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mrkstvns

Did BSA "Abandon" LDS?

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8 hours ago, ParkMan said:

What many miss in this discussion is that it's not a question of sexual ethics, it's a question of equality.  A growing number of people today have reached the conclusion that neither sexual preference and gender identity are questions of choice - they are part of who we are.  ... That one boy likes another boy is no more a big deal than that a boy likes a girl. 

So, as the BSA was continuing to exclude people for reasons of gender identity & sexual preference, more and more people were reaching the conclusion that the BSA was out of touch with contemporary American values.  Basically the BSA was in the middle of the evolution of our understanding of equality and had picked the wrong side.

@ParkMan, your first scentence contradicts the remainder of your reply. You say this issue is about some higher ideal, "equality", but then every example you put forward is an example of permissive sexual ethics, and you conclude with the biased judgment that BSA picked "the wrong side" in the late 80s.

The promoters of restrictive sexual ethics continue to argue that BSA is choosing the wrong side now. They flourish in their domains.

And here is where I especially disagree with you ...

2 hours ago, ParkMan said:

...  Now that they've left, I'd encourage church leaders to stop talking about the BSA and move on.  ...

I encourage anyone, of any particular faction, in any particular role (leader, follower) to keep talking about BSA. I'd prefer that they'd say something novel and insightful each time they spoke, but we should recognize that is hard to do. (See the  reference to a rehashed article in law-dot-com in another thread for an example of failure at novelty.) It gives parents something to talk to me about.

Negative advertising: it ain't great, but it's cheap!

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I have always viewed the problem as some chartering organizations used their pull to have BSA conform to these COs beliefs and doctrine which then forced other COs who did not have those same beliefs to exclude members they would otherwise allow. 

To use an analogy, many religious based COs believe the eating of pork is a sin, and thus violates their moral code. I argue it would not be appropriate for those COs to dictate that BSA prohibit bacon and/or exclude from membership those who eat it. It is entirely appropriate for the CO to not have bacon at their functions. 

Sure this seems like a ridiculous argument to make, but the "sexual ethics" argument would be the same, just swapping out "one sin for another". 

Again, it boils down to whether one CO should dictate to another CO (through their power with BSA) what "values" the other COs must use for membership. I argue no.

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3 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

Again, it boils down to whether one CO should dictate to another CO (through their power with BSA) what "values" the other COs must use for membership. I argue no.

I'm not sure the LDS was really "dictating" their values. It's simply a matter that the values of both organizations aligned well for many years, then they did not.

It's kind of like a tourist visting NYC. He wanted to walk in Central Park in the morning, but feels no visit to the Big Apple is complete without seeing the Statue of Liberty. He asks a local how to get there. He's told to go to the west side of the park and get on a subway headed south towards South Ferry. He jumps on the first southbound train, and for many miles, all is well: the train is going in the direction he wants to go. But then, the train switches tracks and heads east towards Brooklyn. The train is no longer going the direction the man wants to go. He is forced to make a choice: he can change trains to another continuing south (i.e., find a different youth organization), or he can get off the train and walk the rest of the way to his destination (i.e., develop a new program).  The only irrational thing he could do would be to stay on the train that is no longer going his direction.

Personally, I think Mr. Ballard is correct.  It's not the LDS church that changed directions, it's BSA. 

This shouldn't be viewed as a bad thing or as a malicious event. It's simply that the values of each organization now differ whereas they were once well aligned.

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40 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

I'm not sure the LDS was really "dictating" their values. It's simply a matter that the values of both organizations aligned well for many years, then they did not.

Personally, I think Mr. Ballard is correct.  It's not the LDS church that changed directions, it's BSA. 

This shouldn't be viewed as a bad thing or as a malicious event. It's simply that the values of each organization now differ whereas they were once well aligned.

Agreed. I believe that years ago, there was a consensus of what morally straight meant. Many COs sponsored troops because of shared values that included that.

Society has changed, so the consensus is no longer there. BSA went in one direction, some COs went in another  with Trail Life, LDS is going in yet another. 

To me, this is just a case of people with common viewpoints now diverging. No blood, No foul. Let's just shake hands and walk away.

