R.I.P.: The Boy Scouts of America

Discussion in 'The Study' started by elder999, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    9,804
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Where the hills have eyes.,and it's HOT!
    Born: 1910
    Died: June 2000
    Cause of death: Christian Dogma


    First, some other news items:

    Philadelphia, June 2003-Gregory Lattera, a Boy Scout and camp counselor for the previous seven yeas, was informed that he is banned from scouting because he admitted publicly that he is gay. Upon reading the letter, Lattera said, "It broke my heart.”

    Port Orchard, Washington, June, 2002-Eagle Scout Darrell Lambert, who had provided more than 1,000 hours of community service as a Scout, was informed by the regional Boy Scouts of America executive that he had one week “to declare his belief in a supreme being” or quit the scouts.

    Washington, D.C., June 2000-The U.S. Supreme court, in a 5-to-4 vote, backed the BSA’s right to exclude homosexuals. Justice William Rehnquist explained that gays violate the Scout directive to be “clean” and “morally straight.”

    Dallas, Texas, January 2003- Following a raid of the local Boy Scout office by federal agents, a grand jury began investigating whether the Dallas BSA franchise fraudulently inflated its membership to boost donations from non-profits.


    I’m a Scout -I’m 46, but you’re always a Scout, like you’re always “Mr. President,”though it's really "always an Eagle," something I didn't have a chance for...


    Hudson Valley Council, Troop 134, Order of the Arrow, Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, camp staff member, Scoutmaster’s son, Scoutmaster, and former Cub Scout and Webelo. I had a subscription to Boys’ Life for ten years, and I still remember Morse Code. I learned how to use a compass, start a fire, wrap a tourniquet, lash a log, shoot a gun and bow and arrow, paddle a canoe, sail, pitch a tent, tie flies and swim while carrying a panicked drowning victim.

    Steenking Badges? I had ‘em all: sash with 23 merit badges, Scout shirts, Scout pants, Scout socks, Scout hats, Scout neckerchiefs out the wazoo. Be prepared. A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, etcetera (I absolutely still know it by heart). Philmont. Baden Powell-words and names that only Scouting survivors would know.

    When I became a Scout in Peekskill, N.Y., Nixon had just become President. I didn’t know what marijuana was, or what homosexuals were. Troop 134 was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, just a little ways from St. Columbanus Catholic Church and School. There was an American flag on St. Columbanus’s altar, just as there was at my father’s Episcopal church. Because I went to the public school, I was one of the few Scouts who did not attend St. Columbanus, and, with the exception of my father- an Episcopal priest-the Scoutmasters were all Knights. And, with the later short exception of my brother, I was the only non-white scout-though no one ever did anything but make me feel welcome.

    Although the “KC Hall” was practically on the same property as the church and the school, it had a full bar upstairs. Downstairs was where Troop 134 met every Tuesday night. The meeting always started with everyone lined up in military drill, while the scoutmasters strutted back and forth making announcements. There was one year when a young, crew-cutted National Guard member served as an assistant scoutmaster. He had the scouts marchin’, salutin’ and about-facin’ up a storm for months. He inspected the troops like a drill sergeant, busting chops for shirttails, blue jeans, and uncombed hair or missing badges. We made fun of him behind his back, until he went to Viet Nam, never to return.

    Otherwise I remember Scouting was mostly all our dads’ best efforts at creating a Man Apprenticeship for their young sons. And it was a reason besides huntin’ and fishin’ for everybody to go out and play in the woods. I remember the really fun stuff like the time Michael Peck-who time would prove to be more than a little crazy- brought three bottles of gasoline to light campfires with, or the time that herpetologist Bill Haas came from Florida, with several cobras to show us! Or the time my best friend Michael Van den Berg and I were in a canoe and almost got sucked into the intake at Kensico Dam, and the time we put salt into the coffee at the KC dinner.

    In fact, it was a lot like Jackass, only better.:lol:

    When I went to boarding school, I had to pretty much give up scouting, and I found new diversions, but the Scout life had undeniable impact on my socialization.

