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Clint Wayman
(cwayman1) - M

Locale: East Tennessee, US
My $.02 on 10/04/2011 21:23:52 MDT Print View

+1 Joe C., and certain points from Nick G. and Doug I.

Tyler, you do seem to be in quite the dilemma with your question. However, at this point, you might want to ask yourself WHY you are applying for the position. Are you applying because you enjoy the Philmont atmosphere and want to share that enjoyment with fellow outdoors-people or simply out of spite because you think BSA should change? I am not suggesting that you shouldn't apply, but wouldn't impressing your ideas/principles on the scouts be the same as BSA leaders impressing theirs (with the exception that you agree with yourself and not with them)?

Also, if BSA were to change, would it still truly be BSA? If BPL added a sub-forum for members to discuss 'Traditional Backpacking' methods (read 'super heavy'), would this still be BPL? Technically, yes, but fundamentally, no. Yes, I understand that 'LIGHT' is in the BPL title, but as mentioned, the BSA mission statement or creed clearly defines the organization's religious ideas and principles. Why should they be considered wrong just because someone else disagrees?

Side notes:

Isn't discrimination against Christian beliefs STILL discrimination? 'Just sayin'!

Calling someone out on grammatical errors is pretty lame-- there are PLENTY to be found on both sides of the discussion (even in the OP)

I will politely disagree that growing up in a particular denomination makes one 'very well aware of how Christianity operates from within'.

I don't believe that anyone ever assumed that all homosexuals are pedophiles.

Tyler, thanks for bringing the discussion back to its original intention and civility.

Edited by cwayman1 on 10/04/2011 21:38:35 MDT.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: My $.02 on 10/04/2011 22:13:01 MDT Print View

"Isn't discrimination against Christian beliefs STILL discrimination? 'Just sayin'! "

+1
I am not christian , but this is so obvious to me. Discrimination is discrimination is discrimination and it's wrong. But if you don't like discrimination against atheists you better not be ok with discriminating against people of faith. What seems ok now may not be ok tomorrow, so isn't it most important to allow one another to be and believe what they want? Discuss, make points, argue by all means, but if no one is getting hurt, don't take away someone's right to be~ even if it's a bigot. And being left out of a club , as annoying or sad as it may be, does not constitute "being hurt" in my opinion.
I get annoyed at sexist remarks, even here on BPL. Sometimes I post about it, sometimes I bite my keyboard....but I would not want to censor those that disagree with me, even when I feel they are just being ignorant and moronic. Best I can do is call them out, hopefully holding back an attitude or remark that will just prevent them from even considering my point ( and I could use some improvement here :( , and hope that it will eventually sink in.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
bsa. on 10/04/2011 22:16:53 MDT Print View

"if BSA were to change, would it still truly be BSA?"

Well, maybe not. Maybe it could be even better? It might advance beyond discrimination, or at least divest itself of all public support if it wishes to continue to discriminate. Or it can continue its multi-decade long decline, on the wrong side of history.


Side notes:

Grammatical errors? Nah. Logical fallacies, especially when enveloped in misspelled rants about neo-Nazi pedophiles and ten-year-old children marrying eight-year-old big-rig drivers in a ceremony presided over by a 14-year-old President bankrolled by Solyndra? Um... perhaps.

Ken K
(TheFatBoy) - F

Locale: St. Louis
Pleasantly Surprised on 10/04/2011 22:59:26 MDT Print View

I am pleasantly surprised to revisit this thread a couple days later and find that it has not devolved into a series of maniacal rants and personal attacks from both sides.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a very active scout leader, heterosexual, spiritual, but not Christian. I have at times questioned my own religous beliefs, and for a while, even stepped away from scouting while I came to grips with my own spirituality.