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1 hour ago, DuctTape said:

... To use an analogy, many religious based COs believe the eating of pork is a sin, and thus violates their moral code. I argue it would not be appropriate for those COs to dictate that BSA prohibit bacon and/or exclude from membership those who eat it. It is entirely appropriate for the CO to not have bacon at their functions. ...

(Aside: just saw a post on discussions-dot-scouting-dot-org regarding "allowances" for Camping req 8 for devout Jewish scouts who cannot light fires on Sabbath ... followed by some good responses about scheduling campouts on different days.)

44 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

... Again, it boils down to whether one CO should dictate to another CO (through their power with BSA) what "values" the other COs must use for membership. I argue no. 

Ceremonial vs. moral categories of violations aside, I agree with @DuctTape that for some time now folks have seen BSA as a cudgel for promulgating national values. Evidently providing oneself as an example for a couple dozen youth for 48 hour stretches isn't sufficient. One must also fret about someone on the opposite side of the country providing the "opposite" example for a couple of dozen different youth.

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10 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

The BSA, on the other hand, did not "stand on principle" - the very opposite - it changed and conformed and let itself be swept along by the tide of current social and political ideologies.

Latin Scot ... Very well said.  Well written.  Very considerate.

I do take issue with BSA not standing on principle.  BSA's has always promoted that scouts need a faith component.  The "principles" of that component comes from the families and the charter organisations.  Did BSA remove membership restrictions for BSA as a national entity?  Yes.  But that really reflected the "principles" and "values" of the charter organizations and families. 
 

BSA has been asking these charter orgs for a long time to give their facilities, money and time to support BSA.  The trouble is many charter orgs do not support what many (not myself though) would argue are anachronistic values.  Removing the membership restrictions lets families and charter organizations define the principles.  It was the right and only thing to do.

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13 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

The BSA, on the other hand, did not "stand on principle" - the very opposite - it changed and conformed and let itself be swept along by the tide of current social and political ideologies.

 

What you call a rule change and not standing on principle, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints calls "Continuous Revelation."

I'd call it changing with the tides. 

LDS Church rule change on baptisms reverses 2015 'revelation' in midst of era of change

https://kutv.com/news/local/lds-church-rules-change-reverses-2015-revelation

Quote

The new rules for baptism involving same-sex families is a major shift for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It was announced, along with other changes, first to a leadership group and then on MormonNewsRoom.org and is likely to have a long ranging impact.

After what some called "The November policy" was announced in 2015, the organization found itself at odds with some of its members and others that called for more love and acceptance for those in the LGBTQ+ community.

20 changes the new Mormon president has made to appeal to Millennials and Generation Z

https://religionnews.com/2019/06/18/20-changes-the-new-mormon-president-has-made-to-appeal-to-millennials-and-generation-z/

Quote

 

Ever since Russell M. Nelson took office in January of 2018, the changes have been coming fast and furious, and most of them are quite Millennial-friendly. Change is already happening.

Here I give a quick list of 20 such changes that I think are helpful to young adults and teenagers, or at least not off-putting to them. At the end of the post I briefly discuss whether I think it’s enough to keep young adults in the Church. (Short answer: probably not.)

 

 

One wonders what the reaction would have been if BSA Nationals said that god told them to make these changes.

Edited by Hawkwin
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The LDS Church has revised it's stand on same sex couples being apostates.  They've also said that they understand that being gay isn't a choice, and that if a member is gay, that as long as they are not sexually active (with someone of the same sex, of course), that they can be members of the church.

So... I'm a bit puzzled as to why BSA's acceptance of gay leaders and youth was seen as 'not standing on principle', and why it was an issue for the Church.  If it wasn't the acceptance of gays, then was it the acceptance of girls?  We're to believe the Church doesn't see women as inferior.  The Church also hosts several events where all youth are invited.  So perhaps it wasn't the inclusion of girls after all.  Or was it?

The main issue, it seems to me, is that the Church was viewing the BSA as part of a priesthood program.  Since women don't hold the priesthood, I can see why the addition of girls would cause a problem, but I also see it as problematic that the Church leaders are saying the BSA abandoned them.  The BSA program was never set up to be the activities arm of the priesthood.  Just my $.02 as a (non-practicing) Mormon.

