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SCOUTER-Terry

Someday soon, all families may once again associate Scouting with good character

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Matt,

 

Your question deserves a response even if it isn't spun out. I think you did well with your answer - you have nothing to say at this time, and I love the part of inviting them out to the winter campout (though the flip side is it give a reporter exposure to Scouts they can ask the "what do you think about" question to).

 

If it were me, I would tell them that we would have nothing to say on the matter until we had discussions with our chartered organization to find out their views, and that even then, we may have nothing to say on the matter as it's between the Troop and the Chartering Organization, then refer them to the COR.

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"RE: Someday soon, all families may once again associate Scouting with good character"

 

Really? They are going to do a 180 degree change from the current direction? (Or at least the probable direction as noted in PR releases.)

 

Pardon me but I doubt it.

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The point is, ALL families, regardless of how they define good character, will now be able to find that in Scouting. Simple, fair and honest.

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Help! Lost in new forum!! I didn't see how to post a new topic, just post to old topic.. Since this was a topic started by Scouter-Terry, I decided to come here to scream.. Help! lost in new forum!!!

 

I got the topics, At that level I can read all comments as they are entered in a mish-mash of all topics.. I can see selection of forums.. Hit one, sorted by first topic ever posted (like back to 2001).. See latest, click that, a little better, for that topic..

 

Any way to select "All topics", latest posts, (then preferable I then sorted those by date of last post, so the threads were sorted by the latest post and I could see when someone made a new comment to a thread I was following..) but if can't get that sort, I will live..

 

Then how do you start a new thread???

 

Otherwise Terry, excited about the new forum, If only I can learn to navagate it.

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Ugh!!! Bring back the old software! This is terrible! The old software worked without javascript turned on, this one doesn’t (and for what? This isn’t YouTube). To get the latest activity, in the old site I could just bookmark the “last 24 hours†page, here you have to do an extra click. Plus it gives you only the last three entries, and you have to click "Show More" at the bottom. Then instead of a nice compact view that fit on my laptop screen, I have to scroll down to see more than a couple of entries. And it flat out doesn’t work anymore on my iPad.

 

Definitely an example of “slick and pretty†over usability! Save us Terry! Your forum has been one of the most useful sources of information and advice on Scouting that I have ever found. This new software will make it much less so.

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Tampa Turtle, around here the model I would use to answer your question is the churches (which would be the CO in some cases). They are loosely known as 'community' churches (as opposed to one conventional flavor or another) or, if they ARE a conventional flavor, they're called 'welcoming congregations'. Both of these designations seem to be code for churches which truly welcome all people including those who are openly gay. So perhaps the modifiers, 'community' or 'welcoming' might be attached to the unit.

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That's a good sentiment, Scouter Terry, but I think that ship has sailed away forever.

 

If the Great Compromise passes, a substantial portion of families will feel that National gas compromised its core values in the name of political correctness. They will not associate Scouting with good character as they once did.

 

If the Great Compromise passes, the gay pressure organizations that have used the media and big business to pursue their own ends will not be satisfied unless the local option is abolished and every charter organization is required to admit homosexual leaders and scouts. This is based on their own statements. They do not currently associate Scouting with good character and will not do so until all their demands are met.

 

if the Great Compromise does not pass, those who insist on the local option or the GLAAD option will be not happy and those who favor the new view of moral imperatives on the primacy of sexuality in American life that emerged in recent times will not associate Scouting with good character.

 

There is no possible solution to this available anymore. The balkanization of American politics and the intransigence of those on both sides has led us to a point where some issues do not have a solution that wll make everyone happy, so many of us will have to agree to disagree and accept that there will be hurt feelings.

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First, what a great organization and tradition and set of ideals we have here in the Boy Scouts of America that cause so many to care so much to do the right thing to help the youth of America so much. Yes, each of us may disagree about what the right thing is – and there is much disagreement, and will be, and for some time. But I believe that even those on the opposite poles on this issue are united by the same Vision and Mission and Aims and Oath and Law.

