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pchadbo

Help me understand your point of view

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I reckon it feels like betrayal, eh? A stranger who doesn't care for yeh is one thing, but a friend or loved one who stops bein' a friend really hurts.

 

Let me tell you what felt like a betrayal, it was when the BSA was hijacked by the religious-right. When Unitarian scouts were basically told "we don't like your religion, and believe it's central tenets of faith are incompatible with BSA values", that was a betrayal. When the Boy Scouts basically stopped believing in their own policy:

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

 

and effectively replaced it with:

 

"The BSA is a conservative Christian organization that allows others to participate as long as they follow conservative Christian values";

 

that was a betrayal.

 

I feel like this policy change is just a first step in undoing a betrayal of the real BSA values I grew up with as a cub scout, boy scout and explorer scout. The values of tolerance, honesty and respect for others.

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Yah, but Rick_in_CA, yeh do realize that da BSA you grew up with that taught you those values had exactly the same policy in place then as now, right?

 

Even as they objected to that lifestyle and kept Scoutin' clean and wholesome for you and your friends, they also lived and taught respect for others.

 

Bein' a conservative Christian and bein' committed to tolerance, honesty, and respect for others aren't incompatible, eh? In fact, they go together quite well. Provided yeh remember those lessons about respect and tolerance apply to everybody, not just da folks who agree with you. ;)

 

Beavah

 

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MomToEli,

I appreciate your honesty and candor and truly respect and, quite frankly, agree with most of your positions, however, we are dealing with two seperate questions that I did not make quite clear enough. You have addressed the second: what would you do with a gay person in your Unit. The question I am asking though is not the hypothetical "if you had a gay leader. . ." question it is why would you leave simply because BSA National no longer bans all gays?

I understand and respect your answers and this could begin to be a serious YP issue, but that is a bridge for another day.

So I restate: why would you leave simply because BSA National no longer bans all gays?

" why would you leave simply because BSA National no longer bans all gays? " Because I believe that the Scout Oath means something. I took that oath many years ago, and I have never seen anything indicating that it had an expiration date. (Same with another one I took a few years later.)

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Anyway, I'm still trying to understand the reaction in which someone decides to leave scouting, not because their CO has lost its ability to discriminate, but because OTHERS have gained the freedom to choose NOT to discriminate.

 

So much of Scoutin' is shared, eh? Shared between lads and adults of many units and many chartered partners. Summer Camp and camporees and jamborees and round table. We send kids on their own with adults not selected by da Chartered Organization as provisional campers at summer camp and on council contingents to Philmont and SeaBase and Northern Tier and Jambo, and workin' summer camp staff as CITs, and participatin' in OA's Brotherhood of Cheerful Service. So if someone feels strongly about this issue, a change in policy is goin' to take a lot of Scouting away from their kids. For lots of troops that rely on BSA bases for high adventure, it's goin' to take all of that away for those boys.

 

Yah, sometimes I also reckon it's not da start point and the end point, eh? It's the change.

 

Folks who might be OK with their child in a public school that has gay teachers might opt out of Boy Scouting because they are upset by the change. The BSA had been a safe haven for 'em, a place they felt comfortable with as a family, that they truly trusted with their child. Then all of a sudden someone turned over da apple cart, and now Scouting is another institution workin' at cross-purposes to their family's values. More work to monitor, more time talkin' to their kids tryin' to keep 'em on da right path.

 

I reckon it feels like betrayal, eh? A stranger who doesn't care for yeh is one thing, but a friend or loved one who stops bein' a friend really hurts.

 

That's why da BSA's completely ham-handed handlin' of da issue is doin' more harm than might otherwise have been done. A long period of input, discussion and reflection done in a more open way, concludin' in a final vote where everyone at least felt like things were fully aired and everyone was thoughtful, would have helped mitigate that sudden-sharp-betrayal feelin'.

 

I also reckon what moosetracker said in da beginning is true, too. Lots of da folks who suggested that the pro-inclusion people should just start another organization rather than tryin' to take over this one really believe that. As a matter of courtesy like jblake47 says. Yeh don't come into someone else's house and **** and moan and whine and petition and try to get da owner fired from his job or da city to fine him because yeh don't like his choice in furniture. Yeh just go buy a house of your own and make it better if yeh can.