Tyler, I applaud your desire to help youth grow up to be responsible well-rounded, open-minded adults. As a scout leader, I must admit that I often find myself at odds with some of it's practices and teachings (as I have with many of the religions I've studied). In fact, I agree that there is nothing inheretly wrong with being homosexual, athiest, or agnostic, and I don't personally have issues with my kids being exposed to these influences. Ultimately, I trust that they will eventually develop a belief structure that works for them, even if it may not be a true reflection of my own.

The Scouts under my care, however, are not my kids. Those parents have entrusted me to teach and support a specific set of core values. Where my personal belief structure deviates from the BSA dogma, I do not attempt to influnce. Doing so would be a violation of the trust those parents put in me.

I worry that your definitions of right and wrong, moral and immoral, does not match that of many parents who intentionally choose the BSA for the beliefs it has upheld. The very fact that you question whether or not you should lie to get into the organization bears this out. If you join the BSA ranks and consciously influence youth with ideas counter to their parents wishes, you will have stepped on their parental rights.

I hope you find a different course more in line with your own belief structure. I am quite sure there are plenty of groups who could use your help and would welcome you with open arms.

Ken

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Tradition for tradition's sake on 10/04/2011 23:53:57 MDT Print View

I don't think that by changing BSA policies/beliefs that BSA will stop being BSA. Scouts don't ever stop being Scouts.

"I'm changing the world today". The lead line of the Jamboree Song for the World Jamboree that recently finished in Sweden. Scouts are all about change. We adapt, we change, we grow, we fix problems. If there is a problem, if things are unjust or not right or not fair, or the world isn't working as it should, then its the job of all Scouts to change it for the better (that's everyone's job too, Scout or not...). Keeping things the same is totally going against the grain of what Scouting is.

Remember, when BP started Scouts with the first Scout camp on Brownsea Island, 1st August 1907, what he was doing and proposing was radically different and cutting edge at the time. These days its seen as less so, but at the time BP was really, really out-there, as he was with every thing he did, including how he conducted his military career. Sure, at the time, societies in the UK and around the world had generally different ideas and standards and expectations about such things as religion and sexuality, but these things evolved. No doubt BP would have too.

Don't be afraid to hold onto tradition.

jennifer ross
(jenhifive) - F

Locale: Norcal
Re: BSA discrimination policy :( on 10/04/2011 23:55:22 MDT Print View

At first I just thought maybe they had the common misconception that if you don't have religion you can't have ethics but why only people who believe in Christ? No jews, really? Do they know Jesus was a jew? He couldn't join?

As far as homosexuality, it's christianity's stance that it's not "legitimate" so they have to back up all their views so the issue is really the christianity snag, the most frustrating snag. There's no arguing the bible with people who believe in it.

My vote, infiltrate! Show them what's up.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Re: Pleasantly Surprised on 10/05/2011 00:00:26 MDT Print View

I can definitely see the point Ken and others have made here about deliberately changing viewpoints against BSA policy and parent's wishes. Tyler, I wouldn't go out to do that specifically at Philmont (I didn't think that was your intention) in the company of youth members. If you don't want to preach any religion (and its not your job to preach about any specific religion anyway, though it is your job as a Scout leader to help provide factual answers about any religion to youth members that are interested-you can't deny them this), then there is nothing wrong with never saying anything to youth members on such topics or just saying that you don't know the answer to their questions.

If you want to instigate change, aim higher up. Talk with other leaders, and work your way up from there. Try not to get kicked out. If you do, join ISGF (also WOSM) and stay in Scouting that way.

But I'm sure you aren't going to go preach anti-christianity or atheism or whatever.

When it comes to homosexuality; if it comes up, just ask youth to be tolerant. I'm sure BSA doesn't say anywhere that you can't do that.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Pleasantly Surprised on 10/05/2011 00:22:14 MDT Print View

I think the real issue is those that are "openly" advocating views that are contrary to what the BSA believes. Of course if someone joins as a member or employee with the desire to change things, then they would need to be "open" in their attempts for change.

But they can only know if a potential employee is "openly" against their policies if they ask specific questions about their religious views or sexual orientation. We really get into murky water here when asking pre-employment questions. However if asking a question is relevant to the job, then it is acceptable. It would be interesting to see a BSA job application or interview questions if they are standardized.

