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Raymo

Moral Values

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With all due respect, organizations who choose to align themselves with Scouting may do so, but that doesn't mean Scouting aligns with them. I do not personally agree with homosexuality, but I am not so dull as to believe that there are no gay men or boys in Scouting.

 

I do not discuss my sexual orientation around the campfire. Scouting is not the place for that, regardless of a person's sexual preference. I realize that I reflect my sexual preference, since my Scouts know I have a wife and son, but I cannot control that.

 

I beleive that most gay Scouters are in fact in Scouting for the betterment of boys, and are not pedophiles. If however, a gay Scouter made his orientation known, I would be concerned. If he were so vocal so to push an agenda on homosexuality, I would either take my son out, or ask that leader to step down. I would also take my son out if that man were a Klansman, Nazi, Freeman, or any of many other organizations I do not agree with.

 

This is a difficult issue. Now that it's out, no one is going to win. Scouting will be perceived as hatemongers and homophobes, and gay rights leaders will be branded as much the same.

 

My religious convictions take precedence over Scouting, human rights, ar anything else, and that is what I must teach my son. I must also reflect that with others I come in contact with, but that doesn't mean I "teach" it to Scouts. I do believe I'm taking a moral, as well as a Christian stance, to oppose homosexualtiy, without opposing homosexuals.

 

Many of you may dislike my stand or opinion, but I must answer to a much higher power that public opinion or the BSA.

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Friends, when you see messages like the one posted by "Stormfront" please contact the moderator immediately. Content such as that needs to be removed like the cancer that it is. I have already contacted the moderator and it has been removed. This requires all of our efforts.

Thank you.

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I also thank you Mike. While open discussion is healthy for everyone, there is never a place for hatred on SCOUTER or in Scouting. Thank you, and thank all of you who respond quickly to see that such messages are quickly deleted. If you ever question something, please email maryann@scouter.com or editor@scouter.com. Our reponse will be swift.

 

As always, I know I can depend on our online Scouting community for help and support with such situations.

 

BTW, if you have ANY questions you need help with, feel free to email me. I don't always have the answers but can usually find someone who

does.

 

YIS,

MaryAnn

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Isn't it interesting that National chose this issue to make a big, expensive, public stand?

 

If they were equally fervent about keeping out other "immoral" elements, as they are about homosexual leaders, but they don't.

 

There are equally tiny elements in the adult leadership that are quite frankly racist, militarist, anti-semitic, abusive, fudimentalist, snobs, and what-have-you, and yet National hasn't made a big public show of hunting them down and keeping them out.

 

Could it be that National assumed this would get them a lot of free publicity, but are suddenly surprised when much of it was bad publicity, and opened Scouting up to ridicule?

 

Could it be they thought this would raise them a lot money and instead it is costing them a lot in money, sponsorship, etc.?

 

If Scouting were just this fervent about anything else except raising money, I might understand their position on homosexuals. But they are not!

 

Catholics and Jews don't try to convert or recruit young men into their "lifestyles". Docotors and lawyers don't. Why can't we assume the same about homosexual leaders?

 

 

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This discussion has really gone far afield. There are numerous check points for all sorts of, what chartering organizations AND the Boy Scouts of America, call undesirables. THe adult application process is specifically designed to screen all potential adult leaders. In addition a background and police record check is run for each individual adult applicant.

Having said all that, It was NOT National that turned this entire affair into a media event. Every day somewhere in the US an individual is turned down or their registration is revoked for any number of reasons. In this specific case someone with a lot of $ decided to make an issue, and it was not the young Scoutmaster.

Whatever, Thank you Scouter Magazine for providing us this forum where we can freely express our opinions, get more information that what might be readily available, and meet new and interesting comrades in arms.

It is great to be in a country that allows this kind of freedom, the freedom of speech, association, ETC. BUT it all comes at a cost and requires individual responsibilities. Each of us swore the uphold the Scout Oath and Law. The last time I looked "On MY Honor" when I spoke it meant that I, Me, not anyone else promised to do MY best. Never let us forget that the ONLY reason we exsist as an organization is for the BOYS. If we like it or not we ARE the example. Let's promise to DO OUR BEST to keep the promise we make to each youth member when he joins our ranks!

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Guest OldGreyEagle

Raymo, you are right, we have wandered a bit from your original posting. It may be interesting to see what others mean when they say "on my honor". TO me it means all my strength and energy. It means even though I may not always agree with an organizations policies, I know it does so much more good that I will live within its rules

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I'm with OldGreyEagle.

 

BTW as for the insulting label of "homophobe" (among other) being tossed around I sugggest that those who wish to cast aspersions of others character (on both sides of the argument) Re-read the The Scout Law. Hmmmm...yep, it's still there...A SCOUT IS COURTEOUS.

 

I think the issue can be discussed with civility if we keep our heads about us and remember that which is our purpose.

 

Play nice.

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I have thoroughly enjoyed the give and take in this forum even though it is so hard to come to an agreement when the issue is deeply felt on both sides. Here's an interesting thing that recently happened. A national chain store in our area sells Christmas trees then takes them back in Jan. for recycling. Our troop asked permission to raise money by cleaning out cars after customers return the trees. We got a prompt and polite response that the national store administration has removed its support for Boy Scouting because of the BSA policy restricting the membership/leadership of gays. I wish someone in Irving Texas would realize that it's not just a bunch of cranks who think the gay policy is wrong. The fall out from this is negatively affecting the local troops. BTW our troop is asking the store for reconsideration because our chartering organization does not stand with the BSA policy and we also have it on good authority that our council has never yet removed a scout or scouter for being openly gay. Has anyone had similar or opposite experiences?

