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> how then do the local units differentiate?

 

How do local units differentiate now? Some focus on full uniforms, some focus on merit badges, some focus on boy-led. Some go to Philmont regularly, some have never gone. Some only go backpacking, and others only go car camping. Some are more boy-led, some are chaotic, some are adult-led, some are small, some are large. Some place more emphasis on religion (awards, services, etc). Some have young leaders, some have old leaders. Some have women leaders, some don't. Some earn JTE Gold, some don't.

 

How do people find out? They show up, they observe, they ask questions. They look at websites. If they care about something, they ask. Why would gay leaders be any different?

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> how then do the local units differentiate?

 

How do local units differentiate now? Some focus on full uniforms, some focus on merit badges, some focus on boy-led. Some go to Philmont regularly, some have never gone. Some only go backpacking, and others only go car camping. Some are more boy-led, some are chaotic, some are adult-led, some are small, some are large. Some place more emphasis on religion (awards, services, etc). Some have young leaders, some have old leaders. Some have women leaders, some don't. Some earn JTE Gold, some don't.

 

How do people find out? They show up, they observe, they ask questions. They look at websites. If they care about something, they ask. Why would gay leaders be any different?

Why they will all be sort of effeminate, overly fastidious about their camps and uniforms, and may even speak a bit funny, Patrol flags will all have rainbows of some kind. They also carry the Gay Cooties. How can you not understand that? And even the wind blowing can waft the infectious cooties onto you from afar, so camping anywhere near them will be dangerous.

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I realize that some sponsors may have concerns about discrimination suits, but as a practical matter, the Dale case established that the BSA (and therefore its COs) is a private organization and may set boundaries on membership. Local option would not change that. Which is not to say there might not be test cases, but those are possible under current BSA rules.
You have a point, Peregrinator. I think since the case was based on the core values of the BSA, it would extend to sponsors who still interpret those values as the BSA did in Dale. We're sure to find out over time, since someone will bring a suit somewhere.

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Like NJ I'll believe the mass exodus when I see it. There may be a small number of COs that pull out, but most once they understand they are free to continue to discriminate based on sexual orienatation will stay on.

 

1. Loss of a CO doesn't necessarily mean loss of a unit. In many cases another CO can be found that would support a unit either allowing or not allowing gay members.

 

2. How many Christian congregations have folded because some other Christian congregations accept gay members?

 

SA

On your question #2, my understanding is that yes, as some Protestant denominations have changed their doctrine to suit the times and have discovered a new belief in gay marriage and gay ordination, this has caused some congregations to split or even fold. The Lutheran church near me just dissolved its relationship with its governing body over this and went independent. Some of the Anglican churches have dissolved their relationship with the governing body in England and have instead chosen to align with an African one over this issue: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/30/world/30anglican.html (A forum member who is actually a member of these denominations could probably explain the terminology for these moves better than I can).

 

Thanks for bringing this up, as it probably is an issue that hasn't been fully addressed in this discussion. If people will dissolve their congregations and long-standing synods over their moral stands, which are presumably much more important and intense relationships for them than which scout troop their sons are in, what does that bode for the future of Scouting under the New Model?

 

This formerly thriving church in St. Paul closed its doors after the congregation rejected the pastor's new hobbyhorse of support for gay marriage: http://www.twincities.com/stpaul/ci_20975779/pastor-whose-congregation-dwindled-after-supporting-gay-marriage

 

The Lutheran schism over gays will wind up impacting many of the social service networks they have built up, which also doesn't bode well for the BSA - again, the demands of the few will outweigh the needs of the many: http://www.pewforum.org/Religion-News/Lutheran-split-over-gays-and-the-Bible-shakes-up-multibillion-dollar-social-service-network.aspx

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/08/lutherans_split_over_gay_pasto.html

 

The Ethiopian Lutherans just severed their relationship with the English church over this issue: http://www.christianpost.com/news/ethiopian-church-severs-ties-with-lutherans-over-homosexuality-89745/

 

This bellwether topic may be worth a separate thread - thanks.