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2 hours ago, swilliams said:

The LDS Church has revised it's stand on same sex couples being apostates.  They've also said that they understand that being gay isn't a choice, and that if a member is gay, that as long as they are not sexually active (with someone of the same sex, of course), that they can be members of the church.

So... I'm a bit puzzled as to why BSA's acceptance of gay leaders and youth was seen as 'not standing on principle', and why it was an issue for the Church.  If it wasn't the acceptance of gays, then was it the acceptance of girls?  We're to believe the Church doesn't see women as inferior.  The Church also hosts several events where all youth are invited.  So perhaps it wasn't the inclusion of girls after all.  Or was it?

The main issue, it seems to me, is that the Church was viewing the BSA as part of a priesthood program.  Since women don't hold the priesthood, I can see why the addition of girls would cause a problem, but I also see it as problematic that the Church leaders are saying the BSA abandoned them.  The BSA program was never set up to be the activities arm of the priesthood.  Just my $.02 as a (non-practicing) Mormon.

Three things. 

First of all, we believe that sexual relations are ONLY to be had between a man and a woman who are legally married. So whether the individual is gay or straight doesn't make a difference - we still believe in the law of chastity, and we expect our membership to live the commandments related to it, regardless of how they perceive their personal orientation.

Next, including girls in Scouting isn't about inferiority or inclusion. It's about the fact that boys and girls are fundamentally different. But including girls in Scouting sends a message that boys and girls learn in the same way, and are for all intents and purposes identical. While the sexes are equal to each other in worth and importance, they are still DIFFERENT. So treating them in Scouting as though the learn in exactly the same way isn't quite aligned with the way we understand the divine differences between men and women. 

Finally, Scouting was not a priesthood program. It was the activity program for young men, and while we certainly and frequently tied the two together, they were still separate. Whether women hold the priesthood or not has nothing to do with it, and the very suggestion demonstrates that many people still have tremendous misunderstandings about our doctrines concerning priesthood, gender relationships, et cetera. But no, the issue was not that the BSA was part of a priesthood program (because it wasn't) - the issue has no 'REAL' cause, or subversive purpose. Quite simply, the church has grown out of Scouting. We have millions of youth all over the world. For people to claim we have made changes "to cater to millenials" or to "align with the times" shows that people in the U.S. really don't grasp how vast and widespread the Church is. We are a truly GLOBAL church, with members in hundreds of nations speaking hundreds of languages. We need to promote unity and cohesiveness amongst our members, and we need a program for children and youth that would serve all of them in the same way. Scouting just can't do that any more. Our exciting and wonderful new program can, so we are moving on from the BSA for the benefit of all our members.

That is the REAL reason we are changing our relationship with the BSA. Any other claims, suggestions or insinuations are either based on an incomplete knowledge of our beliefs or a misunderstanding of our intent. We love the BSA. We always will. But we need something different now. We should part as friends and will love and tender memories, not tainted resentment based on allegations based on hearsay or rumors. 

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16 hours ago, ParkMan said:

Yep - guess the BSA just got caught up in that new fangled idea of the worth of the individual.  I'm quite comfortable that the BSA left the LDS church because the restrictions it placed on the BSA were causing too many other issues.  I'm glad the BSA for once stopped pandering and chasing membership.

I do not appreciate the suggestion that the BSA  "got caught up in that new fangled idea of the worth of the individual," and that, by default, our church somehow doesn't believe in the same. This is, frankly, utterly false calumny that reflects a shocking and extremely unkind attitude towards our beliefs. It's both un-Scoutlike and uncharitible to make such a sideways accusation, especially towards a religion that embraces the supreme and eternal doctrine of divine worth and personal value. I hope these kind of comments cease, but I suppose this has become a time for anybody with misconceptions about our religion to take their shots while the climate is against us. 

No matter; I'll stand up for our beliefs as long as I have to because, frankly, I love all the people I've come to know here, and I would hate to see false information spread on these good forums. I will also defend ANY OTHER FAITH that comes under condemnation. To put down the faith of another is totally un-American, even if it's done in a subtle or indirect way. Aren't we better than this?

