tillerson-nam2013

Rex Tillerson speaks out about change and ‘The Main Thing’

“So we’ve made the decision. We’re going to change,” says Rex Tillerson. “Now what?”

Less than 24 hours after the volunteer delegates voted to change the BSA’s membership policy for youth, Tillerson addressed a large room full of Scouting volunteers and professionals at the closing general session of the BSA’s National Annual Meeting.

In a powerful, heartfelt speech, Tillerson made his message clear: Change is inevitable, but “The Main Thing,” which is to serve more youth in Scouting, hasn’t changed. With that in mind, he reasoned, it’s time for all of us unite toward this common goal.

Tillerson, immediate past president of the Boy Scouts of America and a 2010 Silver Buffalo recipient, knows something about making big decisions and dealing with change. When he’s not serving as a Scouting volunteer, he’s the chairman, president, and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., one of the world’s largest companies.

In 1999, Tillerson worked for Exxon when it merged with Mobil—definitely a big change for both companies.

Take 10 minutes to watch the video below and listen to Tillerson’s message. Then, share it with the members of your Scouting family. 


Photo by Michael Roytek/BSA

347 thoughts on “Rex Tillerson speaks out about change and ‘The Main Thing’

  1. to you bible thumpers.. you realize the bsa is NOT a Christian organization? it requires belief in an entity. not YOUR god, and his so called book (that was written by men.)
    to you using Jesus’ name to defend your bigoted beliefs.. you. are. HILARIOUS. if jesus had existed he’d be on the front lines of welcoming in this change in the bsa. he loved everyone. maybe you should TRY IT OUT!

    sick of the hatred.

    • Morality transcends religion even if BSA is not Christian.

      Sick of the hatred of the Progressives and homosexual advocates.

        • Homosexuality is normal and natural for 5-10% of people. Homosexuality is not a mental defect or psychological disorder. How can you say being who you are is immoral? Homosexuality is not a choice. It is not harmful to society.

        • I disagree with every single word of your post.

          Homosexuality is natural for the homosexual but not in nature. Homosexuals cannot pro-create so it not natural in a sense of human nature nut “natural” in a secular sense like promiscuous sex is natural to people with heightened sexual desire high morals would keep that person from acting on those tendencies. A adulterer would ignore morals to engage in such behavior. That would also be “natural” in a secular sense for the adulterer.

          The most generous estimates for the homosexual population are 6% from reputable survey and polling companies. We’re tearing up 103 years of moral teaching for 6 out of 100 people of which a small percentage are children or Youth. Just don’t get it.

          There is really just a small body of evidence to suggest homosexual behavior is anything but a choice never proven as unavoidable in action. It was a mental disorder until homosexual advocates pressured the medical community to remove it. You are correct that secular progressive society declares it wholesome and natural but they do the same for adultery and all secular vices Is that what BSA has come to? We are no higher standards than the least moral and ethical person in Society Do many of you on the pro-policy side, I think the answer is yes.

          As far as a danger to Society, I don not believe homosexuals are dangerous except the most radical who threaten people like me and resort to name calling to denigrate me and people like me. They do set a terrible example for children to pattern and no one can convince me otherwise.

        • Fred said:

          Homosexuality is natural for the homosexual but not in nature.

          Homosexuality is rather common among mammals and other chordates in nature. More than 400 species have been identified in which homosexuality is common. In many of these species, the young are care-intensive, and homosexuals help with raising the young of siblings and cousins.

          In short, homosexuality is not only “natural” in nature, in some species it is essential.

          Homosexuals cannot pro-create so it not natural in a sense of human nature nut “natural” in a secular sense like promiscuous sex is natural to people with heightened sexual desire high morals would keep that person from acting on those tendencies.

          Is procreation the litmus for being “natural?” By that standard, bees are not natural. All the honeybees we see gathering nectar and pollenizing our crops and flowers, are non-reproductive females. They never procreate. Same with ants, and termites. In some lizard species, asexual reproduction can occur — males in some populations are non-procreative, and unnecessary.

          In wolves, typically only the alpha female reproduces, and only with the alpha male.

          In elephants, a non-reproductive female helps the other females with the young, and is honored for what she knows. In other great apes, non-reproductive members provide a variety of services to the young and old, including wisdom about dealing with crises.

          Life involves a lot more than just procreation. In my faith, for example, we claim to have as our savior a man who did not procreate. We believe all people have value.

          A[n] adulterer would ignore morals to engage in such behavior. That would also be “natural” in a secular sense for the adulterer.

          How far should we push the definition of “adulterer” in excluding leaders? Are you suggesting we question leaders about whether they have ever committed adultery? How many times would disqualify them?

          What about divorced people who remarry?

          Not sure where you’re going with an argument on adultery, but it’s probably off the discussion path.

          The most generous estimates for the homosexual population are 6% from reputable survey and polling companies.

          So the problem you’re complaining about is insignificant? I don’t think that was what you wanted me to learn from your statistics recitation.

          About 7% of our population is Jewish. About 7% is Muslim. Only in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming do local populations of LDS rise above 7%.

          Are the views of those religious groups insignificant, too, in your calculations?

          We’re tearing up 103 years of moral teaching for 6 out of 100 people of which a small percentage are children or Youth. Just don’t get it.

          No, we’re changing a 22-year-old policy. For 81 of those 103 years, BSA got along well without a ban on homosexual members in any category. When I was a Scout, in Southern Idaho and Utah, homosexuals regularly participated in all Scouting events, Scouts progressed to Eagle, and everyone celebrated their achievements.

          That was before the ban. I do not know of any homosexual who was a Scout or Scouter in that time who did not come away a better person for participation. I work in charitable projects regularly with Eagle Scouts who are also gay. They work hard, and they make America look good. Were I to judge the percentage of homosexuals in those good works projects as reflective of America, I’d say about 25% of the men in America are homosexual. Maybe homosexuals are just more compassionate about feeding the elderly, housing the poor, and caring for the ill. What do you think?

          There is really just a small body of evidence to suggest homosexual behavior is anything but a choice never proven as unavoidable in action.

          There is even less evidence to suggest homosexuality is a choice.

          Are you heterosexual? Can you tell us how you decided to be hetero? Did you experiment with same sex relations before you made the choice? Did you decide to be hetero despite the fact that heterosexual sex is a pathway to disease? Did you determine that condemnation of the heterosexual lifestyle was great, but you would wanted to stand with those who are condemned for it?

          (I’ve been asking those questions now for 40 years. Sen. Jesse Helms was greatly offended by the idea, he claimed — and he refused to discuss how he made his choice. Oddly, no other heterosexual has offered to inform me of his or her choice in that 40 years. I know that for me, I did not choose to be heterosexual. I cannot imagine how anyone thinks gender orientation is a choice.)

          It was a mental disorder until homosexual advocates pressured the medical community to remove it.

          Being female was considered a mental disorder until only recently. In fact, the word “hysteria” reflects our cultural bias against women’s being sane.

          Perhaps a thousand years is long enough for stupid and inaccurate mischaracterizations of gender and gender orientation mental health.

          For my money, and for my boys, getting women into Scouting was a great idea. (Have you seen the photo of my Scout leader wife and our son on the top of the Tooth of Time? Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to be able to join their children at that same spot?)

          Our sons worked with great people in their schooling, and in their jobs — many of those great people are homosexual. I think Scouting needs great people, regardless of orientation. For the boys, I’m certain that Scouting builds character, regardless the orientation of the man the boy grows up to be.

          As an American, I don’t think we as a nation can afford to say “those boys are not fit to be Scouts,” for any characterization of “those” other than criminal behavior.

          America can use a lot more training in doing right and doing good, especially training that Scouting offers.

          You are correct that secular progressive society declares it wholesome and natural but they do the same for adultery and all secular vices Is that what BSA has come to?

          We have learned, over the years, that some sins have much less to do with the character traits we need in citizens than others, and that we can get great demonstrations of citizenship from divorced people, from women, from people of color, from Native Americans, from Eastern Europeans, from Asians, from Africans and Australians.

          But we don’t as a society declare adultery wholesome. It makes high drama for fiction, but it’s rarely endorsed, if ever. Check Dear Abby, Ann Landers, and Carolyn Hax, or Miss Manners.

          You’ll quickly learn that we do not approve of adultery as a society. Of course, this is a moot issue for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. They aren’t married, nor should they be sexually active.

          Do you know of some way we could tell which boys would grow up to be adulterers? Are you suggesting we should keep them out of Scouting now?

          Let ‘em all into Scouting as boys, and we can build a greater America. (Okay, let the women in as Venturers after 14 — look closely at that photo, you’ll see we sent co-ed Venture crews).

          What has BSA come to? I hope we’ve come to the realization that we have more influence over youth when we put them into Scouting, when we take them camping and hiking, when we let them grow and do public service, than we do when we exclude them.

          We are no higher standards than the least moral and ethical person in Society Do many of you on the pro-policy side, I think the answer is yes.

          Mark Twain observed that the Bible tells us Man is beneath the Angels. He said that means we are beneath the Angels, but above the French.

          Twain didn’t have a lot of use for French people. Should we exclude them from Scouting?

          Or should we take the more frequently expressed view that knowing we are beneath the angels gives us a goal to aspire to?

          As far as a danger to Society, I do not believe homosexuals are dangerous except the most radical who threaten people like me and resort to name calling to denigrate me and people like me. They do set a terrible example for children to pattern and no one can convince me otherwise.

          I’ve been shocked by the most radical heterosexualists who threaten people like me, and my children, and my wife, and resort to name-calling to denigrate me and people like me, and my church and faith, and my politics (which they usually assume incorrectly), my education, my motives and my humanity. They set a terrible example for children and no one can convince me otherwise. (Fortunately not on this blog — but look around, it’s not difficult to find.)

          Yet you would allow them not only to join Scouting as Scouts, but to be Scout Leaders?

          To me, opening the doors to Scouts who do not yet know their orientation, or who do know their orientation but want to grow up to be good citizens, seems like a small but extremely beneficial step, for America.

        • It is harmfull to society.

          ED,
          there is no way you can tell me animals are homos.

        • THE FACTS:
          The Boys Scouts of America was incorporated FEBRUARY 8, 1910.
          Sir Robert Baden-Powell began the movement in England two years prior.

          In the pamphlet Scouting & Christianity, 1917, Baden-Powell wrote:
          “Scouting Is Nothing Less Than Applied Christianity.”

          The Scout Handbook, 5th edition (1948) explained “A Scout is Reverent”:

          “The Scout shows true reverence in two principal ways. First, you pray to God, you love God and you serve Him.
          Secondly, in your everyday actions you help other people, because they are made by God to God’s own likeness. You and all men are made by God to God’s own likeness.
          You and all men are important in the sight of God because God made you. The ‘unalienable rights’ in our historic Declaration of Independence, come from God. That is why you respect others whose religion and customs may differ from yours.”

          Sir Baden-Powell’s works include: Cavalry Instruction; The Matabele Campaign; Scouting for Boys; My Adventures as a Spy; Indian Memories; The Wolf Cub’s Handbook; Girl Guiding; Rovering to Success; and Scouting and Youth Movements.

          The Scout Handbook, 5th edition (1948) explained a Scout’s “Duty to God”:

          “You worship God regularly with your family in your church or synagogue. You try to follow the religious teachings that you have been taught, and you are faithful in your church school duties, and help in church activities.

          Above all you are faithful to Almighty God’s Commandments.

          Most great men in history have been men of deep religious faith. Washington knelt in the snow to pray at Valley Forge. Lincoln always sought Divine guidance before each important decision. Be proud of your religious faith.

          Remember in doing your duty to God, to be grateful to Him. Whenever you succeed in doing something well, thank Him for it. Sometimes when you look up into the starlit sky on a quiet night, and feel close to Him-thank Him as the Giver of all good things.

          One way to express your duty and your thankfulness to God is to help others, and this too, is a part of your Scout promise.”

        • My Christian sect has been working to end invidious discrimination against homosexuals for more than 25 years. That’s what Baden-Powell meant, don’t you think, Taylor Hoynes?

        • Ed, You say you are a member of a Christian Sect; The definition of a sect is it is a religious group with beliefs and practices at variance and opposing views of the more established main groups; a Faction, Division, or Cult. I don’t know what your beliefs are, but if your group is fighting for promoting sodomy (homosexuality) you are opposing Christianity. Christ’s Church is made up of a Body of Believers, those who have confessed that Jesus is God and asked for forgiveness and asked Him to come into their life, followers of the Way. It is not denominations, in fact denominations are really detrimental to the growth of Christians because of manmade rules and regulations. There is only one authority and that is the Word of God, Old and New Testament. You try and make the New Testament different from the Old and that because Jesus is Love He just winks at sin; God the Father is Love and God the Son is Love.. There is not enough space here to completely dispel and refute this lie, but here are a few verses that do from our Lord that confirms that the Father and the Son are in Union and that the Holy Spirit dictated ALL Scripture, Old and New Testament (2 Tim 3:16). Jesus came to fulfill the Law (Old Testament); “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Matt 5:17. Again connecting the Law to the New Testament; “Now He said to them”, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Luke 24:44
          “Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages).
          Do not be carried about by different and varied and alien teachings; for it is good for the heart to be established and ennobled and strengthened by means of grace”… Heb 13:8-9
          “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” John 10:104
          You and all the others promoting this lie need prayer, but beware of perverting the Gospel of Our Lord because it has severe consequences:
          8 But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed (gk: anathema) Gal 1:8.

        • My sect is an old American sect, mainline Christianity, shared by our only preacher president, James Garfield, and Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan.

          If one is out of the mainstream so far that neither Garfield, Johnson nor Reagan can be a member of one’s group, I think one cannot throw stones at those of us in it.

        • The Disciples of Christ or formally, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is described by most as a Mainline Protestant denomination. And, yes Garfield, Johnson and Reagan were members of the Disciples of Christ although I don’t know if I would lay claim to Johnson that much. I found and do now find your use of the term “sect” interesting. I do not throw stones, but as a Christian I do use the Truth of the Bible for there is no other standard of Truth other than man’s and that is like a democracy; majority or mob rule. Whether you are a Christian or not I do not know as only God knows the heart of man, but if you are a Christian you should or have the ability to know God and His Word through the salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit.
          Sodomy is not new, it has been around since the fall even male cult temples and prostitutes (“That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecc 1:9)
          What I do know is that God condemns immorality and He gives a clear definition of what those sins are. But, you and many of the rest know what the many verses in the Old and New Testament are. You are not interested in the truth, but only in pushing the homosexual agenda.

          And by the way President Reagan had some issues with the Disciples of Christ and one was an uncomfortableness with literature and art that questioned the family or challenged notions of proper sexual behavior.
          “And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead expose them.” Ephesians 5:11
          “A wise man scales the city of the mighty, And brings down the stronghold in which they trust.” Proverbs 21:22

        • I am unaware of Reagan’s having any difficulty with Disciples at any time. From the time of his baptism, through his college at a Disciples college, and for every time I ever heard anything about it, he expressed his gratitude.

          (He didn’t complain when the graphic biography got his baptism method wrong, even: http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/09/14/misrepresenting-christians-in-history/ )

          It’s not BSA’s job to tell the Disciples of Christ what their theology should be, in any case.

        • ED,
          there is no way you can tell me animals are homos.

          That’s what I fear. Is there any way any fact of science, biology, or psychology might inform you?

        • science, biology and psychology have become PC.

          There is no need to explain right and wrong.

          I think quite to the contrary. Science, and especially biology, and to an increasing extent psychology, have worked to be more scientific, less swayed by politics. In every other endeavor, mystics complain about science because it is NOT “PC” but insists on hard standards.

          DNA offers us the best evidence we’ve ever had in court, for example. Biology and science have tightened our standards for truth, made greater our ability to tell guilt and innocence, so much so that we let “convicted murderers” off of death row when the DNA contradicts the verdict. Some standards of truth really are just that. Not PC.

          Need to explain right and wrong? Dr. King warned that we have “guided missiles and unguided men.” We need to explain right and wrong more than ever.

          To check your views on science, you might want to pick up the merit badge pamphlets for chemistry, forestry, electricity, engineering, environmental science, first aid, fish and wildlife management, geology, mammal study, nature, oceanography, plant science, bird study, aviation, radio, rifle shooting, shotgun shooting, soil and water conservation, space exploration, surveying, and/or weather, among others. I think you’ll find science fascinating, and not so political as one might think.

          Then go back and get the citizenship series, as good places to start to explain right and wrong and why it’s important to understand such things in modern life in communities.

          It’s difficult to explain “wrong” so it sounds right, when we have objective standards of knowing that women are not inferior, that skin color is no indication of intelligence nor other abilities. It’s difficult to maintain biases as reasons for discriminating against people when we can’t put evidence to sustain the bias nor the discrimination.

          The Scout Law starts with “Trustworthy” and ends with “Reverent.” We should embrace both ends, as well as the other ten in between them.

      • What morality exactly transcends religion? Killing? Stealing? Humans have for our entire history continued these to primary behaviors and have even justified them with religion. In the 1600′s, women were burned at the stake to cover up adultery by men. They were burned as “witches.” The Bible was thumped by people who sounded just like you. They said all the same things you say about gays about witches then.

        What all of this has taught me: BSA is populated with idiot rednecks and morons. We stupidly let you take over. You’re being pushed out because you no longer represent what it means to be an American nor a moral person. If ritual sacrifice and hate become representative of us again in the future, we will call.

        Thanks, Fred.

        • Wow Me Me, you need to calm down.

          It appears you somehow convinced yourself that I would make a positive statement about low morality when I have never indicated any such thing in any post that I have made about any personal belief that I have at any time to support that opinion of me. So, in other words, you fabricated it out of thin air. Not unusual for the Progressive side.

          Funny, I do not think it is the 1,600′s but I agree that violence has occurred in the name of religion and also even greater by the immoral secular people of the time. Christians for the most part grew out of it and immoral secular people gave up the physical violence for verbal and institutional attacks.

          Well, at least the folks who do not like the policy have successfully exposed the hate you have for people you do not agree with so it was a useful exercise to expose the snarling progressive behind the “tolerance” and “understanding” facade.

          Time will tell how well Society accepts homosexual Boy Scouts and leaders. I think it is easy to see who stands for the principles and morals Americans hold near and dear, and it is not you.

      • Looks like “tolerance” and “understanding” just left the building. What a calma nd compassionate progressive you are. Feel better now?

    • Don’t think you have actually read the bible Kevin. Jesus’ appointed man (Paul).

      In Romans there is a specific progression that leads to this “orgy” of anger. Men “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (v. 18). They exchanged “the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (v. 25). Next, “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity…” (v. 24). They “exchanged the natural [sexual] function for that which is unnatural (v. 26). Therefore, the wrath of God rightly falls on them (v. 18); they are without excuse (v. 20).

      Natural desires go with natural functions. The passion that exchanges the natural function of sex between a man and a woman for the unnatural function of sex between a man and a man is what Paul calls a degrading passion.

