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Decorum And Acting Scoutlike


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#21 David CO

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 12:49 PM

Packsaddle,

 

If the Scout leaders and Scouts you mentioned were in units owned by non religious CO's, than I would be equally appalled, whether they were liberal or conservative, by a Scout leader encouraging boys to change their religion.

 

If, however, a boy joins a church-owned unit, I think he and his parents might reasonably expect to receive a polite invitation to join the religion.  The unit is a part of the church ministry.  IMO, it is the same as if they sign up for a church-owned school or Sunday school class.  Simply put, if they walk into my church, they're fair game.

 

As far as hell is concerned, I do believe in the existence in hell.  I do believe that the act of committing a mortal sin can lead to eternal damnation.  But that is as far as I go.  I never predict the outcome of God's Final Judgment.   That is for God to decide.


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#22 Rick_in_CA

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 05:50 PM

If, however, a boy joins a church-owned unit, I think he and his parents might reasonably expect to receive a polite invitation to join the religion.  The unit is a part of the church ministry.  IMO, it is the same as if they sign up for a church-owned school or Sunday school class.  Simply put, if they walk into my church, they're fair game.

That depends on the unit. My cub pack is has a Catholic CO (it's a Catholic school), but the CO is very clear that anyone of any faith is welcome. If suddenly one of our scouters started to use the pack as an opportunity to proselytize, I think we would have several upset people (I would be one of them). Why? Because when we do recruiting, we set the expectation that we won't be proselytizing. We have Hindu and Muslim members as well as Christians. We even have a few Catholics :).

 

I think it's all about what upfront expectations are set. If your unit is clear that when you join, expect some proselytizing, then I see no problem with it. If the expectation is not set upfront, then I don't think it's appropriate.


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#23 Oak Tree

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 08:35 PM

I found Terry's post a bit unexpected, given the tendency here to have pretty wide-open speech.  But having seen his editorial regarding the admission of gay youth, I am not at all surprised that he is very much in favor of equal treatment of gays in Scouting.

 

This reminds me of how Reddit decided to ban global warming deniers from their science forums. It's done, it's decided, move on.

 

Huffington Post is not covering Donald Trump on their politics page, but on the entertainment page. He's a political troll and we don't want to give trolls serious attention (although it's not clear that keeping him on the entertainment page is actually accomplishing this).

 

In the end, if you own a forum, you can occasionally say that there are some things you don't want to see discussed there. No posts saying that you wish your troop was racially pure. None that you don't want Jewish kids in your troop.  And no posts about how being gay is wrong and you don't want gays in your troop.

 

In our own ways, we all find some method to avoid those who keep beating dead horses. But when you see someone beating a dead horse in a way that is hurting others, I can see how you might decide to go a little bit further than just ignoring them. Terry has that power here.

 

Personally, I'm fine with that. I support Terry's position on equality, and I think his position on speech on this forum is a reasonable one.  You have the right to say whatever you want about gay people. But you don't have any particular right to be able to say anything on this particular forum. Do you really want to leave this forum because you're not allowed to say negative things about a group of people that Scouting has decided to welcome into the organization?

 

I'll add my thanks to the moderators, and I would like to thank Terry for operating the forum at all, and I'll particularly thank him for his compassion.


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#24 SSScout

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 08:44 PM

Is it time  to name an ad hoc virtual committee to design/arrange/plan for a virtual campfire celebration of the founding of this website (20 years?  Only seems like 30... ;) )

 

Our District Round Table motto appears to be (unofishully) "The work is done by whoever shows up", so maybe we can establish a temporary thread for celebratory mechanations....


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#25 Scouter99

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 11:51 PM


Is it time to name an ad hoc virtual committee to design/arrange/plan for a virtual campfire celebration of the founding of this website (20 years? Only seems like 30... ;) )

Which ones of us are allowed to come?

Edited by Scouter99, 26 July 2015 - 12:10 AM.

"The numbers in a Troop should preferably not exceed thirty two. I suggest this number because in training boys myself I have found that sixteen was about as many I could deal with - in getting at and bringing out the individual character in each. I allow for other people being twice as capable as myself and hence the total of thirty-two."

