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National looking at letting homosexuals in the BSA

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Shouldn't this thread be moved to "Issues and Politics"? I know there are already at least three threads on this there (one of which was closed), but I think we can live with having several threads on this important topic, for the time being. It should be in its "designated area", though. (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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Scouting as we know it is always coming to an end. It was coming to an end when we let blacks integrate into units. It was coming to an end when we let Jews integrate into units. It was coming to an end when we added service projects to Eagle Scout rank. It was coming to an end when we allowed women to be Scoutmasters. It was coming to an end when we created soccer-oriented units for Hispanics. I don't know where people get the idea that the Boy Scouts of America hasn't evolved with society. It has - it's just pretty slow about it.


Are we going to lose some units sponsored by some shurches? Probably. Will there be a mass exodus of units from the big sponsors (the LDS, the United Methodists, the Catholic Church). Probably not (heck, they're already on board - if they weren't, the announcement would never have been made). The Southern Baptists will boycott? We should be so lucky (Disney sales increased when the Southern Baptists announced a boycott on Disney).


Will there be leaders and families leaving the Boy Scouts? Yeah, probably, but they might be replaced by leaders and families that will now join the Boy Scouts because the policy has changed.


Go ahead and wear that tape over the Boy Scouts of America strip - in a year from now, no one will even ask you what that's all about, and if they do, they'll likely just roll their eyes at you. Oh wait, you're going to leave the organization instead. We'll, I'm sure someone will miss you.


I'm not Catholic but I've always been told that Catholics believe in loving the sinner but hating the sin - I just don't understand how this policy would be contrary to church teachings when the Boy Scouts of America is decidedly non-sexual, which isn't going to change.


Sewing Merit Badge? Back when I was a Scout, the "manliest" Scoutmasters I knew not only knew how to sew, they taught us how to sew, and they all wondered why the heck there wasn't a sewing merit badge. You are aware that sewing is a skill learned in the military (or perhaps not, there are probably fewer Veterans that are Scoutmaster's today). It would also probably make sense to have some kind of "homemaking" merit badge - maybe call in Independent Living - to teach skills the Scouts are going to need when they grow up and go to college, get married, rent an apartment - do you really think women do all the housework these days? Alternative Lifestyles? Do you really want to go there? I'd say hunting is an alternative lifestyle these days.


Tampa - I suspect the delay was because the Methodists knew this was a possibility (as I've said in another thread, this wasn't done in a vacuum) and I suspect the rechartering instructions are going to be about which entity will be the chartering organization, the Methodist Men's Clubs (which will oppose the policy and aren't obligated by the church to follow the church's wishes on the matter) or the United Methodist churches themselves, which aren't necessarily opposed to the new policy.


I wonder what will happen with the MOU between the BSA and American Heritage Girls now that the BSA is poised to align their policies more closely with the Girl Scouts.

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You are 100% right. If this happens I won't be around a year from now to have someone ask me about a piece of tape or anything else.


The BSA embraced my family's values so my son joined and we volunteered. When they run contrary to traditional values there are other places calling for our family's time. Align with the Girl Scouts' view point and the BSA numbers could follow the direction of GS's numbers. American Heritage Girls is enjoying tremendous growth. Which direction would we like to see BSA numbers move?

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I can see why the BSA is considering this and that it is 100% politically driven. This moral battle is no longer winnable at the corporate level. The BSA has wisely decided to vacate the battlefield and focus its political resources elsewhere. If it is to work on polishing its image, via a new television show or jamboree venue, reducing the number of political tomatoes being thrown at it will help.


National is not looking at letting homosexuals in the BSA, because they have been members all along. It has been their own personal choice whether to be open about it. It has also been the choice of their fellow leaders to have them removed, some may say unfairly, via the BSAs policy on homosexuals. This is the way it is in each unit because this is the way it is in our society - some tolerate it while others do not.


What National is doing is accepting this fact: that toleration towards homosexuals varies in our society and that as a nation we are growing more tolerant of this behavior. Obamas second inaugural speech and other changes in the US Military is an indication of this trend.


From a units perspective, nothing will change the Chartering Organization will still have the final say in accepting or removing its scouting leaders. What will change is that a homosexual leader cannot be removed permanently as a scouter. He or she is free to find another unit to belong to - perhaps one that is more tolerant.


By changing this policy, the BSA will no longer interpret what it means in the Scout Oath by morally straight, as it applies to sexuality. As the BSA attempts to shape scoutings future, it can no longer afford to offer specifics regarding morality. After all, its not The Church of the Boy Scouts of America.


Hearing this news, some scouters I know are threatening to resign, on principle. They dont want to be associated with the BSA anymore. I see a lot of passion over this issue either way - these leaders love scouting and feel abandoned by their church.


The BSA must know that it will lose membership, in the short term. Whether it will grow in the long term, only time will tell.

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"We want the BSA to take an Evangelistic Christian bent on membership?


On behalf of the Jewish, Muslim, Buddist and other non-Christian scouts


No "


Way to ****falsely**** restated my position. You fit in well with most of those pushing this leftist agenda. Don't let facts stand in your way.