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Like NJ I'll believe the mass exodus when I see it. There may be a small number of COs that pull out, but most once they understand they are free to continue to discriminate based on sexual orienatation will stay on.

 

1. Loss of a CO doesn't necessarily mean loss of a unit. In many cases another CO can be found that would support a unit either allowing or not allowing gay members.

 

2. How many Christian congregations have folded because some other Christian congregations accept gay members?

 

SA

"The purpose of religion isn't to bring people together."

I just love this quote from TheScout.

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This is one of the strangest things I've ever seen. I just tried to add a comment to something AZMike wrote and it ended up here in this post by Eagledad.

If this just deleted something, I apologize. It was completely unintended.

Eagledad, if you DID try to post something, please post it again. I have no idea what happened.

Packsaddle

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An article from the Hoover Institute that suggests the final solution for the BSA may be schism, and that the best we may be able to hope for in the Boy Scouts is the sort of velvet divorce that sundered Czechoslovakia into the Czech and Slovak Republics. Kind of depressing, and I doubt that even a split BSA (the Orthodox Boy Scouts of America and the Reformed Boy Scouts of America?) would shield the Orthodox from legal challenges to their use of government space and facilities:

 

 

"The shape and size of any collective organization requires a trade-off between two benefits. On the one hand, organizations can gain strength by admitting additional members, which gives them more resources for programs and more political and social clout. But, as that membership increases, internal cohesion starts to diminish, and the costs of governance of the organization increase when the preferences of its membership start to diverge.

 

 

"As the level of disagreement intensifies, the costs of maintaining the unified front increases. The single institution may well be better off if it divides itself into two halves, each of which is free to go its separate way. When religious disputes produce a schism, for example, it is necessary to decide which assets belong to which of the two dividing groups. This can often inject civil courts into religious disputes that they have little inclination to resolve. It would be better for the Scouts to reach an amicable separation before the organization has to resort to costly and bitter litigation.

 

 

"To this outsider, it looks as though the separation of the two factions—who are in conflict over the issue of admitting gays—will happen. That, on balance, will be for the better. Any effort to introduce a federalism-like solution whereby each particular troop or subunit is entitled to go its own way under a national umbrella will not ease the situation. The deep divisions here are along moral lines. So long as the subunits of the larger entity have to engage in any cooperative activities, the division of sentiment on the matter will only engender the old rivalries, which indeed are likely to go stronger as the separate blocs become more emphatic in their views.

 

 

"Come next May, when the Scouts reexamine this question, they should work for an amicable separation instead of a fractious union. Mutual toleration and peaceful coexistence may yet turn out to offer the best way forward."

 

http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/140321

 

 

Here's a dishonest chapter from that Hoover article:

 

"After Dale, the question arose of what, if anything, restive governments at all levels could do to bring the Scouts to heel. A number of civil liberties and gay rights organizations took this position: “While organizations are entitled to hold whatever beliefs they choose, groups that act upon and instill disrespect and prejudice toward others have no right to special benefits or support from the government.†The purpose of this initiative was to deny the Scouts access to public facilities such as schools and parks for conducting their activities until they were prepared to admit gays."

 

As the ACLU clearly stated, they are against "special benefits or support from the government", which is NOT "access".

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I am the former SM of a troop sponsored by a volunteer fire company. The troop closed a few years ago, with no apparent connection to scout membership policies. Most of the families moved to another troop, which had just been chartered by a church, which to my knowledge, has no policy on gays as leaders. I am no lawyer, but I do know a bit about law. A fire company or a public school must operate under whatever state, federal or local law applies regarding discrimination. It does not matter if they are a BSA charter oeganization or not. A religious school or a church is protected by the first amendment, which apparently also covers BSA National. So in my opinion, if BSA adopts a local option religious CO's that retain a no gays policy will be in no additional jeapardy, and secular CO's that are bound by non discrimination laws will be relieved of a degree of risk.

 

I also think that BSA enjoys a huge reservoir of good will even among its criitics, and people are sometimes reluctant to attempt legal action.

 

Anyway, I see the local option as a win-win. It need only be as simple as "Scout leaders must be acceptable to the CO".

 

Any secular CO bound by non-discrimination laws will have to admit atheists as members.