-Baden-Powell, Aids to Scoutmastership


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#26 skeptic

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 12:33 AM

Surely do not see where these comments about not being welcome are coming from in relation to Terry's post.  The real world intruded on our lives along while back, and learning to adapt was another skill B.P. encouraged.  If we are truly to be a brotherhood, then we need to accept that others may have different feelings or reactions to things and simply allow them to do so without taking personal affront.  We can do this without letting our guard down for the rare stepping over the line we may encounter.


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#27 packsaddle

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 01:43 AM

Twenty years. Egad! It's really been that long. OK, well, I guess it doesn't make me feel as old as my grandsons do, lol.

Yes, I would like to see some kind of special celebration...I'm just at a loss for how something like that would happen or be structured.

My suggestion would be for someone to start a new topic in the Program or Announcements forum for a discussion of how to do something like this. The whole 'virtual' concept is what clogs my thoughts, kind of like time travel or that sort of thing.

 

A very, very long time ago I started a sort of humorous comparison of everyone's forum personalities (a roast of sorts) in which different members (back then) were assigned roles found in the book, 'Dune'. There were the members of the Bene Gesserit and many of the other personalities and I think a few of those members are still around somewhere (Eamonn, you listening?). It was kind of fun for a while. There was one of us in particular who wielded the gom jabbar with a flair. As I remember, no one got tagged as Baron Harkonnen.

Something like this might work again, maybe based on...who knows....it has to be something most of us can relate to and which has lots of characters...I guess we could make some up if we wanted to - Gunsmoke? Monty Python? Walking Dead? (sorry about that last one...thinking about the 2016 election). Or it could be a combination - House meets The Cardassians?

Anyway, the new thread might be a way to collect odd-ball ideas like the one I had.


Edited by packsaddle, 26 July 2015 - 01:47 AM.

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#28 Eagledad

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 08:49 AM

I don't think so Pack, Terry's post is pretty clear that it's us against them, or him and you against us. You only have to compare the active membership between now and the old days to recognize how the forum has changed. Clearly the moderating is part of the problem. When a line is drawn, the one has become two. What, do you really think you could go back to being fair and unbiased like the tone of the forum was 20 years ago? From the beginning you have always played the biased antagonist, was that really the right place for a moderator?

When a society or group are unwilling to enforce its untouchable rules of decorum (scout oath and law), then they are stuck with the fallible (emotional) laws of the guy with the most power.

Some of us are hurting.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad, 26 July 2015 - 08:50 AM.

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#29 packsaddle

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 10:35 AM

Who is 'us', Eagledad? While I understand that you feel the way you do, I want you to know that as far as I'm concerned, and I suspect other moderators as well, you are welcome here. I hope you can feel that way in the future.

 

When I became a member of these forums the Dale decision was the hot topic. You don't show up as a member for another few years yet, and 6 or 7 years after the 'birth' of this site. But at that time, my recollection was that things were VERY one-sided and only a very few of us at that time were willing to take up for what we perceived as the 'underdogs' in this issue. Is THAT the fairness of which you speak? If so, that is a matter of perception.

 

I can't tell you how many times I was invited to leave scouting to start my own organization. Same for others. Is that the fairness of which you speak? They made it clear that I was not welcome. It was explicit, not just something felt. I received this same sentiment from the council even later, after the UUA action.

 

Yes, what those few of us saw as an inevitability actually came to pass, most of it, and more quickly than anyone had ever expected. Keep in mind that all we did was predict it would happen and speak in support of it here in these forums.

 

Years later when I was appointed as a moderator I was as surprised as everyone else. I had been trained, dealing with the military, to be direct and clear and not to hold back on my thoughts. Do you think that the status of 'moderator' should somehow 'neuter' that person in a way that they are no longer able to express their thoughts? I don't.

This may have little effect on how you feel but please understand that I also get PM messages and personal emails from other members from time to time that I am not hard enough and way too lenient with regard to this or that post or topic. And up until the last few weeks I probably have been. I apologize. The free and open discussion that I hold as an ideal went to a level that I had not expected. What you have observed in the last few days is the response.

 

I can't speak for Terry. Rest assured that other than reports of software bugs or issues, there is very little exchange regarding discussions in these threads, any of them. Terry speaks for himself as do I.

 

I recognize that there is no way to be in the moderator position without having criticism from those being 'moderated'. I'm good with that.

