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Transgender policy change

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You have given us a few clues over the years, but just clues. Nothing definitive.  

 

If BSA is to become a values-neutral organization, that would be quite a change.  Yes, BSA provides a program and structure.  A pretty good structure, in my opinion.

 

BSA used to also provide scouts with a sense of shared values and common purpose.  A scout is a friend to all, and a brother to every other scout. That is what we are losing.

 

Yes, my scouts can still benefit from scouting.  We can still use the scout program as a boilerplate upon which we can add our own values.  Recognizing that these are not shared values, we really won't have any common bond with scouts from any other unit, council, or country.  

 

A scout is a friend to all in our Chartered Organization, and a brother to every other scout in our unit.

 

Perhaps that is what scouting has come to.  Maybe that is what scouting must come to.  Every man for himself.  Very sad.

 

BSA still provides a guide to values:  It's in the scout oath and law.  These are some of our guiding principals.  But if you want to apply these terms to the hot button topics of today's society, that's when you need to use the views of your charter org.  

 

But even then, if you look at your own membership in your unit, you will not find agreement.  If you ask (and I do not suggest you do this) ... if you ask your unit members or their parents their thoughts on this issue, you will find as wide of set of opinions as you can see in this forum.  Same as sitting at Christmas dinner with family.  Most families do not have political agreement.  

 

We have a huge brotherhood that can keep us firmly bound.  

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I thought his posts have been pretty clear. He's asexual questions that haven't been answered. If you go back and read the exchange I could follow him fine, it's Fred who has dodged the questions.

 

  

This is the point.

 

It's intentional.  I have opinions.  But ya know ... Scouting is not the place for those opinions.  Scouting is supposed to be above these hot button topics.  

 

... Hillary vs Trump.  Pro-life vs Pro-choice.  Lower taxes vs social welfare.  Transgender. ... No one wins by putting scouting in the middle of these debates.  The program can stand on it's own just fine above the damage.  

 

If you want to debate the pros and cons or if it's a real situation or real diagnosis or other, IMHO, that's a real debate and I think it will sway violently back and forth for another 20 to 100 years.  But scouting gets no value by inserting itself into the debate.  It needs to stand neutral and separate from the debate.  

Edited by fred johnson
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Sorry Fred, you can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't imply that BSA made the right decision to change their policy without answering a politically neutral question as to what you think they achieved that they didn't already have.

 

I don't post much but I read a great deal. I know enough to know you've given your opinion many times here. To avoid answering a benign question as to what you think BSA gained by making the decision they didn't already have is, sorry to say, a dodge.

 

Now, if you think they did it for political reasons you think might be inflammatory, then please simply say so. That's all.

Edited by Col. Flagg

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No, there is a third choice.  We can oppose it.  We can work to change it.

 

I can remember when Pres. Obama said that Republicans will learn to live with ACA.  That didn't happen, and the new administration is now poised to repeal it.

 

You talk as if every conservative policy is temporary, and every liberal policy change is permanent.

 

This decision didn't drag on for years, but the effort to change it undoubtedly will.  It is not done, and we will not move on.

 

You certainly can oppose it, but I think we could all agree that going back on a change in what is more of a social policy is much harder than going back on a procedural policy. Especially these policies that, if reversed, would effectively kick people out of scouting. It's a much harder sell to ask National to do something that results in families being forcibly removed from the program. 

 

If I sound like I think these membership policies changes are permanent, it's because I think they are. But I certainly wouldn't say that it's impossible to reverse them. Just that the odds are much more against rolling them back than they were in changing them in the first place. 

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Now, if you think they did it for political reasons you think might be inflammatory, then please simply say so. That's all.

 

Nope.  I don't think they did it for political reasons.  I think they did it to be polite and to get out from under an ugly fight.  I'm sure BSA will not have any trouble finding units with political leanings and beliefs and values that will support the child and the family.  BSA can connect the child/family with that unit without compromising the values of other individuals.  IMHO, these debates degrade often into the neighbor hanging over the fence and criticizing the other person's house.  