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I am new to this forum, but as someone who has been in scouting for 40 years (since joining cubs at age 8), this is exactly the discussion I was looking for.

 

I have known a number of gay scouters. I have known a number of straight scouters. None of them would have had sexual contact with the boys. Just as there are female leaders in my district who are (presumably) attracted to males, I am confident there are a few male leaders who are also attracted to males. With neither sex, however, is there any intimation of pedophilia, even though there is the possibility with either sex. We are all there to serve the boys, and to give them a healthy and safe environment in which to grow into adults. To that end, we have child protection guidelines that protect against inappropriate conduct by leaders or youth of either sex.

 

While there are still those who refuse to accept the facts, we know that, statistically, between 10% and 20% of the boys in our troops are or will eventually discover themselves to be gay. Are we doing our duty to them to tell them that they are bad, or that they are not deserving of good role models?

 

When I was a Second Class scout in 1963 South Carolina, I was hearing the same things about blacks in scouts that I am hearing today about gays in scouts. We look back on those attitudes as embarassingly ignorant prejudices. I suspect that in the decades to come, our children will look back on our positions in the same light.

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Isn't it interesting how things get twisted around. The Boy Scouts were taken to court because their bylaws established membership guidlines. An organization felt these guidelines violated the publics right to participation in what they called a public organization. The Boy Scouts claimed and proved in court, upheld by the Supreme Court of the land that they were not a public but a private organization.

Now the hue and cry is that the Boy Scouts are establishing a sexual preference. Sexual preference has not now and never had anything to do with sexual preference.

The case was about a private organizations right of establishing and maintaining membership criteria. We, the Boy Scout Leaders, are here to prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

I, for one, am pledged to continue doing my best to help our youth develop positive characteristics, giving them an opportunity to demonstrate participative citizenship, and become physically fit and morally straight.

Let us all pledge to help more and more young men and women grow to be the best possible citizens as we begin the 21st Century.

Scouting may not be the answer to solving the vexing problems of the decay of family values and lack of personal responsibility but it goes along way toward helping to make things right. At least it gives a lot of young people a running chance to make things better in the future!

Mey you all have a fantastic Christmas Holiday and a peace filled properous New Year!

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I have a very different view in this matter. I have been a Girl Scout for many years and became a brother of Alpha Phi Omega three years ago (the fraternity based on BSA).

 

My chapter hosts approx. 750 Scouts each year (see Huge Merit Badge University thread for info) and we bring a lot of community resources together for this event. Can you imagine how a gay APO brother feels? They would like to teach and volunteer but the recent controversy makes it hard.

 

Because of our distinct differences in membership policies we will be voting later this month whether to keep our affiliation and to keep the BSA chair on our national board. We all hope that our voting delegates will make the best choice for both organizations.

 

I don't agree that BSA is doing the best thing for the scouts, but that is not my decision. It is resulting in school districts and churches pulling support and resources and strong leaders not feeling welcomed to serve their community through BSA. I am afraid that more support will be withdrawn before this is over, I hope that each of your councils is working together to battle the misunderstandings on both sides and pulling together, remembering to do what is best for the Scouts.

 

Yours in leadership, friendship, service and scouting

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Girl Scouts Councils across America have taken this opportunity to announce their support of the Gay movement. Since 1990, officially adopted in 1993, when they voted to remove the word GOD from their Oath, allowing whatever a member wanted to replace it with they have openly hired and welcomed Gay members into their fold. To my knowledge it has not significantly hurt their overall numbers but I know personally of a large number of employees and members who left the movement specifically because of that.

Each of us has the right to make our own personal choices. We can worship whom and in the manner we please. The freedom we have, specifically in America, allows us to say and do pretty much as we please, SO long as it does not infringe on the rights of others.

In my view God created us as equals and gave us the choice, and we must be willing to pay the consequences both good and bad.

I personally feel what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom is YOUR business and I will not ask nor will I relay publically my sexual practices. You can guess by the fact that I am married but I know and have known those who have other desires and kept them to themselves. Many in every walk of life who are strong moral leaders likewise maintain privacy when it comes to their sexual preference and I feel that is as it should be!

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It seems to me that the people on this forum are fited on problems related to homo's. The court ruling gives our private organization the right to exclude. In this world it seem the politically correct rule. This decision sure must get a lot of sick people mad.

 

However, it seems that we can not chane the sickies so why don't we work on what we can! For example: the BSA's process foe evaluating their professional staff. The current system makes professional scouters into the most immoral group I seen.

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Old Beaver, I'm sorry you have such a jaundiced opinion of us professionals. I was a volunteer for about 30 years joining the profession a bit over seven years ago after retiring from the service. I joined because I admired the dedicated individuals who worked so hard to help develop tomorrow's leaders. True there are corrupt individuals within the professional ranks of Scouting, but unfortunately, that is true of most every aspect of life. There are slightly more than 3,000 professional Scouters and by far the vast majority of them are dedicated men and women who take the Oath and Law seriously. Not all of us walk the talk, but the most of us do our best to keep the promise made to each member. In my Council for example there are currently five paid professionals and nearly 3,000 adult volunteers. We urgently need all the dedicated individuals committed to helping our youth prepare for a better tomorrow! Thanks for being you! I wish all of the reader's a very Merry Christmas and a peace filled properous New Century!

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