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Boy Scouts reaffirmed ban on gays - Page 2

post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by artekah View Post


Quote:
You'd have to be really mentally deficient not to.

 

This is as far as I was willing to read to. I feel that you're calling me and people I associate with mentally deficient, not ok. Saying hateful things about a group you don't like is just as bad as them saying things about you.

post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post

 

That is like saying the person who doesn't allow their child to join an Aryan pride group is being just as bad as the racist group.  Yes, I am going to attempt to stop my own child from being a bigot or supporting/joining groups that support bigotry.

 

I honestly don't see that connection. Anyway, there is a really huge difference between boy scouts and white supremacists. I think what people need to realize is that those who support the ban on openly gay members actually don't say much to their children about it. If you asked the average boy scout about the ban they wouldn't know much, if anything, about it. They're generally really nice kids. They never have rallies the way an aryan pride group would about their ban. The parents don't drill the message into their kids. They may not believe homosexuality is right but they (again, generally and in my experience) don't hate gay people or 'have it out' for them. What I've seen is that the kids from families that support the ban hear a lot more of this stuff at their church than at home, certainly never at boy scout meetings (it's never mentioned). Yes, kids will make jokes but IMO they are fewer and more tame than what kids would hear in school and the kids are immediately told it's not appropriate and they are not to say things like that again. 

post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by artekah View Post


Quote:
You'd have to be really mentally deficient not to.

 

This is as far as I was willing to read to. I feel that you're calling me and people I associate with mentally deficient, not ok. Saying hateful things about a group you don't like is just as bad as them saying things about you.


No, that was not directed at you. Read it again. I was saying, that if, for example, I said to my son "Boy scouts does not welcome our family or anyone who is gay, and that is mean, and we don't believe it's okay to treat people that way...therefore I'm not comfortable with you joining that group." --he would get it, because it's a pretty simple concept, ya know? I was not saying anything insulting about you or anyone, and I'm sorry you read it that way.

Also, I'm not saying anything "hateful" when I point out the truth. Boy scouts excludes little boys from participating in fun with their peers, on the basis of sexual orientation and religious affiliation. THAT is a hateful policy. Wanting nothing to do with it does not make me hateful, it makes me principled.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post

 

That is like saying the person who doesn't allow their child to join an Aryan pride group is being just as bad as the racist group.  Yes, I am going to attempt to stop my own child from being a bigot or supporting/joining groups that support bigotry.

 

I honestly don't see that connection. Anyway, there is a really huge difference between boy scouts and white supremacists. I think what people need to realize is that those who support the ban on openly gay members actually don't say much to their children about it. If you asked the average boy scout about the ban they wouldn't know much, if anything, about it. They're generally really nice kids. They never have rallies the way an aryan pride group would about their ban. The parents don't drill the message into their kids. They may not believe homosexuality is right but they (again, generally and in my experience) don't hate gay people or 'have it out' for them. What I've seen is that the kids from families that support the ban hear a lot more of this stuff at their church than at home, certainly never at boy scout meetings (it's never mentioned). Yes, kids will make jokes but IMO they are fewer and more tame than what kids would hear in school and the kids are immediately told it's not appropriate and they are not to say things like that again. 


If you had read my whole post you would know that I mentioned my husband's experiences growing up as a boy scout, and I understand all of that.

It doesn't change the fact that the boy scouts have a xenophobic and hateful policy that hurts many people. And that some of us care about standing up for others by making it clear that WE don't stand for that kind of bigotry, and we see it as so unacceptable that we refuse to be aligned with such an organization. It's 2012, for cryin out loud! I mean really.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by artekah View Post


No, that was not directed at you. Read it again. I was saying, that if, for example, I said to my son "Boy scouts does not welcome our family or anyone who is gay, and that is mean, and we don't believe it's okay to treat people that way...therefore I'm not comfortable with you joining that group." --he would get it, because it's a pretty simple concept, ya know? I was not saying anything insulting about you or anyone, and I'm sorry you read it that way.
Also, I'm not saying anything "hateful" when I point out the truth. Boy scouts excludes little boys from participating in fun with their peers, on the basis of sexual orientation and religious affiliation. THAT is a hateful policy. Wanting nothing to do with it does not make me hateful, it makes me principled.