    So I was a little taken aback one day when my boarding school chess coach, as we drove past a Boy Scout car wash, muttered something about “brownshirts.” It’s true-a pack of Boy Scouts in uniform bears no small resemblance to the old newsreels of Hitler Youth congregations. We didn’t go around smashing windows and assaulting Jews, but I certainly knew that a major intention of Scouting had always been to promote the military virtues of loyalty, obedience, and patriotism. I realized that, to my chess coach-and German teacher, a sophisticated Kennedy Democrat and barely former leftist hippie-the BSA was part of the conservative establishment. It would have been inconceivable for a kid in the KC hall to cop to being a homosexual or an atheist, but, in 1974, American culture as a whole was over the crest of a wave of change that went from free speech and civil rights to hippies, and Watergate.

    Back in Peekskill, I never thought of the Scouts as a fundamentalist Christian boys club or a junior ROTC. I expected the BSA would grow and mature with America, but it seems to be losing touch-I suspect there aren’t very many Hip Hop troops in the hood these days-though I met Scouts from what was the equivalent back then. It will be a sad day if the Scouts prove my chess coach right and become a dull, thuggish cadre of brown shirts. America in the 21st century deserves better. America deserves volunteer based youth groups that work in an atmosphere of tolerance and diversity, not a private club devoted to enforcing rigid, suburban conformity. We now live in a time where many children are neglected on a Dickensian scale: While the grownups argue over the principles of Christianity and capitalism, many kids go without food, care, tutoring, mentoring or love. I was happy to be a Scoutmaster for my son, angered and saddened by what scouting had become, and relieved when he said he was no longer interested in Scouting, and would rather just go camping and hunting with me and my friends; it was he who got me back into hunting, after I had given it up since the death of my father .

    I am not alone in my outrage. A cursory search on the net reveals “Scouting for All,” an organization composed of ex-Scouts like myself and devoted to reforming the Boy Scouts. Scouting for All has an impressive website and several regional headquarters. The BSA’s funding from government and non-profit sources is now under legal attack, based upon the principles of the First amendment and nondiscrimination policies.

    Ironically, Baden-Powell- a real military scout in the Boer War, founded the Scouts when he found boys were reading the military manual he had written. He thought he was creating “peace scouts.”

    Meanwhile, I still have my Order of the Arrow badge, as well as a few others, and I still get flashbacks when I spot old scout uniforms in thrift stores. And I laughed my butt off when I saw that episode on South Park-a show I normally despise- about the gay Scoutmaster.

     
  2. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Messages:
    16,462
    Likes Received:
    223
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Sad but true... another fatality of the religious right, and it's chokehold on certain sectors of society.
     
  3. michaeledward

    michaeledward Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    6,063
    Likes Received:
    82
    Trophy Points:
    158
    I think it is time for the organization to go away. It seems to me that the YMCA is not about Young Christian Men anymore. If the BSA can't evolve, then, surely it must die out.

    I was a Scout for only one year. My father was an Assistant Scoutmaster for years. My two older brothers are both Eagle Scouts. My younger brother was also a Scout for many years.

    I'm not really sure why I didn't stay in the program. Most of the neighborhood kids were invovled. There was one neighbor that wasn't involved at our church, or the BSA. I do remember feeling bad that everyone went camping, except Neil. Maybe that's why I quit. Or Maybe it was because 'The Muppet Show' was on the same night as Scouts. I don't know.

    As a private organization, if they choose to exclude gays and athiests, that is there perogative. But then they certainly should not be able to get free use of United States facilities - such as last years' Jamboree at Fort Hill, Virginia. Not to mention that the Department of Defense spends about two million dollars preparing the site for the BSA visit. Nice.

    I am a volunteer 'Let's Go Fishing Instructor' for the State of New Hampshire. For the past several years, I have worked teaching the Fly Fishing program. I didn't participate this year, because it seems the majority of our students are senior citizens. I really want to find ways to get kids invovled, but that is an uphill battle.

    Anyhow .... I got two nice rainbow's tonight. Fly fishing. A skill I did not learn in the BSA.
     
