BSA discrimination policy :(
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Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Exclusion policy reversal on 01/31/2013 08:15:08 MST Print View

Perhaps as time passes and the eyes open, it becomes apparent that what looked like virtue was not.

There is a lot of good, but there is also some not so good. In many parts of our society, the unspoken is easy to miss in our enthusiasm about the good stuff.

Edited by greg23 on 01/31/2013 08:24:06 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Exclusion policy reversal on 01/31/2013 08:31:11 MST Print View

"Curious why you're an Eagle then, Jerry, if you had an issue with the policy?"

Gay people and aetheism were "in the closet" then.

Each troop kind of made their own decisions more. I don't think that if a troop had someone that was gAy or an aetheist that the main office would tell them to throw that person out.

I don't think the scouts are evil or anything, just behind the times. There was a time when slavery was accepted.

Rick Adams
(rickadams100) - M
Scouting on 02/01/2013 17:38:37 MST Print View

I am currently an assistant scout master and have been active in scouts for 10 years. There are members of our troop who hold strong views on both sides. I have never seen this dealt with at the local level and unless someone has an agenda to push it never will be. Scouts is not a place for adults to teach kids sexuality in any way shape or form. And boys in the required age range are in a very ackward period and typically don't have a real sense of sexuality anyway. I don't have any opinion about god whatsoever and have never been asked. It's worth noting that these issues haven't come up with the LDS troop or the Catholic troop i'm affiliated with.

It's about a love for the outdoors and helping guide the boys to manhood. The boys listen to what the adults say to each other and how they behave more than what we, their church or others tell them. They are literally soaking it all in. And they know right from wrong and good from bad.

The BSA policy should be set at the troop level and should not reference sexuality in any way.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Scouting on 02/01/2013 21:27:42 MST Print View

Do you express tolerance for Catholics?
Do you express tolerance for women?
Do you express tolerance for people of color?
Do you express tolerance for democrats?
Do you express accepting people for who they are and what they can do?

Guiding boys to adulthood is a good thing.
I'm glad they listen.
I hope they are hearing good things.

Carry on.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Still in the news and in our minds. on 02/02/2013 01:58:12 MST Print View

As the 2nd of 4 generations of Boy Scouts (my own Eagle- and Scoutmaster-father, my Eagle-Scout Uncles, various Star-, Life- and Eagle-scout cousins and myself, Eagle-scout nephews, and First-cousin-once-removed-Scouts, etc) (but not my grandfather, born in 1898 who theoretically could have been a Scout, if he had been born in England and not in a small, Nevada mining town), I have a few thoughts:

One of Scouting's greatest gifts was that people who weren't otherwise included (for reasons of economics, race, or non-Christian religion) could rub shoulders with some of the upper crust*, learn some skills, and be judged for their character rather than their origins.

*Portions of each of those four generations lived in Piedmont, California. Which is both more elitist on economic grounds but more inclusive on other grounds. Their "Council" - a single troop council - doesn't discriminate on the basis on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or home address.

35 years ago, I remember thinking of BSA as being inclusive - you could be almost any flavor of Christian, Jew, or Muslim, as long you believed in one(!), male (!), singular (!) God. 35 years later, more aware of the variety of people in the world, I don't think of them as inclusive. I'm no longer 15 years old and I'm no longer such a product of a middle-class, suburban bedroom community. So I now see unfortunate limits to BSA's concept of the world/universe/morality.

It saddens me that BSA can't see that some of the practices that made them noble - seeing beyond racial and religious persecution - can't still be part of their mandate. Just look at GSA - inclusive not just of race, class, and orientation but of gender itself.

To be blunt - BSA has two great hurdles. (1) pedophiles are almost all male. Sorry, guys, it's true. Men are, overwhelmingly, the butt/mouth/t-w-a-t F'ers on the planet (among bipeds). And (2) the LDS church is both incredibly homophobic AND 1/3 of Scouting. They've made it clear to BSA (reference, Time magazine, circa 2010) that if BSA is more inclusive, LDS walks away and the organization (the fear goes) implodes. Should you trust your sons to a group who (when they knock on your doorstep) deny that until 1978, the "son of Cain" was unworthy of priesthood in their church?!? Let me go on record as proclaiming that the only kid in my high school who was smarter than I was, was a "son of a Cain" - a dark-skinned black boy who ALWAYS knew more math, science, and current events than I did. So, yes, I call foul on the Mormon Church's claim that Howard (now a university math professor) wasn't as least as human as I was in 1978.

