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Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

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http://scoutingnewsroom.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/DR-GATES-REMARKS.pdf

 

Please review this, as I did, and pose comments based on what it says, rather than emotion.  Lot to process, but I see him basically proposing "local option" as the only really viable response to the rapidly changing political and cultural challenges.

 

As he notes pretty directly; we need to face the issue NOW, and get heads out of the sand, or we will have it done for us by courts and so on.  Not necessarily what some want to hear; BUT THE TRUTH.

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Thanks, Skeptic, for sharing.  It's an interesting read and I applaud Mr. Gates for keeping the topic of membership policy in the light.  I am of the opinion, like Gates, that we simply can't ignore the shifting focus in the US regarding the rights of homosexuals.  

 

As I mentioned recently, I love Scouting and I want to do the best job I can for the youth.  But if we had no BSA left after another potential court ruling, all of us would be forced to find alternatives that would further divisions that need not be there in the first place.  

 

I know many on the forum will "vote with [their] feet" in the event of a membership policy change--and that is perfectly acceptable and understandable--but I personally don't see it being that big of a game-changer in the long run as far as membership numbers are concerned.  Also, I am not one to state that, the minute a potential change is made, there will be a sudden influx of members to our Movement.  There are so many reasons why membership is declining and there is no panacea out there that can fix it.  

 

I support a change and if that means "local option" then so be it.  My main concern is that youth have the option to participate in Scouting and that their parent(s) can, too, regardless of sexual orientation.  

 

That is all.   :D

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Meh....so much for anybody living up to a promise made. I see nothing more than the same old crappola packaged in a different wrapper. The reference to DADT in the military is bull, and he knows it. Private organizations are not held to the same standard as government orgs like the military.

 

That giant sucking sound you hear is that half of scouting who disagrees with Gate getting ready to quit or leave. So glad my scout will be done in 12 months and I can leave this political crap behind.

 

He seems to be reacting to the few councils that have decided to buck national. He has YET to hear from those councils (and units) that will buck national if they *do* change the policy. Fun times. Glad I won't be around to watch the death of scouting.

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Meh....so much for anybody living up to a promise made. I see nothing more than the same old crappola packaged in a different wrapper. The reference to DADT in the military is bull, and he knows it. Private organizations are not held to the same standard as government orgs like the military.

 

That giant sucking sound you hear is that half of scouting who disagrees with Gate getting ready to quit or leave. So glad my scout will be done in 12 months and I can leave this political crap behind.

 

He seems to be reacting to the few councils that have decided to buck national. He has YET to hear from those councils (and units) that will buck national if they *do* change the policy. Fun times. Glad I won't be around to watch the death of scouting.

 

@,

 

I have to say that I am sorry that you feel that way.  However, with as much crap as you have to deal with in your district and council, I shouldn't be surprised.  As much as I may disagree with some of BSA's policies I stepped back in because I have seen the effect that scouts has had on my sons and other boys in the troop.  I was going over an Eagle Project proposal with an almost 18 year old scout last week.  This boy was a huge trouble maker and had severe social issues when he first came into my troop and I never thought that he would be even close to Eagle.  We were discussing the MBs he had left and he was talking about what he did for his Communication MB.  He presented and led a discussion on the philosophy of Ayn Rand.  I was shocked.  I never would have guessed a few years ago that he would ever lead a discussion on a topic like that.  In addition, his mother has told me several times what a godsend Scouts was to her son.

 

So when I get frustrated with the crap going on at national (or council, district, etc) I just remember I am doing this for the boys and not for anything else.

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His remark about not revoking the charter of a Council defying the current membership standard raised a question.  What is the current approval process for a Council charter?  Who approves it?  How often do they re-charter? 

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So when I get frustrated with the crap going on at national (or council, district, etc) I just remember I am doing this for the boys and not for anything else.

 

Agree. However, there comes a time when you have to take a stand for your beliefs. I joined this organization because of its policies, not to join and try to change them. When the organization no longer resembles the one I joined -- or when the organization fundamentally shifts in another direction -- well, then, it's time to move on.

 

Let one of the parents who supports the changes taking place step up and give their time....if you can find these mythical ground-swell of volunteers.

 

Just like those who don't join scouts because of the current policy, they are sticking to their guns and getting applauded for it. Well, I'm sticking to mine. The day the change goes in will be my last with BSA.

 

I am now going to help the PLC plan a water-gun, black powder, ATV hunting event. If councils can ignore one of national's most stringent policies, so can units.

Edited by Bad Wolf

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He totally ignores the fact that everything he's afraid of from rogue councils and supreme court rulings on sexual orientation already exist for analogous religious discrimination against atheists.

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Agree. However, there comes a time when you have to take a stand for your beliefs. I joined this organization because of its policies, not to join and try to change them. When the organization no longer resembles the one I joined -- or when the organization fundamentally shifts in another direction -- well, then, it's time to move on.

 

Let one of the parents who supports the changes taking place step up and give their time....if you can find these mythical ground-swell of volunteers.