But the way I look at it is if someone isn't interested in what I can bring to an organization, I move on. It is their loss, not mine :)

Ken K
(TheFatBoy) - F

Locale: St. Louis
Re: Re: BSA discrimination policy :( on 10/05/2011 01:07:32 MDT Print View

>> At first I just thought maybe they had the common misconception that if you don't have religion you can't have ethics but why only people who believe in Christ? No jews, really? Do they know Jesus was a jew? He couldn't join?

You are misinformed. The BSA even has religious awards for Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews. From the standpoint of religion, it is fairly inclusive... You just have to believe in some higher power.

>> As far as homosexuality, it's christianity's stance that it's not "legitimate" so they have to back up all their views so the issue is really the christianity snag, the most frustrating snag. There's no arguing the bible with people who believe in it.

Or with people who don't. I'm guessing there's not much chance in swaying your viewpoint. Fair enough. I won't try.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: BSA discrimination policy :( on 10/05/2011 07:06:24 MDT Print View

""There's no arguing the bible with people who believe in it."

Or with people who don't.""

+1

Insert 'guns' or 'hunting' or any of the other myriad topics-turned-to-rants in these forums, eh? Telling that the word "argue" was used instead of "discuss." Seems to be the crux of the whole thing, doesn't it? I agree with Kat P.'s regular suggestion that we discuss more, argue less. That, and a little less of "I want you to hear my viewpoint but I'm not that interested in listening to yours".....

And stop all the name calling you fricking bunch of hosers.....

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Re: Pleasantly Surprised on 10/05/2011 09:04:22 MDT Print View

+1 on Doug's very reasonable post.
Also + 1 on Nick's :
"Of course if someone joins as a member or employee with the desire to change things, then they would need to be "open" in their attempts for change."

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: BSA discrimination policy :( on 10/05/2011 09:13:27 MDT Print View

>em>I will politely disagree that growing up in a particular denomination makes one 'very well aware of how Christianity operates from within'.

Well obviously, since you don't know me or my background, you are not going to know the extent to which I am "well aware of how Christianity operates within". And this is not the place for me to promote myself. But I can assure you, I can hold my own with the better religious scholars (not just Christianity, and I won't say "the best"...), plus I have quite a lot of unusual experience, even as a child.

I don't believe that anyone ever assumed that all homosexuals are pedophiles.

Some of the comments certainly sounded like it.

I do have to point out that comparing putting a regular backpacking forum into BPL to the Christian church's stance on homosexuality is not at all the same thing. Promoting belief in a supernatural being is one thing... promoting homophobia is quite another. The first deserves tolerance and protection and a right to exist... the second, no. I do not believe the Christian church or Christians or anyone else have a right to believe in persecuting and marginalizing and impeding the lives of homosexuals, and most especially not to preach it. It's no different at all from racism or sexism. I pick on the Christian church here, even though I know very well that lots of other people and groups have hatred or fear of homosexuals, only because of the focus of this thread and BSA. But the Christian church also has a very long history of persecuting... terribly... homosexuals. It is time to stop, and all efforts within society, by everyone, should focus on getting that way of thinking utterly eradicated. There is no place whatsoever for it. And there should be no support for it, none, on this website. There are homosexuals here, too, please remember.

The drift of this thread is pleasantly surprising... people are actually intelligently and tolerantly discussing some topics that could have blown up into a flame war, but it didn't. Even with all these people who see things differently.

Edited by butuki on 10/05/2011 09:17:51 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: BSA discrimination policy :( on 10/05/2011 09:19:11 MDT Print View

The BSA even has religious awards for Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews.

For the sake of a more complete understanding .... while the sense of this statement is correct it is not exactly true. Technically there are no BSA religious awards. BSA provides a way for various religions to work within scouting.

