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Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting


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#1 skeptic

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 09:29 AM

http://scoutingnewsr...TES-REMARKS.pdf

 

Please review this, as I did, and pose comments based on what it says, rather than emotion.  Lot to process, but I see him basically proposing "local option" as the only really viable response to the rapidly changing political and cultural challenges.

 

As he notes pretty directly; we need to face the issue NOW, and get heads out of the sand, or we will have it done for us by courts and so on.  Not necessarily what some want to hear; BUT THE TRUTH.


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#2 LeCastor

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 09:47 AM

Thanks, Skeptic, for sharing.  It's an interesting read and I applaud Mr. Gates for keeping the topic of membership policy in the light.  I am of the opinion, like Gates, that we simply can't ignore the shifting focus in the US regarding the rights of homosexuals.  

 

As I mentioned recently, I love Scouting and I want to do the best job I can for the youth.  But if we had no BSA left after another potential court ruling, all of us would be forced to find alternatives that would further divisions that need not be there in the first place.  

 

I know many on the forum will "vote with [their] feet" in the event of a membership policy change--and that is perfectly acceptable and understandable--but I personally don't see it being that big of a game-changer in the long run as far as membership numbers are concerned.  Also, I am not one to state that, the minute a potential change is made, there will be a sudden influx of members to our Movement.  There are so many reasons why membership is declining and there is no panacea out there that can fix it.  

 

I support a change and if that means "local option" then so be it.  My main concern is that youth have the option to participate in Scouting and that their parent(s) can, too, regardless of sexual orientation.  

 

That is all.   :D


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LeCastor


#3 Gone

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 10:47 AM

Meh....so much for anybody living up to a promise made. I see nothing more than the same old crappola packaged in a different wrapper. The reference to DADT in the military is bull, and he knows it. Private organizations are not held to the same standard as government orgs like the military.

 

That giant sucking sound you hear is that half of scouting who disagrees with Gate getting ready to quit or leave. So glad my scout will be done in 12 months and I can leave this political crap behind.

 

He seems to be reacting to the few councils that have decided to buck national. He has YET to hear from those councils (and units) that will buck national if they *do* change the policy. Fun times. Glad I won't be around to watch the death of scouting.


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#4 pargolf44067

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 10:56 AM

Meh....so much for anybody living up to a promise made. I see nothing more than the same old crappola packaged in a different wrapper. The reference to DADT in the military is bull, and he knows it. Private organizations are not held to the same standard as government orgs like the military.

 

That giant sucking sound you hear is that half of scouting who disagrees with Gate getting ready to quit or leave. So glad my scout will be done in 12 months and I can leave this political crap behind.

 

He seems to be reacting to the few councils that have decided to buck national. He has YET to hear from those councils (and units) that will buck national if they *do* change the policy. Fun times. Glad I won't be around to watch the death of scouting.

 

@Bad Wolf,

 

I have to say that I am sorry that you feel that way.  However, with as much crap as you have to deal with in your district and council, I shouldn't be surprised.  As much as I may disagree with some of BSA's policies I stepped back in because I have seen the effect that scouts has had on my sons and other boys in the troop.  I was going over an Eagle Project proposal with an almost 18 year old scout last week.  This boy was a huge trouble maker and had severe social issues when he first came into my troop and I never thought that he would be even close to Eagle.  We were discussing the MBs he had left and he was talking about what he did for his Communication MB.  He presented and led a discussion on the philosophy of Ayn Rand.  I was shocked.  I never would have guessed a few years ago that he would ever lead a discussion on a topic like that.  In addition, his mother has told me several times what a godsend Scouts was to her son.

 

So when I get frustrated with the crap going on at national (or council, district, etc) I just remember I am doing this for the boys and not for anything else.


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#5 KenD500

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 10:58 AM

His remark about not revoking the charter of a Council defying the current membership standard raised a question.  What is the current approval process for a Council charter?  Who approves it?  How often do they re-charter? 


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#6 Gone

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 11:01 AM

 

So when I get frustrated with the crap going on at national (or council, district, etc) I just remember I am doing this for the boys and not for anything else.

