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Pale Blue Dot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:38 PM
Original message
I have a horrible, horrible confession.
I am the Cub-master of my son's Cub Scout troop.

I know, I know. I'm a liberal and a huge supporter of gay rights. So how did this happen? Well, I remember a conversation I had with my wife about this when the Scouts first announced that gay men were not welcome to be leaders:

MY WIFE: Pat, did you take out the trash like I asked?
ME: I will never, ever allow my son to be a member of that homophobic organization!
MY WIFE: Umm, OK. Will you take out the trash now?

I held firm last year when my wife approached me about this again:

MY WIFE: Pat, our son is not athletic, and all of his friends are in scouts, and he would like to join.
ME: OK.

So everything was fine until the end of last year when I was approached by the committee chair of the Scouts (a scary woman nicknamed Attila the Hun) after the current Cub-master had retired:

COMMITTEE CHAIR: Pat, we would like you to be the new Cub-master.
ME: I'm sorry, I really don't have time for that.
COMMITTEE CHAIR: OK, but if you don't do it the entire pack will fold. So will you do it?
ME: OK.
COMMITTEE CHAIR: Good, now take out the trash.

So how did I become Cub-master? It just sort of happened, which has been the story of my life. The good news is that in our local troop, the whole gay issue has never come up, even in casual conversation. The bad news is most of the other grown-ups involved are Republicans.

Anyway, tomorrow's the Blue and Gold banquet, and I have to give a speech. I'm trying to figure out how to get some subliminal liberal messages into that speech.

Whew! That feels good to finally get off my chest! I hope you'll all forgive me, or at least post your own personal shame here.
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Bertha Venation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. ForGIVE you?
How about a big :hug: instead? The Boy Scouts desperately needs anti-homophobic leaders! You rock!
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Pale Blue Dot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Awww, thanks for the hug!
I'm just hoping I can help my son get the best from the Scouts, and guide him away from the worst.
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. No forgiveness needed. You filled a void for these children. You
are being your son's Daddy which is what is important at the end of the day.


Here is my confession: I just finished off an entire back of Hanover's Honey Mustard pretzels...shame,shame on me...

Oh

and I have 10 boxes of girl scout thin mint cookies in the freezer right now...

Oh

and I gave up absolutely nothing for Lent. I was tempted to give up my children but no body would take them...

Oh

and...well you get the point.

Have fun with your speech. Knock their socks off!!!

Hugs,Laura
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bearfan454 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #3
58. Frozen thin mints rule.
Especially if you have the munchies !
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. Good luck with your speech.
Edited on Sat Feb-28-04 11:47 PM by GOPisEvil
I'm glad you were there for the kids. Scouting needs more adults that care.

That being said, I won't be one of them until the national office cleans up its act. But, if I had a kid...and that kid...well, you know the story.

GOPisEvil <---Eagle Scout
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MichaelHarris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Eagle Scout and Aggie?
Imma start watchin you.
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Damn ya caught me...
...I'm a freeper plant!

Curses, foiled again! :P
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MichaelHarris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I'm a fomer Sea Ag myself lol
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. A-ha! The truth comes out!
Howdy! :hi:
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MichaelHarris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Hola my Aggie Brutha
Are you on campus? My neice and nephew go to main campus now.
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. AHA! I knew that that username was just a subtle way of blinding
us, of drawing us in, only to spring this on us in a boy scout thread. You have to get up pretty early in the morning I tells ya.

;)
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 01:20 AM
Response to Reply #6
50. Please don't forget athiests.
Edited on Sun Feb-29-04 01:20 AM by NNadir
Boy Scouts of America do not simply discriminate against gays. They discriminate against athiests as well.

My sons (public) school psychologist suggested I put my (very different) son into cub scouts to make him more "popular." Rather than saddle my son with more bullshit (he's already dyslexic and the possessor of some unusual facial features owing to a birth defect), I just bit my tongue.