 

 

thumb.gif

 

What if you lived 50 years ago and your child really really wanted to join the club that excluded blacks or jews?  Is it "not letting him be himself" by saying, "our family believes in equality, we do not give our time and money to organizations that fight against it."  Well, it's the same thing.  The boy scouts take your dues and use them to fight in court for the *right* to exclude non-heterosexuals and atheists.  They say that is the only way to raise *moral* children. 

post #26 of 34
Exactly. Or, to put things in perspective another way, what if boy scouts allowed all boys, except fat ones and short ones?

We are talking about an organization *for children* whose official policy is to bully children (yes, ostracism and outright exclusion is bullying).

Nobody has ever claimed that the boys who participate in boy scouts are not nice boys. But guess what--the boys who are not allowed to join are nice boys too, and they don't deserve the pain of exclusion just because they're different.

That exclusion hurts everyone in the end. The boys who are included in the group are the ones who will grow up thinking they've never met a gay person or an atheist, thinking those people are freakish anomalies instead of just people, like themselves. They will be the ones keeping us in the dark ages, no matter how nice they are as individuals.

Besides, this policy is not even consistent with the things a boy scout is "supposed" to represent! Amongst the list of things that a scout is are "helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, and brave." Discriminating against whole groups of the population is not any of those things.
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggy O'Mara View Post

La Limena, this must be hard for the leaders and scouts to come to terms with. I admire you for working within the organization for change. I'm curious as to how you leaders have dealt with this and if you talk about the decision with your scouts. I would imagine that a decision like this would be strongly influenced by the old guard in the Boy Scouts, as you say, and especially because the Boy Scouts is an institution, always slow to change unfortunately.

 

Do you see yourself and others like you moving up in the organization? Do you see any trend toward changing this policy any time soon?

In my Pack sexual orientation is a non-issue. We don't ask boys or their families about their sexual preferences. During leader training we are instructed that whoever a boy considers his family, is his family. According to BSA "Many Cub Scouts do not come from traditional two-parent homes. Some boys live with a single parent or with other relatives or guardians. Cub Scouting considers a boy's family to be the people with whom he lives." That seems open-minded to me, and a decent step forward considering Don't Ask Don't Tell was until recently the law of the land.

 

At the District level, I know there are leaders who are up in arms about the "gay issue." They are not up in arms because they are Scouts, however, they are up in arms because they are LDS and would be up in arms regardless. 

 

In my own Den in some cases I have yet to see a second parent at an activity. For all I know a little Cub could have two same sex parents and I am none the wiser. I am not going to investigate and report to Council.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by artekah View Post

As it stands now, this whole thing is a moot point. My DS, even if he were old enough to join, even if he were old enough to know that he was attracted to girls and we were sure he was straight, he still would not be allowed to join because our family leans towards atheist/agnostic. He'd pretty much have to lie and say he was a member of a Christian church to be allowed to join. Just think about that for a second. Not cool.

 

This is an odd comment. You don't have to be Christian to be in Scouts, not sure where you got that information. In my small Den, I have Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, Orthodox, Jewish, and Muslim families. I have one family who is agnostic as far as I know so when there is a "faith" achievement to complete on the family level, (all faith activities are done as individual families and not as a Den or Pack as a whole since my Pack does not belong to a religious institution) I advise them to talk over why it is that they believe what they believe. The rest of the Pack has a similar mix of faiths. In February there are Scout Sunday (Christian) and Scout Sabbath (Jewish) observances in our area. The Scouts can work on special Religious Emblems programs and earn recognitions from their houses of worship. Emblems are available for various Protestant denominations including the Quaker, Episcopalian, and Unity Churches, Catholics, Orthodox denominations, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Baha'is, Meher Babas, and Zoroastrians.

 

What is also interesting is that very open, non-discriminatory denominations such as Unity, Episcopal, and Quaker churches are equally recognized by the BSA as are the very intolerant religions and denominations such as LDS, Islam, Pentecostals, and Salvation Army. This variety in religious belief is why I think that change is possible in BSA. If I am a moral and faithful Episcopalian and my church ordains gay bishops and performs same-sex blessing ceremonies, my religious beliefs in the dignity of all people should be supported and respected by BSA. The very large and vocal LDS contingent in BSA doesn't have a monopoly on morality and faith. For the time being, it is a numbers game. I think it is important that families of non-discriminatory denominations participate in Scouts to balance and then tip the scales in the other direction. 