 

So it feels discourteous in some ways, eh? And yeh don't tend to hang around with discourteous folks. Just ain't worth da effort.

 

Beavah

 

(how amusin'. My b----ing and moaning seems to have been edited by da robot enforcin' appropriate courtesy. :) )(This message has been edited by Beavah)

Please PM me if anyone knows what happened with the 'edit' that Beavah mentioned. I'd like to know as well. Packsaddle

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Beavah writes: "Yeh don't come into someone else's house...."

And I agree. If I visit someone and during the visit I learn that they are racists (this still happens from time to time) I don't go on a quest then and there to change their mind. I leave. However, the unit I serve is NOT the house that belongs to BSA. As you and plenty of others have stressed over the years, the unit 'belongs' to the CO if not to the boys and families involved with the unit. I agree with you. If BSA had charged into this unit when a gay leader had been 'outed' and revoked their membership I would have felt terribly betrayed. The CO would have felt betrayed. The DADT approach can logically ONLY lead to this conclusion. And there is no other policy that BSA could logically have since 'detection' is impossible if a gay leader doesn't 'come out' or isn't betrayed by a friend or acquaintance.

 

I agree that some people will be so worried about the possibility that at summer camp or at a camporee, their child might come into contact with a gay person. GUESS WHAT? That happens already, thanks to DADT! Their sense of security is an illusion and if you claim that the loss of their fantasy world can make them leave, I concede that this is possible. Is that really the reason?

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OK, Let me try this again. It looks like the software change eat my reply.

 

Beavah wrote: Yah, but Rick_in_CA, yeh do realize that da BSA you grew up with that taught you those values had exactly the same policy in place then as now, right?

 

No it didn’t. When I was a boy scout, I remember an openly atheist scout master in a friends troop. He didn’t push it, but if asked he wouldn’t hide it. He was active in the district, no one cared about his religion. Are you saying that the BSA has been booting out gays, atheist and agnostics for the last 100 years?

 

Beavah wrote: Even as they objected to that lifestyle and kept Scoutin' clean and wholesome for you and your friends, they also lived and taught respect for others.

 

They objected? Really? Can you point to anything written in an official BSA publication from before the religious-right hijack that even mentions homosexuality? How about an official public statement? A directive sent to the councils from national? Anything other than a secret memo in a drawer?

 

Beavah wrote: Bein' a conservative Christian and bein' committed to tolerance, honesty, and respect for others aren't incompatible, eh? In fact, they go together quite well. Provided yeh remember those lessons about respect and tolerance apply to everybody, not just da folks who agree with you. ;)

 

I agree with you about this, and I believe this is where the problem is. There are some conservative Christians that define respect and tolerance as “agree with me or get outâ€. Before the hijack, the BSA that I grew up with wasn’t a conservative Christian organization. Sure it promoted the values of patriotism, honesty, helping others, etc. But you didn’t (and still don’t) have to be a conservative to be patriotic, honest, helpful, etc. (no matter how much some conservatives try to claim otherwise - love of family and country aren’t uniquely conservative values). But after the hijack, we get national trying to enforce a religious-right agenda on everyone in the BSA. Just look at their treatment of the Unitarians and their religious emblem program. That was NOT an example of tolerance, honesty or respect.

 

When I was a youth, the BSA was open to all kinds on the social spectrum: conservative, moderate, liberal, etc. The largest single group of charter organizations were public schools (how many units did we loose after the religious-right hijacked scouting?). Today, you can still find people of all kinds across the social spectrum in scouting. But for the last decade or more, if you weren’t a social conservative, national treated us like second class members. Our COs were told “we don’t care what your moral beliefs are, you have to discriminate as we tell you - or we will do it for youâ€. After decades of no problems, suddenly the UUA were told “we find your central religious beliefs to be incompatible with Boy Scout values, so your religious emblems are unfit to be worn on our uniforms†(because they started defining “boy scout values†as conservative Christian ones).

 

It’s time we took the BSA back, and return to the real values of tolerance, honesty and respect.

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OK, Let me try this again. It looks like the software change eat my reply.

