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Voice of the Scout membership-policy survey questions give Scouters, parents a chance to be heard

It’s mid-March. That means Phase 2 of the Boy Scouts of America’s three-month family discussion has shifted into high gear.

The BSA calls this phase “Listening,” and that’s exactly what the organization is doing. Scheduled to last from March 1 to April 5, the phase includes, in addition to a lot of conversations with a lot of people, a 13-question Voice of the Scout survey, recently sent to about 1.1 million registered volunteers and Scout parents.

The questions, which you can read below, were designed to help committees review the beliefs and concerns of two groups of stakeholders critical to this process: Scouters and the parents of registered Scouts.

The BSA is also sending the survey to approximately 325,000 Scouting alumni, former members who aren’t necessarily currently active but have previously joined the National Eagle Scout Association or the Scouting Alumni Association.

Refresh your memory about the remaining phases in a blog post I wrote last month. But, briefly, they include evaluating the results of the surveys and other committee reports, the executive officers preparing a resolution to present to the group of National Council voting members, educating the Scouting family about the findings, holding a vote on the resolution at the National Annual Meeting in May, and taking whatever steps are needed to carry out the decision.

First, though, the survey will collect feedback from our key stakeholders, asking parents and volunteers to carefully consider the current membership policy and potential affects on the program should the BSA change its policy or keep it the same.

If you are a current member and you have not received a survey, you may visit this link to register your member ID number and receive a link for the survey after your information has been verified. Parents of Scouts can also use this link to get a survey. You should use your child’s ID and indicate you are a parent and input your own demographic information.

As is common in any family discussion, the survey touches on some personal issues. But it’s a conversation we must have now to ensure the continued success of our organization for the future.

The leadership of the BSA is firmly committed to making sure every voice gets heard and is dedicated to the integrity of this process. So, if you receive the survey, speak up—for yourself and for the Boy Scouts of America.

View the survey now:

Current Policy

“The applicant must possess the moral, educational, and emotional qualities that the Boy Scouts of America deems necessary to afford positive leadership to youth. The applicant must also be the correct age, subscribe to the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle, and abide by the Scout Oath or Promise, and the Scout Law.”

“While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.”

1. The current Boy Scouts of America requirements, stated above, prohibit open homosexuals from being Scouts or adult Scout leaders. To what extent do you support or oppose this requirement?

Choices: Strongly support, Somewhat support, Neutral, Somewhat oppose, Strongly oppose

Following are some possible scenarios that could happen if the Boy Scouts keeps or changes its policy. Please tell us the degree to which you believe the actions taken in each scenario are acceptable or unacceptable.

Choices: Totally acceptable, Somewhat acceptable, Neutral, Somewhat unacceptable, Totally unacceptable

2. Tom started in the program as a Tiger Cub, and finished every requirement for the Eagle Scout Award at 16 years of age. At his board of review Tom reveals that he is gay. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for the review board to deny his Eagle Scout award based on that admission?

3. Bob is 15 years old, and the only openly gay Scout in a Boy Scout troop. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for the troop leader to allow Bob to tent with a heterosexual boy on an overnight camping trip?

4. Johnny, a first grade boy, has joined Tiger Cubs with his friends. Johnny’s friends and their parents unanimously nominate Johnny’s mom, who is known by them to be lesbian, to be the den leader. Johnny’s pack is chartered to a church where the doctrine of that faith does not teach that homosexuality is wrong. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for his mother to serve as a den leader for his Cub Scout den?

5. David, a Boy Scout, believes that homosexuality is wrong. His troop is chartered to a church where the doctrine of that faith also teaches that homosexuality is wrong. Steve, an openly gay youth, applies to be a member in the troop and is denied membership. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for this troop to deny Steve membership in their troop?

6. A gay male troop leader, along with another adult leader, is taking a group of boys on a camping trip following the youth protection guidelines of two-deep leadership. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for the gay adult leader to take adolescent boys on an overnight camping trip?

7. A troop is chartered by an organization that does not believe homosexuality is wrong and allows gays to be ministers. The youth minister traditionally serves as the Scoutmaster for the troop. The congregation hires a youth minister who is gay. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for this youth minister to serve as the Scoutmaster?

8. After reading the scenarios in the previous question, please answer one question again. The current Boy Scouts of America requirements prohibit open homosexuals from being Scouts or adult Scout leaders. To what extent do you support or oppose this requirement?

Choices: Strongly support, Somewhat support, Neutral, Somewhat oppose, Strongly oppose

9. Different organizations that charter Boy Scout troops have different positions on the morality of homosexuality. Do you support or oppose allowing charter organizations to follow their own beliefs when selecting Boy Scout members and adult leaders, if that means there will be different standards from one organization to the next.

Choices: Strongly support, Somewhat support, Neutral, Somewhat oppose, Strongly oppose

10. What is your greatest concern if the policy remains in place and openly gay youth and adults are prohibited from joining Scouting?

Open-ended answer

11. What is your greatest concern if the policy is changed to allow charter organizations to make their own decisions to admit openly gay Scouts and leaders?

Open-ended answer

12. Do you believe the current policy prohibiting open homosexuals from being scouts or adult scout leaders is a core value of Scouting found in the Scout Oath and Law?

Yes or No

13. If the Boy Scouts of America makes a decision on this policy that disagrees with your own view, will you continue to participate in the Boy Scouts, or will you leave the organization?

Choices: I believe I can find a way to continue, I do not believe I can find a way to continue, I have not yet made up my mind

710 thoughts on “Voice of the Scout membership-policy survey questions give Scouters, parents a chance to be heard

  1. With the forces that are work, the local option will not work for long. It won’t be acceptable and it will be attacked from day one. BSA cannot afford to play the part of Pilate and wash its hands. We cannot be a house divided on this issue.

    • By moving the issue from BSA to the CO, any attacks that do happen will move the the CO. BSA will be out of the loop. And I don’t think any attacks against COs will happen, because most COs have already made it clear what their position regarding gays is, so there won’t be much to argue about. Current COs who ban gays all have a legal basis for doing so. Current COs who allow gays are also legally protected in their position.

      Who, specifically, will be attacked if a CO has to choose whether or not to admit gays? Be specific, please.

      • The New York Times editorial on January 30, 2013 says that the new proposal “falls far short of the clear and strong renunciation of anti-gay bigotry that is called for.” And they go on to say that this is “an unprincipled position” and that it will not satisfy those who demand their ideal of full inclusion at every level and every unit.

        The New York Times is correct. The attacks will just be shifted downwards once National caves. And the Times goes on to say “The new policy would, however, undermine the rationale the Supreme Court voiced in 2000 when it affirmed the right of the Scouts…” to select their own membership.

        The invitation for more lawsuits after there is no longer a unified policy that can be argued as part of our core principles, is self evident. The local charters will be attacked over it. I heard, within just a few days of the announcement, comments from people who can’t wait to find out which units will continue a sexual orientation policy.

        • Well, lifting the ban certainly won’t free us from gay-rights windbags. But writing an editorial page hardly counts as an attack on Scouting, unless you don’t believe in free speech.

          To the disappointment of some people, BSA will never become an advocate for gay rights. Just as BSA is not an advocate for women’s rights, or worker’s rights, or children’s right. BSA shouldn’t be such an advocate. It is a long-standing BSA policy to not engage in political debate. Non-Scouts don’t understand this, and will always be disappointed that BSA does not take sides on the popular political controversy of the day. But BSA never has. It is BSA policy. It is not what BSA is about.

          But with all of its rhetorical bluster, the editorial fails to name one CO that is likely to face legal challenge if they refuse to admit gays. That is because all COs who currently ban gays already have fully legal rights for that exclusion.

          If anyone knows a CO that is likely to be sued if the BSA gay ban is lifted, I would like to know what CO that is.

          Meanwhile, we will always have loudmouth, gay windbags. Unfortunately, there is nothing BSA can do to get rid of them. That is what it is like to live in a country that permits free speech.

        • I can’t show you an example of a CO being sued or attacked over policies that have yet to be created or changed regarding a national BSA policy that has yet to be changed. I can only point you to the fact that it is being shouted from the rooftops that the local option will not accepted and will not stop the attacks.

          I am a COR. I represent a CO. This is what many COs are having to deal with right now and think ahead as to what we are going to do; how we can operate and even if we can continue to operate. Not all attacks will be by lawsuits. My CO is in the middle of one of the most morally liberal areas of my State. My CO has been vandalized and threatened over our stand for traditional marriage. Once we can be singled out the target on our backs will only grow.

        • As sure as I am typing this the ACLU is plotting their strategy. The folks that promoting the change are very short sighted and naïve to think the limit of their campaign will stop if the membership policy changes in their favor.

          Once the cart has been pushed over the hill they will not put on the breaks until is completely destroyed.

        • its simple really , right now the BSA policy is no gays , BSA is the private orginazation , the cos are not , so if the BSA changes its policy , and then a co says no to a gay , guess what then its not protected by the private organization ,anymore .
          and also wont have the vast amount of money the BSA has to defend itself in court .
          next u need to consider when several units show up say to summer camp , and 1 unit allows gays , if something doesnt go the way the group allowing gays way, athe first thing out of their mouth will be , theyre discriminaing against us .

          everyone likes to point out that scouting is non-secular so the bsa should have same stance on gays , yet their claim to leting gays in is their religous org, is ok with it ,so its not immoral , hypocrosy in action, .

          and yes i know several gay people , and everyone of them make it known they are gay ,and make a spectical of them selves ,is this what u really want to turn scouting into , EVERYONE in the BSA knew the BSA’s stance on gay BEFORE they joined, if its discrimanation now , why wasnt it when u joined , and why did u join in the first place ??????????????????????

        • In response to Derek, the COs *are* primarily private organizations, correct? The only public organization sponsors I can think of would be those that sponsor Explorer units, which are not included in the issue considered here — police departments, fire departments, and so on.

          A church is a private organization. A church which has requirements of its youth leaders should have no problem making the same requirements of a Scouting program that is an extension of its church youth program. Rotary, Kiwanis, American Legion, VFW are all private organizations.

        • Nobody has yet named one single CO, that currently restricts gay membership, that will in any way be affected by BSA leaving the decision to ban gays from its troop up to the CO. I can’t reply if nobody will say which CO we are talking about.

          What “attacks” are we worried about? Please be specific. Warning about attacks without providing any details is simply engaging in more of the same empty rhetoric that the January 29, 2013 New York Time editorial writer used.

        • JW,

          You’ve said your CO is a church. I don’t recall hearing what type of church, but it doesn’t matter. There is no way any outside group could successfully apply legal pressure on a church to have the church change their beliefs. If a church teaches that gays are not appropriate role models for boys, that church and all of its BSA units would have a fully-protected , legal rights to exclude gays from membership.

          Please name one instance where a court was able to force a church to change their beliefs. It just can not and does not happen in the U.S.

        • cw, I believe I have fully explained this, but I will try once more. I never said a church could be forced to change its beliefs. That’s not how this works. The pressure, legal and otherwise, will be directed at how we operate and where we can operate, not what we believe.

          Our units are not a private club for the sole benefit of our church or our church members. If we were talking about a completely in-house function, we would be fairly safe, but this will be new ground. The units are a joint venture with BSA and that alone opens a hole for attack.

          Let’s just say for example that they do not sue us, but rather continue the same pressure on BSA to no longer charter with us. See where that goes? It is not our program alone. It can be killed from the other side. And probably from directions we haven’t even thought of at this point.

          Churches have been sued over tax exemption status, zoning ordinances, building permits, etc… They are numerous ways of attacking churches without going directly after their beliefs. The goal being to let them have their beliefs, but isolate them and limit how and where they can operate.

          And one more point of many… lawsuits and other pressures do not have to be won in order to get the desired result. Forcing an entity to defend itself can win or gain concessions by force of the pocket book. And once more, COs are already being effected. We were neither warned nor consulted.

        • I fully support your position. It is logically reasoned and no matter how many ways you say it or how many times your explain, the other side will join in to nitpick every word. Yes, CO’s that support traditional Scouting which does not include openly avowed homosexuals will have pressure brought to bear from every corner including name calling and attacks of supporters and supporting organizations. Look at the Southern Baptist Convention. It has made mistakes as have all groups whether the group is religious or not but today CBC have arguably the most effective Disaster Relief grassroots organization in America. They can always be found on the front lines after a disaster providing relief for all comers for no support from the government just Baptist members. They are rarely interviewed or shown on TV and they do not do it for that. When portrayed, Southern Baptists are shown as backwoods illiterate hicks that want to keep women pregnant and barefoot..But guess what, Southern Baptists will never follow popular culture and neither should Scouting. There should be a higher calling for the organization and all faiths are welcome that recognize God in the Scout Oath as a supreme being with a worthy moral code.

        • @Derek. They joined because they wanted the benefits. It did not matter to them that they were being hypocrites. Likely they did not even connect that. Nevertheless, that’s what they are — hypocrites who disagree with a core value of an organization. I think that’s part of the entitlement, “me” generation. “Values, integrity, and honesty be damned, as long as I get mine.”

  2. I have really enjoyed the adult conversations on here, and it gives me hope that Scouting may not come out as damaged as I am afraid it might, I only hope.

    Just got back from my council’s meeting on the subject and was surprised by the handful of people who showed up, 2 dozen or so. I expected the opinion to sway one way due to the location of our council, and the first few speakers backed up that idea. Then we had our first opinion from the other side and it seemed to open up more people to speak the same. Just as I feel it is dividing my Troop, the council, admittedly based on a few dozen people, is fairly evenly split as to what to do. We had two other leaders from the Troop come to the meeting with me, with me sitting right in the middle, and had one speak for each side of the discussion.

    One question that was asked, what do the youth think? A Dad told a story that his son is allowed to take three friends on a weekend long birthday party to a local resort town. Its been the same three kids for several years, and two of them are gay. He admitted that he doesn’t understand it, but supported his son’s decision. So should we be including more opinions from some of the youth in this organization? The program today is for them, tomorrow its for their kids. If they have been raised with the values that you want them to have then letting them help make this decision shouldn’t be an issue either.

    • It sounds like your council meeting was a lot like mine.

      Youth input — I’m sure there is a similar divide among our youth. I would guess that it tips a little more in favor of change, however, than among us greying ones. That’s based on the national polls about gay marriage which show a very decided generational shift, even among evangelical youth; conversations with young people I teach and those I have met in Scouting; the facebook posts of the 18-30 year olds who have graduated from our troops; and my own children. Whatever happens with this proposal, I expect to stay in BSA. My three children, however, have all told me that they intend to leave if the policy is not changed. Through the discussions among their friends and in their church since the July reaffirmation, they have each come to realize that this is something they care a lot more about than they thought they did. If they leave, it will make me very sad, but I will respect the process they have gone through to make that principled decision — the younger two, especially, as Scouting is very deeply important to them.

      • Now here is an interesting twist to this dscussion, instead of levang to the faults for the vote, maybe we should be looking at what the Scouts are thinking.

        No matter where we re in the Scouting world, at the end of the day we are here for one thing and one thing only, (hopefully although I know some in Australia who are here for the title), the guidance of the Scouts. Without the youth there would be n Scouts, so ay be we should be asking them the youth what their feeling are and what they would like see happen

        • This particular conversation seems so strange to me. i grew up and learned from my parents and the adult mentors in my life. I know in my business which see parents of a number of children, I see the parents not that interested in the education the government schools are providing. Government Schools protect homosexuals from any criticism and preach that the homosexual lifestyle is just as normal as straight The major youth programs on the networks and internet shower youth with images of promiscusous sex of all types and pre-marital sex wherever you cna find a quiet spot i.e. the liberal permissive lifestyle. For those that want to raise their kids conservative and tradiitonal, Scouts is one of few options outside theChurch.SHould we as mentors then for parents seeking a quality character education that teaches the outdoors abdicate our responsibility to provide the guidance under the program? My Dad never asked me advice of establishing moral and ethical character traits, he instilled them in me as we should the Scouts in the Program. A youth awash if popular culture and exposed to kids whose parents are as permissive as they are needs that guiding hand to instill the character education of the Boy Scout Program. I would not rely on the Scouts on this matter. Their life experiences are too few or are there those on this list that thought they knew everything at 17 and never discovered they did not. Adults do not need to abdicate this hard decision. Have an open dialogue with Scouts? Yes. Let them drive the decision. I respecfully disagree. We discused ths with our Scouts and in our case, they made the decision that reflected their ages. What’s sex got to do with Scout’s. Why are they trying to change Scouting? WHy are we having this conversation? I know gays at Shcool, they just seem confused and dress weird. We don’t need that in Scout meetings or trips. I see that at school, I don’t want to see it here.

        • Fred you certainly have your head screwed on correctly.

          I totally agree with you. I have seen so many parents let their children guide them and refuse to say no. This idea of lets give a prize to everybody so we don’t hurt their feelings syndrome. Don’t keep score so nobody looses. Tell your child he/she never fails so we don’t damage their self esteem.

          In Scouts we let the boys fail so they can learn from failure. I believe in a boy lead troop/patrol but with a measure of adult guidance to keep the program safe. One poorly planned campout produces better planning for the next campout. It is not fun being cold and hungry on a campout.

        • Why not give the children a voice?

          A child shall lead them. Isaiah 11: 1-9

          Let the little children come to me. Matthew 19:14

      • I would agree with Fred that this is a decision for the adults to make. The long view of understanding our program over its century, and the broad view of understanding the many varieties of thought among our members — these are both important, and difficult for young people. I would agree with Matthew that the long view should include imagining the BSA program when today’s Scouts are the Cub Scout parents — picturing the future along with the past and the present. These will be difficult decisions. One of the most difficult will be the crafting of the proposition itself on which the 1400 will vote, a process that I understand is still going on.

    • My understanding is that Harris International has been commissioned to poll youth in their “youth poll” both inside and outside of Scouting. So there will be some input for the Executive Officers to review in mid April

  3. I don’t believe that the topic at hand is really about allowing gays in, I believe that it is really about what is moral? Who decides which criteria should be used to decide. I really believe that is the base of the argument? My charter origination the Methodists Church teaches open minds, open hearts, and open doors, does that mean that because of my religious affiliations that I am going to be gay or be affected by gay people that attend the church? My church welcomes all people because all are sinners.

    It has been stated that other churches and organizations have different standards of morality. For example I attended a summer camp where there was a troop near me that was Muslim, they did not accept women, did I let that bother me, NO, I was not there to judge them for their beliefs. So since there are multiple standards, the question becomes what standard do we accept? If I were Hindu, wouldn’t eating cow at a scout campout be seen as “sin?” What about if I were Catholic and got an abortion? My point is that we all do things that others find “wrong”, but who are we to judge unless you can say that you have never done anything “wrong” Doesn’t most all religious teachings point out that it is not our job to judge, but gods?

    My point is that there is no agreeance on what is “wrong”! Obviously, there are some things that everyone can agree upon that are “wrong”, for instance murder, but where do we draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable, and I do believe that at one time even murder was accepted, the old eye for and eye belief? Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that murder is okay, just bring up a point of how things change as to what we find acceptable. If the only thing holding a boy from being a scout is his sexual orientation, then I would say that you don’t have any ground to stand on as to sex is not permitted by BSA rules. Banning someone from membership because of who they are attracted to seems to me to be based upon “our” perception of right and wrong. Who is to decide the standard that we should impose on the rest of Scouting, when we all have very different beliefs?

    My concern is for the continuation of the Scouting program, after all that is the reason that we are here right. We have implemented youth protection programs for a reason. I believe that what we have in place is sufficient to alleviate any situation concerns. It is not like leaders go around advertising their sexual orientation at meeting and camps, there are probably more gays in scouts than you know of, and to me those individuals would be extra careful of following the rules just because of this. I know that as an adult leader you are a roll model for the boys, but since sex is to have no part in the program, a gay leader wouldn’t be teaching the boys to “be gay”. At my districts meeting on this topic the point was also brought up that someone that is gay is more likely to be a pedafile, my response to that is well what about all those Catholic priests, just because you are gay doesn’t make you any more likely to be a pedafile than the next person. Again I do believe that someone that is gay would be more cautious of BSA’s rules and regulations because they know that because they are gay they would be under the microscope more than straight guy.

    In any case, I would not want anyone to leave the Scouting program in protest over this issue!! Scouting is a great program for the boys! I believe in it and will continue to do my best to help Scouting, we owe it to every boy, that is who this program is all about anyways.

      • Last time I checked and that was Friday after research and talking to a DE that is Methodist and a minister that is Methodist, UMC does not support open avowed practicing homosexuals as members. Repentant Sinners, yes, but that is not what an openly avowed homosexual is as far as I can tell.

        Your UMC Scouting Man stuck his foot in his mouth and had relase a new statement 180 degrees from his first supporting the change. Might be different in your Church in your town but its not UMC policy to support openly avowed homosexuals in Scouting.

        • Fred, if you notice, what I said was that my church was open to all, I didn’t say where any exclusions would be. I do believe that my pastor would not turn anyone away. John and ASM Mom in order to lift the ban on gay members some people would have a moral relativism. That is part of the problem of this whole big mess, with so many different views on the subject, there is absolutely no way to please everyone no matter what decision is made. Again I just hope that how ever this goes that this program will be strong enough to take it, it is after all no about us adults, it is about the boys and their future. Let’s get back to the basics, what do scouts stand for.
          A Scout’s honor is to be trusted.
          A Scout is loyal.
          A Scout’s duty is be useful and to help others.
          A Scout is a friend to all, and a brother to every other Scout.
          A Scout is courteous.
          A Scout is a friend to animals.
          A Scout obeys orders.
          A Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties.
          A Scout is thrifty.
          A Scout is clean in thought, word, and deed
          With this in mind the answer should be clear.

        • Jennifer d posted a part of an older Scout Law: “A Scout is clean in thought, word, and deed”

          As I said in another post, I do not see how an open avowed homosexual could meet this tenet of the Law. I don’t think the Law ever contemplated accepting a boy or adult defined by strictly sexual behavior and “clean” in thought, word or deed, certainly not action and certainly not moral.

        • Fred, you do need to update your info re the UMC. While homosexuals are currently prohibited from being clergy, they are not prohibited from membership or from full participation in the life of the church.

        • Fred, this is a complex issue that the UMC struggles with, as do many other denominations. As I said, homosexual individuals are not allowed to be clergy in the UMC. I take exception, however, to your comment that, “You can play Church and be a open avowed homosexual but you can’t live Church.” I do not find that to be a valid characterization of the UMC’s stand on homosexuality.

          “Therefore, be it resolved, that The United Methodist Church dedicate itself to a ministry of Christ-like hospitality and compassion to persons of all sexual orientations, and to a vision of unity through openness to the spiritual gifts of all those who have been baptized into the Body of Jesus Christ. Such ministry and openness may include: welcoming sexual minorities, their friends, and families into our churches and demonstrating our faith in a loving God; a willingness to listen and open our hearts to their stories and struggles in our churches, districts, annual conferences, and General Conference; encouraging study and dialogue around issues of sexuality; and praying for all those who are in pain and discord over our Christian response to this controversial issue.”
          http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=4951419&content_id={CAF9E91C-06A0-4D90-8AC2-97E9A0102D1B}&notoc=1

          Also, continuing your previous quote about homosexuality: “We affirm that God’s grace is available to all. We will seek to live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving, and loving one another, as Christ has loved and accepted us. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.”
          http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=5066287&content_id={1F6BAEA8-E9EE-4867-B892-2F6871C78CB6}&notoc=1

        • ¶ 304.3
          While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals1 are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.2

          Pretty much what the Baptists and BSA believe

        • BSA was and hopefully will continue to be a “Society for the Propagation of Moral Attributes.” There surely does appear to be a push to take BSA away from being a nonsectarian, religious, ethical and moral based organization to one that is nonsectarian, nonreligious, balkanized ethics and amorality.

        • jweaksnc, here we agree 100%. BSA will become a bumper sticker and not an organization of guiding principle.

    • Yes, well put indeed…for those in favor of moral relativism that is. Unfortunately, that is NOT what Scouting is about.

      • This is why sex is not a part of scouts Fred, gay or not isn’t any sexual thought, word, or deed inappropriate? Just saying you should look at the whole picture!

        • Open avowed homosexual means expression of your sexual identity. I see the big picture? Homosexuality is immoral and that is the violation of the Scout tenet. Heterosexual thought is not immoral at all. Open expression in a Scout meeting is prohibited.

        • Fred – here’s the key that keeps getting overlooked in this discussion: TO YOUR FAITH, homosexuality is immoral. To my faith, it is not. Who is right? Both of us, of course, since faith is very personal. So much so, that the BSA has a policy about it. It is called the Declaration of Religious Principle. Among other things, the declaration states, “The Boy Scouts of America, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.”

          Since we are a nonsectarian organization, how can we say that your belief is correct and mine is wrong (or vise versa)? If we want to follow our own policies, we cannot. We don’t say that no unit can camp on Saturday nights because it is prohibited by some faiths. We don’t stop Scouts from having meat on Fridays or from consuming beef or pork. All of those are prohibitions for certain faiths, but the BSA leaves them between the Scout and his or her faith. With so many faiths having differing opinions about homosexuality, this issue also rightly belongs with the faith organization, not the BSA.

        • Well put MT_Momma. I respect that everyone has a right to their own opinion, and I am glad that at least on this part of the discussion board everyone for the most part is being mindful of that and not being to nasty to each other. It is for that reason why I state what I see and try not to put my personal opinion in it, and that is a hard task. The point is that when a final decision is made we all know that it is not going to be unbiased, there is no way to make it otherwise. I just hope that we can arrive there in one piece. I have heard good arguments from both sides of the issue and I agree MT_Momma who is to say who’s opinion is the right one, I do have a problem with people cutting others down though. Fred when I posted about the “A Scout is clean in thought, word, and deed”, you stated in a reply ” I do not see how an open avowed homosexual could meet this tenet of the Law. I don’t think the Law ever contemplated accepting a boy or adult defined by strictly sexual behavior and “clean” in thought, word or deed, certainly not action and certainly not moral.” I don’t think that was very christian like thing for you to say. You are saying that heterosexuality thoughts, words, and deeds are okay or “clean”, but gay ones are not, and the fact of the matter is neither have a place in BSA! I don’t see it as our place to judge each other like that, and yes on that part I will clearly put my opinion in it. If the policy did change and allowed gay members in Fred what is it exactly that you think that they are going to do to the program, are you thinking that our boys are more likely to be molested, or that they will “teach” them to be gay? Just curious as to what you think the “damage” would be……

        • Can’t remember ever saying there would be “damage.” ertainly a lowering of the moral bar. You spent a lot of time talking about being unbiased and fair and then accused me of being biased and unfair. These are my beliefs. I think homosexuals will bring immorality to the Program. “Open” “avowed” homosexual means practicing and is used by many denominations as the dividing line for acceptance as moral or immoral behavior. Homosexuals own definition includes “open” and “avowed” as being “out” and expressing their homosexual nature. A person who defines their persona by sexuality is by nature immoral in my opinion just like gay sexual thought about same-gender sex is not “clean” in my opinion.

        • Fred, yes you are being bias and unfair in your writing, it doesn’t matter how many bible quotes you throw out there, or how many fancy words that you use, it doesn’t cover up the fact that you believe that a gay person in general is a “dirty” person in scouts where as a heterosexual person is not, cut and dry that is what you are saying no matter how you like to sugar coat it. Please make sure to read the replys by MT_Momma, Deanna, and Matthew. It seems as if you have blinders on and only want to see your side of the issue, fact of the matter is though you need to either open your eyes or get your head out of the sand so to speak and look at the real world around you. Like it or not it is changing. If you talk to any young adult long enough you will see that your thoughts and views on things are very different ( I am being general here, there are exceptions ) What society was and what it is now are two very different beasts. Don’t be so closed minded Fred,you need to put aside your fancy words and bible quotes and look at the issue from anothers point of view.

        • A lot of you folks muts not work. I checke my email going to lunch and realized I must be the topic of the day.

          What you call close-minded, I call following my faith. I was not the one that started with religion in Scouting. My very first statement on this post was “Boy Scouts is not a Christian Organization. My CO has a Scouting program because current policy is compatible with Christian principles.” Others then weighed in on how there Churches were more open and accepted open and avowed homosexuals and it was not a morality issue. I disagreed and defended my position. Then others said Church has no place in Scouting and in non-sectarian. I repeated my first statement.

          Now you say I am calling homosexual kids who define their persona as sexual as “dirty.” Your word not mine. Are they immoral? In my opinion, yes. Does Scouting policy prohibit the behavior in Scouting? YES! Are all heterosexuals moral? Certainly not. Practicing adulterers would not be welcome in my Troop either. Sexually promiscuous boys would not be welcome. Certainly heterosexual but indicates a lack of morals. What about adult leaders and Scouts who like to drink and smoke on campouts? Not welcome if they continue the behavior. Completely non-sexual but not a good role model for Scouts and prohibited by SCOUTING policy.

          So if you are accepting of open and avowed homosexual Adult Leaders or Scouts in your Troop or Pack directly against current Boy Scout Policy, who has there head firmly in the sand. You it appears.