      Jesus clarified the natural, normal relationship: “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh [sexual intercourse]‘?” (Matthew 19:4-5)

      Homosexual desire is unnatural because it causes a man to abandon the natural sexual compliment God has ordained for him: a woman. That was Paul’s view. If it was Paul’s view recorded in the inspired text, then it is God’s view. And if it is God’s view, it should be ours if we call ourselves Christian.

      Can’t speak for the pagans. I assume if it move, chase it.

        • Did you really say that Ed? Why do you just make stuff up? I never said it so you said it for me? Sorry, wrong number.

        • You laid out what was natural — a man and a women, together. Jesus doesn’t fit that mold.

          What did you mean?

          You’re right, you dialed a wrong number — but you dialed it.

        • Fascinating Ed. Equating the Savior of the world to a homosexual because he didn’t get married. You probably have “Last Temptation of Christ” in your DVD library. The painful contortions to support homosexuality here just keep getting better.

        • Fascinating Ed. Equating the Savior of the world to a homosexual because he didn’t get married. You probably have “Last Temptation of Christ” in your DVD library. The painful contortions to support homosexuality here just keep getting better.

          Fascinating how you assume things that are not in evidence.

          You claimed the model for behavior was a man and a woman together. I point out Jesus didn’t fit that mold. You assume, based on no evidence, that I meant to say Jesus was homosexual.

          But you raise a great issue: Would you allow Jesus in as a Scout? As a leader? On what evidence? He doesn’t fit the model you said Jesus proposed. Was He trying to tell us something?

          That’s one of my concerns. We have standards for Scouts and leaders that would exclude people we shouldn’t exclude. Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, Paine and Madison are out. Lincoln’s probably out. Buchanan for sure. Quincy Adams is out. Sally Ride is out. Van Cliburn is out. Neil de Grasse Tyson is out. Dan Beard’s great friend Mark Twain is probably suspect. Baden-Powell, maybe out. Feynman, out.

          Criminal background checks make sense. Protections against molesters make sense. Some of these a priori rules on who is good enough to be a member end up excluding some of the people we want our kids to emulate.

          I don’t think the problem is with these people.

      • He also said that we shouldn’t judge each other. I see you have chosen to ignore that one. Nice. Just keep on picking and choosing while the rest of us laugh at you.

        • I’ve posted before what Jesus and Paul had to say in scripture about making common sense judgments about people of low character and to stay away from them and to challenge they disobedience of a Christian walk. You can look it up on this thread or in the Bible if you are familiar with it.

          Denigrate and ridicule. I guess you’ve made it down that far on the progressive checklist of insults and tirades.

    • Those who Demand Tolerance are usually the Least Tolerant. Thanx for proving the point Kevin. Where are the so called “Progressives” progressing to? Nothing stops you from forming your own group. Its like when the Big city liberal moves to escape the big tax Social programs in the city, then moves to small town USA and tries to implement the same programs he just escaped. Or the Illegal that flees Mexico, comes to America ILLEGALLY, then displays his flag. If you want to be Mexico, go back to Mexico.

      • So I suppose if we were talking about blacks, you would say they “nothing stops you from forming your own group”?

        And if you have a problem with Mexicans (who live in America) displaying Mexican flags, then do you have a problem with Irish Americans wearing green on St. Patricks day, or Italians showing their colors on Columbus Day?

      • We are progressing to a country where people are treated with dignity and respect as opposed to being treated with ignorance and superstition.

        Why don’t you form your own group? Looks like you will need to. Next year when Randall Stephenson takes over as president, it’s only going to get worse for you. He opposes any restrictions on membership based on labels.

        Why? Because the guy has a 180 IQ. The people on here quoting the bible are not exactly NASA scientists.

    • Kevin, I’m a “bible thumper” and very involved in the local BSA. I, however, as are many of us Christians, well aware that the BSA is not a Christian organization. They want reverence, to whomever you worship. I also believe that that Jesus IS on the front lines welcoming this change and saying “about time!”. It is important to let others have their beliefs and opinions, you don’t have to agree, just as long as nobody is harming anyone and pushing their beliefs, that is not what scouting is about. Reverence is just one part of it.

      also sick of the hatred.

      • I’m sick of the hate, too. Being called a racist and bigot for expressing an opinion contrary to secular permissiveness is neither. If it is, we are sinking quickly as a nation of any moral or ethical standard.

        • Your opinion is racist and bigoted, so that’s probably why you feel unapproved of.

        • LOL! When did homosexuality become a race or are you joking? Have to be careful with shock words, they have to in some way describe the belief you believe objectionable. i don’t buy “bigot” either but at least its not a million mile reach to make the accusation.

    • hatred? you are the one spewing hatred – read your own post – “bible thumpers” I suppose that was supposed to be a compliment? The only haters out there are the progressive left like you, who hate conservatives and drove this ill fated decision, which did not even represent what the “majority” wanted, because the 1400 voters voted 61% for the change, although the 60% of the people they represented did NOT want the change – some democratic process….

        • In some other polling on this issue – not the filtered version that BSA has presented and is touting, you will discover that more than 75% of adults opposed this change and 65% of scouts too. Informal polling in my home council indicates an even higher percentage in both groups. The BSA touts stats of the “voters” and older scouts and not the general population. Are you comfortable with your 13 year old son sharing the same tent overnight with a proclaimed homosexual 17 year old? More that 1 in 3 child predations are homosexual men on young boys-you can read those stats at the CDC and at law enforcement sites….this policy is going to produce some very real assault problems in the near future.

        • I can speak for my local Pack and Troop….1 family in 34 for the Troop and 2 in 55 for the Pack was for this change…my strong belief is someone, or a collective of well placed persons, seriously rigged the results of both the polling and the voting and did a very professional packaging of the supporting documentation to make this look legitimate… ” a scout is trustworthy”???… “morally straight”???…Now we are told to move on and get past the decision and that we need to focus on the boys and doing the right thing for them-who are Tillerson and the rest of these progressives kidding!! The future for my family will be to bring my boys to another organization that has moral principles while teaching them what scouting used to – character and citizen development in a fun outdoor setting – BSA has morally corrupted itself with this issue and I would not be surprised to see membership fall 50% over the next 2 years and likewise financial contributions, unless they take corrective action very soon and start communicating with parents.

        • Jim said:

          1 family in 34 for the Troop and 2 in 55 for the Pack was for this change…

          How many of those families were you going to kick out before?

          How many now?

          What has changed for your troop or pack?

        • Nice try – another lame attempt by “know it all liberals” who think they know better than the rest of us, people like you who to try and paint people with morals and ethics as being intolerant… None of these families were going to be kicked out before the decision, but now both the entire Pack and Troop are likely folding due to the immorality and dishonesty of the BSA and the appeasement of the minority who wanted this policy so BSA could look good to the liberal left and maybe collect some more donations. Fat chance – look at what happened to Canadian scouting – 50% loss of numbers after a few years with this type policy in place. Does the BSA has a raft of lawyers to settle all the law suits that get filed by non gay scouts who are touched by gay scouts and vice versa – those cases and suits are coming – mark my word….and those will be the minor one….. Are you allowing your heterosexual 13 year old son to share a tent with an older gay teen? Did you know 1 in 3 sexual assaults in the US are males on young boys and that many are teens on younger teens and pre-teens? You know damn well what has changed – the BSA lied to us all and is forcing immorality as the norm for everyone and now they want us all to just move on, but keep those generations coming so we can pay for Summit…….

        • My sons are comfortable with tenting with a homosexual. They have a cousin that they lived with that was a homosexual and they were comfortable with him. Besides if either of them felt uncomfortable with any tent mate they just have to speak with their PL or SM and get a different assignment.

          Last summer camp none of the boys in the troop wanted to bunk with my son so he had a tent to himself and he was delighted. No idea why no one wanted to bunk with him other than he talks about trains non stop.

          BTW after the vote we had 4 new boys join our 30 family strong troop and 8 new boys join our 20 family strong pack. None of the families in either the troop or pack have left over the change to membership policy.

          Hmmm, seems to me that your informal polling may be off.

        • That’s what I have come to believe from the posts I have seen and I am glad that you confirmed it DLDW. You have raised your kids to accept homosexuality as normal and they are following their training by you. I would also expect that they would not expect their cousin to molest them and I am sure it has been explained to them many times how normal their cousin is and how they should encourage him in being “out.” Its been said on here that a homosexual boy just wants to talk about his partner as his girlfriend just like heterosexuals talk about real girlfriends. I don’t now about any of you but no girlfriend I ever had wanted to talk about my other girlfriends but you want the heterosexual boy to think boy-on-boy sexual activity and romance is normal and no boy I know or have ever met in 54 years except two have believed that remark.

          I don’t expect BSA will allow segregation of homosexuals from heterosexuals for long. There will be sensitivity training to bring the heterosexual boy around to a right-minded way of thinking and adult training will enforce inclusion and acceptance. Anybody think adult training will not enforce assimilation of heterosexual youth in homosexual orientation acceptance?

          So then, an older homosexual youth tenting with a younger immature youth will now be the Older boy/younger girl scenario we have avoided all these years and venturing at present still maintains. As an adult leader, tenting based on sexuality of two boys should not be a decision an adult leader has to make on a Campout.

        • Congratulations – You and your sons have been very well educated by the pop culture, the progressive media, liberal educators, and far left Hollywood that the gay lifestyle is cool/hip, acceptable, should be promoted, and we should all accept it and even embrace it. They want it to be normalized. Problem is there is no gay gene – science has proven this. Gays are taught or imprinted as to that lifestyle. The same way abusers and child predators are trained into the heinous people they become by their role models. Continuation of our species requires heterosexuality…homosexuals may be able to adopt or artificially procreate, but this alone won’t enable continuation of the human race. If someone is gay – fine let them live the life they want, but why should we all have to bend and change to accommodate their existence? The “gaytheist” agenda against God, families, and every traditional institution of the US is slowly but surely destroying this great country. With this policy change the BSA is now on a downward trajectory – just wait to see what happens at re-charter and the following year…when the Canadian Scouts made this policy change just a few years back it caused a 50% reduction in numbers in just 5 years. On another note – if I was your son’s parent I would inquire as to why no one wanted to bunk with him at camp – there may be other issues there. As the SM I was very watchful over such situations – scouts left alone can get into trouble or worse. Also – I assume he was paired up with another 2 person tent for all activities and movement to adhere with the cardinal safety rule of scouting-the buddy system/2 person rule….

        • Jim

          It is not proper to make assumptions.

          I have not been educated by popular culture. I am not in my 20′s or 30′s. I received my education from a Catholic university and I would not call the nuns and priests very liberal. Well maybe Sister Ann since she joked that she made a mistake and should have gotten married first so that she could have worn a blue habit instead of a brown one after she was widowed. She felt that she looked better in blue. She was a funny one that Sister Ann, she even raised bunnies in the basement of the dormitory.

          There hasn’t been a gay gene identified YET!

          There also has been no proof to your theory that “gays are taught or imprinted as to that lifestyle.” Highly unlikely that “gays are taught or imprinted as to that lifestyle” since most gays are brought up in a straight household. My cousin was raised in a two parent, heterosexual home with two older sibs and my mother felt that he was gay before he was 8 years old. My children are comfortable with him because they have known him all their lives and as my 12 yo would make clear to you “he isn’t interested in me, he is interested in other gay guys.”

          Our species is doing just fine. I don’t think that our species is in any danger of a decline in population due to homosexuality. SMH

          I am my son’s parent and I did not feel the need to inquire why he was in a tent by himself. I was present for the duration of his summer camp experience and saw how happy he was to have a tent to himself. I also witnessed his complete breakdown after being tormented by the Troop bully for 5 of his 8 day camp. Having a tent of his own allowed him a retreat to get away, have a place for reflection and privacy to cry.

          “scouts left alone can get into trouble or worse”

          What trouble or worse would he get into in a tent by himself? Gee, do you think that any scout left alone is in danger of being trouble makers?

          You can assume that he was provided with a “buddy”. He was paired up with the Troop bully and his entourage to move from activity to activity. After five days of being “teased” for being short and having the bathroom door opened on him repeatedly while he was indisposed, he was found crying alongside the camp road by camp staff abandoned by his “buddies”. After that I accompanied him to each activity. When the waterfront staff heard of his plight they walked with him to the waterfront for the remaining two days while I lagged behind. He is looking forward to seeing his “protectors” when he returns to summer camp in a few weeks.

          If he ends up in a tent by himself again I am not concerned. I am not going to recommend that he tents alone but I don’t think he will mind if he tents alone again.

  2. Note that around 2003 that Scouting buckled under with the Winkler lawsuit and retreated from public institutions. No one ever stated all the intangibles the U S Army was getting from having the Jambo at A P Hill, recruiting value, PR value, their image, etc. At that time, when we were told we HAD to leave public and government sponsored CO’s, it was the churches that stepped up and sponsored many units. Now, you are throwing these same organizations to the curb.

    BSA has racked up a bunch of debt ($400 million instead of the $50 million originally advertised for the Summit) and now they have to bring in huge corporate donations to offset the debt. And thus, BSA is more suspectable to public opinion than it was 20 years ago. And I was naive enough to believe that “it’s about the boys.” I still believe that, even though it appears to BSA only the money counts. This whole debate started with Winkler decision, and they are knuckling under one more time.

    Remember Neville Chamberlain? You know, the guy who appeased Hitler. Well, appeasement never works. Not then, not now.

    Santoyama: Those who do not remember their history are doomed to repeat it.

    My disappointment is that BSA does not have the moral fortitude to stand up to its high ideals under fire. And that is not the example I want our scouts to see, one of knuckling under instead of constructively facing and resolving conflict.

    • “Santoyama: Those who do not remember their history are doomed to repeat it.”

      Yes and I remember that racial segregation was not that long ago.

      • Juts have to try to tie it to race and gender true discrimination and oppression. It is clearly not that type. Its merely discerning immoral behavior from moral.

        • It is clearly that type. The BSA has been pretty clear that sexual behavior of any type has no place in scouting. This is not about behavior, it is about orientation. And discriminating based on orientation is discrimination.

    • I was happy to see BSA have the moral fortitude to stand up for its high ideals, under fire. It’s an example I want our Scouts to see, resolving conflict and constructively facing problems. I wish there had been even more moral fortitude.

      • moral fortitude?Try a fixed vote,that was un American and un democratic.

        Try no back bone.

        what is that saying,money talks and bu…..walks.

        This was about money and nothing else.

        • I think unfounded challenges of a “fixed vote” demonstrates a lack of moral fortitude. It doesn’t take anything to make up smear charges, to accuse falsely, to sputter accusations. It does take a little time and trouble to check out the facts, to seek them out to be sure you’re right.

          And it takes a lot of backbone to take the mic and urge everyone forward after an unnecessarily bruising alley fight.

        • What you responded with is entirely BS….I have asked both my Council and National for the “data” on the votes and I have been denied by both. You cannot label me or anyone else voicing opposition to this policy as just unhappy campers….there is no transparency here in the BSA – I have been doing some informal polling and my non-scientific population shows that less than 10% of scout families (pool of 100 representing 130 scouts) supported this policy change – get National to release the real data and maybe I’ll be convinced otherwise that there wasn’t a rigged decision here….

        • In other words, you’re issuing a charge of “vote fixing” without any data to back the charge.

          That was my point.

          If you want to complain about lack of transparency, complain about that; but don’t make claims that you can’t substantiate on the bases of no data, please.

        • How can you argue that the vote was fair and legitimate if BSA won’t even release the data on the vote….you liberal progressives are all the same – it is what you think is right and therefore that is the way it will be for all – the majority be damned…you liberals are bringing this great country down and soon will suffer the results of your actions as your corrosive actions continue to harm the economy, our institutions, our churches, our families, and our culture/civilization. I pray you all never have to deal with sexual predation of a young male on a young male….I have… and what the BSA has done is enable this crime to occur organization wide.

        • The vote was counted by a professional vote counting company whose reputation to get it right is their means of getting new business.

          You knew that, of course.

          After about 1,400 members of the Boy Scouts national council voted by secret ballot, their votes were tallied by an outside balloting firm, Washington, D.C.-based True Ballot, and delivered to Boy Scouts President Wayne Perry, who announced the results to the gathering shortly after 5 p.m. Central time, according Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith.

          The new policy takes effect Jan. 1, Smith said. Gay advocates called the vote a step in the right direction for the 103-year-old group, among the nation’s largest youth organizations with 2.6 million youth members.

          http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/23/nation/la-na-nn-boy-scouts-lift-ban-on-gay-youth-20130523

          How can you accuse anyone of rigging the vote without any evidence at all of anything like that happening? The voters were the Key 3 from every Council and a few others. How dare you assault the reputations of those men, many (perhaps most) Eagles.

          Your distrust of American institutions, like BSA, is erroneous, IMHO.

          I’ve dealt with sexual predation, through the criminal justice system. That’s what Youth Protection is for. It works. Homophobia doesn’t work, and doesn’t help.

        • Jim wrote in part:

          “How can you argue that the vote was fair and legitimate if BSA won’t even release the data on the vote”

          Just what data are you wanting the BSA (or the firm doing the tabulation) to release, Jim? Sounds like you are asking for something the BSA doesn’t — nor does anyone else — have.

          The ballot was NOT tied to anything which identified the voter. Therefore, there is NO DATA on the race, sex, part of the country, region, local Council, registered position, or anything else other than whether they voted one way or the other (or did not vote).

          Because there were no “exit polling” permitted, we don’t have any information after the fact. This is a standard procedure taken by this firm, famous for counting and reporting ballots for Bershire Hathaway and others.

          You also stated in part “I pray you all never have to deal with sexual predation of a young male on a young male….I have…”

          I have also, Jim. And I will share with you and others that if the BSA’s excellent youth protection policies and training was in effect during the time I had to deal with this — it would be handled faster, fairer and with the interests of the families — and not the chartered partner — furthermost in mind. And both males were not Scouts.

        • okay….so please explain how the polling before the vote shows that greater than 60% of parents and scouters did not want this change, yet the vote was 64% to make the change??! – Even a simple minded person, such as myself, can discern that something was wrong in either the voting process or in tabulation…the vote was either rigged with “selected” voters to make the votes the way someone in charge wanted, or there was extreme pressure and education of the voters ‘pre-vote’ – these are the only possible explanations for the 40% change in position from the polling to the voting.

        • Jim wrote and asked:

          “okay….so please explain how the polling before the vote shows that greater than 60% of parents and scouters did not want this change, yet the vote was 64% to make the change??!”

          Okay, Jim — a simple minded response:

          People — lots of people — changed their minds.

          The “polling” was a SURVEY — nothing was binding. The surveys which were conducted by the BSA took the temperture of the movement — its parents, chartered partner organizations, local Council volunteers, professionals, alumni — all of the major population groups EXCEPT for the youth which this program’s all about.

          A SURVEY. Not a vote. Not a “poll”. A SURVEY.

          The BSA used those survey results — which they made PUBLIC, not hidden for “certain people to see” or interpret — and made them available to national chartered partner organizations, alumni, “people with deep pockets” and ALL OF THE LOCAL COUNCILS, who sent delegates to the National Meeting.

