PDA

View Full Version : Have your views on Scouts changed this week?



Topsy
05-25-2013, 03:58 PM
I know a lot of SHS members are Spirals, and others are quite involved in local scouting groups. Others are neither. But I just wondered if the decision this week to accept openly gay scouts (albeit not openly gay scout leaders) has had an effect on your view of the Boy Scouts overall. Vote, then discuss below!

inmom
05-25-2013, 04:45 PM
I think Boy Scouts is still a backwards organization. I find two problems with their change of stance this week:

1) While the overal BSA group now allows openly gay members, will that really change how those boys are treated by their local leaders and/or other scouts.

2) What is wrong with gay leaders? What's with the assumption that all gay men are also pedophiles? By their same argument, no heterosexual man should coach a girl's team or group.

I heard a quote on the news last night that really rankled me: "This (BSA) decision is wrong. They need to protect my son from those gay boys." Then those same boys need equal protection from the raging hormones of girls.

I just don't get it.....:confused:

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
05-25-2013, 05:06 PM
I agree with Carol. They only changed one of their discriminatory policies. There are others still in place with regards to gay leaders and atheists.

My opinion of them is unchanged and I still won't let my son join Boy Scouts.

farrarwilliams
05-25-2013, 05:29 PM
It's a step in the right direction, but they definitely have more to take before I would let my sons join.

Jeni
05-25-2013, 05:41 PM
It's a step forward. There are literally no choices for little boys in our area other then Boy Scouts. There are no other groups, I've looked. I wish they could do more. I don't feel right letting my son join.

People in our area are so homophobic, they protested against allowing gay kids. So I honestly don't think they will offer much support and will probably just end up excluding any gay kids that try to join or come out.

Batgirl
05-25-2013, 06:23 PM
Yes, I think it's a step in the right direction. We participate in Boy Scouts as my dh is an Eagle Scout and our boys love it. Neither of us is happy with their discriminatory policies and would have looked at pulling them if they had refused to make a change this month.

I should add that we live in a tolerant area and I can't see either gay scouts or scoutmasters being discriminated against or going unsupported here.

Teri
05-25-2013, 06:42 PM
My son is a Boy Scout.
I think this is a HUGE start. A year ago, we didn't have any idea that we were this close. I think they split the difference to try and make everyone happy and it really did the opposite. I am hopeful that once this clears out, the next step will be to allow the adults to join also.
I do think this is a time that if you believe BSA should be inclusive to be supportive. The vote was 61% FOR changing the policy, but they will lose a large chunk of those who voted against it. Already, we have had commissioners and leaders resign in our area.
To get to the next step, there needs to be a membership that DEMANDS it.

farrarwilliams
05-25-2013, 07:06 PM
Yeah, I also live in a very liberal area and I feel like it will make a difference for scouts here. Kids who come out will be allowed to finish scouts if they choose. It's clearly not enough... and in homophobic areas, people will be homophobic. One policy can't change that anyway. But it's a step. I feel slightly better about the BSA.

RTB
05-25-2013, 07:38 PM
I don't get the logic. Gay boy scout, ok. Gay leader, not ok. I wish my son could do scouts, I think they have a lot to offer. But the prejudices they hold onto are not ok.

farrarwilliams
05-25-2013, 07:49 PM
I (sadly) get the logic. I think to them, a boy who is gay is still a child and therefore not "responsible" for his actions but a grown up is. Ack. When I type it out like that, it makes me feel worse about them. It's a small step. I still wouldn't let my boys join... but we have the option of multiple local Earth Scouts groups if we wanted to do scouting so it's hardly a big choice for us.

Pawz4me
05-25-2013, 07:53 PM
I'm not really sure how I feel about it. I guess it is a step in the right direction. I'm very glad neither of my boys had any interest in scouting!

RTB
05-25-2013, 08:44 PM
I (sadly) get the logic. I think to them, a boy who is gay is still a child and therefore not "responsible" for his actions but a grown up is. Ack. When I type it out like that, it makes me feel worse about them. It's a small step. I still wouldn't let my boys join... but we have the option of multiple local Earth Scouts groups if we wanted to do scouting so it's hardly a big choice for us.

That is what I think the logic is too.

Teri
05-25-2013, 09:10 PM
It won't be much longer!
GLAAD Pushes Boy Scouts to Now Lift Ban on Openly Gay Leaders, Volunteers (http://m.christianpost.com/news/glaad-pushes-boy-scouts-to-now-lift-ban-on-openly-gay-scout-leaders-volunteers--96660/)

Batgirl
05-25-2013, 09:23 PM
It won't be much longer!
GLAAD Pushes Boy Scouts to Now Lift Ban on Openly Gay Leaders, Volunteers (http://m.christianpost.com/news/glaad-pushes-boy-scouts-to-now-lift-ban-on-openly-gay-scout-leaders-volunteers--96660/)

Hurray! Here's to more positive changes in the future. And kudos to the LDS church, who are publicly supporting this decision.