          The “Real World” you speak of is your perception of the real world wherever you live. I don’t think I ever said homosexuals do not exist or are invisible in Society. Hard to miss such an open display of ones sexuality in the news, on TV and in public schools. The best estimate I can find for homosexuals in America is 4-6% of the population. We can play with numbers all day but even 6 people out of 100 doesn’t really cause me to change the way I go about my daily business. I don’t frequent bars or strip clubs and I am sure more than 6 in 100 spend time in one of those places. The city I work in has a pretty large homosexual population. I have a few vendors who are homosexual. After work, I drive out of the City and leave it behind. Your “Real World” may be overrun with homosexuals but they are few and far between here. The Constitution also guarantees the “right of association” and I exercise it daily. I serve charitable organizations that feed the homeless, clothe the sick and needy and generally serve the Public good. If your “Real World” says homsexuals are here and now and welcome them with open arms no questions asked, I do not want to live in your “Real World” and you don’t want me there. Major media is not the “Real World.” Your on this earth for so many years. I try to make a difference in the lives around me and support organizations that believe as I do as does BSA currently. I have been accused of “unwilling to see the world from anothers point of view.” I see that point of view and each person has that right to have that point of view but please do not be offended if I do not accept that point of view. Its yours, you own it and I hope you are happy with it. No one is trying to take it away from you. I just don’t agree with it and that’s fine. Do be so presumptuos that you feel you have the correct all-encompassing understanding of “Real World.” very few people I know think like you do about open and avowed homosexuality.

          The only topic that matters here is BSA Policy. I support wholeheartedly the current policy and will continue to defend it. It is a one of many standards I believe makes Scouts a Program of Standards. To me, you should have to reach up to attain the standards of Boy Scouting and be set aside an person of principles and values. BSA should not lower its standards to meet current cultural mores. I have also said BSA is not for everyone. The debate here is who is accepted and Scoutng and who is not. Has nothing to do with that boy or adult as being a good person. Do they meet the standards Boy Scouts has established for membership in a Program of Standards and Values. Curently homosexual youth and Adults do not. I support the Policy. We can disagree and continue tio defend our respective positions.

        • Very well said. I thought about retort to Jennifer D but you said it better than I could have. Why are we require to lower ourselves to the liberal standards?

        • MT Momma
          It has been explained to Fred more than once that not all faiths feel the same about homosexuality. I understand his view that if you don’t uphold the membership policy as it is currently then you, regardless of how your faith views homosexuality, then the BSA is not for you.

          He fails to grasp the nonsectarian view that the BSA does not view one religion superior to another. The BSA does not base policy on one faith then one can conclude that the BSA is not adhering to its own policy. Even if only one faith, that is recognized by the BSA, warmly welcomes homosexuals then the BSA needs to allow for that faith to set its own membership policy.

          It is time for the BSA to remain true to its guiding policy of being nonsectarian.

        • The continued use of religious views as the reason to not change the policy is what is getting old. I know that what 70% of COs are churches, so obviously there is some issue with how you incorporate a churches teachings into this, but BSA doesn’t operate based on a single denominations views. So if you remove the, “it doesn’t jive with MY churches views” argument, because the BSA doesn’t care what your views are as long a you believe in a higher being (or whatever the exact verbiage is) then the biggest argument I am hearing now is thrown out the window.

          For being concerned about a gay adult being involved with the BSA program, how is that any different then having a father involved in his daughters Girl Scout program, and as far as I know that happens. Yes, avowed gay people are open about who they like to go to bed with, but that doesn’t mean that they have to do that every night or try to lure others there. It goes back to a couple points of the Scout Law of being kind and courteous. I don’t openly talk about my wanting to go to bed with my wife at scouting events, and the same would be expected of a gay leader. You don’t talk or act on sexual desires at Scout events, no matter which way you swing. The BSA already has guidelines in place for how adults interact with youth, and on the adult side those should be satisfactory.

          Openly gay individuals are a part of our society now like it or not and are probably not going away anytime soon. Putting your head in the sand and acting like the are not there is just trying to be blind to the issue. Camping with or knowing a gay person isn’t going to suddenly turn your sons gay. Assuming you instilled all of the values you want your child to have, then knowing a gay individual isn’t going to pollute them or sway their “moral compass”.

          What the BSA is doing with the national vote (thought it doesn’t sound like it will be proper representation from some councils) is the right thing to do here.

  4. Today the Supreme Court hears arguments on a case that could result in a ruling that gays have a constitutional right to marry. I hope the voting members are listening carefully. BSA could have a public relations nightmare on its hands if they retain some sort of discriminatory policy, even the local option, and the Court then shatters the legitimacy of any legal discrimination against gays. I’ve been mainly concerned about the major churches pulling out of BSA if there is a policy change, but it may be that BSA has to preemptively break away from the major churches on this issue if it is to retain any public credibility. And BSA is no ordinary private organization. It is a “patriotic” corporation chartered by federal law, and arguably has an obligation to reflect the public’s (and perhaps the Court’s) expanding view of the constitutional rights of citizens over catering to the private constitutional rights of member churches.

    • Today the Supreme Court hears arguments on a case that could result in a ruling that laws protecting traditional marriage of a man and woman only are constitutional. I hope the voting members are listening carefully. BSA could have a public relations nightmare on its hands if they fail to support the current policy of excluding gay Scouts.and allow local Units to adopt policies in contradiction of the opinion of the Supreme Court as it shatters progressive thought that all sexual behavior is moral. I have not been so concerned with Progressive CO’s including Churches pulling out and feel that may increase public credibility especially among the majority of Units who are faith-based and support the current policy. And BSA is no ordinary organization. It is a “private” organization that supports traditional values that do not shift like sand in a blowing wind and has an obligation to stand for those timeless values and not bend to popular culture especially if the Supreme Court upholds traditional marriage protection laws as constitutional and strengthens the Defense of Marriage Act and rejects decay in moral culture driven by progressive thought.and the liberal churches and other progressive CO’s that support that decay.

    • Funny. I hope the churches are listening carefully as well and making contingency plans. As I’ve said before, I’m surprised that they stuck around after BSA adopted “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell,” which allows gays and lesbians to be fully participating members as well as den leaders, committee members, even Scoutmasters. On second thought, since the churches have already acquiesced in having gay and lesbian Scout leaders serve as daily examples and influences on their kids, they may just be blowing smoke for the benefit of their congregations, and will go along with whatever BSA decides.

  5. If anyone in favor of keeping the current policy would like a research and support paper to use or pass along to the voters in your Council, let me know. My gravatar icon to the left has contact info.

  6. Have just seen the episode from the NBC The New Normal -About a Boy Scout. If you ever had any doubts that this policy review wasn’t going mainstream, you had better think again, and now if you didn’t think it had gone international, think again.

    Do you not consider it strange that this episode as come out (no pun intended) smack bang in the middle of the BSA’s most controversial policy change in the last 100 years.

    Public opinion is a very powerful barrier, and depending on which way the pendulum swings, if the BSA makes the wrong choice, we might only be able to read about the BSA in the pages of history

    Quote from the end of the show The New Normal -About a Boy Scout.
    “When I joined the scouts te most coveted badges you could earn was archery and Indian law, today it robotics and nuclear medicine I know equally cool right. No one can deny the world is changing and in some ways the scouts have proven they can change with it. So I’m going o honor the oath I took and use all the values I learned honesty, perseverance, bravery and courage, to fight for change so that maybe one day I can help my son earn his own badges. Like the scouts taught me Be Prepared, because change is coming”

    I know that the above quote is from a tv show, I know that tv shows are the imagination of the writers, but in reality how close to home is this particular episode. How many parents are facing this paradox right now.

  7. Probably not nearly as many parents as popular culture and Hollywood would have you think. 4 to 6 out of 100. Progressive Hollywood will always play the most leftist position as normal in America. As you say. I not only expected they would, I expect many more such episodes, maybe a SNL skit and more. The “new Normal” is like “a new American family” by ABC. Let pick the most outrageous combination of adults and children who can live together and sell it as common. Its not common or even regular, its juts Hollywood selling the dram to folks who want to hear it. Probably an Atheist show will be next.

    What are the chances that an Eagle Scout who comes back into Scouting to preserve traditional values will get an episode? None. Doesn’t fit the “new” normal.

    If BSA determines Principles based on modern culture, it should fold. Atheism is widely accepted a option to religion, its not in BSA? Camel’s nose is under the tent, folks and if BSA does not stand for clear principles and high morals standards, it stands for nothing at all and why would a parent of high principles and moral standards want to place his son in such an organization. Not many Hollywood stars my children respect because they see the cesspool of thought that drives most Hollywood producers, stars and Directors. This episode was highly expected. I’m sure we’ll see more.

    • Probably nowhere near as low a number of families as you estimate, Fred! There are a lot of us in Scouting who support much about the program but who have a real issue with being forced to discriminate. Don’t believe me? Check out the results from the Fall 2012 VOS – http://www.scouting.org/filestore/mission/pdf/VoS-Infographic-2013-Executive-Summary.pdf

      On page 9 is a nice summary – what is driving loyalty and what is getting in the way? Among Boy Scouts and their parents, 97% of the 1,325 comments received stated that the reaffirmation of the membership policy negatively impacted their loyalty. Among volunteers, it was 95% of 3,444 comments.

        • Hmmmm, I’m going to print this out and read it thoroughly tonight but at first glance, I did not see much of anything to support your premise that not letting open avowed homosexuals in is hurting the program. In the end, you are not being forced to “discriminate” as you mean i.e. unfairly keeping someone out but rather required to abide by the rules of National Leadership to “discriminate” by not allowing those who do not qualify to participate. An organization that has standards will never be received positively by a secular humanist Society which is what we have become in many places Scouting is offered. As long as it feels good, do it does not fit into having high standards and moral principles. BSA may be out of touch with secular Humanism but I for one believe that is a good thing. 68,000 respondents and that means activists within the organization and it was not the number one topic? Didn’t see any blaring headlines that “I’m leaving Scouting if open avowed homosexuals are not allowed in..

        • I saw a really interesting presentation on the Voice of the Scout last fall at our Area Course Directors’ Conference (before the one was released which Deanna has pointed to). It is an ongoing program. This round right now is being sent to registered adults who ask for it, but aside from this one, the Voice has been sent randomly. You don’t ask for it — you are selected to get one. Everyone is supposed to get one once or twice a year. Now, of course there is some self-selection in the choice to respond, but it is probably as random a method of assessing the thoughts of Scouts and Scouters as possible. And it is designed to distinguish the opinions of people who are more active and more loyal to Scouting differently from those who are dissatisfied or more on the outside of the program. I don’t think one could describe it as just the message of activists.

          One interesting element of the ongoing VoS is that it can and will be used to assess the health of councils, districts, and ultimately units. It goes hand in hand with the Journey to Excellence assessments and helps National understand what aspects of a unit/council program build loyalty and what aspects take it down. It is what it says it is: a broad, random sampling, repeated frequently with new samples, to identify what makes the program grow, so that we can make it so.

      • Then WHY did you join? You are a hypocrite, MT, if you joined Scouting but did not agree with the BSA’s stated position that homosexuality is incompatible with Scouting. Shame on you, and on anyone else who joined knowing that they were not upholding Scouting’s core values.

        • KS, I object to your tone and your name calling. This is a Scouting board and we should be able to deal with one another in a courteous and kind manner, even when we disagree.

          My son joined Scouts when he was in 1st grade. Despite my concerns over national policies, I supported his desire to be a Cub Scout. What I discovered is that most Scouting happens on the local level so when I was approached to take on a committee position in our pack, I agreed. That doesn’t mean that I have to agree with every position that the organization takes. I have posted about that elsewhere in this discussion.

          You also say, “Shame on you, and on anyone else who joined knowing that they were not upholding Scouting’s core values.” Just because I disagree with one of our policies, find it incompatible with other of our policies, and am advocating for its change does not mean that I am not upholding Scouting’s core values. I do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight. Ok, so I could put more effort into the physically strong part ;-) , but I do try to live the Law and Oath. We have a difference of opinion about whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to be members but that in no way means that I am not upholding our values.

        • MT_Momma commented on Voice of the Scout membership-policy survey questions give Scouters, parents a chance to be heard.

          in response to KS:

          Then WHY did you join? You are a hypocrite, MT, if you joined Scouting but did not agree with the BSA’s stated position that homosexuality is incompatible with Scouting. Shame on you, and on anyone else who joined knowing that they were not upholding Scouting’s core values.

          KS, I object to your tone and your name calling. This is a Scouting board and we should be able to deal with one another in a courteous and kind manner, even when we disagree.

          —————————————–
          rofl, yet you find it perfectly ok for u to call peolpe discriminatory and biggot on the same scout board !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Derek – if you read my posts, you will find that I have never called anyone a bigot. I have said that the organization causes me to discriminate but I have never called any individuals discriminatory and I have repeatedly said that those of us who disagree on this have a difference of definition and interpretation. In return, I have been called a liar, dishonest, a hypocrite, childish, a liberal permissive, a progressive secular humanist, a societal radical with an agenda, a homosexual activist, etc. I have been told that my church is an errored sect, heretical, has false beliefs and a socio-political agenda. Because I feel that excluding homosexuals is wrong, I have been told that I must also support bigamy, bestiality, incest, felons, athesists, and pedophiles.

          I have tried to be polite and respectful in my discussion here, following both my faith and Scout teachings. I admit to occasionally slipping into sarcasm, but I have not called names or told people that they were not entitled to their own beliefs (and their membership requirements for their own units). Unlike some of the others who are posting here, I try my best to disagree without being disagreeable.

          Regardless of all of the smokescreens and specious arguments that you and others on this discussion keep throwing out, the heart of this issue is still that there are different views about the morality of homosexuality and our Declaration of Religius Principle (which predates this membership policy by about 50 years) says that we are nonsectarian.

        • I know you’re not speaking to me but you used a couple of generalized comments I made in your claims of personal name-calling. Generalized statements are never the best but to avoid making a personal comment I used generalized statements reflecting the opinions you were presenting. You never disagreed with my characterization of the opinions you presented. You never said the Church you belonged to so all we know is what you say they believe with not presentation of a national policy to support it. A general reference to the list of religious organizations supporting homosexuality offered by others prompted no response.

          You admitted you joined Scouting in hopes of changing the organization to better suit our beliefs. That would classify you as an activist. Your support homosexuality, homosexual youth and homosexual leaders. That would define you as a homosexual activist. Where am I wrong?? You Church as You say believes homosexuality is cool in direct contradiction of the Old and New Testament. It is an errored sect.

          Boy Scouts of America has a stated Policy that homosexuality is incompatible with Scouting and if pressed will say you cannot be morally straight or clean and be homosexual. seems pretty clear to me and to them. No confusion here. Religion thus non-sectarian has nothing to do with it to support your argument.

        • MT:
          You are pushing for a social policy: tolerance and equal rights…nondiscrimination, despite the inconsistencies in your arguments about why nondiscrimination towards practicing homosexuals is laudatory but not nondiscrimination in the Boy Scouts towards other excluded boys and men. We, however, are pushing strongly for the protection of our children. We do not want their organization to push upon them an agenda that equates deplorable behavior to that which we teach is clearly God-sanctioned and healthy to them both spiritually and emotionally. We do not want to have others undermine our teaching. You will always be free to socialize your boys with practicing homosexuals in your offtime, as you see fit…leave our kids alone.

          “Nonsectarian” does not mean that we are relativistic when it comes to morality — that all opinions are equally valid. Nonsectarian refers to religious practices, it does not refer to fundamental religious understandings of sinful conduct. Once again, Christianity — the Bible and 2,000 years of Tradition — has always been crystal clear on the grave sin of homosexuality. The Boy Scouts are founded on the moral code of Christianity, which does not preclude “nonsectarian” allowances for specific practices.

          And, regarding your using “Christianity” as a defense of the behavior that Christianity irrefutably condemns as evil, you bet I call those sects “errored”. Any sect that calls itself “Christian” but supports the killing of babies in the womb (Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church, United Methodist Church, et al) is fraudulently exploiting the title of “Christian” in order to both obtain an unearned legitimacy and to undermine Christian orthodoxy from “within”. Similarly for any sect that supports the practices of homosexuality. God is not a democracy — he commands, we obey. If that does not fit the social agenda we want, we are the problem, not Him.

        • Look up the definition of hypocrite. You joined knowing you could not live by that value. You agreed when you joined to uphold the tenets of BSA, knowing that it was a lie. How is that not hypocritcal? Everyone who joined knowing they did not agree with its core values is a hypocrite. Just as any atheist, knowing they did not hold a belief in a supreme power, is a hypocrite. Upholding PART of Scouting’s tenets is not the same as upholding them all.

        • Per Webster:
          “1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
          2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings ”

          I follow the tenents of my faith. I work within the organization to bring about change of a recent policy that I feel is in opposition to older policies – the Oath, Law, and Declaration of Religious Principles. Again, is it your position that “homosexuality is immoral” is a core value of the BSA?

        • Per Webster:
          “1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
          2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings ”

          excatly ,, did u not knowingly enroll for membership into an organization that has differetn beliefs than your own and your faiths ,

          do u not promote an organization that u know to have a membership policy that differs from that of your own faith .

          were u advocating for gay admittance before all this issue became a public topic , i would bet that u did not and just jumped on the gay pride band wagon.

          u have openly called the bsa discriminatory , yet amazingly and in clear contradiction to your stated belief( or opinion as u put it ) your still here as a member of that organization u seem to despise

          yeah id have to agree with webster that u are by definition a hypocryite

        • Possibly you are missing the point when you call it a difference of opinion. The BSA plainly stated that “homosexuality is incompatible with Scouting.” It is a core value statement, with which you agreed when you joined.

      • MT said: “who have a real issue with being forced to discriminate. ”

        ============

        MT you are being dishonest. No on “Forcing” you to do anything. I think what you have spent countless post proclaiming is that you are no longer, actually have never been compatible with BSA.. No on is forcing you to stay. You voluntarily joined BSA knowing that you were incompatible. You have not been honest from day one according from your posts.

        • Steve, I am perfectly compatable with Baden-Powell’s Scouts. I am compatible with the World Scouting Organization’s Scouts. I am also compatible with the BSA as originally chartered. I am not compatible with this one recent policy of the BSA and am working to bring BSA back to its original values where a duty to God is a requirement but matters of faith are left to the family and faith organization.

          You will label that as you will.

        • MT Said: “Steve, I am perfectly compatable with Baden-Powell’s Scouts. I am compatible with the World Scouting Organization’s Scouts. I am also compatible with the BSA as originally chartered. I am not compatible with this one recent policy of the BSA and am working to bring BSA back to its original values where a duty to God is a requirement but matters of faith are left to the family and faith organization.”

          ==========

          I have to disagree with you. Every thing that you have posted indicates that you are incompatible with BSA. You cherry pick things and take things out of context in order to give an appearance that you are in the right. I found your conduct in this discussion to be very dishonest. The more I read what you post the more I realize that not only are you not compatible with BSA but BSA is incompatible with you. For example, in the statement that I quoted from you. You claim to be compatible with Baden Powell’s Scouts. In numerous posts you posted how Baden Powell never mention homosexuals. Well when Baden Powell organized the Scouting Organization Homosexuality was illegal not just in the US bu in every country. Not only that Men were men of character – there were men of honor – they honored their marital vows they did not have premarital sex. Those that did were ostracized from society and considered people of low moral character. You joined scouts after the Dale was decided where homosexuality was clearly at the core of the case. but you joined anyway knowing that is was not in agreement with one of your core values. That is dishonest IMO. At your every turn you emphasize how morality is relevant and subject to change. Moral Character has not changed for millenia. Is was morally corrupt to lie 2000 years ago just like it is morally corrupt to lie today. Although there is a huge movement in our country to say that lying is just fine and to be expected. There was a time when your word was your bond. Now not even a written signed contract is no longer to be honored.

          You continue to try to rationalize why you joined an organization that is at odds of your personal core values. Rationalizing is defined as rationally lying. You use this technique incessantly.

        • Steve, you are welcome to your opinions.

          As for your statement that at the time the BSA was founded, “Not only that Men were men of character – there were men of honor – they honored their marital vows they did not have premarital sex.” I’m sure that explains the divorce of Ernest Thompson Seton and the two divorces of William D. Boyce.

        • MT said: “Steve, I am perfectly compatable with Baden-Powell’s Scouts. I am compatible with the World Scouting Organization’s Scouts. I am also compatible with the BSA as originally chartered. I am not compatible with this one recent policy of the BSA and am working to bring BSA back to its original values where a duty to God is a requirement but matters of faith are left to the family and faith organization.”

          This one recent policy was made explicit only because of the onslaught of the pro-homosexual forces against the Boy Scouts. It never before needed to be explicit because everyone in his right mind knew that homosexuality was sinful and incompatible with the founding ideals of the Boy Scouts. This was not a change in policy; it was a clarification of known, unstated policy that became necessary only because of the efforts of societal radicals with their agendas trying to break one of the last refuges for the rearing of young men in a sick society.

          It’s interesting how there is a clear parallel between how societal radicals with agendas join the Boy Scouts, knowing that they do not agree with a core tenet and wish to transform the organization from within, and how they join Christian denominations, knowing that they do not agree with certain core (AND CLEAR/CONSISTENT) beliefs — such as what constitutes sin, God’s wrath/justice towards sinners, the fact of His Kingdom’s being available only to those who first obey Him and seek His forgiveness after having repented of sin — but wish to join the denominations anyway and subsequently transform them from within (into somethin akin to “Christ without His Cross”.

          It’s all about them and their agenda: they wish to transform in their image that with which they do not agree. They cannot leave an organization like the Boy Scouts alone and simply form their own organization that subscribes to their beliefs.

        • MT said: “. I am compatible with the World Scouting Organization’s Scouts. I am also compatible with the BSA as originally chartered. I am not compatible with this one recent policy of the BSA and am working to bring BSA back to its original values where a duty to God is a requirement but matters of faith are left to the family and faith organization.”

          ======

          Yet another example of your dishonesty. 1) This policy change is not recent as you claim. As has been pointed out to you time and again Homosexuality was was against the law world wide When Baden Powell founded Boy Scouts, It wasn’t until the mid 1970′s that homosexuality began to become legal in some states and BSA was forced to address the issue that had once been illegal for centuries. You seem to make it Baden Powell was pro homosexual and that supporting homosexuality is a core value supported by Baden Powell when that is not the truth. The “original values” of scouting did not support the illegal activities. Prior to 1970 of you had said to some one that homosexuality will one day be legal and widely accepted not only that that some “Christian” Churches will embrace homosexuality as normal acceptable behavior and not sinful, they would have called you crazy and that it would never happen.

        • Steve, you call me dishonest and then claim that, “Homosexuality was was against the law world wide When Baden Powell founded Boy Scouts” and that it “been illegal for centuries”?? You may want to go back to that history book! Homosexuality was accepted in many ancient cultures including Celts, Indians, Persians, and Japanese (not to mention the Greeks and Romans).

          In B-P’s time, homosexuality was legal in a number of countries including Mexico (1872), Guatemals (1871), Honduras (1899), Brazil (1830), Japan (1880), Switzerland (1798 for areas including Geneva), Italy (1890), Turkey (1858), France (1791), Netherlands (1811), among many others. Poland (966) has never defined homosexuality as a crime, although that was overruled for a while when they were until control by other powers.

          I have never said that B-P was pro-homosexual. B-P, however, consciously designed Scouts to be inclusive. His Brownsea Island experiment selected boys from different backgrounds on purpose, which was quite unusual in that day. While B-P included duty to God, morally straight and reverent (along with brave and clean) come to us from James West. B-P had a Christian faith, but he designed Scouts to be much more about outdoor education and woodcraft.

        • LOL MT you are really scraping the bottom the barrel

          I can’t believe how desperate you are.

          Desperate and dishonest

        • Exactly. It really doesn’t help the cause of the pro-homosexual lobby to cite ancient, pagan &/or barbaric cultures as supporters of homosexuality. Not only did that homosexuality often consist of man-boy relationships of a type we today would consider as sex-slavery and child rape, but those barbaric cultures also often condoned and fostered raping, pillaging, slavery, and genocide.
          We in the Judeo-Christian Western Civilization ascribe to higher levels of living, and we forget the development of the Western intellectual and spiritual tradition at our peril, as is evident today in our society.

        • Steve, I’m desperate and dishonest because I disprove your posting stating that homosexuality was illegal worldwide when Scouting was founded, which was patently untrue?

        • Prior to 1962, sodomy was a felony in every state, punished by a lengthy term of imprisonment and/or hard labor. In that year, the Model Penal Code (MPC) — developed by the American Law Institute to promote uniformity among the states as they modernized their statutes — struck a compromise that removed consensual sodomy from its criminal code while making it a crime to solicit for sodomy.

          As far as I can tell by quick research, sodomy laws which deal directly with homosexual male behavior while not illegal throughout history were certainly not the prevalent moral code. even those countries who allowed it thought it immoral. You’re doing what you always do, fine-tune criticism to one generalized mistake to put the opponent on the defensive. The poster was 99% correct. His argument was not defeated, just obscured by smoke and mirrors.

        • Fred Said: “Prior to 1962, sodomy was a felony in every state, punished by a lengthy term of imprisonment and/or hard labor. In that year, the Model Penal Code (MPC) — developed by the American Law Institute to promote uniformity among the states as they modernized their statutes — struck a compromise that removed consensual sodomy from its criminal code while making it a crime to solicit for sodomy.
          As far as I can tell by quick research, sodomy laws which deal directly with homosexual male behavior while not illegal throughout history were certainly not the prevalent moral code. even those countries who allowed it thought it immoral. You’re doing what you always do, fine-tune criticism to one generalized mistake to put the opponent on the defensive. The poster was 99% correct. His argument was not defeated, just obscured by smoke and mirrors.

          ==========

          Thank you Fred

          As I said before, I find MT to dishonest – Always looking for half truths to obfuscate truth and reality.

          IMO, she is not a match for BSA and BSA is not a match for her.

          IMO the 2 are incompatible at this point in time and she has been dishonest , according to her statements to herself, her CO, her district and council.

          FYI, In her comments about the Dale decision she totally ignores the reason BSA defended against Dale, that BSA clearly defined that homosexuality was incompatible with BSA core values and points to dissenting justices who are not on the BSA board who wants to tell BSA what their core values are. She presents it as BSA membership policy not permitting open and avowed homosexuals as a “New Policy” forced on her and her CO. Again this is dishonest as has been pointed out many times. It was the acceptance of homosexuality that was being forced upon the CO by the homosexual community and the courts. No one is being FORCED to so anything. Another deception. No one is forcing her to stay in BSA. No one is forcing her to adopt policies that were not previously in place prior to her joining BSA. No one is forcing her to stay in BSA.

          MT IMO is morally bankrupt and dishonest but likes to lie to herself that she is what she is not.

          No one has advocating that gays should be bullied or disrespected. BSA is not for every boy. BSA will still teach the boys to be respectful and kind to everyone. But being respectful and kind does not mean that you are required to adopt the beliefs and behaviors of every social group that is in our society.

        • Steve, it apparently makes you feel better about your position on the memberhsip issue to call me names and to put me down.

          When I discussed the Dale decision, I gave information about both sides. The majority decision accepted that the Boy Scouts asserts that it “teach[es] that homosexual conduct is not morally straight,” and that it does “not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.” They did not rule on the validity of that assertion.

          “MT IMO is morally bankrupt and dishonest but likes to lie to herself that she is what she is not.” “BSA will still teach the boys to be respectful and kind to everyone.” If this is what your unit accepts as being respectful and kind, then I am quite thankful that I am not a part of your unit.

        • MT:
          Regardless the reasons, you wish to include boys and adults who currently are excluded, as are youth and adults in other categories whom you are not currently trying to permit entry to the Scouts. Our reasons for excluding those in your favored category is for a far more pressing and important purpose: to protect our young boys.

          We want to protect them from what we perceive to be a greatly-increased risk of physical abuse, as well as the definite exposure to “open and avowed” homosexuals subjecting our boys to a sexual openness that has no place in a Scouting organization.

          You should take your agenda elsewhere — practice it where it is welcomed. This matter should not be up to a vote…the protection of the physical and spiritual wellbeing of the children of (for argument’s sake) even a minority of concerned parents is far more crucial than propagating a social agenda. The “tolerant” thing would be for you to leave our kids alone, as a great many parents are legitimately concerned for their safety.

        • Eric you said “We want to protect them from what we perceive to be a greatly-increased risk of physical abuse”. What proof do you have that there is an increase risk. Where is your proof that says that homosexuals have a higher ratio of child abuses than heterosexuals. How do we know that you don’t fall int the category of child abuser, but because your heterosexual you fit in better

        • David: for starters…http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=is02e3. A huge overrepresentation of homosexuals in child sex offense cases. This is a well-cited synopsis of the documentation available to substantiate my claim, as well as many other facts about the growing trend towards man-boy sex in homosexual literature and other pedophila media.

