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. Mr. Tillerson and his speach and claim is phony. Change is inevitable but what was voted on in a fixed vote (Who picks the voting delagtes?) was the death knell to the scout program. Did anyone see the story concerning the scoutmaster in Utah taking Scouts and cubs to the Utah Gay Pride Parade? A disgrace that will not result in any consequences. And all this change for what? A mistaken belief that the BSA will get more donations from left wing organizations. Good luck with that. All we are going to get is more lawsuits. Disgusting.

    • The BSA will probably get a few more donations from the left wing, but will also see a mass exodus from the right. The BSA is headed toward irrelevancy, if not insolvency.

      • We’re sticking with Scouting. Boys need Scouting, America needs Scouts (especially after they grow up).

        I cannot think of any good reason to run off in a fit of pique.

        Calm down. Sit around five or six campfires between now and November, and let us know what you think then.

        • I plan to stick with Scouting, for the time being at least. However, a whole lot of other conservative Christians won’t. I expect many conservative churches will drop their BSA units when recharter rolls around.

        • Scanning around, I understand that few churches have acted to sever ties with units they sponsored, and I understand many other churches across the nation have stepped up to fill the charter organization role for the few units that have been abandoned by their charter organizations.

          The biggest change is that we can no longer get a Scout to the end of his Eagle path, and then suddenly decide that, contrary to all other qualifications and his work and demonstrated citizenship, sexual orientation is a disqualifier.

          It’s difficult for me to appreciate how that could be a deal breaker for any charter organization.

        • Its difficult for me to believe it could not be, just to demonstrate the opposing side. It is easy to expose the contradiction of the web that BSA has woven for itself. I am very interested in seeing how revised BSA training will silence all criticism or counseling of the homosexual condition.

        • “I am very interested in seeing how revised BSA training will silence all criticism or counseling of the homosexual condition.” – Fred

          Homeosexual condition? You speak as though its a disease.

    • The truth is that nothing changed as gay kids were allowed before the vote and they are allowed now… as long as they don’t talk about it, and kids are not allowed to talk about it weather heterosexual or homosexual. It is just not part of what BSA is all about. Yet, everything changed as this stance/subject will permeate and distract from the spirit of what BSA is all about for years to come.
      Regarding Mr. Tillerson, he is first and foremost a businessman and one well verse in convincing you that something bad is actually good for you. The decision was made focused not on the children and young adults, but more on what can be done to loose the least amount of money from sponsors. Shameful.
      This is a bad move as those pushing the issue will not stop here, but those who made the decision knew about the high retention and determination by scouts to push a very unsavory stand that opens the door to many, many problems in the future and possible harmful exposure to young, unsuspecting scouts.

        • How far are you willing to go. If he becomes a Jeffrey Dommer you will still consider him an eagle scout first? Read between the lines. It was all about money. If you don’t agree watch the BSA deliberations video at the BSA web site were they talk about the stats and how they would demonstrate which option would make them loose the least or more amount of money and/or scouts. It is quite disturbing to see that they chose to loose the least amount of money. Am I not seeing it right? Please comment.

        • I find such repugnant, wholly unevidenced comparisons speak more to the character of the person making the comparison than to the person who the comparer wishes to smear.

          Rex Tillerson is an Eagle Scout. He acts like an Eagle, even when he’s wrong (in my opinion of what’s right).

          It’s an example we should all follow.

        • I wonder if Rex Tillerson is ready to let his 13 year old heterosexual son (hypothetical as I don’t know if he has a 13 yoa son) share a 2 person tent with a 17 year old scout who is openly homosexual? Is there any difference in that situation and letting a 13 year old girl share a tent with a 17 year old boy? 1 in 3 sexual predation assaults are of men on younger boys – does the BSA really think a policy and training will resolve this issue?….BSA better hold the line on where this is going with adult leaders… The Canadian scouts have lost 50% membership since they changed their policies on this issue and the same will happen to us in the near future…lets not have any more rigged elections where 1400 “selected” voters, who did not vote what their constituencies desired, decide what the 2.6 million of the organization wanted – my unofficial discernment of polling on this subject has revealed far less (read – extreme minority!) supported changing this policy than our BSA claims.

  2. The Hard work now is coming up with youth protection guidelines that prevent abuse. Now we as leaders on the frontlines have to worry even more about youth on youth abuse and sexual activity – like in venturing. I think the national leadership is irresponsible for passing this policy change without having also dealt with this issue at the same time. I hope that is part of the follow up that is going to happen between now and implementation!

  3. Mr. Tillerson posts the question :what now? His answer “we need to listen and communicate. What a joke. My answer to “what now”. To have as little to do with national as possible.They have shown themselves as lacking and spineless. He is right that alot won’t change . He is wrong to assume that this change won’t devastate the BSA.

  4. Joe – The voting delegates were selected by each Council’s Board to represent their Council. Get in touch with your Scout Executive in your Council and find out how they voted – their vote was to represent your Council.

    • Heather: I have the inside track that the vote was pre-ordained and that the delagates that voted were hand chosen. Weather that is true or not, we knew this was the outcome before it happened because they did not care about what the leaders on the front lines thought. THis was all about more donation they believe they will now receive but will not materialize. This is because you cannot satisfy the radical left requirements until not only are gay and women allowed as scouts but God is removed.

      • Joe, nice conspiracy theory, but it doesn’t hold up to the facts as anyone involved at the council level in any council can tell you.

      • Huh? I was “pre-selected” to vote on this? Back in AUGUST of 2011? Wow, you must really think that the BSA can think THAT FAR IN ADVANCE and that my COUNCIL and their volunteers could think that far in ADVANCE! No Joe, Heather and so many other folks here will tell you the truth: Councils elected their National Council Representatives waaaaayyy in advance of this “vote”, in many cases almost an entire year before they knew that they would be voting on this resolution. The “decks” were not “stacked”. In my own case, nobody outside of the other volunteers were influnced by or had any communication with anyone from “national” prior to our Council’s annual meetings in which myself and another longtime volunteer were elected (not selected, elected) to be our Council’s National Council Representatives. Oh…and if you’re wondering: there were only two votes casted in our Council because our Council Commissioner could not attend the national meeting and _BSA_ rules stated that we could not “substitute” another person for him unless the COUNCIL elected a new Council Commissioner (and no, this guy’s been doing a great job — doesn’t need replacing just for a vote at a national meeting!) So it was the Council President and our National Council Representative who did the voting. No “smoke and mirrors.” No “stuffing” the ballot box.

      • Much the same representatives that have been doing these meetings for years. The vote was “fixed” to represent the views of Scouts, and Scouting.

    • they did not listen to the volunteer leaders, we are going to lose our charter organizations, because of this new policy!!!

      • Thousands of Southern Baptists might cut ties with the Boy Scouts of America. The boy scouts voted last month to allow openly gay youth, and some Southern Baptists aren’t happy about it. The Southern Baptist Convention will decide what to do about it during its annual meeting June 11-12 in Houston.

        From CNN:

        “There’s a 100% chance that there will be a resolution about disaffiliation at the convention,” said Richard Land, the longtime head of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, “and a 100% chance that 99% of people will vote for it.”

        “Southern Baptists are going to be leaving the Boy Scouts en masse,” Land continued.

        Baptist churches sponsor nearly 4,000 scout units in the United States. That’s more than 100,000 scouts. If that resolution is approved, they’d all be asked to get rid of their charters. It wouldn’t necessarily require them to, though.

        A troop at a Jacksonville, Ark church already terminated its charter because of the policy change.

        From FOX16:

        • How many tears get shed for the 1.5 Million Jewish Scouts and Scouters that left BSA in 1999 because the ban WAS in place? They made that 100% commitment, prior to any vote or national discussion.

      • I’ve had a couple of feelers from local organizations who want to sponsor troops. If you’re keeping score, keep it accurately — how many groups come back? Police departments, fire departments, education agencies . . . count ‘em all.

        You’re staying, right?

  5. If the “Main Thing” were to serve more youth, then the incoherent policy that satisfies neither side and drives out COs would not have passed. Makes one think that the “main thing” really isn’t the “main thing.”