  4. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    9,804
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Where the hills have eyes.,and it's HOT!
    As a registered NFP, they recieve millions in federal funding each year, and they have a federal charter, enacted by Congress in 1916, that does literally describe them as "..for all boys."
     
  5. Blotan Hunka

    Blotan Hunka Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,464
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    63
    http://www.opinioneditorials.com/guestcontributors/glandrith_20041209.html

    December 09, 2004
    Boy Scouts and Declaration of Independence under Attack
    George C. Landrith

    The Declaration of Independence and the Boy Scouts are unconstitutional and pose a grave danger to America’s freedoms – if you believe the left and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). For years, the ACLU has attacked the Boy Scouts. Most recently, the ACLU wants to ban the Boy Scouts from military bases. The left has also been hostile to America’s Founding Fathers for decades – considering them dangerous “dead white males.” Dangerous enough that one public school in suburban San Francisco has banned the reading of the Declaration of Independence in a fifth grade classroom. Now, you understand why most Americans hold the ACLU and the left in contempt.

    The ACLU hates and relentlessly attacks the Boy Scouts because Scouts promise to “do [their] best to do [their] duty to God and [their] country … [and] to help other people at all times….” Scouts also work to be “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” Even talking of a duty to God offends the ACLU. They think such talk is dangerous. To the ACLU and the left, the Boy Scouts pose a serious risk to our representative democracy. In contrast, most Americans think we could use a little more of the Scouting ideals, not less.

    The left is hostile to the Founding Fathers and this nation’s founding documents because our Founders believed we are “endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights” including “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Our founders also spoke of the assistance of “Devine Providence” in winning the war for independence. To the left, these are dangerous ideas and children need to be protected from them. In contrast, most Americans believe the ideals of our nation’s founding should be celebrated, not censured.

    If the Boy Scouts were dedicated to teaching boys to frequently use the F-word, the ACLU would defend Scouting to the death. But if Scouts mention a duty to God and country, they must be banned from public life. People shouldn’t be subjected to such talk! It is offensive. It is dangerous! At least, according to the ACLU.

    If a teacher were ordered to stop teaching 10-year old school children how to put on a condom, the ACLU and the left would howl censorship and decry the violation of their constitutional rights. But when a teacher is prevented from reading the Declaration of Independence in class, the left is virtually silent.

    The school district defended the ban on the Declaration of Independence stating: “The district believes that well-established constitutional principles relating to the separation of church and state must prevail.” Interestingly, the school does not explain how reading the Declaration of Independence establishes religion. Such reading would simply teach history, not establish religion.

    The public school district and the ACLU apparently believe the Constitution bans utterance of the words “God” and “Creator” in schools. How else does one explain banning teachers from reading the Declaration of Independence or banning Boy Scouts from public life and military bases?

    This shows a profound misunderstanding of both the Constitution and our history. On the issue of freedom of religion, the Constitution forbids the government (1) to establish a religion, and (2) to prohibit the free exercise of religion. The words “separation of church and state” do not appear anywhere in the Constitution. Reading the Declaration of Independence, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, or permitting Boy Scouts on military bases does not establish religion.

    To the ACLU and the left there is no guarantee of free exercise of religion – there is only a maniacal effort to ban anything that may sound remotely religious from public life. The sad truth is that the ACLU and the left will continue to attack the Boy Scouts, ban the Declaration of Independence and the Pledge of Allegiance or anything else that has the slightest reference to God. They will not stop until any public reference to deity is banned and the Scouts are driven from the public’s view.

    Americans must stand up to these dangerous extremists. They are not defenders of our representative democracy or our Constitution. They seek to destroy both. They seek to establish government by a few over the many and to ban virtually all public expressions of religious belief. They abuse the courts to impose their radical agenda. They are an unremitting battering ram trying to tear down America’s traditions and religious freedom. It is time denounce the cultural and religious bigotry of these groups.

    It is time to end the legal loophole that allows groups like the ACLU to relentlessly sue the Boy Scouts and attack America’s heritage at taxpayer expense. It is inexcusable and scandalous that they receive even one dime of taxpayer funding.
     