 

Second, I think that what unites us, and will unite us, and will keep the BSA at the forefront of youth development programs are the Vision and Mission and Aims and Oath and Law. What a great service we would do if we realize the Vision and “prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Lawâ€.

 

Third, as I listened to 1 Corinthians 13:13 this morning about love, I hear it in a church where half of the clergy and staff and a significant portion of the parishioners are gay. And there is not unanimity about whether that is right or wrong, but there is unanimity in our aspirations to do the good things of the prayers and readings. I see this as parallel to the lack of unanimity among us about whether admitting open or avowed homosexuals is right or wrong, but the complete unanimity in our aspirations to do the good things of the Vision, Mission, Aims, Oath and Law.

 

But there in the vision, we find the issue . . . the concept of “eligible youthâ€. What should the organization decide about which youth are eligible? Should youth who have or develop a same sex orientation and are avowed or open about it be ineligible to participate in our program of preparing to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader?

 

Two Polar Opposite Beliefs Today (and What The BSA Says About Different Beliefs). On the one hand, many people, and many religions (and chartered organizations), believe that those with an avowed or open homosexual orientation should be excluded. They believe that such an avowed or open orientation is so completely contrary to the values of Scouting that exclusion from membership is the only appropriate result. (While it is not on the table as far as I know, it is possible the standard of being an “open or avowed homosexual†is seen by some as not sufficiently vigilant and protective of the BSA or the chartered organization’s other programs, and that some stronger standard might be more appropriate – I note this just to note that opinions may differ from person to person, chartered org to chartered org).

 

In any event, given what is known about the human condition, I am not fit to judge whether that opinion is right for you or your religion. If a person or a religion believes that having an avowed or open homosexual orientation is so contrary that membership must be excluded, it is not for me to judge your belief or your religion’s belief. I respect both.

 

And Scouting tells me I must respect your religion’s belief.

 

“The activities of the members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be carried on under conditions which show respect to the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion, as required by the twelfth point of the Scout Law, reading, ‘Reverent. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.’â€

 

Also, “The Boy Scouts of America, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.â€

 

I may disagree with your beliefs. But I must respect them.

 

On the other hand, if your convictions in matters of custom and religion are aligned with a religion that does not condemn a homosexual orientation, if it is a religion that permits those with homosexual orientation to be leaders and clergy, then too, I may disagree with your beliefs, but I must respect them.

 

Unless there is to be a change in the other direction, the BSA will not establish one religion’s application of morality as the BSA standard of morality. The BSA “is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious trainingâ€. This may be decried as moral relativism, and as a Scout I respect that right to make that critique and hold that belief. As a citizen I will defend your right to speak out against it, even if I disagree with it.

 

But as a citizen, I also recognize that we will have among us citizens who have a homosexual orientation. How many, it does not matter. There will be some. They are citizens of our country too. Ideally, they will become responsible, participating citizens and leaders. Some may find the avowed or open orientation, or acting on it, to be reprehensible, a sin, unacceptable, immoral, abnormal or otherwise, but they are still our fellow citizens.

 

Respect of Beliefs. This proposed change does not force any Scouting unit to accept members or leaders with a homosexual orientation, open, avowed or otherwise. If it is against their principles and beliefs, Scouting will not force them to act against those principles and beliefs. Those chartered organizations, such as a church that believes that homosexual orientation is contrary to their teachings or beliefs, will want to continue to exclude members or leaders with a homosexual orientation. They would continue as they do now in the rest of their church life: they will not be forced to accept members or leaders with a homosexual orientation.

 

This proposed change also would no longer force any Scouting unit to exclude members or leaders with a homosexual orientation. If exclusion is against their principles and beliefs, Scouting will not force them to act against those principles and beliefs. Those chartered organizations, such as a church that believes that homosexual orientation is not contrary to their teachings or beliefs, will want to be allowed to include members or leaders with a homosexual orientation. Now, they too, would be allowed to operate as they do in the rest of their church life: they will not be forced to exclude members or leaders with a homosexual orientation.