          You seem to discount our deeply-felt concerns as parents of young boys for their safety. If you want to play guinea pig with your kids, so be it, but you should take your social experimentation elsewhere. In the Scouts, young boys go camping with older boys (young men, actually). I have seen many instances of how the homosexual activists prey upon potential young recruits, both in my local community and in other communities’ news. Obama’s very own “Safe School Czar” was Kevin Jennings. Jennings admitted to counseling a minor to continue in a sexual relationship with an adult. He and his Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network held a 2000 Boston “TeachOut” Conference in which kids as young as 12 were instructed in homosexual perversions such as “fisting”.

          Take a look at this picture to see how the homosexual activists flaunt their perversions in public (http://americansfortruth.com/2013/04/11/so-much-for-san-franciscos-public-nudity-ban/).They get off on exposing little kids to their ways. It’s a power trip for them to influence young kids, to subvert them from their parents’ values. I worked for years in San Francisco, and have witnessed the spearhead of the homosexuality movement.

          They do not want to stop at exposing our Scouting boys to their homosexual ways — they are pressuring (and succeeding) in exposing kids as young as 5 to homosexual themes (http://www.protectkidsfoundation.org/?page_id=171).

          (https://ssl.congress.org/congressorg/bio/userletter/?id=3181&letter_id=4469993111&content_dir=congressorg)
          a quote from this link…”GLSEN leaders contend that effective redefinition of the next generation’s attitude toward homosexuality requires the positive portrayals of homosexuality starting in kindergarten. According to Jaki Williams, a GLSEN activist and teacher at the Packer Collegiate School (in New York), children at that age are “developing their superego,” and “that’s when the saturation process needs to begin.””

          Finally, aside from the very real and increased threat of physical abuse of our children arising from allowing open and avowed homosexual amid those to whom they are admittedly attracted, there is a spiritual danger that arises when sinful conduct is celebrated — it undermines the values that our kids are taught, it undermines their faith, and it potentially leads them into that same sinful conduct.

        • (my reply is held up for moderator approval, probably because of the hyperlinks; therefore, I inserted spaces in the addresses below to get by the holdup…just delete the spaces)
          David: for starters…http://www . frc . org/get.cfm?i=is02e3. A huge overrepresentation of homosexuals in child sex offense cases. This is a well-cited synopsis of the documentation available to substantiate my claim, as well as many other facts about the growing trend towards man-boy sex in homosexual literature and other pedophila media.

          You seem to discount our deeply-felt concerns as parents of young boys for their safety. If you want to play guinea pig with your kids, so be it, but you should take your social experimentation elsewhere. In the Scouts, young boys go camping with older boys (young men, actually). I have seen many instances of how the homosexual activists prey upon potential young recruits, both in my local community and in other communities’ news. Obama’s very own “Safe School Czar” was Kevin Jennings. Jennings admitted to counseling a minor to continue in a sexual relationship with an adult. He and his Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network held a 2000 Boston “TeachOut” Conference in which kids as young as 12 were instructed in homosexual perversions such as “fisting”.

          Take a look at this picture to see how the homosexual activists flaunt their perversions in public (http:// americansfortruth . com/2013/04/11/so-much-for-san-franciscos-public-nudity-ban/).They get off on exposing little kids to their ways. It’s a power trip for them to influence young kids, to subvert them from their parents’ values. I worked for years in San Francisco, and have witnessed the spearhead of the homosexuality movement.

          They do not want to stop at exposing our Scouting boys to their homosexual ways — they are pressuring (and succeeding) in exposing kids as young as 5 to homosexual themes (http:// www . protectkidsfoundation . org/?page_id=171).

          (https:// ssl.congress. org/congressorg/bio/userletter/?id=3181&letter_id=4469993111&content_dir=congressorg)
          a quote from this link…”GLSEN leaders contend that effective redefinition of the next generation’s attitude toward homosexuality requires the positive portrayals of homosexuality starting in kindergarten. According to Jaki Williams, a GLSEN activist and teacher at the Packer Collegiate School (in New York), children at that age are “developing their superego,” and “that’s when the saturation process needs to begin.””

          Finally, aside from the very real and increased threat of physical abuse of our children arising from allowing open and avowed homosexual amid those to whom they are admittedly attracted, there is a spiritual danger that arises when sinful conduct is celebrated — it undermines the values that our kids are taught, it undermines their faith, and it potentially leads them into that same sinful conduct.

        • Since this has disintegrated from a civil exchange of ideas to a bash fest, I will move on to a more thirifty use of my time and those of you who prefer name calling and distinctly unScoutlike behavior can crow over your ‘victory’. Rest assured, however, that I am still a Scout and that I will continue to encourage the BSA to be true to its Declaration of Religious Principle in my work as a leader in my unit, part of the Key 3 in my district, and a member of my Council camping committee:
          “Boy Scouts of America, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.”

          Derek, Steve, KS, Pets, Eric, Fred, etc. – a few parting thoughts for you…
          “Friendly – A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
          Courteous – A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
          Kind – A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated.”
          Matthew 23:23

        • MT: With time, it became apparent what your motivations are: a social agenda of letting in a segment of the categories of people currrently excluded, without regard to our primary motivation, which is about protecting our young boys from physical and spiritual harm. I do resent the lack of respect you and others show those of us who do not want our boys to be subjected to the spiritual harm of having deplorable behaviors receive the imprimatur of the Scouting organization (and thereby undermine our inculcation of values to our kids, as it would by hypocritical to teach one thing but allow our kids to associate as if these values were merely ephemeral), as well as the clear and present danger of physical abuse. Homosexual-activist teens are predatory, from what I have seen — they are far more sexually active, more “in your face” about it, and tend to suffer from experiences in the past that have led them to a range of self-destructive behaviors. http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF10F01.pdf is a document that, among other insights, references studies showing that homosexuals have vastly-increased incidences of mental health problems, suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, drug use and abuse, and sexual diseases.

          Leave our boys alone. Socialize your boys with avowed, practicing homosexuals on your own time, if you so desire. Show some respect for our wanting an organization that provides a safe, wholesome environment for our boys.

        • Steve, I am perfectly compatable with Baden-Powell’s Scouts. I am compatible with the World Scouting Organization’s Scouts. I am also compatible with the BSA as originally chartered. I am not compatible with this one recent policy of the BSA and am working to bring BSA back to its original values where a duty to God is a requirement but matters of faith are left to the family and faith organization.

          You will label that as you will.
          —————————————————————————————————-

          so are u implying that baden powell had homosexual scouts , or that the bsa originally acceptd homosexuals , that is a pretty bold claim ,

          this is on the bsa website,,,,,,,,,,,,,What is the BSA’s current membership standards policy, and when did it take effect?
          The BSA’s membership policy, which has been in effect for 103 years, is: …read more
          1. What is the BSA’s current membership standards policy?
          The BSA’s membership policy is:
          Youth membership in the Boy Scouts of America is open to all who meet the membership requirements. Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Varsity Scouting are for boys. Venturing is for young men and young women. (Updated March 15)
          The adult applicant must possess the moral, educational, and emotional qualities that the Boy Scouts of America deems necessary to afford positive leadership to youth. The applicant must also be the correct age, subscribe to the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle, and abide by the Scout Oath or Promise, and the Scout Law.
          While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.

          u cant seem to accept that u knew the policy and u still joined the bsa , yet now u label us as discrimanatory(while the supreme court has already ruled it is not ) , yet claim that u are not , arent u a member of the bsa , didnt u join knowing the membership policy .
          you also keep making claims of non-sectarian , as a defense on your stance , but your offense is u using your religious veiw (whilst not backing up your claims with actual bible verses , and u even actually said it was YOUR and YOUR CHURCHS OPINION,and that it is ok with your god)

          then u resort to name calling when u cant win.

          while i find your antics amusing , they are also getting boring since it is the same rhetoric over and over .

        • Derek, I never said that “baden powell had homosexual scouts , or that the bsa originally acceptd homosexuals.” I said that B-P made it a point to be inclusive when he began Scouting. It was definitely not accepted in that day and place to mix individuals of different backgrounds and social classes. We also did not have a policy against homosexuals until recently. The BSA spin doctors can say that the membership policy as posted on the website has been in effect for 103 years, but that is a half-truth. The bulk of the policy is longstanding, but the portion regarding homosexual members was never written until 1978 (at which time it only applied to leaders).

          Once again, I do not have to prove my faith to you or to anyone else. It is irrelvant to the discussion. It is a documented fact that many faiths, Christian and other, accept homosexuality. It is a policy of the BSA that we are “absolutely nonsectarian”.

        • MT: you listed countries where homosexuallity was no longer illegal, as well as some cultures that had at least a period of accepting the homosexual act.

          First of all, a number of those cultures’ homosexual acts focussed on man-child sex, a pederastic relationship of mentor-student in which the young boy was given to the mentor as a sex object in exchange for instruction. Does your defense of homosexuality also include that primary (among homosexual-tolerant subcultures of the past) manifestation of the practice, man-boy sex? Because that is what condoned homosexuality in the past primarily consisted of. We throw pederastic priests in jail for that these days.

          Secondly, bestiality also is legal in many American states and other countries (Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, and Russia — Germany might have since outlawed it — http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080911062357AAFTEMJ). According to your rationale, that is reason enough for the Boy Scouts to open themselves to the perversion of bestiality. I guess you can play the “MY Christian faith is nonjudgmental and inclusive of those who have inter-species inclinations.” card.

          Homosexuality and others of the “crimes against nature” have had their legal prohibitions removed; however, until the 1970′s (with the culture of abortion, drugs, rampant promiscuity, homosexuality, and bra-burning radical feminism) these vices were recognized across the spectrum as either sinful behavior or mental disorders.

          Finally, the “BSA is non-denominational” line does not apply to the homosexuality issue. Such a clear and universally-understood tenet of sexual morality within Christianity and Judaism is beyond the “Non-denominational” clause, which refers to minor devotional issues such as meat on Fridays or method of prayer.

  8. And on the same day, the CDC releases another new study. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) continue to climb with 19.7 million new cases. 50% were acquired in the 15-24 year old age group. Our youth are 5-6 times more likely to get an STI than to earn a college degree.

    Ethics and morals are tied together with everything we say and do and every example we set. Our children are learning, but unfortunately not the right things.

    Now more than ever Scouts need to say with love, conviction and example, “No.”

  9. Interesting that in 16 years of Scouting and hundreds of Rountables, I have never heard VOS mentioned and never been asked to take part. That in itself says a lot of who they are and are not listening to in Scouting. You do make a good pint.

    • That’s right, Fred. VoS is a very new program, maybe two years old? Make sure that your registration has your current email address and you should start to see them once or twice a year. I think Journey to Excellence and VoS were planned in tandem, as ways to use data to improve Scouting.

      • Thanks for the suggestion. I will check my account. I have never heard from them and have had the same email address since 1997.

        I read the report completely and cannot say that I completely follow their logic. You can interpret what they say one of two ways in my opinion. They do not fully explain what problems respondents had with the current policy and their opinion on the policy itself. I will read it again. Their sample could not have been reflective of the more rural areas in which Scouting is a program. Most rural Scouters I know do not use email. Most urban Scouters rely on it including myself. I am certainly going to educate every scouter I know on the survey program. Very useful information. Thanks.

        • Wow, Fred, I’m not sure who you are in contact with in rural areas! I live in small town Montana (we aren’t just rural – we are defined as ‘frontier’!) and use email all of the time. All of the families in our troop use email and we use the internet for our troop management. With large distances, the easy communication makes life much simpler!

          I’m sure there were a variety of comments regarding the current policy, but it seems fairly clear to me that if “reaffirmation of the membership policy negatively impacted their loyalty” then they probably oppose the policy.

        • Good for you on email! Maybe I was nor clear enough for the question at hand. Communities here tend to speak to the people they do business with and most of their business is local or a couple of counties over. They do not need email to communicate and they are not interested by and large in the doings on people in Montana for example. So, they are not like your community and they do not use email and that only reflects that they do not use email. They don’t support homosexual behavior either by and large,. Might be a little more lonely in Montana too or you may consider yourselves more enlightened. Folks are just different here and God’s law is an important part of their lives and they do not try to re-interpret it or have it say man on man sex or boy on boy sex is acceptable for their community or Society. Most folks who think like that move to cities or somewhere their behavior is embraced or even celebrated.

          The responses may mean what you say for the random selection that was taken. I have been on email with Scouters for the last two hours from Florida, Alabama, Georgia and S. Carolina and none have been asked to take this Voice of the Scout Survey and some serve at Region level. So, I don’t trust it at the moment. Since the Southern District is the largest, that surprises me just a little. Pardon me if I don’t drink the Koolaid just yet.

        • Fred, I didn’t hear of this until recently myself and I’ve been highly involved for more than a decade. And I don’t live in the boonies and I’m easy to contact. This is divisive every where you turn; a 90% favorable in either direction is clearly either a bad sampling or something else is going on.

        • Something is very strange. I’m on the phone with National Monday to find out who cooked this up. I may be out of touch with liberal permissive Scouters everywhere but I do not believe with 70% faith-cased units you get that kind of response if the sampling is valid. Also, it just said “reaffirmation reduced loyalty” so if I thought BSA was trying to adopt a pro-homosexual policy by going through a re-affirmation policy against family values it has supported for over 100 years I would report less loyalty also. Also, volunteers re-affirmed the Policy!! Seems a sampled a lot of sore and poor losers. Since we don’t have the question in context and we don’t know how Scouters who agree with the policy responded, I am not ready to accept it as readily the other poster. BSA loves money. They don’t like spending money on lawsuits. SO, if the volunteers can be convinced to choke it down, they see it as a win-win. Only organization I have been a part of where the customer is last to know and absent the recent riot, BSA National leadership would have got their way and we would have received the letter in the Mail.

        • It is sad the bottom line can be the determining factor in this most serious issue. I believe this issue has reared its ugly head from the liberal ranks of the national BSA. The young have been brainwashed into thinking that homosexual behavior is not morally corrupt.

          If I were an openly promiscuous heterosexual would I be allow to be a member of the BSA? I think not. If I bragged about my sexual conquests would I be told to withdraw my membership. I think so.

          So why then is a openly gay individual not put under the same moral standards.

        • Time out a second Pets! How is it that “openly gay” is equated to “an openly promiscuous heterosexual” who “bragged about my sexual conquests”??

          I am married. My husband and I sometimes (frequently, since we are both registered leaders) attend Scout activities together. That makes me openly heterosexual. I can discuss my partner and attend activities with him. It has nothing to do with being promiscuous or with sexual conquests!

          This is the same thing that homosexual Scouts and leaders are wanting. No hiding. No pretending to be someone they are not. No fear that, regardless of all they do, someone will ‘out’ them – like in the case of the Florida Sea Base staffer. The simple ability for youth to discuss their boyfriend like their fellow Scouts discuss their girlfirends. For adults to be able to bring their partner or, increasingly, their legally married spouse to activities. Not for the purposes of holding hands, kissing, or other inappropriate displays (regardless of the orientation of the individuals) but to share their lives, activities, and to support their children.

        • The scene you depict causes my skin to crawl. As a Scoutmaster, I would not allow it. I certainly wouldn’t be a part of exposing impressionable children into thinking homosexual PDA’s are acceptable behavior for adults or Youth. Girlfriends have attended Family night and there were no PDA’s and then the young man walks her to her car or her parents car with a buddy and returned. If he kissed her goodbye, good for him.

          I guess we can argue all day but in the end I will stand by my core values and principles and leave if BSA adopts a pro-homosexual policy and there will be an agenda because that is naturally what follows with homosexual activists.is an indoctrination agenda to “protect” their followers from actually or “perceived” bullying or intolerance. I really don’t understand why you won’t form your own organization. You are capable I am sure and there must be millions waiting to join based on comments on this blog or at least hundreds of thousands. No, gotta tear down one of the last organizations to support traditional values and high moral ethics. BSA is not a social program.

          But, I do have a place to go after I have spent all of the energy I have defending BSA in its current form if the amoral leadership at National defies the membership, manufactures a homosexual supporting amendment or if in fact an organization with 70% “faith-based” organizations actually believes we should teach youth homosexuality is a positive lifestyle choice and adult open avowed homosexual leaders.are good role-models for their life. Then, the organization has left me and there is no reason to support it and they would not want me either.

          What will be the next accommodation if you suppress Traditional Scouts this time? How far will you go to lower the moral and ethical bar to achieve the purposes of Progressive Secular Humanist thought? Please tell me honestly how far you would go.

          Atheism will come I am sure and next. Petty conviction of misdemeanor crimes or habitual offenders.with a non-violent record will be excused. Will recreational drug use be allowed?

          How about adult leaders? These are supposed to examples for youth to see as a role model for their life. Domestic Partners have always been discriminated against in favor of homosexual couples. Very few liberals would give a co-habitating heterosexual couple the same rights as married homosexuals. They would be allowed to be leaders at Campouts in your homosexual scenario. Bigamists okay? Non-violent sexual offenders okay? Adulterers, Gay and Straight? Alcoholics if there are on the wagon?

          Where is your dividing line of unacceptable moral and ethical behavior? I would really like to know.

        • Fred, did you read what I wrote?? No one is talking about public displays of affection – for heterosexuals or homosexuals. That is the point. What I said is “The simple ability for youth to discuss their boyfriend like their fellow Scouts discuss their girlfirends. For adults to be able to bring their partner or, increasingly, their legally married spouse to activities. Not for the purposes of holding hands, kissing, or other inappropriate displays (regardless of the orientation of the individuals) but to share their lives, activities, and to support their children.” Notice the NOT for the purposes….

        • Here is what I read: “The simple ability for youth to discuss their boyfriend like their fellow Scouts discuss their girlfirends. For adults to be able to bring their partner or, increasingly, their legally married spouse to activities. Not for the purposes of holding hands, kissing, or other inappropriate displays (regardless of the orientation of the individuals) but to share their lives, activities, and to support their children.”

          You can condemn me but this makes me queasy. A complete abrogation of the traditional family as nature intended. Nature did not intend for such as this. Human’s gift of reason conjures up and embeds this type of behavior as rational and acceptable in a civilized Society. Only when civilization becomes advanced and leisure time becomes plentiful do humans seek alternate paths to sexual pleasure and pro-creation and the traditional family no longer becomes essential to survival of humans. These are not children of homosexuals. They are technology’s accommodation of an alternate view of family and I know they are loved but nature’s plan for pro-creation did not produce them. The children pay the price of their parent’s indulgence and the parent’s try to make it right by seeking to change society and many accommodate them by being “tolerate” and “accepting.”

          This scenario flies against everything I have been taught, learned on my own and believe and raised my children to believe as a high moral standard to live your life.

          I know many homosexuals that are good people. I am sure there are some non-practicing in my Church. If I knew them, I would never ask them to be leaders in any youth organization and none have never asked. Of the homosexuals I know, I don’t enter into their culture and they do not enter into mine. Where we intersect, we have a good relationship. We are all happy with that arrangement. I have never been asked why a homosexual cannot be a deacon. That is because the answer is obvious to two rational people when one is not trying to force their values on the other.

          Our core values are very different. We each should continue to defend our positions and accept we can never agree because we have no common starting point on sexuality. I have seen nothing to cause me to move an inch in your direction. You probably haven’t either.

          We both understand temptation. It is a natural thing. Youth are impressionable and seeking boundaries to live by. Too many adults are willing to allow them to find their own and educate them on many permissive and non-productive ones. My parents taught me how to recognize temptation and understand the cost of giving in and the consequences they would ensure I would face to be responsible for my actions. I have done the same with mine. No room for acceptance of open avowed homosexuals as Scouts or leaders in that instruction..
          .

        • As far as the rest of your diatribe, I am never going to convince you that many of us WITHIN the Scout family have differences of opinion regarding the morality of homosexuality. Believe it or not, even within your bastion of 70% “faith-based” units! I am a member of a church (one of the largest in the BSA in terms of both units and members) and my faith accepts homosexuals as beloved children of God. And, since we claim to be a nonsectarian organization, the BSA should not be in the business of deciding which faith is ‘correct’ on the issue of homosexuality.

          Do we check at the door now to see if adult leaders are living with someone vs married? Or if any of our boys are sexually active? No, and I never plan to start asking. (Tangentially – there are already bigamists in Scouting. I know a few of them. Interestingly enough, they are offshoots of the largest faith-based sponsoring organization in the BSA…) I’m quite certain that we also have adulterers and serial divorcees. We also have units who camp on Saturday night, who eat meat on Fridays, who eat pork, and who eat beef. Some of the faiths in our organization have prohibitions against each of those things but we don’t tell everyone that they have to follow those rules.

          You can continue to make those of us who support this change as ‘other’ by labeling us as Liberal or permissive or Progressive or Secular Humanist or whatever else makes you feel better about us. You can keep thinking this is some kind of conspiracy (“the amoral leadership at National defies the membership, manufactures a homosexual supporting amendment”, “I do not believe with 70% faith-cased units you get that kind of response if the sampling is valid”). The fact is that I have been a Scouter for 8 years now; my husband, father, grandfather, and father-in-law (Eagle) were all Scouts. My son is a Life Scout actively working on Eagle. We are not outsiders. We are part of the 70% faith-based units. I have been a Sunday school teacher and Sunday school superintendent. My husband is the lay leader in our congregation. We are leaders in our troop as well as being involved in our district and council, our church, our school, and our community.

          Since I prefer to spend my time on more productive things than trying to reason with someone who prefers labels, conspiracies, and hysteria, I will bid you farewell.

        • Definition of DIATRIBE
          1: archaic : a prolonged discourse
          2: a bitter and abusive speech or piece of writing

          This exchange is certainly #1 but i have not been bitter and abusive unless you took it that way. Sorry if you did but it was just a clear explanation of my beliefs. I think your Church may have driven a lot of your emotions about this issue. I am sorry that your Church has so many open unrepentant Sinners that lower your expectation from Church leaders.

          My Church is full of repentant Simmers, me baing one but I tried to stay away from Church in my response. I believed homosexuality was immoral even when I fell away from Church in my late teens and early twenties and completely unrepentant and engaged in behavior that was not productive and permissive.

          But, you have now placed me firmly in a box and bid me farewell. My opinion is that your are a good person who has a completely different view of homosexuality than all the people i know.

          In my Church we love all people, we accept we are all flawed to a certain degree and try to live above it and benefit common man. I would take in a homosexual person and feed, house and provide spiritual support but I would never condone his/her behavior. I would always refer to it as Sin just as sexual promiscuosity outside marriage is Sin,. That is the crux of our disagreement. I think you aould accept the homosexual lifestyle as normal and positive, We could never agree on that.

          Interestingly, you refer to the “largest sponsor of Scouting Units” as your Church. As this plays out, I think BSA had their agreement with the new policy or they would not have tried to sneak it past. My friends in this Church are strangely silent on this issue and offer no opinion except “wait and see.” One of out delated is a high officer in this Church. he is a friend of 29 years. he will not say. I am going to ask him id he will vote with his Church or His Council if they differ in opinion.

          So, in closing, have a Blessed Easter.

        • MT_Momma: you say that your church “accepts homosexuals as beloved children of God”. All people are loved by God, but we are taught that God hates the sin that his children do. There are probably a thousand+ Protestant sects that have developed since Martin Luther split from the Church 500 or so years ago, so I’m sure any sort of errored sect can be found to justify any sort of behavior; however, the word of God is clear and not open to faulty interpretation in many matters, including the matter of the grave sin of homosexuality (not the inclination, but the lusting and acting out of such)…

          Romans 1:27 (“And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.”)
          1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (“Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.”)
          1 Timothy 1:9-10 (“Knowing this, that the law is not made for the just man, but for the unjust and disobedient, for the ungodly, and for sinners, for the wicked and defiled, for murderers of fathers, and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for them who defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and whatever other thing is contrary to sound doctrine”).

          Find the courage to follow these two Bible passages…
          2 Timothy 4:2 – “Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine.”
          James 5:20 – “He must know that he who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death…”

        • I’m talking about immoral sexual behavior. If you want me to be a little graphic I will. I prefer not to go into vivid details. Why did you take my rhetorical question so personal? I just want to know why homosexual sex with the same gender is being looked at as good moral conduct.

        • Pets, you believe homosexual behavior to be immoral sexual behavior. Not all faiths within the BSA agree with you which is why, as a nonsectarian organization, it should not be the BSA’s judgement.

          I did not take your question personally, I called you on equating “openly gay” (ie being able to talk about a boyfriend or to bring a spouse to a Scouting event) with “an openly promiscuous heterosexual” who “bragged about my sexual conquests”. Homosexual does not equal promiscuous any more than homosexual equals pedophile (just to be clear – both are false) and when we blithely throw out these kinds of statements, it colors everyone’s view of the discussion.

        • Fred,
          What I find amazing is that you were able to read more than the first definition of a word. You were unable to do so for the word “church” but then again reading more than one definition for that word did not help your arguement.

        • Okay, I’ll take it up. I searched the definition of “Church” before i ever posted the first time. I copied and pasted the definition just as it was presented. Then, another posted that was a UU and could not accept that a belief in principles and not Jesus Christ whom the phrase has been used as his identity of His followers for over 2,000 years was called a “Church.” If you follow the expanded version from Merriam-Webster that you both now declare to be the Universal Truth of the definition of “Church” I interpret it as follows in large part because, as I say, other than the folks on this list, I have never heard of any group try to co-opt “Church” to mean anything other than a Christian House of Worship. But, stranger folks have tried to co-opt the identity of the Holy Trinity. So here it is, your ultimate definition of “Church.” Funny, my 1956 version makes no mention of any other usage than Christian but contrary folks are persistent over the years. I do not accept any other definition just as you fail to accept my definition of homosexuality as immoral (my belief) and incompatible with Scouting (BSA belief.)

          1. : a building for public and especially Christian worship (Well, that’s clear)
          2 : the clergy or officialdom of a religious body (who else has recognized clergy)
          3 often capitalized : a body or organization of religious believers: as
          a : the whole body of Christians (pesky Christians again!)
          b : denomination (Oop’s, that’s Christians)
          c : congregation (of Wiccans? No. UU’s Maybe but almost exclusively Christian)
          4 a public divine worship Ooop’s Christian again
          5 :the clerical profession (Not even sure what this one means.

          so, i stand by my lifelong belief and every Christian and rational non-Christian (without an interest in co-opting a Christian term to sound more reverent) that Church is almost exclusively and primarily Christian. Like it or not.

          Now on to your VOS Study that so far no Scouter I know in four states was asked to take last year including a 21 year veteran that (gasp!) doesn’t use email mail hourly each day. Due to my strong urging and the provision of a computer at my office, he has now officially record his opposition to homosexual acceptance in Scouting. My good deed for the day!

          I read the VOS study carefully after I posted the statement that you took exception to earlier. I actually said I would read it fully later in my post. My further reading only confirmed my suspicions that BSA National was “baiting the field” to to obtain the vote they wanted. Why else would such a small sample be deemed “Gospel’ of the homosexual lobby. Sorry, I’m skeptical, especially after the current policy had just be re-affirmed after a two-year study. I do not believe it and BSA Nationals actions tailor with a manufactured crisis in Scouting. I have spent a lot of time engaging Scouters and major CO’s on the Internet to see what the thinking of the volunteers and Organizations who own the Charters are thinking. Locally and Regionally, volunteers and CO’s are firmly against the Policy. LDS, Catholics, Methodists and Baptists have either said publicly or privately they are against the Policy. SO who answered this VOS study in 2012? I’d like to know. Its unscientific and limited to emails BSA determined were “valid.” Yesterday, my email unchanged in 16 years could not be found. I logged in to re-charter in December. Sent a scathing letter last month. If nothing else, its interesting. Major Churches are planning replacement programs for Scout Units including mine. You might just get your wish. The Come one-Come all “do it if it feels good” Scouts of America. It will be a dying ember of its principled and moral predecessor.

  10. @ Eric A:
    1) Thank you for implying that my denomination is an “errored sect.”

    2) Re: your contention that, “the word of God is clear and not open to faulty interpretation in many matters” – if you are reading the Bible in English, you are reading an interpretation which is human and therefore fallible. If you are reading the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, with a thorough understanding of the cultural contexts of the day, then you might have an argument here. Otherwise, whether it is King James, New International, New Revised Standard, or one of the myriad other English translations, how can you know what the author actually said or the context for it?

    3) Quite frankly, I am much more concerned with having the courage to follow Micah 6:8 – “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

    4) Regardless of any of the above, it is still irrelevant to the BSA policy. Our Declaration of Religious Principle quite clearly states that we are a nonsectarian organization and that faith is a matter for the family and faith organization. Since there are differing views of the morality of homosexuality among the faiths in the BSA, it is something that the BSA should be leaving to Chartering Organizations to determine.

