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Raymo

Moral Values

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Recently there was a poll passed around on the net about Scouters maintaining our values and opposing homosexuals. A number of older senior Scouts and young adult Scouters have ranted and railed about the intolerance of the BSA. They appear to believe that our Oath; "On MY honor..." means, in part that they have the authority to believe what they want because it is THIER honor. In my estimation, similar to the Girl Scouts who agreed to let "GOD" stand for whatever back in about 1991.

How do you get the message across to these Senior Scouts and Adult Leaders that they represent our Scouting values? That our Scouting values are those clearly espoused by our Sponsors and that we are NOT intolerant but we do discriminate against immoral and bad things while being clearly for moral and good.

I know we can't deal with this from an emotional level but it is almost as if they are saying "don't try to confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up". Help me resolve and save these young lives without compromising my principles AND losing good young adults!

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Please don't misunderstand this response. This is just a general feeling I have at this point. This whole issue has become way too distracting. One guy in New Jersey takes the Scouts to the Supreme Court of the land and loses. That's it already. Individual Units will do what they want to do. That's it. Time to get back to the business of 'playing the game'. Instill citizenship, physical fitness and "good moral" values into as many youth as possible by way of a time proven & tested outdoor program. There's no loss of focus here. Tell your Senior Scouts to get up in the morning and while looking at themselves in the mirror they should say to themselves, "Today I will not hurt anyone intentionally and try my best to make good decisions". That's what we're supposed to teach, right? So let's get out there and continue to do it. Am I skirting an issue? No, I'm just tired of this one.

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It seems that the author (Raymo) of the first post of this thread is convinced that only Senior Scouts and young scouters (hence a narrow age grouping) find the Supreme Court decision upholding BSA's desire to discriminate against gays is wrong. I am 42 years old, was an Eagle Scout as a teen, and am now a Scoutmaster for my son's troop. I find it morally incomprehensible and just plain ignorant that BSA feels they have the right to discriminate against anybody that does not commit crimes or hurt fellow human beings. The BSA is just beginning to feel the negative (to the BSA) repurcussions for pursuing their position in this matter. There is another troop in my town who will likely lose their sponsorship (a church no less!) over this discriminatory issue. Think about it, if the gay person involved with this case was also a minority or of non-Christian faith, do you think BSA would have let this go to the Supreme Court?

Contrary to the popular belief of homophobes (like this author appears to be), gay men do not become involved with youth programs like the Scouts as a gay recruiting activity. BSA should focus more on keeping child molesters and the like out of our Scouting programs. The last time I checked, these people tend to be straight.

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Recently I have sent in an article regarding scouting and morals that was in response to some of my local politicians attempting to clean out any public support to scouting.

 

There is an aspect of scouting I believe that needs to be considered and that is the 'parenting or family aspect'.

 

I put my first son into scouting because it benefits our family. If scouting did not set the standards it does, then it would be simply another kids organization.

 

Here is what I wrote:

 

==========================================================

 

Boy Scouts One Parents Perspective

 

Jackie Goldberg, Los Angeles City Councilmember and Martha Matthew of the ACLUs and the Democratic Partys attack on the Boy Scouts is an attack on our families integrity and our efforts to raise our young boys by minimizing certain societal influences with we feel threatens the very existence of our family. The character our sons develop has a direct influence on the integrity of our family. Many families recognize that the Boy Scouts help develop the kind of character that preserves that integrity.

 

We are certain that many of todays societal influences threaten the future existence and well being of our families. As a family, my wife and I want to see our boys grow to have good character, productive lives, marry and have a family themselves to experience what we enjoy now. We hope that one day we will have the opportunity to become what our parents are. Grandparents. But this will or may not happen if we as parents are handcuffed by a society from raising our children in society full of excesses.