Because of a negative reaction to some fundementalist family members, my son has also rather latched on his father's athiest attitudes. I can just see how wonderful the cub scouts would be for my kid's adjustment when they throw him out at nine years old for a failure to believe in god. "Your father's not eligible either," they might tell him.

I want nothing to do with Cub Scouts, as the Boy Scouts of America has twice gone to the Supremes to have themselves declared a religion so they can exclude with naked bigotry.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 01:32 AM
Response to Reply #50
51. You are correct
and as a gay atheist, I should've brought that up, too.

My defense is that most kids of boy scout age haven't yet made firm decisions about their religious or non-religious affiliation (beyond what their parents have taught them) but most gay kids realize their homosexuality long before they can articulate it.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #50
56. Is there an active 4-H Club in your area?
The 4-H Club (the four H's are head, heart, hands and health) is the youth branch of the USDA's Cooperative Extension Service. When I was old enough to transfer from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, I went into 4-H instead. In my hometown, 4-H was much more fun than Scouts.

4-H is much more specialized than Scouts. Scouting seeks to build the Whole Boy (or Whole Girl, if we're talking Girl Scouts) by exposing him/her to all sorts of different things. If you're in the 4-H Chicken program, you raise chickens and show them at the county fair. If you're in the 4-H Pleco Feeding program (better known as Gardening), you grow zucchini or cucumbers, display the nicest ones at the fair and feed the rest to your plecostomus catfish. (And then the next year, you display your foot-long plecostomus at the fair with a sign over him that says, "this is what happens when you join the Gardening club.") My local club's hog raising program started out every year with the Pig Scramble. There is a hog farmer in Plummer, Idaho, who donates piglets to the Benewah County 4-H club every spring. If you want to participate in the hog raising program, you are required to sign up for the Pig Scramble. They take the pigs to the fairgrounds, put all the kids who are participating in the horse dressage ring, then turn the pigs loose with them. You raise the one you catch. This is a big event in town--probably 800 people go to watch the fun. (St. Maries, Idaho, has a population of 2500.) At one time they even had a tobacco growing program. In Idaho. No one ever did it, mainly because there was one person in town who had the right soil for tobacco and he wasn't sharing, but if you were so inclined, you could grow tobacco as your project. What you don't do as a member of the pleco-feeding program is grow pleco food, raise pigs, sew a dress, study the local watershed...there is no rule saying you can't join multiple clubs if you wanted, and most of us did, but the cat program didn't go on overnight hikes.

When I was in 4-H there was no religious component to it--it's a federal government program, so there couldn't be until George W. "Jesus He Knows Me" Bush got installed. There are boys and girls in the same clubs. There are no uniforms. Dues are minimal and paid once a year. It's fairly cheap to be in 4-H; what it costs depends on what your program is--pig growing is more expensive than hair styling.

I am going to talk to the county extension service about being a woodworking or construction volunteer. It should be fun.

Check out http://www.4-h.org.
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MichaelHarris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. Good Job
I was a Scout Master for a long time. Its good to help kids anyway you can. As far as your speech I would include something about compassion, love, and respect for all the people of the world. Its a global community and we must all share in the desire to stop hatred, and racism wherever we find it. I would then end the speech with "Make sure you parents vote anyone but bush".
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:49 PM
Response to Original message
7. There is nothing to forgive.
If you want to support a club that discriminates against people, that's your own business.

You should have let the pack fold so they could all join a non-homophobic club.

I think it sends this message to your child: It's okay to cooperate with an organization that discriminates if all your friends are in it.

But that's just my opinion.
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Pale Blue Dot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Well, I understand what you're saying, but...
My son is eight years old and has no idea that this organization discriminates. I'm hoping that when he discovers this, he will be able to make the decision on his own on whether he still wants to be involved.

Do you have any kids, brainshrub?
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Finnfan, agreed. He's really too little. I think with a father like you
Edited on Sat Feb-28-04 11:55 PM by MrsGrumpy
(from what I have seen) he will be making all the right decisions as he gets older.

Hugs,Laura

On edit: with the possible exception of sporting teams. ;)
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. I don't think
kids are ever too young for a lesson on tolerance.