          You can read what the BSA sent them, Jim. It’s ALL PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE.

          Then, the BSA sent — again PUBLICALLY — the instructions for how the actual RESOLUTION VOTE — will be conducted. Who’s conducting it. Who is eligible to vote and most importantly WHO CANNOT. How the vote will be conducted, who’s counting the votes and how will it be announced. No “smoke and mirrors” as you and some of your friends think — this was conducted by a THIRD PARTY, with absolutely NO TIES to the BSA or any local Council (and who’s employees had to swear that they were NOT BSA members, registered or not prior to their employment to conduct the vote).

          Between the last week of March and the date of the National Meeting in May, a LOT of voting delegates CHANGED THEIR MINDS about this whole thing, Jim.

          Some had their minds changed by their religious associations or faiths or movements. Some had their minds changed by the passionate speeches and presentations made on Wednesday night or Thursday morning of the conference. Some had their minds changed by the people chanting for change or the status quo outside the boundaries of the Gaylord Texan. And some had changed their minds — one way or another mind you — simply by TALKING with their fellow Scouters, their spouses or partners, and/or their children — before or during the BSA National Meeting.

          Simple-minded for you?

          Here’s a bit more.

          You wrote”…the vote was either rigged with “selected” voters to make the votes the way someone in charge wanted”

          Can’t be done. The tabulation was done by a firm which prides itself on its independence. If Warren Buffett can’t buy these people’s “loyality” when his firm outsted several of Buffett’s buddies in favor of what the stockholders really wanted — then the BSA had absolutely NO CHANCE in influncing the votes, one way or another.

          You should have seen the BSA’s National President standing there, sweating bullets when he was handed the envelope containing the results. If he was acting, let’s give him an Oscar ™ now for the performance!!

          Let’s see…the Mormon (LDS) Church wanted things a “certain way” also; but I was looking around the room and saw several of my Mormon friends clearly disappointed when the announcement was made. So in MY MIND, if *any body* within the BSA can “effect a change”, it would be the LDS Church some kind of way — and no, they didn’t get their way at all.

          Um. I can say the same thing for the Catholic Church but things didn’t go their way either.

          “or there was extreme pressure and education of the voters ‘pre-vote’ ”

          Pressure to do what? Kick them out of a VOLUNTEER program, Jim? Cut their Wood Badge beads? Send Guido and Bubba over to their homes and knock the headlamps from their automobiles?

          As I mentioned, there was a series of PUBLIC MEETINGS (nothing behind closed doors — I attended and help facilitate several (nine) of those meetings held within churches, schools and businesses within the Midwest and Mid-South. There were people there clearly with attitude — in both camps. There were people there who just wanted to listen. There were people there who wanted to “throw the BSA bums out”. And there were lots of people who just wanted to understand and hear all sides and why now.

          (kinda like here)

          ” – these are the only possible explanations for the 40% change in position from the polling to the voting.”

          The bottom line, Jim: those voting delegates changed their minds. We can do this. This is America, not the Soviet Union. Not Venelzela. Not even North Korea.

          When presented with a question — the question of the resolution — people voted the way they felt. They were supposed to vote the way their Council’s volunteers wanted them to, but as we read online those Councils simply told their representatives (all VOLUNTEER, remember?) to “vote your heart” about this.

          And they did. The vote was NOT one-sided. It was relatively close. And nobody inside or outside the BSA had a clue ONE that it would turn out the way it did.

        • Can someone here who supports this policy change help me and my folks out by looking at this from our perspective? Last night we held a parents meeting (178 total in the Pack and Troop). 95% of them disagree with the policy change and voted that way in the pre-vote poll. Qestions: 1) These folks don’t understand how pre-vote polls showed majority support for not changing policy, but the votes went entirely the other way-almost 40% change-we all can’t reconcile that….2) We are a Catholic church chartered Troop & Pack, but we have 2 Muslim families, a Jewish family, and numerous Protestant and other Christian denomination scouts – the 95% find homosexual acts to be immoral and in good conscience can’t stay with the organization – what can be done when morality is at the heart of their concerns?…3) many have voiced that scouting was the last institution that taught good character to young men, but that has now been corrupted by the process of the vote and the immorality of its basis – how do I convince them otherwise?…they are not thinking about leaving scouting, but rather that scouting has left them.

        • Jim wrote “These folks don’t understand how pre-vote polls showed majority support for not changing policy, but the votes went entirely the other way-almost 40% change-we all can’t reconcile that…”

          Pretty simple really. The people who voted were a representative slice of the people who were polled, not by a long shot. Further, a whole bunch of people walked into that voting booth under the impression that they should vote their personal conviction and not vote as a representative of the membership or the charter organizations that host their units or the parents that allow their kids into the program. Much like the SPL who has a personal desire to go hiking while the vast majority of his troop wants to go swimming instead, 60% of the delegates elected to ignore the polling and move ahead with their agenda regardless of the consequences.

          The delegates were selected FOR the general membership and charter orgs BY appointment and not BY the membership and charter orgs directly- a salient point because the voice of tens of thousands of faith based chartered orgs AND the leaders they hand selected for their units were effectively shut out of the process. Essentially, BSA said to it’s faith based charters “we expect you to partner with us in supporting our units but we do not want to include you in this particular decision making process, even if it goes against your basic ethos.”

          A vote of this magnitude should have been handled MUCH differently. 1. the incoming administration should have allowed more time to pass between their push for a change and the previous administration’s flat out statement that the issue was put to rest (Summer 2012 press release). Stevenson and Turley really thumbed their noses at the Centennial leadership and put the membership in for an unnecessary roller coaster ride. 2. Individual charter orgs should have received a vote – after all, they partnered with us BASED ON WHAT WE REPRESENT. If we are going to change what we represent on a fundamental level, then, realistically, the charters are going to vote on it one way or another. It would have been better to engage them by giving them a vote to begin with (which yes, would have required a much longer process to implement the parliamentarian rules to allow such a vote) RATHER THAN forcing them to accept or reject the position by simply ending the charter, which is what is happening.

          Which is exactly where we are now: an organization that is 100% dependent on charter organizations and parents that just excluded those groups from having an actual say in this deeply divisive process (and as Settumanque rightly pointed out, being polled is not the same as getting a vote, is it?) Instead, a minority of well positioned members were able to hand select delegates as they saw fit without any input from parents, charter orgs, or the Scouts themselves.

          In reality, this vote was nothing more than a reflection of the will of the largest council’s executive boards – folks who are remarkably similar to Stephenson, Turley, and Tillerson. The “Voice of the Scout” polling was just a charade to obscure that fact.

          As I have asked folks on both sides of this issue here in the South: If your research told you that a particular decision would end the Scouting program for over 60% of your youth because the charter orgs would quit……..would you do it? I have yet to run into a Scouter that says yes, but that is exactly what the “delegates” voted to do the kids here in the South.

        • A vote of this magnitude should have been handled MUCH differently.

          We can agree to disagree on this point. There was no such poll taken on the change in policy to ban homosexuals in the first place (was there ever a vote on that policy at all?).

          You assume most members of Scouting oppose the policy, but I don’t know of any documentation to such a point. Even the LDS Church had changed its membership policies a few months earlier to make it clear gays are welcomed in church. You presume much that simply is not in evidence.

          There has been very little complaint about the new policy from charter organizations. What little bit there has been has been covered glaringly in the press — but it’s very little. Once people pay attention to what the new policy means, they seem to be okay with it.

          How does it change anything? A boy who has worked a decade to get Eagle and qualifies on every point, cannot now be denied that rank because someone claims, or he claims, to have a different sexual orientation.

          Practical effect? Good kids won’t drop out because they can’t get ranks. Well-qualified kids will get Eagle, a few hundred more than before.

          What “magnitude” did you think we are talking here?

        • The above statement The people who voted were a representative slice of the people who were polled, not by a long shot” should have said:

          The people who voted were NOT a representative slice of the people who were polled, not by a long shot.

          Apologies.

        • Ed Darrell – point by point:

          “We can agree to disagree on this point. There was no such poll taken on the change in policy to ban homosexuals in the first place (was there ever a vote on that policy at all?).”

          Great point Ed. Instead of a clear polling based on a proposed policy change, what we got was a carefully crafted set of hypothetical situations with a preset list of answers. As any poli sic major can tell you, you can get virtually everyone to give you differing answers on similar questions by slightly tweaking the wording of the question. As we all know, if the poll simply said “Do you support the following proposed membership change? ” the results would have been so clear that ambiguity would have been impossible – which is exactly why it was avoided.

          “You assume most members of Scouting oppose the policy, but I don’t know of any documentation to such a point. Even the LDS Church had changed its membership policies a few months earlier to make it clear gays are welcomed in church. You presume much that simply is not in evidence.”

          BSA’s own literature distributed to delegates included a projection that 60% of the charter organizations in the Southern Region would severe ties if the policy changed. The number discussed in my council was “80/20 against based on polling and feedback”. They didnt pull that number out of a hat. Further, LDS said that their policy “had not changed” and that orientation “has not previously been a disqualifying factor” for youth. LDS didnt change it’s position on homosexuality. It simply decided the new policy was compatible with their previous position. The fallacy here is in assuming that most charter orgs will go along with the LDS decision.

          “There has been very little complaint about the new policy from charter organizations. What little bit there has been has been covered glaringly in the press — but it’s very little. Once people pay attention to what the new policy means, they seem to be okay with it.”

          It may seem that way to you but we both know those tens of thousands of charter org rep’s have not been polled directly in the way that I pointed out above NOR will they ever be. Their single method to express disapproval will be to severe ties. My council lost it’s first unit the day after the vote. Others were informed that their charter would simply not be renewed. It will take one or two charter cycles to really plot the trend line but I dont think we have ever seen charters surrendered in any numbers like this before.

          “How does it change anything? A boy who has worked a decade to get Eagle and qualifies on every point, cannot now be denied that rank because someone claims, or he claims, to have a different sexual orientation.”

          Well, small point – traditional Boy Scouts dont have a decade to earn Eagle. It’s more like 6 or 7 years. But, to your point, individuals who were denied Eagle due to orientation were the very definition of RARE, statistically infinitesimal. And we both know that many homosexual Scouts have found units that would accomodate them without argument and promote them without comment. Irving could have very easily crafted a policy that codified that common sense measure but instead chose to drive a wedge through PR missteps that FORCED the membership to self identify on one side or the other.

          “Practical effect? Good kids won’t drop out because they can’t get ranks. Well-qualified kids will get Eagle, a few hundred more than before.”

          You are making the assumption that no child will be denied an opportunity because his sponsoring organization shut down the program.

          “What “magnitude” did you think we are talking here?”

          I believe I stated it clearly – charter organizations and parents should have been included on the voting in a much more direct way.

        • I agree with you ChetNC. Even BSA Leadership agreed with you before the vote. They was very little chance that this proposal would pass if put to a popular vote of the people who financially and physically support the program of Scouting did not support it. Namely, the parents of existing older Scouts, experienced Scouters and Chartered Organization leadership. BSA leadership knew these facts and chose to follow the majority vote of Boy Scouts who are just reaching maturity and the parents of Cub Scouts. The least mature of all individuals involved in Scouting but you have to get you majority somewhere. Parents support the program financially by paying for all of the BSA branded royalty goodies, fees, dues and selling popcorn and other items. Spiritually by supporting the Scout Oath and Law and reinforcing it in their child as a highly valued method of instilling moral and ethical principles or so they thought. Physically by transporting children to and from and making sure they get to meetings. The Chartered Organizations in our area are substantially all Churches who provide meeting spaces, a financial budget and vehicles parents do not have to put wear and tear on their vehicles and the boys can travel together.

          One thing this support group did not do was pay the salaries and benefits of the brass at headquarters even though some of everything you have to buy in Scouting goes back to National, especially a complete change in uniform with no thought of parents budgets. So, National leadership had to find a way to appease the corporate leadership on the Board to re-fill coffers from battling the issue they were being asked to capitulate on and accept openly homosexual boys and girls (in Venturing).

          And as you say, they crafted a list of questions begging the answer of “how can you deny a boy who is only just now telling the truth about his open homosexuality when he has lied about it so long and who has worked so hard on merit badges to earn and award he has deceived so long to get.” After all, homosexuality is just like skin color (race) and deserves the same protections from the racists and bigots who do not agree that homosexual behavior is moral behavior.

          So, they looked around and said, what’s the best opportunity to pass this and get it by the vast majority of those who actually do the work of supporting a group of boys in the Troop. This is a corporate issue and cannot be trusted to the most trustworthy among us. Experienced Scouters after all probably do not even have a child in the program anymore. The future is with Progressive thinking parents who accept moral behavior as personal opinion with no guidance from National BSA. BSA corporate is an amoral bunch, why can’t Scouts be the same and earn the Eagle rank. Lets try National Council. We can send out biased data, corner them at a limited access meeting, have individual breakouts, Prayer Breakfasts to appeal ot the spiritual side and ask them to vote their conscience for the long-term future of Scouting.

          I believe that is the way it was passed. The loss of membership was acceptable to re-fill the coffers of National from the return of corporate donors and provide more financial resources for BSA Corporate. They should abolish the CO program at this point. It has become the BSA way or the highway, not a partnership at least for Churches who do not support open homosexuality as moral behavior.

          Yes, it is only my opinion and people are free to disagree and do on this blog. I have posted numerous facts for Ed and he has posted numerous facts of his own and provided his own version of hyperbole. It has posted by many on the pro-policy side that morality is not important in the Scout Oath and Law. It is an individual issue with each Scout and himself and not the place of Scouting to define morality. As moral and ethical leaders, we have no place counseling on morality and I believe the new training with confirm and enforce that policy. Many have posted they are very comfortable placing their own children in tents with a homosexual Scout with no concern. YPT will handle all potential abuse in the insignificant number of cases where an older homosexual Scout is placed in a tent with an immature younger Scout. If the homosexual Scout want to discuss his romance with his male companion, the offended Scout is the abuser not the homosexual. It has been said and if they do not believe it, they have not corrected it.

          As we have seen in the news, homosexual Scouts and Scouters are violating policy already by wearing official BSA uniforms in “Gay Pride” parades. A weak letter of warning followed. Its the new BSA and they are in full agreement with it and adult homosexual leaders. I am guessing 18 months we’ll have homosexual males over 21 accompanying Scouts under 18. It has actually been defended on this list that above the age of consent is no longer a boy so you can’t call that sexual abuse.

          What about girls and boys in tents together in Venturing you say? Well, that’s different they say and gender segregation is wise youth protection. Scout’s Honor and we all know sexuality has no place in scouting. I see no difference in placing a homosexual older male Scout with a younger boy and an older male Scout with a younger female Venturer. But, they say morality is in the eye of the Scout anyway so just get a good nights sleep and don’t worry as long as YPT is in place, you’re legally protected by BSA.

  3. But the Oath says, “Morally straight” and there is no way a homosexual in a “Christian/Religious” organization is considered “morally straight”. There should be something written about the boys abstaining from sexual practice in any way until the age of 18 or older. I think the ball was dropped when they didn’t address the issue of the “youth” members of Venture Crews that are homosexual. An 18 year old has a lot of influence on a child of 14-16 and the experimentation could be very disturbing to a young person that is questioning his/her own sexuality. I think the age should have been written as under the age of 18, not youth.

    • But the Oath says, “Morally straight” and there is no way a homosexual in a “Christian/Religious” organization is considered “morally straight”.

      Your mileage will differ, obviously, but the Disciples of Christ have held that a homosexual may be morally straight. We’re fewer than we used to be, but we are, still the faith of three presidents, and I think we represent pretty widespread thought among American Christians. (Garfield, Lyndon Johnson, and Ronald Reagan)

      • The ELCA agrees with the Disciples of Christ that homosexuals may be morally straight.

    • From http://www.scoutingmagazine.org – this is the BSA’s definition of “morally straight”:

      . . . and morally straight.

      To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.

      Important key words “respect and defend the rights of all people”. The BSA is NOT a Christian/Religious organization. Please read the “Introduction” in the handbook you’ll learn a lot about what Lord Bayden Powell was promoting, and it wasn’t religion. Some charter organizations have linked it to religion but that is not what the intent of the founders was.

    • Cathy the term morally straight in 1910 has a different meaning that it does now. these are all definitions of the word straight before WWII. As you can see nothing about sexual orientation.
      true, direct, honest
      clear, unambiguous
      undiluted, uncompromising
      become respectable
      decent, conventional person

  4. Whatever decision was going to be made, people were going to be upset. Let’s wait for guidance from National and learn to deal with it. We’ll lose some CO, but we’re going to get some new ones (Maybe some of those schools that threw out the scouts when we labeled as not welcoming all). If we still put on a good program, I’m sure we’ll still have boys come in.

    • Schools are not coming back. The ACLU sued Chicago Public Schools, the federal Dept of Housing and Urban Dev., and the military over chartering scout units because of the religious element of BSA’s program. All three settled, and at that point BSA simply stopped issuing charters to gov’t institutions.
      Units that meet in schools are not chartered to the school, they’re chartered to a civic organization (Lions, Moose, VFW, etc), the PTA, or to a “Friends of XXXXX” LLC, and simply meet in the school.
      http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/pentagon-agrees-end-direct-sponsorship-boy-scout-troops-response-religious-discrimin

      • Not true here. Our pack has a grade school as our charter org, the school has no pta or pto or parent group.

        • Is it a private school? BSA doesnt even have a column for public schools as charter organizations after the 2005 ACLU threat to sue them all out of existence. You might take a look at the actual charter and see who it is. I’d be surprised if it says “XXXXX Public School District”

          if some council actually has units chartered to public schools, they will only exist until someone reminds the school district that “BSA discriminates” and then the unit will promptly be shut down. More “tolerance”, I guess.

        • Not a private school and not the school district. The primary school itself is the charter org. The school has not had a PTO/A or parent organization of any type in over 5 years.

        • Interesting Deanna – I wonder if the charter actually says “XXXX Public School” and if the COR is an actual school district employee who is aware of their contractual obligation.Evidently, that unit has escaped the notice of the local ACLU chapter.

          Regardless, that is a real rarity these days and one that is not likely to become more common. Why? Any attorney can quickly show that the BSA is discriminatory in it’s membership policy, even now, and can threaten a governmental agency and employee with immediate legal action that is likely to produce results quickly. A principal who elects to charter a private organization with discriminatory policy is truly putting their livelihood in a precarious position these days.

          In today’s risk averse world, very few school districts are going to be willing to enter into contractual obligations without a thorough review from their legal counsel. If I was representing a school district, I would advise against it. The reason is simple: the increase in legal exposure is not necessary to accomplish the stated mission of the institution. If you look at the current break down for types of charter orgs, that truth is born out. Unfortunately, private institutions are now under that same risk.

        • Any attorney can quickly show that the BSA is discriminatory in it’s membership policy, even now, and can threaten a governmental agency and employee with immediate legal action that is likely to produce results quickly.