Because there IS a balance between those who, like you, feel treated unfairly and those who think who think moderators are way too 'fair' in all this - or to put it another way, as long as the arrows are coming from all directions - I see evidence that 'moderation' is closer to middle ground than to some 'edge'. No one at any 'edge' is likely to see that.

 

I understand how you feel. I've been there. So have others. I offer you, once again, words that were NEVER offered to me during those times. You ARE welcome here. And I hope you can feel that way in the future.


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#30 Scouter99

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 02:45 PM

I understand how you feel. I've been there. So have others. I offer you, once again, words that were NEVER offered to me during those times. You ARE welcome here. And I hope you can feel that way in the future.

As long as he only says certain things or doesn't say certain things.  And that's not a "welcome."  He's been made crystal clear he's welcome to shut up or get out regardless of how friendly you want to try and paste it up in 500 words or more, or wrap it in illiberal, authoritarian Left "safe space" language.


Edited by Scouter99, 26 July 2015 - 03:00 PM.

"The numbers in a Troop should preferably not exceed thirty two. I suggest this number because in training boys myself I have found that sixteen was about as many I could deal with - in getting at and bringing out the individual character in each. I allow for other people being twice as capable as myself and hence the total of thirty-two."

-Baden-Powell, Aids to Scoutmastership


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#31 NJCubScouter

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 02:48 PM

I agree with Packsaddle. I believe the moderators have acted fairly. I also believe that Terry is trying to set a new tone for the forum. That doesn't mean the new BSA policy (if there is one) cannot be discussed. But it does mean that posts and pictures that attempt to paint an entire group of people as being terrible and dangerous people are no longer going to be permitted. I think that as rational people, we don't need to go to that extent to discuss the subject.
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#32 packsaddle

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 03:05 PM

As long as he only says certain things or doesn't say certain things. 

 

As has always been the case for all of us. The rules of decorum have always existed but perhaps were not very clear and perhaps not applied as stringently as they needed to be applied. As was made clear to me by Bob White a long, long time ago when I was out of line, a person is not welcome to write or post anything they want. They are welcome to write or post what they want within limits. And in response to recent posts, Terry just made the limits clearer for all of us.


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#33 Eagledad

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 03:11 PM

I'm not close to a good editor, so I'm speaking only from your last two paragraphs. The rest of your post went into left field and spoke of your life or something. Oh I understand, I'm getting old and my responses are getting long and rambly as well..

For the record, my comment that I feel unwelcome here has nothing to do with anything that happen to me personally. It's more of a tone I've notice by all the moderators the few last weeks. The mods seem to be making a more concerted effort to bring the difficult discussions to a conclusion instead of letting the die on their own merits. There is some threatening as well and suggestions of moving on. That in my view is not the job of the moderators. Terry's comments I felt supported that tone..

I've known you Pack for over 15 years, so I know the difference in your personal opinions and your moderating and I felt you did a pretty good of keeping the two separate until lately. I have many times accused your of thinking you are the smartest person inthe room, or discussion. Your magnanimous defense of yourself supports my reasoning and the why I struggle to feel sorry the reprocussions of your positions. You knew exactly what you were doing. My opinion of your moderating lately is that you are so emotionally invested to the subjects of some of the discussions lately that you can't tell the difference between the progress of a discussion from or an endless plodding. Being fair requires an univested pragmatic unbiased approach. You are being hit from all sides because you aren't being fair and you intrude with the wrong reasons at the wrong time.

I believe the reason Terry and all the moderators are loosing patience with the discussions lately is because they thought the debate was over when the BSA made the membership policy change. As Pack, Terry (and others) keeps pointing out, we won, you lost, move on. But, that doesn't mean the debate was over, as new members came in and fueled new discussions with old arguments, many of us weren't going to be talked down and insulted. The reasons for opposition to gays are still the same. To many many of us those who believe they are the winners, as pack implies, are still wrong and more youth will suffer than will gain from the change.

I don't think things will change until we all feel we are in this together. I don't get that feeling from you pack, the other moderators or Terry that you want that unless it is on your terms. that's why several of the post that stand up for the moderators and Terry feel the need to say they agree with the gay decision. I keep asking myself, why do they feel the need to say that. Can't you see it's devisive?