It is left to members of those religions/denominations to establish organizational structures that define the criteria for those awards, provide support materials and instruction and organize the presentation of the awards. BSA's role is to recognized those organizations and to sanction their activities withing scouting.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
BSA discrimination policy :( on 10/05/2011 11:35:14 MDT Print View

One thing I left out about my mormon based scouting experience was when they held church services on sunday morning it was completely voluntary to attend as member of the troop. Because my scout master felt it should not be forced on the scouts he was in charged of he also had the foresight not to push his own views on religion on the scouts.

My father was also a cub scout/ scout master when my little brothers 10 years my junior were in a mormon troop. He was a non member of the church but the church bishop gave him a calling upon to do it because he was the best person for the job they knew he would not push his belief system on the kids. My father was also agnostic, drank beer and did things against the mormon church views but he was better scout master than past scout master who were members before him.

Basically religious, sexual views should not come up in scouts. When they do in conversation just listen politely . Do like most people who say the pledge of allegiance just leave out the word god if it goes against your belief system.

So like I have written in my last posting on this subject if you like the the scouting experience that much go for it and I will add keep your personal beliefs to yourself when your around the scouts.

I just don't understand why every little view on life style,religion,politics has to be a struggle with people to change or force their views on each other. What ever happened to the free to be you and me out look on life.
Terry

Edited by socal-nomad on 10/05/2011 11:43:36 MDT.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: BSA discrimination policy :( on 10/05/2011 13:43:42 MDT Print View

"But the Christian church also has a very long history of persecuting... terribly... homosexuals. It is time to stop, and all efforts within society, by everyone, should focus on getting that way of thinking utterly eradicated. There is no place whatsoever for it. And there should be no support for it, none, on this website. There are homosexuals here, too, please remember."

Miguel, I agree that homosexuals should not be persecuted in any way. I don't think anyone here has come close to expressing they support that. At most, some have expressed that their beliefs are in line with the Church's ,which I take to mean that they consider homosexuality a sin. That belief, while upsetting, is not something that can be eradicated with a law. Through education, through examples of the many outstanding homosexuals in society, through people coming out in the open, through intolerance for inciting any kind of violence and harm directed at our friends, through meaningful discussion even here on BPL, we will hopefully get there sooner rather than later.

Everyone else, please don't take this as my either endorsing or promoting any kind of discrimination here, because that is not what I am doing. I want to enjoy and preserve my choice to go against the grain if I wish, as long as I am not hurting anyone, nor encouraging others to do so. The only way I can ensure and justify that freedom to think and say what I believe, even if it is not popular, is to let others do the same. And yes, I know that I have failed at that even here on BPL.
We are just a snapshot in time, so much of what we think is accepted or not accepted for good, may change in the future.
Does Christianity in general not consider poligamy a sin? Would most people here not be somewhat in line with that, because they are against it and it's illegal? But if a number of GROWNUPS, voluntarily want to engage in that....how does that affect us here? I sure would want nothing to do with that one, and it creeps me out, but who am I to tell someone else with the above criteria, that they may not, should not, are wrong etc. ?
Let's ensure children are safe and no one gets hurt, past that..it's up to the individual, including if they want to believe that homosexuality is wrong ( which I don't ).
The immediate flaw that I see in my approach, and could use some help with, is how do we keep children safe, if they are homosexual, and are being damaged by their parent's beliefs that it is a sin and all the negative stuff, or if they are downright abused because they exhibit "sinful" tendencies? I can see how having the influence of grown ups ( perhaps at BSA?) that are open and accepting of homosexuality could make all the difference in a young person's life, and the parents choosing to limit who the child has contact with....hurts the child. Someone help me get out of this corner, please.

Edited by Kat_P on 10/05/2011 14:52:49 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: BSA discrimination policy :( on 10/05/2011 14:46:29 MDT Print View

In a way, I am somewhat insulated from the homosexual controversy. I have lived in a predominately Gay and Lesbian community for over 30 years. The official population is over 50% G & L. As such, I really don't give it much thought, as it is the norm around here. I like most of my non-straight neighbors and acquaintances. Some I do not like, but I would not like them if they were straight.