Gummers
05-26-2013, 02:46 AM
In Canada the Boy Scouts have allowed openly gay members since the 90's, adults and scouts alike. So, I don't really think more of the BSA because of this... they are still behind the times. I applaud their efforts to be more inclusive.

That being said, I just signed up my girls for girl scouts next year.... :P

Crabby Lioness
05-26-2013, 02:53 AM
A half-step forward is still a move in the right direction.

Stella M
05-26-2013, 03:34 AM
We wouldn't touch scouting due to their attitude towards atheists.

It's pleasing they are being dragged into the 21st century, but I won't be holding my breath waiting for them to extend any grace to the godless kids.

It's always interesting watching a conservative organisation decide which taboo is the absolute limit and which they will give way on.

Gummers
05-26-2013, 05:15 AM
We wouldn't touch scouting due to their attitude towards atheists.

It's pleasing they are being dragged into the 21st century, but I won't be holding my breath waiting for them to extend any grace to the godless kids.

It's always interesting watching a conservative organisation decide which taboo is the absolute limit and which they will give way on.

For me, the prospect of meeting other children and participating in the group activities outweigh that my children might have to pretend to have some sort of vague spirituality. Atheism isn't entirely legal so they are used to evading religious discussion anyway. Plus, the meetups are just down the road from where I live. Convenience! I'm a sell out. ;)

hockeymom
05-26-2013, 06:42 AM
For me, the prospect of meeting other children and participating in the group activities outweigh that my children might have to pretend to have some sort of vague spirituality. Atheism isn't entirely legal so they are used to evading religious discussion anyway. Plus, the meetups are just down the road from where I live. Convenience! I'm a sell out. ;)

Um, atheism isn't legal? That's not even true in Canada?

farrarwilliams
05-26-2013, 08:07 AM
I thought the scouts in Canada were like the GSA - I think they have some vague God language in their stuff, but they also say atheists are welcome?

ksb427
05-26-2013, 08:48 AM
Both boys are Scouts and will remain so. Yes, I'm not happy with some of their views, but for me the positive aspects outweigh the negative. We do not have many choices if your children aren't into sports around here. My older son and I had a long talk this morning about what is going on. He was on top of it though. Reads the paper, listen to the news, etc. He was sad that some of his friends may not even show up on Thursday because several parents are pulling their children out immediately. Our sponsor is a Baptist church, so come January, I doubt his troop will have a place to meet. My son loves Scouting - the backpacking, hanging out with his peers, all that he is learning through working on merit badges and rank requirements, etc. Yesterday I started looking at other troops in the area.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
05-26-2013, 09:28 AM
I think Gummers lives in the Middle East, yes?

ksb427
05-26-2013, 09:51 AM
I think Gummers lives in the Middle East, yes?

Yes she does.

Gummers
05-26-2013, 09:59 AM
Um, atheism isn't legal? That's not even true in Canada?

I'm a Canadian but currently living in the UAE. Sorry for the confusion. One's my home and one's where I live, so I speak of both and forget to clarify which I'm talking about. My comment about legality and atheism was referring to the UAE.

leakyowl
05-26-2013, 10:45 AM
I was a Cub Scout leader for a year but left in complete disgust of the Scouts. I find their stance on homosexuality repugnant (we had a great mom who couldn't lead her son's pack because she was in a committed lesbian relationship--and there was no one else able or willing to lead the Webelos that year). I also absolutely don't agree with their exclusion of atheists. I had my pack do the "God" stuff on their own, but even then, I had other parents chew ME out--I finally outed myself as an atheist and was told I couldn't be the leader any more. Again, there was no one else willing to step in. I also got livid because early this year, they took all the boys out of class to listen to a plug for scouts--on school time on school grounds. That got my dander up like you wouldn't believe. I love the camping, the skills, and the organizational structure. Unfortunately, I haven't found anyone else with their stuff together so well (I've looked at spiral, 4h, camp fire--it's hard to find a developed program here--I live in the same city as the BSA's headquarters).

JinxieFox
05-26-2013, 01:42 PM
I don't get the logic. Gay boy scout, ok. Gay leader, not ok. I wish my son could do scouts, I think they have a lot to offer. But the prejudices they hold onto are not ok.

Ditto.

(10 char)

farrarwilliams
05-26-2013, 01:49 PM
Earth Scouts is a really good alternative, LeakyOwl. The people I know running Earth Scouts troops (there are three that we know of near us - one of them is HUGE and mostly homeschoolers) really love it.

Stella M
05-26-2013, 05:47 PM
I don't think people who have a spirituality, or whose children do, understand how offensive it is to an atheist child to have to pretend to be OK with some vague God stuff. It's so disrespectful to the child. It's the moral equivalent of telling a fair non-Anglo to just keep quiet and 'pass'. In my opinion.