  6. I am sorry to say that he may be wrong. This will not bring more boys to scouting, it will force the resignation of many boys and leaders from it’s current membership. It will not bring about ‘joining together’, but rather has cut a deep divide that for many will not be bridged. I believe that this vote has sacrificed many to gain a few. It is no longer the BSA that exemplifies boys and their skills, it has become just one of many organizations that have fallen prey to the special interest groups and the trends of the popular culture.
    This decision for my family is an epic ‘FAIL’. By January we will be forced to expose our children to morals/values/standards that are unacceptable to our family and faith. Our young children are not ready to discuss the issues of ‘sexual’ orientation. In the pre-decision BSA we never needed to talk about it or about sex. We never had to scrutinize the ‘preferences’ of our boys to decide who shares a tent. We could trust that scouting was a place where our boys could be boys and enjoy their scout time without worrying about being ‘hit on’. Now I have not say, no options, no ability to discriminate. The ‘rights’ of the few have outweighed the ‘rights’ of the many.
    As a parent of three scouts, in the program since tiger years, as two parents who have held many various scouting positions that impact our pack/troop/district and council I will say that I am disheartened by this decision.
    We have not yet resigned, but only because this policy change does not go into effect until January and as of this moment nothing has changed in our Troop. The changes are forthcoming as we will most likely lose our Charter in December because of this. We may have an ‘avowed’ homosexual want to join our Troop and for us that would force us to resign. It is not a matter of ‘hate’, but rather of protection. For those of us who have been involved in scouting through the years there is a level of trust and ‘similar’ beliefs that our group has built. Most of us have been together for just short of a decade. A young boy who is ‘avowed’ would put that trust at risk. This is something that I would not expose my children to, nor would most of our group. Because of this decision we would have no say, no chance to protect our boys from predator boys…most boys at the ages of ‘sexuality’ are a bit fixated on those they are attracted to….our boys would be a pool to ‘fish in’ for the ‘avowed’ homosexual boy. I, as a parent and scout leader, am unprepared to deal with this in the close, intimate structure of campouts and such.
    Anyhow…as you can see, many thoughts on the subject, but definitely NOT in agreeance with the decision.

    • This is the very definition of homophobia. Not hate, but absolute paralyzing unreasonable fear that THE GAYS ARE COMING! THE GAYS ARE COMING! HIDE YOUR CHILDREN HIDE YOUR FAMILY!. I feel sorry for your closeminded outlook.

      • It is just too funny that because I have a different opinion and am voicing it I am being called a homophobe and closeminded. I do not oppose adults choosing their livestyles. I do oppose young children ‘avowing’ themselves and expecting those of us with different standards to have to accept and embrace this and treat this as ‘normal’ for our own children. I do not want my children to deal with this subject until they are ready. I do not want it pushed down their throats. My 11 year old just wants to enjoy the scouting program and not have to ‘learn about’ or cope with an ‘openly avowing’ homosexual youth. Sexuality does not belong in scouting…

        • When did your son avow to be a heterosexual? You are assuming that other 11 year olds like your son’s age, have already made such avowed statements of being gay. Like not the case. Not to say that sexuality belongs a topic in Scouting (it does not), but your unrealistic fear that it will be as soon as the discrimination opportunity is withdrawn is likely based on fiction.

        • @ Turtle (comment below). The policy change states that we must allow ‘openly avowed’ homosexual boys in scouting. Again read my post above….sexual orientation/sexuality DOES NOT belong in scouting…

        • Suzanne, your original post DEFINES homophobia: fear of homosexuality. You are absolutely petrified at the mere EXPOSURE to someone who is homosexual, without bothering to find out anything about the person who you may or may not be forced to interact with. I didn’t say you hated gays. I said you’re afraid of them. I also back up what I said about you being closeminded, because by your own admission you’ve already judged any “avowed gay” who wants to join your troop as a predator who wants to molest all the other boys in your troop. That’s an alarmist, irrational attitude. What if that “avowed gay” has been in your program since he was a Tiger Scout? What if you know and trust him and his family? What if he’s your son’s best friend? Gays are not lining up at the front door of your troop’s home trying to sign up so they can spend weekends unsupervised in the woods. Most of the boys who will be affected by this policy are boys who have grown up in scouting, who love it, who are dedicated to it, and suddenly discover in their pubescent/teen years that they have adult feelings unlike those of most other boys around them.

          Homosexuality is not a communicable disease. Nobody’s asking you to agree with homosexuality. Nobody’s trying to push it down your child’s throats. Nobody’s forcing your child or anyone else’s to “learn about” homosexual behavior. You’re right: sexuality doesn’t belong in scouting. Straight or gay sexuality. If a cub scout in my care asks me a question about sex, my answer is: Talk to your parents. I won’t even *define* to a scout what sexuality or homosexuality is.

          And quite frankly, your children are probably more ready than you give them credit for. My oldest son is 9 years old and has already brought this subject up several times, even though my wife and I do NOT talk about sexuality, gay or straight, around him at all. He does not watch any TV except for children’s programming, he doesn’t hear it from us, so where does he get it from? Probably from school friends, the school bus, etc. No matter how hard you try your children will be exposed to the idea at some point. If you don’t want to talk about it, then just say “You’re not old enough to understand this idea yet.” However you do that at your own peril. If your children are old enough to be in a Boy Scout troop, they’re almost certainly old enough to understand and talk about sexual issues.

        • Ryan,
          I do see your side of the issue. A child that is discovering his orientation, one way or the other is not my ‘fear’. It is the child who is making the issue his badge. I work with Middle School children at their school. I am sure there are boys and girls who are discovering their orientation…that is normal and natural. What I don’t want my children to have to deal with is the young man/woman who is going around stating their orientation at every moment and making it bigger than life. I have had young men introduce themselves to me saying ‘My name is ….and I am gay’. They talk about their ‘gayness’ in every topic. They tell other boys, no matter their preferences, that they are cute or whatever. That’s the ‘predator’ that I ‘fear’. These boys are out there and their numbers are growing as the topic of homosexuality has become ‘trendy’.. These are the children I don’t want around my boys.
          I am not so naive as to believe that there may be boys in our troop that are thinking about their orientation. I will continue to support them in their maturity and character development through scouting. I will however continue to screen my son’s friends based on the standards my household esteems to. I have that right. Up to this point I had a belief that scouting had very closely similar standards…now, now so much. The door has been opened to many factors that have yet to show themselves. There is a decline in morality in the world and maybe for me, my niativity was that in the belief that scouting was moral, according to my standards. This change has shown to me that it is not. Which at this point brings me to the decision of how much of this decision is important to my family and therefore whether or not we continue.
          Of this thought and this decision I know I am not alone. Scouting WILL lose many involved and awesome leaders and boys to gain a few….but for some, that is considered progress.

        • It is the child who is making the issue his badge.

          Is that allowed under Youth Protection rules? Any child who is making his or her sexuality a badge is in need of counseling, and probably crosswise with the YP rules.

          I don’t see a new problem to worry about; don’t overlook tried and true Scout solutions.

        • Suzanne
          Your opinion is wrong so you must be browbeaten until you conform. You are to be called names and labeled by the “free thinkers” because you have a different opinion that has been determined to be wrong.

        • Ryan,
          In your first paragraph,you say Suzanne is wrong because she does not want to find out about the individual, yet in para2 you say “Nobody’s trying to push it down your child’s throats. Nobody’s forcing your child or anyone else’s to “learn about” homosexual behavior.” I would suggest that you read the edict. It says “OPENLY GAY” You need to pick one side of the argument.
          You see its not a fear of homosexuals, its that I just don’t care. Really, I dont care at all. I know that breaks your heart to think all the special you are doesnt impress someone so you must go through a agency of force to input your beliefs on others and be able to wear a lavender triangle on your uniform. It was just way to hard just to be a Scout when sexuality of any sort was something that wasn’t part of scouting, and if you brought it up to define yourself, you were booted out. Simple rule. Now, to quote you, I have to “find out”. Why? Because it is a adgenda that has nothing to do with scouting.

      • No Ryan, the politicians are coming. And politicians mess up and destroy everything. Please recognize when one stoops to name calling, that we are not living the ideas of scouting. And when we push specific political agendas, we are violating the regulations of scouting.

        Ryan, when we lose our high ideals, then we lose society – character still counts.

        • I agree: character still counts. I am proud of the fact that my definition of “character” means that I will not discriminate against someone based on their state of being. I have opposed the ban on gay scouts since I learned about it in the 90′s. I knew back then it would be a long fight to get the policies changed, and that day is here.

          This is not pushing a political agenda in my opinion. It is removing barriers to Scouting. It is eliminating discrimination in steps, just like the BSA eventually de-segregated and then allowed females to be leaders and participants. Both of those were shocking, world-shaking transitions when they happened, but today nobody blinks at the idea of an integrated troop or a female Cubmaster.

        • Wolfmom2, not only do I have a child (soon to be children) in Scouting, I am a Cubmaster currently serving my 3rd year in a large, successful Pack. And thank you for proving my very point: “dark fears” is homoPHOBIA by definition.