I don't go to church, but am not ignorant of Evangelical doctrine. I was a Sunday School teacher when I was in high school. But today I reject all of Christianity and any religion. Also, it is a subject I do not care to debate or discuss. People have their faith and beliefs, and very few are willing to inspect them. Many hold beliefs that I call "hand-me-downs" just like clothes.

Because of this thread, last night I watched Piers Morgan's interview with Joel and Victoria Osteen. Apparently the Osteens have the largest church congregation in the US.

Piers tried to engage them into a conversation regarding homosexuality. Their stance is that they do not judge people at all. God judges people. The Osteens only repeat and present what the Bible tells them is God's word. They did say that homosexuality is a sin. They said that is not their opinion, it is God's. And since it is God's opinion, they do not have to give it further consideration. At least that was my take. You can read the transcript below. I took a quick look at the transcript and it seems to be missing a part of the conversation where Morgan asked Joel if he would marry a Gay couple. His answer was a definite, "No." But he said he would attend a Gay wedding if it was a friend or person he respected. WTF? Anyway, there is a disclaimer at the top that says this transcript is a rush copy and maybe updated.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1101/26/pmt.01.html

I also spent some time looking at comments from people who watched the show. Some pretty scary comments from people who just recite the dogma. So today I think less of our society than I did yesterday. Sigh.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: BSA discrimination policy :( on 10/05/2011 15:12:37 MDT Print View

"Some pretty scary comments from people who just recite the dogma. So today I think less of our society than I did yesterday. Sigh."

But then there's this, which helps restore a bit of faith in many of the folks who make up our society.....

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Re: Re: Re: Pleasantly Surprised on 10/05/2011 15:20:54 MDT Print View

"I think the real issue is those that are "openly" advocating views that are contrary to what the BSA believes. Of course if someone joins as a member or employee with the desire to change things, then they would need to be "open" in their attempts for change."

There is a bit of a difference here in Tyler's case Nick. That is that Tyler is already a Scout, and has been for a long time (I'm assuming a relatively long time as I think he mentioned he got his Eagle award). You don't stop being a Scout, once a Scout, always a Scout. Minor lapses in actual paid-up membership mean nothing (pretty common to lapse in any NSO (National Scout Organisation) when you hit 18 and have to transition either to Rovers or to a leader role, and you have other pressures on you at the time, like the transition to work or University).

I think its the right of Scouts to be able to change their organisation for the better.

tyler marlow
(like.sisyphus) - F

Locale: UTAH
RE: lying to get in on 10/05/2011 15:22:49 MDT Print View

A couple people have brought up the possibility of me lying to get the job and also that i aim to preach to the scouts.

Just want to clear it up a little.

I have no intentions of lying to anyone. I believe what is being interpreted as my proposal to lie is this statement:

"if pressed i could fit my own beliefs into their "declaration of beliefs"'

This is something i intentionally didnt elaborate on because i didnt want this to become a debate of personal beliefs about specific religions/faiths/ect. But now, i think i should for clarification.

What I believe could be considered atheism, agnosticism, or even science depending on who you talk to. In short, I believe that we live in an impossible existance (something cannot come from nothing, right?) and it takes just as much faith to believe in the big bang as it does a Creator. What I believe is in what i like to call the Universe . I treat it like a deity, an impossibility that absolutely exists and guides all of life.

So, in short, this could fit into the BSA declaration of beliefs, the biggest stretch is that BSA specifically mentions god as a He while I reject the idea of god as a person/individual.

Finally, the only thing I aim to preach in BSA is love for people and for the outdoors. Plain and simple.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
preach on. on 10/05/2011 15:54:22 MDT Print View

"Finally, the only thing I aim to preach... is love for people and for the outdoors."


Tyler,

If you do start your own organization, tell me where to sign up!

:)