So we've got a group that could be a tremendous force for positive morals, ethics, and self-sufficiency becoming a regressive organization all because of a Utah-based religion founded by someone convicted of bank fraud and because of a closeted g.a.y guy in Rome who wears red shoes and pointy hat. What are WE to do? We, who see the value of being in the outdoors, learning skills, and leadership? I've told an MD in town - the Mormon on the School Board* - that I can't support his campaign for higher office because I've seen him vote against protecting g.a.y students and staff from discriminatory practices.

*Call out to Nels Anderson, MD, Soldotna, Alaska - I don't think you should be able to escape a Google search for imposing your bigotry on the very students I think you should protect.

Back to the original question: Do you fight from within or from outside?

Is BSA like Nazi Germany and anything is worth the price of their downfall? No, it is not that bad.

Is BSA like your neighbor, the tax evader, who only damages the USA a few thousand dollars? No, it is more than that.

Personally, I try to use both a stick and a carrot. I call them out for their bigotry, even if some locals think that defending the "f.a.g.s" isn't as noble as defending Christians, Jews, Republicans, and Y2Kers. I (and my far richer wife) donate a ton of money to more progressive organizations. Oh, look, BSA - people who've gone to college, met different kinds of people, learned a profession, and gotten a state license - we would support you like other forces for good, if only you were more consistently a force for good.

Does BSA have a "right" to discriminate? Yeah, sure. In the USA. Germany, at least, doesn't give their resident Nazis a pass.

Is it a wise political or financial decision? I aim to make it not a good choice. Again - bluntly - those of us who have been to college, met (and loved) a variety of people, and earned a bunch of money - we get to have more influence. And I vote for inclusion and moving forward. For a more inclusive society, a less fearful society. How does your "right" to marry ONLY an opposite-gendered partner trump their right to keep their job if someone discovers they love someone with similar genitals?

Your fears don't negate someone else's Civil Rights. They shouldn't have in 1863 and they shouldn't in 2013!

The more miles I hike through the forest and along the rivers, the clearer this becomes.
-David

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Still in the news and in our minds. on 02/02/2013 02:09:43 MST Print View

It is truly amazing how offensive and self righteous some of you self proclaimed "progressives" are.

"closeted g.a.y guy in Rome who wears red shoes and pointy hat"

Are you serious? I love how you espouse tolerance and acceptance when it suits your cause but casually throw out the same offensive slurs when you get all worked up.

Kettle... Pot.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Still in the news and in our minds. on 02/02/2013 03:03:17 MST Print View

Michael:

"throw out the same offensive slurs"

That Louis Farrakhan might have argued for Civil Rights doesn't prevent me from critiquing his racism.

Perhaps unfairly, I give more of a pass to JP II: War Hero, Freedom fighter, while still being regressive on the civil rights. I probably should hold him to a higher standard.

>"guy in Rome who wears red shoes and pointy hat"

But B16, Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith? I'll just quote from WP: "Pope Benedict XVI has re-introduced several papal garments which had previously fallen into disuse. Pope Benedict XVI resumed the use of the traditional red papal shoes, which had not been used since early in the pontificate of Pope John Paul II."

So, yes, "The Devil wears Prada".

"g.a.y." is NOT a slur. "Closeted" is. Make a note of it.

If you find my statements offensive, is it because I am stating anything that isn't patently obvious, or because you think that the Pope's hat isn't pointy?

I would LOVE IT if the Pope in Rome could come out and live openly and honestly. I hike and stay in shape (hence my lifespan might be long) so that maybe it will happen in my lifetime. More likely, my children will.

