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robert12

Update On Adult Leadership Standards

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We've never asked if anyone is an athiest, and I doubt we ever will.

 

But what if they practice it visibly? What if they don't say the pledge or really believe in citizenship? What then?

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But what if they practice it visibly? What if they don't say the pledge or really believe in citizenship? What then?

 

Atheism has nothing to do with citizenship.

 

Some religious people refuse to say the pledge (Jehovah's Witnesses, for one -- see Minersville School District v. Gobitis and West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette), plus there are members of BSA units who are citizens of another country, and having them recite the pledge could actually be considered a crime in their home country (since they would be pledging allegiance to a foreign power).

 

So you can't tell using either of those.

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@@Merlyn_LeRoy I know the two issues are not similar. I was (poorly) trying to tie multiple possibilities of ideas BSA does not (currently) consider scout-like to address the statement "we will not discriminate". I suspect at some point his CO does discriminate. They'd have to to adhere to BSA policy on atheists.

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The method by which BSA made the change, and the stealth in which it did it, has done a disservice to many BSA families.

 

Historically, in my area at least, Packs and to a lesser extent, Troops, have been organized by geography, not denomination. You go to XYZ Elementary..your Pack is down the road at ABC Church.  You don't attend ABC Church or agree with all of it's beliefs?  Fine, no problem, this is still your Pack.

 

Now BSA is saying that members have the choice to affiliate with a unit aligned with their own family's beliefs.

 

But, the parents whose children are existing members (and possibly leaders) of packs chartered by the more liberal churches, along with all those civic organizations, have been thrown under the bus if their views are more conservative (or if only a portion of their unit's members are more conservative), as their well-functioning units have been divided.

 

The way it was handled is so disruptive and unfair to the existing membership base, much of which could have been avoided with more transparency and more notice.

 

 

 

 

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Yes, this new policy is certainly going to be disruptive and unfair.

 

In order to protect itself from lawsuits, a church-owned unit will probably need to establish and document new policies and practices to show that the unit is part of the church's ministry, and not just a generically "sponsored" unit.

 

Many units operate on a "school year" schedule, which for many, starts in just a couple of weeks.  Not much notice, is it?
 

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Yes, this new policy is certainly going to be disruptive and unfair.

Unfair??? What the #$%$# is unfair about it? The previous policy was unfair as it didn't respect the religious beliefs of more accepting COs.

 

Oh right, they don't deserve respect. Who cares what the Boy Scout Law says.

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It's very possible to be "unfair" to both sides in a given dispute. I suspect that people are calling "unfair" because this most recent decision was sprung on them without warning and after they were promised that it wouldn't happen.

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Political Correctness is the un-legislated, un-written law of the land.  If one does not comply they are judged in the court of public opinion of the minority and demonized.  Legilslative law and the US Constitution have been usurped by this process.  If we are a people governed by law, which law is it that takes precident? 

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It's very possible to be "unfair" to both sides in a given dispute. I suspect that people are calling "unfair" because this most recent decision was sprung on them without warning and after they were promised that it wouldn't happen.

Yes, and after Packs and Troops were organized based upon that promise.  Now, less than a month before the program begins after summer break, and recruiting starts very shortly, functional units are being disrupted and potentially divided by the new rules.  

 

Moving forward, for new members starting out now, one knows what one is signing up for;..but existing packs and troops who are now being told if they want to follow their religious convictions, they can find a pack that is more aligned...whole packs and troops can be completely divided, when previously their only concern was the new Cub Scouting program.  Well, now it's how many of our den leaders will stay, and how do we move forward?  Should dens stay together with their friends and remain a unit (regardless of their opinion on the leadership change), or should the group be divided on this issue? 

 

A little transparency would have gone a long way.

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Transparency?  Like one couldn't see this coming from miles away after the decision 2 years ago?    The rose colored glasses of the "local option" policy will disappear in a puff of smoke as well.  I'm just saying this so that one isn't surprised when it happens.

