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eagle77

Cradle Of Liberty Council Has Given In

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You are correct, I wasn't being very clear. True, there are multiple ways the BSA could go, and a liberal Wiccan only group wouldn't be pluralistic either. But the current state of affairs is pretty much one where, at least in the membership rules, its a conservative Christians group that allows others to join as long as they follow the conservative Christan rules. Otherwise why would an Episcopal church that charters a boy scout troop be told that the man they have chosen as their minister is unfit to be a registered leader for their troop because he is openly gay? Because their religious belief that being gay is morally neutral is trumped by a bunch of conservative Christian COs that believe otherwise. Not very nonsectarian is it? That is the point I was (badly) trying to make.

 

For the same reason that a Episcopalian sponsored CO would not be able to demand that the BSA divest from any investments in the state of Israel (assuming it had any). The Episcopalian church recently changed its doctrine to allow for the ordination of homosexual men, just as it is likely to accommodate the interests of anti-Semites and call for the boycott and sanction Israel at its conference this summer (as the Presbyterian church already has).  The BSA had a policy that was based on long-standing beliefs that were shared (until recently) by all the major religions. Those views sprang from moral teachings from those religions, but were not dependent on them. If the Episcopal church has decided to exhibit a certain moral flexibility on gays and Jews to appeal to a new world-view, the BSA should not be obligated to accommodate them in every change they make.

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Obligated? They're not. But if they're following the money on the other hand......

As Rush Limbaugh says, "It's all about the money."

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Obligated? They're not. But if they're following the money on the other hand......

As Rush Limbaugh says, "It's all about the money."

 

So councils can make their own policies and rules and keep their charter under the current system?

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So councils can make their own policies and rules and keep their charter under the current system?

 

Likely the charter will remain and some heads will roll. Please meet your new SE (from 1000 miles away)...

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Well, I think it's wrong to prohibit scouts for using hand guns, black powder, ATVs, etc. Should I just ignore BSA policy, or should I work the process to change it? What's good for the goose....

 

   First off you will have a hard time finding any BSA property that will allow you to do any of those there. Second there is nothing stopping you from doing it anyway, just remember any accidents, injuries, or lawsuits that may come from doing these your "butt" would be on the line not BSA's. I had two patrols that wanted to compete in a paintball match, no problem, just can not do it as a troop or patrol activity. Nothing says a group of boys can't go out and do things together. BSA however does not sanction these activities so you would be hard pressed to get a tour permit and  or insurance to kick in should anything happen.

 

  Next I think that its very "unscoutlike" to refuse membership to "any" law abiding citizen.

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So councils can make their own policies and rules and keep their charter under the current system?

 

The available evidence would suggest that the answer is yes, IF by "policies and rules" you mean "policies and rules" concerning the admission or employment of adults without regard to whether they are heterosexual or not.  If you mean anything else, such as policies regarding the use of firearms, alcohol, chainsaws or nuclear weapons, or the admission of convicted felons, or any of 1,000 other things, there is no evidence of any change.  Atheists?  Someone said earlier in this thread that the council's statement may leave the door open for that.  At some point I think someone (maybe someone in the media?) will ask that question in a way that the Cradle of Liberty Council decides to answer it, and I personally think we will see that door be closed.  (Maybe while the media is at it, they can ask the council whether their new policy means local unit option, and if so, what the details are.)

 

I'm also not sure what you mean by "current system"?  What IS the current system?  All we have so far is a council saying they have adopted a policy regarding membership and employment, and a couple of other councils that had previously adopted new policies regarding employment only (I believe), and a national president (who, on his own, cannot change policy) saying that "he" will not revoke council charters for adopting their own policies on membership standards, but since the Cradle of Liberty announcement, the only statement from National is that there will be a "decision in October." (Which I am beginning to have doubts about - if a number of councils follow Cradle of Liberty in the next few months, the decision may be not to make a decision at all, resulting in a de facto "council option" that is contrary to the past resolutions by National.) I think there have been communications behind the scenes, which you (Bad Wolf) say is speculation, and you are correct, it is speculation. I didn't say I know it happened, I said I think it happened.

 

I do get your point that decisions shouldn't result from a council defying National policy. This is not how I wanted the "decision" (if that is what it is) to be made either. It looks like there is going to be a patchwork of policies, council-by-council, with National simply standing by and not enforcing its "policy." As a result, some CO's that would want to be "inclusive" will still not be able to, because they are in councils that stick with the current policy. There may also be a period of uncertainty, in Cradle of Liberty Council and other councils, over whether "unit option" is in effect. Overall, it's not a good situation.

 

But I look at it this way: National has handled this whole issue so badly over the past 15 years or so, it should not surprise anyone if it all ends in chaos. It certainly does not surprise me.