Imagine a fictional White Aryan Youth Scouts group that didn't allow blacks, asians or hispanics. Imagine further that they do good, valuable constructive things and teach kids self-reliance and other valuable skills. Would it be OK to let your kids join?
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Pale Blue Dot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. BUT, my local group does not teach these things.
My son, being 8, is and should be completely unaware of sexual issues. I would NOT let him join a group that openly taught HIM to hate any group.

Their behavior on a National level is disturbing, and it has not touched this troop or the life of my son one bit.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #18
22. look...
I've had this argument with other people very close to me. It doesn't make me angry - it just saddens me.

The Boy Scouts discriminate against gay youth - a group of kids in GREAT need of acceptance and tolerance. Whether your son is being taught discrimination or not isn't the issue. It's that he's being taught that it's OK to join a group that discriminates. He may not know TODAY that they discriminate, but one day he will, and he'll think it's no big deal to belong to such organizations.

And again, if it were the White Aryan Youth Scouts, it would be wrong even if they didn't preach any discrimination in the meetings.
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #11
19. No kids, but I have a brother who's gay
and any organization that won't accept him isn't good enough for me...or your child.

I wouldn't let my kid join an organization that discriminated against Jews, even if he didn't understand anti-Semiteism.

If the pack has trouble finding good leaders, then perhaps it's because men of conscience are voting with their feet instead of making excuses like you are doing.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh; You are obviously a wonderful, loving father. But you opened the subject and I'm giving you my honest opinion.
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Pale Blue Dot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. I appreciate your opinion.
And I anticipated this reaction. I have stopped myself from making this "confession" a hundred times because I knew that I would be judged for it.
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #21
27. I'm judging your choice b/c you started the thread.
But I also see that you are a great Dad who will not raise a homophobe.

So I suppose that's a net gain. :D
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #19
25. He has an opportunity to influence those around him.
I'd say that's puttin him in the place he needs to be. If he can influence even a few kids and parents while he's at it to be more open minded, more power to him.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. No cub scout master
is going to change the BSA's long-held and hard-fought position in favor of discriminating against gays.

It's virtually a hallmark of the organization. Why not find another organization that provides the same value, minus the bigotry?
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. I second that.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #28
32. Here's a link
to a group called Scouting for All that deals with this issue

http://www.scoutingforall.org/
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #32
43. thank you for that great link, Dookus! n/t
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #26
31. He is having an enormous impact as scoutmaster.
He sets the tone of the organization that these kids belong to at this level. The idea is to teach compassion for our fellow man at an early age.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. We jus tdisagree
I feel he's teaching his son that it's OK to be complicit with anti-gay discrimination.

I find it exceptionally sad that somebody using the pink triangle would feel that being complicit with those who would destroy you is a good thing.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #33
41. What a surprise. I knew that would be commented on when I disagreed.
I don't agree with isolationism. I'm sorry that you can only concentrate on the big picture in this instance without seeing how an individual can make a difference in many lives.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #41
42. I think this individual
could make a much bigger difference in many lives by continuing to help kids while at the same time rejecting discrimination.

My reason for mentioning your pink triangle, as you must know, is that it was the symbol used by Nazis to mark homosexuals. People use the symbol today to say Never Again. Never Again will homosexuals be treated as second-class citizens, unworthy of basic human respect. Never Again will we let gay people, including gay youth, be told that they are less worthy of respect than others.

The BSA teaches that gay youth are less worthy. The BSA teaches that gay youth are not good enough to be scouts. The BSA teaches that it's OK to discriminate against gay youth.

You are unworthy of the symbol.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #42
45. Duly noted.
You prefer to fight at the national level. I think acceptance starts with one on one at the local level, and can overwhelm at the national level.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #26
39. Because in some communities it is the only choice that has
heavy parental committment and involvement. A parent has more imput and influence with scouting than with sports. With sports, the coach is king. You pay your $75 bucks, the coach is assigned. The parent brings the kid and Gatorade at 4:00. End of involvement in most cases. You can go several years without really knowing the parents on the team.