 

What I do believe ... And these may already be underway for many other reasons such cell phones or more sensitive individuals

  • Camps are going to have significant facility cost to update to individual showers, individual changing cubes and individual toilets ... or individual outhouses for those that have used two-seaters.   :)
  • Guide To Safe Scouting will need to be updated again.
  • BSA needs to double down on emphasizing Scout Sunday.  It will go a long way to mending damaged relationships.  
Edited by fred johnson
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@@krypton_son,

 

Judging from some of your other posts, you seem to be one of the most laid back, non judgemental, and open minded people on this forum.  But I feel a need to disagree with you on this one.

 

For Everyone ...

 

Let us start with the premise that (as many here believe):

1. God has a hand in each of his creations, and that we are the way God wanted us to be

 

There is no denying that the TG boys (in this case) are born with Female genitalia (genetic female).  For many, that should end the discussion, but bare with me ...

 

In the case of many (but not all) TG, the body is actually producing the wrong hormones, think producing testosterone instead of estrogen, etc. (biologically male-leaning).  This is not something that the individual chose - they were made that way; and very few would willingly choose this for themselves.  They believe that they are male because everything inside of their body, except the genitalia and other (some but not all) pubescent developments, are telling them that they are male.

 

Medical science can't really fix (reverse) the problem, and no amount of "choosing" will change them.  Medicine can help complete the process.

 

Some may then believe that God has chosen this as a trial for this individual to overcome (i.e. Job), and that giving into the feelings/gender disphoria is a failure of the individual to reach God's expectations.  I don't believe this, but there are those here that will.

 

Even if this is the case, that leads to:

2. Punishment is for God to decide (i.e. Heaven vs. Hell), not mortal man. 

 

As such, we should not be heaping extra challenges on these already over burdened individuals.  We should be, to use the term, "Christian", and be kind and understanding to their plight.  To help them where we can.  It is not our role to stone them and speed them on their way to God's judgement.

 

We should always be Courteous, Kind, and Helpful to those that need help, support, and understanding.  This doesn't mean we have to agree with it; but following our oath and law is not condoning the behavior (if you believe that it is behavior), it is being true to what we want to represent.

 

---

 

OK, maybe we hold a position of "I don't care what you want to be, .... as long as I don't have to be exposed to it."  As the Dale case affirmed, as a private organization we have the right of association, and CAN choose to not associate with those who are different from us ... for what ever reason, their race, their language, their national origin, their gender, their religion, their sexuality, their age, their politics, their socioeconomic level, their intelligence, etc.

 

Sometimes there are some very valid reasons for the choice

1. We want to be boy scouts because we believe that boys will better develop in an environment catered to their needs, and not to a co-educational mean.  ok.

2. We want boys to have a spiritual or religious center, because we believe that that will be most in-line with the values we are trying to build or develop. ok  We could be more specific about religious beliefs, but we have chosen not to.

3. We have (as a movement, not as individuals) chosen not to discriminate on the other points because either (a) continuing to do so would be more of a distraction than a help in achieving our goals; (b) the societal consequences of doing so would put too much risk on our ability to provide any program; © they are part of the collective group we want to associate with; and/or (d) it was just the right thing to do.

 

A Scout is Clean - A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He chooses the company of those who live by high standards. He helps keep his home and community clean.

 

Do we really believe that those we are choosing (or would like to choose) not to associate with do not have high standards?  Otherwise, our oath or law doesn't really provide a reason not to.

 

----

 

Is this a good decision for TG boys; absolutely.  It is one less stone thrown at them, and possibly even the start of a helping hand.  They believe they are boys, wish to live as a boy, which means that they will eventually become men; and we can help them to become good men.

 

Is this a good decision for the BSA: probably not.  Members who individually choose not to associate will leave.  As others have stated, it will not bring in new sponsors, it will not bring in great numbers of new members (the total TG population effected is very small; PC parents who previously used this as an excuse why they could not support us will find a new reason) certainly not enough of either to offset the likely losses.  It does reduce more damage to our external reputation, but at the cost of damage to the internal reputation of the trustworthiness of the BSA organization to stand up for the values of the majority of its membership.