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Likely the charter will remain and some heads will roll. Please meet your new SE (from 1000 miles away)...

Are you suggesting that National will install an SE who is more in line with the current National policy? Can National actually do that? Can National impose a new SE without council approval? (I ask these questions in all seriousness; I do not know how that process works.) And if these things happen, what difference will it make? I get the impression from the article that this was a decision by the Council Executive Committee (although I don't think the articles identified that body by name.) It wasn't a unilateral decision by the SE.

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The available evidence would suggest that the answer is yes, IF by "policies and rules" you mean "policies and rules" concerning the admission or employment of adults without regard to whether they are heterosexual or not.  If you mean anything else, such as policies regarding the use of firearms, alcohol, chainsaws or nuclear weapons, or the admission of convicted felons, or any of 1,000 other things, there is no evidence of any change. 

 

I think I was pretty clear, but let me be more so.

 

BSA says no to gay leaders. Council should not be allowed to do what they want in this regard. Supreme Court says BSA has the right to bar gay leaders.

 

BSA says no to girls in scouts. Council (for the sake of argument) wants to allow girls now. Should they be able to? Same membership policy is at play here: namely BSA's ability to pick and choose who they want as members.

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In writing my last response to Bad Wolf, it occurred to me to go back and look at what Robert Gates actually said about what the councils were doing and what National's reaction should be. Having found it, I thought it would be relevant to post it here. (I am making this a separate post because it isn't directed to any particular member of this forum.) It seems to me that this aspect of his speech did not get a lot of attention at the time. Most of the discussion was about his call for the policy to be changed. But I think it has new significance following the Cradle of Liberty Council's action.

 

(Note: The quote is in all-caps because that's how it is in the official document at http://scoutingnewsroom.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/DR-GATES-REMARKS.pdf. I have added some bolding for emphasis at the end.)

 

WE CANNOT IGNORE GROWING INTERNAL CHALLENGES TO OUR CURRENT MEMBERSHIP POLICY, FROM SOME COUNCILS – LIKE THE GREATER NEW YORK COUNCIL, THE DENVER AREA COUNCIL, AND OTHERS – IN OPEN DEFIANCE OF THE POLICY, TO MORE AND MORE COUNCILS TAKING A POSITION IN THEIR MISSION STATEMENTS AND PUBLIC DOCUMENTS CONTRARY TO NATIONAL POLICY.

 

(Skipping 2 paragraphs)

 

WE CAN EXPECT MORE COUNCILS TO OPENLY CHALLENGE THE CURRENT POLICY. WHILE TECHNICALLY WE HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO REVOKE THEIR CHARTERS, SUCH AN ACTION WOULD DENY THE LIFELONG BENEFITS OF SCOUTING TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BOYS AND YOUNG MEN TODAY AND VASTLY MORE IN THE FUTURE. I WILL NOT TAKE THAT PATH.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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In writing my last response to Bad Wolf, it occurred to me to go back and look at what Robert Gates actually said about what the councils were doing and what National's reaction should be. Having found it, I thought it would be relevant to post it here. (I am making this a separate post because it isn't directed to any particular member of this forum.) It seems to me that this aspect of his speech did not get a lot of attention at the time. Most of the discussion was about his call for the policy to be changed. But I think it has new significance following the Cradle of Liberty Council's action.

 

(Note: The quote is in all-caps because that's how it is in the official document at http://scoutingnewsroom.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/DR-GATES-REMARKS.pdf. I have added some bolding for emphasis at the end.)

 

 

I get ALL that.

 

My point is that a "good scout" would WAIT until the policy is officially changed rather than to break the rule.

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I think I was pretty clear, but let me be more so.

 

BSA says no to gay leaders. Council should not be allowed to do what they want in this regard. Supreme Court says BSA has the right to bar gay leaders.

 

BSA says no to girls in scouts. Council (for the sake of argument) wants to allow girls now. Should they be able to? Same membership policy is at play here: namely BSA's ability to pick and choose who they want as members.

I'll point you back to the last paragraph of the post you quoted, about it all ending in chaos. You're trying to apply logic to a situation that has been mishandled by National to such a degree that it has blown up in their collective face. (Based on his recent speech, which I quoted part of in the post above, the National President of the BSA seems to agree with me, although he obviously puts it in more diplomatic terms.) Predictably, the result is not neat or clean, or logical. As people like to say these days, it is what it is.

