As for the AHG vs. GSUSA argument. It comes down to what you are looking for. And it also greatly depends on what you want to support. Are there great Girl Scout units? Most definitely. Many are sponsored in fact by religious organizations. Does this mean I want my money going to GSUSA? Most certainly not. Do I want my daughter associated with them? No. So I decide to endorse AHG. We are however in the USA and others have every right to endorse a group following what they believe. I don''t have to agree with it, but I agree with their right to exist.


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