    • Well, that’s an insight — apparently, we are to doubt anything written in the Bible because of translations into English, and are therefore unconstrained from giving it our own, particular interpretation as we see fit. Wrong logically and theologically. My version is the Douay-Rheims Bible, which comes from the Latin Vulgate translated from the original texts by St. Jerome in the early 5th century, and which was almost exclusively the only version used by Christians for over 1,000 years, until Martin Luther decided to excise certain books because they did not fit his agenda. Your assertion denies the work of the Holy Ghost in ensuring that Christians have had access over the centuries to the written truth, and is simply an attempt to avoid confronting the teachings of the apostles that I cited.
      Regarding Micah 6:8 — agreed. That does not contradict at all the passages I cited that clearly identify homosexuality (among other behaviors/actions) as a grave sin, as well as the passages I cited that exhort us to act as if we are in fact our brother’s keeper by not tolerating his or her sinful conduct (emphasis on the conduct, as we all have sin in our hearts but must not indulge it).
      Finally, regarding BSA policy, one could use your argument to state that there are different views on bestiality, necrophilia, incest, polygamy, and pederasty/pedophilia. I guess we will not be able to “discriminate” against a man as Scoutmaster or such who admits to being sexually inclined towards young boys, as long as he has not (yet) acted upon those inclinations?

      • Ah, I see, Eric; you have the one correct translation of the Bible. Or is it that all translations of the Bible are the work of the Holy Spirit and so are equally valid but still not subject to individual interpretation? Can the Holy Spirit not work on an individual’s understanding of the texts as well? And, again, we have the context (both within the text and culturally at the time) to consider. Because I can quote scripture to support pretty much anything I want to support. For example, you should not discriminate against homosexuals in the BSA because James 2:1 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?” [By the way, I never said that we are to doubt anything written in the Bible in English, but neither do I believe that we can say that these words, as translated to English, often passing through Latin first, and without the societal context of the time in which they were written, can be taken verbatim without interpretation.]

        See my comments to Fred above for more on the polygamy thought. I am also pretty sure that none of the major faiths support bestiality, etc., although many do support the inclusion of homosexuals. You can take any argument to an extreme to make it absurd. My point is, as a nonsectarian organization, we should not be in the business of taking sides between the faiths. Some faiths do not allow their members to camp on Saturday nights but we don’t say that no units can camp on Saturdays. Some faiths do no allow their members to eat meat on Fridays, some are not allowed to consume pork, while other faiths prohibit beef. BSA does not take a stand on any of these issues, which are very important to their respective faiths but not universally held. We leave them to the individual, the family, and the faith organization, as per the Declaration of Religious Principle. Why, then, should we take a stand on this issue, which is also not universally held instead of likewise leaving it to the individual, the family, and the faith organization?

        • No, not one correct translation; but, there are some wacko versions that have come out in the last few decades that were written to fit a socio-political agenda. Regarding meat on Friday, etc., you’re referring to devotional disciplines, not to fundamental understandings of grave sin. Christianity has always — repeat, always — been clear about homosexuality’s being included among the most grave sins that a person could commit. Again, it is only in the last few decades that some so-called churches with socio-political agendas have vigorously attempted to confuse people by making the matter ambigous, supposedly open to interpretation. The Scripture is unambiguous on this, which is why for 2000 years Christianity was clear on the sin of homosexuality. Everywhere homosexuality is mentioned, it is condemned.
          All of the major faiths (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) see homosexuality as wrong behavior. Christianity has included homosexuality along with the other “crimes against nature” such as incest, bestiality, necrophilia, etc.
          The Boy Scouts of America is discriminatory towards atheists and agnostics…how long until you people want to gut references to God (Scout Promise) from the Scouts so as to not offend someone?
          Take a stand for maintaining a moral environment in which our young boys can interact with each other. We do not need a breeding ground for confusion and moral relativism. Let them be boys, without other, older boys and men undermining that safe environment by pushing their sexual agenda (admittedly so, because their outspokenness is the only way by which we would know of their supposed inclinations of the moment).

        • Hmmm. Ok, Eric, let me see if I have this straight now – your translation of the Bible and probably a few others like KJV, NRSV, NIV, are inspired by the Holy Spirit and so have no translational issues and no room for individual interpretation. Translations that you don’t agree with are not inspired by the Holy Spirit and are “wacko versions…written to fit a socio-political agenda.” I’m also glad to know that you are a scholar of Christian history and know the absolute truth of all Christian thought over the past 2000 years.

          I appreciate how, once again, you have chosen to marginalize any denomination that doesn’t agree with your interpretation of the truth by calling them, “so-called churches with socio-political agendas.” Some of these “so-called churches” are pretty mainstream denominations, including the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Also, Reform Judaism, which is the largest branch of Judaism in North American, accepts homosexuality. By the way, your list of “all of the major faiths” is a bit skimpy as only the Abrahamic religions were included.

          See also my comments to Fred above about making those who support this change into ‘other’ – “you people” does this just a surely as Fred’s labels.

          I am taking a stand for maintaining a moral environment for our young boys (and girls) – the difference is that my stand is about acceptance and equality and justice. I also will not stipulate to your contention that anyone is undermining the safe environment or pushing a sexual agenda by accepting homosexuals. As I said above to Pets, what our homosexual members are wanting is: No hiding. No pretending to be someone they are not. No fear that, regardless of all they do, someone will ‘out’ them – like in the case of the Florida Sea Base staffer. The simple ability for youth to discuss their boyfriend like their fellow Scouts discuss their girlfirends. For adults to be able to bring their partner or, increasingly, their legally married spouse to activities…to share their lives, activities, and to support their children.

        • so whatr about atheists and felons , by your definition we are discriminating against them too , u ready to let them in , what about pedophiles . the problem is u throw terms around to defend your agenda , there is a difference between membership standards and discrimination, let me give u an example ,so that maybe u can understand the difference , by setting up a set of standards of who can and cant be in a group for whatever reason ,is a membership standard , it is applied to the ENTIRE group…. now to not have a standard , and say let the co decide at their descreation , who can and cant be a member , that is discrimination………

          to change the policy and let co decide is simply a trick , if the bsa removes the no open homosexual from the membership standards , then there will be no membership standard and any co denying membership to a open homosexual will be sued for discrimination, because then that is what it will be , read the verdict on boyscouts of america vs,dale … heres a question for u , say there is a eagle bor , and someone that has different views on homosexuals as u r co is on the bor , and the boy says he is gay during the bor , what are u going to do then since bor has to be unanamous, ar eu going to prescreen bor members ,so that u get the outcome u want , if so are u going to do so for others ,if u do whats the point .

          the mission of the bsa is to “instill values in our youth to make moral and ethical descisions over their lifetime ”

          how do u propose we keep the mission with 2 versions of what is moral and ethical ,the answer is simple YOU CANT .

          i believe people have a right to do what they want to do (as long as they are willing to accept the consequences )
          what i have a problem with is someone doing what they want then telling me i have to accept what they do , and then calling me a bigot or say im discriminating against them ,because i dont accept it

        • Derek I agree with you.

          I would like to add to your statement. Homosexual behavior offends me and I’m sure it offends many others in scouting. Offending some does not comply with two tenants of the Scout Law. Those two tenants are Courteous and Kind. Offensive behavior of any kind cannot be tolerated from anyone and by anyone.

          Regardless of ones views on homosexual behavior the bottom line is it is offensive to many people. When one offends the PC and liberal crowd they shout from the roof tops the offensive infraction. On the other hand we in the conservative end of the spectrum, are subjected to offense statements or behavior we are suppose to bite our lip and smile.

          So I guess if the membership policy is amended we will only have 10 tenants of the Scout law. Courteous and Kind will be deleted. Homosexuals by their offense behavior can’t be Courteous or Kind.

        • Pets, I am not asking you to change your beliefs or for your Chartering Organization to accept members that are not acceptable to your belief system. So how does that offend you? If it is just the fact that homosexuals exist, then I’m afraid you are going to spend your life being offended. Nobody is advocating for homosexual behavior in Scouting. No sexual behavior is acceptable in Scouting, regardless of the gender of those involved.

          I am offended that you feel your religious beliefs give you the right to tell me who I am allowed to include in my unit. In fact, I’ll see your Courteous and Kind and raise you Reverent. “A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.” If you will not respect my right to act upon my belief, you are not upholding that point of the Scout Law either.

        • Lol so if we don’t accept your beliefs we at not following the scout law , really I mean that’s your argument, funny thing u don’t want to accept the policy in place or our beliefs , so u might want to re think that approach, besides being hypocritical , it’s a little childish

        • Derek, if you follow the thread, you will see that Pets started this line of discussion. Homosexuality offends him/her and so if we allow homosexuals in Scouting, we are no longer being Courteous or Kind.

          I pointed out that this argument plays both ways. It is offensive to me that some of you feel that your faith can dictate to me and to my Chartering Organization who we are allowed to admit to membership. In addition, the BSA definition of Reverent is pretty clear that a Scout “respects the beliefs of others.” I am being respectful of your beliefs by not forcing you to admit to your unit those that you find offensive to your faith. If you are respecting the beliefs of others, as the BSA tells us we should do to be Reverent, then you shouldn’t tell my unit that we need to follow your faith values instead of our own.

          You apparently take that to mean that I expect you to follow my faith beliefs. I absolutely do not. But I do expect you to respect my right to have different beliefs than you and to allow me to follow my beliefs. I see nothing hypocritical about that. If you do, I would love for you to explain.

          PS: I do agree that the “you offend me so you are not Courteous or Kind” argument is childish – I was using that to show Pets what a silly way that is to discuss an issue.

        • You said: “I pointed out that this argument plays both ways. It is offensive to me that some of you feel that your faith can dictate to me and to my Chartering Organization who we are allowed to admit to membership.

          =========

          That simply is dishonest. How could you possibly be offended by BSA’s membership requirements when it is you who chose to join BSA and you know what the requirements are when you joined? If the BSA membership requirements offended you as you claim then reason says you should have never joined in the first place.

          The membership requirements have not changed. Your CO knew what the membership requirements were when they chartered the unit. So since you voluntarily joined the organization as did everyone else in BSA. If you no longer agree with the organization, then perhaps it is time you left the organization because it is you who has changed, not the organization.

        • Steve, how could I be offended when I knew the requirements when I joined? Do you agree with every policy of every organization you join? There are many that I have disagreements with over one policy or another (and others where I am sure I don’t know all of the policies). In order for me to maintain a membership in an organization, I have to weigh the areas of agreement with the areas of disagreement. Some areas of disagreement are minor and easily overlooked. Others are so large that I cannot continue to be a member. Still other areas of disagreement are ones that I work to change.

          Yes, I chose to join the BSA in support of my son and because I discovered very quickly that much of Scouting happens on the local level. There are many aspects of the BSA that I like very much. That does not mean that I agree with all of our policies and so I am working to change a policy that is in direct opposition to many of my core values.

          And, in fact, the membership requirements have changed. Any CO who has a 50 or more year bar chartered long before the current ban on homosexual members was in place. It is only within the past few decades that “morally straight” has been interpreted to mean “sexually straight”. “Straight” was not even a term that was applied to sexuality when B-P started Scouting.

          I choose to stay and I choose to try to change a policy that I feel is in opposition to the founding principles of the BSA. You may disagree but I would encourage you to look at the Declaration of Religious Principle and at our purpose as stated in our congressional charter and the 1911 BSA handbook.

        • mt momma ,please show us what makes u make this riduculus claim that units over 50 yrs can allow gays “And, in fact, the membership requirements have changed. Any CO who has a 50 or more year bar chartered long before the current ban on homosexual members was in place. It is only within the past few decades that “morally straight” has been interpreted to mean “sexually straight”. “Straight” was not even a term that was applied to sexuality when B-P started Scouting.”

          your simply making things up now LOL ,and that is truly sad .

          and as for the morally straight , morally straight simply means to live a morally straight lifestyle,and not do ANYTHING immoral, and being homosexual has always been considered to be an IMMORAL ACT .so therefore being homosexual has never been considered to be morally straight , you can try and twist and turn things all u want , but it is really sad to see anyone ,but even moreso a person involved in scouting , trying to weaken the moral fabric of scouting ,and cheapen what it is that considered moral and immoral .

        • Derek, if you read my post you would see that I did not claim that units over 50 years old could allow homosexuals. I said that the membership requirements have changed since those units chartered. Steve had made the claim that my CO knew the requirements when they chartered. Prior to Dale, ths was not a membership policy. Since my unit was chartered prior to Dale, it did not charter under this policy but had this policy thrust upon it.

          You say that “morally straight simply means to live a morally straight lifestyle,and not do ANYTHING immoral” so who gets to be the arbiter of what is immoral? Is it immoral to have sex out of wedlock? How about divorce? adultery? working on Sunday? telling lies? eating pork? using birth control?

        • In addition, the BSA definition of Reverent is pretty clear that a Scout “respects the beliefs of others.” I am being respectful of your beliefs by not forcing you to admit to your unit those that you find offensive to your faith. If you are respecting the beliefs of others, as the BSA tells us we should do to be Reverent, then you shouldn’t tell my unit that we need to follow your faith values instead of our own.

          so then your saying we should do the same for rapists , thieves , felons,athiests , pedophiles, come on really ,u dont honestly believe thats what reverent means .

          it doesnt matter to me one way or the other what someone else believes or practices in their private life , but when those people try to do it openly ,and expect everyone else to accept it , thats a problem .weather u want to believe it or not.

          bsa is a program for boys , not u not me , not my co ,and not your co .u keep refering to goals of bsa., well lets focus on the mission for a second , which is to “instill in our youth the ability ,to make moral and ethical decisions over the course of their lifetime ”

          how do u propose we d that with more than one version of what is moral and ethical ??

          the bsa policy didnt change with the dale case ,as u claim , the whole dale case was brought about by the bsa removing someone who was openly gay from the scouting program , maybe you should read the dale vs. bsa .so that you know what u are refering to .

          now we can both agree that u and i will never agree on this issue , and that we are looking at it from 2 different ways , you are looking at it from the whtat you and your rreligous org want (u even said that u resent me telling you who u and your co can allow into your unit), i am looking at it from what is best for ALL of the youth in scouting ,both now and in the future .remember this organization is for OUR YOUTH .

        • Better watch out or you will be in the same boat as Eric and Fred. When MT_Momma loses an argument she will not talk to you anymore. So sad!

        • Very lovely, Pets. This is not about ‘winning’ or ‘losing’ – it is about treating others with respect and being willing to accept that there are valid differences of opinions. I choose not to interact with those who claim to have the answer to what Scouting is but who don’t behave like Scouts in their interactions with others.

        • Again with the equating homosexuals with rapists, felons, pedophiles. Why is it that ‘respect the beliefs of others’ keeps leading you to this place, Derek?? As far as what reverent means, what I have been posting is not my definition of reverent but the BSA’s definition: “A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.”

          You say that, “it doesnt matter to me one way or the other what someone else believes or practices in their private life , but when those people try to do it openly ,and expect everyone else to accept it , thats a problem.” What does being ‘openly’ homosexual mean to you? I find that there is often a difference of terms on this point, so I would like to make sure we are discussing the same thing.

          You ask how do we “instill in our youth the ability ,to make moral and ethical decisions over the course of their lifetime…with more than one version of what is moral and ethical??” I propose we do it exactly the way that our Declaration of Religious Principle states, “Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.” We already have multiple versions of moral and ethical since we have many faiths. This is just another instance of that.

          I have read Dale, as well as the congressional charter and the 1911 handbook.

          “i am looking at it from what is best for ALL of the youth in scouting ,both now and in the future .remember this organization is for OUR YOUTH .” I’m so glad to know that you have the correct answer to what is best for all youth. (end sarcasm)

        • 1st of all why do u say the policy changed 50 years ago ,and that this was pushed on ur co ,hopefully u aren’t saying it change after the dale case? The dale case was brought about because the BSA expelled someone who was a open homosexual so that alone show that that was the BSA stance on homosexuality . Now they may have changed the wording after that to make it more clear.

          But as it stands now homosexuals can be in scouti g as long as they aren’t open a out it.
          I think we both agree that sexuality of any type has no place in scouting, so to let open gays in , is to let in there sexuality , be ause let’s face it it is the sexuality tht makes them homosexuals to begin with. Try looking at it from my side lets say u and ur co didn’t agree with that lifestyle, would u want that lifestyle paraded in front of ur impressionable kids , would u want someone telling ur young impressionable kids its ok even though u believe its not, I don’t . Now lets also look at the burden it puts on youth both straight and gay,if the boys in my troop ask a question about a unit with gay members ( weather youth or adult) I will answer their question according to my beliefs and my cos beliefs just as u would ,except there would be 2 very diff answers , which would leave the boys confused and with more questions . Are u beginning to see the distraction and the problems this will cause. Look around at the youth of today , crime , drug abuse , teenage pregnancy are rampant , and its because e evryone want to be more tolerant of that behavior Look at tv sex is everywhere ads movies sitcoms even cartons and video games.
          Do we really want to bring it in to s outing as well .

          Lots of church’s accept gays and sinners of all types , but not to accept the sin as u would have us believe , but in the hopes of bringing them to god , and changing their life .
          There are many examples of this in the bible.
          We can debate this back and forever , your justification in ur view is that ur church says its ok,what does ur bible say , what does ur god say. Be use it is Duty to god in the scout oath not duty to my co , and I’m sure ur gonna tell us that scouting is none sectarian (which the actual term I’ve always seen and have been told at training by the BSA is non-denominational) but u keep using your church as ur justification of allowing homosexuals ,so please tell me what bible u use and what scripture in that bible says its ok .

        • Just to clarify terminology: The BSA’s Declaration of Religious Principle is the source for the word “nonsectarian.” The phrase in the Declaration is “absolutely nonsectarian.” When you took your Wood Badge training, during the session on interfaith worship there was a quiz you took called “Have You Seen the Light?” If you look back at that session, you will see that one section of that training clearly distinguishes “nonsectarian” from the two terms “nondenominational” and “ecumenical,” and emphasizes that BSA is “nonsectarian.” There is further training available on this in the form of a one-hour training syllabus available on scouting.org about interfaith worship.

        • Well I have completed Baloo/iowls, iols, and woodbadge,and class on inter- faith worship services , in each of those the term used was non- denomination.

          Regardless of the term used , for one to Rey and opose ones point of view while claims the BSA is either, and to then use the argument that their church condones it , is hypocritical, is it not

          And as side point during the first week of our woodbadge course we all had a menu that did NOT include meat due to lent and the majority of us were not catholic,I the scheme of things thts not a big deal , but there are instances where the lines are crossed ,we were also told the food we cooked as patrols could not contain meat and no one in my patrol was catholic , but that since we may have a troop guide eat with us that was , we could not use meat.

          And it will be in those group events where there will be many problems if the policy is changed ,we will be forcEd to either segregate events , or force people with diff beliefs to accept the others , so this whole leg the co decide membership standards for their units and everyone will be happy is rediculus .scouting units mix at e engs all the time , at which point we will be either forcEd to accept , or segregate

        • Derek, you ask, “1st of all why do u say the policy changed 50 years ago ,and that this was pushed on ur co?” I used 50 because it was an easy veteran unit bar to reference, but I say that the policy was pushed on my CO because there was no policy prohibiting homosexuals in the BSA until 1978. At that point, the president and chief Scout executive notified the executive committee that the BSA does “not believe that homosexuality and leadership in Scouting are appropriate.” (Note that we are still not talking about youth at this point, only adult leaders.)

          Here is the actual policy, per the current BSA page: “While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.” So what makes a person “open and avowed”? I’ve been told frequently on this discussion board that it is the homosexual act that is immoral to those of you who find homosexuality to be immoral. So what about a youth who chooses to date another member of the same gender without any homosexual act being involved? Does that make them “open and avowed” even though they have not performed an immoral act? And, as perviously, what about when the individual keeps their private life private but someone else chooses to investigate and then to out the individual, as in the case of the Sea Base employee? Then there is the issue of how you can possibly live the Oath and Law if you hide who you are. After all, the BSA says this about being morally straight: “To be a person of strong character, guide your life with honesty, purity, and justice. Respect and defend the rights of all people. Your relationships with others should be honest and open. Be clean in your speech and actions and faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you follow as a Scout will help you become virtuous and self-reliant.”

          When you use words like “paraded” you are making a judgement of how homosexuals behave. I know many homosexuals. Not one of them ‘parades’ anything. They don’t make an issue of their homosexuality. They do talk about their partner/spouse just like I talk about my husband. They do sometimes attend activities together, just like I do with my husband. You talk about “telling ur young impressionable kids its ok” but nobody is advocating making this a topic of discussion at Scouting events.

          You also talk about, “if the boys in my troop ask a question about a unit with gay members ( weather youth or adult) I will answer their question according to my beliefs and my cos beliefs just as u would ,except there would be 2 very diff answers , which would leave the boys confused and with more questions.” First, on those few occasions where units with different policies meet, I doubt that units would know or nitice the differences. In my experience with events like District Klondike or Council Camporee, the boys are busy with their activity and the adults are busy supporting the boys. I know that my unit has encountered a unit in my area that has polygamous adults. I am aware of that because I have other dealings with their town but I would not know it based on our interactions at Scout events and I’m sure my boys are unaware of it. It hasn’t raised any questions in my unit (or my home) but if it did, I would answer honestly based on my values. Boys are much more flexible than you give them credit for. Do you honestly think that they have been exposed to only one viewpoint in their lives? Unless you live in an incredibly homogenous community, I can assure you that they already sort through differences of values and expectations and deal with it just fine.

          I’ve already written quite an essay, so I won’t spend time on the nonsectarian question, since that has already been addressed. I will say, however, that your questions about what the Bible says are irrelevant, since the Bible is not part of the Scout handbook nor the universally accepted holy book of all Scouts. Scouting is not limited to Christian denominations. My God is fine with homosexuals.

        • MTMomma Said: “I used 50 because it was an easy veteran unit bar to reference, but I say that the policy was pushed on my CO because there was no policy prohibiting homosexuals in the BSA until 1978. At that point, the president and chief Scout executive notified the executive committee that the BSA does “not believe that homosexuality and leadership in Scouting are appropriate.” (Note that we are still not talking about youth at this point, only adult leaders.)”

          =================

          Actually you have it backwards. Homosexuality was forced down the throat of your CO.

          Of course there was no policy regarding homosexuality in 1978. It was still illegal to be a homosexual in almost every state.

          After 1972 the homosexual advocates after getting their sexual desires and behavior delisted as a mental disorder set out to decriminalize their behavior. So prior to 1973 it was illegal to be a homosexual and no policy was needed to protect scouts from homosexuals. It was only after some states were forced to decriminalize homosexuality as a result of court opinions no the ballot box did BSA see a need to do something to protect the youth from homosexual behavior.

          ================
          Then you said: “When you use words like “paraded” you are making a judgement of how homosexuals behave. I know many homosexuals. Not one of them ‘parades’ anything”

          ———-
          I guess you have never seen a “Gay Pride Parade” they do indeed parade how they behave at Gay Pride Parades.

        • Steve, I parade when I’m in a parade, too. That’s what parades are about. I (and they) don’t parade in everyday life.

        • Ur for is fine with it ,based on what?
          I’d like to see the bible verse that from whatever bible or guide book ur religion use ,
          I also find it hypocritical that u keep referencing your god as a reason to change , yet u keep making the nonsectarian claim.

        • Derek, I’m afraid that I cannot understand what you are asking when you say, “Ur for is fine with it ,based on what?” It looks like you are asking for ‘proof’ that I have a religious guide that states that homosexuality is ok. I will just refer you to the chart of viewpoints of Christian denominations on homosexuality that Karen posted to support that, even within the Christian faiths, there is a great difference of opinion on this issue.

          “I also find it hypocritical that u keep referencing your god as a reason to change , yet u keep making the nonsectarian claim.” I fail to see any hypocrisy in this but perhaps you misunderstand what nonsectarian means. Nonsectarian does not mean without religion (that would be secular). It simply means not supporting one faith over another.

        • MT_Momma

          I’ll see your Courteous and Kind and raise you Reverent. “A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.”

          I formed my last comment in as secular a vein as possible so I would not bring religion into my post. You have repeatedly said in your post that the BSA is a non-sectarian organization. I agree with you on that point. While the BSA is non-sectarian it is, and you can’t dispute the fact, that it was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. You also however turned my post in the religious direction by adding reverent. You cannot have it both ways either stand on the side of Judeo-Christian principles or take the total secular stance.

          I am not telling you who you can or can’t have as members of your unit. As of now the BSA has documented the membership rules. I can however sustain the BSA and promote as much as I want the current membership standards.

          You have been asked several times how far will the membership rules be amended in the future and you have consistently avoided this question.

          While one can show respect for the beliefs of others that does not mean one has to accept those beliefs. And one can only accept the beliefs of other if the are correct and true. Nobody is required to respect false beliefs. To respect false beliefs would make one irreverent. Homosexual behavior is not a true and correct belief.

        • “Tolerance is a virtue, but like all virtues when exaggerated, become vices.” Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.

        • Pets, you seem to be confusing nonsectarian and secular. Secular is non-religious. The BSA does include a religious element, thus duty to God, Reverent, etc. It is not a secular organization and this debate hinges largely on religious ideals.

          The BSA does claim to be nonsectarian (not affiliated with or restricted to a particular religious group). Ths is the argument I return to time and again. We are not restricted to a particular religious group – be they Judeo-Christian or not. Even if you limit discussion to the Abrahamic faiths (which is not valid since we are open to Buddhists, Hindus, etc.), there is a wide variety of belief as to the morality of homosexuals. Since we claim that we are “absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training” then we cannot say that the viewpoint of one faith is ‘right’ and another is ‘wrong’. This is what we are doing when we say that the view of some faiths that homosexuality is immoral can dictate the membership policy even for those faiths who don’t have that belief. That would be like Jewish members demanding that no Scouts eat pork because it is forbidden in their faith.

          You say, “You cannot have it both ways either stand on the side of Judeo-Christian principles or take the total secular stance.” What I am trying to get you to understand is that there are numerous faiths that accept homosexuality. I am a member of a mainstream Christian church. We are open and inclusive in our church membership and would like the ability to be the same in our unit membership.

          You are correct that it is National, not you personally who is currently setting the membership limits based on a relatively recent interpretation of “morally straight” but you are advocating for their continuance.

          I have not answered about how far membership rules should be changed in the future because it is not germane to this discussion. Nor can I predict what kinds of changes may be proposed 100 years from now.

          I do not ask you to accept my beliefs. I ask you to respect my right to hold beliefs that are counter to yours. You say that, “Nobody is required to respect false beliefs.” I disagree. I respect that there are many faith traditions throughout the world, many much older than Christianity. I don’t necessarily agree with their beliefs, but that is different than respecting their right to hold their beliefs. I also realize that I am not the arbiter of what is a “true belief” and what is a “false belief”.

        • Derek, why is it that you take ‘respect the fact that we are nonsectarian and different faiths have different views of the morality of homosexuality’ to mean that I support felons and pedophiles? There is no logical correlation between these positions.

          You also seem to have a very interesting definition of discrimination. “by setting up a set of standards of who can and cant be in a group for whatever reason ,is a membership standard , it is applied to the ENTIRE group…. now to not have a standard , and say let the co decide at their descreation , who can and cant be a member , that is discrimination” Webster tells me it is “the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually.” Sounds like that is exactly what you are trying to define as “membership standards.”

          I’m not real clear on what you are trying to say about “a eagle bor ” but I think you are talking about the mechanics of how a change of policy would be applied in Eagle boards. There are a lot of details that would need to be worked out, but I anticipate that National would instruct that this is not an appropriate topic for the board to discuss with a candidate nor to consider in regards to a candidate.

          As for your concerns about two different standards of moral and ethichal and how that would work, you might want to look at how the Connecticut Rivers Council has operated with a nondiscrimination policy for the past decade. They have managed to successfully do that within the framework of BSA’s current policy.

          And here is the bottom line about the proposed policy – no one would be telling you that you have to accept homosexuals in your unit which means that you are free to continue not accepting homosexuals. I, however, resent you telling me that I am not allowed to accept them in my unit when my Chartering Organization does not have an issue with homosexuals.

        • “Naked kids have been a staple of delight for centuries, for both parents and onlookers. So to label pedophilia as criminal is ridiculous.” Homosexual pedophile poet Allen Ginsberg . Quoted in “The Liberation is the Word.”
          The Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review , Summer 1997. This quote can also
          be seen at http://www.narth.com/docs/arguecase.html

          “The love between men and boys is at the foundation of homosexuality. For the gay
          community to imply that boy-love is not homosexual love is ridiculous . We must not be seduced into believing misinformation from the press and the government. Child molesting does occur, but there are also positive sexual relations. And we need to support the men and the boys in those relationships.” Point of View. “No Place for Ho
          mo-Homophobia.” San Francisco Sentinel , March 26, 1992.

          Are you saying homosexuals have evolved MT_Momma?

        • Fred, I have told you that I am done discussing this issue with you. You can continue to post to me if you like, but I told you several days ago that “I prefer to spend my time on more productive things than trying to reason with someone who prefers labels, conspiracies, and hysteria.”

        • The last defense of debater is to attack the opponent with personal attacks and name-calling. Everything I posted is fact. It is referenced. You may believe a homosexual boy has not been converted by adult influence. I do not. I have every right to post in opposition to your opinion and will continue to do so. I have not attacked you personally as you have attacked me. If a single post I make, weakens the attack of homosexual activists on the organization I have committed 16 years to serve, it is well worth the time and effort.