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On 11/18/2019 at 9:52 AM, dkurtenbach said:

I think the decision of the LDS church to cut its ties with the BSA was much more about admission of girls into BSA's programs for younger kids. 

This is hardly a scientific poll or anything, but the only LDS person I've talked to who had bad things to say about the BSA was spouting off about how much she disagreed with my daughter being in Cub Scouts and "THIS is why the Church has decided to discontinue its relationship with Boy Scouts." She wasn't particularly in favor of allowing gay or trans members either, but that wasn't her big issue. It was just simply not OK to allow girls to do something she felt was reserved for boys. It didn't matter to her that the Church had every possibility of continuing to only offer the program to boys. Man, I got tired of hearing her yammer about how the whole program was ruined because of allowing girls in. Seems like she should have had a clue by the fact that the conversation started with me breathing the words "daughter" and "cub scouts" in the same sentence that she wasn't going to find a sympathetic ear in me. LOL!

Other LDS people I've talked to have generally been in continued favor of girls in Scouting and continue to support BSA Scouting in general as a concept and with a "Let me know if there's anything I can do to support your new unit for girls" kind of an attitude. Opinions on whether the LDS Church should or should not have discontinued its relationship with BSA vary, but it's only been that one person who had an axe to grind with BSA. 

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1 hour ago, The Latin Scot said:

I do not appreciate the suggestion that the BSA  "got caught up in that new fangled idea of the worth of the individual," and that, by default, our church somehow doesn't believe in the same. This is, frankly, utterly false calumny that reflects a shocking and extremely unkind attitude towards our beliefs. It's both un-Scoutlike and uncharitible to make such a sideways accusation, especially towards a religion that embraces the supreme and eternal doctrine of divine worth and personal value. I hope these kind of comments cease, but I suppose this has become a time for anybody with misconceptions about our religion to take their shots while the climate is against us. 

No matter; I'll stand up for our beliefs as long as I have to because, frankly, I love all the people I've come to know here, and I would hate to see false information spread on these good forums. I will also defend ANY OTHER FAITH that comes under condemnation. To put down the faith of another is totally un-American, even if it's done in a subtle or indirect way. Aren't we better than this?

Nor did I appreciate the suggestion in your earlier post.  You said:

Quote

The BSA, on the other hand, did not "stand on principle" - the very opposite - it changed and conformed and let itself be swept along by the tide of current social and political ideologies.

So perhaps I should have said the BSA got caught up in the current social and political ideology of the worth of the individual?

Pardon if I interpreted you incorrectly, precisely which current social and political ideology did the BSA get caught up in?

  • that sexual preference is a not a reason for excluding kids or adults from the BSA?
  • that gender identity is not a reason for excluding kids from the BSA?
  • that girls should be able to enjoy the Scouting programs of the BSA the same as boys do?

I could easily argue that your original statement is itself is a frankly, utterly false calumny that reflects a shocking and extremely unkind attitude towards those who believe that Scouting should be a place that welcomes all kinds of kids. But, I will refrain from doing so.

Edited by ParkMan
clarified a thought
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9 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

Three things. 

First of all, we believe that sexual relations are ONLY to be had between a man and a woman who are legally married. So whether the individual is gay or straight doesn't make a difference - we still believe in the law of chastity, and we expect our membership to live the commandments related to it, regardless of how they perceive their personal orientation.

Next, including girls in Scouting isn't about inferiority or inclusion. It's about the fact that boys and girls are fundamentally different. But including girls in Scouting sends a message that boys and girls learn in the same way, and are for all intents and purposes identical. While the sexes are equal to each other in worth and importance, they are still DIFFERENT. So treating them in Scouting as though the learn in exactly the same way isn't quite aligned with the way we understand the divine differences between men and women. 