 

As an example, we have to raise our children in an environment that discourages the use of drugs. Drugs threaten the integrity of our family by diminishing our childrens learning ability and career potential. It reduces their ability to become loving spouses and effective parents and may even cause accidental death. Drug use by school age children sets them up for failure as much as drinking, smoking, behaviors such as promiscuous sexual behavior, bi-sexuality, homosexuality, gothic or heavy metal dress, tongue piercing, tattooing and other excessive freedoms of expression.

 

We are not nave in believing that we can raise our children sheltered from the threats of society. Nor do we believe that we can stop them from adopting any of these behaviors, vices, abuses or lifestyles later in life. But we believe that we must try to minimize those influences on our kids so that they will learn to be happy, productive members of society. If our children do participate or indulge in any of these things, then so be it. At least we made a well-adjusted effort at raising a well-adjusted child. A child with good character and a sense of morals. I do not mean that in a religious sense. There is a secular argument for raising a moral child. I want my children to walk that straight and narrow moral path because I want them to survive life.

 

The Boy Scouts is as much for us as parents as it is for our young boys. It is a program with behavioral and moral standards that we hope will minimize some of societies negative influences on our kids by keeping them active in crafts, camping, learning of skills and camaraderie. Boy Scouts provides millions of parents a way to raise their children so that they can enjoy life, be productive and learn the skills they will need as parents themselves when they grow to adults.

 

People like Ms. Goldberg and Ms. Matthew are attempting to create a divide between our children and us to assert their own potentially threatening values. Their attack on the Boy Scouts for not wanting to introduce behaviors that threaten the integrity and well being of American families, is nothing less than attacking the families themselves

 

David Coffin

==========================================================

 

 

 

 

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I recently wrote a letter to my local council asking them to look into an open and honest dialog on the "gay issue". As a result of that letter I was invited to sit in on a council meeting on the subject. Several interesting points came up including the question "Why is National insisting that we exclude one group of people?"

 

There are probably strong regional differences in tolerance and abhorrence of homosexual people (not the practice...the people themselves). Here in eastern urban areas too many of us know and work with openly gay people of very good character for us to feel comfortable with a BSA exclusion policy. Our kids know and respect gay adults from church, from school, from sports teams, and even from scouting so many of our boys think this is nonsense. Our kids have friends who have two moms, and relatives who are openly gay. If you travel to other kinds of communities gay people may be much more "in the closet". There will not be a national agreement on this issue any time soon.

 

So how about national BSA policy focusing on behavioral standards and even requiring criminal background checks as many other youth serving organizations do? Our troop removed a scoutmaster years back because he was a mean guy....that's not the moral compass we wanted for our kids. How about letting the individual units and their chartering organizations decide the qualities they want in a leader? Lots of units would still not allow gays to serve, which would suit their constituents. Others would, which would fit them too.

 

On this emotional issue (just like on gun control) the matter cannot be settled in court, nor by hollering and screaming. Let's have more conversation and more facts.

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>> Here in eastern urban areas too many of us know and work with openly gay people of very good character for us to feel comfortable with a BSA exclusion policy. Our kids know and respect gay adults from church, from school, from sports teams, and even from scouting so many of our boys think this is nonsense.

 

While that's fine and dandy, it ignores the point I'm making. Those kids have alternate organizations if their parents have different needs. Parents trying to minimize some of the societies influences in order to maintain the families integrity have the Boy Scouts.

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In response to Woodbadger's remarks of 11/7 - The Boy Scouts, just like every youth serving organization in America is required and does conduct background and police record checks on every adult that registeres.

 

You are exactly right this is an emotional issue that will continue. Why do we insist on looking into others personal sex lives, or maybe more importantly calling their sexual preference a "Lifestyle".

 

The vast majority of religious institutions and groups feel homosexuality is against their beliefs. I don't think any organization has said that individuals that practice or claim to be homosexual are BAD. What has been said is that the practice of homosexuality is against the standards of conduct established for that given organization. Many organizations have said that individuals who do not want to follow their established standards are welcome to join another group. Some have even invited them to be a part of their organization but do not allow them to become leaders.