 

Agree. However, there comes a time when you have to take a stand for your beliefs. I joined this organization because of its policies, not to join and try to change them. When the organization no longer resembles the one I joined -- or when the organization fundamentally shifts in another direction -- well, then, it's time to move on.

 

Let one of the parents who supports the changes taking place step up and give their time....if you can find these mythical ground-swell of volunteers.

 

Just like those who don't join scouts because of the current policy, they are sticking to their guns and getting applauded for it. Well, I'm sticking to mine. The day the change goes in will be my last with BSA.

 

I am now going to help the PLC plan a water-gun, black powder, ATV hunting event. If councils can ignore one of national's most stringent policies, so can units.


Edited by Bad Wolf, 21 May 2015 - 11:02 AM.

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#7 Merlyn_LeRoy

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 11:02 AM

He totally ignores the fact that everything he's afraid of from rogue councils and supreme court rulings on sexual orientation already exist for analogous religious discrimination against atheists.


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#8 LeCastor

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 11:10 AM

Agree. However, there comes a time when you have to take a stand for your beliefs. I joined this organization because of its policies, not to join and try to change them. When the organization no longer resembles the one I joined -- or when the organization fundamentally shifts in another direction -- well, then, it's time to move on.

 

Let one of the parents who supports the changes taking place step up and give their time....if you can find these mythical ground-swell of volunteers.

 

Just like those who don't join scouts because of the current policy, they are sticking to their guns and getting applauded for it. Well, I'm sticking to mine. The day the change goes in will be my last with BSA.

 

I am now going to help the PLC plan a water-gun, black powder, ATV hunting event. If councils can ignore one of national's most stringent policies, so can units.

 

Units are already ignoring policies, Bad Wolf.

 

As for your potential leaving the BSA, that saddens me.  

 

I guarantee you, too, that there are plenty of volunteers who support the changes and are currently involved as volunteers.  As for a "ground-swell" I tried to make it clear in my post above that I personally don't see a huge influx of new volunteers just busting to get in.  You say that, however.  Membership decline can't be linked solely to the discrimination policies, but I'm sure it's a big part of it.   


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#9 Gone

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 11:26 AM

The first press picking up the comments here, here and here.


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#10 TAHAWK

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 11:27 AM

He seems to be suggesting that local option is coming.

 

FOR ME, I SUPPORT A POLICY THAT ACCEPTS AND RESPECTS OUR DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES AND BELIEFS, ALLOWS RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS – BASED ON FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTION OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM – TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN STANDARDS FOR ADULT LEADERS, AND PRESERVES THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA NOW AND FOREVER. I TRULY FEAR THAT ANY OTHER ALTERNATIVE WILL BE THE END OF US AS A NATIONAL MOVEMENT.
[caps in original]
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#11 BDPT00

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 11:41 AM

Regarding the 'influx' . . . I believe there will be none.  I think the door will only open in one direction (the one that says EXIT).  The now common position for most social media influenced opinions is that, "It's going to happen eventually anyway."  I hate that perspective, and I think it has a huge influence on the preverbal silent majority.  I think our society is a lot more conservative than we think, but along with that is the desire to not make waves.  The loud minority opinions are pretty pushy, and people go along just to get along.  I'm tired of it.  The squeaky wheel does indeed get the grease (That one's for you, Bad Wolf;  another Leslie Nielsen opportunity).


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#12 walk in the woods

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 11:47 AM

I agree with Mr. Gates that BSA National has to do something.  They can't run an organization with councils ignoring and flaunting membership policy.  Of the two options available, revoking charters or changing policy, it seems changing policy is their choice.  I suspect if our leadership had been as honest and forthright two years ago as Mr. Gates was today, instead of trying to push local option through a back-room deal, we wouldn't have had as much turmoil as we have experienced.  And let's be honest, it is the practical choice. There will be a membership hit when this happens but it won't be as large as the polling suggested back in 2013 or whenever we did this the last time.