  6. Blotan Hunka

    Blotan Hunka Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,464
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Scout Oath (or Promise):
    On my honor I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country
    and to obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong,
    mentally awake, and morally straight.

    Scout Law:
    TRUSTWORTHY
    A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him.
    LOYAL
    A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.
    HELPFUL
    A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.
    FRIENDLY
    A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
    COURTEOUS
    A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
    KIND
    A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
    OBEDIENT
    A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
    CHEERFUL
    A Scout looks for the bright side of things. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
    THRIFTY
    A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
    BRAVE
    A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
    CLEAN
    A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.
    REVERENT
    A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.


    Scout Motto:
    Be Prepared

    Scout Slogan:
    Do a Good Turn Daily


    These are all the same from when I entered Scouts in the 70's. Somehow today we confuse RESPECT with ACCEPT.
     
  7. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    9,804
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Where the hills have eyes.,and it's HOT!
    It's "Oath or Promise" because of atheists, agnostics and otherwise non-religious people-sort of like "swearing or affiirming" in court, where the Bible is not required,BTW. While there are merit badges for virtually every faith, they aren't required, nor, in fact, was "faith in God," until recently.

    Define "morally straight."*

    If he doesn't have any religious duties, he is more than faithful in them.
    He respects the beliefs of others should be self-explanatory, but it does include those who haven't any beliefs....or, at least, it did.

    *BSA has defined "morally straight" as meaning " to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character," since 1916.
     
  8. Cryozombie

    Cryozombie Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Messages:
    9,998
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Define recently, cuz, I recall not only swearing the oath to God in the 70's, but to reading the bible, and being required to memorize verses from it as well.

    So unless 30 years ago is recent, you might be mistaken.
     
  9. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    9,804
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Where the hills have eyes.,and it's HOT!
    The words "faith in God," and the requirement to "ackonwledge a higher being," are in fact recent. The words "to do my duty to God and country," have always been part of the oath, at least, since 1916, but are more than a little ambiguous:what is an atheist or agnostic's "duty to God?"

    As for your having to read and memorize Bible verses, while that was part of my God and Church award, this is-just as all the Religious Emblems worn by Boy Scouts,by Boy Scout charter-not a Boy Scout award, but one awarded to the individual Boy Scout by his respective religious leader. Of course, many troops are sponsored by religious organizations, and may even be homogenous in this regard-I know of a few Mormon troops, and this may have been the case with yours, but such activities are not, and never have been a requirement of Scouting itself.

    You can see th diversity of the religious emblems here please note the Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and Zoroastrian emblems.

    And I was a scout up until thirty years ago, so to me that just might be recent..:lol:
     
  10. Cryozombie

    Cryozombie Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Messages:
    9,998
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    173
    LOL

    Yeah it might be... I feel like less of an old fart now.

    :D
     
  11. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    9,804
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Where the hills have eyes.,and it's HOT!
    Yeah, it's actually 32 years.....:xtrmshock :lol:
     
  12. michaeledward

    michaeledward Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    6,063
    Likes Received:
    82
    Trophy Points:
    158
    You know, if you post the link, and perhaps the first sentence or paragraph, if there is enough interst, the reader can follow the link. Additionally, there is a copyright law in our society, and a copyright policy here on MartialTalk.

    I would really much prefer to read your thoughts. I doubt you are so incapable of thought that Mr. Landrith speaks for you.
     
  13. michaeledward

    michaeledward Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    6,063
    Likes Received:
    82
    Trophy Points:
    158
    There does seem to be a conflict between these two ideas, doesn't there?

    • Should it be declared that the BSA is not a private organization, and therefore can not restrict attended from, say girls?
    • Or should the Federal Government stop giving them money?
    • Or should they amend their charter?
    Maybe organizations that look out for the civil rights of all citizens, you know, the American Civil Liberties Union, is onto something, after all.
     