        • Same dark fears? I think you just made Ryan’s point! It’s our ignorance that feeds our fear and is why I believe Rex Tillerson talked about communication being the next step.
          It’s not insignificant that the first posted comment called Mr. Tillerson and his comments “Phony.” The complete unwillingness to see both sides of a situation and reasonably discuss possible solutions is an example of what one might describe as “closemindedness.”
          Seriously, what really has changed? Do scouts still go camping, hiking, cooking etc… in the great outdoors? Do they still attend Troop meetings on Monday nights learning new skills and planning for summer camp, playing games and generally having a great time? Do they still do service hours helping others in our communities? So what’s the change?
          I’m waaay more concerned about the 14yr old, physically large boy that came from a dysfunctional family where he didn’t have the benefit of a father figure and who has been known to “bully” the younger, smaller, scouts. We have policies and procedures for dealing with this but the goal for me is not to kick him out of Scouting but to first, STOP THE BULLYING! That is the priority! I would then try to work with the youth to show him an alternative to bullying. This boy NEEDS Scouting! By the way, this is a true story and my boy was one of the new cross-overs last year. The situation is still ongoing but the boy in question has shown great improvement. We continue to monitor for any signs of problems.
          Am I concerned about the change in policy? SHOULD I be? I am going to take this issue and deal with it as it comes. I have never had to before so I will await the new policies and procedures with the same idea that the goal is to diffuse or correct a “situation” that may arise WITHOUT kicking the bou out of Scouting! Prefferably, the situation would never come up but I am realistic enough to understand that it may and to BE PREPARED to deal with it. Communication, understanding, compassion… remember, this IS about the boys!

    • Suzanne, you say you never address sex. What about the parent and youth guide that we are supposed to discuss with our cub scouts each year? (Five years as a Cubmaster, we did this with our parents, as age appropriate). It’s part of youth protection.

      I agree with you, make no mistake, it is all about pushing a particular political agenda. And depending on how BSA decides to implement this, it could be a no questions asked / no visible change to status quo or it could be shoved down our throats kicking and screaming.

      Suzanne, just remember before you decide to bail – it’s about the boys. And if a bunch of us bail out, then we only strengthen the influence of those whose agenda we disagree with. Baden Powell said to be prepared. For what? For everything.

      • Wipunxit said:

        Suzanne, you say you never address sex. What about the parent and youth guide that we are supposed to discuss with our cub scouts each year? (Five years as a Cubmaster, we did this with our parents, as age appropriate). It’s part of youth protection.

        What about it? Why would you stop doing that?

        What in the Youth Protection program would need to change for Cubs?

        I’ve never had any problem with the sexual orientation of any Cub, not when I was a Cub, not in the 20 years I’ve been COR.

      • The guide that you refer to is something between parent/son. It can be discussed with the parents’ ideals/standards in place. I cannot control what may come. I do not believe that my 11 year old’s have the ability to discern the ‘agenda-pushing’ boys (much like those marching in the LGBT parade in Utah), nor does my 14 year old for that matter.
        Wipunxit, I have not decided to bail…but am grateful for being a ‘leader-parent’ where I have more involvement in the Troop and am able to filter what is discussed and help my sons maintain their standards and moral codes. The day may come when I have to bail and/or be forced to bail. If so, we will put our family’s effort, time and treasure into another organization or two that will strengthen and influence those whose agenda we agree with. Just hate to have to after all these years.

    • Why would it force anyone to resign? Youth Protection is the program that protects Scouts. Outings have never been about sex, and won’t be in the future.

      What, exactly, would force someone to resign?

        • The intolerance and hate speech of the “pro-policy” crowd is very enlightening. It refreshing to see folks say what they mean clearly and honestly. A false accusation dismissive of a person that lives by high morals and principles but you folks take over on January 1.

          It will be interesting to see the pro-homosexual adult leaders using the same tactics on those of you that by chance do not already agree that homosexuals adults are moral role models for Scouts to pattern.

  7. Changed? yes it has changed. I keep seeing posts about “moral”, and what it means. How long will it be before the Oath and Law are changed? Just seen the post concerning the upcoming vote with the Southern Baptist Convention. Will they pull out of BSA? Probably. How many kids and how much money will that change cost National? Will the God and Country Awards still be available? Will Vesper services soon be gone? Whats next???

    • Duane:

      Funny…I could find newspaper accounts of the Southern Baptists pulling out of Scouting because they approved admitting women as Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters! We lost some Baptist Scouting units but we gained more with time. Same thing, same thing. We’re not going to change anything — we didn’t change our Scout Oath or Law when we admitted women. As far as the God and Country Award is concerned, the Baptist version may be gone but there’s 10 other versions which will still be around — plus the generic Protestant God and Country Award. They aren’t BSA awards anyway — they are awarded through a faith and their church, not by the BSA.

      • First of all Mike Walton I know a bit about scouting and a lot about the Southern Baptists Convention, I don not care what you have read I can find news clips about anything But the fact is we never where going to pull out of scouting for admitting woman. That said I have been a Baptist all my life and today the church told our pack and troop to leave. I am grateful for your service to Scouting but a lot of very good people are being hurt here.

        • Scott -

          I am a SM and the same thing happened to our Troop shortly after the the vote was announced. On May 23rd, I posted this on a prior blog on this topic and we have been working hard to see if we can remain with the BSA. The CO is severing its ties after a 57 year partnership with the Troop. We have been advised that all equipment will remain with the CO to start a Royal Ranger Unit and we are essentially on the parking lot, unless we want to join that unit. We have located two possible sponsors, but it will be an uphill and expensive undertaking to re-equip and get rolling stock for 60+ people! So I wholeheartedly agree with your point. Our boys and leaders took no vote or action, but as a result, we are out in the cold, holding the short end of the stick. We have visited with our Council who has essentially said, this was expected and it looks like your troop is among the collateral damage – so sad. As I stated in my post on the other blog, I do not dispute the right of a CO to charter or not, if they believe that their ministry has been challenged in an unacceptable way. But the facts are – that this in happening NOW (not 01/14) and while I can’t say how it will go nationwide – it has certainly had a hard/tough impact in our instance. So Amen brother – good people are being affected who had no hand in the action!

        • There is a potential to help a lot more people.

          Are you recruiting for your unit? Are you looking for more chartered organizations? A lot of good people would like to get involved, if they are asked.

        • This is directed toward Ryan’s comment of June 7th, wherein it is suggested that the the entity that hurt my “good people” was my church, not the BSA.

          Well, that relies on an incorrect assumption that the faith based CO which sponsors my Troop is “my” church – it is not. I am Episcopalian and “my” church is located 57 miles away, as there is not one where I live. Like many Troops, about a third of the leaders and boys who are members of the Troop belong as members of the sponsoring faith based CO, while the other two-thirds are members of various other churches who all operate together in the Scout Troop. Like I stated, this Troop has been sponsored by this CO for 57 years. I came in as an ASM with one of my sons 15 years ago and have continued as the SM for the last 12. Irregardless of my church affiliation, do I think that the CO is trying to “hurt” anyone – no. It is now faced with a conflict of interest in its ministry that has been brought on by a change in BSA policy. Neither the CO or the Troop members had any direct input into this decision by the BSA, nor did “we” get to vote on the policy change. However, both the Troop and the CO are now dealing with the aftermath. My recent dealings with our local council, wherein we were informed that this result was expected by the BSA and the possible loss of a 60 person Troop must be chalked up as “collateral damage” leads me to wonder if the cavalier and flippant attitude of the local council goes higher. To be quite honest, our Troop is feeling abandoned by both the CO and the BSA – and it surely appears that this will remain “our” problem.

          At the present time we are exploring an option for “my” church to sponsor our Troop. This would be a long distance relationship as it would not be practical to drive all the members 120 miles (round trip) each week and it would require a complete re-aquisition of equipment and trailers and for us to locate a local meeting place. Nevertheless, we might be able to pull it off.

          However, after our meeting with local council BSA reps – “our” question is fast becoming whether it is worth it or not as the BSA appears to show little support for its troops that have been placed in this position. I certainly can not represent what other councils are doing, but if ours is indicative of what the national response is or will be … bless the hearts of the next Troops which will be put into this position!

      • women and blacks are not the same as open homosexuals. Please stop trying to make that connection.

        • Homosexuals are NOT the same as women or Blacks (or Hispanics, for that matter)?? In what universe are YOU living in, Fred.

          All are minority groups. All three have been victimized, beated, killed and maimed for who they are and what they represent. All three seek the same rights and responsibilities as the majority.
          Give me a break, Fred!!

        • What world are you living in Mike!! Discrimination against blacks and women was clear and based on nothing more than skin color and gender. Sexual habits are neither. Believing homsosexual behavior is immoral is a very valid belief and in no way compares to base discrimination on race and gender. Calling homosexuals a minority does not make them a protected class. Immoral behavior is not made oral by calling it by that name. Sorry.

        • It’s still discrimination Fred. BTW, take a breath and slow down. Look at what you typed. Freudian slip?

        • What is your definition of discrimination Todd? Will excluding Christian boys who believe homosexuality is immoral and a sin be discriminated against? Will they now be treated as “hateful” and “bigoted?’