 

Beavah wrote: Yah, but Rick_in_CA, yeh do realize that da BSA you grew up with that taught you those values had exactly the same policy in place then as now, right?

 

No it didn’t. When I was a boy scout, I remember an openly atheist scout master in a friends troop. He didn’t push it, but if asked he wouldn’t hide it. He was active in the district, no one cared about his religion. Are you saying that the BSA has been booting out gays, atheist and agnostics for the last 100 years?

 

Beavah wrote: Even as they objected to that lifestyle and kept Scoutin' clean and wholesome for you and your friends, they also lived and taught respect for others.

 

They objected? Really? Can you point to anything written in an official BSA publication from before the religious-right hijack that even mentions homosexuality? How about an official public statement? A directive sent to the councils from national? Anything other than a secret memo in a drawer?

 

Beavah wrote: Bein' a conservative Christian and bein' committed to tolerance, honesty, and respect for others aren't incompatible, eh? In fact, they go together quite well. Provided yeh remember those lessons about respect and tolerance apply to everybody, not just da folks who agree with you. ;)

 

I agree with you about this, and I believe this is where the problem is. There are some conservative Christians that define respect and tolerance as “agree with me or get outâ€. Before the hijack, the BSA that I grew up with wasn’t a conservative Christian organization. Sure it promoted the values of patriotism, honesty, helping others, etc. But you didn’t (and still don’t) have to be a conservative to be patriotic, honest, helpful, etc. (no matter how much some conservatives try to claim otherwise - love of family and country aren’t uniquely conservative values). But after the hijack, we get national trying to enforce a religious-right agenda on everyone in the BSA. Just look at their treatment of the Unitarians and their religious emblem program. That was NOT an example of tolerance, honesty or respect.

 

When I was a youth, the BSA was open to all kinds on the social spectrum: conservative, moderate, liberal, etc. The largest single group of charter organizations were public schools (how many units did we loose after the religious-right hijacked scouting?). Today, you can still find people of all kinds across the social spectrum in scouting. But for the last decade or more, if you weren’t a social conservative, national treated us like second class members. Our COs were told “we don’t care what your moral beliefs are, you have to discriminate as we tell you - or we will do it for youâ€. After decades of no problems, suddenly the UUA were told “we find your central religious beliefs to be incompatible with Boy Scout values, so your religious emblems are unfit to be worn on our uniforms†(because they started defining “boy scout values†as conservative Christian ones).

 

It’s time we took the BSA back, and return to the real values of tolerance, honesty and respect.

Rick, I agree with you. Many posts on this forum have complained about the left coming in to force the BSA away from their traditional values. Nonsense. The BSA turned in the 1980s. I don't think a majority of parents and scouters ever agreed with that decision. Now it looks like the tide is turning. I hope the BSA rides this wave without swamping.

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OK, Let me try this again. It looks like the software change eat my reply.

 

Beavah wrote: Yah, but Rick_in_CA, yeh do realize that da BSA you grew up with that taught you those values had exactly the same policy in place then as now, right?

 

No it didn’t. When I was a boy scout, I remember an openly atheist scout master in a friends troop. He didn’t push it, but if asked he wouldn’t hide it. He was active in the district, no one cared about his religion. Are you saying that the BSA has been booting out gays, atheist and agnostics for the last 100 years?

 

Beavah wrote: Even as they objected to that lifestyle and kept Scoutin' clean and wholesome for you and your friends, they also lived and taught respect for others.

 

They objected? Really? Can you point to anything written in an official BSA publication from before the religious-right hijack that even mentions homosexuality? How about an official public statement? A directive sent to the councils from national? Anything other than a secret memo in a drawer?

 

Beavah wrote: Bein' a conservative Christian and bein' committed to tolerance, honesty, and respect for others aren't incompatible, eh? In fact, they go together quite well. Provided yeh remember those lessons about respect and tolerance apply to everybody, not just da folks who agree with you. ;)

 

I agree with you about this, and I believe this is where the problem is. There are some conservative Christians that define respect and tolerance as “agree with me or get outâ€. Before the hijack, the BSA that I grew up with wasn’t a conservative Christian organization. Sure it promoted the values of patriotism, honesty, helping others, etc. But you didn’t (and still don’t) have to be a conservative to be patriotic, honest, helpful, etc. (no matter how much some conservatives try to claim otherwise - love of family and country aren’t uniquely conservative values). But after the hijack, we get national trying to enforce a religious-right agenda on everyone in the BSA. Just look at their treatment of the Unitarians and their religious emblem program. That was NOT an example of tolerance, honesty or respect.