 

That said, I think it's naïve to assume that declaring local option will make the issue go away.  I suspect that in the hours following the BSA's adoption of local option, the first press releases from organizations opposed to the BSA will start with the words, "Today the BSA took another step towards the elimination of discriminatory practices against LGBT adults by allowing them to serve openly as leaders.  However, we will continue our pressure on the BSA because they continue to utilize chartering partners that do practice discrimination against LGBT adults."  This article from Slate, discussing the Utah Compromise (http://www.slate.com...the_nation.html) demonstrates my concern.  Here's a snippet:

 

"But the Utah legislation should not become a model for the nation. The bill contains troubling exemptions for religious groups, allowing them to continue to discriminate in ways that would be impermissible in many other states and under federal law. In particular, the Utah law specifically exempts religiously affiliated nonprofits such as schools, hospitals, and social service organizations."

 

On the purely cynical side, getting this out of the way while Gates and Brock are still in leadership will clear the way for the new CSE and Stephenson to get credit for whatever recovery happens after the fallout.  It also attempts to get rid of the issue long before the BSA needs to start recruiting kids from around the globe for the World Jamboree in 2019.


Edited by dcsimmons, 21 May 2015 - 11:48 AM.

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#13 Daped01

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 12:14 PM

This is very intriguing news.  Coming from a unit chartered by a veterans service organization, it should not make much of a difference to us.  But I'm not blind to what consequences could be for units with CO's objecting of this.


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#14 NealOnWheels

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 12:14 PM

I found this statement interesting:

 

"AND IF WE WAIT FOR THE COURTS TO ACT, WE COULD END UP WITH A BROAD RULING THAT COULD FORBID ANY KIND OF MEMBERSHIP STANDARD, INCLUDING OUR FOUNDATIONAL BELIEF IN OUR DUTY TO GOD AND OUR FOCUS ON SERVING THE SPECIFIC NEEDS OF BOYS."

 

I interepret that to mean he thinks we better cave in to the gay issue or we will be forced to accept athiests and girls too.


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#15 Gone

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 12:24 PM

I found this statement interesting:

 

"AND IF WE WAIT FOR THE COURTS TO ACT, WE COULD END UP WITH A BROAD RULING THAT COULD FORBID ANY KIND OF MEMBERSHIP STANDARD, INCLUDING OUR FOUNDATIONAL BELIEF IN OUR DUTY TO GOD AND OUR FOCUS ON SERVING THE SPECIFIC NEEDS OF BOYS."

 

I interepret that to mean he thinks we better cave in to the gay issue or we will be forced to accept athiests and girls too.

 

 

What makes him so ignorant to think atheists won't do what the gay lobby is doing? BSA is proving that they can be bullied and forced to change. Once the blood is in the water those wanting change won't stop until the meat is gone.


Edited by Bad Wolf, 21 May 2015 - 12:24 PM.

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#16 numbersnerd

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 12:40 PM

Long-time lurker here, but also a long-time scouter (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Eagle Scout, OA, Philmont, summer camp staff, adult leader). I find this development dismaying, but not because I have a fundamental problem with divergent sexual orientations.

 

When confronted with over-bearing and nonsensical policies, we complain that we are not allowed to excersise our judgement and rely on our competence when dealing with our Scouts. But the opposite of these restrictive polices, opening up the program to disruptive topics and conflicts, I believe further encourages a LESSER standard of judgement. 

 

I truly believe that anyone who feels compelled to make their sexual orientation such a core component of their identity that they MUST openly declare and promote it does not possess the maturity, discretion, and judgement to lead and mentor youth in the age range of Scouting. It opens the units, leaders, and parents up to the question of "What is gay?" among boys that do not have the maturity or experience to properly discuss and process topics regarding sex and sexuality. And I certainly do not believe that the vast majority of these individuals are qualified to lead any such discussion as they almost certainly will arise.

 

On organization competence, why are we contemplating the introduction of such an obviously incongruent element that the program is not designed to handle? And by past evidence, the ability of the organization to move in an efficient and effective manner to address these issues in a  timely and reasonable manner is sorely lacking. I lack complete confidnce in an organization to create sexual topic policies when they ban water guns for inter-youth play.