          It semantics with you homosexual advocates. You think any behavior that is against full inclusion of deviant homosexual behavior evil “discrimination.” I thinks its just common sense and in keeping with the Scout Oath and Law. A vote of hard-pressed volunteers by professional Scout employees and secular corporate types doesn’t change that in my mind.

          I dispute it because you use the word as a weapon against anyone who disagrees with homosexuality and try to equate it as evil “hate” and “bigotry” against an oppressed minority and protected class under federal law like race, gender and mental or physical disability. i just refuse to accept that argument. it make no logical sense that a homosexual would be treated as anything near those conditions. Outside of progressive municipalities and a few progressive state legislatures, its treated as a personal choice.

        • Fred wrote:

          “What world are you living in Mike!!”

          I am living in a world, which unfortunately does not look at someone’s character but rather an “orientation” — a *small part* of who they are.

          “Discrimination against blacks and women was clear and based on nothing more than skin color and gender.”

          And yes, both were and continue to be Biblically based for those who believe that the man shall be the head of the house and those of darker skin should be second placed to those of lighter skin, favoring God.

          Clear as a bell, Fred, clear as a bell.

          “Sexual habits are neither.”

          Oh no? You mean to tell me that you don’t subscribe to the Biblical “standard” that those who appear to be “fornicators” don’t get God’s favor? There are lots of folks who still believe this. Good that God also gave us sense of mind to be able to ferret out “false gods and those who say they are believers — when they are not”.

          “Believing homsosexual behavior is immoral is a very valid belief and in no way compares to base discrimination on race and gender.”

          I wouldn’t say THAT too loud, Fred. People may laugh.

          “Calling homosexuals a minority does not make them a protected class.”

          Didn’t say anything about “protected” anything, Fred. I am merely stating a fact — “Gay” people, Hispanics, Blacks, women, left-handed people, people with disabilities — man made or by the hands of God — all of those folks are minority groups. But since you brought it up, in OUR nation, we protect minority groups and help to bring them to the common standard which is enjoyed by the “majority” group.

          I’m sorry this does not meet with your pleasure or understanding… but it is fact.

        • I don’t even think its a rational argument and grasps at a wagon load of “straw men” to avoid the premise of my argument that people who choose to live an alternative lifestyle of sex with te same gender should not be a protected class. You tried to tie the two together, not I. Your other examples are silly and off point, never mentioned by me and let me remind you, in this country, we protect ALL people. The majority does not surrender its protection for the benefits of minorities although I think some of you believe that. Free speech is universal and guaranteed in this country. You may not like it, but I just expressed mine.

        • I’m living in a state — Texas — where it is borderline illegal for a Charter Organization Representative to question a Scout about sexual orientation. The new policy keeps me legal.

          But let’s get real. Most of our new Scouts come in as Cubs, before the age of 11. Do kids that age know their orientation? Should they be queried about it?

          And critically, should any kid below the age of 11 be banned from Scouting because some adult decides he or she knows how the kid will grow up?

          So this policy only makes perfect sense for Cubs. No other policy makes any sense.

          Scouts? As an organization, we’ve run into difficulty when we’ve decided to deny an Eagle rank to a boy who is, by all objective measures, an outstanding Scout.

          Seriously? Do we want to do that?

          What other situations in Scouting are changed by the new policy? None, especially under Youth Protection guidelines.

          So, what’s the kick?

        • Well, Who in their right mind want to ask a 6-12 year old about sexual orientation? Not me? Not anyone I know. Let’s see what new BSA training material says.

          Public Middle School has proved to be a target of opportunity for progressive sex ed classes and the sex-ed “new-family” crowd so boys and girls are being inundated by sexual material. If kids haven’t met a homosexual, public schools may have brought them for show-and-tell day.

          My youth minister said ” I can reach a child in Youth Ministry and counsel them on sexual confusion.” Scout leaders will not have that luxury. Scout leaders will be trained to accept and affirm the homosexual Scout. You think you won’t see it? Why would you not if in a medium to large city? GLAAD is pushing youth to join. I ain’t policing that Campout.

        • Why do you think Youth Protection Guidelines won’t apply, or are inadequate to protect Scouts? I really don’t understand your position on this, nor why you fear Scouters won’t act like Scouters.

        • We cannot control kids. If you think you know everything kids do on Campouts, you are beyond naive. Before, it may be unapproved electronic devices, card-playing or just pranks. Now, sexual activity is in the mix. Adult Scouters will do their job but what you cannot control is what gets you.

        • Well, Who in their right mind want to ask a 6-12 year old about sexual orientation? Not me? Not anyone I know. Let’s see what new BSA training material says.

          So, when does orientation ever become an issue?

        • When the homosexual Scout who defines his persona by his sexuality makes it an issue.

        • What do you do with the heterosexual Scout who defines his persona by his sexuality?

          Why not sauce for one gander being sauce for the other gander?

        • No girls on a Boy Scout Campout Ed. I welcome a heterosexual Scout. He’s keeping his mind on the Scouting Program. A homosexual Scout may be thinking other thoughts.

          We don’t have a gander and goose. We have a gander and gander. No girls around, no problem. Not true anymore.

          As a leader in 4-H, we battled boys and girls after each other constantly all week and on the bus. I do not want that on Scout campouts.

        • We didn’t have such problems with our co-ed Venture crews. I think Youth Protection, especially two-deep leadership, makes a world of difference between 4-H and Scouting.

        • Youth Protection adequately addresses what to do with any Scout who acts out sexually. It’s already covered in the Youth Protection Training course.

          Orientation makes no difference.

          Youth Protection isn’t going away.

        • Help me understand why the same leaders that were in and supported scouting before the discrimantory ban was put in place in the early 1990s now want to leave with the discriminatory ban partially removed?
          Second question. If you are leaving, then why are you still posting here?

        • Are you wanting to restrict my free speech Todd? I am a registered leader with apid dues out of my pocket. I have every right to post until I leave. Are your feeling hurt? A little tender because I not singing kumbaya?

        • Post away of course, I enjoy a healthy debate. The decision really ticked you off and I’m sure reading all of this just makes you more upset and mad, so I can’t see why someone would subject themselves to it that is all.

        • Stress relief Todd, stress relief. After a long day at work and wonderful supper with family and prayer time, I can foil with those taking the road to Perdition. If you live long enough, you suffer large and small defeats or you haven’t lived. Since BSA was one of many organizations i serve for the Kingdom, it will be missed but not a fatal wound. Carry on in good spirit. I’m comfortable with a principled stand and look forward to watching compromise begin for so many. If not January 1, then when homosexual males are watching your kids four or five hours away or transgender or openly bisexual adult leaders. It will be fun to watch but the progressive posters on the last list admitted that potential sexual behavior on campouts among young boys was not a big issue.

        • Fred said:

          I don’t even think its a rational argument and grasps at a wagon load of “straw men” to avoid the premise of my argument that people who choose to live an alternative lifestyle of sex with te same gender should not be a protected class. You tried to tie the two together, not I.

          I dare you to find any Scout who “lives an alternative lifestyle of sex with the same gender,” or with opposite gender.

          Here on Earth, in Reality, U.S.A., Scouts are generally not sexually active, period.

          All other things being equal, including merit badges, troop leadership positions, and Eagle projects, can you tell me what difference sexual orientation makes in the life of a troop, or a boy?

          Can you tell me what you fear that is not already covered under Youth Protection?

          Can you tell me why you think my Christian church must stop members in good standing from being Scouts?

        • That’s homosexuals Ed. I don’t know when they start, but the new policy affirms the behavior and out of Scouts would not be a problem for BSA.

          I don’t think you can make a general statement about Scouts outside Scouting. Sexuality was not in Scouting until the new policy was adopted.

          Sexual Orientation makes a difference because in my opinion and the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith it is immoral behavior. Liberal sects in error say not but scripture in clear. This is my opinion. BSA is not a Christian Organization but you are about to lose a lot of Christians and I am sure that is fine with a lot of posters. For what? To gain less moral and less principled people. I believe that

          I don’t “fear” anything. I “know” the risk of sexual behavior on campouts is increased.

          I don’t understand your last question. Church members can join anything they like as long as they are at peace with God. I would not recommend Scouting anymore. “Morally straight” and “clean” has taken on a whole new meaning.

        • My church, a sizable Christian denomination with deep roots in the US, does not hold that homosexuals cannot be members of the congregation. We’ll ordain homosexuals (as indeed will most Christian denominations, including Catholic and LDS).

          The “no gays” policy has caused us great pain in the past 20 years, and the part of that policy left in place will continue to do so. We have people required to sign the annual charter renewal documents who are, according to Scout policy, not allowed to be leaders of the units, nor would they be allowed to be members, were they younger.