 

Just as we may associate with a church whose applications of principles and beliefs are aligned with our own, so too we would be able to associate with units whose applications of principles and beliefs are aligned with our own. Frankly, we may already do this now with our units, schools, or neighborhoods. For example, if one does not one one’s children taught by teachers with a homosexual orientation, one will seek out a private school in line with those values. But in any event, we will encounter our fellow citizens as we engage in our lives, and we will encounter those of all orientations as we attend public events, vote, serve in the military, and live our lives in this country. We will encounter them when we take our Scouting units into the world. Even our Scouting units that permit no members or leaders with an open or avowed homosexual orientation will encounter them when they go into the world.

 

...

 

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... Part Two ...

 

Citizenship Issues: This policy involves a choice relating to citizenship. To follow the vision of the BSA, we may consider how best to “prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leaderâ€. While the BSA has the constitutional right of association and, under Dale, may be allowed to exclude members or leaders with a homosexual orientation, the existence of a “constitutional†right does not make an association “right†in all meanings of that word. Or make it wrong. It may be a matter of difference of opinion, including deeply held and serious religious opinion, and there is a strong argument that we must respect those differences of opinion.

 

Does the application of the right of private association by exclusion teach the best lesson about how to deal with our fellow citizens? Does it provide the best example of how we in the United States will address with those who are different, in this case, with the difference of sexual orientation? Yes, I believe that the choice of inclusion or exclusion is a grave one for teaching citizenship. I believe that we are better off with a policy that reflects what a responsible, participating citizen and leader will deal with: a citizenry that includes those with both orientations, one that reflects our country and its citizens. The message we send in exclusion is not reflective of our citizenship values: we do not banish those with a homosexual orientation. And elements of the current policy create significant conflicts (e.g., you agree to be trustworthy and can be a member and have a homosexual orientation, so long as you never reveal it; or you know of a brother Scout’s revelation and wonder whether you must report it because you must be loyal, but loyal to who – and yet you must be kind, as in “he treats others as he wants to be treatedâ€).

 

But beyond the citizen question there is the moral question, and the fact that many believe that this orientation is not moral, and should be excluded, while others disagree. Given this, it is fair that neither policy at the end of the spectrum be forced on all:

-- neither absolute exclusion from all units,

-- nor absolute inclusion into all units.

 

And the current proposal would not force any unit to against their values in accepting members. The right of chartered organizations to decide their membership policy on this issue allows freedom of association and avoids the consequences of exclusion. It reflects that there can be a place for those with a homosexual orientation in the organization that attempts to prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader.

 

 

Now, some suggest that this leaves chartered organizations open to attack, and that they will be hampered in their ability to defend themselves absent the resources of the BSA or the shield of the policy. Some believe that attacks will force many to abandon Scouting. I think this is at odds with the strength of religious conviction and resolve. Their policy of denial of membership to members or leaders with a homosexual orientation is certainly consistent with how the chartered organization operates otherwise. If they deny the priesthood or other leadership roles to those with a homosexual orientation, they are well acquainted with the risks of complaint or protest or attack, and have the resolve to uphold their beliefs. For example, some units have restricted membership and leadership from women, members of other faiths, perhaps based on other aspects as well, and they do so firm in their convictions and successfully. That resolve would not change now.

 

With the liberty granted to chartered organizations, I believe units on the opposite poles on this issue can remain united by the same Vision and Mission and Aims and Oath and Law, as we all “prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Lawâ€.

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Oh my, God has come down from the mountain tops and has spoken to us! :)

 

That was an attempt at light hearted humor - not meant to be condescending or cynical.

 

Terry, as a moderator, sometimes I feel I shouldn't weigh in on issues as much and let others carry that torch, but usually that feeling fades after awhile. I sure you feel the same sometimes - times ten.

 

Thanks for all you've done for this forum for so many years.

 

Now, excuse me while I try to hunt down a Forbes article.

It's sad that good character is now associated with being homosexual, and:or accepting homosexuality. Openly homosexual individuals should no more be allowed in Scouting as leaders any more than individuals living together outside of marriage (I'm not talking about just roommates).

