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christineka

Official announcement regarding LDS boy scouting

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The LDS decision to stay with the BSA is consistent with their recent conciliatory tone towards the gay community.  

 

The LDS church was really surprised by the backlash after supporting California's proposition 8 which created a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman. LDS spent $20 million and bussed in church members to canvass neighborhoods to support Prop 8. The backlash was not only from gay community but inside the LDS as well as many LDS members quit the church in protest.  The LDS church felt the turmoil that their efforts created among member families with gay children.

 

Since then the LDS has been trying to mend fences with the gay community by being more inclusive with their gay members, stopped supporting anti-gay marriage initiatives, and created an outreach website called http://mormonsandgays.org/.

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Well, that saves Trail Life from ruminating about making allowances for social trinitarians.

Edited by qwazse
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I am just honestly confused by the statements the LDS church has made regarding this issue, particularly the part about the program not being available to half their eligible members (and I can only presume they mean the male youth in other countries - countries which have Scouting programs of their own but likely aren't a good fit because they're co-ed).  The BSA has Boy Scout of America units in other countries - they have an entire international division devoted to them - can anyone explain why the LDS church never took advantage of that and created BSA units in their overseas stakes, thus providing them with the same youth program for those boys?

 

In my mind, all those statements about thinking about the boys in other countries is just grasping at something that they could point to if they ever did decide to leave over this issue to try to mute criticism of bigotry for doing so from the public and some of their own members.

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can anyone explain why the LDS church never took advantage of that and created BSA units in their overseas stakes, thus providing them with the same youth program for those boys?

 

 

As a guess, a BSA program for Mormons who are not Americans just wouldn't make any sense.

 

The people who become members of the LDS in other countries convert to Mormonism not Americanism.

 

It would be the equivalent of having every Catholic troop in the US be members of Scouting Italy or all the Lutheran troops be part of Scouting Germany.  Although there is a world wide scouting movement of which we're a part, if you look at BSA there is a lot of it that is very culturally and nationally specific.  How would Citizenship in the Nation as a merit badge make sense if you were Brazilian?

Edited by T2Eagle
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can anyone explain why the LDS church never took advantage of that and created BSA units in their overseas stakes, thus providing them with the same youth program for those boys?

As a guess, a BSA program for Mormons who are not Americans just wouldn't make any sense.

 

The people who become members of the LDS in other countries convert to Mormonism not Americanism.

 

It would be the equivalent of having every Catholic troop in the US be members of Scouting Italy or all the Lutheran troops be part of Scouting Germany.  Although there is a world wide scouting movement of which we're a part, if you look at BSA there is a lot of it that is very culturally and nationally specific.  How would Citizenship in the Nation as a merit badge make sense if you were Brazilian?

 

Now I'm a little confused, and I suspect I'm not the only one.

 

Is the LDS Church talking about LDS members who are Americans but living temporarily overseas? (Presumably, in terms of the youth, as the sons of American LDS members who are in other countries doing work for the church.)

 

Or are they talking about citizens of other countries who have joined the LDS Church?

 

Or both?

 

Calico seems to assume they are talking about the first group, USA residents temporarily overseas, for whom the BSA does have a structure available to have BSA units in other countries.

 

T2Eagle seems to be talking about the second group, and he is correct, it makes no sense for them to join the BSA. It makes sense for them to join the Scouting program in their own country.

 

Is there a definitive answer to this somewhere?

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Wikipedia seems to indicate that we are talking about non-US Citizens.  And it seems almost inconceivable that with the numbers we're talking about, roughly 15 million, that there are 7.5 million expat American Mormon missionaries living outside the US.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints_membership_statistics#South_America

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BSA units overseas arr only meant to have American citizens living overseas in those units. That comes from WOSM and applies to all national scouting organisations who have groups overseas.

 

So in a similar way UK scout association groups in Germany and Belgium can only have British kids there in them

 

It's to stop national organisations "poaching" members in other countries.

 

LDS have a large presence here in Cambridge but the nearest BSA units are at the U.S. airbases at Lakenheath and mildenhall.

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As a guess, a BSA program for Mormons who are not Americans just wouldn't make any sense.

 

The people who become members of the LDS in other countries convert to Mormonism not Americanism.

 

It would be the equivalent of having every Catholic troop in the US be members of Scouting Italy or all the Lutheran troops be part of Scouting Germany.  Although there is a world wide scouting movement of which we're a part, if you look at BSA there is a lot of it that is very culturally and nationally specific.  How would Citizenship in the Nation as a merit badge make sense if you were Brazilian?

Funny you should mention that.  My old boss is Ukrainian Catholic, and it seems that every Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox Church has a chapter of Plast (Ukrainian scouting).  But that's more an effort to preserve the Ukrainian language through an immersion program.

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Personally I am happy to see the LDS Church stick with Scouting.  After a career that has taken me around the world in Scouting (The US Army), and now as a District Commissioner in Louisiana, I have had the honor to work with the LDS Scouters in my community.  These outstanding leaders give of thier time to form the backbone of my District staff.  Without them, we would have been in a serious rebuilding stage. 

 

The world is changing, and althouigh many of us may not like where it is going, the BSA is one place where traditional values are still held.  National has read the tea leaves, and has tripped into a compromise that hopefully will put the whole damn mess behind us.  This issue does not belong in scouting, and as long as National upholds the rights of the chartered organizations, all will clunk forward.  Politics and scouts are not suppose to mix, so as long as the LBGT movement doesn't use scouting to advertize their policies, and national upholds the ban on using the uniform for political activities, we'll make it through

 

If not, all bets are off.

 

Scouting is for the boys.  Let's keep it that way.

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"This issue does not belong in scouting, and as long as National upholds the rights of the chartered organizations, all will clunk forward.  Politics and scouts are not suppose to mix, so as long as the LBGT movement doesn't use scouting to advertize their policies, and national upholds the ban on using the uniform for political activities, we'll make it through"

 

I agree, although from my perspective LGBT was made an issue by the conservative members of the Executive Council, not by the LBGT community, or any of the rest of us.

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I disagree.  The issue became an issue because of the LGBT movement.  The problem we'll continue to face is that the movement will keep pushing.  They will never be satisfied, and will continue prodding the sheep.  I give them credit.  It takes a lot to move the BSA and the LDS, but they're persistent, and they're not done yet.     

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When I was a scout in the 1960s there was no DRP and no ban on gays.   This came about starting in the late 1970s or early 1980s when conservative Christians gained control of the Executive Board.  The ban on gays and atheists was then put in place until the recent changes this year and in 2013.  From my perspective  these changes came about from an internal revolt from councils who notified National they were no longer going to abide by these rules (and to be fair many of these mutineers where devout Christians).

 

Several bloggers have argued that the BSA is now forced to change it's long-standing values of 100 years, but to me this is nonsense.

Edited by ghjim

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Throughout most of the history of BSA, there were state laws against same-sex relations.  It wasn't just against BSA policy, it was against the law.

 

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the BSA bans were initiated soon after the courts started striking down those state laws.  Perhaps BSA had not previously felt there was a need to formalize a ban since it was already against the law.

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When I was a scout in the 1960s there was no DRP and no ban on gays.   This came about starting in the late 1970s ...

 

One reason for the ban was the troop a bunch of pedophiles started with the express intent of finding victims to molest. It was a troop in my home council, and was one of the reasons why my brothers didn't continue in Scouting after they moved. And my mom was extremely leery of getting involved in Scouts becasue of this troop and the uproar it caused.

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