        • National says I can’t, so it must be them u resent , do u resent every other thing they say u can’t do,

          So in your opinion then BSA is discriminating against girls for not Allowing girls in cub scouts or boyscouts , and u never commented on atheists what your stand on them.

          It funny that u resent me not wanting gays in scouting yet you telling me they should be allowed base on your view.is ok, prehaps u think ur better than me or ur views are more important .

          Accept the fact that its not discriminatory ,to limit membership to any group ,u can look to BSA vs dale supreme court ruling.but hey I guess u resent them to ,

          To not have a policy of who can and can’t join , and leave it up to individual co to decide is discrimination ,maybe u should read Webster again .

          Sad part is u are saying we are dis dominating against homosexuals by not allowing them , yet you are pushing for discrimination , if u resent the BSA policy why are u a member ?

        • you said: “And here is the bottom line about the proposed policy – no one would be telling you that you have to accept homosexuals in your unit which means that you are free to continue not accepting homosexuals. I, however, resent you telling me that I am not allowed to accept them in my unit when my Chartering Organization does not have an issue with homosexuals.”

          ===============

          Um, excuse me, when you joined BSA and your CO chartered your UNIT, what were the membership requirements?

          BSA membership requirements have not changed since you joined BSA. You and your CO freely and voluntarily accepted those membership requirements. If you no longer like them then perhaps you and BSA are no longer a match.

        • Actually, Steve, my CO was chartered long before we began this policy. Even today, we can’t agree on what the policy is. Do we have a “dont ask, don’t tell” policy or do we have a prohibition on homosexual members? And if it is “don’t ask, don’t tell” but someone else decides to ‘out’ a member, how does that work? The member didn’t ask or tell. And is it Trustworthy to pretend that you are heterosexual when you are not?

          As I said above, I do not feel that this membership requirement is in keeping with our Declaration of Religious Principle or with the purposes in our congressional charter and first handbook.

        • I think that the policy is very clear. That you want to blur the lines and twist what it means is really an act of rebellion. Like I said before as as you have openly admitted, the policy and entrance requirements were in place long before you and your CO voluntarily joined BSA. If you can no longer abide by the BSA policy, perhaps it is time for you and BSA to part ways.

          As for you hypothetical, homosexuality is a behavior choice, where same gender attraction is not. On may not have control over the gender they are attracted to, but they have a choice as to how they will behave and respond. I am a heterosexual, not that it matters to this discussion. I chose to be celibate until I was married. I chose not to engage in sexual relations with anyone. That was my commitment. If I never got married then I would have remained celibate. Just because I have a sexual attraction towards women does not mean I am required to have sex with any and all women that I come into contact with. It is possible to practice self control. Who you have sex with and under what circumstances has been, is and will always be a personal choice (except in the case of rape).

          So if a young man that has same gender attraction is in the troop but not having sex and is keeping that to himself then it is not possible to be outed.

          These kind of stories really offend the homosexual community

          http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/03/9432/

        • So, Steve, what is it that you think the current policy says? I have heard different things from many supporters of the current policy, which is why I say that it is unclear (and not as an “act of rebellion” as you assert).

          I have agreed that I joined after the current policy was in place. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with or support it. My CO, as I previously stated, was chartered prior to the Dale case and the recent interpretation of “morally straight”.

          Let’s look at your hypothetical Scout who is attracted to the same gender. Just like you are able to not act on your impulses, so is he. He is attracted to another member of the same sex but is not engaging in sexual relations (which I hope is true for all of our youth, regardless of their gender or the gender they are attracted to). However, he does have someone he is attracted to and he goes on a date with that person. If someone in his unit finds out about that, he could most certainly be ‘outed’ regardless of the fact that he has not engaged in any homosexual behavior. If by “keeping that to himself” you mean that a Scout who finds himself attracted to other boys (or a Venturing girl who finds herself attracted to other girls) is not allowed to date while remaining celibate, then we are back to a standard of the attraction being ‘wrong’, not the act. After all, it is not a topic for discussion how we should treat youth members who engage in heterosexual sex before marriage, which is also considered immoral by many faiths.

          As for your link, I am not a part of the homosexual community, so I would not presume to speak for them. Those individuals I know within that community, however, do not think with one mind any more than those of us in the heterosexual community. I don’t doubt that there are quite a variety of views on all issues, gay marriage included, amongst homosexuals.

        • I wonder if some of our difficulty around this issue comes from our confusion of our Duty to God and our Duty to Country? BSA tells us to do Duty to God, in the way we are instructed by our faith community. At one time in many places, Duty to Country would have arguably included avoiding homosexuality; today in many parts of the United States, Duty to Country requires nondiscrimination, and in no parts of the country is homosexuality illegal. If homosexuality were still illegal, one could argue that we must teach Boy Scouts as a matter of citizenship to obey the laws (or, as our teachings about citizenship in BSA tell us, to advocate for change in the appropriate way). That is something that could have been universal, because it would fall under Duty to Country. In that vein, anything that is illegal, including abusive sexual acts (molestation, use of child pornography, animal abuse) is a violation of Duty to Country. Whether or not they are violations of everyone’s Duty to God is irrelevant. We are discussing homosexuality and not those things because homosexuality is not a violation of Duty to Country. In addition, the relationship of homosexuality to Duty to God varies — but that’s fine, because under the Declaration of Religious Principle, we don’t teach one set of Duty to God rules, we tell you to learn from your faith community.

        • You wrote that …”pretty mainstream denominations, including the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, and the Presbyterian Church (USA)…also, Reform Judaism…” accept the act of homosexuality. You made my point: every one of those sects became supporters of homosexuality over the last few decades; primarily, in the 70′s. 2,000 years of Christianity and Judaism clear on the grave sin of homosexuality, and during the oh-so-virtuous 70′s these sects, for socio-political agendas, begin to insert into the public debate a never-before-perceived ambiguity about interpretations and translations in Sacred Scripture.
          And, yes, I referenced the Abrahamic religions because (1) the Scouts is founded on Christianity, and (2) those religions believe in a supreme being, God, which is referenced in the Scout Promise and is the source of our moral code.
          You want the Scout leaders to feel free to take their partners to Scout events, exposing my boys to that. I take it that you would welcome their incestuous partners, or even multiple partners? Why stop the discrimination at homosexuality, if those inclined towards incest and polygamy have just as much of a claim to non-discrimination in your book?

        • MT_Momma posted: “I am taking a stand for maintaining a moral environment for our young boys (and girls) – the difference is that my stand is about acceptance and equality and justice.”

          Please explain a definition of “moral environment” that accepts open avowed homosexual behavior? Does you as a person consider homosexual behavior “moral?” I am asking. Acceptance? Don’t think so. As a Sinner, yes? As sanctified? No. Justice. Please define. Justice is blind an balances teh scales. You want to tip the scales while telling Justice they are equal.

          MT_Momma posted: “The simple ability for youth to discuss their boyfriend like their fellow Scouts discuss their girlfirends. For adults to be able to bring their partner or, increasingly, their legally married spouse to activities…to share their lives, activities, and to support their children.”

          As I said, this makes me queasy and probably a lot of young boys not drenched in sexual propaganda from MTV and sex edukation at Skool. Homosexuality by definition involves the sexual act of homosexuals. What young boy wants to hear about a young boy wanting to feel up his buddy. How would a homosexual express love except through culmination of a male-male sexual act. Male-bonding does not require a sexual love. Homosexuality does so the homosexual boy just offended his tent mate and made him very uneasy. You forget these are children, not mature adults with unnatural desires or impressionable children of permissive adults.

          As far as the Gospel goes, there is no evidence Jesus would have condoned homosexual behavior. Much like the adulterer, he would have said “go and sin no more!”

          The question you have not answered in where is your moral compass? Why won’t you answer? We know you condone boy-boy girl-girl romantic love. What about man-boy love between unrelated persons? What about man-boy relations if the boy is of the age of consent? 16 in Montana. Certainly Boy Scout age. What if a gay Scoutmaster fell in love with one of his Scouts age 16. Is that acceptable to you?
          You may say extreme. I say in the news more often than you would admit. Maintain a safe environment. Keep homosexual moral standards out of Scouting.

        • Eric, once again you chose your words to subtly (or perhaps not so subtly) declare that your faith is correct and any who believe something different than you are somehow ‘less than’. The faiths of which we have been speaking are not “sects” (defined by Merrian Webster as, “a dissenting or schismatic religious body; especially: one regarded as extreme or heretical”) they are denominations (“a religious organization whose congregations are united in their adherence to its beliefs and practices”) of the Christian church. Your read on Christian history and the motivation behind the doctrinal changes of these churches not withstanding, they are mainstream denominations, they do have different views on the morality of homosexuality than you, they are well represented within the BSA, and they have a right to practice their faith under our Declaration of Religious Principle.

          As for your contention that BSA was founded on Christianity, let’s take a look at the 1910 Articles of Incorporation:
          “The particular business and objects of the Society are to organize the boys of the District of Columbia and elsewhere in the United States, into units, and to teach them, or cause them to be taught, through duly designated leaders, discipline, patriotism, courage, habits of observation and self control and ability to care for themselves in all exigencies of life.” Nothing about Christianity there.
          Well, the 1911 Scout Handbook must surely state that the BSA is a Christian organization:
          “The aim of the Boy Scouts is to supplement the various existing educational agencies, and to promote the ability in boys to do things for themselves and others. It is not the aim to set up a new organization to parallel in its purposes others already established. The opportunity is afforded these organizations, however, to introduce into their programs unique features appealing to interests which are universal among boys. The method is summed up in the term Scoutcraft, and is a combination of observation, deduction, and handiness, or the ability to do things. Scoutcraft includes instruction in First Aid, Life Saving, Tracking, Signaling, Cycling, Nature Study, Seamanship, Campcraft, Woodcraft, Chivalry, Patriotism, and other subjects. This is accomplished in games and team play, and is pleasure, not work, for the boy. All that is needed is the out-of-doors, a group of boys, and a competent leader.” Strike two.
          Reverent, though. Reverent surely means to be Christian. Again for the 1911 Handbook:
          “He is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion.” Again, not so much…

          Re: “the Scouts is founded on Christianity”: BSA, and Boy Scouts in general, certainly had Christian influences since BP, Boyce, West, Seton, Beard, etc. were mostly Christian (although how good is another matter – count up the divorces among them, particularly at a time when divorce was much less common). There were lots of Native American (or what he thought were Native American) influences as well, thanks to Seton’s Woodcraft Indians.

          Re: your point 2: Hindus believe in God. In fact, they believe in many gods. Buddhists likewise believe in a higher power. These faiths are welcomed into the Scout family and they don’t believe in the God of Abraham. “While Scouting does not define religious belief for its members, it has been adopted by and works with youth programs of all major faiths.” Other non-Abrahamic faiths that are recognized in the Religious Emblems program include Baha’i, Meher Baba, and Zoroastrian.

          Under the proposed policy (Chartering Organizations decide their policies regarding homosexuality), your unit would be free to keep their current membership restrictions. My unit could follow my values (as we claim to do on the Parents/Benefits page: “When you join the Boy Scouts of America, Scouting is like an extension of your family: It follows your values…”). How often does you unit currently interact with mine? Probably never, but there are other units in my district, council, and camping area who do, so, yes, there are times when units with different beliefs will run up against mine. So what would that look like? At district events like Klondike or Pinewood, there is little interaction between adults since the focus is on the boys. Aside from a few adults that I know from roundtable or church, very few who attend these events from other units have any idea that my husband and I are both there or that we are married. Rarely do we have both parents from a family attending summer camp or council camporees and I see no reason why that would change under a new policy so you would have no reason to know if the partner at home is of the same sex or not.

          As for your final assertion that you assume that I would “would welcome their incestuous partners, or even multiple partners” – first, I have no idea on what you would base such an assumption. Incest is taboo in most cultures and faiths as well as illegal in most states. Second, as I have previously stated, there are already bigamists in Scouting. I don’t agree with their lifestyle, but my troop interacts with their troop are district functions. As far as I know, none of the boys are aware and it certainly has not impacted the moral standards of my troop or my boys.

          End of treatise.
          And the end of my conversation with you, since I am very weary of the lack of respect that you show to other faiths in your choice of verbage and with the lack of courtesy that you show to me my making unfounded assumptions about me like that I would support incest.

        • Using even your definition of a sect (“a dissenting or schismatic religious body; especially: one regarded as extreme or heretical”), I’d say that adopting such a radical, heretical message that God, despite the numerous, clear statements in the Bible and throughout 2,000 years of Christianity’s certainty on the grave sin of homosexuality, actually condones the homosexual act, is pretty extreme and fits the definition of heresy. 40 years vs 2,000 years…clear, emphatic statements vs newly-inserted accusations of mistranslations and ambiguous understandings. Any Christian (and Jewish) sect that purports to have discovered within the last 40 years a radically new view on what the Bible and 2,000 years of Tradition (far more than that duration for Judaism) have been absolutely clear is nothing but extreme. It is the height of presumption (a grave sin in itself) for followers of such a sect to claim that all Christian doctors, priests, popes, saints, monks, nuns, and other believers were completely wrong on the matter for so many centuries.

          You took offense at my comparison of incest to homosexuality. Homosexuality was also taboo until recently. It was illegal, uniformly considered to be a sin, and until 1973 was deemed by the American Psychiatric Association to be a mental disorder (interestingly, they removed that designation at about the same time that some Christian sects discovered that the entire Christian tradition had, according to them, committed a 2,000-year fraud on the subject of homosexuality).
          The other crimes against nature use some of the same arguments as do homosexuals in trying to gain acceptance for their behavior:
          Incest — “consenting adults”, “loving couple”.
          Bestiality: “what she does in the privacy of her bedroom is none of our business”.
          Necrophilia — “he’s not hurting anyone, so what is it to you?”.
          Polygamy — “consenting adults”, “loving relationships”
          Homosexuality — “consenting adults”, “loving couple”
          I have yet to find a supporter of homosexuality who has the courage to try to explain to me what is INHERENTLY wrong about these other behaviors/inclinations…usually I encounter indignation about my including homosexuality with these other behaviors, but no explanation as to why tolerance is provided towards homosexuality but not to these other sins. I ask you: why are two men having sexual relations with each other fine by you, but not a man and his adult daughter? And “because incest is illegal” is not an adequate answer — we’re talking about behavior’s being wrong or right (morally or religiously speaking).

        • Another thought on these supposed Christian sects that claim that the 2,000-year tradition of the Church was completely mistaken or fraudulent on the sin of homosexuality: what was going on in the early 1970′s, the period in which these few sects discovered this amazing error in Christian tradition? Abortion legalized, rampant drug use, widespread promiscuity (“The Sexual Revolution”), homosexuality movement pushing for acceptance, radical feminism (the ERA movement). What occured was that dissenters from the Christian tradition, people who did not want to subject themselves to God’s commandments (“Non serviam”, declared Lucifer to God) concocted a clever plan to provide themselves with pseudo-religious cover: a few sects would insidiously claim that 2,000 years of clear Church doctrine on the subject of sin and God’s laws were in fact mistaken, in error through mistranslations and misunderstandings. That way, followers could claim that they were “believers”, recipients of God’s mercy and graces, but without the burden, humility, and sacrifice of having to obey God’s laws and refrain from sin. All of the reaping, none of the sowing.
          “For every tree is known by its fruit” (Luke 6:44). It is very telling that these sects with their 40-year-old discoveries that the entire Christian tradition was completely wrong on the sin of homosexuality cannot even find the moral foundation with which to call abortion a sin. Killing babies in the womb, even at 8 months of age (fully formed, thinking, smiling, playing), is perfectly condoned by these so-called denominations you claim to have legitimacy.

        • Fred, I can find disgusting comments from a supporter of any cause you want. It’s a common rhetorical fallacy and does nothing to further the discussion.

        • Comments such as these proposing close proximity of boys and adults who are sexually attracted to them from a conservative viewpoint? Go for it.

          You folks from the homosexual advocacy side have not presented where the moral equivalence will fall to under a revised policy. What if a Christian Scout is insulted by a homosexual boy who wants to discuss his love for his partner. Will the Christian boy be banned from Scouting for being intolerant? I think you would. What if a openly homosexual Troop visits Jamboree and numerous units express their disdain for such a lifestyle? Who will be penalized? I bet it will be the ones expressing disdain and exercising their right to not associate with them.

        • MT_Momma: “What I am trying to get you to understand is that there are numerous faiths that accept homosexuality. I am a member of a mainstream Christian church. We are open and inclusive in our church membership and would like the ability to be the same in our unit membership.”
          #1: There are not numerous faiths that accept homosexuality. It has been roundly condemned as sinful throughout history and across cultures.
          #2: No Christian church accepts the sin of homosexual acts. That is as insidious as if I were to call myself Christian but knowingly and fraudulently claimed that the Bible and 2,000+ years of Christian Tradition were mistaken (due to mistranslations and misinterpretations), and Christ actually supported bestiality, pedophilia, incest, adultury, and necrophilia. I could call myself a Christian, but that would be patently false. If my sect did not believe in the Trinity, it would be a fraud if it called itself Christian. If my sect espoused reincarnation, it would similarly be a fraud to call itself Christian. We’re not talking about devotional exercises (abstaining from meat on Friday), we’re talking about dogma and clear expositions on what constitutes sin — and on this the record is clear (both the Bible and Tradition). These Christian-imposter sects are the manifestation of Modernism having taken on a pseudo-religious cover as a strategic advantage with which to demand legitimacy.
          #3: “Open and inclusive”: the moral relativists in these sects are quick to beat their breasts in self-adulation about how tolerant they are. They sure are “tolerant” about killing babies in the womb and accepting the disgusting practice of homosexuality, but it is true tolerance? If it were, it would extend to the other crimes against nature, such as incest, bestiality, necrophilia, and pedophilia (after all, who are WE to judge others?). This claim of tolerance is actually false cover for a moral bankruptcy, for these “open and inclusive” sects have lost the moral foundation with which to call any of these behaviors inherently wrong or (gasp!) evil. Even when challenged, they cannot explain why their chosen sexual deviancy of homosexuality is deserving of tolerance but these others are not (though, the same arguments are used by proponents.

          What these heretical sects seek is a Christ without His Cross…mercy without justice, grace without sacrifice, liberty without order.

          “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.
          —H. Richard Niebuhr

          “The same Peter who confessed Jesus Christ, says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. This has nothing to do with it.” He says, “I’ll follow you on other ways, that do not include the Cross.” When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord.
          —Pope Francis (3/14/13)

          Finally, a group defines itself by whom it excludes. The Catholic Church does not accept those believing in reincarnation or those rejecting the Triune God. The Boy Scouts does not allow girls…or atheists…or those engaging in immoral behavior of the most egregious types. It it does allow admission to those, then its fundamental nature has changed and it ceases to be what it once professed to be (despite the lingering carcass of a name).

        • Eric, same response to you that I gave to Fred yesterday. I have already told you that I am through discussing this topic with you. You can continue to post to me, but I will not reply because I will not continue a discussion with someone who repeatedly marginalizes other people and who cannot acknowledge that there are other valid points of view.

        • You said: “Also, continuing your previous quote about homosexuality: “We affirm that God’s grace is available to all. We will seek to live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving, and loving one another, as Christ has loved and accepted us. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.”

          =============

          So what does this mean?

          To me this means live the sinner but not the sin.

          Are you trying to imply that the church condones people living in sin?

          I hope not.

          It is by the Grace of God that they shed their sins, including homosexuality.

          No One has said or implied that we should hate gay people.

          And according to your church as every Christian denomination, we should welcome the repentant sinner and forgive them.

          When Christ was asked about the woman taken in adultery, he freely forgave her of her sin and shamed the Pharisees and lawyers into leaving but the crucial peace was after they were all gone and it was just Jesus and the woman. What did he tell her. Did he tell her to get back on the streets and prostitute herself? Did he tell her to go back to her lover and continue in sin? Of course not. He told her Go and sin no more.

          engaging in any sexual act is a personal choice. No one, except a rapist/molester force you to have sex.

          If you have sex outside the bonds of marriage you are committing a serious sin. It does not matter if you are hetero or homo sexual.

          Christ did say that marriage is between a man and a woman and that is where sex belongs. Read Matthew 19

        • Steve, these are not my words but quotes from the United Methodist Church. “Are you trying to imply that the church condones people living in sin?” No, I am stating that not all faiths agree on what constitutes sin. You also apparently read something in to these statements about homosexuals needing to be “repentant” to be accepted by the church. I see no such language in these quotes.

          You say, “If you have sex outside the bonds of marriage you are committing a serious sin. It does not matter if you are hetero or homo sexual.” Then why are we only choosing to exclude those who have homosexual sex (or who self identify as homosexual, whether or not they are engaging in sex outside of marriage)? We don’t have any policies about heterosexual relations outside of marriage.

        • Sure we do , if I or anyone goes to a meeting or scout function and talks a out their sexual conquests we can lose our membership , yet it’s ok in your opinion to let in a person who is defined by their sexuality. And that we should accept their behavior .why be size they are diff , or so we can make them feel good about their CHOICE in life ,why should we lower our standards to accept those who have low standards Where do u propose we draw the line. What is unacceptable . Everyone should hold their children to the highest moral standard

        • MT_Momma writes, “Do you agree with every policy of every organization you join?”

          I would not join an organization with whose core values I disagreed. Peripheral ones, sure. But not the core. While I respect many of the tenets of Anabaptists, I disagree with their policy on pacifism. It’s a CORE VALUE of theirs. It would be HYPOCRITICAL for me to join an organization with whose core values I disagree.

          Shame on those folks who show their hypocrisy by knowingly joining BSA when they disagree with their core values.

        • Again with the unScouting tone and name calling…

          So is it your contention that “homosexuality is immoral” is a core value of the BSA? Because I agree with duty to God and my country. I agree with helping other people. I agree with staying physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. My faith and your faith may disagree on the definition of “morally straight” but I also support that the BSA is nonsectarian and that matters of faith are best left to the family and faith organization. I agree with being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. I have read the BSA’s definition for each of those and support them all.

          A Scout is:
          Trustworthy – A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him.
          Loyal – A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.
          Helpful – A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.
          Friendly – A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
          Courteous – A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
          Kind – A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated.
          Obedient – A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
          Cheerful – A Scout looks for the bright side of things. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
          Thrifty – A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
          Brave – A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
          Clean – A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.
          Reverent – A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

        • There u go again using YoUR faith to determine what’s morally straight,

          U should go read dale vs BSA Supreme Court case, and BSA ‘s statement , of why homosexuals aren’t allowed in their membership policy.

          And I didn’t ask for your or your church’s opinion, I specifically asked u what the bible you and your faith use says on homosexuality , being that u havent answered anyone’s question on the subject, I find it very telling that u said you and your faiths opinion,instead of where your bible says its ok ,

          You keep saying that ur faith says its ok yet u offer no eveidence other than your opinion,
          I can’t speak for yours ( since u won’t specify) i my bible is very clear on the matter

        • Derek, I have no need to prove to you my faith beliefs.

          You say, “There u go again using YoUR faith to determine what’s morally straight,” Um, yeah…isn’t that the crux of this discussion? We each use our own faith as our moral compass but we don’t all share the same faith and therefore we don’t all agree on what is moral.

          We don’t have a pollicy that says that sex out of wedlock is incompatible with Scouting principles. We don’t have a policy about adulterers not being allowed to be members. Many faiths consider these things immoral and they are certainly addressed in the Bible more often than homosexuality. So why is it that we are picking this one act to be so counter to the principles of Scouting that we have to write it into policy while the others are not?

        • We don’t have a pollicy that says that sex out of wedlock is incompatible with Scouting principles. We don’t have a policy about adulterers not being allowed to be members. Many faiths consider these things immoral and they are certainly addressed in the Bible more often than homosexuality. So why is it that we are picking this one act to be so counter to the principles of Scouting that we have to write it into policy while the others are not?

          The would point to the word “Openly” as to why “we are picking this one”.

        • Pets to Go
          “We don’t have a policy about adulterers not being allowed to be members. Many faiths consider these things immoral and they are certainly addressed in the Bible more often than homosexuality. So why is it that we are picking this one act to be so counter to the principles of Scouting”

          Because people don’t like to accept something that doesn’t fit in with their perfect little rose colored world. They would rather push it t the back and hope that it goes way so they don’t have to think about it or deal with reality.

        • We don’t have a pollicy that says that sex out of wedlock is incompatible with Scouting principles. We don’t have a policy about adulterers not being allowed to be members. Many faiths consider these things immoral and they are certainly addressed in the Bible more often than homosexuality. So why is it that we are picking this one act to be so counter to the principles of Scouting that we have to write it into policy while the others are not?
          The would point to the word “Openly” as to why “we are picking this one”.

          ==============

          I would support a change in the membership policy that stated that any “openly avowed adulterers and fornicators” be denied membership and leadership positions in BSA

        • MT said: “You say, “There u go again using YoUR faith to determine what’s morally straight,” Um, yeah…isn’t that the crux of this discussion? We each use our own faith as our moral compass but we don’t all share the same faith and therefore we don’t all agree on what is moral.”

          ===========

          Adulterers are not trustworthy and should not be granted leadership positions. There is no way a person can commit adultery without lying.

          I like Derek am curious want to know your faith has determined that homosexuality is not a sin.

        • A Supreme Court decision does not necessary mean that 100% of the arguments were agreed to. The Court found that a private organization has the Constitutional right to establish its own membership rules. The Court did not rule on whether homosexuality is a core value, in fact…

          “Regarding whether the Boy Scouts as a whole had an expressive policy against homosexuality, the Court gave deference to the organization’s own assertions of the nature of its expressions, as well as what would impair them.” – Wikipedia

          I SUPPORT the Court’s decision, but that decision in no way implies that the BSA cannot change it’s membership policy.

        • I can’t speak for MT Momma, but I would guess her Bible is pretty similar to…

          1 John 4:20 – If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

          And don’t give me the BS about, “We LOVE the sinner, but hate the sin!” You’re talking about excluding the sinner in this case, not the sin. And before you get all excited about wild orgies on camp outs, ANY sexual activity during a Scouting event – even between married couples – is inappropriate and “sinful.”

        • I’d like to say that I believe we have wandered far afield from the main reason I believe Scouting should retain the current policy. As I have said many times, A Scout cannot be “clean” either spiritually or physically and be an open and avowed homosexual. He can also not be physically clean and morally straight and be an open and avowed homosexual. We have spent substantial hours staking out our respective positions. The vote in May will determine the policy. We have exposed the current situation in America that moral standards have declined as our culture has advanced. Left to Scouting to set the bar as to where moral behavior stands for their organization, some people will not accept their will through the majority of their participants for their policy and unless denied membership will not stop attacking them. I have seen it in too many organizations. YMCA, YWCA (who have excised their Christian heritage), Boys Clubs of America and many other worthwhile organization. I’ll defend the Policy to save Scouting as a high moral organization for future generations. I don’t have to bring the Bible into it.

          On that note, I am not speaking for anyone here except but I am seeing that a bible believer using verses which specifically support his position is now having verses used against him for purposes of supporting the notion that God accepts all comers as they are without requiring any obedience to His word to gain heaven and a believer should accept and love them no matter their lack of obedience. In other words, it seems the homosexual advocates want to have it both ways with open and avowed homosexuals. Keep their faithful and their fallen under the same roof and anything goes as far how we feel about each other. 60′s counterculture has become the norm in these denominations.

          I read the list of religions accepting homosexuality as moral and It followed my belief that permissive secular cultures in highly civilized society are primarily and almost exclusivelythehome of these corrupted sects of Christianity. Supporting a practicing homosexual as a leader or even member of a obedient Christian congregation is in direct contradiction of the word of God. Citing 1 John 4:20 to condemn a Christian for speaking God’s word in support of a specific prohibition of behavior is a cheap shot. I don’t say “Love the Sinner, hate the sin.” I say you are living in Sin, repent and be obedient and God will grant you everlasting life but not until you stop living in Sin and repent.

        • @MT_Momma, according to the Boy Scouts of America, “…homosexuality is incompatible with Scouting.” (BSA vs. Dale) CLEARLY STATED and unequivocable (it used to be on BSALegal.org’s page, but apparently no longer there).

          The following scenarios present themselves, then, if BSA sells out:
          (a) the BSA was being untruthful in the Dale case,
          (b) the practice of homosexuality has changed significantly enough to no longer be incompatible,
          (c) the leadership of BSA is choosing corporate sponsorship over standing true to its values

        • So, KS, you are saying that “homosexuality is immoral” is a core value of the BSA. Interesting. I always thought we were founded on the Oath and Law. When I read the purpose of the BSA in our federal charter (“The purposes of the corporation are to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods that were in common use by boy scouts on June 15, 1916.”) I don’t see anything about homosexuality (or morality or faith).

        • Lol in 1916 sodomy was illegal in the us , in some states up until 2003 ,so that little fact u leave out , contradicts what u are tying to claim, since an illegal activity would NOT be consistent with the mission , or goal of the BSA , or even their religious principles ,,, Have a nice day

          U can look up lawrence vs Texas , as a reference to the above

        • Derek, adultery was illegal in most states. It is considered immoral by most faiths. It is referenced in the Bible more often than homosexuality. (It is even a commandment, where homosexual relations are not.) We don’t have a membership policy prohibiting adulterers from membership, however. If your argument about the reason homosexuality wasn’t addressed in 1916 but is addressed now were valid, we would see the exact same policies today relating to adultery.