          Now, I’ll grant that some Christians may disregard Ezekiel in favor of their interpretations of Paul — but will you tolerate Christians who disagree with you on that point?

          I can’t grant that you are offended by the new policy, if you won’t grant that I’m offended by the old one, as a Christian. Will you concede that Christians do not stand monolithically opposed to these changes?

        • Sorry Ed, you are in the minority of Christian organizations if you ordain homosexual leaders. You’ll have to cite that one.

          No pain the Baptist Church for calling homosexuality a sin. None. Scripturally supported.

          I will concede only that some Christians are in error and you can do the same for me. I am at peace with Christ Jesus on this issue.

        • Well, that’s my problem. It’s not just that you reject Scouts who are too young to know what their orientation is; it’s that you assume anyone with a slightly different religious belief is wrong.

          Jesus didn’t call us to condemn homosexuals, but He did call us to love each other — other Christians, at least. I rather thought all Scouts shared that view.

          “Friend on the left and a friend on the right” is a bit difficult to carry out if we can’t agree to be friends.

        • I have no problem with the policy and Cub Scouts unless BSA requires asking them if they are homosexual or want to teach them to accept homosexuality.

          Jesus DID NOT just say “love one another and that’s it. Chritianity requires adherence to scripture. Making rational judgments about bad people and bad behavior.

          BSA is not a Christian organization. They cna do whatever they please. All I am saying is that thye will lose many good principled people with this policy.

          No generic statement about what Scouters believe. This blog has shown me that many are as at home as Hooters as Church with children.

  8. We didn’t know where the train was going? Hmm, I pretty much had it figured out when the modified proposal was announced. I think you have to pretty much clueless not to see where the tracks were leading. The decision was made then.
    I do wonder about his comments toward the end about now that we’ve made the change, were going to reach in and get those millions of youth who hadn’t been served and pull them from there poor conditions. I’m guessinig he didn’t really mean gay youth.
    Of course, he’s right. they set the train on the track and we have no choice now. I’m not sure Mr Perry would suggest this is the final destination, though. Time will tell.

  9. His speech was true to the Scouting ideals, from the heart, and a needed message for everyone. As a voting member, my vote wasn’t bought, coerced or fixed. I based my vote on what was in the best interest of my council, and Scouting in general, and what happened in Grapevine, Texas was the beginning on a new chapter for the BSA. The minority wanted to bury their heads in the sand and relive the days when exclusivity and segregation was the norm. The year is 2013, not 1956, and we need to move on. We’ve taken a step in the right direction with this vote, but we need to keep making improvements in our organization that keep us relevant to TODAY’S youth. I’m proud of what change I helped bring about, and I am determined to make it work, because every youth in this great country deserves and needs Scouting.

    • Matt: Will you take the blame for your decision if it turns out to be the disaster it is destined to become? What will you do to help raise the millions needed by the national organization that was the reason for the vote? What policies will you forge for the CO and leaders to follow to avoid the problems that will necessarily come from the openly gay scouts joining? We will reap now what you have sown unfortunately with you on the sidelines.

      • Joe, I’ve been taking the blame for the earlier policy, and I suspect Matt has, too. Nationally, Scouting has lost charter organizations in schools, police departments, fire departments, churches and synagogues, because our policies conflicted with theirs. They didn’t huff and puff about the moral decline of Scouting, but instead sadly stood by as Scouting policies made it impossible for them to continue — in many cases, by law.

        Major organizations that supported Scouting for 50 years or more asked if Scouting couldn’t accommodate them, and when told “no,” they sadly cut ties, most without a press release, and most expressing hope for changes in the future — airlines, accounting firms, law firms, national retail firms, utility companies, arts organizations, universities, school districts, cities, counties, states.

        I kicked up my FOS contributions when I could afford to. I made dozens of calls to others, where I used to make five or six, to try to get us up to our fundraising needs, let alone goals.

        In our units, I’ve had to turn away more than a score of fine people from leadership positions — cops, firefighters, pilots, military men and women, physicians, nurses, college professors, business executives, mothers and fathers; even some Eagle Scouts who wanted to help, I’ve had to turn away (and still will have to, alas). Every time I’ve done that, I’ve heard someone say, “Well, if you won’t allow that guy in, I can’t support your council.”

        Take blame? We need to be expanding Scouting, putting Scouting in its rightful place as a part of American life, an indispensable part of American life, that trains up the youth of America in how to lead, and why to lead.

        If it works, will you give credit where you fear blame will be needed? Who do we blame for the previous losses? Must we establish blame at all, to move forward?

        There have been some great changes made in Scouting in my life, too. Opening the doors to women in all leadership positions really brought in a lot of good people with a lot of great ideas. Youth Protection offers us the opportunity to stamp out abuse in Scouting, and show the rest of the world how effective leaders stop molestings of children (and adults).

        I think Scouting is more robust than you fear. I think Youth Protection offers us a way to open Scouting up to even more people, and keep Scouts safer than before.

        And I think the recent changes in membership can persuade many people and organizations to stand with us again.

    • Matt, “Scouting in general” where?? In case you didnt notice the majority of troops are sponsered by CHURCHES. They have a moral code, oaths, laws and the like that they follow. What are the odds of them keeping a troop? You think we don’t need them? You lorded over us peons and took the MINORITY view. Guess what? I am not paid, I do NOT have to be here.

      Joe, don’t hold yout breath. You are just a non comformist. They will ride this train right off the bridge feeling the superiority of their cause.

  10. Many organizations have suffered through difficult and wrenching change through the years and have come out stronger for it…the BSA will be a better organization when all is said and done. We in favor of this change, for the most part, hope that we can all talk this through and move on to tomorrow.

  11. It is wrongheaded thinking by Matt that now has the BSA headed for the trash heap. This was not segragation as that is the straw argument put up by the left. The policy is now that the scouts must accept openly gay scouts. Since words have meaning, the CO’s now have to deal with sexuality. This is in the best interest of the scouts? Surely you jest! Oh and by the way there was no discrimination. As a private organization we are perfectly right to follow our principles. I guess you just traded yours for the promise of pieces of silver.

  12. The pre-vote information I received indicated no growth in the number of youth served. It did indicate that there will be a net loss of youth served.

    Either Mr. Tillerson is uninformed to the point of negligence or is lying about the main thing. But, this is representative of national.

    • Since the anti-gay policy went into effect, Scouting has lost — what — about 50% of Scout membership.

      Doesn’t sound to me like the previous policy was helping much. In our town, we had five units that were left without sponsoring organizations because of the old policy.

      From news reports, I see that’s a problem nationally, from Boston to San Diego.

      Let’s not forget the problems the old policies caused.

  13. I support this change! But I don’t think it will be the problem that others fear. Please hear me out. Right now we don’t ask the boys or leaders about their sexuality! So, why are we going to start? Should a boy talk to me about it than I will address it with him and see how to handle it at that time! My daughters had a friend that they went to school with from KDG to graduation and they never knew sex was gay! I knew. But nothing ever became of it and after graduation, she came and she let everyone know and my daughters just could not believe it! So, we will take this one step at a time and be open minded? I have gay friends and my husband and I love them, they are great and so are their kids. It works if you want it to!

    • Monalisa, So why didn’t the National Council just say “there is no sexuality” in Boy Scouts? Wouldn’t that be the correct answer? FYI, If you are “addressing it with him”, you would be in violation of the Youth Protection Program Guidelines! Having homosexual friends doesn’t make it okay to be homosexual. I have friends who are bank robbers…they are in jail.

    • Because now YOU MUST accept a gay scout that wears his sexuality on his sleeve, whenever and wherever he chooses to show it. If you “discriminate” against him, you just bought a lawsuit that you are not protected from.

    • Monalisa, your answer is the only one that seems to have any common sense to it. I also support this change. I don’t believe that there will be any problems unless we adults allow it to be a problem. The kids are generally good young folks and don’t have the attitudes of some on this thread unless they’re taught them.

    • Monalisa: You are the one sticking your head in the sand. The policy change has given the gay rights groups the signal to now recruit “openly” gay individuals to join. If you are on the front lines as a leader, you will have no choice but to confront the sexualty of the scout. Now confronted with the openly gay scout, you better have the answers or you will be liable. I hate to be the bringer of bad news to you, this will not be a friendly interaction because it will be a set up to catch the leaders.

    • Why do we need to start asking? For the same reason that we do not allow opposite sex tenting, showering, etc. together. In fact, in order to have a reasonable youth protection policy, we will now most likely need to have a one tent, one Scout policy, as well as individual showers at all camps. This isn’t to say that there will necessarily be a problem, but if there is, rears will need to be covered.

  14. He is wrong. No one wins here, especially our young boys. I have been in the Scouting program 51 years. I have resigned my positions in the Council and the District. We have dissolved our Troop. Way to go “delegates”!