 

The issue that the supreme court was dealing with was NOT homosexuality it was the right of a private organization to determine and uphold their own standards for membership and leadership.

 

It is unfortunate that some folks feel that if you don't believe the way I do or the way I want you to you are wrong. Reasonable people agree to disagree but move forward together. Our Nation, especially our youth desreve positive forward looking leaders that can discuss issues, make decisions, and move on. When decisions turn out to be incorrect or misguided a re-evaluation takes place and they continue to go forward.

 

Remember the glass is ALWAYS half full! Let's all make sure that our youth get the boest possible leadership and positive programming available. God bless us everyone!

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This past weekend the Webelos had an overnight and on Sunday morning I sat in front of the campfire with one of

the Dads and we discussed the upcoming move into Boy Scouts. He said he was not going to let his son go on to Boy Scouts

because of their stance on homosexuals. According to him, disallowing homosexuals was the equivalent of

"teaching hatred" in his words. I explained to him the Supremes ruled on the issue of freedom of association, not

whether homosexuals were good or bad and it had nothing to do with hatred or bigotry on the part of the national

organization. I told him the Scouts have standards and society at large benefits from Scouting because boys of

successive generations are taught the precepts of Scouting. These boys grow to manhood and take with them the things they learn in Scouts. I told him the Supreme court would have decided the same way if the plaintiff had

been an atheist because there is a religious component to Scouting. Finally, I told him that because

of this ruling, pressure is being brought to bear on the organizations to withdraw financial support and facilities

for Scout activities. I asked him what is better for society: to deny Scouting opportunities for boys

in certain locales or, to allow Scout activities to continue but to deny leadership opportunities for a

tiny group of homosexuals who want to be Scout leaders? I did not convince him to let his boy continue into

Boy Scouts, but I hope I made him think beyond the TV sound bites about this court case.

 

 

 

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>> I asked him what is better for society: to deny Scouting opportunities for boys in certain locales or, to allow Scout activities to continue but to deny leadership opportunities for a tiny group of homosexuals who want to be Scout leaders?

 

As I had noted in my previous (four messages up) message, this issue goes well beyond simply boys or individuals who wish to be scouts masters. To me it is about the boys AND their families. Families. Mothers and fathers who want to bring up boys in an environment that minimizes societies excesses.

 

These unwanted influences often have profound effects on entire families lasting years. If this individual lacks concern for families outside his own then he should move on.

 

 

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The sad part about this entire issue is what is overlooked by many. If the supreme court had ruled against the Boy Scouts in favor of the Gay Coalition it would have meant that no organization in America would have the right to establish membership criteria.

We forget that descrimination is a GOOD not a bad thing. We want our children and our friends to associate with individuals that have, in our judgement, good character and accept responsibility for their actions. Everyone wants their children to grow up to become competent, capable, responsible citizens, and potential leaders. We descriminate for good and against bad.

Each of us wants to love and be loved and to feel worthwhile. As parents we want our children to grow up in a society that is tolerant and respectful of others without being disruptive of their own personal values.

Freedom means each of us willingly accepts responsibility for our own action and is respectful of others. It does not mean that you have to accept values that are abhorent to yours nor does it mean that you should attempt to violate the privacy of others right of association.

We are all created equal with certain unalienable rights, I believe it says in the preamble. God bless us each and evey one!