 

I'm disapointed by the abandonment of the 10th point of the Law: Brave. Rather than take a stand and defend the preferences of the majority of the families participating in the program, policy makers would rather bow down to supposedly popular and noisy sentiment and cave to corporate blackmail (see public comments and policies by AT&T, Disney, etc). 

 

I am also discouraged by the abandonment of the 2nd point of the Law: Loyal is also troubling. I have yet to personally encounter anyone within or outside of the Scouting program that is in favor of the direction policies regarding sexuality are headed. Instead of standing by the vast majority of those in the program (you know, the ones actually PARTICIPATING and DOING things in Scouitng), the powers that be are listening to the noise-makers, the cultural band wagoners, and those who state that THIS topic is the only thing keeping them from joining. I find it hard to believe that policies are being altered in fundamental opposition to the core beliefs of the program to the point of hypocrisy based merely on protests of a vocal minority.

 

I also fel there is a violation of the 9th point of the Law: Thrifty. Instead of being smart with the most valuable resource at its disposal, the active membership and supporters, The BSA is willing to throw this capital away in favor of appeasing a far lesser population that has yet to prove their participation in and value to the program.

 

I see the BSA following a path that leads to irrelevance and decline, both internally within the membership and externally to its value and influence. 

 

Sad.


Edited by numbersnerd, 21 May 2015 - 12:42 PM.

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#17 CalicoPenn

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 12:54 PM

I would really like someone, anyone at all, to answer one question - How does a CO and Unit accepting gay and athiest scouts and leaders (local option) affect their own unit without going in to some kind of side rant about "tradition" and "family values" and "moral values", or some irrelevant discussion about whether membership numbers as a whole drops or rises.  I want to know precisely how one thinks a unit in the next campsite over, or in the next town over, that allows gay and athiests in negatively affects their own unit.

 

I have yet to find anyone that has ever been able to answer that questions, just like I have yet to find anyone that can explain just how the gay couple down the street's marriage affects their own, or how the Jewish couple moving in next door affects their own home.  So far, the gist of every argument I've ever seen boils down to "But then I can't ignore them". 


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#18 Rick_in_CA

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 12:59 PM

OUR OATH CALLS UPON US TO DO OUR DUTY TO GOD AND OUR COUNTRY. THE COUNTRY IS CHANGING AND WE ARE INCREASINGLY AT ODDS WITH THE LEGAL LANDSCAPE AT BOTH THE STATE AND FEDERAL LEVELS. AND, AS A MOVEMENT, WE FIND OURSELVES WITH A POLICY MORE THAN A FEW OF OUR CHURCH SPONSORS REJECT – THUS PLACING SCOUTING BETWEEN A BOY AND HIS CHURCH.

Which is why the BSA has to go to some form of local control, it's the only way. Either that, or the BSA admits that "completely nonsectarian" is bunk and become another Trail Life.

As for the atheist issue, the BSA has to dump that too even if it's just for the reason they don't appear to understand what the word means.
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#19 Gone

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 01:02 PM

I would really like someone, anyone at all, to answer one question - How does a CO and Unit accepting gay and athiest scouts and leaders (local option) affect their own unit without going in to some kind of side rant about "tradition" and "family values" and "moral values", or some irrelevant discussion about whether membership numbers as a whole drops or rises.  I want to know precisely how one thinks a unit in the next campsite over, or in the next town over, that allows gay and athiests in negatively affects their own unit.

 

Simple: Members. Our members don't support it (the change). They will leave scouting, just as several units in our district have folded since 2013 for that very reason. Just as BSA saw a steep decline in membership after the last decision. Our members don't want to be part of an organization that allows this change. 

 

How is that position ANY DIFFERENT than the people who don't want to join scouting because of the current policy? The ONLY difference I see is that the current members stay in scouting because the believe and abide by the ideals and policies. Those who don't belong want BSA to change, though it is unclear if allowing gay scouters will be enough change for them.

 

Clear enough?


Edited by Bad Wolf, 21 May 2015 - 01:05 PM.

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#20 John-in-KC

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 01:02 PM

NY Times article...

 

http://www.nytimes.c...aders.html?_r=0


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