So maybe Terry is right, maybe the only solution to this situation is not allow the discussion. Scouter.com would not be the first forum to remove the politics and religious discussions.
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#34 Scouter99

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 04:01 PM

As has always been the case for all of us. The rules of decorum have always existed but perhaps were not very clear and perhaps not applied as stringently as they needed to be applied. As was made clear to me by Bob White a long, long time ago when I was out of line, a person is not welcome to write or post anything they want. They are welcome to write or post what they want within limits. And in response to recent posts, Terry just made the limits clearer for all of us.

You're being intellectually dishonest.  What does "harm" mean, it doesn't mean anything.  It means a certain type of user is free to spout off about "conservative Christians" (of which I'm not one) and their bigotry—painting, as NJ put it, an entire group of people (and the largest sponsors of the organization) with one stroke—or to pooh-pooh groping, or to accuse their opponents of being gay, while the other is villified for their equally contentious views.

The idea of "harm" as the test for whether the moderators are to shut people up is designed not to create a guideline for debate, but to stop all debate.  Is it "harmful" to point out these facts: Gay men use meth at a rate 20 times the general population, gay men contract HIV/AIDS at a rate 14 times their share of the population, a study of San Francisco gay men found that 20% had more than 1000 sexual partners, that the suicide rate for post-op transexuals is the same as pre-op transexuals. 

 

Can there even be a real space left for religious opposition?  After all, isn't it harmful to note that as far as homosexuals, the Torrah says "their blood is upon them"?

 

The off-the-cuff addition to Terry's restrictions that discussion of the issue must not discuss homosexuals as a group is also nothing more than a barrier to discusion at all.  If we are to discuss whether left-handed Arabian midgets should be allowed to be Scout leaders, then we cannot discus that issue based on John the left-handed Arabian midget, it must be done on terms of left-handed Arabian midgets as a group.  Just as the plural of anecdote is not "data," the opposite is true.

 

No debate can be had on the already-occuring results of this debate.  There can be no debate about why Scouts shouldn't be at a gay pride parade, or why gay scouts should be separated from the sex of their attraction just as men and women are separated, etc. 

 

There is no aspect of this debate that speech-controlling leftists do not find "harmful" to homosexuals, because to discuss the negative aspects of homosexuality or the morality of homosexuality is to insult you and homosexuals.  And that proscription is by design, don't patronize us and pretend otherwise.


Edited by Scouter99, 26 July 2015 - 04:28 PM.

"The numbers in a Troop should preferably not exceed thirty two. I suggest this number because in training boys myself I have found that sixteen was about as many I could deal with - in getting at and bringing out the individual character in each. I allow for other people being twice as capable as myself and hence the total of thirty-two."

-Baden-Powell, Aids to Scoutmastership


iEmBJEs.png


#35 Eagledad

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 04:02 PM

I agree with Packsaddle. I believe the moderators have acted fairly. I also believe that Terry is trying to set a new tone for the forum. That doesn't mean the new BSA policy (if there is one) cannot be discussed. But it does mean that posts and pictures that attempt to paint an entire group of people as being terrible and dangerous people are no longer going to be permitted. I think that as rational people, we don't need to go to that extent to discuss the subject.


Is that really fair? Tell me what group deserves that kind of discussion, especially with the youth? I have been frustrated many times with the way youth are discussed here when their behavior isn't considered appropriate. Ok, maybe there can be some allowance for bully's and discipline problem scouts, but what about young Eagles or scouts who don't camp much. I could go on, but you understand what I'm saying. I can't believe what adults here will say about these youth. Dangerous Maybe, but certainly terrible. Why must specials rules be set for special groups when it should apply to everyone equally.

And, what about discussion of gay adults? How can one be discussed without referring to the other? Lots of slippery slopes that would not be needed if the forum were held to higher standard for everyone.

Barry
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#36 Scouter99

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 04:47 PM

asdf


Edited by Scouter99, 26 July 2015 - 05:22 PM.

"The numbers in a Troop should preferably not exceed thirty two. I suggest this number because in training boys myself I have found that sixteen was about as many I could deal with - in getting at and bringing out the individual character in each. I allow for other people being twice as capable as myself and hence the total of thirty-two."