 

As for girls, no, it isn't the "same membership policy." In fact, why don't you tell me the name of the handbook or policy manual, and page number, where you find an actual "policy" (or "rule" or "regulation") excluding gay people? I don't think you will find it. You will find resolutions, press releases, legal briefs, a lot of references on the Internet to a "policy", numerous comments that there is a "policy", but I don't think you will find anything about it in the Scout Handbook, Scoutmaster's Handbook, rules and regulations, or anything that is called a "policy" book. On the other hand, I can open up the Scout Handbook to the joining requirements for Boy Scouts, and I am pretty sure that one of the first sentences will start "Be a boy..." So it is not the same issue, and I don't think National plans to treat it as the same issue.

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I think I was pretty clear, but let me be more so.

 

BSA says no to gay leaders. Council should not be allowed to do what they want in this regard. Supreme Court says BSA has the right to bar gay leaders.

 

BSA says no to girls in scouts. Council (for the sake of argument) wants to allow girls now. Should they be able to? Same membership policy is at play here: namely BSA's ability to pick and choose who they want as members.

 

This is an interesting analogy and argument that Bad Wolf raises.  On the surface we'd probably blow off the idea of girls in BSA, but look at it completely objectively.  

 

BSA says no to _______ in scouts.   

 

Now insert in that space blacks, gays, or girls.  All three are equally protected classes.  If all you knew about the terms blacks, gays, or whites was that they represented a protected class and were in many ways analogous, how would you answer?

 

I ask this not because I have an angle, but rather because I think it's a legitimate perplexing question.

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@@NJCubScouter policy can be resolutions passed by a body. Policy can be position statements, resolutions press releases and other such documentation from an organization. It does not have to be one document called "policies". Look at the Supreme Court case if you want the "policy" of BSA banning gay leaders.

 

And yes, it *is* the same membership issue as not allowing girls. The membership guidelines or policies or whatever you want to call them currently prohibit gay adults and girls from joining. In order to allow gay leaders BSA would have to make a change to their membership criteria that is currently in place. This is the same criteria that currently precludes girls.

 

At the risk of talking past each other, I will reiterate, a good scout would not break the rules (no gay leaders allowed) and would be patient and work within the rules until the membership prohibition is changed. It is not scout-like to break the rules because you can internally justify them to yourself.

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Well, I think we are already talking past each other. That's ok in a forum, up to a point, because other people are reading this (many of whom never post at all) and they may decide they agree with one of us, or neither of us. (Probably not both of us.) But I think that, until there are any new facts to discuss, this whole thread has probably gone past that point. So unless I feel compelled otherwise later, I will just say this:

 

I am not trying to justify the Cradle of Liberty Council decision, nor would I attempt to justify any of the actions of National on this issue over the past 15+ years. I think this is a debacle that National created, and I think there has been a considerable amount of dishonesty from National on the motivations for this policy and their varying attempts to justify it over the years. I have been writing about this since I joined this forum in 2002 and see no reason to rehash it all now.

 

So here we are now. Is disobedience of a National "policy" by a council un-Scoutlike behavior? Let's say it is. But it is just part of the legacy of un-Scoutlike behavior that has accompanied this whole issue. You (Bad Wolf) seem to want to focus on just this single act by a council (and I suspect you will have a whole series of similar acts by a number of councils to call "un-Scoutlike" in the near future.) I prefer to look at the whole, long, sordid, disappointing picture.

 

And, with that background, without justifying the actions of the council or National, I believe that the decision of National to NOT de-charter any councils that go their own way on this issue, is in the best interests of the BSA. I find myself in the unusual position of having the BSA National President apparently agreeing with me.

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BSA says no to _______ in scouts.   

 

Now insert in that space blacks, gays, or girls.  All three are equally protected classes.

I don't have time to go into a whole constitutional dissertation right now, but I think the premise stated above is incorrect. In fact, the Supreme Court has applied different standards for scrutinizing laws based on race and gender. ("Strict scrutiny" for race, "intermediate scrutiny" for gender.) The current standard for examining laws based on sexual orientation is somewhat of a mystery to me, partly since I have not really had the opportunity to study "equal protection" issues very much since law school, and let's just say the legal/constitutional status of gay people has changed just a bit in the past almost-30 years. In fact it may be changing again in the next week or so.

 

Of course, none of this is necessarily relevant to BSA policy. The BSA is legally entitled to have its own membership policies. ("Race" is probably an exception to that, but nobody's going to make it an issue at this point.) That, however, does not mean that every possible decision the BSA makes, or could make, is the "right" decision. It just means a court can't step in and prevent it, or award anyone damages because of it. And the same decision does not necessarily have to be made on each category. Many people view the issue of girls, gay people and non-believers in the BSA differently and believe that different results for different categories are acceptable. I personally think it is acceptable for the BSA to deal with one hot-button issue at a time. It does not have to tear itself apart all at once.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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