Finally, Scouting was not a priesthood program. It was the activity program for young men, and while we certainly and frequently tied the two together, they were still separate. Whether women hold the priesthood or not has nothing to do with it, and the very suggestion demonstrates that many people still have tremendous misunderstandings about our doctrines concerning priesthood, gender relationships, et cetera. But no, the issue was not that the BSA was part of a priesthood program (because it wasn't) - the issue has no 'REAL' cause, or subversive purpose. Quite simply, the church has grown out of Scouting. We have millions of youth all over the world. For people to claim we have made changes "to cater to millenials" or to "align with the times" shows that people in the U.S. really don't grasp how vast and widespread the Church is. We are a truly GLOBAL church, with members in hundreds of nations speaking hundreds of languages. We need to promote unity and cohesiveness amongst our members, and we need a program for children and youth that would serve all of them in the same way. Scouting just can't do that any more. Our exciting and wonderful new program can, so we are moving on from the BSA for the benefit of all our members.

That is the REAL reason we are changing our relationship with the BSA. Any other claims, suggestions or insinuations are either based on an incomplete knowledge of our beliefs or a misunderstanding of our intent. We love the BSA. We always will. But we need something different now. We should part as friends and will love and tender memories, not tainted resentment based on allegations based on hearsay or rumors. 

I added the non-practicing Mormon part to my post because I DO understand the doctrine.   I love the LDS Church, and am very grateful I was raised the way I was.  I fell in love with and married a Catholic though, and have taken a couple steps back, which gave me a slightly different perspective.  I also understand the need to feel like one has to defend the Church - there is plenty of misunderstanding and hostility out there, but Mormons tend to see any criticism as hostility, when it just isn't there. 

As to the claim that the Boy Scout program was not a priesthood program, you're right, in that Baden Powell never set it up that way.  I have four brothers, though, and can tell you from first hand experience that in our wards, scouting absolutely WAS being used that way.  You may not see it, since your ward(s) may not have utilized the program that way, but it did happen.

There is nothing in scouting that one can point to as not being a suitable method for learning for girls/young women.  Yes, of course the sexes are different, but scouting principles are human principles.  We're seeing the patrol method work beautifully in girl troops, and girls becoming good leaders.  They're learning outdoor skills with no trouble at all.  With girls having their own troops, your statement above doesn't really apply.  Girls are learning together in a group just as they do at camp. 

In any case, this whole argument is because of the gentle disparaging from Church leaders.  Making it mild doesn't excuse that it shouldn't have been said in the first place.

Edited by swilliams
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11 hours ago, Liz said:

This is hardly a scientific poll or anything, but the only LDS person I've talked to who had bad things to say about the BSA was spouting off about how much she disagreed with my daughter being in Cub Scouts and "THIS is why the Church has decided to discontinue its relationship with Boy Scouts." She wasn't particularly in favor of allowing gay or trans members either, but that wasn't her big issue. It was just simply not OK to allow girls to do something she felt was reserved for boys. It didn't matter to her that the Church had every possibility of continuing to only offer the program to boys. Man, I got tired of hearing her yammer about how the whole program was ruined because of allowing girls in. Seems like she should have had a clue by the fact that the conversation started with me breathing the words "daughter" and "cub scouts" in the same sentence that she wasn't going to find a sympathetic ear in me. LOL!

Other LDS people I've talked to have generally been in continued favor of girls in Scouting and continue to support BSA Scouting in general as a concept and with a "Let me know if there's anything I can do to support your new unit for girls" kind of an attitude. Opinions on whether the LDS Church should or should not have discontinued its relationship with BSA vary, but it's only been that one person who had an axe to grind with BSA. 

I'm 99% certain that adding girls to Cubs and Boy Scouts BSA had nothing to do with the Church's decision to leave BSA. On the other hand, I see it reasonably likely that the LDS Church leaving BSA was at least part of the reason girls were added to the program. There are currently three LDS Church leaders on the National Executive Board and the vote to admit girls was reportedly unanimous. 

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13 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

It's about the fact that boys and girls are fundamentally different. But including girls in Scouting sends a message that boys and girls learn in the same way, and are for all intents and purposes identical. While the sexes are equal to each other in worth and importance, they are still DIFFERENT. So treating them in Scouting as though the learn in exactly the same way isn't quite aligned with the way we understand the divine differences between men and women. 

I know next to nothing about the Mormon religion. Can you expand on these fundamental differences between the sexes that demand they not be co-mingled? Do Mormon children go to single-sex schools? 

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