With scouting there is much more involvement, more cooperation, more shared goals. You get to know these people on a pretty deep level, depending on the pack or troop. The opportunities to foster compassion in the kids and the parents can be numerous and priceless over the years.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #39
44. There are other
scouting organizations that don't preach discrimination.

This is a great opportunity to provide the same benefits as the BSA, while also reinforcing the idea that discrimination is wrong.
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #11
48. Not too young to learn about the realities of their life
First I honor you for volunteering your time for your children. Your son is not too young to learn about discrimination and homophobia. I can almost guarantee he's hearing the taunt that that's so gay at his school. Or you hit or run like a girl. I'm still trying to figure out how an 8 year boy or girl runs or swings a bat differently. They may in later years but not at 8. If you want to raise an unbiased child, nows the time to raise these issues.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:54 PM
Response to Original message
12. *shrug*
You're just teaching your kid that discrimination is OK, as long as you ignore it.

But it's your kid, not mine. Good luck.
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muffin_man Donating Member (128 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #12
20. Really now Shrub and Dookus
The kid is only eight! He is only learning POSITIVE things from the scouts at this point.IF he learns hate and discrimination it'll be from his FRIENDS at school,church,scouts.Maybe he'll get the independence and character from scouts to make his own choices.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. I'm sorry
but I'll never think it's OK for responsible parents to allow their kids to join organizations that blatantly discriminate.

BSA is not the only worthwhile organization for kids. There are other options that don't reinforce the idea that discrimination is OK.

He may not know NOW that the BSA discriminates against gays, but he will some day. And the lesson he will learn then is that it's OK to belong to such groups because Daddy said so.
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
16. you could read this to them:
it presents both sides.
it is very good for them that you are the master.
you clearly care deeply about your son, and about discrimination.


peace!


AMA: Banning LGBT Youth from Groups Risks Their Health (RI)
By Jennifer Levitz, Journal Staff Writer
June 20, 2001

The American Medical Association, considered the nation's arbiter of health advice, from salt intake to seat belts, yesterday made a more unusual diagnosis: Discrimination is bad for the health.

The AMA voted into official policy a resolution that says it is a health risk to ban homosexuals from youth organizations. The resolution originated with a doctor who is a leader of a Boy Scout troop on the East Side of Providence; The Rhode Island Medical Society submitted it to the AMA last month.

The AMA's 547-member House of Delegates voted on the resolution yesterday, at its annual conference in Chicago, asking youth organizations nationwide to "reconsider exclusionary policies that are based on sexual orientation."

The Rhode Island Medical Society, which has two delegates to the AMA annual conference, argued that discriminatory policies increase the risk of suicide and depression among gay youths. Its resolution did not mention the Boy Scouts of America, nor does the AMA policy.

The AMA policy also does not mention the higher risk -- reported in several medical studies -- of suicide for gay youths. Delegates said that discriminatory policies based on sexual orientation are "bad for adolescent health at a number of levels, not just limited to suicide," said Michael Macko, a doctor of internal medicine from Providence, who is the president of the Rhode Island Medical Society, and a delegate to the AMA convention.

Macko, in a phone call from Chicago yesterday, estimated that at least 80 percent of the delegates approved the policy during a voice vote.

Only two doctors spoke out against the resolution during yesterday's vote, he said, with one of them being concerned about pedophilia. Others pointed out that there is "no relationship between pedophilia and homosexuality," he said.

He also heard opponents say that the AMA should not be taking a stand on discrimination -- that it is not a health issue.

"But the reason it passed so easily was that it was recognized that it is adverse to the health of adolescents to be discriminated against," Macko said.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year upheld the Boy Scouts' right to ban gays. One delegate, Macko said, noted: "Yes, they have the legal right, but that doesn't make it right."

"One man said, 'Gee, you know there's nothing illegal about smoking, but that doesn't mean the AMA is wrong to come out against smoking as a health hazard,' "Macko said. "This is very analagous."