If we'd been blogging in 1939 would you have called out Hitler? He was only defending capitalists. In 1973, I was one of two students in my entire elementary school to oppose Nixon's re-election. Sorry, but progressives are, you see, progressive. We are on the side of progress. Slavery, white-only-vote, male-only-vote, poll-tax-only-vote, income-tax, DC-current: Conservatives don't have a great track record.

Engage me. Give me some evidence that Ratz is straight. Name an XGF. Tell me how discriminating on the basis of orientation advances our country, culture or world. I'm listening.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Dave on 02/02/2013 09:25:25 MST Print View

You are a hypocrite sir. I have no wish to "engage" you. You are intentionally offensive to some things certain people hold quite dear. I just lost all respect for you.

I have no love for the Boy Scouts or Catholics. I actually dislike both groups a certain amount. But I am happy enough to let them do what they want if they leave me alone.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Michael on 02/02/2013 09:45:36 MST Print View

"But I am happy enough to let them do what they want if they leave me alone."

Wow.

I realize you are talking about the Boy Scouts, but what about other groups that have an exclusive slant on how things should be?

Don't care if women are marginalized?
Don't care if someone drags a black man behind a truck?
Don't care if someone blows up the Methodist church?

Do you draw any distinctions, or is it all OK, as long as "... They leave me alone?"



Edit: Oh yea...look up the word "hypocrite". I don't know much about Dave, but he does seem to "walk his talk". I have yet to notice him taking opposite positions on the same issue.

Edited by greg23 on 02/02/2013 10:28:17 MST.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Michael on 02/02/2013 11:02:01 MST Print View

Greg,

I'm just going to laugh at you right now. BSA with its many religious affiliations serves those members interests. Dragging a black man behind a truck. GTFO. Not the same thing at all. Blowing up a church? Pull your head out with your asinine examples.

If a private club has its own rules so be it. Black panthers, KKK, Augusta National, etc. I may disagree with them, but they have their rights. Since when is it a right to infringe on other people rights?

I feel the same way about the Gov't trying to tell catholic hospitals they should preform abortions or hand out birth control. That goes against their very tenants. So yeah, I think the gov't should get out.

And as for hypcrite...maybe you should go read the garbage he just spewed. Lambast the BSA for excluding homosexuals but then mock the leader of an entire religion and call him a closet g.a.y. Pretty cut and dried. Don't preach tolerance if you aren't going to practice it.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
tolerance on 02/02/2013 11:30:25 MST Print View

Being tolerant of different views/beliefs/lifestyles also means being critical of others' intolerance towards those things. What's the point of preaching tolerance if you can't lambast those who are intolerant?

A big reason that the LGBT community is gaining cultural ground, especially in legislation, is because people spoke up and are actively fighting against bigotry and intolerance in the highest offices of this nation. Same thing happened in the 60's.

I'm pretty sure the point of David's post was to mark the internal hypocrisy of the Church, not call the Pope g.a.y.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Nope on 02/02/2013 12:26:58 MST Print View

Sorry trav. Dave and a bunch of others think they have a monopoly on right and wrong. Your intolerant unless you conform to their world view.

I don't agree but if the Catholic Church believes homosexuality is a sin they can. Don't go there. But don't sit here trashing them while pretending to be tolerant.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Nope on 02/02/2013 12:41:12 MST Print View

The Catholic Church has the right to believe what it wants, yes. I agree. But so many of their teachings are about love and forgiveness and tolerance.

They pick and choose, too. They impose their will in places people don't want it.

I'm not being critical of God or spirituality, but I will be critical of a religion bastardized by men over a couple of dozen centuries when it creates discord and intolerance.

Edited by T.L. on 02/02/2013 12:44:33 MST.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Nope on 02/02/2013 12:46:31 MST Print View

"I'm not being critical of God or spirituality, but I will be critical of a religion bastardized by men over a couple of dozen centuries when it creates discord and intolerance."

Can you name a time when a religion didn't create discord and intolerance?