          That works only if there is some action that is actually discriminatory. A school principal who chartered a unit that accepted any qualified student in the school would have a great defense.

          When the military discriminated against gays, schools still had ROTC. I think this complaint is overblown, and shouldn’t be spread without more accurate documentation of “immediate legal action.” Those instances are few and far between, but often talked about.

          It’s a lot like school prayer, and Bibles in schools. I hear from Pat Robertson and other partisans that the Supreme Court has banned prayer in schools, and religious texts. In almost all cases where I was called in for legal advice, some poor lower-ranking school official had acted on Pat Robertson’s TV advice, and told a kid to cover a Bible, or put it away.

          That’s not the law, of course. And if schools follow the law, they stay out of trouble.

          Where is there a law that says schools may not sponsor BSA units?

        • It is the grade school and the COR is the principal. We are not the only public school in the district to have a Pack.

        • Again, point by point Darrell –

          “That works only if there is some action that is actually discriminatory. A school principal who chartered a unit that accepted any qualified student in the school would have a great defense.”

          Ed, the BSA openly denies membership to all atheists, agnostics, and homosexual adults. That is the definition of a discriminatory policy – to exclude someone based on some characteristic. A school principal has no defense because he or she has no control over the policy and when they signed the charter, they agreed to uphold the policy. And, as anyone who has been sued before knows, so called “great defenses” cost lots and lots of money, which is exactly what the ACLU was counting on when they threatened suit against every govt entity that charters a unit.

          “When the military discriminated against gays, schools still had ROTC. I think this complaint is overblown, and shouldn’t be spread without more accurate documentation of “immediate legal action.” Those instances are few and far between, but often talked about.”

          Actually, it was hotly contested in areas with strong liberal school boards and local governments. Use your search engine to familiarize yourself with the controversies in SF,LA and NYC.

          “It’s a lot like school prayer, and Bibles in schools. I hear from Pat Robertson and other partisans that the Supreme Court has banned prayer in schools, and religious texts. In almost all cases where I was called in for legal advice, some poor lower-ranking school official had acted on Pat Robertson’s TV advice, and told a kid to cover a Bible, or put it away.

          That’s not the law, of course. And if schools follow the law, they stay out of trouble.

          Where is there a law that says schools may not sponsor BSA units?”

          Well, as the ACLU has proven, there doesnt need to be a law. You simply threaten suit, file suit, and then force and agreement because the other party cannot afford the suit.

          This is the EXACT reason that federal institutions like military bases and schools no longer charter Scout troops: http://www.scoutingforall.org/data/layer02/aaic/2004111906.html

          And lots more from a source that is decidedly NOT Pat Robertson’s:

          http://www.scoutingforall.org/data/layer02/wycd/wycd3Frame.html

          As I said, BSA is not even listing public schools as a specific group in it’s detailed break down of charter organizations here: http://www.scouting.org/About/FactSheets/operating_orgs.aspx

          Public schools that charter Scout units are simply counting the days till the local ACLU chapter or liberal school board member notices them. If there is some uptick in charters with government organizations after this recent policy change, I’d love to see it because every anti discrimination organization that has targeted BSA in the past simply said they were redoubling their efforts after the recent policy change:
          http://www.glaad.org/blog/boy-scouts-america-does-not-end-ban-gay-scouts-and-leaders-pressure-bsa-grows

        • ChetNC
          Your comments are interesting about the “liberals”. The principal is very liberal and was delighted with the policy change. The committee members talked with the principal before the vote and she had no issue allowing the continuation of the charter regardless of the vote.

          The committee members of the pack do not ask about a cub’s religious affiliation or lack thereof. We let the parents know about the religious awards and since the parents or any adult can sign for advancement, the den leaders leave it to the cub’s family to sign off on all religious requirements.

          The pack has been at this school for over 7 years and the relationship is well established between the principal and the committee. I don’t think there will be a problem and if there is, then it will be handled appropriately.

        • Deanna, I am very glad your school is living up to it’s responsibilities as a charter organization. You are misinterpreting my presentation of the current reality as though I did not want public schools to charter units. That is not so. The charter held by your public school represents a minority of the charters in existence. That’s not because of the principals or school administrations “arent liberal enough”. That’s because attorneys have found actionable claims when governmental organizations choose to charter Scout units.
          As I said, the only reason your charter continues to exist is because it has escaped notice. Eventually, like city councils that open in prayer, someone will be along to inform the school system that the charter is discriminatory via an attorney’s letter. When that happens, the district’s attorney will advise the superintendent to shut it down once he researches the case history here. The political position of the principal wont matter one iota at that point.

    • Dennis,
      There will be no upswell in support from new organizations because those organizations are still not satisfied with BSA’s adult membership policy. If even they do once the next change is rammed through, they dont have the numbers to replace the tens of thousands of faith based charters anyway.

      There will be no upswell in funds from the major corporations either because the activists are still pressuring them to withhold support until the adult policy changes. Because they have been ostracized from the process, the faith based charter orgs that have supported us this last century will now quietly fade away over the coming years and the corporations arent going to fill the vacuum.

      Let’s come back to this thread in 5 years and assess the losses. Membership will be down. Average length of continuous charters will be down and a much higher number of units will be chartered with transient membership parent groups that lack permanent facilities and resources.

      Face it, we just kicked one leg off the stool because we thought the grass was greener.

      It aint. The next decade of Scouting is going to be difficult on an organizational level.

  5. Sinners belong in church. Boys belong in scouting. What better way to get sinners to church than to sponsor a troop. As long as the Pastor is not forced to be quiet when speaking about Biblical principles. It is the same as a scoutmaster going to church and hearing the good word that turns him from cheating on his wife and asks for forgiveness.

  6. “The Main Thing” is allegedly supposed to be to “serve more youth in scouting”. Serve them in what way? To what end? May I suggest that the proper interpretation of this propaganda called “The Main Thing” is: “To add more members, and hence get more MONEY and support the establishment at BSA that created this disastrous decision in the first place.” Since when was it all about how many members we have? This is just a distraction—an attempt by the leaders at BSA who want us to forget what a foolish decision they managed to cram through the system. Our troop and pack are closing down at the end of 2013; a loss of about 80 boys and 40 adult members. R.I.P. B.S.A., Born 1910—Died 2013.

  7. I am a conservative Republican. The BSA is not Christian, it is moral. Not all religions view homosexuality as immoral. We cannot enforce a specific religious POV.

  8. I am always saddened when people who so strongly believe that they are good and moral seem corrupted by fear, hubris, or intolerance. :(

    Don’t let hate live in your heart.

    “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.

    • “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. followed by he command to the Sinner “Go and din no more.”

      BSA is not a Christian organization but folks keep using scripture to attempt to weaken the argument of the Christian moral organization. The BSA ha compromised its previously moral stand to exclude open homosexuality as incompatible with Scouting. That is all I have said. Moral is determined by the Community or organization and BSA has lowered itself to the moral code of the secular community at large where most any sexual preference or orientation is accepted a normal behavior.

      Being Republican is certainly no claim to morality. Just look at politicians. I have the back room of Republican campaigns and Conventions and i ran. Compromise is a way of life.

      • Hate, Fear and Hubris.

        They do nothing to enrich life, they only take away from it. When they are defended by the selective use of scripture, regardless of the religion, it does nothing to strengthen an argument. When someone walks away from a discussion (as I am about to do), it does not necessarily mean that they capitulate, nor that the other party is “right”. It usually means that the they see the discussion as fruitless.

        I leave this discussion with the comforting belief that history suggests our society will continue to become more enlightened, tolerant and inclusive. The number of people who believe it is acceptable to treat others as inferior to themselves dwindles with each generation. The number of people who would rather hurt another individual because they are different rather then be enriched by their friendship is shrinking every day. One day, these attitudes will be as unacceptable as racism and bullying. Of this, I am certain. So I chose to leave this discussion now with hope and happiness for the future in my heart.

      • Fred, if Jesus were standing next to you, I doubt the two of you would get along very well given your stance. There is nothing in Christianity advocating you being so excitable, anxiety-ridden, angry, and resentful of not getting your way.

        • I think Jesus and I would get along fine and we do and he is by my side every day and his Word is my path. What about you?

          Me Me said: “There is nothing in Christianity advocating you being so excitable, anxiety-ridden, angry, and resentful of not getting your way.” Hmm, your tag indicates you may be the one with these emotional issues. I was angry. Kind worked that out but stridently opposed the new policy and will continue to work to have it revert back to old policy.

          What would you do Me Me? You had no desire to continue battling to have homosexual boys in Scouting with the Policy against you? I’m sure you did and continued to advocate for full homosexual inclusion until the Immortal 1400 made your day. So I shall continue to advocate for a return to the exclusion policy for open and avowed homosexuals. Its the American way.

  9. Reality check people: Most of us would have never applied the ban to a youth member! Issues of sexual preference were to be sorted out with parents and religious leaders. The new statement just describes how a lot of us have been working the program anyway. Then in recent years, folks started to use it to bludgeon youth, so …

    A lot of us resented the notion that we could work with a youth for 7 years, and someone from outside our unit could – on account of the kid’s “interested in the same sex” declaration on social media – be required to dismiss him/her from our troop/crew. Meanwhile, a drunken thief of a girlfriend abuser whom we’ve withheld a scoutmaster conference can still appeal for an Eagle board of review.

    Excuse me, but in both cases, I would the my and my unit committee’s decisions to be respected. Otherwise, it’s just getting between a bear and her cub. What else would you expect happen?

    If you chase the sinner or publican away from my campfire, what chance do I have of sharing the Good News? (No apologies for the Biblical reference.)

    • Like I said, BSA has compromised its moral code and you were violating the previous anyway. Like a lot of folks on here, rules are for those who choose not to evade them. I’m sure your Troop would be welcoming to homosexual adult leaders next year as it is inconvenient to follow an unfair rule.

      We would have denied both youth the Eagle rank. Both fail to meet the standards. If BSA Council or National wanted to overrule the Unit, that’s on their conscience and we would not recognize. I’m surprised at how many break the rules “for the good of the Scout.” What about maintaining the quality and prestige of the award tainted by bending the rules to accommodate and otherwise unqualified Scout? I understand its okay with many of and that is your right, just say it out loud and take ownership of it. Much like giving every kid on a T-ball or other athletic team a trophy, folks say “Well, he tried and he was here, we need to do it for the kid.”.

      As far as chasing Publican’s and Sinner’s, as I repeat for the umpteeth, time, BSA is not a Church, leaders will not be allowed to counsel in the name of Christ or share the Gospel (intolerant and offensive). BSA is supposed to an organization that instills moral and ethical values for a lifetime in youth through character education. BSA just lowered the moral bar to accept previously immoral behavior in the eyes of BSA and incompatible with Scouting to be moral and acceptable. Its that simple.

      • No, Fred, BSA just allowed folks to continue with the SAME MORAL STANDARD that was in place since 1910. We don’t force boys to make decisions of a sexual nature. We bring them to their parents and their priests. Applying the ban to youth was doing just the opposite!

        This “you think you’re gay, I think you’re gone” innovation of the 80′s did nothing to stem the tide of teen sexual experimentation. The boy’s either clammed up, or they said, “Fine, I’m gone, hater.”

        BSA is not a church, but most of it’s charters are. And we leaders are encouraged to bring our religious life to the fore. In fact, I would argue that a boy will see more religion from his scoutmaster in a weekend than he will from his preacher in a year.

        • SO you’re another one that thinks Baden-Powell, Seton, Beard and Boyce contemplated homosexuality in Scouting when it was founded. Funny, they’re all dead and we can’t ask them. Some on this list actually claim BP was homosexual himself. Sorry, I don’t see either one of those for a man of his time, moral code and principles. It became an issue because homosexuals began silently joining and keeping it a secret. Had it been open and avowed, it would have happened sooner. When brought to light, it was exposed and violators were removed. Seems pretty straightforward to me that homosexuals and homosexual advocates assumed the wrong thing for a long time.

          I don’t think BSA or any character education program has any reason to accommodate “sexual experimentation.” It just keeps getting better with you folks.

          I see NO CHANCE a leader in BSA will be allowed to counsel using Christian faith with a Boy Scout after January 1. Let’s wait and see.

        • I’m agreeing with you on a lot of your points Fred, However there is a great deal of evidence BP was a homosexual. Read his life story. I think that doesn’t matter that was a long time ago. I am waiting to see what happens when a openly gay youth becomes an adult and applies for a leadership role. Is BSA going to re-address that a few years from now? Why can’t I get and answer? I think they are playing a wait and see game, the BSA is trying to please as many people as possible to gain the most for financial reasons. I simply want to know is this the first step? is there another step allowing openly gay leaders? I cant get a simple answer.

        • I just don’t buy the B-P homosexual thing. Just my opinion, that’s all. The Odd Couple would be a homosexual show these days. Can’t see Jack Klugman and Tony Randall shackin’ or B-P shackin’ but I might not be enlightened enough.

          Does anyone believe that BSA or GLAAD might have a soon-to-be homosexual Eagle Scout in the wings waiting for Jan 1st. to manipulate this issue into easier acceptance of Phase II (homosexual adult leaders) now that Phase I (homosexual Scouts) has been accomplished. Not a conspiracy theorist but would not put it past current BSA leadership. I think you’re right. Its the way incrementalism works.

        • Because we at present do not have any sanctioned and approved BSA homosexual Eagle Scouts that have passed an Eagle BOR with the grace and blessing of National BSA.

          I am sure denying that Eagle Scout will be the splash they are looking for to accomplish phase ii. “How could they possibly .do it! Such hatred and intolerance from an organization that just compromised on youth!”

          I wouldn’t be surprised if they are considering the “before Jan 1″ option. I’m thinking they want feedback on the new training materials first. Might be just a tad quick for some of the national leadership.

        • Fred wrote: “Because we at present do not have any sanctioned and approved BSA homosexual Eagle Scouts that have passed an Eagle BOR with the grace and blessing of National BSA.”

          Yes we have, Fred. Just because *you* don’t know any of them, does that mean that it hasn’t already occured. And it has. Where do you think that all of these adult “Gay Eagle Scouts” come from? Cabbage patches?

          Just because before or during an Eagle Board of Review the Eagle candidate reveals “just so you know, I’m Gay” doesnt mean that the BSA hasn’t already produced Eagle Scouts who just happen to be Gay.

          That’s the point that so many people have been trying to get it past your skulls and into your brains: the BSA doesn’t WANT TO KNOW; it is NOT part of the discussion which goes on during Eagle Boards of Review (nor should it EVER BE a part of the discussion); and we don’t talk about sex IN SCOUTING.

          So we have had plenty of Eagle Scouts who as you stated, “received the blessing of National BSA” and just happen to have in a description of themselves, the word “Gay” or “homosexual” among other traits.

          “I am sure denying that Eagle Scout will be the splash they are looking for to accomplish phase ii. “How could they possibly .do it! Such hatred and intolerance from an organization that just compromised on youth!” ”

          First, we don’t “deny” anyone the Eagle Scout rank. They choose to not accept the Eagle Scout rank through their non-attendance or non-participation in the Board of Review at the Eagle rank level. If they don’t show, they can’t participate in the Board of Review discussion. If they choose not to attend, that’s on that candidate. Not on the BSA nor the local Council.

          Second, why would the BSA even *try* to “deny” a Scout Eagle? That’s a non-starter comment in itself, Fred. The BSA is wanting to have MORE Eagle Scouts, not less. But there is a standard — and every Scout (whether they are skinny and tall or fat and “Porky”; Gay or straight; black, white, brown, yellow or some other color shade in-between; right or left-handed; and no matter what part of the world they live in or participate in the Board of Review from) as long as they meet that standard and meet the requirements as listed — will become an Eagle Scout.

          “I wouldn’t be surprised if they are considering the “before Jan 1″ option. I’m thinking they want feedback on the new training materials first. Might be just a tad quick for some of the national leadership.”

          Maybe. Maybe they want to give every youth the opportunity to become the best Scout they can — and that does not mean that “every kid becomes an Eagle Scout.” We have a lot of Americans who never have made it to Eagle who have done some really amazing things with their lives and those around them!

          Eagles are exceptional; but I have a high regard for any kid who makes it to First Class!

        • I must write in a way that you cannot interpret what I am saying because your replies become wide-ranging and bring topics I never brought up. It’s not a criticism just me trying to understand what happens when you reply.

          I’m going to respond on to the topics i brought up and point out topics I never brought up.

          MIke W said:”Yes we have, Fred. Just because *you* don’t know any of them, does that mean that it hasn’t already occured. And it has. Where do you think that all of these adult “Gay Eagle Scouts” come from? Cabbage patches?”

          Until January 1, 2014. no Eagle Scout certificates issued to a homosexual Scout is valid if he was in fact homosexual and lied about it. Sorry, can’t cheat on a major test and get credit. Not really surprised you would accept it but no leader who follows the rules can accept it have any integrity. I specifically and excrutiatingly pointed out the first homosexual Eagle Scout to follow official BSA.. “Homosexual Eagle Scouts ” before are in a fantasy world if they think they earned it through deception and the Cabbage Patch is good as any fantasy world. You’re obviously familiar with it.

          Mike W said:”That’s the point that so many people have been trying to get it past your skulls and into your brains: the BSA doesn’t WANT TO KNOW; it is NOT part of the discussion which goes on during Eagle Boards of Review (nor should it EVER BE a part of the discussion); and we don’t talk about sex IN SCOUTING.”

          Excuse me, Mike, was not official policy that homosexuality was incompatible with Scouting? That is correct, right? Should not any Eagle BOR in the USA have the expectation that a homosexual youth would not have lied to get before them. I’m listening.

          Mike W. said: “First, we don’t “deny” anyone the Eagle Scout rank. They choose to not accept the Eagle Scout rank through their non-attendance or non-participation in the Board of Review at the Eagle rank level. If they don’t show, they can’t participate in the Board of Review discussion. If they choose not to attend, that’s on that candidate. Not on the BSA nor the local Council.”

          A specific clarification. What I meant and I thought it read that way was that if the Council or BSA passed an Eagle Scout with no Scoutmaster approval, we would deny (say it is not valid) for our Troop. I did not say what you said I said and I have now clarified it.

          Your next paragraph makes no sense and entirely off point so “no comment.”

          Mike W. said: “Maybe. Maybe they want to give every youth the opportunity to become the best Scout they can — and that does not mean that “every kid becomes an Eagle Scout.” We have a lot of Americans who never have made it to Eagle who have done some really amazing things with their lives and those around them!”

          I would agree with that and every Scout who meets the requirements to join has a chance to make Eagle. Its up to the Youth to drive himself with help of his Support Group (leaders, Scouts, parents) to get it done. 4% because a lor of Scouts do not have that drive and ethical and moral character.

          Mike W said: “Eagles are exceptional; but I have a high regard for any kid who makes it to First Class!”