 

A Scout is Trustworthy. 

A Scout tells the truth. He is honest, and he keeps his promises. People can depend on him.

 

And clearly, the BSA administration is making it very difficult for the membership to depend on them - at least as far as knowing or participating in major decisions that effect everyone in the movement.

 

The BSA was in a no win situation here, as we have been, and will continue to be.

 

A Scout is Brave - A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.

 

Was the organization brave because even against the ire of current members they did what was right? or

did the organization fail to be brave by not standing up for their beliefs and give into external pressure.

 

We are a diverse group and I doubt there can ever be consensus on this.

 

But in the end, while many of you will disagree, and I respect that, I think it was the right decision.

 

In one way or another we are, according to Christianity, all sinners and fall short of what God created us to be. 

 

So now the free will choices of this world. 

 

1) I can accept that and just say, "it's God's fault for creating me this way."

 

2) I can understand that the world is not perfect so I struggle against it to regain some of the potential I can be in this world.

 

3) I can work to have the world conform to me and then I won't feel bad any more about who or what I am or have become.

 

And so here we have it.  I was born a kleptomaniac.  I'm not perfect, but 1) God made me this way and so it's all his fault that I am in and out of jail every other week, I have a record a mile long and no one wants to have me over to their house for fear some of their fine silver won't survive the evening.

 

Or I can learn to live with my short-coming and using some sort of moral code as my True North, work at coping with my problem.

 

Or I can force those I steal from to accept me as I am and find ways to work around it in THEIR lives so I won't feel bad about having a basement full of items I didn't work to pay for.

 

It's just that in our society, sexual issues seem to take on a greater life of their own and the most accommodations around are created.  The committing adultery Commandment seems to garner more focus than the not gossiping one or the stealing one.  Killing one can be a problem but we can work around much of that with varying degrees of homicide so people can get away with murder if they play their cards right.

 

Too bad there's not an explicit Commandment about political agendising and other persuasion tactics to manipulate others into accepting alternative codes of moral behavior.

 

Ooops. there is.  Refer back to the first statement I made.

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You certainly can oppose it, but I think we could all agree that going back on a change in what is more of a social policy is much harder than going back on a procedural policy. Especially these policies that, if reversed, would effectively kick people out of scouting. It's a much harder sell to ask National to do something that results in families being forcibly removed from the program. 

 

Mmmm, that is a bit one sided, isn't it. We already know from members on this forum that families have left the BSA as a result of this decision. If going back meant gaining more members than it looses, then it's worth considering.

 

Of course membership is not my reasoning for being against the decision. I think the BSA is asking unit members to risk pushing these youth further into mental illness. 

 

Barry

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Mmmm, that is a bit one sided, isn't it. We already know from members on this forum that families have left the BSA as a result of this decision. If going back meant gaining more members than it looses, then it's worth considering.

 

Of course membership is not my reasoning for being against the decision. I think the BSA is asking unit members to risk pushing these youth further into mental illness. 

 

Barry

 

I agree 100%.

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Here's an old example of "a friend to all":

 

At the end of a long day of political wrangling, President Reagan would often call Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, and ask, “Hello, Tip, is it after six o’clock?†“Absolutely, Mr. President,†the Speaker would answer. “After six o’clock†meant work hours were over, and the two leaders of their respective parties could put away their swords and bring out their Irish whiskey and wit.

 

I remember all the voters going crazy and getting personal over these two and yet they could still be friends. Now, showing any understanding of the other side is weak. Humility is for losers.

 

I know, the people that scream the loudest that we should all accept our differences are currently in Berkley waging violence because of someone they disagree with.  But that's not humility. Humility is something we're trying to teach scouts. They aren't the center of attention. They have to give more than receive. There are things bigger than them.

 

Scouting is important. Maybe that's why fred was dodging questions.