post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by La Limena View Post

Quote: Originally Posted by Peggy O'Mara La Limena, this must be hard for the leaders and scouts to come to terms with. I admire you for working within the organization for change. I'm curious as to how you leaders have dealt with this and if you talk about the decision with your scouts. I would imagine that a decision like this would be strongly influenced by the old guard in the Boy Scouts, as you say, and especially because the Boy Scouts is an institution, always slow to change unfortunately. Do you see yourself and others like you moving up in the organization? Do you see any trend toward changing this policy any time soon? In my Pack sexual orientation is a non-issue. We don't ask boys or their families about their sexual preferences. During leader training we are instructed that whoever a boy considers his family, is his family. According to BSA "Many Cub Scouts do not come from traditional two-parent homes. Some boys live with a single parent or with other relatives or guardians. Cub Scouting considers a boy's family to be the people with whom he lives." That seems open-minded to me, and a decent step forward considering Don't Ask Don't Tell was until recently the law of the land. At the District level, I know there are leaders who are up in arms about the "gay issue." They are not up in arms because they are Scouts, however, they are up in arms because they are LDS and would be up in arms regardless. In my own Den in some cases I have yet to see a second parent at an activity. For all I know a little Cub could have two same sex parents and I am none the wiser. I am not going to investigate and report to Council. Quote: Originally Posted by artekah As it stands now, this whole thing is a moot point. My DS, even if he were old enough to join, even if he were old enough to know that he was attracted to girls and we were sure he was straight, he still would not be allowed to join because our family leans towards atheist/agnostic. He'd pretty much have to lie and say he was a member of a Christian church to be allowed to join. Just think about that for a second. Not cool. This is an odd comment. You don't have to be Christian to be in Scouts, not sure where you got that information. In my small Den, I have Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, Orthodox, Jewish, and Muslim families. I have one family who is agnostic as far as I know so when there is a "faith" achievement to complete on the family level, (all faith activities are done as individual families and not as a Den or Pack as a whole since my Pack does not belong to a religious institution) I advise them to talk over why it is that they believe what they believe. The rest of the Pack has a similar mix of faiths. In February there are Scout Sunday (Christian) and Scout Sabbath (Jewish) observances in our area. The Scouts can work on special Religious Emblems programs and earn recognitions from their houses of worship. Emblems are available for various Protestant denominations including the Quaker, Episcopalian, and Unity Churches, Catholics, Orthodox denominations, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Baha'is, Meher Babas, and Zoroastrians. What is also interesting is that very open, non-discriminatory denominations such as Unity, Episcopal, and Quaker churches are equally recognized by the BSA as are the very intolerant religions and denominations such as LDS, Islam, Pentecostals, and Salvation Army. This variety in religious belief is why I think that change is possible in BSA. If I am a moral and faithful Episcopalian and my church ordains gay bishops and performs same-sex blessing ceremonies, my religious beliefs in the dignity of all people should be supported and respected by BSA. The very large and vocal LDS contingent in BSA doesn't have a monopoly on morality and faith. For the time being, it is a numbers game. I think it is important that families of non-discriminatory denominations participate in Scouts to balance and then tip the scales in the other direction.


Sorry, my mistake. My DH grew up as a scout in the south, and apparently in his troop there was not even one person who did not identify as Christian, and based on some of the language on BSA's website, I assumed. Still doesn't make it okay to exclude atheists. I'm sure there are plenty of boys who, even if raised in a particular faith, don't personally believe in God. That has to do with their own private personal truth and shouldn't be something they have to lie about or pretend doesn't exist just to be included.

Now, it sounds like your troop is diverse and you are a good leader, and if one of your boys told you he doesn't believe in God, you would treat him with love and not make him feel less-than. But the truth of the matter is, if someone wanted to raise a stink about it, they could legitimately get that boy kicked out, because it is actually written in the official policy. I just recently read an article about a wonderful den mother getting kicked out after someone discovered she was gay. This is obviously not okay.

ETA: It is encouraging that you think change is possible, but I still don't think I can be morally okay with my family supporting this organization until that change is evident. Until that policy changes, all the members' money and time are still going into an organization that officially condones hate. I get your suggestion that if enough inclusive-minded people joined, the change would happen from within. But there's a chicken-egg issue here. If the change comes, inclusive-minded people will join, and if inclusive-minded people join, change will come. But which comes first? I simply just can't bring myself to get behind that. I don't want to endorse a hateful policy, directly OR indirectly--does that make sense?
Edited by artekah - 9/12/12 at 9:28pm
post #29 of 34

To me, it all comes down to the money.