-Baden-Powell, Aids to Scoutmastership


iEmBJEs.png


#37 SSScout

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 06:42 PM

Interesting discussion.    We just finished watching "Twelve Angry Men " on TCM.    Bigotry versus facts vs perception vs experience vs democracy vs need to punish vs need for fairness vs  real life vs  expectation vs personal desire vs need for revenge vs  integrity vs compassion.

 

I don't remember any mention of religion, but "you know how those people are" was mentioned several times.


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#38 MattR

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 07:26 PM

I hope I don't become the "kumbaya guy" but it was too hot outside for a bike ride and I'd rather do this than deal with the 3 parents pissed off at me because their children (one of whom decided to poop in the woods at summer camp) are too perfect for my crude methods. An entire patrol went off the rails and I required all the parents and the scouts to join me in a discussion about the Scout Law. This seemed like an opportunity for the boys to learn more about the ideals of scouting. A number of parents didn't like that approach.

 

So here we are, trying to live up to the same ideals. Maybe we also have an opportunity. One way to describe character is what you do when nobody is looking. Maybe another is how you treat people you disagree with. We have lots of opportunity for that one! Friendly, courteous, and kind are a lot easier when I make the effort to find the good in others. Now, before anyone says "yes, but what they are doing is really wrong," it's time to focus on the whole person. We're all trying to do right by our sons so there's good in all of us.

 

So, in defense of Barry: Pack, I have to agree that you have made comments that have surprised me regarding the membership issue. It's obvious it's very important to you. Also, to everyone, we do hammer on a lot of scouts and phrases like paper eagles are not fair to the scout as they're following the adults' rules.

 

In defense of Pack: I've seen the fire-and-brimstone-you're-all-going-to-hell-if-you-don't-accept-Jesus sermons at camporees. I bite my tongue and walk away until I calm down and go back to talk to someone, which is a waste of time. A lot of Christians don't even like it. That's not to say that you can't find the equivalent from rabbis. We do, after all, have a lot more years experience at this. ;)

 

In defense of the moderators: There's a lot of emotion pouring out on these pages and I doubt if many people expected things to change so quickly. The emotion is fanning the flames. It might be best if people would write their response, walk away for a while, and then edit out the emotion. Based on the membership subject and what National has done, it makes sense that most of the anger is coming from one side of this argument and so it might look like the moderators are one sided. The moderation doesn't seem too far off to me. And lets face it, this forum is better moderated than any other we know so it can't possibly be easy.

 

In defense of those bringing up potential problems with allowing gay scouts and adults: Gays are different and I have no doubt there will be problems. Something is different. It might be genetic, environment, or both. I also know kids with Asperger's have problems as well, as did I with reading as a kid. There was a thread about confident kids that ended up with addictions. So the potential for problems in our troops is there. None of us know how bad the problems will be. So I don't see a problem talking about it. I also suspect National will ignore all of this because, well, they're National and they ignore most everything.

 

In defense of Christians: On average the religiously active (nearly all are Christian) in my troop are easier to work with and I appreciate their sense of helping out. They tend to be more humble than others and differences are solved quickly. Maybe I'm lucky but in my town the religiously active do a lot of helping of the homeless and needy and no shouting. I'm not saying it's for everyone or that everyone that's religious is wonderful, but it works great for a lot of people. I welcome them in my troop. My guess is we're all pretty much in agreement but I can appreciate that other troops will have big problems with a change.

 

Finally, in defense of the BSA: I was at a scout's Eagle project today and my neighbor, who goes to the same church where the project was, came up to me and said he'd like to get his son into scouting. He was really impressed with how the boys acted and thought scouts would be good for his son. I didn't have the heart to tell him one of those boys was the PL for the patrol that ran off the rails at summer camp.


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#39 mashmaster

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 07:46 PM

Well said.  For those that want to leave, I hope you can reconcile in your hearts why we are all here.  We appreciate and the boys appreciate what you do for them.


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#40 DenLeader2

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 08:08 PM

Hi. Haven't been here long. I have agreed to be a den leader again for my son's Bear Den. Won't be coming back to Scouting as of next May. We graduate the boys in May. The National Politics have reached a tipping point
for me. I will use my time, money and energy somewhere else.
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