 

Just like those who don't join scouts because of the current policy, they are sticking to their guns and getting applauded for it. Well, I'm sticking to mine. The day the change goes in will be my last with BSA.

 

I am now going to help the PLC plan a water-gun, black powder, ATV hunting event. If councils can ignore one of national's most stringent policies, so can units.

 

Units are already ignoring policies, Bad Wolf.

 

As for your potential leaving the BSA, that saddens me.  

 

I guarantee you, too, that there are plenty of volunteers who support the changes and are currently involved as volunteers.  As for a "ground-swell" I tried to make it clear in my post above that I personally don't see a huge influx of new volunteers just busting to get in.  You say that, however.  Membership decline can't be linked solely to the discrimination policies, but I'm sure it's a big part of it.   

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He seems to be suggesting that local option is coming.

 

 

 

FOR ME, I SUPPORT A POLICY THAT ACCEPTS AND RESPECTS OUR DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES AND BELIEFS, ALLOWS RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS – BASED ON FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTION OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM – TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN STANDARDS FOR ADULT LEADERS, AND PRESERVES THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA NOW AND FOREVER. I TRULY FEAR THAT ANY OTHER ALTERNATIVE WILL BE THE END OF US AS A NATIONAL MOVEMENT.
[caps in original]

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Regarding the 'influx' . . . I believe there will be none.  I think the door will only open in one direction (the one that says EXIT).  The now common position for most social media influenced opinions is that, "It's going to happen eventually anyway."  I hate that perspective, and I think it has a huge influence on the preverbal silent majority.  I think our society is a lot more conservative than we think, but along with that is the desire to not make waves.  The loud minority opinions are pretty pushy, and people go along just to get along.  I'm tired of it.  The squeaky wheel does indeed get the grease (That one's for you, Bad Wolf;  another Leslie Nielsen opportunity).

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I agree with Mr. Gates that BSA National has to do something.  They can't run an organization with councils ignoring and flaunting membership policy.  Of the two options available, revoking charters or changing policy, it seems changing policy is their choice.  I suspect if our leadership had been as honest and forthright two years ago as Mr. Gates was today, instead of trying to push local option through a back-room deal, we wouldn't have had as much turmoil as we have experienced.  And let's be honest, it is the practical choice. There will be a membership hit when this happens but it won't be as large as the polling suggested back in 2013 or whenever we did this the last time.

 

That said, I think it's naïve to assume that declaring local option will make the issue go away.  I suspect that in the hours following the BSA's adoption of local option, the first press releases from organizations opposed to the BSA will start with the words, "Today the BSA took another step towards the elimination of discriminatory practices against LGBT adults by allowing them to serve openly as leaders.  However, we will continue our pressure on the BSA because they continue to utilize chartering partners that do practice discrimination against LGBT adults."  This article from Slate, discussing the Utah Compromise (http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2015/03/18/gay_rights_the_utah_compromise_is_no_model_for_the_nation.html) demonstrates my concern.  Here's a snippet:

 

"But the Utah legislation should not become a model for the nation. The bill contains troubling exemptions for religious groups, allowing them to continue to discriminate in ways that would be impermissible in many other states and under federal law. In particular, the Utah law specifically exempts religiously affiliated nonprofits such as schools, hospitals, and social service organizations."

 

On the purely cynical side, getting this out of the way while Gates and Brock are still in leadership will clear the way for the new CSE and Stephenson to get credit for whatever recovery happens after the fallout.  It also attempts to get rid of the issue long before the BSA needs to start recruiting kids from around the globe for the World Jamboree in 2019.

Edited by dcsimmons
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This is very intriguing news.  Coming from a unit chartered by a veterans service organization, it should not make much of a difference to us.  But I'm not blind to what consequences could be for units with CO's objecting of this.

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I found this statement interesting:

 

"AND IF WE WAIT FOR THE COURTS TO ACT, WE COULD END UP WITH A BROAD RULING THAT COULD FORBID ANY KIND OF MEMBERSHIP STANDARD, INCLUDING OUR FOUNDATIONAL BELIEF IN OUR DUTY TO GOD AND OUR FOCUS ON SERVING THE SPECIFIC NEEDS OF BOYS."

 

I interepret that to mean he thinks we better cave in to the gay issue or we will be forced to accept athiests and girls too.

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I found this statement interesting:

 

"AND IF WE WAIT FOR THE COURTS TO ACT, WE COULD END UP WITH A BROAD RULING THAT COULD FORBID ANY KIND OF MEMBERSHIP STANDARD, INCLUDING OUR FOUNDATIONAL BELIEF IN OUR DUTY TO GOD AND OUR FOCUS ON SERVING THE SPECIFIC NEEDS OF BOYS."

 

I interepret that to mean he thinks we better cave in to the gay issue or we will be forced to accept athiests and girls too.

 

 

What makes him so ignorant to think atheists won't do what the gay lobby is doing? BSA is proving that they can be bullied and forced to change. Once the blood is in the water those wanting change won't stop until the meat is gone.

Edited by Bad Wolf

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