 

If you started a boy scout group that welcomed atheists and non-heterosexuals, I would still not allow my son to join.  Why, because the *national* level association STILL gets a portion of your dues.

 

Which they turn around and spend on lawyers that defent their right to exclusionary behaviors.  The national leadership, in fact, recently said they felt a majority of their membership agreed with their fight.  If you are working "within the organization" they are *not* hearing you.

 

Your money is going to promote hatred.  I, as much as I can, want to ensure that mine does not.

post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by La Limena View Post

 

This is an odd comment. You don't have to be Christian to be in Scouts, not sure where you got that information. In my small Den, I have Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, Orthodox, Jewish, and Muslim families. I have one family who is agnostic as far as I know so when there is a "faith" achievement to complete on the family level, (all faith activities are done as individual families and not as a Den or Pack as a whole since my Pack does not belong to a religious institution) I advise them to talk over why it is that they believe what they believe. The rest of the Pack has a similar mix of faiths. In February there are Scout Sunday (Christian) and Scout Sabbath (Jewish) observances in our area. The Scouts can work on special Religious Emblems programs and earn recognitions from their houses of worship. Emblems are available for various Protestant denominations including the Quaker, Episcopalian, and Unity Churches, Catholics, Orthodox denominations, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Baha'is, Meher Babas, and Zoroastrians.

 

What is also interesting is that very open, non-discriminatory denominations such as Unity, Episcopal, and Quaker churches are equally recognized by the BSA as are the very intolerant religions and denominations such as LDS, Islam, Pentecostals, and Salvation Army. This variety in religious belief is why I think that change is possible in BSA. If I am a moral and faithful Episcopalian and my church ordains gay bishops and performs same-sex blessing ceremonies, my religious beliefs in the dignity of all people should be supported and respected by BSA. The very large and vocal LDS contingent in BSA doesn't have a monopoly on morality and faith. For the time being, it is a numbers game. I think it is important that families of non-discriminatory denominations participate in Scouts to balance and then tip the scales in the other direction. 

 

Belief in a god is a requirement.  Which, by definition, excludes atheists.  I'm surprised as a leader you don't know that. 

post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by CallMeMommy View Post

Belief in a god is a requirement.  Which, by definition, excludes atheists.  I'm surprised as a leader you don't know that. 
Sorry, I don't understand what point you are making. There are no atheists in my unit, nor did I say atheists could be in BSA. All Scouts promise to do their duty to God, but we don't make their family members do so. Unless they are registering with BSA as adult volunteers, it isn't anyone's business if the Scout's family members are part of an organized religion or not. I am surprised by your seemingly pointless comment.
post #32 of 34

I know this is kind of an old thread, but my issue is that the boy scouts are not exactly a private group. They receive public funding- tax dollars, federal charters, they get tax exemptions, they get use of space, personnel, and time in public schools, use of public facilities...I don't feel like they should be able to have it both ways. They should either be public and open to all, or they can be private and have limited/discriminatory membership but should not rely on public help. 

 

UPS and Intel recently pulled out from funding the boy scouts any further due to their anti-gay policies.

 

There's also all of the information that has come out recently about the cover ups in molestation cases within the boy scouts organization. Overall, it's just not something I would ever want my son to be a part of.

post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by La Limena View Post


Sorry, I don't understand what point you are making. There are no atheists in my unit, nor did I say atheists could be in BSA. All Scouts promise to do their duty to God, but we don't make their family members do so. Unless they are registering with BSA as adult volunteers, it isn't anyone's business if the Scout's family members are part of an organized religion or not. I am surprised by your seemingly pointless comment.


What do family members have to do with this?  Belief in a god is a requirement of BSA.  It's in their oath.  It's common knowledge.  So if a scout is an atheist, ergo BSA would exclude them from the organization. 

post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post

 

 

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What if you lived 50 years ago and your child really really wanted to join the club that excluded blacks or jews?  Is it "not letting him be himself" by saying, "our family believes in equality, we do not give our time and money to organizations that fight against it."  Well, it's the same thing.  The boy scouts take your dues and use them to fight in court for the *right* to exclude non-heterosexuals and atheists.  They say that is the only way to raise *moral* children. 

 

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