          I was told when I joined that BSA wants every Scout to be First Class so he can save his life and the lives of those around him in an emergency. We try very hard for every Scout to achieve First Class. After that, we rely on the Scouts initiative as it should be. We’re not a merit badge mill for older Scouts like some Troops and if they earn Eagle, they have taken initiative to get the badges done and the work largely on their own helped every time they ask for it. Eagle Scout is supposed to be the pinnacle of ethical and moral values, proficient in skills in the outdoors and a self-made man of character when he is passed. I don’t see how a homosexual Scout who violated policy can get there.

        • Until January 1, 2014. no Eagle Scout certificates issued to a homosexual Scout is valid if he was in fact homosexual and lied about it.

          Why wouldn’t it be valid? If he passed the Board of Review and National Awarded it, it’s valid. There is no box on the application that says, “Sexual Orientation,” so there’s no way the topic should come up for most boys.

          Long before the ban, when I Scouted in Utah, homosexual boys usually made Eagle. No one talked about orientation until college or later — the boys earned the rank, they got the badge, the family was happy.

          To a man, each and every one of those guys I know was a fine Scout, and before the ban, many made great Scout leaders. If you didn’t ask them their sexual orientation, you’d never figure it out — and you’d be proud to have your son emulate all the visible qualities those men display.

          Their certificates are still valid. National has made no move to revoke them, nor should it.

        • Just reminding you of the Policy Ed. It seems years ago folks convinced themselves Boy-Boy sexual attraction was allowed because it was not specifically excluded. Cabbage patch ideas I’d say. Fantasy made up to make things fit in a make-believe world.

          Until I started on this blog, in 16 years in two conservative Councils in the Southeast United States, I heard no mention homosexual Scouts except the Dale case and then the lesbian DL. We figured big cities and the communities in progressive cities and States affirmed homosexual behavior but not in out back yard. You cna say what you want about “They were there, they were just closeted” but why would a young man choose to live his life in a lie when he could openly celebrate his sexual alternative choice in many other organizations? I believe to achieve an award he could not otherwise achieve. Deep in his heart he knew it was in violation of policy and I am sure some like the folks on this list affirmed him and enabled his deceit. Parents want the best for their child, that is understandable. I would have never put my son in Scouts if I knew homosexual youth or adults were in attendance. I will not affirm homosexual behavior for the many reasons I have posted many times.

          I love all people through Christ but we are not all the same and some choose to live alternative lifestyles outside scripture. we must sacrifice temptations to be odedient to the Word of God. If there is no sacrifice to receive eternal life as a gift, it cheapens the Cross and insults God himself. This is the way I live my life. I understand many others here choose other paths.

          I can’t answer why BSA did not revoke their certificates, but according to their policy they should have and I do not know any so I can’t ask. Please letme know how many you know?

        • Fred wrote in part: “Until January 1, 2014. no Eagle Scout certificates issued to a homosexual Scout is valid if he was in fact homosexual and lied about it.”

          I guess you’re one of those fellas out there with one of those “Gayometers”. How would you or I or anyone else know if a Scout is Gay when participating in an Eagle Board of Review — before or after January 1, 2014?

          We don’t ASK such questions during the Eagle Board of Review; there’s no space on the Eagle Application to ‘check’ or “X” off that a Scout is Gay; and all requirements must be met before the Scout turns 18 years of age (except for the Board of Review).

          So tell me, Fred, how would YOU know? Gayometer?

          You also stated: “Excuse me, Mike, was not official policy that homosexuality was incompatible with Scouting? That is correct, right?”

          Nope. Thought that the official BSA policy is that no OPENLY GAY members can serve and that, not the fact that a person is a homosexual, is incompatible with Scouting *as it exists now*. Doesn’t mean that a Gay, “closeted” youth cannot earn Eagle. There’s enough evidence out there which say that the opposite was true going back to the 50s and 60s.

          “Should not any Eagle BOR in the USA have the expectation that a homosexual youth would not have lied to get before them. I’m listening.”

          No. The mere fact that a homosexual youth DOES NOT PRESENTLY have to state that they are Gay (or left handed, or biracial for that matter) in order to participate in a Board of Review, let alone an Eagle Board of Review. He has to meet the requirements and his Scoutmaster recommends him for that Board appearance. Simple as that.

          Again, there’s no requirement which states that “only hetrosexual boys” may earn Eagle.

          And you’ve also stated in part: “I was told when I joined that BSA wants every Scout to be First Class so he can save his life and the lives of those around him in an emergency. We try very hard for every Scout to achieve First Class. After that, we rely on the Scouts initiative as it should be. We’re not a merit badge mill for older Scouts like some Troops and if they earn Eagle, they have taken initiative to get the badges done and the work largely on their own helped every time they ask for it. Eagle Scout is supposed to be the pinnacle of ethical and moral values, proficient in skills in the outdoors and a self-made man of character when he is passed. I don’t see how a homosexual Scout who violated policy can get there.”

          I can. He meets the requirements. That is all I expect from a First Class Scout — a competent Scout who has met all of the demanding requirements and tenure as a Scout to appear before a Board of Review for the First Class rank.

          Whether he’s gay or straight, if the BSA doesn’t care — I don’t care. Nor will that person he saves the life of or that family he protects from the cold from either.

  10. I still feel that this whole thing is nothing more than Progressives and Gays pressuring of the BSA. Again it is only the beginning. Look at the news, it’s all both groups vile and vulgar behavior that should override this decision. There is nothing “clean” about their agenda.

  11. Why didn’t we just stay with “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell”. Did we have some gay boys in our troop? I think so. Did I work with some gay Scouters over the years?
    I think so. But you know what??? The subject never came up. Not once, and I’m going back 40 years. Everyone did there job. If anyone had a agenda, we didn’t know about it. Did our boys get the full benefits that Scouting had to offer. Yes they did.
    Did anyone of us later in life at a reunion or by a chance meeting ever ask ” Oh by the way were you gay or straight? Never! What good would that of done. When ever we put labels on people we take a step backwards. If you want more boys in Scouting, your going to need more leaders. Youth protection, Background Checks,
    First rate trained adult leaders. We have the best Educational Supplement going!
    The nation needs us. Lets get going!!!!!! I’m with Ed Darrell from Utah on this one.

  12. Fred, why keep going at it with Mike? He is never going to stray from National’s position on this. He has already told us how fair the vote was and made sure that we knew who he was and how he got there. Take the time to read his bio and you will get a pretty good idea of what I am talking about. The man in this link is one whose hand I would like to shake.
    http://www.goupstate.com/assets/pdf/SJ2729663.PDF

    • Wait…you’ve READ a bio of me or of Rex? As far as I’m aware of, THIS Mike Walton doesn’t have a bio online. There’s a military bio out there somewhere; and some brief informational about me as part of the USSSP. But no *official bio* — not of ME. If you want to know about ME, you just need to ask. *smiling*

    • I didn’t start with him. He keeps posting entries and bringing up issues I never mentioned and offering absurd colorful comparisons when I try to speak plainly on specific items.

      You are correct though. he ignores the logic for the illogic. breaking rules if okay as long as nobody is physically or mentally openly injured and just because it is obvious youth broke the rules for earn Eagle, it is okay because he was a closeted homosexual as a result of evil rulers.

      He has definitely drank the Koolaid and that is his choice. Take any an all youth regardless of moral and ethical character and try to make them Eagles without changing who they are morally and ethically. It cheapens the award in my opinion.

      If Eagle is not the pinnacle of achievement in Scouting honestly earned it it is nothing at all.

    • I have read Mike’s bio, and he’s the one whose hand I want to shake.
      Mike, thank you for your service to Scouts and to our Country.

  13. Pretty simple to see, I clicked on your stage name and read the “about” section on your website. But you already knew that. I guess you have no comment on the Scout
    Exec who resigned for principled reasons. He was with you when the “fair” vote was taken in Texas

    • Wolfmom2 wrote in part: “I guess you have no comment on the Scout
      Exec who resigned for principled reasons. He was with you when the “fair” vote was taken in Texas”

      Yes, he was there. What would you like me to say — that “he’s abandoning us?” Nah. He made a decision, for his own reasons and I wish him and his wife well as they become missionaries. His Council will be fine — the volunteers will hire a new Council Scout Executive, and Scouting will continue in that Council.

      Same with volunteers. We have people who quit, leave, “retire”, get “fired” or give up all of the time. We feel bad for them leaving (maybe), but there’s other volunteers out there willing to serve in their places — if we let them know that they are needed.

      Would you feel different if he was fired for having the heart to “disagree” or do you think that every Council Scout Executive has to “tote the BSA line” all of the time regardless of issue? It’s not that way — for the Scout Executive is NOT “hired” by the BSA but instead by *volunteers* in that Council. So it makes sense that if he (or she, for we have 20 or so Councils now managed by *shock* females) doesn’t feel that they would be effective — or if the “rules have changed” and they can’t feel that they can adjust to the new realities — that it’s time to retire.

      Or quit.

      I read his farewell letter and I agree with some of what he stated. I disagree with some other parts. We can disagree — that’s part of being Americans and humans.

      • Mike,
        Thanks for your response to a portion of my email. I am not sure what position you currently hold if any in scouting. Are you on the ground or are you looking at it from 50,000 feet? As a unit leader on the ground I can attest that people are miserable over this latest disaster from National. YES NATIONAL!

        It is a struggle to get volunteers at any level and yes we feel bad when they leave. It is worse when a chain of events causes them to make a choice that they clearly had no intention of making previously.
        These are real people, we cannot just say “oh well” let’s find someone else to give an hour a week. The volunteer pool is not that deep. Try your hand at getting enough volunteers to effectively run a camp or event much less a unit.

        To say that you will wish the Scout Exec well in his new endeavor is sick.
        He is only leaving the profession that he loved because of the vote. I respect the man for his principled reaction. To imply that he wanted to be a missionary is not being truthful.

        To say the Council will be fine is not realistic. Many units are in limbo and quite a few have already lost their Chartered Orgs along with all of their gear. I suppose that National will help fund the replacements.
        I have witnessed this firsthand.

        I also appreciate the education on how a council is supposed to work. If you truly expect all of us to believe your theory, I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you. A group of Councils working together without influence from National and our donors would never have passed this travesty. I would invite you to read the survey results for validation of this statement.

        Would I have wanted to share a rack with a gay person in the service? No way and if you were honest about it your answer would be the same. Do I want my sons or any of my scouts to share a tent with a gay scout and be put in harms way? No way and if you were honest about it your answer would be the same.

        To think that we changed our moral compass for a demographic group representing less than 2 percent of the population is mind numbing. With a straight face you are going to tell us again that it is not about the money.

        I get that you have a good gig going and will not make any statements that run on a different tangent from National. I would love to have this discussion with you without your official scouting facade in place.

        • Said it much better than I could. Some are going to back National and lowered standards no matter what.

          wolfmom2 said: “To think that we changed our moral compass for a demographic group representing less than 2 percent of the population is mind numbing. With a straight face you are going to tell us again that it is not about the money.”

          I said the same thing a couple of days ago. we have moved “magnetic north” to a whole new moral position.

        • Oh blame the gay thing on the lack of volunteers.

          I blame it on the millennial generation of parents…..

          ME ME ME ME ME ME

          They have their hands out for money like no group I have ever seen before. I can’t afford to send my son to day camp….well we sold candy bars to pay for it and you didn’t participate. Well, I don’t like selling door to door. Oh is that the latest Iphone you have there….ya isn’t it great I can talk txt and video chat at the same time…..dohhhhhhhhh.

          Been a scouter for 10 year and have witnessed this first hand….when I joined as a tiger parent over half the parents stepped up to help…

          This last years crop of tiger parents 12 boy not a single volunteer to run the den. The year before most of the parents wanted to drive by and drop them off. Getting progressively worse…..

        • Bob seriously missed the part in the handbook where it say’s a scout is kind.

        • Fred, yes magnetic north changed just like it always does in the natural world. BSA is still following true north by having the moral fortitude in addressing discrimination of boys based on sexual orientation and I expect in time they will for leaders too.

        • so you do agree that this is an incremental change for BSA to become inclusive of open sexuality for children and adults and you approve of that action and believe “Rainbow” Eagle Scout is the ethical and moral young man/woman of tomorrow? I would think you would agree with that position.

        • Fred wrote in part:
          “so you do agree that this is an incremental change for BSA to become inclusive of open sexuality for children and adults and you approve of that action and believe “Rainbow” Eagle Scout is the ethical and moral young man/woman of tomorrow?”

          An Eagle Scout is an Eagle Scout, Fred.

        • I see nothing immoral about homosexuals, nor people of a different race. I do not discriminate Fred. It’s just that simple.

        • Thank you, Todd. So,as I said long ago in this discussion, you and Mike and many others on this do not have a moral compass to follow where a Scout is concerned. Whatever he “feels” is moral is fine and he can lie if it might not be in accordance with BSA official policy?

          Here is the mission statement again: “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.”

          Just so I’m sure because this has been revealed by many of you on the pro-policy side, preparing young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime means their ethical and moral code internalized by them. BSA has nothing to do with establishing what a moral code is or should be? Can either you or Mike tell me what an immoral choice for a Scout could be? Do you consider BSA amoral in its instruction. I think that is where we are. None of you want to say what is immoral so you make no discernment. Just say it that way. If the pro-policy people would say “There is no moral code for a Scout except his own and BSA should not question it” I think your better illustrate you position.

        • Fred, BSA doesn’t make moral compasses, it directs kids to their religion for their moral compass.
          Many religions (including Catholocism) have a role for gay males.

        • “Thank you, Todd. So,as I said long ago in this discussion, you and Mike and many others on this do not have a moral compass to follow where a Scout is concerned.” – Fred

          I don’t think homosexuality has anything to do with morality. This is what my religion (Episcopalian) teaches as does many others such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Disciples of Christ, etc. In your mind if that means I have no moral compass, then oh well. I can’t change what you think.

        • Hi Wolfmom2!! I am sorry that I didn’t immediately respond to your questions, but I have to work and do other things than to be here all of the time.

          You wrote and asked some questions which I’m happy to respond to. You wrote in part: “I am not sure what position you currently hold if any in scouting. Are you on the ground or are you looking at it from 50,000 feet?”

          I am both on the ground as well as being able to be in a role which allows me to look at things from 50,000 feet (nationally), 25,000 feet (regionally), 8,000 feet (district) and from the ground (I’m assuming this is the ground level). I also write, travel and present talks to parents, volunteers and professionals in many areas of the nation.

          I’m a volunteer, not a “plant” for anyone working at the BSA’s national or one of the four regional offices. But if you read any of my content on my website, you already know this; as well as knowledge of who pays my rent, soup and sandwiches, and coffee.

          “As a unit leader on the ground I can attest that people are miserable over this latest disaster from National. YES NATIONAL!”

          Don’t be so fast to lay all of this on “national”, Wolfmom2. While the national volunteers pushed this whole matter downhill; it actually started with *local volunteers* wanting to get a definitive answer locally — and the local Councils deferred to the national folks, and that’s how we ended up in this matter.

          “It is a struggle to get volunteers at any level and yes we feel bad when they leave. It is worse when a chain of events causes them to make a choice that they clearly had no intention of making previously.”

          True that. But each volunteer has to make a choice for themselves — the BSA didn’t force them to “make a choice – NOW”; their personal decision and for some, the church or faith they are a part of, made those decisions. All the BSA has been doing is explaining themselves as best as possible, helping people to make their own decisions for themselves and their child(ren).

          “These are real people, we cannot just say “oh well” let’s find someone else to give an hour a week. The volunteer pool is not that deep. Try your hand at getting enough volunteers to effectively run a camp or event much less a unit.”

          Been there, done it and got the teeshirts to share. And yes, we can say “oh well.” We’re not (I’m not, anyway) going to beg people to stay when they choose to go. We’ll miss them — some of them anyway — but yes, the pool IS big enough to find others who want to give it a shot. Many don’t because they choose what groups or programs they have the time, energy, and tolerance to be a part of.

          It’s like volunteering for stuff at your child’s school. There are definately some things that you will NEVER volunteer for; some others in which if you knew someone else volunteering to do it, you’d help out also; and you, like me and many others, have “pet projects” you want to participate in no matter what. Scouting’s in the same way.

          “To say that you will wish the Scout Exec well in his new endeavor is sick.”
          Sorry. That’s MY feelings and wishes for this man. If he wants to go jump off a bridge, feed and minister to the sick or less fortunate among us, or go into outer space — *my* desire and good spirits will go with him and his wife. I had to make some decisions like that earlier in my life; I didn’t regret those decisions, and others wished me well as I went forward. This is no different. This man is forfeiting a lot — not just the salary his Council was paying him; but a loss of many friends and maybe some relatives as he moves his family toward something he believes is best for them and himself.

          “He is only leaving the profession that he loved because of the vote. I respect the man for his principled reaction. To imply that he wanted to be a missionary is not being truthful.”

          Like I said, I wish the man and his wife well — no matter what they decide on doing. Are you *from* this man’s Council? Have you asked anyone from that Council about this man and his actions? Do you know what state he left his Council in or who is going to take over as Scout Executive until the Council can interview and hire a new man (or woman)?

          “To say the Council will be fine is not realistic. Many units are in limbo and quite a few have already lost their Chartered Orgs along with all of their gear. I suppose that National will help fund the replacements.”

          No. The Council will assist those who are struggling. That is the purpose behind a local Council, Wolfmom2. What is going on with those units is NOT a “national thing” but a “local Council thing”. That’s where the support and assistance will come from.

          “I also appreciate the education on how a council is supposed to work. If you truly expect all of us to believe your theory, I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you.”

          Just trying to help. In MY Councils, it is not “theory” but “practice”. It’s how a Council should operate to support the units and individuals registered in those Councils.

          “A group of Councils working together without influence from National and our donors would never have passed this travesty. I would invite you to read the survey results for validation of this statement.”

          The survey, may I remind you, was NOT “universal”. It was a series of snapshots. The BSA admits this (LDS Scouters didn’t even participate in one set of those surveys and they are among the largest block of Scouters in the program. How come?) and so I don’t take stock in the surveys — or their results.

          “Would I have wanted to share a rack with a gay person in the service? No way and if you were honest about it your answer would be the same.”

          How would I know that I *haven’t* several times in my 30-plus years of service? The job of a Soldier is to fight, defend and serve. There’s simply little time for “discussion” about a person’s sexaul orientation — and even less time for caring.

          “Do I want my sons or any of my scouts to share a tent with a gay scout and be put in harms way? No way and if you were honest about it your answer would be the same.”

          How do you know that your sons or any of your Scouts have *already shared a tent with a Gay Scout*? Just because a kid has a mom and dad doesn’t mean that they are “straight”. I take it your schools and churches are not populated by Gay or Lesbian youth and/or adults right now, right? Again, how would you know — or like some others here, you’ve got Gayometers to determine at the time of meeting them if they are Gay or “straight”.

          I don’t have such a device. As far as I’m aware, there is no such device or tool — and as notables like Rock Hudson and Clay Aiken demonstrated to us (and broke a lot of hearts in the process), we can’t “tell” — only they can “come clean and tell us” when they are ready to do so.