    • “We” have dissolved our troop? Who did? The boys? The parents? Because of the possibility, some day, that you may have to accept someone *different*.

  15. The “Main thing” in Scouting used to be the Scout Oath and Law, which this decision has basically gutted. How anyone can take a pledge to be “morally straight” and yet accept or practice immorality is beyond me.

    I know the arguments that homosexuality is somehow biological; yet, there is not a shred of scientific evidence to support this position. There is no “gay gene,” despite the intense research that has been focused on finding one. Homosexuality is a moral choice, not a biological condition.

    As a Scout and Scouter for over 40 years, I have taken an oath to do my duty to God, and to keep myself morally straight. These have not been just words to recite, but principles for life. I guess that’s no longer officially true.

    If “the main thing” is to serve more youth, I suspect the BSA will be failing miserably over the next several years, as those who take the Oath and Law seriously leave the BSA and form new organizations that actually live what they claim they value.

    • Actually, you’re wrong. Most scientific evidence points to it being based in biology. Did you choose to be hetero?

      This isn’t about a bunch of gay 16 year olds now being able to join a Boy Scout Troop. It’s about our sons, who grow up in Scouting from age 7 or so and realize that they are gay by 13, 14, 15, etc. It’s about forcing them to stay in the closet. It’s about telling our sons that they can’t get Eagle because of who they are.

      You or others here threatening to leave and go form a new organization will not prevent gay boys from joining the new organization. It will just mean that they have to hide who they are inside this new organization.

      • There is no conclusive proof that homosexuality is anything other than a choice made by the male or female person. They are many arguments of “genetic markers” and “biological soup” bit in the end to perpetuate the species and boy-boy girl-girl romance and sex is not going to accomplish that so it is deviant behavior.

      • Jamey – the whole “Did you choose to be hetero?” argument is fallacious. Everyone is born hetero. Some become gay later.

        If homosexuality is biological, on which chromosome is the “gay gene” located? Geneticists have mapped the human genome, and yet, despite intense pressure to find the alleged “gay gene,” none has been found.

        The whole “homosexuality is biological” notion is a myth without a shred of scientific fact to support it. If I’m wrong, please link me to an unbiased peer-reviewed scientific journal article that presents such evidence.

        • Also, if one is interested in the evolutionary origins of homosexuality in humans, you may want to check out this article:

          Trends Ecol Evol. 2009 Aug;24(8):439-46. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.03.014. Epub 2009 Jun 17.
          Same-sex sexual behavior and evolution.
          Bailey NW, Zuk M.

          Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA. nathanb@ucr.edu

          Same-sex sexual behavior has been extensively documented in non-human animals. Here we review the contexts in which it has been studied, focusing on case studies that have tested both adaptive and non-adaptive explanations for the persistence of same-sex sexual behavior. Researchers have begun to make headway unraveling possible evolutionary origins of these behaviors and reasons for their maintenance in populations, and we advocate expanding these approaches to examine their role as agents of evolutionary change. Future research employing theoretical, comparative and experimental approaches could provide a greater understanding not only of how selection might have driven the evolution of same-sex sexual behaviors but also ways in which such behaviors act as selective forces that shape social, morphological and behavioral evolution.

          [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

        • Here is a well-documented response on homosexual myths and fallacies in response to Mr. Ed.

        • Fred, the request was for research papers, and each one I cited comes from the indices of PubMed, NIH’s public health and science research on-line library.

          Free Republic has a First Amendment right, but they don’t have research backing those claims. I was trying to distinguish fact from opinion.

          For example, I answered the claim that there is “no homosexual gene.” There is no heterosexual gene, either. But that doesn’t preclude a genetic condition from a combination of genes, nor does it preclude congenital conditions which are not genetic, nor does it preclude developmental biology.

          I hope you read that piece though, especially this line:

          Reality: What a person does (behavior) should never be equated with what a person is. No human being can or should be reduced to his or her sexual impulses. Impulses cannot compel behavior or identities without a person’s consent. If people “are” their actions, then what does that say about the thief, the anorexic, the prostitute, or the marathon runner? Ninety-eight percent of the population does not define their very being and purpose in life by their sexual behavior.

          We should never stop a boy from earning Eagle because of what we think he is without a behavioral basis according to Scout standards. The claims that homosexuality is, per se, a sinful condition that precludes a homosexual’s good behavior is a false claim.

          And consequently, the new rule opens a previously-closed door to good boys getting their Eagle rank. We should cheer that.

        • I know it doesn’t matter how many studies are posted that indicate there is no homosexual gene just a million different ways that influence tendencies that cause a person to give in and become homosexual or see no moral value is avoiding it.

          Ed said: “We should never stop a boy from earning Eagle because of what we think he is without a behavioral basis according to Scout standards. The claims that homosexuality is, per se, a sinful condition that precludes a homosexual’s good behavior is a false claim.”

          In your opinion, Ed. and we each have our own set of beliefs to live by. Mine sees acting on those tendencies clearly as a sinful condition, that you choose not to believe, and an unnatural act I do not wish to affirm in front of youth because I believe it will be detrimental to their character, just like affirming lying , cheating and stealing.

          Ed said: “And consequently, the new rule opens a previously-closed door to good boys getting their Eagle rank. We should cheer that.”

          What exactly is your definition of “good?” I have remained unchanged that a boy can be “morally straight” and be an open and avowed homosexuall. I’ve seen nothing in your posts to change that. Just giving a boy Eagle rank does not make him an “Eagle.”

        • Just as no matter how many studies are published, serious, scientific research, demonstrating homosexuality is not a choice, some will refuse to pay attention. Just as some ignore Paul’s advice that marriage and raising a family is not the pure path, and that there is moral value in avoiding such actions.

          In my opinion it is sinful to act on tendencies, like the tendency to condemn others for no behavioral reason. You may believe sexual orientation is a choice, as many argued that skin color was a choice. I regard that as sinful.

          May I keep a kid from getting his Eagle if I believe he thinks that, though I have no evidence he’s acted on it?

          There’s a reason the Shakers are such a tiny sect today; most of us give thanks to heaven for those reasons.

          My definition of “good” is found in the Scout Handbook. Look under “Requirements for Eagle.”

          Why do you want to add to that?

        • just enforce being morally straight by the definition accepted by BSA since the beginning. until May. You say “don’t ask, don’t tell” was widely accepted but I never met anyone except folks on this list who knew they were not telling. We have already seen that is acceptable to violate policy if you folks don’t like it. No one I know made it an issue. You folks wanting open inclusion of homosexuals made it an issue.

          I still don’t think its about the boy. Is it really about the boy Ed, or about acceptance of homosexuality?

          And you also have never said where your moral definition is for a young man to ba an Eagle Scout? Is there one for you? Is it that as long as the young man believes it is moral, its moral? Is there any behavior which would cause the Scout to not be morally straight for you? Just do the work and get Eagle? Is that where you are?

          I’m looking for a reason for what those who want inclusion of open homosexuals for youth and adults to tell me if open homosexuality for youth and adults is allowed, is there any behavior nor considered moral by you Ed if the Scout thinks it is moral? I would really like to know.

        • I still don’t think its about the boy. Is it really about the boy Ed, or about acceptance of homosexuality?

          The only practical effect of the rule now changed was to deny Eagle ranks to boys who earned them.

          Can you justify that?

          Not because they had done anything wrong, not for anything they had done.

          Exactly as if their skin color were polka dot, and someone said “polka dots are evil.” No more justification.

          It’s all about justice for the boys.

          And you also have never said where your moral definition is for a young man to ba an Eagle Scout? Is there one for you? Is it that as long as the young man believes it is moral, its moral? Is there any behavior which would cause the Scout to not be morally straight for you? Just do the work and get Eagle? Is that where you are?

          I said, you rejected it. You reject the Eagle Scout standards?

          That’s not my problem, but it IS a problem for Scouting.

          Here’s the standard: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/eagle.aspx

          Which of those do you disagree with?

          I’m looking for a reason for what those who want inclusion of open homosexuals for youth and adults to tell me if open homosexuality for youth and adults is allowed, is there any behavior nor considered moral by you Ed if the Scout thinks it is moral? I would really like to know.

          Any activity prohibited by law, any activity prohibited under the Youth Protection rules (at Scout activities). Can we agree on that?

          I think if a Scout’s pastor signs off that the Scout is of high moral standing, BSA is on thin ground to contest that.

          Which religions do you want to kick out of Scouting?

        • So any belief of the Scout that is not illegal is moral in your eyes? Just checking.

          The link is requirements, not standards. A standard must be met before a requirement can be achieved, such as:

          Requirement: Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life. List the names of individuals who know you personally and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf, including parents/guardians, religious, educational, and employer references.