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I would just like to put out there......

 

If your unit is in jeopardy of your CO drop their charter you can find another CO for your unit. If this is what you must do then so be it. But, please, work with your current CO to try to make the transition a smooth one. For example, you will need to get your existing CO's permission to move the unit to another CO even if they drop the charter. The reason for this is that the CO owns all equipment and funds of the unit. If they are not chartering a unit, they have the option of donating these items to the Council, donating to another unit, or holding them in their possession for the future use of a scouting unit. I only say this so that someone doesn't face legal action should they decide to find another CO and just gathering up everything and taking it with them without permission.

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Man, this is even weirder! I tried to write a response to Eagledad, and I wound up in a post by AZMike! What's going on? Where am I? I'm lost in cyberspace!

 

Packsaddle

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I would just like to put out there......

 

If your unit is in jeopardy of your CO drop their charter you can find another CO for your unit. If this is what you must do then so be it. But, please, work with your current CO to try to make the transition a smooth one. For example, you will need to get your existing CO's permission to move the unit to another CO even if they drop the charter. The reason for this is that the CO owns all equipment and funds of the unit. If they are not chartering a unit, they have the option of donating these items to the Council, donating to another unit, or holding them in their possession for the future use of a scouting unit. I only say this so that someone doesn't face legal action should they decide to find another CO and just gathering up everything and taking it with them without permission.

Military units used to charter scout troops. When I was in the Army, I was "encouraged" by my rather scary First Sergeant to assist his troop on a Scoutarama event. I expected to spend a day watching him bellowing at the boys in the troop where he was a Scoutmaster like he did at us, only to find him relaxed, having fun, approachable, and obviously adored by the boys in his troop. (At the end of the day, when I told him I wasn't used to seeing him in that setting, he said, "Well, they're boys. You can't treat them the same way as I do you guys or they won't have any fun. Scouting is about having fun." Then he punched me in the solar plexus. (No, just kidding about the last part.)

 

That all ended in 2005, when as the result of a settlement between the ACLU and the Pentagon to close all of the hundreds of chartered BSA troops on military bases in the U.S and overseas:

 

"In a letter dated March 11, 2005, the Director of Registration at the Boy Scouts of America National Office notified the ACLU of Illinois that it intended to advise "all local councils to transfer charters issued to government entities to private entities immediately." The Boy Scouts' letter came in response to a February 9th letter from ACLU of Illinois Staff Counsel Adam Schwartz. In his letter, Mr. Schwartz noted the recent action by the Pentagon, and stated that the direct sponsorship of Boy Scout units by local government entities violates the First Amendment because current Boy Scout rules require government officials overseeing the charters: 1) to exclude any youth from membership in the Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts simply because they do not believe in God; and, 2) to compel youth to swear an oath of duty to God. Schwartz noted that direct government sponsorship of BSA units violates the religious liberty of youth who wish to participate but do not want to express a belief in God. The ACLU of Illinois noted that transferring the charters to private organizations would "avoid the need for further litigation in Illinois regarding the direct government sponsorship of Scouting."

 

(source: ACLU Press Release http://www.scoutingforall.org/data/layer02/articles/2006050505.html)

 

The military now allows both homosexuals and atheists, so the military would be acceptable to the ACLU, but the BSA would not. The ACLU would still have problems with the military reopening any charters as the atheists are still not allowed, and would also probably not allow the military to charter any local option troops that hold to pre-millennial morality. Most public schools would also not accept the BSA as a whole or local option troops that aren't part of the New Model BSA. I'm not sure what other organizations would rush forward to charter troops if their CO drops them. There are only so many Methodist, Anglican, and Lutheran churches that are pro-homosexuality and don't already have a troop.

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My Church CO does not like the direction the BSA is taking but is comfortable that the CO's keep their authority to select leaders. This one factor was key that helped us to recently complete our re-charter.

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Man, this is even weirder! I tried to write a response to Eagledad, and I wound up in a post by AZMike! What's going on? Where am I? I'm lost in cyberspace!

 

Packsaddle

Welcome to the Twilight Zone. Do do Do do.

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