          “To think that we changed our moral compass for a demographic group representing less than 2 percent of the population is mind numbing. With a straight face you are going to tell us again that it is not about the money.”

          I am going to tell you in the straightest face possible that this is NOT about money, as the BSA has enough in its reserves to get them through just about anything nationally. Some local Councils may have money issues but that’s a local issue and not a National one. So explain it to me please why the nation has switched from “anti -Gay” to “inclusive” in a few short years…and both conservative and liberal sides of our politics acknowledge this fact? Can money really buy off THAT MANY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE?

          “I get that you have a good gig going and will not make any statements that run on a different tangent from National. I would love to have this discussion with you without your official scouting facade in place.”

          You can, any time you like. If you’ve found my website, you have also found ways to contact me. My “gig” with Scouting is the same ones that many of the other Scouters here have going…and if you’ve taken the time to actually READ my postings out there on the Internet, you know that I don’t side on the BSA’s side nor the volunteers/parent sides with every issue, every concern.

          I side with what I feel is right — and my advice and information is based upon that.

          Thanks for your patience!

        • Several folks in this thread are attempting to foist the current stance of their particular faith as justification for a change in policy. In doing so, they are overlooking the the acrimonious splits that have occurred in their churches recently over this issue as well as current doctrinal debates that are still in full swing. To just off-handedly toss out the idea that Episcopal and Catholic churches do not consider homosexuality is laughable at best.

          They also overlook that the Episcopalian and Catholic power structure hasnt entertained ANY discussion on the matter until quite recently – not really a model of organization that is relying on historical doctrine to guide it’s future.

          As far as B-P being a closet homosexual (good heavens, what a tired nag this old meme is. I dont see how anyone with any semblence of knowledge on the man continues to trot it out.) – Just for argument’s sake, if we were to grant that this idea had any validity, should we honor a man who keep his identity secret from an organization that was founded on honesty, not to mention his wife, children, church, and friends? If anything, to postulate that B-P was homosexual is tantamount to claiming the man was a consummate and life long LIAR. Does anyone really want to go too far down that line of thought? Didnt think so.

        • If anything, to postulate that B-P was homosexual is tantamount to claiming the man was a consummate and life long LIAR. Does anyone really want to go too far down that line of thought? Didnt think so.

          What that demonstrates is the lack of a moral foundation in a system that requires great men to be lifelong liars. It also would suggest that a great man like B-P — or, say, a president of the United States — who could keep such a secret, was an honorable man able to keep confidences.

          It’s enough for me to understand that current Scouting policies would disallow as members people like George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Stephen Girard. We could allow Van Cliburn to be a Scout now, and we could allow Sally Ride to be a Venture.

          Wider and wider our circle expands, to our benefit, as well as to theirs.

        • Ed – your entire premise is silly. If the “system lacked a moral foundation” in the first place, why would B-P or any other man who was being “forced to be a liar” because of that then turn around and exalt the system AND create a youth organization that prohibited his proclivities? Did he lie to his wife and children he was “forced” to father, too? It’s just absurd to postulate this stuff without convincing evidence in support of it.

          Washington? Jefferson? I want to maintain a civil and productive discussion but if you are just going to baselessly claim that random leaders of society were homosexual because it suits your purpose then, I dont know if you have the same objective. These are argumentative claims at best. At worst, they are outright slurs against long dead men that had copious opportunity to discuss such a conflict in their many extant letters and journals, which they didn’t.

        • Ed – your entire premise is silly. If the “system lacked a moral foundation” in the first place, why would B-P or any other man who was being “forced to be a liar” because of that then turn around and exalt the system AND create a youth organization that prohibited his proclivities?

          You assume that B-P banned homosexuals. He didn’t. Nor did BSA from 1910 to 1991.

          A little study of history often provides a better perspective on current events.

          Did he lie to his wife and children he was “forced” to father, too? It’s just absurd to postulate this stuff without convincing evidence in support of it.

          Most homosexuals of that era would do exactly that. It wouldn’t be the first time, nor the most notorious time when someone thought to be a paragon of virtue was discovered to have had to cover up a part of his or her life, for what we consider specious reasons upon reflection.

          In almost all of those cases, the cover ups did not require any great untruth telling. They required only that people not discuss aspects of their lives.

          In my view, a view shared by millions of Christians, a culture that requires people to to hide homosexual activity and cover up their monogamous relationships is a culture of sin, and the coverups are not the problem.

          Washington? Jefferson? I want to maintain a civil and productive discussion but if you are just going to baselessly claim that random leaders of society were homosexual because it suits your purpose then, I dont know if you have the same objective.

          I didn’t make such a claim; I perhaps should have been more clear, but in a moment of forgetfulness I assumed you’d understand what I was talking about.

          Washington would probably have refused to sign the religious manifestation we require of leaders, and Jefferson almost certainly, too. Both John Adams and John Quincy Adams were Unitarians, with whom we in BSA have a non-relationship now. So they’d be out. (Millard Fillmore and William H. Taft also were Unitarians; Taft was president when the Boy Scouts of America was founded, and supported Scouting, so his ineligibility is particularly ironic.) Lincoln campaigned for Congress in 1846 with no religion, and when accused of being atheist, didn’t deny it. He said he was not and had never been Christian, but bore no ill will towards Christians who were otherwise moral people, and he won the race.

          President Buchanan was homosexual, most historians who study the time and Buchanan agree.

          Not sure what we’d have done with Dwight Eisenhower today. He was nominally a Jehovah Witness when elected to the presidency and designated Honorary President of BSA; he was baptized Presbyterian later.

          These are argumentative claims at best.

          It’s history. You can claim it’s not accurate, but you’ll have a difficult time disproving it.

          At worst, they are outright slurs against long dead men that had copious opportunity to discuss such a conflict in their many extant letters and journals, which they didn’t.

          I’ve already noted that I’d switched membership controversies; but what I have said about these presidents and founders is documented at great length in their journals, save for Washington — and there we have solid testimony from the various preachers who ran afoul of Washington assuming him to hold faith in Christ he did not pronounce.

          Saying someone was homosexual shouldn’t be considered a slur; that we make it a slur, that we create standards for membership that would exclude great people, is not their problem, but ours — and I believe we should repent.

          I often try to recruit good people to be leaders, people who don’t have children in Scouting, or no children at all. The astronaut Sally Ride would have been a great Cub leader, and a great merit badge counselor; but of course, after 1991 she would have been ineligible due to her homosexuality. Van Cliburn probably was a Cub Scout, before it was against BSA policy for homosexuals to be Scouts; Eagle Scout Rick Perry praised Cliburn at his funeral as an exemplary American. Cliburn often went out of his way to help youth, and wouldn’t it have been grand had he been a Music Merit Badge counselor for the Boy Scout Troop at his Baptist Church in Fort Worth?

          What a tangled web we weave when we make it necessary for great people to deceive, even passively, by omission. Groucho Marx made a joke out of being invited to be a member at a country club that excluded Jews; I’ve been working for years to find a joke in BSA’s standards that exclude Washington, Jefferson, Taft, Fillmore and Buchanan, but I haven’t found one yet. It’s serious business, and I think we’re seriously wrong.

          Changing our standards so that the next Van Cliburn can earn Eagle strikes me as a great thing to do; it’s a grand first step toward getting back into the moral mainstream of American life, for Scouting, I think.

          I regret anyone thinks it a “slur” to know the history of these people.

        • Ed….are you a paid blogger for BSA or a pro-gay organization to promote this policy? Since you are so pro-gay and all inclusive towards scouting I thought I might offer the below news article from today about the tolerance and inclusiveness of your leftist progressive crowd (pro-gay) – see below…….also – your crap about former Presidents and how you think they would act, or how they led their lives, is without any factual evidence – preposterous that Buchananon was gay and your assumptions about Jefferson and Washington are ridiculous-like all liberals you just argue what you want with out regard to facts or listening to the factual basis of the opposing side. Morality is the key issue for the MAJORITY of scouters both before and after this rigged vote – the survey showed that and all of the anecdotal evidence proves the same. BSA may have hired slick consultants and lawyers to make the administration and results look legitimate, but we all know the voters were “sold” and influenced on how to vote and it had nothing to do with how the majority of people felt or what they desired.

          in todays news:

          Two street preachers were brutally beaten — punched and kicked — by a crowd at a gay pride festival in Seattle and the entire melee was captured on video.

          The preachers were holding signs reading “Repent or Else” and “Jesus Saves From Sin.” The video shows a group of people initially screaming and threatening the men during Pridefest at the Seattle Space Needle.

          FOLLOW TODD ON FACEBOOK FOR CULTURE WAR NEWS. CLICK HERE TO JOIN!

          Television station KOMO reported that some of the attackers belonged to a group called NOH8

          A group of women tried to steal their signs but were unsuccessful. The video then shows a group of men grabbing onto one of the preacher’s signs and dragging him to the ground. At some point he was punched in the back of the head a number of times while others can be seen kicking the man.

          Another preacher was sucker punched in the back of the head.

          Police arrested two suspects – one of whom has a long rap sheet.

          It’s not the first time Christians have been attacked by pro-gay activists.

          Last August a gunman opened fire inside the headquarters of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. Floyd Lee Corkins, Jr. pled guilty to committing an act of terrorism on the pro-family organization.

          Corkins shot FRC security guard Leo Johnson – and intended to shoot others – but Johnson was able to disarm the man.

          Last year a group called “Angry Queers” caused thousands of dollars in damage to the Portland, Ore. campus of Mars Hill Church. The vandals hurled stones through stain glass windows, LifeSiteNews reported.

          The “Angry Queers” sent an e-mail to television station KOIN defending their criminal acts because “Mars Hill is notoriously anti-gay and anti-woman.”

          The vandals sent an e-mail to local television station KOIN-TV stating they took the action, because “Mars Hill is notoriously anti-gay and anti-woman.”

          And when the new campus of the church opened gay rights protestors shouted profanities at children calling them “homophobes” and telling the boys and girls they were “going to burn in Hell.”

        • Ed- I assume nothing. The fact that B-P did not specifically ban homosexuals has nothing to do with whether or not he was one. He did “ban” homosexuality because it was unnecessary to do so. Why? Every culture in which Scouting flourished had social mores or outright criminal codes on the subject.

          Further, simply stating that men have led duplicitous lives in search of sexual satisfaction proves nothing about B-P personally. You are suggesting that because something may be true for others, it is true for B-P. That, of course, is a logical fallacy. Also, arguing that because a man choose to engage in a particular activity to achieve sexual gratification that it was, therefore, morally right because of his position in society unless you are also arguing that adultery is also morally acceptable. You also cannot argue that someone who is fathering children with a woman, is, at the same, time, a monogamous homosexual. Again, this is simply argumentative on your part and serves no real purpose other than to cloud the issue at hand.

          However, your attempt to re-direct to other people besides B-P is noted. Regardless, none of the people whose religion or sexual orientation you mentioned has anything whatsoever to do with your claim that B-P was homosexual. It is, however, a good reminder that not everyone who is elected to public office meets the minimum requirements to join BSA – a very useful point in our day and time (although your claim that Washington or Jefferson would have a problem proclaiming a belief in a singular deity is baseless in all respects. Was it Pat Robertson or Jefferson that penned the following:

          ““God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

          Yep, that was Jefferson: Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781, p. 237.

          With the strength of your personal convictions, you shouldnt feel it necessary to appeal to past presidents and “millions of Christians” as being in agreement with you. It weakens your points significantly because your assertions about what they would do are in conflict with what they did do. I am not holding my breath waiting for proof of your assertions about B-P, either.

          Forgetting all the rhetoric: It really boils down to one thing: do people consider homosexuality to be a morally right? If that question had been asked in the BSA poll, ambiguity would have been impossible dismiss. I shouldnt say impossible because folks have done a good job of blatantly mischaracterizing BSA’s position prior to 1991 and dismissing the “millions of Christians” who chose to believe homosexuality is morally wrong. The question is, would we have paid attention to the answer?

        • Ed- I assume nothing. The fact that B-P did not specifically ban homosexuals has nothing to do with whether or not he was one. He did “ban” homosexuality because it was unnecessary to do so. Why? Every culture in which Scouting flourished had social mores or outright criminal codes on the subject.

          I think I’ll be a pedant on this: Show me.

          Scouting changed its policies in 1991 to ban homosexuals. There was no policy before. Period.

          You complained to me that you don’t like history as I tell it. I can accept that. But you don’t get to rewrite it to suit your argument. There was no ban on homosexuals under B-P.

        • Was it Pat Robertson or Jefferson that penned the following:

          ““God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

          Yep, that was Jefferson: Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781, p. 237.

          It was Jefferson, not Robertson.

          Context occasionally is useful in discussing history. How ironic that you cite that passage, in which Jefferson laments the invidious discrimination one group of Americans visited on another, says he fears God’s wrath will strike at the discriminators, but expresses hope that the discrimination will soon end.

          Yep, that was Jefferson, telling us God is against discrimination on biological grounds. Jefferson condemns slavery and discrimination against blacks in that passage; the whole of Query XVIII’s answer (embellishments added):

          There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us. The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do. If a parent could find no motive either in his philanthropy or his self-love, for restrain in the intemperance of passion towards his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present. But generally it is not sufficient. The parent storms the child looks on catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives a loose to the worst of passions, and thus nursed, educated,and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities.

          The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances. And with what execration should the statesman be loaded, who, permitting one half the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other, transforms those into despots, and these into enemies, destroys the morals of the one part, and the amor patrice of the other. For if a slave can have a country in this world, it must be any other in preference to that in which he is born to live and labor for another; in which he must lock up the faculties of his nature, contribute as far as depends on his individual endeavors to the evanishment of the human race, or entail his own miserable condition on the endless generations proceeding from him. With the morals of the people, their industry also is destroyed. For in a warm climate, no man will labor for himself who can make another labor for him. This is so true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed are ever seen to labor. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever; that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation is among possible events; that it may become probable by supernatural interference!

          The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest. But it is impossible to be temperate and to pursue this subject through the various considerations of policy, of morals, of history natural and civil. We must be contented to hope they will force their way into every one’s mind. I think a change already perceptible, since the origin of the present revolution. The spirit of the master is abating, that of the slave rising from the dust, his condition mollifying, the way I hope preparing, under the auspices of heaven, for a total emancipation, and that this is disposed, in the order of events to be with the consent of the masters, rather than by their extirpation.

          For Jefferson’s part, he could not bring himself to free his own slaves, not even upon his death, largely for financial reasons; neither could he violate the vow he made to his late wife never to remarry, not even to her half-sister, which marriage while not illegal in Virginia, certainly would have produced scandal.

          I vote we not wait for God to show us how not to discriminate against homosexuals, but that we undertake it on our own, now. Jefferson was right, and we should probably tremble, until we set our own boat aright, and practice the brotherly love and compassion Christians (and others) are called to. God is still just, and His justice will not sleep forever. Let’s not fear its awakening.

        • Ed – one typo there – too bad we can’t edit. The context should have been clear though -

          The fact that B-P did not specifically ban homosexuals has nothing to do with whether or not he was one. He did **not**“ban” homosexuality because it was unnecessary to do so. Why? Every culture in which Scouting flourished had social mores or outright criminal codes on the subject.

        • You accuse me of presuming things not in evidence; well, tu quoque.

          I don’t think we can ascribe an intent to ban homosexuals from BSA’s failure to do so. Homosexuality was widely accepted, and celebrated, for example, in several Native American cultures. Considering the marriage of pre-BSA youth organizations that patterned themselves on the culture of American Indians, I’d want some more solid evidence of intent to discriminate, before I’d ascribe it.

          Perhaps not in this thread, but in another I’ve noted that when I came through Scouting, in Utah, homosexuals frequently were Eagles. While nominally the culture frowned on homosexuality, it did not frown on homosexuals, especially among Scouts who were in every other measure fine men. Most of the time sexual orientation simply was not an issue; while it was assumed by some that every boy was hetero, it was not true that orientation was a disqualifying issue. Pre-marital sexual activity might have been an issue; I know of a few instances where Scouts were not rechartered because of a pregnancy or early marriage, anyone else who earned Eagle, got the badge.

          Were I to introduce you to those men today, you’d probably think “what a fine man; there’s an Eagle I wish my son would model himself after.”

          There was no ban on homosexuals, and homosexuals were Scouts, many achieved Eagle, and many were Scouters who pushed many other boys to Eagle.

          There simply was no ban on homosexuality in Scouting generally.

        • Ed- you have an irritating habit of not defending your statements and simply recharacterizing someone’s rebuttal to them. You intimated BP was a repressed homosexual, offered no evidence whatsoever and when called you on it, you simply moved on to an assertion that Jefferson did not and would not have made a statement regarding his faith in a deity. When called you on that, you then tried to equate slavery with homosexuality and suppose that Jefferson spoke out against discrimination. In fact, he was speaking very clearly about slavery and the reasons by which his belief in God came into conflict with the institution of it. It had nothing whatsoever to with homosexuality and equating it with such is, simply, argumentative.

          I want to have a constructive discussion but the sole position that you have offered is simply that homosexuality is not immoral in your religion. That, of course, is inarguable as each person is free to define their religious tenets as they see fit. However, there is zero historical evidence that BP supported it, practiced it, or that the Founders would have expected various and sundry religious institutions to support private organizations that condoned it. That is the real question here, isn’t it? IS THIS ULTIMATELY A “GOOD THING” FOR US OR NOT? Well, for your part, you are content to define a GOOD THING as meeting your personal religious requirements. Lucky for you, the policy change achieved your goal. But, for the rest of us who hold other values, we expect charter organizations to sever ties, the youth of those units, regardless of their personal religious or political views, to go unserved or underserved and Scouting in the US to be “lesser” on the whole simply due to reduced cooperation and participation stemming from this needless issue. The reckless abandon ( considering the board killed the issue publicly and then resurrected it months later….publicly) and brazen indifference to the organizations that partnered with the units for so long ( BSA didnt even bother to formulate a remediation plan for charter orgs that signaled an end to their program even though the executive board was pushing for the change) is virtually the opposite of “being prepared”.

          Simply put, folks are free to disagree on whether or not homosexuality is immoral. But, folks who understand how organizations work KNOW that needlessly placing one under stress will have consequences. You got what you wanted in the last membership vote. In the next few years, I doubt you or anyone else will actually want what you got.

        • Ed- you have an irritating habit of not defending your statements and simply recharacterizing someone’s rebuttal to them. You intimated BP was a repressed homosexual, offered no evidence whatsoever and when called you on it, you simply moved on to an assertion that Jefferson did not and would not have made a statement regarding his faith in a deity.

          You said you were unfamiliar with the biographies of B-P, I thought.

          There is not a lot of evidence of B-P’s orientation, but there is enough question that, as a historian, I’d not offer any statement that he was hetero, especially in relation to a claim that he would have favored discrimination.

          What you said earlier was that I had implied several other people were homosexuals, when I did not. And I worked to correct that image.