          To demonstrate you meet the requirement, you must demonstrate that you live by the Scout Oath and Law. The Scout Oath requires you to ne “morally straight.” You would say then Ed, that as long as the Scout had not violated any laws of man, then he would be a morally straight Scout? If his God was Baal for example or a tree in the forest, he meet the requirements for Eagle? Just want to be sure as long as it is not illegal, it is moral?

          I never said anything about kicking religions out of Scouting. Why did you bring it up?

        • Fred, where in the Eagle requirements is there a statement that the Scout’s beliefs must conform to your standard, or any standard, beyond what is in those requirements?

          We don’t reject Scouts for Eagle because they organize for the Democrats, though we may think that support for the current war is weak among Democrats. We don’t reject Scouts who organize for the Republicans because we don’t think they are “helpful” enough to the poor. We don’t reject Scouts who fear their dentist. We don’t reject Scouts who were not baptized as infants; we don’t reject Scouts who were baptized by sprinkling versus immersion; we don’t reject Scouts who skipped baptism because they had a bar mitzvah instead. We don’t reject Scouts who follow the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment.

          We don’t reject Scouts from the safety merit badge because they handle snakes on Sunday.

          We don’t reject Scouts for beliefs, mostly.

          Those we do reject — anyone who as a matter of conscience will not sign the religious requirement on the application — we probably should accept; on character, they’ve already demonstrated a lot by not signing that form.

          Kicking religions out? Yes, that’s exactly what you’re proposing. You impugn the beliefs of my Christian church, and you say we hold immoral beliefs. I only ask that you back up a bit, give some thought to what you’re asking and accusing, and think about the boys.

        • Focus Ed, I’m trying to establish what is moral to you and offered my understanding and you continue to refuse to answer teh question by asking more questions.

          Do you or do you not believe that any belief of a young man that is not illegal kis moral. That is what you intimated and I am just trying hard to verify that is exactly what you said. An Eagle BOR is supposed to verify that the Eagle Scout has met the standard of morally straight and the Scoutmaster has to as well. That does involve a discernment, determination and judgment of that Scout’s character. Otherwise, if they do the work, they get it and why do we have that standard in Scouting? Does BSA then make no determination of character? I thunk they do through adult leadership of does your Troop just pass them on if they do the written and physical tasks? Nothing beyond that?

          You would not reject a Scout who politicized his uniform? I would. You probably agreed with the homosexuals who recently marched in a gay “pride” parade and refused to apologize even when they were confronted with official policy. Is that the type of youth you support as Eagle Scout? Yes or No?

          Why all the nonsense following. Its a simple question. Read the second paragraph again and answer yes or no to any act or belief by a Scout that is not illegal is considered by you to be moral?

          Er do reject Scouts for immoral beliefs. I don’t think your Troop does but everyone here does. Seems as long as they skirt the law, they’re good with you.

          Ed, you have every right to believe what you want and practice your religion freely. You are not guaranteed to not be criticized or opposed or have folks just plain disagree with your interpretation of direct scripture from the Bible. You think my Church is wrong for interpreting scripture directly, so all’s fair in faith. We are commanded to defend it. You’ve been asked to say how the Apostle Paul was in error by the inspired words he wrote condemning it. I think he got it exactly right.

          I cannot abide by open and avowed homosexual youth in Scouting. I hope Scouting will turn back to timeless moral values which don’t just try to skirt the oath and law but stand for what is right and good and healthy in mind and body.

  16. I understand the policy for kids has changed and the policy for adults has not changed. How do I answer this question? “When will gay adults be allowed? ” The new policy does not address this. Am I supposed to just ignore the question when some one asks me? I was having a discussion with another adult leader who told me the current change was just the first step. The BSA will eventually allow gay adult leaders. I told him my understanding was the BSA put a lot of thought into what they decided to change and what not to change and the only and I mean ONLY thing they are changing is allowing gay kids into scouts. That’s it there is no 2nd step that is gonna be voted on anytime soon. This guy is still telling me it will happen. I want to know is this part of the plan? Is there another step? or is this a wait and see what happens and vote again situation? or is the issue of gay adults leaders ever going to be answered with a definite YES or NO. Its No for the moment but are there plans on changing? Please don’t pretend were not talking about it, and make the entire focus on all kids that’s a cop out to answering my question. This speech was not good it was nothing but a dragged out explanation of what we already knew, cut to the chase please and answer my question directly. I don’t want to argue with other adult leaders about the next step especially because I believe there is no next step. I would please like an official answer not a cop out. – Kevin Mocker Eagle Scout, Assistant Scoutmaster Troop 25 Attleboro

    • That brings up the question of “How is the scout going to give back to scouting”? Once a gay scout turns 18 they’re out? You know the other shoe is going to drop. It’s just a matter of time.

  17. Tillerson,”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.”
    I am sorry to say, he is still wrong and his speech is a direct continuation of the incorrect assumption that the BSA should run like a corporation! It does not at the Pack/Troop level. These people are out of touch. Don’t tell us we have to accept change, we are not employees, we are volunteers that give of our time and talents to work with youth one on one, week in and week out.

    Scouters at every level did not want this policy to pass, especially if it would allow gay leaders in. So a youth-centered resolution was crafted, inserting the phrase “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”

    This is designed to play on an emotional reaction: “Don’t discriminate against children”. But deeper inspection reveals that this is just a smoke screen since BSA’s long-standing policy did not prohibit gay members, or even gay leaders? It simply did not embrace homosexuality. The topic has no place in our programs; boys want to explore the outdoors, hiking and fishing and building campfires. The ban was on “open and avowed homosexuals”–that means participating in and promoting that lifestyle, pushing others to accept it. BSA’s policy was “We won’t ask–just don’t flaunt it”, making it such an issue that it disrupts the program!
    BSA’s nationwide “Voice of the Scout” survey discovered that respondents supported the current policy 61% to 34%.
    72 percent of chartered organizations (host churches) opposed a policy change.
    64 percent of Council and District volunteers opposed this change.
    62 percent of unit leaders opposed this change.

    This will not bring more boys to scouting, it will force the resignation of many boys and leaders from it’s current membership. It will not bring about ‘joining together’, but rather has cut a deep divide that for many will not be bridged. This vote has sacrificed many to gain a few. It is no longer the BSA that exemplifies boys and their skills, it has become just one of many organizations that have fallen prey to the special interest groups and the trends of the popular culture.

    We are parents that pay to enroll our boys and ourselves in the program and our voice was disregarded, disrespected, and dismissed. We did not want this change!!! So as all paying customers do, we will no longer support an organization that forces unwanted products on us. A very sad day indeed!

    • Would someone at National please publish the voting results by Council, region of the country, etc? Thx

      • The comment was “Would someone at National please publish the voting results by Council, region of the country, etc? Thx”

        Hard to do since individuals voted without Council or Regional “tags”. If there was an “exit poll” conducted, we would have been able to get more information (male/female, Council name/number, if the Council was a rural or suburban or urban Council, age of the voter, etc. etc. etc.)

        But it is not impossible — just would take a longer time to get the results. I would much rather get the results from the same third party organization which tabulated the voting results, however.

  18. I love the comment “…we are going to make leaders of tomorrow…” HOW? We are telling the gay youth “Come on and join”, but we don’t want you as an adult leader. Isn’t that a little contradictory to what we are supposed to be teaching these boys? We are to mentor them – yet now say, “Do as I say, not as I do – for you have to be tolerant of ‘that’ lifestyle, but I as an adult don’t have to”.

    Sadly, I feel the half-a$$ed decision by National will be the nail in the coffin for the Scouting program. It should have been all or nothing – and I see a lot of problems down the line.

    • John, I agree with your first paragraph, but I hope that the contradiction will illustrate how untenable the adult prohibition is, leading to its change.

  19. The same sort of nay-saying, small-mindedness and dire predictions of impending doom accompanied the change that permitted women to become leaders in Scout troops 24 years ago.
    That was going to be the end of Scouting! It was all over!
    Turns out that it wasn’t true then and it isn’t true now.
    Those shouting the loudest are just stuck in their own recursive loop of fearful rhetoric, they accept no answer, deny all hope, and refuse goodwill. They will quiet down as their fears go unrealized.
    Thankfully they are outnumbered by those who’s hearts and minds are open; the people of goodwill who make Scouting what it is.

    • Clarke

      I respectfully disagree. Women became Scoutmasters because men either were unavailable or were not willing to serve. The LGBT issue came up not because of discrimination but because individuals have decided to push a blatant political agenda, something BSA rules strictly forbid. Note that three days after the vote that uniformed scouts participated in a Gay Pride Parade in Salt Lake City. That is not the last we will hear of this issue.