The Boy Scouts of America is believed to be one of the few youth organizations that exclude based on sexual orientation.

The Narraganset Council of Boy Scouts, in Rhode Island, referred questions to the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Dallas. National spokesman Gregg Shields did not return a voice-mail message left yesterday.

There are several doctors on the national board of directors for the Boy Scouts. Among them are Louis W. Sullivan, president of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, and W. Walter Menninger, a psychiatrist who is head of the well-known Menninger Clinic in Kansas.

Yesterday, Carlos R. Hamilton Jr., a Houston doctor who sits on the Boy Scouts' national policy-making executive board, said the AMA's latest advice isn't likely to change minds.

He said the Boy Scouts "make no bones about what kind of leaders they want to have," and that it's up to parents to choose the kinds of role models they want their children to have.

For more information, please contact:
Providence Journal http://www.projo.com
75 Fountain St.
Providence, RI, 02902
Fax: 401-277-7346
E-Mail: letters@projo.com
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #16
29. better still, read it to explain why you're resigning, and
forming a new organization with other parents who feel discrimination is not only aberrant, but cruel and dangerous.

many communities are doing this. and some are even refusing that policy, openly, while staying scout troups.

best of luck!


peace!
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #29
37. here's about one of the groups' attempts to remedy
http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=3993

Miami-Dade County: Right-wing groups decry Scouts agreement

National and Florida right-wing advocacy groups protested an agreement between the South Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America and a local gay rights group over the Scouts national policy of excluding gay men and youth. The agreement was reached after months of dialogue between the Scouts, Safeguarding American Values for Everyone (SAVE) Dade and United Way of Miami-Dade.

We have no intention of changing our policy at this time, Scouts Executive Jeffrie Herrmann said. But we have an obligation to help kids deal with this issue.

As part of the agreement, Miami-Dade Boy Scouts would forgo public funding and stop recruitment at public schools. Local Scout leadership would also undertake sensitively training to better deal with gay youth issues. The training program would be crafted with the help of Miamis Project Yes, a local group for gay youth. The United Way would continue to fund the local Scouts.
-snip-

the rest is very difficult - rightwing, fundie - to read, but this case presents some options parents and communities have.

being an activist role model for your son is good.
you know, the boys who sued about being atheist were young, and they were very proud of standing against discrimination.


peace!
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #37
40. and the next stage of it all in Dade County
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/5854856.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp

United Way in Dade ends Boy Scout funding
Disadvantaged areas hard hit
BY KARL ROSS
kross@herald.com

The United Way of Miami-Dade on Tuesday discontinued its funding for boy scouting programs, saying the local Boy Scouts of America affiliate failed to abide by an agreement requiring it to help gay youths cope with their sexuality.

In a private meeting, the United Way's board of directors voted unanimously to withhold its yearly funding grant of $480,000 for ''traditional scouting programs,'' according to the agency's spokeswoman, Tamara Klingler.
-snip-


peace!
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Mick Knox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
24. Some people confuse scouting with the politics outside scouting
Edited on Sun Feb-29-04 12:12 AM by zwade
I think you're doing good... I know that the scouts are a good organization that needs to perhaps grow.

Inside the scouts.. obviously.. you would not preach histrionics and politics to 8 year old children.. its absurd and laughable.. and suggestions that you drag these kids through the dirty ugly mud of partisan politics or try to destroy their organization is beyond my comprehension. They have plenty of time to grow up and be blind numbingly angry... I'm sure you let the kids be kids... its all about fun inside the scouts...

Great job working with the kids, and being a part of your kids, life... and working in the scouts.. Its honorable.. and thumbs up from me.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #24
30. If you did a little research
into the problems facing gay youth, you might feel differently. Suicide is rampant. Alienation, fear, loneliness, bullying are all rampant. The BSA just reinforces the notion that gay youth aren't good enough to consort with "normal" kids.

What if Finnfann's son turns out to be gay? At some point he'll be forced to hide it if he doesn't want to be expelled from the scouts. And if not Finnfann's son, what about all the other kids?