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I wonder if it would work better to give local chartering organizations some say in their standards for leadership? Instead of focusing on "tiny group of homosexuals who want to be Scout leaders" (as if there's some kind of agenda that gays have to infiltrate Scouting....I trust that's not what frankj meant) I think troops and their sponsors could credibly focus on behaviors and attitudes that they felt were harmful influences. Several of our volunteers smoke cigarettes. They do it out of the sight of the boys, don't brag about their habits, don't involve the boys in their habits. Yeah, they ocasionally smell like smoke and most of the older boys know what's going on but they understand that these men do not intend to influence the boys to become smokers. Certainly it bothers me that a leader can't go a weekend without a smoke, but not enough to ask them not to be leaders. However, let's say the chartering organization was involved with anti-cancer programs...they might object that nicotine addicted leaders were not appropriate leaders FOR THEIR TROOP. Likewise a Jewish troop might insist on leaders who observe the Sabbath or keep Kosher. These are all moral decisions in some respects. I don't think the Supreme Court decision changes anything, it doesn't validate anti-gay sentiment, nor does it repudiate it. It says the BSA has the right to set it's own leadership and membership criteria. I just wish the BSA would trust local groups to set the criteria that match their constituents instead of declaring from Headquarters which individual traits all troops need to exclude. After all, if you go to a World Jamboree you are sure to meet brother Scouts whose leadership criteria are very different from BSA rules. They're still Scouts in good standing at home and abroad. Can we agree to disagree?

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In response to WoodBadger: Each Chartering Organization does have the right to set the criteria for the individuals who provide leadership to their unit. The chartering organization forms a partnership with the Boy Scouts and they own the Unit. Each leader fills out an application which must be approved by the Unit Committee Chairman AND either the Chartering Organization Representative or the Institution Head. If either of these individuals refuses the applicant he/ she will not be registered as a leader for that unit. I know of no situation where the local council would override the chartering organization and/ or the committee chair.

When the partnership is formed each partner agrees to abide by the Scout Oath and Law and the principles followed by the chartering organization. It is not uncommon for a requesting volunteer to be denied by the chartering institution and/ or the committee chair. The Boy Scouts of America typically only rejects individuals when they fail a police record check, have lied on the application, and/ or the unit sponsor or leadership has rejected the applicant. Once an individual becomes a registered Scouter they can be removed for committing a felony, child abuse, creating significant problems, or violating a major principle.

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Guest OldGreyEagle

An old political science teacher I had in Grad school once told me the surest key to a man's character was found in a close examination of his friends and associates.

 

During the election morass, I wanted Bush to win, I was positive Gore should give up for the good of the country. Then when the media starts talking about how Richard Nixon conceeded in 1960 and how Gore should follow his example, enough latent 60's activist in me realizes that when Nixon is your role model, you might be on shaky ground.

 

Why have I said all this? Take a look at the fundraising thread here on scouter roundtable. Specifically the comment listed by Stormfront. Does BSA really want this type of alliance? Do we want to even have a hint that this is OK? I understand the implication of what I am saying,I agree a private organization has a right to make up its own rules, but when that organization finds itself in such august company as Stormfront, it may be time to reconsider.

 

As part of a personal revelation, I know gays and I know white supremicists. Somehow when you compare the two, gay dosent seem that bad.

 

Homosexuality does not equal child molester any more than herterosexuality guarantees you a man will not abuse a child. Character is defined by more than mere sexual orientation

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Oh my God! (and I mean that literally). What OldGreyEagle just posted prompted me to check out the fundraising forum. Stormfront's web addresses, especially if you lop off everything past the first slash represent a point of view (regardless of how one feels about gays) that scares me deeply.

 

If you're new to this forum check out

http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=303

which is the fundraising forum....scroll down.

 

OldGreyEagle, do the "christian identity" groups have strong ties with the BSA or is Stormfront's solicitation just a fluke?

Talk about moral values....yikes!

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Guest OldGreyEagle

Mr WoodBadger, I am sorry if i misled you. I have no knowledge of any type nor do I actually think BSA would actually endorse Stormtrooper's organization. The point is, with BSA's stance on Homosexual leaders, we put ourselves in league with such groups who will make a point of including BSA with them. Aligning themselves with the boy scouts may give them a feeling of legitmacy. To follow a crude stereotype, I would much rather my son learn flower decorating or interior design from an openly gay male along with sensitivity and care than tolerate a moment with a true hate monger and menace to society

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