          I’m no expert on B-P. If you read the books about him, if you check with his biographers still living, I think you’ll see why I think it’s inaccurate to claim he was biased against homosexuality. You have offered no evidence whatsoever that he was, but you claim to need evidence to the contrary.

          Read the books.

          When called you on that, you then tried to equate slavery with homosexuality and suppose that Jefferson spoke out against discrimination. In fact, he was speaking very clearly about slavery and the reasons by which his belief in God came into conflict with the institution of it. It had nothing whatsoever to with homosexuality and equating it with such is, simply, argumentative.

          No, someone cited Jefferson’s belief in God — for what purpose I don’t know and could not ascertain (was it you? what was your point?) — and I noted that it was Jefferson’s statement saying that he fears God’s judgment because America discriminates. Regardless of whether you think homosexuals have civil rights to be left unmolested in their daily lives, it’s ironic to quote Jefferson in his statement that we’d better get our priorities straight and stop invidious discrimination (as well as slavery), in support of a claim that BSA should invidiously discriminate.

          Quoting Jefferson’s defense of civil rights, opposing civil rights, is not just argumentative, it’s a gross misinterpretation of Jefferson.

          Jefferson did author laws on sexual deviance. In character, they indicate that homosexual acts are a crime. In actuality, what Jefferson was doing was taking crimes out of the common law realm that put them in the jurisdiction of church authorities, in a clever maneuver to separate church and state. He did the same thing with blasphemy laws. At common law, the local preacher could accuse someone of blasphemy, for example, and at common law, the preacher could act as prosecutor, and interpreter of the law. Jefferson found that unjust. The simplest solution was to write a law on blasphemy and codify it, taking it out of the realm of common law, and making a state officer the prosecutor. For blasphemy, Jefferson wrote — prophetically — that guaranteed that there would be no prosecutions for blasphemy in Virginia, since no DA would waste time with such a claim, especially after the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom cleared up the issue with religious freedom in the Bill of Rights.

          I am unaware that Jefferson ever addressed sodomy laws in the same way, directly, but that bundle of law changes was done at the same time, in exactly the same way, with almost exactly the same effect. I don’t think there is much clear writing from Jefferson on the issue. Jefferson was opposed to all forms of discrimination, legally — though he readily confessed his inability to overcome his own personal prejudices. Freedom of conscience Jefferson defended in all cases — only Madison was more ardent at it.

          Saying that Jefferson favored discrimination cannot be supported well by his extensive writings.

          My concern with BSA and Jefferson is that he would not join organizations that required a statement of faith. In fact, when he ran against Adams in 1800, according to Dumas Malone’s research, fully half the American electorate believed Hamilton’s charges that Jefferson was atheist. Jefferson on principal said that was no business of the voters, and refused to make a statement of any kind, even a simple denial of atheism. You know the result: Jefferson was elected anyway. A man who would refuse to make a statement on religion to save the nation (he regarded defeat of Adams as such a nation-saving act), would not sign a BSA leader religious declaration. Nor would Washington, nor Franklin, nor Adams (who was Unitarian), nor Quincy Adams. Madison may have, but probably under protest (he was the guy who actually passed the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, having to beat back thundering Patrick Henry’s attempt to re-establish state payments to preachers to do it).

          I want to have a constructive discussion but the sole position that you have offered is simply that homosexuality is not immoral in your religion. That, of course, is inarguable as each person is free to define their religious tenets as they see fit. However, there is zero historical evidence that BP supported it, practiced it, or that the Founders would have expected various and sundry religious institutions to support private organizations that condoned it.

          If you want a constructive discussion, I’ll have to ask that you not make claims contrary to history in defense of your claim that history is on your side.

          There is zero evidence that B-P discriminated against homosexuals, and 81 years of history of BSA following that example with not policy against homosexual membership. It makes me nervous that we invent policies, a century later, that would disqualify from leadership in BSA great men like Ben Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Then, just to bring us closer to destruction by lightning bolt, you suggest we have a policy that may have excluded B-P — that’s too much for me. We’re already too far along in exclusivity to keep me, and my great American sect, comfortable. We support Scouting, but we’d be a lot happier if there were no great fervor to disallow membership to good people on religious and sexual orientation grounds.

          It is never a good thing to exclude Thomas Jefferson from your ranks. It’s suicidal to exclude B-P from the ranks. I beg you to reconsider before jumping off that cliff.

          That is the real question here, isn’t it? IS THIS ULTIMATELY A “GOOD THING” FOR US OR NOT? Well, for your part, you are content to define a GOOD THING as meeting your personal religious requirements. Lucky for you, the policy change achieved your goal. But, for the rest of us who hold other values, we expect charter organizations to sever ties, the youth of those units, regardless of their personal religious or political views, to go unserved or underserved and Scouting in the US to be “lesser” on the whole simply due to reduced cooperation and participation stemming from this needless issue. The reckless abandon ( considering the board killed the issue publicly and then resurrected it months later….publicly) and brazen indifference to the organizations that partnered with the units for so long ( BSA didnt even bother to formulate a remediation plan for charter orgs that signaled an end to their program even though the executive board was pushing for the change) is virtually the opposite of “being prepared”.

          Let me be a little more straight: I consider discrimination to be a great sin, in the nature of cardinal sin, a combination of sloth, wrath and pride.

          Avoiding policies that institutionalize cardinal sins is indeed “GOOD FOR US.” Standing by to allow such policies is not.

          Some keep telling me this is not a civil rights issue. I don’t see it that way at all. When I grew up, many people claimed skin color turned dark as a result of sin, and that people of color could “turn white” — literally — with enough repentance.

          That’s a physical impossibility, I hope we know now. (Several religions that disallowed people of color as members, now allow them.)

          Homosexuality is a similar issue, to me, and many who share my faith. Lucky for me? That’s what you think I should get for 22 years of pain, working to keep going a good organization until it repented from its sin (and then only partly)?

          Let’s go back to Jefferson for a moment.

          When the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was passed, there was a proposal to amend it, to make it clear that Jesus is the author of American religion.

          Well, let Jefferson explain it himself:

          The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason and right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read, “a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindoo, and the Infidel of every denomination. (Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Modern Library 1993 edition, pp. 45 and 46.)

          We’ve not yet reconciled with Jefferson, Washington and the others; we’ve got a policy that would reconcile us with the child Van Cliburn, the child James Buchana, and the child Sally Ride — we’ve made a small, vanishingly small, first step. It’s important, and it’s important that we make it work, you and I, and other Scout leaders and Scouts. Our colleagues of 1960, and 1950, and 1930, and 1910, were not sloths who shirked their duties; can we not live up to their performance now? They accepted boys of all orientations, and taught them to be men; on what basis does anyone shy away from that activity now? Who among us can judge the man the 8-year-old Cub will become, before he’s had a moment in Scouting? Who among us can judge as inadequate the work of the 18-year-old Scout at his Eagle Board of Review, after ten years of working for that rank demonstrating the values of Scouting he’s learned, day in and day out?

          Who are we to judge a boy on the content of his sexual orientation, instead of the content of his character?

          Can we not be at least as accepting as the Virginia legislature in 1786, 227 years ago?

          I find the Scout Oath and the Scout Law quite rigorous, and I am unwilling to say a boy shouldn’t have a great life in Scouting, and earn Eagle, if he lives up to those standards, but for one more that is not stated in that oath and law.

          On August 17, 1790, then-President Washington met with a group of Jews in Providence, Rhode Island. Congregation leader Moses Seixas extolled the virtues of Washington, but on the way to make a plea with him, that persecution of Jews would end. Washington responded:

          Deprived as we heretofore have been of the invaluable rights of free citizens, we now (with a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty disposer of all events) behold a government erected by the Majesty of the People – a Government which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance, but generously affording to All liberty of conscience and immunities of Citizenship, deeming every one, of whatever Nation, tongue, or language, equal parts of the great governmental machine.

          “To bigotry, no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

          No, do not ask me to accommodate persecution of a boy because of his sexual orientation. Our American history cries out against it, and I must answer that cry.

          Simply put, folks are free to disagree on whether or not homosexuality is immoral. But, folks who understand how organizations work KNOW that needlessly placing one under stress will have consequences. You got what you wanted in the last membership vote. In the next few years, I doubt you or anyone else will actually want what you got.

          We are a nation founded on ideas, on ideals, by idealistic people. Our founders, with rare exception, did not live up to those ideals. For 23X years, and for a hundred years before that, we have been at our best when we worked to live up to those ideals, even when we fell short, even when we fell short because we chose to fall short (Jefferson’s slave holding being a shining example). At each advance in civil rights, we have been warned that we would be disappointed in a few years; but each time, our nation gained much more than we imagined possible.

          We are called on to do that again, now, in an incremental way.

          Do not be surprised at the successes of this new policy, please, and especially do not stand in the way of successes of this new policy. Do not be disappointed when this policy produces fewer problems than imagined, and greater gains than we dare dream.

        • Ed, I think you are more interested in writing a treatise on your views than having a discussion. You dont respond to my point, not can you even remember what they are – you admit this more than once above.

          Was BP homosexual? Your line of thought seems to be that he probably was and because he was, he would have moved for inclusive Scouting today. Except there is no evidence whatsoever that he was. The biographers who raised the question admit that there was no evidence and the question is simply a product of their own opinion.

          Would some of the Founding Fathers refuse to sign BSA’s Declaration of Religious Principle? Your line of thought seems to be that they would and that should be justification for removing it altogether. Except, there is copious extant writings from almost all of them that reference their own personal belief in a supreme being and their morality that stems from it.

          Was Jefferson talking about “discrimination” or slavery in the cited passage? Your line of reasoning stems entirely from the former. Except, he never uses the term “discrimination” and only discusses the treatment of slaves by their owner and by the legislature. Equating discrimination by a private organization to the public institution of legalized slavery is silly. Claiming Jefferson’s passage as justification for your position that homosexuality is moral because it is biological is also silly.

          In building straw men for me, you go on to question whether or not I think homosexuals deserve civil rights. Considering the standard of proof you have for BP’s sexuality, simply raising the question is enough evidence for you to assume that I dont. You are wrong however. The long diatribe about whether Jefferson or other Founders would have signed the declaration of religious priinciple is not even germaine to your original point about homosexuality. It’s just another dodge. It also ignores the hundreds of extant writings that clearly elucidate their belief in a supreme being (which even then BSA has not been overly dogmatic about since Hindus and Buddhists occupy our ranks freely and unmolested). Again, you have reduced yourself to outright falsehoods and needless drama (comparing disagreement with you to a cliff is also absurd.)

          Ed- You are not doing me the courtesy of even reading my points anymore. What’s the point of continuing this?

        • Chet, I regret, but I have the distinct impression you’ve not read any of my remarks, nor have you done me the courtesy of responding to anything I wrote. I can’t answer your questions as you want them answered, it appears to me.

          Best of luck in your Scouting.

      • Co-opting someone’s criticism of your points: I think that is called the “I know you are but what am I” defense.

        Best wishes to you and your involvement in the program. Sincerely.

  14. Sadday wrote: “the term “straight” is offensive,TRY normal.”

    No thank you, I’ll use my own terms; and to ME “normal” is offensive — define that term.

    No, among other attributes I give myself (or others have given me) “straight” is a good additional description.

    • Normal:
      A man being attracted to a woman.
      A woman being attracted to a Man.
      A Mother bear protecting her cubs.
      Parents loving their children.

  15. Hello everyone, I just want to thank all the men and women who care enough about the youth of today to provide them with great friends, skills, leadership and understanding of all scouts no matter negative things are being said. Its about the scouts not the politics. I am proud to be a scout volunteer and to have my son be a great scout. Yeah for our troop and all the other troops around the world.

  16. what a lot of you are missing is the term morally straight back in 1910 didnt have anything to do with sexual orientation. it wasnt until after WWII that it did. The following are the different definitions of straight until after WWII
    true, direct, honest
    clear, unambiguous
    undiluted, uncompromising
    become respectable
    decent, conventional person

    • I think BSA should confirm this Statement for today. They should be clear what “ethical” and “moral” means to BSA or does the Scout tell BSA what it means? That low of a standard means I would never have encouraged my son to join in the first place. I would like to know and I think 70% faith-based Units would like to know.

    • Do you think that was because in 1910 homosexuality was illegal and homosexuality was recognized as the disease that it is?

  17. I had previously written about this subject to both the CVC and National before the election, but have yet to receive a response. My concern is that Scout and Scouter opinions/desires/concerns were not reflected in how the 1400 National voters voted, because the vote count surely does not reflect my informal polling, nor does it align with the National polling on the subject. Was this a politically correct decision? Was it driven by the progressive “Gaytheiest agenda”…I think next they’ll be looking at getting gay leaders in, and then removing God from our Scout Law too – read the progressive blogs – this is what they are really shooting for…As we all know and are prideful of the first element of the Scout Law is “Trustworthy”, but can we trust senior leaders who do not represent the wishes and concerns of the members of an organization? Were the decisions on policy change based on morals and principles that also reflect the wishes of the governed of our organization, or were the votes and policy changes aligned to appease the liberal political left and the media? I also hope this policy change was not about money and have scouting compromise its principles for dollars either. I have regularly interacted with hundreds of scouts, scouters, and parents as a Troop Committee Chair, SM, ASM, merit badge counselor (multiple), OA member, staff for MBU, and at numerous other scouting activities over the past 4 years – I can sincerely say the issue of gays in scouting never came up, until just a few months ago. When the discussion of the National vote on the policy change became an issue a few months ago I had numerous discussions with the aforementioned folks and never once did I hear anyone indicate that the idea of the policy change was a good one. Where did all of this consensus for the change come from? Surely not from “out in the field” as far as CVC is concerned – at least not where I was standing! Is not “morally straight” still part of the oath?

    Why the BSA had to make “sexuality” an issue at all still befuddles me…are we not about developing and building the character of young men? Why did we even need to go there in sexualizing scouting…..no need to answer my rhetorical statement…I am just frustrated, disappointed, and angry to the core and saddened in my heart and soul. We are a private organization and this issue had no place being thrust upon it without more intensive study of the subject and complete vetting of the consequences. I started a brand new Troop 4 years ago with just 4 boys and we were going strong with 30+ scouts just recently. Sadly we may lose 25% of our scouts (and have even less at re-charter) and lose 50% or more of our scouters too – we have had several scouts and scouters separate already. Recruitment may be going okay for cub scouts right now, but that is because “hovering” parents are at those meetings and events where they know they are with their boys – I can promise it won’t be the same with boy scouts when it comes to deciding on scouting and/or re-charter. Strategically speaking, my fear is the BSA has put itself in a “no win” situation and is now on a path for slow and steady decline which will begin as the organization loses more and more members and fewer join the ranks. It will worsen when the policy changes to include leaders too. Mark my words – they will look to exclude “Reverent” from our Law too…We are all scouting to help develop the character of young boys and instill them with strong founding principles and mores in a fun environment, but how can we do that if we have to compromise our own morals and principles to stay in the organization?

    I am still wrestling with what I should do from a personal perspective and have been trying hard to keep both scouts and scouters in our Troop the past few weeks, but it is a challenge. Since we are chartered by a Roman Catholic Church we are all still awaiting the final decision from our Charter Organization, which is waiting on final word from the Diocese, and what the National Church eventually decides. I saw recently that the Church of Latter Day Saints does not have a conflict with this BSA policy change, but Troops that they charter are tightly controlled and influenced by their church and its teachings, which allows them to train, monitor and influence the actions and activities of their members. The Catechisms of the Catholic Church will dictate what our Troop Charter Organization does and what most Catholic scouts and scouters do, but holds little influence over the inner workings of our Troop. Is there any effort to readdress this BSA policy change? Am I just getting too old and non-accepting of social change? I fear the seeds of organizational destruction are being sewn for the BSA and it is not even being recognized. I fear that Scouting has been driven to a deadly decision and one that in the future will lead to gay leaders (imagine that on an overnight in the woods, along with gay scouts in the same tent, or even more combinations thereof)…since the few years time when Canada implemented a similar policy change their membership is down more than 50%!!! The first metric will be how many still stand in what was once a revered organization – I estimate BSA will lose 500,000 of its more than 2.6 million and this in just the first year… It will be a decision of conscience for me and my son, but I fear not to leave Scouting, but that Scouting has forever changed and has left me…

    • One thing; Jim said:

      I saw recently that the Church of Latter Day Saints does not have a conflict with this BSA policy change, but Troops that they charter are tightly controlled and influenced by their church and its teachings, which allows them to train, monitor and influence the actions and activities of their members. The Catechisms of the Catholic Church will dictate what our Troop Charter Organization does and what most Catholic scouts and scouters do, but holds little influence over the inner workings of our Troop. Is there any effort to readdress this BSA policy change?

      Do you think the LDS Church should have that right as a chartering organization, “to train, monitor and influence the actions and activities of their members” in Scouting?

      What of the church across the street from the LDS Church, a Christian church with roots in America older than the LDSs, or roots going back several hundred years, or more? Should they not have the right “to to train, monitor and influence the actions and activities of their members” in exactly the same way?

      One of my great concerns about Scouting’s policies against homosexual members is that they dictate to churches what those churches may do, in order to be in Scouting. I don’t think Scouting should be in that position, especially with mainline Christian churches.

      In our communities these churches often come together to work on different projects with great humanitarian goals. Why not also in Scouting?

  18. How much longer are we going to be derailed by this ridiculous controversy before we return to the entire purpose of scouting. I am an Eagle scout who serves my community, is trustworthy in my actions, kind to other’s and obedient to my moral compass. Why is it anyone’s business who I lay down with at night? At the end of the day the fact that we are glorifying this as an issue is only serving to create further conflict. If you are so outraged by homosexuality that you can’t stand to be in the same organization as one, then obviously you shouldn’t be a part of that organization. The Jesus that saved me taught me to love other’s with all my heart regardless of their transgressions, and leave judgement to the man up stairs.

    • Well, Chris, to be fair, the partner we choose may very well have an impact on our community. It may also impact how well other people trust you to guide their children. On a societal level we have to decide how to tend to those unions where the partners are biologically unequal, and secure the rights and well-being of the members of those unions who, by virtue of their sex, are at a higher risk of bearing the burden of tending to our youth.
      Also, the “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Is an inappropriate sentiment. For the past 3 decades, folks have been using that rhetoric in the opposite direction. Let’s just leave that sledgehammer in the tool-shed. Sure folks may leave, and those that do will put together awesome programs and maybe our kids will want to join them. But, lots of us have been taught that this is a major warning sign of cultural erosion. Not all of those arguments are without merit. We need to do what we can to keep those folks close to tell us so.

      All that said, I agree, that in AN ABSOLUTE MORAL SENSE, I have no right to use BSA national’s policy to tell your scoutmaster or crew advisor that they have misjudged their choice of you as a youth member of their unit based on some public sexual preference of yours that I got wind of.

    • I think you’re right. I think we should take the line “ethical and moral” choices off the MIssion Statement. Who id BSA to say who you sleep with at night and how you live your life. Find the lowest common denominator and go there. BSA has no ethical and moral guidelines. That is all I am asking BSA leadership to confirm.