  14. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    • Founding Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    13,461
    Likes Received:
    730
    Trophy Points:
    248
    Location:
    Athol, Ma. USA
    If the man was not a pedophile than his sexual preference should not get him banned. People might not want their sons going on camping trips with him but that is their right
     
  15. Bigshadow

    Bigshadow Senior Master

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    4,033
    Likes Received:
    45
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Saint Cloud, Florida
    I am with you there! I wish there was a way to get kids interested in the outdoors. It is an uphill battle for sure!
     
  16. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    9,804
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Where the hills have eyes.,and it's HOT!
    Actually, girls can and have been members of Boy Scout troops(not Explorers, not Sea Scouts and not Air Cadets) in areas where similar programs for girls do not exist.The first one was in 1932.
     
  17. bushi jon

    bushi jon Green Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    south bend
    Let me be devils advocate. As a parent of a scout should I not have a say weather another human that does not have a child in scouts be apart of my childs life. On the other hand I believe that he should be able to help out if he has a child involved no matter what there sexual preference is.
     
  18. michaeledward

    michaeledward Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    6,063
    Likes Received:
    82
    Trophy Points:
    158
    I have never procreated.
    My wife has two daughters from her first marriage.
    The Girl Scouts have local chapters.
    By your standard, I would not be able to participate.

    Correct?
     
  19. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Messages:
    27,172
    Likes Received:
    460
    Trophy Points:
    193
    Location:
    Not BC, Not DC
    Girls can join Boy Scouts, but boys cannot join Girl Scouts.

    Venture Scouting is for girls and boys 14 and high school through age 20 and is centered around high adventure and outdoorsmanship. This program is run by BSA.

    Girl Scouts have formally inducted into their charter a refusal to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation and national origin or heritage as well as religious affiliation. Girl Scouting is "For every girl everywhere."

    Lord and Lady Baden-Powell inspired Juliette Gordon-Lowe to start an official program in the states similar to Lady Baden-Powell's group of Girl Guides. Lady's group was supposedly to prepare young women to accept and excel in their role in society, however, Gordon-Lowe's desire was to create a venue where girls who were tomboyish (like her) could do things that were commonly considered as being things "only boys did." She set a fine example as she was fond of hiking, shooting, hunting, furniture crafting, fishing as well as the more feminine-aligned arts of gardening, cooking, housekeeping and homemaking. When her girls were going to play basketball, sheets had to be hung to hide the girls who played because their lower legs would show, for goodness sake.

    Lord Powell's inspiration to Gordon-Lowe was his passion for peaceful outdoorsmanship, an appreciation for native peoples, naturalism. He never intended it to be a militaristic organization, rather the British traditions which were, by American standards, 'stuffy' along with the seperatism of US and UK tended to foster the turn in BSA towards the alignment with our armed forces.

    And everybody knows how the military feels about homosexuality.

    The Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA are volunteer organizations. The core of their existence is their mass of volunteer scout leaders. If change is to be affected in these organizations, it must come from the volunteers.

    There are many other scouting-like organizations out there and other opportunities for children to grow, learn, develop their skills and be recognized for their outstanding community service - millions of opportunities for volunteer service.

    If you want to change the face of scouting, then volunteer. If you want to destroy it, then judge it, condemn it and complain about it.
     
  20. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Messages:
    16,462
    Likes Received:
    223
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Ultimately, people are all different, and only by allowing children to interact with people of all backgrounds are they going to become adults who are able to interact with people of all backgrounds. Unless the person is a pedophile, sexual orientation should be irrelevant when working with children. I realize that there are many people who disagree with this statement - but as a heterosexual teacher who has worked with multiple homosexual teachers, I have seen no problems grow out of this practice. Did those teachers openly discuss their orientation with their students? Not that I am aware of - but neither did they hide it; it was simply not relevant to what they were teaching, and therefore not a topic of discussion... but then, my social life is not a topic of discussion with my students either - so why would my sexual orientation matter, either way?

    If parents are so concerned about what their children learn from other adults in their lives, then they need to be involved in actively teaching their children the moral values they want them to have... and if they think that being in the presence of a homosexual will undermine the moral values that they have taught their children, then they have either not taught them as well as they should have, or they are not really sure of what they are teaching - perhaps both.123
     

Share This Page