I asked which growth path was preferred? You falsely restated what I said. If you win have fun following the Girl Scouts' trend line.

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Yah, OGE, I guess you're now one of those "liberals" too, eh? Like me in da gun threads. Labelin' conservative Catholics old Eagles or generally pro-gun-rights furry rodents as "liberals" I guess shows just how far right some folks have gotten. :p


Be that as it may, I agree with airborneveteran on da likely membership trend line.




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second because homosexuals recruit and influence to their lifestyle. That is not somthing that a person who understands traditional family values wants around their boys.


No, youre wrong. This is nothing more than a crude stereotype of the flamboyant gay forcing everybody to accept their lifestyle, as if all gays make noise on pride day.


Where the problem comes in is when they start promoting, and or discussing their sexual preferences, they are then asked to leave and that is as it should be... if I were to go on campouts and discuss my sexual preferences and discuss that with the boys, I should be asked to resign or leave also.


...Again, Im curious where you get this impression that all gays have some agenda of force-feeding their lifestyle. Yes, some take it to an extreme. Most do not. But the small, vocal minority isnt representative of the select general population (in this case, gays).


Even the comparison you try to make in the quoted text doesnt make sense because you cannot aptly differentiate the fault of the gay man and straight man discussing sexual preference.


And Id be more afraid of the heterosexual pedo hanging around than the fag, honestly.


This has nothing to do with discrimination... it has everything to do with forcing others to agree with a lifestyle many will never accept and or agree with.


o_O And yet you say one post earlier...


Sometimes discrimination is fair.


I would cheerfully discriminate against a gay man who wanted to go camping with teenaged boys.


So obviously, there is a subtle but recognisable ulterior motive to discriminate. If you believe gays should keep their mouth shut and feel there is no justification in changing policy, fine. Thats your opinion and youre entitled to it. But dont say its not about discrimination... except when its fair.


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The General Commission of the United Methodist Men (which oversees all Scouting for the UMC) has just released the following statement regarding BSA's policy change. It will be left up to each local church to determine whether or not they will allow gays and lesbians into Scouting - either as a youth or a leader.


Statement from GCUMM


Gilbert Hanke, top staff executive of the General Commission on United Methodist Men, says that both he and Larry Coppock, national director of scouting ministries, were consulted by the leadership at the highest levels of BSA prior to the proposal to change membership requirements.


Basically this proposed change removes a national membership requirement dealing with sexual orientation and allows those decisions to be made at a local level consistent with charter organizations perspectives, said Hanke.


The United Methodist Book of Discipline clearly supports the rights and liberties for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.


In 2012, 6,700 United Methodist congregations enriched the lives of 363,876 young people through 10,868 Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops and Venturing crews.


We consider our scouting program as a ministry to the community and a way to provide the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relations with God, with others, and with self (2012 Book of Discipline 161F), said Hanke.


These proposed changes will allow local churches to reflect those tenets in their membership requirements. It does not force changes, but allows local churches control over these requirements.


These proposed changes are actually more consistent with the current Book of Discipline, Hanke concluded.


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Thanks Lodge489, this statment reduces the list of "all churches who will leave" list that the "sky is falling" group is touting down by one.. This was a group they claimed would walk, and it is opening it up for the local church to choose.. I really am not surprised. Our troop was hosted by the UMC and they were in inner turmoil about 4 or 5 years back on the issue and our charter Org was in favor of the liberal position.. So I see my old troop / Pack as being one who will welcome the change.


It also proves what others have been stating on this thread.. ALL major churches who charter BSA programs have been contacted, they know who will leave and who will stay, and it sounds like this press release is giving everyone a heads up, which they really wouldn't do if it wasn't pretty clear that things most likely will stay the same..


It is starting to get exciting..

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An alternative view:

Perhaps our various criticisms of National as being all about the money are correct after all. Perhaps as businessmen they've 'run the numbers' and are now convinced that, market forces being what they are, there is more to gain from making this change than from the status quo.

Perhaps all this is 'just good business'?


All else is hand-wringing.

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Several years ago, our church had a pastor that was the leader of a thriving Boy Scout Troop. The Troop lost its CO and naturally came to our church to ask them to sponsor the Troop. The Troop was turned down primarily because of BSA's anti-gay policy. Our Elders wouldn't even discuss it because of that one problem.


On paper, our church organization still has an anti-gay policy as well, but public opinion has changed and, at least in our local church, the membership is not for the most part in support of that policy.


For many of us, our religious believe that all of God's children deserve honor and respect equally, regardless of sexual orientation, means that there's a fundamental conflict between the BSA's values of "Duty to God" and "Morally Straight" as it has up until now been defined by BSA national.


I strongly support the proposed change, and if it means we lose some of the more backwards-thinking charters or individuals, so be it. I am hoping that my church will now reconsider charting a troop or crew if this burden is indeed lifted. I think there will be enough people and COs to fill in the gaps, given some time.


The question weighing on my mind is whether it will be enough to allow schools to start charting again, or whether they'll also have to change their stand on atheism. That's another topic, though.

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