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Perhaps one could view the relationship between your CO and the BSA as being a business relationship, although I don't look at it that way.  But even accepting that, what about YOUR relationship with the BSA?  You are not simply a volunteer selected by a CO, YOU are a member of the BSA.  You filled out an application, the application was accepted, and you have a membership card.  If you move across the country, you are still a member.  If in your new location a CO accepts you as a leader in their unit, or if you decide to get involved at the district or council level, you don't have to rejoin the BSA, you just transfer.  Your Youth Protection training and whatever other training you have (assuming the BSA's computer system hasn't erased it) are still good.

 

Part of being an individual member of the BSA are the shared values of the BSA, as expressed in the Scout Oath and Law.  That does connect you, in some sense, to the other members of the BSA.  Do you disagree with that?

 

(Sorry about the down arrow.  It was a mistake.  I was going for the quote button.)  

 

Congratulations, NJ, you have been nominated to be a member of the National Geographic Society.  You can celebrate by stopping off a Olive Garden, where you're family.

 

Businesses do all sorts of gimmicks to promote product loyalty.  

 

We all have one year "membership" in BSA.  It is an annual subscription, just like a magazine.  We don't get a share of BSA stock.  We don't get any ownership in BSA.  We don't get a vote in how BSA is run.

 

More to the point, BSA can radically change the program, at any time, without consulting us or giving us any say in the decision.  We don't even know how the decision is made.  We just wake up one morning and find out the wizard behind the curtain has completely turned things upside down.

 

I do believe in the scouting movement.  It is a movement of shared values and common goals.  It exists separately from the business of Scouting Inc..  I am a lifetime member of the scouting movement.  I don't need a membership card to prove it.

 

I do disagree with you.  BSA has no shared values anymore, just business strategies.

Edited by David CO
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If one's cat decides to leave them a bit of a surprise in their bed in the middle of the night, they can accept that as the new normal and roll over and go back to sleep or they can get up and go sleep on the couch.  Either way, the world as they know it will never be the same.  One can't unring the bell.

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Mmmm, that is a bit one sided, isn't it. We already know from members on this forum that families have left the BSA as a result of this decision. If going back meant gaining more members than it looses, then it's worth considering.

 

Of course membership is not my reasoning for being against the decision. I think the BSA is asking unit members to risk pushing these youth further into mental illness. 

 

Barry

 

Every transgender person with whom I have worked as a psychologist (not my specialty, so 5 people) were acutely suicidal (my specialty, so there is a selection bias there) until they began to live their life according to their gender identity. In each case, suicidality went to zero when they started living as their gender identity. Some of these folks went on to further assessments by psychologists (specialists) and medical doctors and proceeded with medical transitioning (hormonal and partial surgical). The other folks are teens who are working/discussing with their families, but who do often dress and cut their hair according to their gender identity. In each and every case, the individuals in question showed reduced anxiety, reduced depression, reduced suicidal ideation, and better social adjustment only after the change. My personal experience is that their "mental illness" was much reduced rather than being pushed further.

 

I am not seeing any professional journals or literature indicating high rates of detransitioning.  Even extending to psychologist colleagues (rather than only my own experience), the rate I've seen is exactly zero.

Edited by Adamcp
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I would argue that that is a very, very different situation.

In many respects it is. As respects raising boys to be men, which female leaders was supposed to kill forever, not so different.

 

Would you settle for a single "very"?

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If one's cat decides to leave them a bit of a surprise in their bed in the middle of the night, they can accept that as the new normal and roll over and go back to sleep or they can get up and go sleep on the couch.  Either way, the world as they know it will never be the same.  One can't unring the bell.

One of our cats brought us a dead snake.  Our world went on.  I hadn't thought of that incident for years.  It was just a cat being a cat.

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Adamcp, what were the ages of the people you worked with?

 

Also, is there a medical diagnosis? I mean, who decides? If it's the parent, as the BSA says, this sounds like medical marijuana in Colorado and that was abused no end. I would think a doctor that really understands this would be able to make a better decision for a kid than scouters or parents.

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