        • MT Said: ” So, KS, you are saying that “homosexuality is immoral” is a core value of the BSA. Interesting. ”

          ================

          Uh, didn’t you read the Dale decision where BSA declared that it was a core value and incompatible with BSA? Why do you ignore that and pretend it does not exist? BSA spent millions of dollars to prove that case in a court of law all the way to the supreme court. And SCOTUS agreed with them.

        • I have read Dale where the Boy Scouts asserted that it “teach[es] that homosexual conduct is not morally straight,” and that it did “not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.” I also read that the five Supreme Court justices in the majority did not judge if this was valid but took BSA’s word on it.

          The four dissenting justices said “that the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay members did not follow from its founding principles. The Boy Scouts sought to instill “values” in young people, “to prepare them to make ethical choices over their lifetime in achieving their full potential.” The Scout Oath and the Scout Law, which set forth the Scouts’ central tenets, assist in this goal. One of these tenets is that a Scout is “morally straight.” Another is that a Scout is “clean.” As these terms were defined in the Scout Handbook, Stevens said, “it is plain as the light of day that neither one of these principles—’morally straight’ and ‘clean’—says the slightest thing about homosexuality. Indeed, neither term in the Boy Scouts’ Law and Oath expresses any position whatsoever on sexual matters.””

        • This is what the majority of the Justices ruled unfettered by the liberal trappings of the dissenters and their cocktail party homosexual friends.

          Boy Scouts of America et al. v. Dale, 530 U.S. 640 (2000), was a case of the Supreme Court of the United States decided on June 28, 2000, that held that the constitutional right to freedom of association allows a private organization like the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to exclude a person from membership when “the presence of that person affects in a significant way the group’s ability to advocate public or private viewpoints.”[1] In a five to four decision, the Supreme Court ruled that opposition to homosexuality is part of BSA’s “expressive message” and that allowing homosexuals as adult leaders would interfere with that message.[2] It reversed a decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court that had determined that New Jersey’s public accommodations law required the BSA to readmit assistant Scoutmaster James Dale, who had made his homosexuality public and whom the BSA had expelled from the organization.

          This id the only opinion that matters for this review of the policy. Not what may have been, might have been, hoped ot have been or some folks refuse to accept.

        • Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s majority opinion relied upon Roberts v. United States Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609, 622 (1984), in which the Supreme Court said: “Consequently, we have long understood as implicit in the right to engage in activities protected by the First Amendment a corresponding right to associate with others in pursuit of a wide variety of political, social, economic, educational, religious, and cultural ends.” This right, the Roberts decision continues, is crucial in preventing the majority from imposing its views on groups that would rather express other, perhaps unpopular, ideas. Government actions that may unconstitutionally burden this freedom may take many forms, one of which is “intrusion into the internal structure or affairs of an association” like a “regulation that forces the group to accept members it does not desire.” Forcing a group to accept certain members may impair the ability of the group to express those views, and only those views, that it intends to express. Thus, “freedom of association … plainly presupposes a freedom not to associate.”

          However, to determine whether a group is protected by the First Amendment’s expressive associational right, it must first be determined whether the group engages in “expressive association.” After reviewing the Scout Promise and Scout Law the court decided that the general mission of the Boy Scouts is clear: “[T]o instill values in young people.”[9] The Boy Scouts seek to instill these values by having its adult leaders spend time with the youth members, instructing and engaging them in activities like camping, fishing, etc. During the time spent with the youth members, the Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters inculcate them with the Boy Scouts’ values—both expressly and by example. An association that seeks to transmit such a system of values engages in expressive activity.

          First, associations do not have to associate for the “purpose” of disseminating a certain message in order to be entitled to the protections of the First Amendment. An association must merely engage in expressive activity that could be impaired in order to be entitled to protection.
          Second, even if the Boy Scouts discourages Scout leaders from disseminating views on sexual issues, the First Amendment protects the Boy Scouts’ method of expression. If the Boy Scouts wishes Scout leaders to avoid questions of sexuality and teach only by example, this fact does not negate the sincerity of its belief discussed above.
          Regarding whether the Boy Scouts as a whole had an expressive policy against homosexuality, the Court gave deference to the organization’s own assertions of the nature of its expressions, as well as what would impair them. The Boy Scouts asserts that it “teach[es] that homosexual conduct is not morally straight,” and that it does “not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior,”[10] While the policy may not represent the views of all Boy Scouts, the First Amendment “does not require that every member of a group agree on every issue in order for the group’s policy to be expressive association.”[11] The Court deemed it sufficient that the Boy Scouts had taken an official position with respect to same-sex relationships. The presence of an openly gay activist in an assistant Scoutmaster’s uniform sends a distinctly different message from the presence of a heterosexual assistant Scoutmaster who is on record as disagreeing with Boy Scouts policy. The Boy Scouts has a First Amendment right to choose to send one message but not the other. The fact that the organization does not trumpet its views from the housetops, or that it tolerates dissent within its ranks, does not mean that its views receive no First Amendment protection.[12]

          The decision concluded:

          We are not, as we must not be, guided by our views of whether the Boy Scouts’ teachings with respect to homosexual conduct are right or wrong; public or judicial disapproval of a tenet of an organization’s expression does not justify the State’s effort to compel the organization to accept members where such acceptance would derogate from the organization’s expressive message. While the law is free to promote all sorts of conduct in place of harmful behavior, it is not free to interfere with speech for no better reason than promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one, however enlightened either purpose may strike the government.[13]

          Seems pretty clear to me that the majority of the Court used sound reasoning to establish the law of the land that we as Scouts are obliged to follow. If you want to change it, by all means you are welcome to try but arguing the losing argument is more valid than the Winning argument does not respect the Law.

          I’m for the Policy, I’ll follow it and I defend it. It’s right and honorable in my eyes. A statement from the opinion was that a homosexual adult in a Boy Scout uniform held up as a leader and example for young boys to emulate sends a strong message as would an adulterer, liar or thief or bigamist, alcoholic or drug addict. All flawed individuals in my opinion. I don’t want to see that example in Scouting and I will continue to vehemently oppose. The first impression that is created by that example is that Scouts promotes it as exemplary, not the liberal permissive Church behind the uniform. That is what has been lost in this discussion. A CO that permits a bad example for Scouting as a Church member and Leader would still be seen as a Scouting leader first and the Church second. That why Gay Scouts of (fill-in-the-blank) Church need to have their own organization.

          As far as there being no policy before 1991, nobody conceived the determination of homosexuals and their followers to force their lifestyle on every organization in Society. After seeing politicians and activists deny funding and impose fines on people who do not want to associate with homosexuals, I am sure it became apparent that if BSA did nothing, they would be railroaded into accepting any behavior in a young man and give him a chance to earn Eagle Scout. Scouting is not for everyone and the Eagke Scout rank is for very few.

  11. What I find interesting throughout this blog topic is that you have the same pro-homosexual advocates, repeating their case over and over, and NEVER letting a pro- status-quo comment go unchallenged. It is simply symptomatic of what is going on in society. A small, vocal, agenda-driven minority, has purposed in their heart to dominate the conversation and wear down the opposition. If that happened at a town-hall meeting, at some point the moderator would simply cut them off, saying you’ve had more than ample time to make your views known. I’m just saying.

    • Never letting a point go unchallenged is the essence of debate. I don’t see a large difference in the amount of time or space given to either side. Complaining that the other side won’t be quiet usually indicates an underlying weakness in one’s own argument.

      I have to wonder how many people voicing opinions here and elsewhere are actively involved in Scouting. When they talk about this issue, they bring up images of San Francisco Gay Pride Parades. As an active Scoutmaster, I bring up faces of boys in my troop who are just beginning to grow into maturity. I bring up faces of 2nd graders whom I’ve recruited and brought through Cub Scouts. I bring up faces of parents whom I’ve sat next to at Blue and Gold or Courts of Honor; parents who now serve on troop committees and come on camp outs for extra adult leadership. Being gay is hard enough on the boy AND his family without the BSA throwing fuel on the fire. My responsibilities as a Scoutmaster do not include humiliating, bullying and ostracizing young men and I will not do it.

      The BSA is not a Christian organization and even if it were, anti-gay sentiment is no longer a universal Christian belief. The BSA likes to talk about “partnering” with CO’s, but its not much of a partnership if they won’t respect the CO’s established non-discrimination policy which includes sexual orientation.

      • It is not discriminating to not allow openly gay individuals to be members of the BSA.

        Homosexual behavior offends me and I’m sure it offends many others in scouting. Offending some does not comply with two tenants of the Scout Law. Those two tenants are Courteous and Kind. Offensive behavior of any kind cannot be tolerated from anyone and by anyone.

        Regardless of ones views on homosexual behavior the bottom line is it is offensive to many people. When one offends the PC and liberal crowd they shout from the roof tops the offensive infraction. On the other hand we in the conservative end of the spectrum, are subjected to offense statements or behavior we are suppose to bite our lip and smile.

        So I guess if the membership policy is amended we will only have 10 tenants of the Scout law. Courteous and Kind will be deleted. Homosexuals by their offense behavior can’t be Courteous or Kind.

        • It is the very definition of discrimination to treat an individual differently based upon an actual or perceived membership in a group.

          If you are looking to ‘not be offended’, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for the next life.

          “It’s yucky” is a really weak argument. Sorry if that offends.

        • So how can homosexual behavior not be offensive? And since it is and no one can dispute that fact you did not address how a openly gay individual can be courteous and kind. When I am offended I let the offending party know of the offense.

        • From the LDS-published article “And Nothing Shall Offend Them”

          “However, it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me. Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.”

          I find it amusing when conservatives go on about “entitlement” and “personal responsibility” all the while insisting that they are entitled to a pass on personal responsibility. You choose to be offended.

        • So, nothing offends a member of the LDS Church? Funny, Not a single one I know is not offended by the intrusion of homosexual advocates into Scouting. Maybe they are all “corrupted” Mormons and you are “pure.” One is a Regional Rep so, I beg to differ with your interpretation of LDS doctrine based on the honorable men I know in LDS.

          Apparently, we “offend” you or we are of small consequence so as not to rise to “offense” of such an individual as yourself.

          As has been stated, it is a moral question and how low to set the bar for morality. An individual that defines his persona by sexuality is by definition immoral in my opinion. If he/she acts of that desire, he/she is doubly immoral. Where does the decline stop? Based on culture at large, next will be atheism, then any sexual restraint in removed and anything goes.

        • You said: “From the LDS-published article “And Nothing Shall Offend Them”
          “However, it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me. Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.”
          I find it amusing when conservatives go on about “entitlement” and “personal responsibility” all the while insisting that they are entitled to a pass on personal responsibility. You choose to be offended.”

          ===========

          The context of this statement is that to be offended is to make a choice. Just like no one make you angry or happy. It is a choice you make.

          You can choose not to be offended.

        • Fred, the quote is from David Bednar – member of the Quarum of the Twelve Apostles and former president of BYU.

      • “anti-gay sentiment is no longer a universal Christian belief”. Actually, Christianity is crystal clear on the grave sin of homosexual acts (emphasis on “acts” and the indulgence of the desire, not on any inclination). The Bible is clear on it, the very earliest Church Fathers and Doctors were clear on it, and 2,000 years of Christian Tradition are clear on it. The 40 or so years of ambiguity claimed by some sects who call themselves Christian is both a heresy and a fraud, sparked by a socio-political agenda. The depraved 70′s is when these sects (United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church, and Reform Judaism) came out in support of homosexual acts, and they pushed all of the vices of that era into supposed Christian doctrine: homosexuality, abortion, promiscuity, bra-burning radical feminism. No Christian church can support the killing of babies in the womb, as do these 70′s-era sects. No Christian church can support the vile sin of homosexuality, as the Bible and Tradition (2,000+ years) are clear on the matter.

        • The only way to respond to your post is to say RIGHT ON! But you must be careful lest you offend the left. The left does not understand there is more to homosexual behavior than just holding hands.

        • While I find your Biblical analysis mildly amusing, it fortunately is only appropriate for Sunday School and not for an organization that is “absolutely nonsectarian.”

          Matthew 7:1-5

        • J Schultz: Matthew 7:1-5 is clearly an admonition to not judge hypocritically (Matthew 7:5 explicitly states that), not a command to not judge. In fact, the New Testament repeatedly states that we are to judge (as we are our brother’s keeper)…

          John 7:24 – “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge just judgment.” Matthew 18:15-17 – “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault…”.
          James 5:20 – “He must know that he who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death…”.
          2 Timothy 4:2 – “Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine.”

        • BSA might be non-sectarian, but the moral code by which the Scouts are to conduct themselves is based upon Christianity. We have to base a moral code upon something, after all, and it is apparent that Christianity was that foundation.
          Sir Baden-Powell: “Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity” (Scouting & Christianity, 1917)

        • You said: ““anti-gay sentiment is no longer a universal Christian belief”. Actually, Christianity is crystal clear on the grave sin of homosexual acts (emphasis on “acts” and the indulgence of the desire, not on any inclination). The Bible is clear on it, the very earliest Church Fathers and Doctors were clear on it, and 2,000 years of Christian Tradition are clear on it. The 40 or so years of ambiguity claimed by some sects who call themselves Christian is both a heresy and a fraud, sparked by a socio-political agenda. The depraved 70′s is when these sects (United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church, and Reform Judaism) came out in support of homosexual acts, and they pushed all of the vices of that era into supposed Christian doctrine: homosexuality, abortion, promiscuity, bra-burning radical feminism. No Christian church can support the killing of babies in the womb, as do these 70′s-era sects. No Christian church can support the vile sin of homosexuality, as the Bible and Tradition (2,000+ years) are clear on the matter.”

          =============

          First you quoted another poster and I wanted to clear up one point that is getting blurred. no one is “anti-gay”. There are those that have same gender attraction. There is no denying that fact and no one denies them that reality. Acting out on those feelings or the act of homosexuality is what is really at issue here. There are many people that have all sorts of feelings and passions for certain behaviors but they are not acceptable and we learn how to bridle those feelings, passions and behaviors. Case in point one may have a predisposition to abuse drugs, but abusing drugs is unhealthy and a healthy person learn how to bridle that passion for drugs.

          Up until 1972, the act of homosexuality was outlawed in all 50 states, was recognized by both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association as a mental disorder and every Christian denomination denounced homosexuality as a sin. Since that time politically motivated and well connected homosexuals lobbied the the American Psychological and Psychiatric Associations to delist them from being a mental disorder. This is all about politics power and influence.

          Christian churches still denounced homosexuality as a sinful practice. That was God’s law. So what happened?

          Now a number of “Christian” denominations accept openly practicing homosexuals not only in full fellowship but as clergy. These changes came through political processes.

          So one must ask themselves why Man changed God’s law? I believe the seeds were sown for this back in the 1960s. when “free love”, “shacking up”, “co-habitating” became acceptable. There is no doubt according to scripture that fornication and adultery are most certainly serious sexual sins js as homosexuality is. But now fornication, adultery and co-habitating is openly accepted in the same churches. Again I ask was it God that changed his Law or was it man? I submit to you that it was man that changed God’s law without his permission. I believe pastors and ministers accepted and normalized these sexual sins so that would not lose membership and consequently their livelihood. The same is now happening with the homosexual movement. certain Christian denominations now find it fashionable to adopt homosexuality even though the scriptures they claim to believe are very clear that it is a sexual sin.

          So who Changed God’s Law between 1970 and 2013?

          And before anyone spouts off about other religions such as Buddhism, Islam, etc because BSA is non-secular, every major religion has rules, laws and commandments regarding marriage being between a men and women and that sexuality should be in the bonds of marriage between a husband a wife.

      • J Schultz SM
        Thank you for this comment: I have to wonder how many people voicing opinions here and elsewhere are actively involved in Scouting. When they talk about this issue, they bring up images of San Francisco Gay Pride Parades. As an active Scoutmaster, I bring up faces of boys in my troop who are just beginning to grow into maturity. I bring up faces of 2nd graders whom I’ve recruited and brought through Cub Scouts. I bring up faces of parents whom I’ve sat next to at Blue and Gold or Courts of Honor; parents who now serve on troop committees and come on camp outs for extra adult leadership. Being gay is hard enough on the boy AND his family without the BSA throwing fuel on the fire. My responsibilities as a Scoutmaster do not include humiliating, bullying and ostracizing young men and I will not do it.

        I too think about the kids that I have worked with over the years. Over the years I remember some kids more vividly than I remember others. One boy remains a sharp and sad reminder to me about assuming that all boys have a gifted life and nothing should be taken for granted. This young boy, after working with him for months, corrected me one evening when I asked if his dad was coming to pick him up. He was sweet (and sad) as he explained to the obviously unaware Den Leader (me) that the man that often picked him up (that I had assumed incorrectly as his dad) was his mother’s fiance’. He continued that his real dad died of cancer when he (the cub scout) was only months old.

        I often find myself looking out at the boys sitting with their families at Pack Meetings and Blue and Gold or even Court of Honors and wonder about the family make up. Some boys have many family members there (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, siblings, fiance(e’)s, etc) and some have none. Not once do I wonder if the two men sitting with Timmy are his Dads or his Dad and Uncle or his Dad and Grandfather. It does not matter to me, it doesn’t appear to be an issue for anyone sitting with them at the table. I think that it doesn’t matter because most people perceive the norm in a situation, they see two men sitting together at a family event and most often think of a family relationship between the two individuals and not “lover” relationship.

        The same goes for the one family that showed up for family camp. There were two moms with four kids between them. They all slept in the same tent (Cubs of course) and not once did I think that they were a “family” but assumed that they were sisters with their kids on a camp out. Did I ask if they were a couple? Ah, No! It is none of my business and just like all the other camping trips I have taken with the Cubs or Scouts there were no pdas between any adults in attendance (just as it should be).

        • Deanna L. Druyor – Wetzel said:
          “My responsibilities as a Scoutmaster do not include humiliating, bullying and ostracizing young men and I will not do it.”

          That’s sure coming from left field — no one in these discussions has been suggesting anything of the sort, which leads me to question your motives for inserting such a red herring. We concerned parents are not pushing a social agenda, as are those who wish to allow open/avowed homosexuals into the Scouts. We are advocating for something much more important and critical: the physical and spiritual safety of our young boys. You might discount the bases for our concern, but our concern is sincere. Deference should be given to those who are trying to protect their children, rather than those who simply want to promote a social agenda.

        • Eric, I do believe and understand that your concern for your boys is sincere and deeply felt and worrisome to you. I do. These are difficult matters that we face. It is truly a time for prayer, for talking with each other openly and gently and in a civil spirit, for evaluating the importance to us of this Scouting movement we love, and for thinking about the processes of citizenship and reverence. Difficult times.

          I get a feeling from your last post that you may have laid out some categories in, your mind — pro-policy folks as concerned about boys, pro-change folks as pursuing something unrelated to the welfare of boys. Would that be accurate?

          If it is, then I would ask you to listen to the voices of those of us who love our boys and want the best for them, and happen to believe that this change is that. I don’t expect you to agree with that, not at all. And I totally understand your desire to keep the policy. I just want to lay out a couple of examples of how it is that this desire for change can arise from a desire about our boys that is similar to yours.

          I know a Scouting professional with a Bear Cub. As a Tiger, the boy had to learn why he had to stop inviting to Cub Scouts the next door neighbor boys he played with all the time, who had two moms. The boy’s dad has been able to accept the policy, believing that was not immediately harmful to his kids. But when his little boy heard about the possible change — on the radio news — he told his dad that that would mean he could be prouder to be a Cub Scout. Broke his dad’s heart that the family’s choice to be Boy Scouts was causing that kind of cognitive dissonance for the kid.

          I know a lot of summer camp staffers. They in turn know a young man who has just graduated from college and was a long-time staffer with them. They know that since he stopped being an active member of Boy Scouts, he has let people know that his orientation is gay. He wants, like other 20-somethings, to live a settled life with a family, not to raise a ruckus. The camp staffers respect him immensely. Like the Bear Cub, they have been thrown into cognitive dissonance by the realization that they are part of a group that bars a friend whose ethics they respect very highly. They are struggling with whether they can come back home to camp this summer, or if they will have to exile themselves from their people, their tribe, the Scouts.

          I can hear in mind already the disapproval of the life choices of this dad and this young man. I get it. But I also get that these are Scouts who are perceiving themselves to be in pain over deep, life-long love for Scouting and beliefs they have grown into about the merit of those they associate with. I care very much about these boys and wish they could continue to be the good Scouts they are, without the internal conflict.

          I am not trying in any way to change your mind, Eric. I hope you can continue to have exactly the kind of Scouting experience you treasure with your boys. I do. I just want to make sure that you see that the others you are talking to are also Scouts and Scouters who love our boys and who love B-P’s vision — not sign-waving, faceless outsiders. Difficult times for all of us, times for prayer and gentle discussion.

        • I find that ironic that you don’t realize that “Save or Scouts from Bigots” is in itself a bigoted statement.

        • Are you sure you are talking to me, Steve? I haven’t used the language you are blaming me for anywhere? On what basis are you accusing me of not realizing something? Are you confusing me with someone else?

        • No Karen – I was not talking to you. My comments were addressed to Deanna L. Druyor – Wetzel
          Please accept my apology

        • Karen, I know you addressed this to Eric and I am sure he will respond but since this is an open forum and I want to say a few things. I believe that you are a caring, compassionate person. However, I feel we live in totally opposite cultures. There is an old Rolling Stones tune you may be familiar with “You can’t always get what you want.” God also never promises what we want but rather that our needs are met. I can look into the face of any homosexual youth or Adult and say that Scouts is not where you belong. There is a magnificent world of opportunities out there and many places where you will be accepted with open arms. Boy Scouts is not one of them because your beliefs are incompatible with the principles and values of Scouting. Life is full of disappointments and the youth or Adult will survive and prosper without wearing a Boy Scout uniform or an Eagle Scout badge, I taught my children early that no temporal thing is worth sacrificing you principles. I would hope the same message would be shared by homosexual parents and supporters of homosexual kids. It is the only answer and it is honest.

        • Deanna L. Druyor – Wetzel said:
          “My responsibilities as a Scoutmaster do not include humiliating, bullying and ostracizing young men and I will not do it.”

          As I mentioned, this was a complete red herring, as nobody in these discussion has advocated for anything of the sort. Such dishonesty is beneath the discussion that has occurred on this forum, Deanna. As the ad hominem led me to suspect your motives, I quickly found something else that explains where you’re coming from. Your Facebook page lists your Likes, such as “Save Our Boy Scouts from the Bigots at ‘Save Our Boy Scouts’” (so, Deanna, you call us concerned parents “bigots”?!), “Boy Scout Moms for Equality” (which on their Facebook page’s front page also calls us “bigots”), and “Scouts for Equality”.

          You’re appear to be trying to come off as a moderate commentator, but your defamatory and deceitful attack and your Facebook’s “Likes” that prominently describe us as “bigots” shows that you are another radical social engineer who does not give a hoot about my boys and my concerns for their spiritual and physical safety if that obstructs your social agenda.

          Leave my kids alone — if you want to socialize your boys with open/avowed homosexuals, you are perfectly free to do that on your own time.

        • Deanna L. Druyor – Wetzel You do realize that your support for “Save our scouts from bigots” is in itself bigotry.

          So what makes your bigotry better than the next guys?

        • Eric A,
          I suggest you reread my post. I said no such thing. I was quoting J. Schultz SM.

        • Fair enough — there were no quotations around it, so it appeared to me as your statement…point ceded. It does appear from your subsequent statement that you agree with J Schultz’ cited comment; otherwise, that particular sentence could have been omitted if you thought it deserving of repudiation.

          I stand by the rest of what I wrote.

          Bottom line, this coalesces into two distinct motivations: A SOCIAL AGENDA (even if well-intentioned, though I believe it to be severely erred and explicitly and demonstrably against the Christian Bible and 2,000+ years of Tradition) VERSUS parents sincerely and intensely concerned for the PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL SAFETY of their young boys. You on that side are free to socialize with avowed/open homosexuals…you really should leave our children alone and pursue your agenda where it is welcome (there are plenty of venues where you can let your boys associate with practicing homosexuals).

        • Eric A and Steve,

          It is interesting to note that you are able to mud sling, provide a personal attack, attack my faith, attack my character all behind the guise of anonymity. I provided no “defamatory and deceitful attack”.

          I do believe that your “witch hunt” for what you perceived to be “hurtful” information about me is more damaging to yourselves.

          MT Momma,
          If you are still around and reading, I am going to follow in your footsteps. I did not engage either of these individuals in conversation and I will not respond to their posts in the future.

          Karen Zeller,

          I appreciate and identify with your posts. I also believe that lifting the ban is the best for my boys. My eldest has mentioned to me more than once that he would like the ban lifted because he knows several boys that are gay in Scouting and he does not want them to be kicked out. My youngest is also concerned that keeping the ban is hurtful to those boys that joined Scouting before they understood that they are not welcomed by National.

        • Deanna L. Druyor-Wetzel, Your post begs the question; ‘how were your children introduced to sexual habits at such a young age?’ it seems one is Cub scout age and and already have been through sex education at home or at school. It is your right to raise your kids as you wish but have you educated them on what it means to be a male homosexual and what dangers may await them by befriending someone who is sexually attracted to them? bobby won’t always just want to share the sandbox. For your older son, the same warning applies. My daughter knows many kids who profess homosexuality in High school but when pressed just seemed confused about their sexual identity. We taught our kids to take all fads and cultural rebellion with a grain of salt. They accept them as they are but not everything they do just like any friend. Your words suggest that you have taught your children that being an open avowed homosexual is just like having blond hair and treating anyone who believes different as insensitive and intolerant. I think that is the belief that offends several posters here, so “offense’ goes both ways. if I am wrong, please correct me.

          as far as personal knowledge about you being posted here, i am sure you are proud of what is on your facebook page and you want the world to know or you have limited its viewing. The views expressed offended the poster. You suffer no damage by telling the truth of where you stand. it is who you are as a person. That is fine and no nobody says you cannot hold those beliefs or try to limit your views in any way. He correctly pointed out that you have a social agenda you proudly express in a public way. Is that not true?

          i have an agenda also and supporting the existing policy of Boy Scouts of America is part of that agenda. i am proud of my agenda and the current Boy Scout Policy.

        • All I said to you Deanna is that I find it ironic that you don’t see your own bigotry and you call that mud slinging?

        • Deanna L. Druyor – Wetzel:
          I guess that means that you continue in your determined pursuit to defy the “bigots” who simply want to protect their young boys in the Boy Scouts. Your agenda must prevail, and to heck with millions of parents immensely concerned for their boys’ physical and spiritual safety. Sincere concern for sons’ safety should always trump others’ social agenda.

          As you have indicated you are taking leave of the discussion, I’ll leave you with a few irrefutable New Testament verses indicating the clarity of God’s will regarding unrepentant homosexuality. God commands, we obey. If that does not fit our social agenda, then we are the problem, not He. Or maybe He is just another “bigot”, right?

          Romans 1:27 “And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.”

          1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.”

          1 Timothy 1:9-10 “Knowing this, that the law is not made for the just man, but for the unjust and disobedient, for the ungodly, and for sinners, for the wicked and defiled, for murderers of fathers, and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for them who defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and whatever other thing is contrary to sound doctrine”

        • Fred,
          My post does not beg a question. Your question is inappropriate. What I discuss with my children and when is up to their father and myself. Warnings? What it means to be a male homosexual? The dangers that may await them by befriending someone who is sexually attracted to them? SMH
          My children have been raised in a family that is quite diverse. They have cousins that are bi racial because their parents are from two different races, they have cousins that are gay, they have cousins that are lesbian, they have family members that are divorced, they have family members that have been married multiple times, they have cousins that have half siblings because their parents have had children with more than one woman or man, they have cousins that are adopted, they have cousins that are recovering drug addicts, they have grandparents that are recovering alcoholics. That is life for them. They have many experiences with many people and they are should get to know the person before they pass judgment on them. They know that cousin Jay dates men. They know that cousin Sue likes to date Asian men. They know that cousin Tom married Jen who is African American. They know that cousins Chuck and Amy love each other and got married and adopted kids from three different countries.

        • I have no problem with your family. It’s ABC’s “new kind of family” and family is very important. Let me say clearly that I have no problem with a diverse family. Might surprise you that mine has all that yours has but not in the immediate brother/sister family. Their choice. We’re very open and discuss it frankly as family.

          That is different from a Scouting family with strangers or worse acquaintances that are attracted to young boys. Molestation occurs by someone a child or young man knows in some way rather than a complete stranger. You are welcome to expose your kids to that environment but I am not. Many many other Scouters and parents do not want to add “sexually-attracted adult” to the concerns of sending their sons camping. I know I do not want to be a Scoutmaster who has to keep an eye open for a homosexual adult in Camp who has been friendly with a boy over the age of consent all day.