Edited by xnomanx on 02/02/2013 13:16:28 MST.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Tolerance on 02/02/2013 13:21:43 MST Print View

I'm sorry Michael L., but I think all religious and cultural bigotry, intolerance, and other such nonsense should be called out as the B.S. that it is.

I don't buy the idea that I have to be "tolerant" of discriminatory, racist, or sexist practices; just because a belief may be religious or cultural in nature doesn't mean I have to give a bigot a free pass.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Tolerance on 02/02/2013 13:50:08 MST Print View

See there you go. You are right. Only your opinion counts.

Glad we solved that problem.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Tolerance on 02/02/2013 14:00:01 MST Print View

Out of respect for my homosexual friends I don't entertain apologist arguments on behalf of those that seek to discriminate against them.
So yeah, problem solved.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Re: Tolerance on 02/02/2013 14:29:06 MST Print View

Buts its perfectly ok to bash, insult, and call people's religious leader cliset g.a.y.?

That kind of tolerance is what you are preaching?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Still in the news and in our minds. on 02/02/2013 14:59:05 MST Print View

The BSA is an organization with the "right" to limit members to the views of the organization, and especially those that are tied to certain other organizations (i.e. Church of LDS). And in the US, we need to defend these rights...

... But that does not absolve us of the responsibility to criticize or fight the teachings of groups, if their beliefs are immoral or unethical. Restricting or teaching the limitation of every individual's civil rights is wrong. It is immoral. So yes, some of the teachings of many religions is immoral. So the BSA, LDS, and other groups do not get a pass. Some of their teachings are immoral. Teachings that inhibit or try to restrict the civil rights of any group or individual is immoral.

So shame on them.

And shame on anyone who would support any group who teaches that any individual's civil rights are wrong, or who would attempt to restrict or deny those rights.

----------------------

Remember the movie, "A Few Good Men?"

Very important quote at the end that is often overlooked in preference to Jack Nicholson's character's charismatic quotes:

Downey: "What did we do wrong? We did nothing wrong."

Dawson: "Yeah, we did. We were supposed to fight for the people who couldn't fight for themselves. We were supposed to fight for Willie."

----------------------

You cannot balance the good BSA does against the hatred that is taught in some troops. I did carefully choose the word "hatred."

These are the kinds of things I abhor about many liberals AND conservatives. Both want to restrict some of our individual rights. They want to restrict freedom.

----------------------

This thread reminded me of a song that was published in 1973.

One blue sky above us, one ocean lapping all our shore
One earth so green and round, who could ask for more?
And because I love you I'll give it one more try
To show my rainbow race, it's too soon to die

Some folks want to be like an ostrich
Bury their heads in the sand
Some hope that plastic dreams
Can unclench all those greedy hands

Some hope to take the easy way
Poisons, bombs, they think we need 'em
Don't you know you can't kill all the unbelievers?
There's no shortcut to freedom

One blue sky above us, one ocean lapping all our shore
One earth so green and round, who could ask for more?
And because I love you I'll give it one more try
To show my rainbow race, it's too soon to die

Go tell, go tell all the little children
Tell all the mothers and fathers too
Now's our last chance to learn to share
What's been given to me and you

One blue sky above us, one ocean lapping all our shore
One earth so green and round, who could ask for more?
And because I love you I'll give it one more try
To show my rainbow race, it's too soon to die

One blue sky above us, one ocean lapping all our shore
One earth so green and round, who could ask for more?

- Pete Seeger

---------------

Lastly, to David Thomas. Kudos to you for taking a FIRM stance knowing you would draw a lot of criticism. Principles trump pragmatism every day.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Sigh on 02/02/2013 15:27:39 MST Print View

There you go too nick. Your dislike of religion clouds your view. Do you really feel it is ok to say the pope as a closet g.a.y.?

Do you want to stand up to the church on abortion too Nick? Or just their stance that homosexuality is a sin? Why do you get to be the person whose morals are right?

What about the age of consent? What about multiple wives? Or husbands? When and where do YOU get to draw the line? Why are you even getting in the morals game to start with?

And so on.

Why do people always have to judge others beliefs? If they aren't going out and attacking you, then why should you feel the need to attack them?