 

When I was a youth, the BSA was open to all kinds on the social spectrum: conservative, moderate, liberal, etc. The largest single group of charter organizations were public schools (how many units did we loose after the religious-right hijacked scouting?). Today, you can still find people of all kinds across the social spectrum in scouting. But for the last decade or more, if you weren’t a social conservative, national treated us like second class members. Our COs were told “we don’t care what your moral beliefs are, you have to discriminate as we tell you - or we will do it for youâ€. After decades of no problems, suddenly the UUA were told “we find your central religious beliefs to be incompatible with Boy Scout values, so your religious emblems are unfit to be worn on our uniforms†(because they started defining “boy scout values†as conservative Christian ones).

 

It’s time we took the BSA back, and return to the real values of tolerance, honesty and respect.

I agree with Rick too.. The conservative "rules" were NOT there from the creation of BSA..

 

I would also like to add that conservative family values, is not the only type of family values seen as the only values to instill in our youth. It seem like when conservatives bring up family values, it has to be "conservative" or it just plain isn't valuable.

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I remember back when the "Litmus test" for religion for Scouting was that they believe in a higher power. Does NOT have to be Christian. I would love to see more Jewish and Pagan Troops.

 

I have noticed that we change the Scouting Program for certain religions. An example in my area is that the LDS Boy Scouts attend Cub Scout Day Camp because the Church will not allow boys to have multiple nights camping before a certain age. I do not want to change thier religion but I do NOT want the Cub Day Camp to be responsible for Boy Scout items either as they do not advertixe it's availability to non LDS Scouts.

 

If you really want things to change in Scouting, we either have tostep up as volunteers or find an endless amount of money to make National change.

 

My $0.02

 

Rick

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The most common arguments I've seen and heard for maintaining the ban are usually based on flawed logic. It's usually something to the effect of gay men are more likely to molest children, so banning gays is protecting kids. Of course this idea ignores the various studies that show that gay men are no more or less likely to molest children than straight men. There was a study done a few years back that looked at 200+ pediphiles and only 2 of them were openly gay.

 

Then there is the less popular notion that gays want to convert our kids to be gay as well. Seriously, I can't make this stuff up. The belief is that gays shouldn't be in any position of authority over kids because they will use that position to influence the kids into being gay themselves.

 

Yeah, I know what you're thinking, I'm thinking the same thing.

 

On the issue of religion, I can sort of understand that one. If we're going to say that there are right and wrong reasons to be on either side of this, I'd say religion is one where you could be right on either side of the argument. Bible purists believe that God disapproves of homosexuality. People like me believe that God created us, gay people are born gay, and God would disapprove of me discriminating against anyone he created based on something they were born with. I'm Catholic, but I don't believe the Bible to be the perfect interpretation of God's will. It's got flaws, and I believe the interpretation of God's disapproval of homosexuality to be one of them.

 

The religious issue we'll never settle. We've argued theology fo centuries and will argue it for centuries more. But what frustrates me immensly is the incorrect belief that banning gays fro the BSA is an act of protection for youth. I really hope that none of that kind of thinking is being considered in the upcoming decision. But sadly, people who erroneously believe that there is this threat to our children from gay leaders still have a voice in the debate, and will still be heard by the people who will make the call.

 

You don't have to be correct in your reasoning to still have a say in the debate. And I'm afraid that there are enough people with these incorrect ideas about gay people to sway the decision in their favor.

 

And that, I believe, might kill the BSA. Reaffirming the ban and doing so with even a slight hint at the idea that this is a measure of protection will make the organization seem further out of touch with reality. I'd hate to see the BSA become known as the organization that has this irrational fear of gay people, and I think that sort of stigma will begin the process of dismantling the organization.