          You miss the point entirely. You take the side of the homosexual over all other concerns. I see it as the greatest concern of all.

        • I did not miss the point. I will not agree with the worse case scenario world that seems to be rampant with so many people.

          To be clear Fred, there are no restrictions on a gay parent accompanying their child to camp and staying for the duration. There is only a restriction on homosexuals becoming leaders or once outed retaining their position or youth retaining their membership once outed.

        • Sorry if I was not clear. I meant leader because that is what primarily accompanies our Troop on Campouts. The parents in my Troop understand that a Troop of Boys need to build camaradrrie as a Unit and by and large only one or two accompany the Troop on Campouts. Honestly, I would wonder why a homosexual parent would want to go. He could not engage in activities with his son since adults observe and support and do not participate. In Cub Socuts, I would still not be comfortable but I would follow Scouting Policy as we ask that you do.

  12. There have been a lot of arguments both for and against the change in policy. Many have based there arguments on religion-either my religion says homosexuality is wrong and therefore the BSA policy should agree or my religion says homosexuality is OK and therefore if the BSA doesn’t change the policy it will force me to go against my religion if I remain.

    The argument should be based primarily on whether or not homosexuality is contrary to the mission of the BSA and inconsistent with the values of Scouting, including the Scout Oath and Law. Even if the majority of religions that approve homosexuality are either new or changed their beliefs, this probably won’t be enough of a reason to keep the policy if the BSA is to be considered nonsectarian.

    Secondarily, whether or not it is right, the decision will likely be based on what the BSA views is best for its future. If changing the policy will cause a huge reduction in membership, they would likely keep it. If keeping the policy will cause huge losses in donations, they would likely change it. If both were likely to happen, they would probably have to evaluate which choice will have the bigger impact.

    I don’t believe excluding homosexuals would be deemed discrimination whether it’s a national or an institutional decision. Either way, the entity has the right to say homosexuality is incompatible with its program in the same manner any organization can create membership standards and requirements.

    I believe that homosexuality is incompatible with Scouting for the following reason. Biologically, the primary purpose of sexuality is for the purpose of procreation. A sexual act between a man and woman almost always has at least a potential for procreation. Every form of birth control has a failure rate, infertile couples have been known to conceive without ART. Thus any couple participating in such an act, even if they are concerned about their own pleasure, is involved in a life giving and creative action. The same cannot be said of a sexual act between a same gender couple. They are perverting a process of life creation and giving into a purely selfish, pleasure seeking action then proclaim to the rest of the world that what they are doing is no different from that which the rest of the world does.

    Though the BSA doesn’t infiltrate its members private lives looking for imperfections, and rightly so for just about everyone has issues that they struggle with, someone who publicly proclaims that he or she has taken one of the most giving and creative acts in the world and rigged it in a way that it has lost all of its redeeming potential to suit his or her pleasure should have no part in an organization whose mission is to help youth make ethical decisions and to be helpful, kind, and clean.

    Also, I don’t see how an open or avowed homosexual will be able to keep sexuality out of Scouting. If he or she is proclaiming a sexual preference to the world and defining his or herself by this preference, the subject follows wherever he or she may go.

    • SM/CM, I appreciate your well-thought out comments. I do differ with your views on a couple of points, however. Certainly procreation is one of the main biological purposes of sexual relations, but it is not the only one. It also plays a very important role in relationship bonding. This is true regardless of the gender of those involved. It is also true for ‘grey marriage’ where procreation is not a possibility sans a Biblical-level miracle. Or when a woman has had her ovaries or uterus removed for medical reasons or any number of other situations where procreation is simply not possible.

      As for the mission of the BSA, here is what our congressional charter says about our purpose: “The purposes of the corporation are to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods that were in common use by boy scouts on June 15, 1916.” I don’t see that homosexuality is incompatible with that purpose.

      The ‘open and avowed’ argument has been rehashed numerous times in these comments. I am an ‘open and avowed’ heterosexual. By marrying my husband, I proclaimed my sexual preference to the world. It does not define who I am and it doesn’t inject sexuality into Scouting.

      • How can you not see that homosexuals making it our business does inject sexuality into Scouting. To make the point, simply insert “bestiality” (or one of the other sexual deviancies) for “homosexuality”. Hetersexuality is the norm…it’s what people naturally assume; therefore, nothing needs to be said. If someone feels compelled to tell us that they have a deviant sexual inclination, then they are by definition inserting sexuality into Scouting. It would be exactly the same as if a 17- or 18-year old young man or an older man told our young boys that he is sexually-inclined towards animals. We know that this exists, but we certainly do not want this forced upon our boys as “normal”, and we do not want to be told that it equates to what we know is the natural, condoned heterosexual act. If some such pervert is involved in Scouting, he had better keep quiet about it (“Don’t ask, don’t tell”). Our human sensibilities naturally repel at the thought of the male-on-male sexual act: it is disgusting to even imagine, and it is extremely offensive that you want us to offer our young boys up to your social experimentation that seeks to desensitize the sensibilities of our boys to their natural aversion.

  13. I’m not sure that many people are still listening to this conversation. But for those who are — perhaps a way we could all help each other at this point is to think & talk about how we will help our units retain and build membership after the vote. We don’t even know what the resolution will say yet, exactly. I don’t think we can accurately predict the outcome. But we can be prepared to help our units survive if the vote does not go the way we individually might hope. And if it does go the way we individually hope, we can be prepared to help our districts retain as many units as possible and full membership in those units. What strategies are you each following to make sure that your units and districts survive?

    • For our Chartered Organization, an acceptance of open avowed homosexual youth and adults would mean open acceptance of unrepentant Sin and they nor I would expose the children and young men in our charge to such an environment. Boy Scouts is one of many programs my CO uses to reach children and Youth. Children and Youth Ministry, Royal Ambassadors, Challengers and AWANA are others. I could not support Boy Scouts if they are pressured into such decision over money and secular humanist ideals of organizations who would pressure them to accept such sexual behavior. It would represent capitulation to popular culture in our opinion. We have already had this discussion. The ideals and principles we respect in Scouting surpass the Program and are much more important. If BSA capitulates, the shell of the organization supported by homosexual activists and their supporters would play “dress-up” day in Scout Uniforms until a new fad came along and the organization collapses. Appeasing a minority and ignoring the principled beliefs of the whole does not bode well if Boy Scouts chooses that course. We respectfully disagree on the fundamental principles of the current membership policy and that is free speech in America. As important as Scouting is, there are principles far more important than Scouting. We are not a Social Program or a Club. We are, at present, a principled organization whose membership policy excludes those who are incompatible with the Scout Oath and Law. Our Belief. I know yours is different.

      • I didn’t come back to argue, Fred, really I didn’t. I came to ask what we might all do to retain members and strengthen districts. On a unit level, for example, if the policy does not change, I expect I would just communicate to anyone who asks that the policy has not changed, and that if there are particular concerns, parents should talk to me to see if their concerns can be resolved. I would avoid large group discussions, to try to avoid polarization (since our unit is not experiencing conflict around the issue at this time).

        If the policy does change, I expect that in this area, the problems will be more at the district/council level than at our unit — although I could be wrong about that. I am thinking that a greater commitment to unit commissioners and to training will be really critical this June through December. Personally, I will try to plan phone calls to units to set up more leader-specific training & troop committee challenge training over the summer because I think these are good tools to help units work through conflict. I think we’ll want to do some phone calls before summer camp to make sure that those who are signed up come to camp. I would also try to strongly promote every unit in our district coming to our Fall Rendezvous, before recharter. The more that leaders and parents have a chance to talk with each other and see the degree to which things change — or don’t — the better, I think.

        • I was not arguing. Merely stating the fact that we will not be part of Scouting anymore.and why. We will focus o our other programs. There are leaders in two of the major denominations developing alternate programs and one of them is ours. That is my only comment.

        • Perhaps there are others in the conversation who are making plans to strengthen Scouting at the unit and district level, Fred. I would hope others might have some ideas about ways to do that.

        • Fred, would that be Royal Rangers? I’m wondering if their pursuit of the Congressional Charter (which was awarded) was prescient or just coincidental? It was interesting to me to read the statement on their front page. What they *need* to do, if National sells out, is to develop a way for boys who have rank to transfer rather than having to start all over. I don’t see many Star or Life Scouts leaving unless they can have a similar Ranger rank.

          I love BSA. My family and I have put in literally thousands of hours into building it. Financially, I don’t even want to think about what we could’ve bought with the money we’ve given and invested in BSA. But we would be hypocrites to stay if they call homosexual behavior “normal”.

        • KS & Fred, if you are considering joining Royal Rangers, you will want to make sure you are in full accord with the Sixteen Fundamental Truths, which are integrated into the Royal Rangers program explicitly. I would think that #8 & 10 in particular might be problematic for a Southern Baptist church to sign on with, and I would wonder if you expected the Royal Rangers to give up some of their fundamental truths in order to increase their numbers by letting in those who do not actually agree with them. That isn’t what you want from Royal Rangers or from Southern Baptists?

        • Why would I join Royal Rangers? If I leave Scouting for another organization that trains up boys to be Christ-Centered, mission-minded young men there will be no ambiguity such as opened an opportunity for open and avowed homosexual activists and their supporters to compromise the peinciples of Scouting. I know very little of Royal Rangers and express no opinion other than what I have heard has all been positive. I do not foresee being involved with them as they are not here locally. If the CO and parents vote to surrender the Charter I will continue with Royal Ambassadors. This is their pledge:

          As a Royal Ambassdor
          I will do my best
          To become a well-informed responsible follower of Christ
          To have a Christ-like concern for all people
          To learn how to carry the message of Christ aorund the world
          To work with others in sharing Christ
          and to keep myself clean and healthy in mind and body.

          I’ve been in Royal Ambassadors for 14 years and served as Director for my Church. The Campcraft Manual is pretty much Boy Scout compatible for the Outdoors and would suffice with no changes to move boys right into it. Some groups are are ran well and some are not just like Scouts. There is a less formal uniform or vest and it makes mission-minded young men who are crystal clear on the meaning of “clean and healthy in mind and body.”

        • Karen, I haven’t read their charter as we have no plans at this point to join. But, yes, I would certainly read it before joining, to make certain I agreed. Or we would join elsewhere. To join them, if we disagreed with their core tenets, would be to become hypocrites, wouldn’t it?

      • I agree, there is much more to lose than there is to gain by capitulating to the pop culture demands and changing the BSA membership requirements.

        Changing the entrance requirements to permit openly avowed homosexuals in as either members or leaders, IMO will not result in a massive influx of new members or dollars to BSA. You do not hear that that there are mass number of boys who are refusing to join because of the membership requirements.

        On the other hand, chaining the requirements may cause the loss of as much as 50% of the currently membership of BSA.

        I am sorry, I do not see a positive upside tho changing the requirements other than a few people will have some warm feelings. As it has been shown where Boy Scouts have changed the policies in other countries to accept homosexuals, membership has declined seriously. If you are truly in this for the youth, that fact alone would be reason enough to keep the policy the same.

        • Sorry, Karen, you opened the topic on this thread so I would think it would be fair game. Those who disagree will not quietly go away when they are Scouters on a Scouting Board.

          J Schultz SM said it exactly correctly. This is a defining moment in the life of Boy Scouting. American Society and Communities have changed. To accommodate the expanding acceptance of alternative lifestyles especially when mandated by the government, all sorts of behavior are now deemed acceptable by those in power in political offices and activist organizations and yes, in some mainstream religions. That is a fact. One point to make is that Conservative Faith-based Organizations have been the growth of the Program. As I have said over and over, Scouting is not for everyone. One decision pushes Christians away, one pushes secular humanists away. Scouting will survive without one or the other.

        • Sorry, Fred, I don’t get what you mean. I don’t think I said anything wasn’t fair game. But since it looks like no one here wants to discuss how to strengthen units and districts, I’ll go away again. Take care of yourselves.

    • Fred and I actually agree on something. If the wrong decision is made, I will no longer be able to support the BSA.

      Our unit is chartered by a community center which serves a diverse community. Due to the front-page manner in which this issue is being played out and our local council’s insistance that each CO tell them their decision under each possible outcome, our board of directors has already met and decided that if the membership policy is not changed, they will not renew our charter. We have already spoken with our local county extension office about bringing in 4-H as a replacement youth program. I will continue to work with the CO in whatever youth program they choose.

      I also agree with Fred that “appeasing a minority and ignoring the principled beliefs of the whole does not bode well if Boy Scouts choose that course.” But I suspect we will disagree on which groups are “minorities.”

      The BSA has been in a tailspin for a while with membership down 25-30% in the last 15 years. Over the last 5 years, faith-based sponsorship of units has grow from 62% to 70%. During these changes, the organization has moved to the political right (notice the Boy Scouts lining the stage when Sarah Palin was introduced as VP candidate?). The further right, the more welcome they are in conservative churches, and the less welcome they are in a center-right (or center-left; take your pick) faith-based and non-faith-based organizations.

      Unfortunately, the religious right represents a finite and decreasing maket for the program. The LDS Church represents 30+% of all units and 22+% of members, but, they enroll every age-eligible male and so there is zero room for growth. Other religions are showing declining membership so as the population gets larger, the pool of eligible youth gets smaller.

      Make no mistake, people will leave and units will fold no matter what the final decision, but if the program is to survive, it has to reverse its rapid decline and show that it has relevence beyond a select few. Changing the membership policy is a first and critical step in expanding the reach of the program.

      • I think it was regrettable, Scoutmaster, that your council asked COs to make such commitments in anticipation, rather than in the aftermath. Working with hypotheticals encourages people to take rigid positions, and then to have difficulty seeing alternate paths. I expect we may lose a few units in our district one way or the other; but regardless of the decision, I hope to be able to keep all or nearly all of them. We will certainly work to do that.

      • So, Schultz, let me get this straight. Your organization chartered with the Boy Scouts, proclaiming that they accepted the tenets of membership, but now will leave if those tenets are not changed? Unbelievable… (not that they would leave, but the dishonesty in chartering in the first place.)

        Your organization might be better served through Spiral Scouts or Boys & Girls Clubs of America. 4-H is far more socially conservative than their literature might indicated.

        I do agree with you on one point, though — BSA made a huge error in even asking the question. It loses members no matter what. The decision they will have to make is whether they want to lose those who agree with the core values they set, or whether they want to lose those who desire to change the organization into something more tolerant. They lose numbers, regardless.

        • KS, the Charter Agreement states that the CO will “Conduct the Scouting program according to its own policies and guidelines as well as those of the Boy Scouts of America.” It does not say, nor imply, that the BSA’s policies supercede the CO’s policies. There is no mention of a reconciliation process should there be a conflict.

          The council then agrees to “Respect the aims and objectives of the organization and offer the resources of Scouting to help in meeting those objectives.”

          This is a straightforward argument – in the absence of a primacy or reconciliation clause, the CO’s are asking that the BSA honor its side of the agreement and respect the aims and objectives of the CO.

          You are correct that BSA Legal does not mention sexual orientation as a core value. The reason doesn’t matter. Searching Scouting.org for “homosexual” returns no results. The fact that it’s not publicly accessible neutralizes the argument that CO’s “knew” and are therefore hypocritical. The definition of “moral” is specifically reserved to the boy, his parents and his religious institution by the Declaration of Religious Principles. Our CO, in good faith, signed their Charter based on the enumerated and published core values of the BSA. The charge of ” hypocrisy” is warrantless and unnecessarily inflammatory.

        • Umm u may want to go back to scouting . Org there i a link at top of the page that has the membership policy right there nice and publicly acessable , how’s that shoe taste.

        • Derek, I hope your rudeness in these comments is not indicative of your normal behavior. It isn’t very Scoutlike and I have a hard time believing it is in keeping with the principles you find in your church teachings.

          It is true that scouting.org has recently (since sometime after the decision to postpone the membership decision to the May meeting) updated their website to place links to the current policy on the front page, although you do have to click through a few links to actually get to the policy. Prior to that time, it has not been readily accessible on the website. Scoutmaster Schultz’s comments about the agreement between the CO and the BSA are still valid.

        • No he said it is not there , even currently, when I clearly is.

          Anyone can find the BSA policy on anything and they have many, their published in multiple places , it is the individual’s responsibility to make themselves familiar with them. Just as with any other organization.

          I can see from your other posts here , that the norm for u , is when u run out of things to twist , and u dont win the debate you resort to name calling and finger pointing, the simple fact is if u don’t like the policy why are u here,clearly u dont agree with it, do u generally join groups , that u don’t agree with morally.

        • No, what I SAID was a SEARCH or Scouting.org returned no results. Twisting other people’s words in an attempt to make them look wrong does not make you right.

          To say all BSA policies are publicly accessible is not true. I know this for a fact because I have had to refer questions to my Council and was told that the policy I was looking for was NOT publicly available. The BSA is a business and like all business, they carefully control the public message and image.

          Regardless of where and how often the policy is or is not publicly available, to argue that people who do not agree with the policy and seek to change it from the inside have somehow committed a deception is disrespectful. These are people who want the best for their son and others. The fact that we disagree on this issue does not diminish their commitment to the goals of the organization – it simply means we disagree on who has the right and responsibility to define morality. Personally, I agree with the BSA stated policy that it should be the boy, his parents and his religious organization. I disagree with the BSA when they say it should be the leaders of religious organizations in other states that I do not belong to.

        • No, what I SAID was a SEARCH or Scouting.org returned no results. Twisting other people’s words in an attempt to make them look wrong does not make you right.

          ———————————————————————————————-
          lol , u made that statement in an attempt to imply , that since it wasnt there the bsa forced it on your co , wich is a complete lie .your the one trieng to twist things to make it look as if your co was wronged and tricked by the bsa ,,, u either need to go back and read your post , or take a reading comprehention class .

          and ive also read that membership policy before this whole thing on membership standards came about , was around 2008-2009 . and i cetainly knew about the bsa vs dale case when that happened

        • Before my son joined in 1996, I asked the very specific question as to whether homosexual behavior or homosexuals had any involvement in Scouting or was acceptable in any way and was told by the Council Executive that Homosexuals and homosexuality was incompatible with the Principles and Ideals of Scouting and have been told the same thing every time I have asked.

        • That is disturbing and brings to mind the comment one conservative commentator made about anti-gay crusader, ordained Southern Baptist minister and co-founder of the Family Research Center (identified a hate group by SPLC) George Rekers after being caught hiring a male prostitute from Rent Boy – heterosexual men don’t spend that much time thinking about gay sex.

          Throughout this thread, there is an underlying current of primal fear. Fear that one’s faith is not strong enough once some dude says “Hey, baby!” Fear that our children are so easily swayed that they must never be exposed to the “other”. (Hint – McDonalds spends a LOT more time and money to hook your kids and in the end, will kill them. Watch the movie “Supersize Me”)

          Fear that women and minorities have already infiltrated you sacred realm of white, masculine Scouting, but at least you can identify them from across the room. If MT_Momma had posted as “MT_Dude”, I doubt that the name calling and wild misconstruing of everything she says would have happened. I say the same things and don’t get jumped nearly as bad.

          Fear that American Exceptionalism will fail and God will turn his back on this country for following our LIBERAL roots begun by the founding fathers. Meanwhile, corporations are declared “people” and worshiped as gods. The phrase “Greed is good” becomes the manta of conservatives and religion has become a for-profit business.

          The truth is, this whole issue is trivial in the scheme of things. Hopefully, BSA National will realize that the culture wars are effectively over and have been lost by the religious right. Your numbers are dwindling and there is no reason to believe that’s going to change any time soon. Every time you engage in faux outrage, you lose a little more.

          The BSA is already the gayest youth organization out there.

          Go ahead with indignant responses. I’ve already unsubscribed to this thread and will not return. It is more damning to one’s soul to associate with vile hatred than to associate with someone who loves another. My soul has been blackened enough. I only pray that everyone was honest in saying what they will do in May so that I can feel comfortable knowing that one way or another, I’m no longer enabling people such as have been represented here.

        • Well, I guess his honest opinion finally came out. We could have saved a lot of time if he had said this to begin with.

          This is a defining moment in Scouting. It will cause loss of membership either way. I have been surprised a how many Scouters feel Boy Scouts should easily accept open avowed homosexual Youth and leaders. I have also been surprised at those that say their Churches support open and avowed homosexual youth and adults in Church. Our Church accepts all repentant sinners, we would never encourage them to live that sinful life openly. Speaking only for myself and my faith. My position on the current membership policy has always been a moral one. A Scout cannot “Clean” or “morally straight and be a Boy Scout.

          He made several accusations against several posters including me that are untrue. Here is the truth so that another poster does not smear me to strengthen his argument.

          It was a wide-ranging attack against Southern Baptists in general. He also attacked American Family Association and a fallen leader. I am not a member of AFA but they do some good work. I would encourage anyone to research Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and you will soon discover they primarily label conservative and traditional family groups as “hate groups” and associate them with far-right groups who are bad people. The far-left is fine with them such as Bill Ayers, a self-admitted home-grown terrorist and murderer.

          The old “you’re just afraid” attack is next. I have said before I have extended family members who are gay. I love them and do not judge them. We disagree and they live their life the way the want. They do not want kids and that is their choice. My wife and I raised our kids to eat the right portions of food. Yeah, when they were little, they loved Happy Meals. They’re adults now and do not eat McD at all. My Son and daughter strengthened their cooking skills in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts years ago.

          I must also be afraid minorities and women. Had to inject that in there and check off that box. Funny since I live in the South and my pastor is black and I am not. Worked and continue to work with many women and minorities in Scouting and still do. Don’t know where that attack came from. I did say that the experience in my Troop has been that a lot of single mothers want their sons to have a positive male role model in Scouting. That is a true statement and I have seen it over and over. Doesn’t denigrate the women in Scouting, just states my experience.

          J Schultz SM said: “Fear that American Exceptionalism will fail and God will turn his back on this country for following our LIBERAL roots begun by the founding fathers. Meanwhile, corporations are declared “people” and worshiped as gods. The phrase “Greed is good” becomes the manta of conservatives and religion has become a for-profit business.” I have no idea what he is talking about here but disagree with every word of it..

          J Schultz SM said: “The truth is, this whole issue is trivial in the scheme of things. Hopefully, BSA National will realize that the culture wars are effectively over and have been lost by the religious right. Your numbers are dwindling and there is no reason to believe that’s going to change any time soon. Every time you engage in faux outrage, you lose a little more.” He already knows what is going to happen because his liberal support group told him.

          J Schultz SM said: “The BSA is already the gayest youth organization out there.” I have had no doubt where Mr. Schultz loyalties lie for a long time. Doesn’t matter whether he is or he isn’t, he has submitted himself to their beliefs and objectives as he has stated so many times on this list.

          Finally, he takes his toys and goes home and flames everybody who disagreed with him and labels us evil enablers. My skin is tough. My belief in the current policy of Boy Scouts of America is strong and I will continue to defend it. I am sorry he takes offense at that. It was a strident discussion.

        • J Schultz: Wow, not even a pretense of stringing together come coherent arguments anymore. What your last post devolved into was a simple rant — unworthy of a response, as it was not meant to persuade or enlighten; rather, to call names, gather one’s toys, and go home.

        • No, I made the original post to dispute KS’s assertion that my CO was dishonest in signing a Charter Agreement. If there is any dishonesty in the Charter Agreement it rests with the BSA which agrees to “respect the aims and objectives” of the CO while never establishing that THEIR opinions trump the CO’ opinions every time.

          In BSA v Dale, the Supreme Court also found that not every member of an organization has to agree with every policy of that organization. Therefore, those who advocate for a change have a Supreme Court decision supporting their right to be there!

          You have a lot of fun harassing and putting down other people. Attempting to bully, shame and ridicule those who don’t agree with you is juvenile. My recommendation is that you need MORE Scouting. The same goes for lost, troubled, and yes, even homosexual boys. If people want to complain about the downfall of society, why would you try so hard to limit participation in a group that we all believe produces better citizens? It’s counter-productive.

        • J Schultz SM said: “If there is any dishonesty in the Charter Agreement it rests with the BSA which agrees to “respect the aims and objectives” of the CO while never establishing that THEIR opinions trump the CO’ opinions every time.”

          Who in their work or association believes they are not subject to the beliefs of the Organization they join. Your CO knew exactly what they doing or attempting to do or just weren’t very smart or just careless. I’ve known many like that.

          J Schultz SM said: “My recommendation is that you need MORE Scouting. The same goes for lost, troubled, and yes, even homosexual boys. If people want to complain about the downfall of society, why would you try so hard to limit participation in a group that we all believe produces better citizens? It’s counter-productive.”

          Simply out, Scouting is not for everyone and the lower you set standards to gain membership, the lower the quality of the Leaders you produce. Scouting is not a Social Program and starts with quality young men who are more than likely not “troubled” or “lost” and not “homosexual.” No organization can reach every youth and serve their specific needs. Parents wanting a exemplary male influence for their son and especially single mothers, seek out Scouting for a safe environment to support their son to grow into a man in Scouting and represent the best traditional principles and Ideals Scouting can offer. Open avowed Homosexual adults and youth are counter-productive to that objective.

        • Yeah. What MT Momma said.

          The link at the top of the page and everything behind that link was added after the decision to postpone in February. AFTER we signed a Charter Agreement.

          The Bible has a lot more to say about fortune tellers, psychics and witchcraft than it does about homosexuals. We try to stay away from these when renewing.

          http://www.openbible.info/topics/fortune_tellers_and_psychics
          http://www.openbible.info/topics/witchcraft

          BTW, arrogance is pretty highly condemned too.

          http://www.openbible.info/topics/arrogance

    • Many can’t survive it should National sell out. “Hey, the National organization says that the sin of homosexual behavior is a normal one, but we’ll just insulate ourselves and pretend they didn’t.” Not going to happen. Ours will simply not recharter, hurrying the boys who are near Eagle to finish before the charter expires. They will likely roll into their own program, or an alternative whose executives are not influenced by the need to maintain their well-paid salaries and pensions.

    • Karen,

      At this point the Troop that my sons belong to have not had any discussions on this matter. My youngest son did inquire about the topic and was roundly hushed and I was spoken to as well to explain that he is not to talk about the topic.

      The Pastor of my church has offered to charter a Troop and a Pack if the ban is lifted. It was made clear that if the Troop that my sons belong to needed to switch CO the church would be happy to accept the responsiblity.

      Without the opportunity to discuss the issue with the troop and the current CO I have no real ideas to share.

      On the other hand the Pack that I am a Committee Member with has had a discussion and will make it clear to the CO that we will be willing to accept homosexuals as leaders (we won’t be interviewing the kids on their orientation). Seeing that the CO is a grade school I would assume that decision will be acceptable to the principal.

      How will the leaders of the Pack work to maintain our unit? I think it will be business as usual. Will we actively seek out homosexual leaders? Probably not. Will we be asking those adults that apply for a leadership role if they are homosexual? Probably not. Will we advertise that the Pack welcomes open homosexuals? I don’t know. I think there will be an addition to our bylaws that we will make available to all families that are interested in joining the Pack that would explain the stance of the Pack on homosexuality.

      • what will you do if the current policy is upheld? will you stand by your principles and surrender your Charter or the selfish thing and continue to attack those who support the current policy? i don’t care what you do with your kids and parents as long as you abide by the current policy if it is affirmed.

  14. Non-sectarian in general means: not limited to, not restricted by, and/or not associated with a particular religious denomination or group.

    In BSA, non-sectarian means not associated with any particular denomination or group. Our “tent is broad” would be one way to phrase it. But, we do have a “tent.” While we are non-sectarian, we are also religious, ethical and moral in nature. That is a core value. To argue that BSA does not have (or should not have) a clearly marked and restricted religious, ethical and moral position is simply false.

    If someone says that BSA is “absolutely non-sectarian” – period, stop, case closed, end of story; I would say, at best, they are not giving you the full picture or, at worst, they are cherry picking a phrase to try and cut off a deeper examination. The Declaration of Religious Principle should be read in its entirety.

    The BSA is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward religious training within our religious context as clearly described in the Declaration. If one’s religion or lack thereof opposes the first parts of the Declaration, then one is on the outside before you even get to the “non-sectarian” part.

    The Declaration does not mean that BSA approves or agrees with all the principles of all the religious groups in its membership. Likewise, the Declaration does not mean that all the religious groups must approve or agree with all the principles of BSA. There should be and needs to be a high degree of compatibility and understanding between the BSA and the CO. It is incumbent on the CO to uphold Scout ethics. There are bars that should not be crossed in both directions and both are free to withdraw from the voluntary association.

    Not only does the Declaration not preclude BSA itself from having a clear, religious, ethical and moral framework, it demands that we do. It’s just not tied to a specific denomination or group. The idea that BSA is, has been, or should be neutral and/or silent on membership qualities, including sexual morality, is both new and entirely foreign to the core principles of BSA.

    This issue is bigger than the homosexual behavior issue. Homosexual behavior is just a catalyst. The real issue is this: Does Scouting (in our case, the BSA) have its own particular claim to serve a transcendent power (ethics) and stand for an enduring moral order?