      “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.”

      And you have parsed the word’s of Jesus’ to remove all responsibility of adherence to scripture and seeking to live a life according to his Word. You might join a good bib-study somewhere.

      • Yes! Encouraging a kid to study scripture is BSA’s way of preparing them to make ethical and moral choices. Sitting by a campfire and asking an older youth what he/she has gotten out of his/her Bible study (or other religious practice) is another great way of doing it. Being open to share what you have gained by practicing reverence is another way.

        Kicking them to the curb is not.

  19. JUST THE FACTS:
    View of Sodomy in America from the Father of our Nation George Washington. This view was held by all the Fouonding Fathers.

    General George Washington, the nation’s first Commander-in-Chief on the subject of sodomy (homosexuality) and all immorality gave a clear statement of his views on it in his general orders for March 14, 1778:

    “At a General Court Martial whereof Colo. Tupper was President (10th March 1778), Lieutt. Enslin of Colo. Malcom’s Regiment [was] tried for attempting to commit sodomy (homosexuality), with John Monhort a soldier; Secondly, For Perjury in swearing to false accounts, [he was] found guilty of the charges exhibited against him, being breaches of 5th. Article 18th. Section of the Articles of War and [we] do sentence him to be dismiss’d [from] the service with infamy (disgrace, scandal) . His Excellency the Commander in Chief (General Washington) approves the sentence and with abhorrence and detestation of such infamous crimes orders Lieutt. Enslin to be drummed out of camp tomorrow morning by all the drummers and fifers in the Army never to return; The drummers and fifers [are] to attend on the Grand Parade at Guard mounting for that Purpose.”

    General George Washington, First President of America
    General Washington held a clear understanding of the rules for order and discipline, and as the original Commander-in-Chief, he was the first not only to forbid, but even to punish sodomy (homosexuals) in the military.

    Scouting was founded as a Christian organization on Christian Principles which condemns sodomy and all immorality. Our American government was founded and recorded on the Christian/Judeo Principles as well. These are the facts and all the vain babblings going on will not change that.

    • I guess now George Washington is a “racist” and “bigot” and I am sure the Progressives on this list already label him as such. I was accused of saying George Washington was incompatible with Scouting because Jesus never married and no evidence he was heterosexual. Go figure.

      • Fred, you get into trouble when you invent things for others to say or make stuff up to cover for history you don’t happen to know.

        I was accused of saying George Washington was incompatible with Scouting because Jesus never married and no evidence he was heterosexual. Go figure.

        Washington didn’t like religious ceremony, and he especially didn’t like religious oaths applied to him. I pointed out that Washington would be ineligible for leadership in Scouting, or membership, because he’d refuse the religious oath, as he refused communion his entire adult life, as he refused NOT to walk out on communion to express solidarity with Philadelphia churches, as he eventually stopped attending when the clergy asked him to ‘quit setting a negative example.’

        The Franklin and Jefferson similarly refused, and would thereby be ineligible to be Scouts. The two Adams were Unitarian, so not eligible. Lincoln professed to be a member of no faith in 1846, and so ineligible (even though, in the same campaign flyer, he said he bore no grudges toward any Christian; the voters sent him to Congress; Congress has different standards than Scouting).

        Like when I pointed out Jesus didn’t fit the definition of a “natural” person according to what you said Jesus said, and you assumed I had said Jesus was homosexual.

        God is in the details, Mies van der Rohe said.

        • I still have no idea why you are talking about these things as they have nothing o do with the point of my post.

          I don’t care about any of it and it does not help your point that it is okay to be openly homosexual in Scouting.

          And the way you said it, you questioned whether Jesus was natural by definition which means you think he was unnatural which would be the homosexual condition.

          Ed, logic works every time. Try it out for a change and stay focused on the point at hand and not unrelated discussion.

        • I understand that you will always think you understand the Bible better than any Christian who disagrees with you. I understand you hold the leaders of many of our sects it disdain, that you think our seminaries are hotbeds of iniquity though they are not, and that our youth are all wayward libertines, though they are not (and many are find Scouts).

          But there may be others who read these boards who should get an inkling that there is diversity of thought in Christianity, that many Christian churches in America, in independent congregations and in larger organizations in sects that are not quite so independent, celebrate this change in policy that opens Scouting’s highest award to boys who earned it, who worked for it in some cases for 11 years, and who, but for this policy change, might be denied Eagle because others brand them “evil” for something they have no control over.

          I keep hoping you’ll see that hammering away at people, denigrating the character of those who disagree, doesn’t do anyone much good. I hope you’ll wake up to the division some people are driving in Scouting, and in America, by condemning people like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Van Cliburn and Sally Ride, and claiming they should be forever banned from membership in Scouting for their religious beliefs or their sexual orientation.

          Scouting is bigger than that. And it’s a lot more fun when we stop worrying that one of the boys might turn out to be gay. He needs Scouting, too.

          You’re free to believe as you wish, as I hope you think I am free to make peace with God in my own way, as Jefferson put it. I don’t ask that you be booted out of Scouting for what I view as your uncharitable views, I don’t ask that any boy who shares your views be prevented from getting an Eagle rank he’s worked for. I do ask that you offer the same courtesy to all other boys.

        • Ed, I only comment on what you say. If you read your posts, you are saying you support the positions I post. I am not better or worse than any bible-reading Christian and I believe in a strict interpretation of scripture and I am a New Testament Christian. That’s it. I am better or worse than no person.

          There is one Gospel Universal and it does not change or require a new meaning for the current times. It is not a religion, it is a Faith. Catholic or Baptist is a religion. I have no interest in an interpretation of the Bible that treats homosexuality as anything other than sin. I believe any Christian Church that celebrates sexual deviance from nature in young children is in error. You can disagree and you do and that is fine. We will answer individually for our beliefs one day and I am at peace with that.

          The habits I speak of of Youth in common culture are well-documented. If you do not believe them, I cannot help you and I am sure you feel you cannot help me.

          I’m not worrying about boys “turning out” to be “gay” I do not believe it is appropriate for homosexuality to be modeled as acceptable behavior for Youth and i would prefer they not model that behavior in Scouting. We can disagree and move along.

          Any award worth having should require the highest of ethical and moral standards and be an aspiration requiring hard work to achieve as you demonstrate those standards. It should be given to anyone on measured by work alone. it is the character of an Eagle Scout that makes him an Eagle. I cannot see a focus on personal human sexuality being an attribute.of an Eagle Scout.

          In America so far, I can express that opinion openly. The inevitable name-calling will follow and as we are seeing in the Air Force today, ultimately at the urging of homosexual advocates and an amoral government, attempts will be made to silence such speech. Jesus said persecution is inevitable so speak the Gospel boldly and the scripture directly.

          As far as Scouting, its a program that is an excellent program at present that instills ethical and moral values in Youth that ascribe to the values of the Scout Oath and Law. You can’t leave morally straight out. I am proud of my son who with a Christian education and the Scout Oath and Law in obedient to both each day and he is as baffled as I am by the inclusion crowd.

          we have had debate for days and weeks. At the end of the day, I’m not trying to force you to change. If you’re at peace, fine. I’ll point out what I see as error as you will. High Moral keep society civilized. Moral decay bring a society to its knees. I do not see much morality on the pro-policy side. More than happy to listen, but many on this blog say sexual habits should not be considered in determining if a Scout is morally straight. I cannot accept that position. doesn’t mean I hate anyone. I just strongly disagree and will not abide with it.

        • I find logic often doesn’t work.

          For example: It seems to me that if we make Boy Scouting an organization that holds Jesus as questionable for membership, an organization that would reject Presidents George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Ben Franklin, James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln; that would reject even as a Music Merit Badge Counselor, Harvey Lavan Cliburn, or Sally Ride; and would keep a watchful eye on Baden-Powell, that we’ve strayed from the mission of Scouting.

          Logic should work, but every time I try it, someone uses emotion to try to run the argument into the red herring barrel.

  20. Why do you guys keep at it? Fred, you’re not changing anybody’s mind and we pretty much know how and what you feel about this policy. The BSA isn’t going to reverse itself no matter what the “traditional” proponents may hope!
    Ed, why even try at this point? I’m pretty sure that every single person that felt strongly enough about this to comment on this forum isn’t going to be swayed from their point of view no matter the amount of persuasion! (Note: I addressed this to Fred and Ed but this is really for everybody at this point!)
    The people that could be persuaded to change their positions have long since abandoned this thread! The only ones left still posting are those few who can’t (or won’t) try and work with reality!! It seems to me that the questions that we need to ask ourselves are: Where do we go from here and how will we implement the new directives? CAN we still work within these new directives? If not, do we leave and try to recreate the Scouting experience with another organization? Depending upon your answer to these questions , you should be able to decide what to do. With this in mind, I would postulate that the time for debate is over and that it is now time for a decision. As for me, I still see Scouting as vitally needed by today’s youth and STILL the best thing out there! I will continue to support Scouting. What I won’t do is continue to argue a point using the same arguments over and over ad nauseum about a policy that has been decided! Let it go people! You’ve had your say. Both sides have made good points. It’s time to start concentrating on other matters (umm… can anybody say “Summer Camp?”) Honestly, Let. It. Go. (please?)

    • Actually, the Troop is at Summer Camp this week and enjoying themselves.

      We are finalizing a Historical Trail for presentation.

      I am helping an Eagle Scout family plan his Court of Honor.

      As far as debating, I’m here for the duration to oppose the new Policy. At present, until as leave December 31. I’ll keep agitating from the inside and outside much like the folks who brought us the current policy by advocating for change from the Inside and the outside. I see no problem with lively debate on a contentious issue. Its how things get changed for the better.

      Just takes a click to unfollow a post. Exercise your freedom to do so. Bryan will expire it at some point in the future.

      “Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.”
      Thomas Paine

    • As for me, I still see Scouting as vitally needed by today’s youth and STILL the best thing out there! I will continue to support Scouting.

      Amen.

  21. Good point, but there is no seriousness to the discussions here. Pro gay are making a mockery of the Lord and morality. So sad.

  22. ALL OF THIS HAS TURNED TO EMPTY VAIN BABBLINGS AND IS NO LONGER OF PROFIT. I URGE PARENTS TO SEEK OTHER METHODS OF SCOUTING THAT IS MORALLY RIGHT OR SEE IF THE GUIDE LINES WILL LET LOCAL CHURCH AND CHRISTIAN MEMBERS TO SET THE GUIDELINES.
    Someone posted, “IGNORANCE BREEDS INTOLERANCE”; sorry you got it backwards INTOLERANCE BREEDS IGNORANCE. All of you on the left, liberals, progressive/socialist and LGBT supporters are the most intolerant people in this country.

    Double Standards, by all means no. There is only one Standard, one Truth and one Absolute and that is God’s Standard. That is what and why our great Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights Amendments were based on God’s Word primarily. This makes our Constitution under Gods Covenant Law and that is fact no matter how you want to spin it. Why do you think the left is trying to destroy it and calling it a “living” and outdated document? It is based on Principles and not modern liberalism and humanism which are many of your beliefs.

    The vast majority of the Founding Fathers all believed that, there can be no Liberty without Morality and Virtue. Of the signers of the Declaration of Independence 92% were strong Christians and some were ordained ministers. All of the main stream colleges i.e. Harvard, Yale etc were started as seminaries for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Jesus said, “but whoever causes one of these little ones (children) who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.
    “Instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, 4 NOR TO PAY ATTENTION TO MYTHS AND ENDLESS GENEALOGIES (profane, vain babblings), which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. 5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion”
    1 Timothy 1:4-6

    7 “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks!
    Matt 18:6,7

    9 But shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law; for they are unprofitable and worthless.
    Titus 3:9

  23. Dear Scout Executive:

    Just getting back to you on follow up, as we spoke a few weeks ago about the BSA homosexuals policy change. Our Troop had a parents meeting last night, headed by our CC. Several issues arose regarding our future and the policy change. There wasn’t a single parent in attendance who supported the policy change. I personally still question the polling numbers on this issue, both at Council and National – I have encountered only one scouter in more than 100 I’ve engaged (at OA events, MBU, camporees, etc.) over the past 5 months who supports this change – may not be statistically valid data, but it would sure argue that the empirical evidence that there was significant support for this policy change is false!

    Several key concerns and questions for our CVC Executive:

    1) Our new CC is putting out a survey to gauge if this policy change will affect re-charter and if Troop 1932 will have enough remaining families/scouts to sustain a Troop. Would Council like to see this data? It is grim so far.

    2) When will Council and National be putting out written guidance (like the Youth Protection pamphlet), or at least some communication to ALL parents about this policy change? Concerns include sharing of tents by gay and non-gay boys (is this not the equivalent of allowing your 13 year old girl to share a tent with a 17 year old boy? – how many parents would allow that?)

    3) What training will there be to educate all scouts, parents, and leaders on what is appropriate and okay. If a gay boy wrestles or touches a non-gay boy is that sexual assault? How will these things be investigated?

    4) 1 in 3 sexual assaults (predations) in the US are males on young boys, including many teen on younger teen and pre-teen. The recidivism rate for sexual assault and pedophilia is more than 90% in the US. What safeguards will be put in place to prevent these events besides training?

    5) Will the new National BSA policy and training be fully implemented by re-charter? Almost all families are on the fence, as to whether they will remain, pending how that policy guidance is written and how it is enacted.

    6) The morality concerns of this policy issue are at the heart of what will cause families to leave scouting. BSA needs to address “morally straight” with a more comprehensive explanation of what that means regarding this issue. For that matter so do charter organizations. Core principles and morality are what will determine the continuation for most-guidance is need from Scouting. We pray that church charter organizations will address this moral dilemma too. Is BSA National addressing this major concern which is at the heart of the matter?

    7) Why is re-charter being done before the policy change takes effect? Is this an effort to reduce attrition “before” the new policy takes effect and hopefully stem some losses?

    The parents of the Troop are for the most part “waiting to see”, but unless they get some clear and actionable guidance from Council and BSA National I am afraid that our Troop will not be sustained.

  24. Jim wrote and asked:

    “Can someone here who supports this policy change help me and my folks out by looking at this from our perspective? Last night we held a parents meeting (178 total in the Pack and Troop). 95% of them disagree with the policy change and voted that way in the pre-vote poll. Questions:

    1) These folks don’t understand how pre-vote polls showed majority support for not changing policy, but the votes went entirely the other way-almost 40% change-we all can’t reconcile that…”

    Let me summarize what happened — the bottom line is that your Council, like most Councils, allowed their three or four or five delegates to “vote their heart” instead of binding them to whatever the Council decided.

    The “pre-vote polls” were surveys to “take the temp” of the *entire BSA*, not just your local Council or those who participated in the surveys. A Council, like many in the Deep South for instance, may have had 80 or 90 percent of those who chose to participate in the survey (remember, not everyone got a change to participate and many people who “said that they participated” really DID NOT. That goes for any survey whether it is conducted for the BSA, Pepsi, the Republican or Democratic party or even the Army).

    However, it is that three or four or five Council Representatives — your Council’s President, the Council Commissioner and one or two or three or perhaps more National Council Representatives (these are volunteers who are elected by your Council normally in December or January for a one-year term and who represent your Council to the National Council) — THEY may decide to be guided by their own emotions or thought processes or may “go with what the volunteers in the Council feel”.

    They do NOT have to “vote the way the Council says”. They SHOULD but they DO NOT HAVE TO.

    That, Jim is what happened. You will have to contact your Council to determine what the “breakdown was” as far as the surveys are concerned. But each and every delegate to the National Meeting from your Council either “voted the way your Council requested them to do so” or “voted their heart.” during the resolution voting. We — all of us unless we can read their minds — have no way to determine exactly HOW each man or woman voting on the resolution has voted. The vote was NOT tabuluated by name, BSA ID number, or any other identification method. The vote was also not “done by Council” but instead “done by individual”.

    “2) We are a Catholic church chartered Troop & Pack, but we have 2 Muslim families, a Jewish family, and numerous Protestant and other Christian denomination scouts – the 95% find homosexual acts to be immoral and in good conscience can’t stay with the organization – what can be done when morality is at the heart of their concerns?”

    You go with your heart, Jim. I am going with my heart. Others are going with theirs. If your heart and soul feels that the new policy taking effect at the start of 2014 is a problem with you, then Scouting and you need to take a break. You know you don’t have to be registered with the BSA to support the BSA; and you don’t have to support everything that the BSA does and promotes. Our Councils don’t. Each year, the BSA provides program options for local Councils to embrace or repel. Of course, when a local Council doesn’t “do a program” which is promoted nationally, some youth and their parents (and maybe the entire local Council) will suffer.

    Take for instance Lone Scouting. The BSA provides Lone Scouting as a special way for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts to participate in the programs while they are working through special circumstances. Not every Council supports or provides for the resources to make Lone Scouting happen in their Council — only less than a third nationally have a Lone Scouting coordinator and program for Lone Scouting.

    As I coach parents and Lone Scouts — if your Council doesn’t have the program, then find a nearby Council which does, state your case, and register through them.

    If you and those 95% of those families can’t or won’t adjust to the BSA’s registration standards, then it’s time for them and you to find a chartered partner supportive of you and them and start a brand new unit; or find another organization which shares your and their values and participate strongly with them.

    “3) many have voiced that scouting was the last institution that taught good character to young men, but that has now been corrupted by the process of the vote and the immorality of its basis – how do I convince them otherwise?…they are not thinking about leaving scouting, but rather that scouting has left them.”

    You and they give Scouting too much “credit” for their “good character”. Scouting is one leg of the character development — faith and family are the two other legs, and you should convince those families that Scouting can “mold” around their needs. The key is with your chartered organization. As you can see, the “Mormons” (the LDS Church) has no problem with this…and they use the ENTIRE Scouting program as part of their ministry. The entire Scouting program, Jim.

    There are LDS Scouters who do not want Gay youth or Gay/Lesbian adults in their programs. But instead of saying “go away” they say “look, God’s tent is LARGE ENOUGH for all of us…as long as you agree to follow the Church’s and Scouting’s policies — they ain’t hard (we wrote much of it for the BSA, you know…) and we’ll help you along the rough patches”. That’s true Christian love, Jim and that’s why I am so much in awe of the LDS faith and how they have handled this entire situation so far.

    To your families, I would tell them that Scouting has NOT turned their backs on them, but are instead trying to make themselves more relevant and more dynamic as the new century drives on. Twenty years from now, we probably won’t even remember this discussion and will be hard pressed to find it on the celephane sheets which will be used for data storage by then. There will be other conflicts between those of us our age (I’m assuming you’re close to my age of 53 — 20 years later we will both be in our 70s) and those young boys and girls just now turning eleven. Right now, most of them have not even been born or thought up yet!

    Those parents must understand that they will only be around for about 40 years or so more; and their children must have the character and citizenship development handed down from their PARENTS and FAITH and let the community figure out the other leg of the character “seat”.

    It may be Scouting. I hope so.

    It may be something else we have no clue of. That’s cool too.

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