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Yes, and after Packs and Troops were organized based upon that promise.  Now, less than a month before the program begins after summer break, and recruiting starts very shortly, functional units are being disrupted and potentially divided by the new rules.  

 

Moving forward, for new members starting out now, one knows what one is signing up for;..but existing packs and troops who are now being told if they want to follow their religious convictions, they can find a pack that is more aligned...whole packs and troops can be completely divided, when previously their only concern was the new Cub Scouting program.  Well, now it's how many of our den leaders will stay, and how do we move forward?  Should dens stay together with their friends and remain a unit (regardless of their opinion on the leadership change), or should the group be divided on this issue? 

 

A little transparency would have gone a long way.

 

Excellent point. What do units tell perspective parents when the question comes up, "Does your unit allow gay leaders?" Whether you are for or against this policy change, I suspect both sides what to know what type of unit they are joining. Making this decision now does not give any time for the COs to find out from their national/regional organizations how they will be allowed to function. Few are changing policy without such a directive from on high, so many are in limbo.

 

For an organization driven by membership, again we see the short-sightedness of the timing of this decision. Better planning might have allowed COs to seek guidance in advance of a pending change which could have been communicated to members and perspective members. However, BSA seems to be more reactionary lately rather than thoughtfully planning so as to appease those clamouring for immediate change.

 

Big changes are never done effectively in a short period of time.

 

@@Stosh, while we could all see this coming, the timing was less than transparent. First BSA says "someday", then "soon", then "October" then *poof*, its done in July. That was hardly transparent....or well-planned.

Edited by Bad Wolf

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If I were recruiting this month, I would find it very difficult to make any statement regarding what the future will hold for prospective scouts.  Will your unit allow gay leaders?  I dunno.  Will your unit cease to exist in 2 months?  I dunno.  I've been hearing a lot of news reports lately.  Is BSA falling apart?  I dunno.  It's gonna be very difficult hand Q & A sheets to everyone when the only A on the paper is "I dunno."

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I do agree that National probably should not have made the change "effective immediately." When the change was made regarding youth members, I believe the vote was taken in May and the change was effective January 1 - and since that policy change affected all units, it did not involve potential changes in CO's or movement of members from one unit to another, as this one does. It probably would have been better to make this change effective Jan. 1 as well.

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If I were recruiting this month, I would find it very difficult to make any statement regarding what the future will hold for prospective scouts.  Will your unit allow gay leaders?  I dunno.  Will your unit cease to exist in 2 months?  I dunno.  I've been hearing a lot of news reports lately.  Is BSA falling apart?  I dunno.  It's gonna be very difficult hand Q & A sheets to everyone when the only A on the paper is "I dunno."

 

Good point. Maybe the CO should form its youth group and co-charter (right word?) with the BSA, like Civil Air Patrol does with Venture crews. If the sky falls or the CO decides to withdraw from BSA, its youth group remains. 

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Policy change is policy change regardless of the timing.  

 

If I were recruiting this month, I would find it very difficult to make any statement regarding what the future will hold for prospective scouts.  Will your unit allow gay leaders six months from now?  I dunno.  Will your unit cease to exist in 6 months?  I dunno.  I've been hearing a lot of news reports lately.  Is BSA falling apart and not be what it was, in six months?  I dunno.  It's gonna be very difficult hand Q & A sheets to everyone when the only A on the paper is "I dunno."

 

Policy change is a policy change.  What others do in reaction to that is going to take time, but eventually it will happen.  BSA made it's decision, when it takes affect is totally irrelevant.  Now everyone else has to make their decision.  BSA can't make any blanket statements on when others are going to be making their decisions.  

 

BSA is a done deal.  Everyone else is still a crap-shoot.

 

The really unfortunate thing is BSA not only polarized it's own membership, it is seemingly successful in causing polarizing problems for other organizations as well.  That really doesn't bode well for the future of BSA.  If one thought the BSA the evil twin of bigotry, they are going to be the Great White shark of the politically correct puddle before they are done.

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