    I fully understand the good intentions of many who want the policy dropped, but I will continue to ring the warning bell. Make no mistake, “local option” will once and forever end the claim that BSA has to a specific scout ethic.

    We, the BSA, make other claims as well according to our Scout ethic, for example: “The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God.” “Local option” will, probably sooner than later, put an end to that as a Scout ethic as well.

    We will not survive as a house divided. We’ll limp along as a “knot tying” “fire building” “leadership” organization, but our stated mission will be over.

    I am optimistic that we will not jump off this cliff and I am doing everything I can to prevent it and encouraging others as well.

    • jweaksnc, you are correct that “absolutely nonsectarian” is not the whole story and I agree with much of what you have to say. I think you will see that I have never tried to state that we are not a faith-based organization. As you say, “our tent is broad” although you will find that it is not as broad as it was when the BSA was founded. We have increasingly become more religious and more conservative, as shown in the percentage of chartering organizations which are faith-based and in the percentage of those which are conservative denominations.

      For the benefit of those who have not read the Declaration of Religious Principle, here it is: “Section 1. Declaration of Religious Principle, clause 1. The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.” The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members. No matter what the religious faith of the members may be, this fundamental need of good citizenship should be kept before them. The Boy Scouts of America, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.” I believe that the next section is also relevant to the membership discussion: “Section 1. Activities, clause 2. The activities of the members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be carried on under conditions which show respect to the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion, as required by the twelfth point of the Scout Law, reading, “Reverent. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.””

      I do recognize an obligation to God. I participate fully in my church, including teaching Sunday school and taking other leadership roles. I follow the teachings of my church. But the BSA is telling me that isn’t good enough for them. They know what is “morally straight” better than my church does. How is that “absolutely nonsectarian”? How is it respectful of my faith and my beliefs?

      I would appreciate it if you would explain your statement that, “This issue is bigger than the homosexual behavior issue. Homosexual behavior is just a catalyst. The real issue is this: Does Scouting (in our case, the BSA) have its own particular claim to serve a transcendent power (ethics) and stand for an enduring moral order?” I don’t know what you mean by this and I would like to understand your position.

      You may be right that a change in membership policy will mean “our [currently] stated mission [The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.] will be over” but I hope that is not the case. If it is, I would hope that it brings us back closer to our original purpose, as stated in our federal charter: “The purposes of the corporation are to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods that were in common use by boy scouts on June 15, 1916.”

      • Would you mind identifying just your denomination to the Group? I have no further post. I would really like to know what Church accepts the beliefs that you do. I don’t want to say anything about it, just want to know it exists.

        I’m Southern Baptist. We accept everyone who repents but get beat up by modern culture anyway.

        • I have read that site before. Thanks. Didn’t read anyone to the extent of MT_Momma except UU which as far as I can tell do not treat the Bible as the truth of the one and only God to Christians. But, its not about theology to me although my theology defines my position. Its about immorality and an homosexuality acceptance policy fails for both standards and also for current Scouting Policy.

        • Well, UU is not on that table, as it is specifically a table of Christian denominations. There are at least fifteen Christian denominations listed that ordain noncelibate gay people as pastors. There are eight that either bless civil unions between gay partners or perform same-sex marriages. There are several more which are listed as “varies,” because the positions are not consistent across the whole denomination. Just information.

        • Fred, I don’t see where MT Momma’s personal faith is germane to the issue and would encourage her to keep it private. There are many Christian denominations which are not as heirarchical as the SBC and offer a large amount of autonomy to local churches. In fact, the strength of a denomination’s hierarchy appears at first glance to be a good indicator of where each denomination stands on this issue – strong hierarchy (Catholic, LDS, SBC) are generally opposed. UU would represent the extreme opposite to the point that their status as a “Christian” denomination has already been questioned here. The list Karen referred to should be adequate to establish that Christians have different views.

          Overall, I would agree with everything MT Momma has posted here and based on her posts, I would pretty much guarantee that she and I do not share the same faith.

          The BSA Declaration of Religious Princples states that the determination of what is “moral” is between the boy, his parents and his religious organization. You, and the SBC, are free to implement this requirement in a manner consistent with your chartering organization. We only ask the same consideration for groups who do not follow the same teachings.

        • It was just a question. No offense intended. No follow-up conversation. As the table represents, people are all over the spectrum and I mentioned in a previous post. I have never encountered such a religion. I’ll stand with current policy and as long as folks abide by current Policy, I have never known anyone’s religion unless they told me.

          Just a small note, Much has been made of the limits of the Statement of Religious Principle. I’ve been though Wood Badge as Staff and Student. As long as you are all Christian, You can have a Christian Service. If you are a Christian, you can pray in the name of Jesus Christ in a multi faith setting. Statement of Religious Principle does not mean leave your faith at the door.

        • Fred,
          You have no right to know. It is none of your business nor mine. Stop asking.

        • I asked once and you’re out of line. she took no offense if you bothered to read her post. Wow, tolerance sure is a bit sharp tonight.

        • Exactly, Fred. Deanna L. Druyor – Wetzel: MT_Momma repeatedly used her denomination as an explanation for her position that open/avowed homosexuals should be allowed to participate with our children. She claimed that her denomination was “open” and “inclusive”, thereby implying that ours (Christianity) was not. Nothing was out of order by asking for the name of her denomination/sect.

      • >>>”I have never tried to state that we are not a faith-based organization.”<<>>”As you say, “our tent is broad” although you will find that it is not as broad as it was when the BSA was founded.”<<>>”I do recognize an obligation to God. I participate fully in my church, including teaching Sunday school and taking other leadership roles. I follow the teachings of my church. But the BSA is telling me that isn’t good enough for them. They know what is “morally straight” better than my church does. How is that “absolutely nonsectarian”? How is it respectful of my faith and my beliefs?”<<>>”I would appreciate it if you would explain your statement that, “This issue is bigger than the homosexual behavior issue. Homosexual behavior is just a catalyst. The real issue is this: Does Scouting (in our case, the BSA) have its own particular claim to serve a transcendent power (ethics) and stand for an enduring moral order?” I don’t know what you mean by this and I would like to understand your position.”<<<

        I think what I have written above answers your question, but I'll try to clarify:

        I believe that the issue of homosexual behavior is only part of a bigger problem that is playing out in our culture.

        I believe that the desire to normalize the behavior; to flip it from sinful to not sinful is a symptom of a deeper illness.

        I believe that Scouting has always laid claim to an ethic that comes from God. We cannot say that Scouting itself does not speak on ethical and moral issues. The declaration of religious principles and the "non-sectarian language" has been mis-used to justify the idea that BSA itself cannot speak on these issues. Those who want "local option" want BSA to be "faith-based" and "religious" but not to actually say anything about ethics and morals… leave it to the COs. That is not scouting. That is not the intent of the Federal Charter, not the intent of the Declaration of Religious Principles, not the intent of anything we claim. We have never been that way and we certainly were not founded with that in mind. That would be 180 degrees opposite our mission.

        Even though we are human and not as virtuous as we should be, the BSA has, up to now, managed to hang on to the values of a distinct "Scouting Ethic" that is propagated specifically by Scouting itself as the first mover in cooperation with the chartered organizations. It is BSA that gives the "Charter" to the co-operating organizations not the other way around. The Declaration of Religious Principles, the "non-sectarian" part and the desire to respect the faiths that comprise Scouting exist because we actually believe in the things we say we do. The tactic of turning that around and using it to attack the very set of ethics and morals that brought it about is poor form (I'd like to word that much stronger. It is certainly deserving, but I'll hold my tongue.)

        So… BSA appeals to higher power because it is good and right. That is what I called the "transcendent power." It's where the ethics come from. Because of this BSA claims morals that are informed by this ethic and not informed by the culture or the popular whim of the day. It does so independently from the COs. COs join to propagate kindred values.

        There are differences between BSA and COs that can be reconciled and/or worked around. This is not one of those differences. We cannot be a house divided on this issue.

        I am sorry if this is too "preachy." You asked, and I believe you do want to understand my position, so I'm answering.

        • Wow… I don’t know what happened but the above post is really messed up. Does not include a big part of what I actually wrote. I’ sorry for “double posting” but I’m going to try to get the compete reply pasted here…

          >>>”I have never tried to state that we are not a faith-based organization.”<<>>”As you say, “our tent is broad” although you will find that it is not as broad as it was when the BSA was founded.”<<>>”I do recognize an obligation to God. I participate fully in my church, including teaching Sunday school and taking other leadership roles. I follow the teachings of my church. But the BSA is telling me that isn’t good enough for them. They know what is “morally straight” better than my church does. How is that “absolutely nonsectarian”? How is it respectful of my faith and my beliefs?”<<>>”I would appreciate it if you would explain your statement that, “This issue is bigger than the homosexual behavior issue. Homosexual behavior is just a catalyst. The real issue is this: Does Scouting (in our case, the BSA) have its own particular claim to serve a transcendent power (ethics) and stand for an enduring moral order?” I don’t know what you mean by this and I would like to understand your position.”<<<

          I think what I have written above answers your question, but I'll try to clarify:

          I believe that the issue of homosexual behavior is only part of a bigger problem that is playing out in our culture.

          I believe that the desire to normalize the behavior; to flip it from sinful to not sinful is a symptom of a deeper illness.

          I believe that Scouting has always laid claim to an ethic that comes from God. We cannot say that Scouting itself does not speak on ethical and moral issues. The declaration of religious principles and the "non-sectarian language" has been mis-used to justify the idea that BSA itself cannot speak on these issues. Those who want "local option" want BSA to be "faith-based" and "religious" but not to actually say anything about ethics and morals… leave it to the COs. That is not scouting. That is not the intent of the Federal Charter, not the intent of the Declaration of Religious Principles, not the intent of anything we claim. We have never been that way and we certainly were not founded with that in mind. That would be 180 degrees opposite our mission.

          Even though we are human and not as virtuous as we should be, the BSA has, up to now, managed to hang on to the values of a distinct "Scouting Ethic" that is propagated specifically by Scouting itself as the first mover in cooperation with the chartered organizations. It is BSA that gives the "Charter" to the co-operating organizations not the other way around. The Declaration of Religious Principles, the "non-sectarian" part and the desire to respect the faiths that comprise Scouting exist because we actually believe in the things we say we do. The tactic of turning that around and using it to attack the very set of ethics and morals that brought it about is poor form (I'd like to word that much stronger. It is certainly deserving, but I'll hold my tongue.)

          So… BSA appeals to higher power because it is good and right. That is what I called the "transcendent power." It's where the ethics come from. Because of this BSA claims morals that are informed by this ethic and not informed by the culture or the popular whim of the day. It does so independently from the COs. COs join to propagate kindred values.

          There are differences between BSA and COs that can be reconciled and/or worked around. This is not one of those differences. We cannot be a house divided on this issue.

          I am sorry if this is too "preachy." You asked, and I believe you do want to understand my position, so I'm answering.

  15. I think that those of us remaining on this discussion have thoroughly discussed many of the dividing points over policy and I wonder if we could take this in a slightly different direction. Discussing the theory is one thing and, clearly, we are not going to come to a point of agreement about the definition of “morally straight” and probably not even about what is best for the BSA and the boys in the organization. I would love, however, to take a look at some possible scenarios and get your honest reactions as to how you would handle these if you were the unit leader. (We can assume the current policy.)

    1) A new boy joins your pack. His father does not apply to be a leader but he frequently attends activities with his son and is always willing to lend a hand. Your pack invites all families to come to the annual blue & gold banquet. Your Scout, his siblings, his father, and his other father arrive to attend. What do you do? (Does your response change if your Scout has two mothers instead of two fathers?)

    2) A girl in your Venturing crew goes on a couple of chaste (absolutely no sexual activity) dates with another girl. She does not discuss this with others in the crew or in school. Is she still allowed to be a member of your unit? (Again, does your response change if it is a boy in your troop?) What if someone finds out about it (perhaps the other girl mentions the date to someone) and tells you?

    3) A teenage counselor at Scout camp has an effeminate appearance. He does not say or do anything that would indicate a sexual preference. Around your unit campfire, you hear some of your youth refer to him as “a faggot”. How do you react?

    4) A teenage boy in your unit has a long-standing girlfriend who occasionally attends special events like courts of honor. When she attends the court of honor to award his Life rank, she is obviously pregnant. Is he still eligible to be a member of your unit?

    As an aside – Fred, I do not choose to share which faith group I call home because I don’t think it is relevant, although I will say that it is listed on the chart that Karen referenced. I don’t take offense that you asked.

    • MT Momma,
      1) A new boy joins your pack. His father does not apply to be a leader but he frequently attends activities with his son and is always willing to lend a hand. Your pack invites all families to come to the annual blue & gold banquet. Your Scout, his siblings, his father, and his other father arrive to attend. What do you do? (Does your response change if your Scout has two mothers instead of two fathers?)

      I would approach the family, introduce myself to those I have not yet met, and thank them for being present to support their child.

      2) A girl in your Venturing crew goes on a couple of chaste (absolutely no sexual activity) dates with another girl. She does not discuss this with others in the crew or in school. Is she still allowed to be a member of your unit? (Again, does your response change if it is a boy in your troop?) What if someone finds out about it (perhaps the other girl mentions the date to someone) and tells you?

      My feeling is that it is none of my business if they are conducting themselves at meetings and outings respectfully. If someone suggests that the two are dating I would probably ask that they keep their assumptions private. Besides what constitutes a “date”? My son regularly goes to the movies with a friend. Are they on a “date”? Or are they just hanging out together?

      3) A teenage counselor at Scout camp has an effeminate appearance. He does not say or do anything that would indicate a sexual preference. Around your unit campfire, you hear some of your youth refer to him as “a faggot”. How do you react?

      I would address the need for appropriate “clean” word use and that using such “words” could be construed as bullying. Hopefully, a swear jar is in use witht the Troop and the boy that said such an offensive word would have to add his quarter to the kitty.

      4) A teenage boy in your unit has a long-standing girlfriend who occasionally attends special events like courts of honor. When she attends the court of honor to award his Life rank, she is obviously pregnant. Is he still eligible to be a member of your unit?

      Yes he would be eligible, at least I believe so. Perhaps I will ask at our next committee meeting.

  16. Wouldn’t be a colossal slap in the face to the Supreme Court if the BSA were to reverse themselves and change the membership policy. Think of the millions of dollars that have been spent taking the high ground on this issue. It is mind boggling to think of all the unintended consequences that will result in a change of membership policy. The BSA will look like an organization of buffoons and will loose all credibility. I just hope the folks involved in this decision stay on the high ground. The loss of membership and some charitable funding could not exceed amount spent defending the current membership policy.

    • Karen, what you say is true. I just pray that if the side for homosexual inclusion will respect the decision if it is in fact to retain the current policy. I am still concerned that no one I know has ever heard or been polled by the VOS program. I hear from the local Council Professional almost every day on local matters but no national contact for a Membership survey until the proposed policy blew up in their faces? They found me then..

      There has not been a good track record of folks advocating for homosexual inclusion respecting an opposing position as settled. Actually the opposite. If through activism the policy is ultimately changed, then the door will be shut to opening up the issue again for discussion. I have seen it over and over and It is easily researched.

      I have said this is a defining moment in Scouting. It causes emotional response on both sides. Positions are entrenched and for many principled people on both sides there is no room for compromise. That is where the membership loss will come from. For me, May God grant the decision makers wisdom.

    • Just finished confirming with My Troop registered Volunteers and none received an email Survey from VOS. No long-time Scouters I know received it in S. Carolina, Alabama or Georgia. Another blog in the Northeast I post on had a majority that received it. I was on the phone with National BSA this morning and they said they do have any email addresses of volunteers, they rely on the Council. I called the Council and they had a valid email address. I hear from them all the time. Certainly is strange.

    • I promise this is the last post on this but I am very curious about this VOS not being widely distributed. Someone out there may benefit from our Unit’s search for an explanation.

      I logged into “MyScouting.org” this morning and checked my Profile. The only thing I could see that might have any effect was the box for “email opt-in was unchecked. I clicked on “what’s this” and there was a vague description of agreeing to take part in other mailings but surveys was not mentioned. I certainly could have unchecked it way back in the beginning of Scouting to avoid junk mail but never imagined even today that one action would silence my voice on all national surveys about my experience in Scouting. I am certainly going to ask all of the Scouters who have said they did not receive it to check their profile. Could it be that simple? Would National have been that lazy?

      The email was valid and the same as Council BTW. Also, I received the recent membership survey at the same email address.

      • Fred, some Councils, mine included, are going to vote based on two electronic surveys, the VOS and a local survey. I know I’m beating the same drum over and over, but I’ll say it again…

        Deciding moral policy on the basis of an electronic survey is nuts.

        • jweaksnc: “Deciding moral policy on the basis of an electronic survey is nuts.”

          Exactly. Unless the designer of the survey takes great pains to design it with a lot of foresight, a survey or simple vote will not reveal the intensity of feelings on either side. I believe it is very safe to assume that those of us on the “status quo” side feel much more strongly about maintaining the current policy than the other side feel about their side. As I have said before, for them it’s a social agenda (in their eyes, they want to be fair and compassionate towards what they see as a benign, excluded group); for us, it’s the spiritual and physical safety of our young boys.

        • Amen to that!

          Do you mean they will look to the recent survey results once they are reported back to the Council on both National and local level? I don’t trust the National one. My Council Leadership is basically sitting on their hands.

          You know for me and my Council volunteers, we would not appoint a man or woman who did not have a clear moral compass to the position of Council President or Commissioner or other voting member. We are in the Bible Belt so we’re easy to read and we agree with the current policy of Boy Scouts that is compatible with our CO’s here.

          But ‘moral compass’ is in the eyes of the local community these days and we have seen on this list that many Scouters look to different guiding principles for their children and accept far different behaviors that I and my family could not reconcile with Scouting. That is their right and I will continue to oppose it.

        • “Do you mean they will look to the recent survey results once they are reported back to the Council on both National and local level?”

          Yes, it is my understanding that our voters will consider the survey results and if it strongly leans one way or the other, that is how they will vote. If a clear preference is not found in the surveys, then they will vote their conscience.

          So I’ve been told.

  17. Representative democratic process is the best governance model the world has. When members are committed at the local level to making it work, and when members communicate with their representatives, we can trust that the results will be the best available — and that is what we teach youth about citizenship, too. Civil discussion, commitment to the organization and its process, and creativity in fitting implementation to local circumstances — all will be important, no matter what the language and the fate of the resolution in May are.

    This is also a good time for all of us to review the presentation from our Wood Badge courses on Leading Change. Whatever the resolution is, and whichever way the vote goes, there will be change this summer. The Leading Change presentation gave us six steps to follow to lead that change in a direction that is positive for our units, and it gave several habits of mind that will help us lead change well. Worth another look. If you don’t have your notes from the course, a quick search online will turn up any number of ppt presentations of it.

  18. My understanding is this, the priorities are wrong. BSA is cowering based on money, Where is the moral character in that. What message is that sending our youth, that it is ok to back down because they are targeting our pocketbook.

    Change is a natural progression of items, sometimes done thru force. But, those committee members that are CEO’s on the executive board need to understand, we ARE NOT A MONEY MAKING BUSINESS. We are supposed to be developers of youth to build a better America and world.

    A change to this policy only allows more changes to be forced on us. So what’s next because they won’t be happy with any decision unless it gives them full access to our youth.

    I will not be a part of that. My Moral path will not bend.

    • Joe, I understand that you support the policy, and you should follow your beliefs, of course. If you read carefully this post on Bryan’s blog and the earlier one on the same subject, and the many comments on both posts, I think you will see that this is not, as you have described, a policy change forced from outside based on money. Rather, it is a challenge that arises from among us — from the ethical stands of our chartering organizations, from the moral structures of our families’ churches (which take a variety of positions, not just one), and from the religious and citizenship beliefs of our national and local leadership. Nobody is cowering in fear. We are having a discussion about a matter on which we, members of a family, disagree. It’s a time for prayer, for civil and gentle discussion, for remembering how our governance structure functions and what our nonsectarian position means. BSA is us, and we have a disagreement among us about how to build a better world. We are all, together, struggling to work that out.

      • Karen:
        The fact is that the deeply-felt concerns that millions of parents have for the physical and spiritual safety of their young boys trumps others’ social agenda (even if well-intentioned). Some want to do what they consider to be the tolerant thing and include those who currently identify themselves as homosexual and who wish to make that public to everyone else…others want to protect their children.

        It’s not a difficult proposition.

        • Hello, Eric. I know that this is not a difficult proposition in your home, your church, your unit, your district, probably not even a difficult proposition in your council or state. Listening to the national conversations should show us that it is a difficult proposition for many, many units. Why it is difficult — that has been discussed elsewhere. But it is difficult where many of us live. We have seen many parents and whole units that have felt that living with, enforcing, and being identified with this policy was harmful to their boys, and we have lost them. I know that is not happening where you live. I really hope that you and your boys, your unit, your district and council are able to continue having the Scouting program you want. I hope we can all continue to reach for the vision of the BSA across the country and within the many local cultures of the country. Blessings on you and your family as you continue to do your best to serve others in the gentle spirit of the Scout Oath and Law.

        • Karen said: “But it is difficult where many of us live. We have seen many parents and whole units that have felt that living with, enforcing, and being identified with this policy was harmful to their boys, and we have lost them. ”

          ===============

          Karen, exactly how is the current policy harming the boys in BSA?

          We are talking about people that make make their sexuality their primary character trait. Their sexual orientation defines who they are. How is that healthy for anyone?

        • Steve, re: harm, that discussion has been explored thoroughly elsewhere. I don’t have any desire to persuade you to change your mind or your beliefs, so I won’t spend time on it here. What I hope that you will hear is that the policy is perceived as harmful to youth, and not just gay youth but all youth, by many parents — just not the parents where you live, so you don’t know them. The fact that parents are saying in many places that this is what they believe means that it is a difficult issue in many places, even though it is clear and obvious where you live. Peace to you as you seek to fulfill BSA’s mission, a mission all of us who take the Oath every week are trying to pursue.

        • Karen, you clearly indicated that the current membership policy was harmful to the youth of BSA. I would like to know how you perceive the scouts are being harmed by the current policy.

        • Hello, Steve. If you are just looking for information about why people believe what they believe, that has been laid out at length in the comments on this post and on Bryan’s prior post on the same subject. I’m sure you can find the resources you need in much clearer form than you would receive from me. I hope you find all you need to help strengthen your Scouting program this week, and going forward.

        • Karen, you must admit that it does sound like your surrounding community is not very tolerant and accepting of the beliefs of the largest membership Christian Churches in America.

          For the Scouters, they did know the policy when they joined if they did even a little research. As two posters said here, they joined hoping to change the Policy and the Organization.

          Steve makes a point I have also made here on this blog; Homosexuals define their persona by their sexuality and their display of their sexuality is part of their public persona. Sexuality if not a topic for Troop Meetings or Den and Pack Meetings or Outdoor activities. They can be discreet, but then how does anyone know they’re homosexual? They would have to compromise their principles. Why are they doing that now?

        • May God’s peace be with you always, Fred, as you continue to seek to fulfill Scouting’s mission. I appreciate your deep love for your boys. We do live in a big country, with much variation in all sorts of terrain. Blessings on you and yours.

        • Blessings to you also. You have always presented yourself with grace and dignity on this Blog. A lesson for all of us even if we never find common ground on this issue.

        • Karen:
          I give you credit for and appreciate your trying to moderate both sides of the issue and to find common ground in a post-decision future. God Bless. I believe, however, that if the national policy is removed, it will be only a matter of time before legal pressure is brought to bear on the local CO’s and they are forced to succumb or withdraw completely. I see the intolerance here in California — legal pressure of differing forms is growing against organizations and individuals engaging in what the activists call disrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. If the CO’s have to fight that battle on their own, they will have to succumb or fold — that’s how the other, legally- and strategically-adept side works (remove the support of the opponent, whether that’s corporate sponsors or BSA National, and then mount a legal challenge that the isolated, local organizations cannot afford to fight). I predict that within 3 years of a capitulation by National, there will be only a handful of troops in California (and similarly-inclined states) that remain intact, policy-wise.

          If BSA National capitulate on this, the divided house that remains will be easy pickings for the fanatical and intolerant Left. They will not rest until every remaining last bastion of traditional morality — CO by CO — is taken down like the young wildebeast is isolated and worn down by a pack of hyenas. They did not accept mere abolishing of the laws against sodomy…they did not accept mere tolerance within segments of society…they did not stop at legal equality through civil unions…they will not stop at redefining marriage…they will not stop at only some Boy Scout troops accepting open homosexuals…they demand that every last person and or group accept and celebrate their behavior, and they will vociferously condemn as “bigotted” anyone who disapproves.

          A change in policy will lead to a quick resignation of many parents and boys, followed by a steady stream of others over the next years, all while a greatly-reduced passion for the organization saps much of the energy. BSA’s only hope is to stand firm and become a champion for the policy it always, implicitly (because it never needed to be made explicit until social mores changed and attacks increased), held.

      • Karen Said: “I understand that you support the policy, and you should follow your beliefs, of course. If you read carefully this post on Bryan’s blog and the earlier one on the same subject, and the many comments on both posts, I think you will see that this is not, as you have described, a policy change forced from outside based on money. Rather, it is a challenge that arises from among us — from the ethical stands of our chartering organizations, from the moral structures of our families’ churches (which take a variety of positions, not just one), and from the religious and citizenship beliefs of our national and local leadership. Nobody is cowering in fear. ”

        =============

        Karen I have to respectfully disagree with your premise. I believe that this is mainly about money and social perception. And yes this new morality is most definitely forced upon BSA. And yes, I do believe that there are those on the executive board that are indeed cowering in fear.

      • Karen,
        I agree with your statement “Rather, it is a challenge that arises from among us — from the ethical stands of our chartering organizations, from the moral structures of our families’ churches (which take a variety of positions, not just one), and from the religious and citizenship beliefs of our national and local leadership.”

        It is clear, as you also stated, in the earlier blog post on the same subject. Below is an excerpt of that blog post:

        When the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its long-held membership policy last June after months of media coverage and national attention to the issue, some leaders thought that signaled an end to the conversation.

        Not so, as you no doubt know. As BSA President Wayne Perry recently said, many unit-level volunteers weren’t aware of the policy before the reaffirmation. “What we discovered as your Key 3 was that it started a very intense conversation,” he said.

        In that eight-month conversation, Perry emphasized that he didn’t speak with outside special-interest groups with no affiliation to Scouting. Instead, he said, “I heard only from Scouters, people with different views than my personal views.

        “It was hard, because people told me their Scouting commitment, and it touched you, it touched your soul. These are good people. They are people of faith that have a different view than I do.”

        It is very important to pay attention to the second paragraph where BSA President Perry explains that many volunteers were unaware of the ban before the reaffirmation. With that information it is difficult to really accuse individuals of being hypocrites for joining the BSA if the ban was not common knowledge. For example: There is an Eagle Scout dad in our Troop with three Scouts (one an Eagle) and 1 Venturer that was unaware that the ban applied to youth. He has been in Scouting for nearly 50 years and it was unclear to him. I think that says a lot.

        • Three Quick Notes:

          1. If the BSA Execs were not hypocrites then why did they try to slip the Pro-gay change by membership without so much as a mention? Why rely on a 6% response survey to make a major decision. Folks from the Scouting member of the “Key 3″ say they are embarassed by his actions. Cowards and hypocrites I say.

          2. If your 50 year Scouter was surprised that homosexuals were not allowed, why did his response not include a phrase “I’ve known homosexual Scouts for many years and camped with them often!’ Probably because it didn’t happen.

          3. If he didn’t know, that’s his fault for being unprepared. He had to know. Might have spun that tale for your benefit.

  19. I did something today that was far more effective than posting on this forum. I contacted my local Scout executive and asked him what our council was doing and how they were approaching this issue. Our council sent out a 3 question survey to all of the stake holders in the council. about 25% of the stake holders responded to the survey. Long story short, based on the results of the survey all of the delegates from our council will be voting to keep the policy the same.

    I was also informed that the national executive board is meeting this week and going over the results of the survey that they sent out. They will be reviewing and modifying the original resolution accordingly, presumably word it in such a way to get a new policy to accept gays. The new resolution had to be delivered to all the delegates by April 23rd so that they have 30 days to review it before they go to the convention to vote on it.

    I would you encourage everyone to have a similar discussion with your Scout executive.

    Oh, the survey of our local council showed that keeping the membership requirements as is would result in a 6% reduction in volunteers and support vs. a 35% decrease in volunteers and support if the membership policy was modified in any way.

    • I’m really surprised you just did that today, Steve? I would have thought everyone had figured out how this process is working a month or more ago? It’s been clear in Bryan’s two blog posts on the subject, aside from all the conversation. Certainly your local action matters more than this conversation that perhaps six people are still hearing. I’m sorry that you didn’t get involved in your local process sooner. Of course, every council’s demographics and personalities are different. The national representative democracy will work its way through in May.

      • Karen, I have been active. I have participated in the discussions and the surveys. My in calling was to learn the findings of the local survey and how that will influence their vote in May.

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