I don't think atheist children will be allowed to be open or equal members of BSA any time soon. And I guess that's OK. It is a religious organisation, after all.

I'm just surprised how many otherwise progressives are OK with supporting the organisation in light of their ongoing discrimination.

Batgirl
05-26-2013, 11:06 PM
What BSA offers really isn't matched by any other organization. I've looked around and nothing else comes close. In their eyes, adherence to religious principles is an integral part of becoming a morally upright, honorable person. That said, they are very flexible about how/which/where the principles are taught; they don't favor one religion over another or require church attendance. I fully support rewriting their policy in favor of a more general adherence to principles, but I am glad they're tackling the homosexuality ban first as I think that is the more indefensible of the two issues.

I understand what you mean regarding "passing". My dh is Christian and my sons are being raised Christian, so it's not an issue for us. It would be otherwise.

Stella M
05-27-2013, 03:16 AM
I think they are equally indefensible issues but am content to agree to disagree :)

wendygrace
05-27-2013, 10:38 AM
I think it's a step in the right direction. Boy Scouts really are an internal organization and any changes will have to come from within. The fact that this change will force some to leave the organization is a good thing, imho. This allows for those truly following Boy Scouts principles (respect for all, etc) to truly become the majority within the organization and will open doors to allowing the ban on gay adults and atheists. Yes, it has taken a long time however, having people with more open minds within the organization in the only way to change it. And personally, I am glad that it wasn't pressure from outside but pressure within that forced this change. Boy Scouts truly are committed to their values it's just that we have had to allow those with more closed minds to move on in the organization and those with more progressive views move on up. I teach my son that his values are his values and even if someone pressures him to change those values, only he can change it and should do this with caution and with thoughtfulness.

CatInTheSun
05-27-2013, 06:27 PM
In our area it is Scouts (boy or girl) or nothing. There are no earth scouts, spiral scouts, camp fire, or the like listed in the state. I'm going to consider GSA based on recommendations here and that the given troop is run by a hs mom I know, but it would take a lot of convincing and coming across a truly awesome troop to convince me to give BSA a go with my son.

leakyowl
05-27-2013, 07:51 PM
I don't think people who have a spirituality, or whose children do, understand how offensive it is to an atheist child to have to pretend to be OK with some vague God stuff. It's so disrespectful to the child. It's the moral equivalent of telling a fair non-Anglo to just keep quiet and 'pass'. In my opinion.

I don't think atheist children will be allowed to be open or equal members of BSA any time soon. And I guess that's OK. It is a religious organisation, after all.

I'm just surprised how many otherwise progressives are OK with supporting the organisation in light of their ongoing discrimination.

But the thing is, they aren't supposed to be a religious organization. About 70% are incorporated through a church, they have their meetings there, but they aren't a religious organization. What's more, in the remaining packs, they use school grounds rent free, school time, and lots of public resources. I say, if they want to be private and have their exclusionary rules, so be it; but they can no longer receive public funds or resources and should not be given prominence like the kind they received at my son's old school.

As for the "Passing" and believing--I don't think my son has ever been successful at that. He's an autistic, science-minded, logical thinking. His father is a rabid atheist--I describe myself as a Schrodenger's Cat atheist. The last time someone asked him if he believed in God, he said "You mean like Zeus. He has some neat myths."

melissa
05-27-2013, 08:24 PM
LOL Leakyowl, I could SOOOO see my son saying something like that. He has always grouped God with the rest of the gods, and the Greek gods stories are "way more awesome!"

Stella M
05-27-2013, 08:33 PM
Yeah, my son wouldn't pass either.

Whereas when my daughter was a Girl Guide many years ago, she could easily 'do her duty to God' given that she understood, at that time, that Aslan was her higher power :)

I remain sceptical about the amount of agitation that will come from inside the organisation regarding discrimination against atheist children and families. It's a form of discrimination that is frequently minimised.

I will be extremely happy to be proved wrong.

Mslksdh
05-27-2013, 09:01 PM
We will stick with Camp Fire and the SCA for our "scouting" needs.

farrarwilliams
05-27-2013, 09:19 PM
The BSA has big issues with atheism. The GSA... Less so. Their pledge has the word God, but participants are allowed to sub any word they individually choose for that - so they can say Allah, or Zeus, or even just something like "myself" that would make it clear that they are making the oath by their own word, not based on any higher power. And the central committee or whoever the heck runs the GSA, has ordered that atheist members be allowed in and that transgendered children be allowed in as well. I get what Stella is saying that that's not enough for some kids - that having the "standard" form pledge have the word God means they'll never join, but I think lumping them n with the BSA is also unfair, when they're much more tolerant and open.