Sorry, I know Finnfann is a good dad and has no ill-intentions. But by refusing to take anti-gay discrimination in the scouts seriously, his son is going to learn that it's OK to belong to groups that discriminate.
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Mick Knox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #30
34. WHen I was in the scouts..
Edited on Sun Feb-29-04 12:29 AM by zwade
never heard about it one time.. nor should they... we built wooden cars, went camping, earned our badges.. etc.. its not like youre pretending it is.. this is the dirty ugly politics that goes on OUTSIDE of the scout meetings. You dont need to control every facet of life do you? Some people have freedom aside from you. The world is not in a circular rotation around this gay marriage issue... and I certianly would not support dragging little itty bitty kids into the middle of it. Wage your fight elsewhere.. there are bigger battle grounds than attacking kids groups. Thats for lawyers, gays, and rw radicals to fight it out. I dont care if gays get married... and I was a scout. Maybe my time in the scouts taught me everyone is equal.. it certainly helped me grow.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. and yet
one day he will learn that the BSA discriminates against gay youth.

The only lesson he will learn that day is that it's OK to belong to such organizations, and that gay kids don't matter.

You will never convince me that teaching children that discrimination is OK is a worthwhile pursuit.
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Mick Knox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. Cool man..
cuz you will never convince me its ok to wage war against childrens groups.. or that the scouts are not a great org.

Ta ta.. its always good to end with a pleasant agree to disagree! Good night. I'm outta here.. Great job scout master!
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. then I suppose
the Hitler Youth were OK, too. I mean, it's just a children's group, right?

I'm not saying the BSA is the same as the Hitler Youth. I'm saying your logic could be used to defend them.

I'm used to people defending the BSA. I feel I'm justified in saying they're accessories to bigotry, if not outright bigots themselves.
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #36
46. it's the BSA that's waging war against innocent children. n/t

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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 01:07 AM
Response to Original message
47. Mea Culpa!
I was a Den Leader for two years and a Cub Master for four years. This was before the whole issue of gays came up. We had a great group of liberals but the pack was eventually taken over by hard core conservatives. My son did not continue in scouting past cubs.

Kids need good role models like you!
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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 01:19 AM
Response to Original message
49. Eagle Scout here. Yes, I detest what BSA says about gays
But, OTOH, I feel that much of my makeup and setup for my life came through scouting.
Both my daughters are in Girl Scouts, my wife and I are both active with it.
I feel it is an esential part of growing up.

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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #49
52. That's cool
first, the girl scouts don't have the same discriminatory policy.

Second, scouting is not limited to the BSA. There are other scouting organizations that do not discriminate.
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AlFrankenFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 04:11 AM
Response to Original message
53. My liberal friend is a boy scout....
And he said that they had to pray and listen to some ass lecture why free trade is good before they could get a merit badge. How awkward. :(
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 05:18 AM
Response to Original message
54. MY name is JCMach1 and I too was a Cub Scout
Don't feel guilty, make a difference with the kids.

Oh yeah, and have fun!
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 05:37 AM
Response to Reply #54
55. My name is Dookus
Actually, it's Shawn.

And I was a cub scout.

And if I'd admitted I was gay at the time (in the mid-60's) I would've been expelled and ridiculed and humiliated.

40 years later, nothing has changed. Very, very sad.

Even sadder is that supposed progressives are defending the BSA.
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TheWhitneyBrown Donating Member (63 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
57. Your Speech
You might add a comment to the effect that as great as the Scouts are, there is always work to be done, and that you hope everyone will join you in working for both a society and a Scout organization that is open and tolerant to all, regardless of nationality, color, religion, and yes, sexual orientation.
Add something about the commitment to find the values we hold in common, rather than the ones that divide us, and etc, etc....Make it a small part of the speech near the end, after you've already won them over....Good luck.

If anyone heckles you, say, look, we love all our children, and anyone can have a gay child. It happened to the VP, it could happen to you, God forbid! And if does, I want he or she here in the scouts learning good values.
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