      I know four exemplary women scouters in our council who served as SM’s. One of them saved Troop 11 from folding, and she could be a “drill sergeant” but she had the scouts and adults respect. And she did well. They are all to be highly commended because they did it from the heart of genuine motives and it was sincerely for the boys!!

      Political agendas are not “for the boys”!

      • OBTW – I am a male scouter who did my boy scouting back in the 70′s so I am “OLD SCHOOL.” My scouting mentors and role models did their scouting back in the 50′s and 60′s.

        Women were den mothers long, long, long time ago (like 1930) – kept a lot of cubs moving into boy scout troops.

  20. Reading Jim’s post, it struck as to why I am so angry about this wronheaded change. The very reason I joined this organization where I volunteer a great amount of my time was due to its policies and ideals. They are emodied in the outh and law and are not to be amended or changed haphazardly. (Like our Constitution) Now all of that has been kicked to the curb. Now I am volunteering for an organization that has no moral compass and is just a group of people teaching camping skills. Not what I signed up for. I also didn’t sign up for the lawsuits coming to allow everyone in scouting because if we can’t discriminate against gays, we certainly can’t discriminate against (Fill in the blank) ie, girls, satanists, atheists, …… Oh and we are going to have to do away with a bunch of merit badges. Those that concern God and religion because the atheists/satanists can’t earn them and that my hurt their feelings and that’s discrimination.

    • Atheism is a religion whose god is the SELF!
      Satanism is a religion whose god is (he’s not God, but you get the idea).

      The Founding Fathers intended that the church would be protected from the Govt establishing an official church (like the British did with Anglicanism / Episcapalianism – the Colonists were forced to pay their taxes / tithe to the local parish at gun point.

  21. AS I POST THIS I NOTICED THE SAME LBGT PEOPLE ARE DEFENDING AND PROMOTING HOMOSEXUALITY. Mr. Rex Tillerson, I am a former Scout with wo sons and grandsons that hve been in the BSA.
    You sound like president Obama with all the “Change” Rhetoric garbage about “Hope and Change”. How is that working out today? Americana is on the verge of total destruction steeped in New Age Godless Socialism.
    Sounds like the higher ups in the Board have already been planning to bring homosexuality to the Boy Scouts of America.
    How can God Bless the Boy Scouts of America organization now for embracing immorality anymore than He will Bless America for embracing immorality. He will not Bless America again until America repents and comes back to God and Blesses God again.

    I am afraid the destination of your train is immorality and the trashing of the BSA structure. You cannot be “Morally Straight” and ask for “God Bless BSA” and embrace immorality. The Founding Fathers All Agreed That There Can Be No Liberty And Freedom Without Morality And Virtue. Homosexuality (Sodomy) is completely incompatible with Christianity; it is an Oxymoron.
    America needs the Boy Scouts, but it needs what the original Scouts were based on and that is pure Christ Centered Christianity. This move has damaged this, but I think another group founded in this and will be truly Morally Straight will spring up.

  22. This has been one of the most wrenching debates that has ever rocked this nation. I can say one thing with complete certainty – the BSA has listened to all aspects of it and the vote was conducted fairly. They still have their National Voting Members packet out at this link: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/MembershipStandards/310-561_WB.pdf

    In it, it describes how the various concerned groups in Scouting felt about change. Not just Scouters were contacted. Youth were contacted, Scouts were contacted, COs were contacted, parents were contacted, etc. Really, only the Scouting community was opposed to change. There was a webinar held for National Voting Members (archived at this link: http://www.youtube.com/v/mjE94pdTJgk?rel=0&autoplay=1) and it describes that the youngest adult leaders were supportive of change, but that’s it. The only time that the Scouting community flinched from its stance on the policy was when presented with the idea that a gay Scout could be denied his Eagle — the foundation of the resolution that became policy.

    It also describes how the voting was done. Each council has the authority and autonomy to select its voting representatives, most of whom were selected before the policy proposal was announced, so voters being handpicked to vote in a certain way is nonsense. As you can see by the description of how voting worked in the packet (page 6-7), the voting was completely secured and could not be tampered with. The company used to conduct the vote did it securely — moreso, even, than our elections.

    Say what you will about the policy change, but do not say that the BSA didn’t listen or that the vote was fixed. They did, and it wasn’t.

  23. Interesting analogy about getting aboard the train. Much akin to our Amtrak rail system, I think you will see some stations closing down and track taken up. How can he say not much else has changed, the BSA train is westbound out of control and may derail on January 1. It is inevitable that the BSA train will pick up homosexual adult leaders at the next station and kick our belief in God before the train stops in San Francisco. Yes this is change, and as a multi-decade leader, instructor and financial contributor I will refund my train ticket and maintain the beliefs, values and courage that the BSA had for 103.5 years. Mr. Tilleson, perhaps a better analogy you can use is that of the Exxon-Valdez, not much changed when the captain was taking a little nap…

    • According to the vote, a person over the age of 21 that is openly homosexual will not qualify as a leader. Those aren’t the exact words, but that is the gist of what I have read about this.

  24. To see the effect on Scouting from this change one only has to look at the Armed Forces of the United States. Just as predicted, repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the ban against gays in the military had been a disaster! Moral and discipline are down, recruitment has been impacted, and we no longer have an adequate fighting force to protect our country! NOT!

    I hate to break it to a lot of you, but their are plenty of gay scouts in the program. You probably have one or more in your troop. If they were not trying to seduce the other boys before they won’t now. If your idea of morality is judging people based on labels than yes, the morality of Scouting has been compromised. Better yet it has been lifted to a higher lever.

    If your charter organizations object to the new rules, find a more enlightened charter organization, and learn to judge people on their conduct. Homosexuality is not near the threat to Scouting than pedophilia and the historic failure of the BSA to deal with it properly.

  25. The train left the station with out me. Turns out it was going in a different direction than I wanted to go. 34 years of tenure and leadership. Like a death in my family.

  26. What really changed? Did anyone ever ask a new Tiger Cub if he’s gay? He certainly won’t know what you’re talking about. Or an 11 year old joining a Scout Troop? Or even a 15 year old Sea Scout? We’ve never asked, as far as I am aware. An older boy acting out? It has never been tolerated and never will be. Youth on youth abuse? It has happened and will continue to happen. The policy on adults has not changed. What changed, really?

  27. IL Goldst wrote in part: “To see the effect on Scouting from this change one only has to look at the Armed Forces of the United States. Just as predicted, repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the ban against gays in the military had been a disaster! Moral and discipline are down, recruitment has been impacted, and we no longer have an adequate fighting force to protect our country! NOT!”

    Come out here to the Air Force Base and I’ll show you some “down morale”. There are people here proud of what they are doing, and absolutely glad that they are getting a paycheck! Nationally, we don’t have a problem recruiting and we don’t have any issues with gays in the miltary. WE DO, however, have a problem with suicides and the vast majority of those self-inflicted deaths occur because of something they experienced, seen or forced to deal with while being deployed overseas — not because of anything dealing with Gayness or homosexuality or sexuality in general!

    Blame YOUR Senators and Representatives for the lack of an adequate fighting force — they, NOT the “gays” nor the present administration — told the military that “we don’t need as many of you as we have. All of your folks in Europe and the Far East need to go home and (try to) get jobs because we don’t need you.”

    I agree with you that there have been Gay Scouts and Scouters in the program well before all of this kicked up; and those folks did not make their sexuality a central part of who they are as far as Scouting was concerned. They were — are — there for the outdoor adventure, the activity, the interaction with other Scouts and Scouters making the nation as best as they can make it. The sacifices they made in not being “open” with their sexuality speaks highly to their willingness to be a Scout or Scouter FIRST and then being a Gay man or Lesbian woman.

    What I don’t agree with you on, however, is the fact that you stated that “Homosexuality is not near the threat to Scouting than pedophilia and the historic failure of the BSA to deal with it properly.” I think that the BSA dealt with the issue as best they could with the resources they had and the inability for parents and local Councils to face it head on instead of in a back room someplace. The BSA IS getting better at this, and the current tools they have to combat pedophilia is making drastic inroads into the program. We’ll see as time moves onward that the BSA will once again take the lead in rooting out unwelcomed behavior by both youth and adults in all of our programs…and we’ll see it evenhandedly dished out withouth regard to one’s sexual orientation.

    The BSA really doesn’t CARE what orientation you happen to be; only that you are willing to place that aside as you and I continue to develop the next generation of strong citizens of quality character. When more and more chartered organizations see it that way, they will see that Mr. Tilllerson is dead on target: the “Main thing” is the Main Thing.

    • Armed Forces members are adults bound by contract and duty to the United States of America also didn’t get a vote. Plus, soldiers have a way of handling flirting homosexuals. Scouts will have to put up with it, especially older homosexual boys.

  28. Why even do a survey,if you are not going to vote in a matter that reflects the outcome of the survey?

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