Stella M
05-28-2013, 02:08 AM
Yep, wasn't meaning to put GS and BSA in the same box in my pp.

JinxieFox
05-28-2013, 02:10 AM
Yeah, I'll gladly enroll Rowan in Girl Scouts. That's a totally different organization.

Alas, Gavin will continue to miss out on the Boy Scout experience, as I do not want him participating in any group that discriminates. And it's not that they don't have the right to do that - they do; but that means it's just not the group for us. Hoping to find an Earth Scouts near us when we get settled, though. :)

iris0110
05-28-2013, 05:05 PM
Luckily my boys are not interested in the boy scouts, if they were we would tell them no. I have a very low opinion of the BSA and this new ruling has done nothing to change that. If anything continuing to discriminate against Atheists and gay leaders only reinforces my feelings towards the BSA. My boys have enough going on in their lives, anime conventions, Renaissance fairs/reenactment, Taekwondo, and roller derby. They have quality people to support them and look up to. They don't need to go on camping trips and take oaths to be "morally straight" to grow up well. I just don't believe that the only way my boys will grow up to be "good men" is through interaction with the role models put forth by the BSA.

Stella M
05-28-2013, 06:19 PM
I must say how lovely it is to be in a space where 0% have a diminished view of the BSA due to their recent decisions...

I read elsewhere and am aghast at some of the attitudes expressed.

farrarwilliams
05-28-2013, 09:06 PM
Yeah. I have heard some nasty things. I assume there will be a new, conservative scouting organization to emerge from this mess. There's already the "Heritage Girls" which is the conservative alternative to GSA, so I imagine someone is cooking one up now for the Boy Scouts.

Dh and I were talking about this... I feel like they can read the weather report and are trying to figure out pragmatically how to survive this long term. I mean, if they wait too long to admit gay members and, eventually, gay scoutmasters, then they'll die as a relevant, national organization because they'll be marginalized down the road. Opposition to gays and lesbians is literally dying - young people, on the whole, support gay rights and gay marriage and don't appreciate this homophobia. On the other hand, if they do it too soon, they'll lose too many members and too much money over it. They're trying to walk some (completely absurd and imaginary) middle ground right now of admitting gay scouts but not allowing gay adults... It might backfire and alienate everyone. We'll see.

Stella M
05-28-2013, 10:22 PM
I once did some research on one of the more conservative scouting alternative organisations when a (former) friend enrolled her son and somehow ended up on the leaders' forum. Man, the stuff they were saying! Hate speech 100%

It will be interesting to see what happens down the road.

iris0110
05-30-2013, 01:09 PM
In a way I think my view of BSA did diminish with this ruling. Not because they chose to allow gay youth but because they chose to continue to deny gay leaders and atheists. It is that old argument about gay equals child predator that they could have made a stand against but chose not to and I can't help but lower my opinion of them. The fact that they essentially said children don't know any better and are therefore ok, but adults should know better and therefore can't play.

Oceana
05-30-2013, 02:47 PM
My sons are Cub Scouts. When my eldest asked to be one I explained the discrimination and he still wanted to participate. We agreed he could continue but if I found even 1 thing about the discrimination policy to touch us or anyone we knew he would be pulled out. I became a leader so I would know what was going on.

As a leader we are part of the change. I fill out a survey by my council every 3 months and every time I mention the discrimination policy as what I do not like about BSA.

When BSA started talking about changing the policy before the media heard word one we got information. We got asked questions about how to rework policies to accept the changes.

I am very happy to have been part of the change we have managed. We have further to go but we have made change.

I think the reason they did not allow gay leaders yet is because of the complexity of rewriting policy. I also think this was a compromise to get the gay foot in the door. When it comes down to it BSA keeps getting sued for sexual misconduct between Leaders and Scouts. Like it or not the policies we currently have in place known as, Youth Protection Training would not accommodate same sex couples that are not legally married. We end up with a chicken and egg situation. I think it is coming and I want it to come and when it does we can focus on the religious aspect.

BSA is rewriting the policies on Scouts now. They have rewritten leader policies every year for the past 4 in response to better protection for the boys.

CrazyCatWoman
06-04-2013, 03:55 PM
I think in another generation, when the boys in now grow up and become leaders, then maybe I would consider letting my boys join. Right now there is still too much stupidity in the minds of the leaders - if my son were gay I wouldn't let him join out of fear of what the group would say and do. Conversations I have had on FB lead me to think that the students would model what the leaders do, and some of the leaders are still being jerks about this.

Leanne71
06-05-2013, 01:43 AM
In Australia the only thing they want from you really is a belief in something bigger than self.
We have had People put down Jedi, Klingon, and Wiccan. The wiccans had a small battle but then again they have a belief in something other than self.
I pit down Unitarian, there is God, but you have yours and I have mine (whatever mine shall be ) and each to their own, no other definition is needed.