 

 

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Beavah, excellent post. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I won't be nearly as eloquent as you, yet I'll give it a shot. First and foremost, I believe this is an adult leader issue and rarely a youth issue. Granted, there may be older Scouts that are discovering "who" they are from a sexuality perspective. Respectfully, there are other venues within which youth should explore this part of their lives. As a parent I would prefer to discuss these issues with my son or daughter and would be very much opposed to this becoming a dialog for Scouting. I'd never support removing a Scout from Scouting that was dealing with an identity issue and verbalized such. As an aside, I'm all for happiness. If two people can love one another and they happen to be the same sex? Great, good for them.

 

I am very much in the "don't ask, don't tell" camp. My partner is the only one that really needs to know about my sexual proclivities - whatever they may be. None of you, and certainly none of the youth in our Scout troop, need to know that I prefer blondes or redheads or Jack or Jill.

 

Having said all of that, I am concerned about an individual that is so wrapped in his or her sexuality that s/he must be identified as Jack/Jill the gay Scout leader. Why can't it just be Jack or Jill the Scout leader? I think (and this isn't my viewpoint) that many people are fearful that gay men are going to use this as an opportunity to get close to young, vulnerable boys. The reality is that most adult leaders involved in Scouting today are there because they have (or had) kids in the Scouting program. Most gay men probably aren't going to have sons. So... right away, you're going to have people say "hmmm". It is a good point. Quite frankly, well before this issue became the lightening rod that it is today, if I'm honest with myself, I'd probably have kept my eyes open if a single man with no children in Scouting wanted to become a Scout leader. I guess that some would say that makes me homophobic. I say that makes me a parent that is safeguarding his children. I'd do the same with any adult male that showed an interest in my teenage daughter.

 

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Having said all of that' date=' I am concerned about an individual that is so wrapped in his or her sexuality that s/he must be identified as Jack/Jill the gay Scout leader. Why can't it just be Jack or Jill the Scout leader? [/quote']

 

You just don't get it. There is this fantasy that we are going to get gay scout leaders showing up in a feather boa and high heals, and shouting in front of the scouts "let me tell you how great it is to be gay!". It's total BS.

 

The problem is that you declare your sexuality every time you introduce your wife as your wife. Gay leaders just want the same freedom to get dropped off at an event by their "partner" without the fear that somebody is going to report them and cause pain for them and their unit. "Don't ask don't tell" doesn't work because "telling" really means "someone found out and complained".

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Having said all of that' date=' I am concerned about an individual that is so wrapped in his or her sexuality that s/he must be identified as Jack/Jill the gay Scout leader. Why can't it just be Jack or Jill the Scout leader? [/quote'] You just don't get it. There is this fantasy that we are going to get gay scout leaders showing up in a feather boa and high heals, and shouting in front of the scouts "let me tell you how great it is to be gay!". It's total BS. The problem is that you declare your sexuality every time you introduce your wife as your wife. Gay leaders just want the same freedom to get dropped off at an event by their "partner" without the fear that somebody is going to report them and cause pain for them and their unit. "Don't ask don't tell" doesn't work because "telling" really means "someone found out and complained".

 

No, not really. Every time I introduce my wife, I'm introducing my wife. I'm not telling anyone anything about my sexuality. Sometimes a wife is just a wife. You say "...gay leaders want the same freedom to get dropped off at an event by their partner..." how would "don't ask, don't tell" impact that? It wouldn't. Let's be honest with one another here for a moment - we've had gay leaders in Scouting for as long as we've had Scouting. And I'm sure that "gay leaders have been dropped off at events by their partners" from time to time. And maybe even those inclined to wonder why Mr. Jones is always being dropped off by Mr. Smith, the youth really didn't "know" anything about the sexuality of the adult leaders. Sure, they may have guessed. They may have intuited it as they got older. But it wasn't out in the open so to speak.

 

So what we're really talking about is that those who feel passionate about forcing the Scouts to accept gay leaders really do want to have "Joe the gay leader" instead of "Joe the leader". I'm not smart enough to know why this is so important, but suspect it has something to do with mainstream acceptance and changing the cultural and moral values of our country. But that's just a guess. I may not get it.

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