 

Our society has been so inured to immoral behavior that anything is now accepted. Immoral behavior, even flagrant immoral behavior, is not only tolerated, but accepted as normal. Lying, cheating, infidelity, homosexuality, pornography, sex outside of marriage are all accepted now as okay or even normal. It's our right to do these things. Then, we have the audacity to tell our kids that sexting is bad, that they shouldn't be cheating on tests, they shouldn't spread falsehoods about other kids, they shouldn't bully others. They look at us and think "Who are you to tell me what is good or bad. I'll decide that just like you did".

 

Good character used to mean moral behavior! And that morality was not decided by individuals or by groups pushing their agenda/s. It was not decided by decades of entertainment/news media pushing their lowest standards. It was based on standards that were in place from our beginnings as humans. Whether we like it or not, it has been a standard in place in the Bible and most every major religion in the world.

 

Not so very long ago living together outside of marriage was not accepted as moral. Now it's normal and accepted. Not very long ago looking at porn, that demeans both men and women, was not accepted as moral. Now it's a matter of freedom of speech, and addiction is rampant. Not so very long ago sex between kids as young as 13 was not accepted. Now "teens will be teens". They're going to have sex, so let's just give then access to birth control, without parents consent or knowledge, up to and including killing their baby in the womb. Not so very long ago many, many behaviors, such as homosexuality, were not accepted as moral behavior. Now it's pretty much accepted by most because "that's the way they were born". (Which is not a scientific fact.)

 

Right now, sex between a thirteen year old and an adult is not accepted, unless it's a woman and a boy. Soon, very soon, that will change and our society will say it's okay as long as the child consents. There are organizations already saying they are bring deprived of their rights by man boy love being illegal. Our society now says the individual should define what character/morality is to them. Situational ethics now rules.

 

So very, very sad that now Boy Scouts of America are considering jumping on the bandwagon, because of financial and societal pressure. I guess Character no longer counts!

 

The more we reject real GOOD/MORAL character, the quicker this country will decline. I will not be jumping on the Immorality Bandwagon!

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okccal: Believe it or not the Bible/Torah/Koran cannot be considered the only sources of truth or morals in our world. As a Catholic, I agree with many of the positions you outlined, but ultimately, I cannot hold you to my strict Catholic standards. I cannot hold all BSA volunteers to my religious rules and traditions. I wouldn't want to. That's freedom of choice right? The Boy Scouts is allowing freedom of choice. You are decrying freedom of choice while not realizing that same freedom of choice allows you to hold the very views you professed in your post. I thought personal freedom was the calling card of modern conservatives. I guess it's only freedom of choice as long as they agree with your views.

 

Yours in Scouting, regardless of what National decides,

Sentinel947

 

 

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Tampa Turtle: I would imagine that local units will be allowed to include a sexual orientation statement in their anti-discrimination policy. So prospective Scout families can ask to see it. Or just ask if the unit allows gay leaders and scouts.

 

The problem is that most people today don't even know that the BSA doesn't allow gay leaders and scouts because it's not published. Many families are often surprised when they find out about the policy.

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I wonder how CO units will identify themselves? Pro-gay or anti-gay? Or will parents just ask around. Could add a new component to "Troop shopping".
For some reason this comment didn't show up in the right place before - maybe a bug? Anyway,

Tampa Turtle, around here the model I would use to answer your question is the churches (which would be the CO in some cases). They are loosely known as 'community' churches (as opposed to one conventional flavor or another) or, if they ARE a conventional flavor, they're called 'welcoming congregations'. Both of these designations seem to be code for churches which truly welcome all people including those who are openly gay. So perhaps the modifiers, 'community' or 'welcoming' might be attached to the unit.

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I wondered because I am involved in 2 Methodist Churches one of which is openingly "welcoming" and the other more "traditional". Both are in the same district of the United Methodist Church so I wonder how the UMC will parse their response. I think there are some doubts about how workable the local option will be.

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