Monday, January 28, 2013

Maryland Boy Scout troop forced to take statement in support of gay members off of their website or suffer the indignity of being kicked out.

Courtesy of Mother Jones:

The Boy Scouts council in charge of overseeing scout programs in the Washington, DC-area is threatening to kick out a Maryland troop for posting a statement on its website declaring it won't discriminate against gay scouts. The troop has to decide by tomorrow whether to remove the statement. 

In September, the families of Pack 442, which is based in Cloverly, Maryland (a small town less than 20 miles from the nation's capital), anonymously voted and overwhelmingly approved to adopt a non-discrimination statement. According to Theresa Phillips, committee chair of Pack 442, the pack wanted Boy Scouts of America to know "we will not stand for the discrimination of homosexual minors or adults whatsoever." Here's the sentence causing the controversy:

Not long after the statement was posted, the National Capital Area Council (NCAC), one of the bigger local councils of the Boy Scouts of America, asked the pack to strike it from the website. "At first they [said] they would "allow" us to leave it up based on our right to freedom of speech. Now they are doing a 180 and basically asking us to either conform to BSA's discriminatory policy or get out," says Phillips. 

Les Baron, CEO and Scout Executive of NCAC, confirms to Mother Jones that if the pack doesn't erase the declaration, "they will not be recognized as an organization, although that's our last resort." That means that the troop will lose access to member insurance, rank badges, and scout camps. The only problem with the statement, Baron acknowledges, is the reference to sexual orientation. "That's a message that's against our policy, and we don't want it continue to be out in our community," Baron says.

Apparently sometime after his post went up on Friday, pack 442 did indeed comply with the demand by the  National Capital Area Council and took the statement off their website.

Which I guess means that the scouts in Pack 442 are now free to get their merit badges in homophobia, intolerance, and gay bashing, when all they really wanted to do was to embody the Boy Scout Law which, for those that don't know, is to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

You know interestingly enough NONE of those sound anti gay to me.

Of course those were written BEFORE the Mormon Church got their hands on the youth group:

Mormonism has morphed the Boy Scouts into a religious organization in which they use to indoctrinate the young men into a lifetime of church membership. Awards and rewards are based on Mormon Priesthood rules and regulations. More emphasis is placed on indoctrination and obedience to the Mormon Gospel.

 And here you thought Boy Scouts just helped little old ladies across the street and camped in the woods.


  1. p m carpenter's commentary

    January 26, 2013
    She can see the unemployment line from her house

    It's all typically mysterious, this splashy divorce, although a "source close to the former Alaska governor" tells RealClearPolitics that "It’s my understanding that Gov. Palin was offered a contract by Fox, and she decided not to renew the arrangement," which strongly suggests that Fox fired her.

    Whither the former vice-presidential candidate, state chief executive, roguish tactician, reality television star and Revolutionary War historian? "The source declined to say whether Palin would pursue a television contract with another news network [i.e., a news network]," which strongly suggests that Palin is pursuing a network alternative.

    Yet this boy can dream, enticed as he is by Palin's come-hither ankle-showing, per the source:

    She remains focused on broadening her message of common-sense conservatism across the country and will be expanding her voice in the national discussion.

    Any desperately hopeful reading of those Cocoa Puff leaves would suggest that she is at least toying with the magnificent notion of reentering politics. There may be some undiscovered degree of pseudoconservative madness yet to be exploited, and who better to unearth its squalor than the fetchingly fatuous Sarah Palin?

  2. I was raised Mormon and the Boy Scout troop at church was at that time more of a pseudo-military outfit than anything else. The local doctor's son was the high mucky-muck and would slap scouts hard! who were the least bit sloppy (in his opinion) in their uniformed dress, chewed gum, etc. It's been nearly 60 years since I was in that troop, but I still hope he failed at everything in life and has lived in the gutter, lost his family and friends ... but realistically I realize that he's probably a fantastically successful doctor himself and, like many doctors, thinks he's god and good-looking as well.

  3. I knew a family from my Bretrhen Church who embraced BSA for their boys. Interestingly, the father had an affair with the kids' aunt, lost a cushy job, had to move, divorced his wife, and their daughter became hooked on drugs. The indoctrinated boys had trouble in school, finally went to college. I think one of them graduated. Not saying the BSA messed them up, but...
    I have also known Mormon and Catholic Boy Scouts. I find the whole thing creepy and am glad we could not afford either the Boy or Girl scouts when I was growing up, much as I envied the cute little Brownie uniforms when I was in 2nd grade!

  4. Anonymous4:04 AM

    Will Facebook Sarah grace the world with a facebook rant showing her outrage that these kids are being silenced?

    Sarah is fighting a non-existent battle she made up in her mind about warriors and their Christian tattoos so why not fight for a real cause like these kids who are supporting their Gay friends?

    (Cricket sounds from Lake Lucille)

  5. Anonymous4:09 AM

    Hold on! Hold on! Gryphen, did I read your comment correctly and miss something a while back about the Mormon church taking over the boy scouts. The part where it says, "Mormonism has morphed the Boy Scouts into a religious organization in which they use to indoctrinate the young men into a lifetime of church membership. Awards and rewards are based on Mormon Priesthood rules and regulations. More emphasis is placed on indoctrination and obedience to the Mormon Gospel."

    If that is true, that they now represent only one religion, maybe we should reconsider what exactly the Boy Scouts have become.

    If I'm wrong and misread it, please someone set me straight before I spew anymore coffee on my screen and keys.

    1. Anonymous7:44 AM

      it depends on the area - it does not focus on ONE religion, just organized religion in general - one can not become an Eagle Scout without the Religion badge.

  6. Anonymous4:32 AM

    Wow! The boy scouts organization continues to double down on being shitty. How can anyone with a conscience let their son be involved in scouting at this point? At least every time one of these stories becomes public, BSA loses a little more respect from the general public.

    I hope the troop tells BSA to fuck off. The boys don't need badges to go camping with their parents or learn how to tie knots.

  7. Anonymous5:40 AM

    But apparently, it's escaped the BSA's notice that they are also refusing to discriminate against atheist or Pagan kids.


    1. BSA does discriminate against atheist kids. If a boy declares himself an atheist, he will be kicked out. He basically needs to lie about believing in "God" to stay a member.

    2. Anonymous6:16 AM

      This needs to be shouted from the rooftops. BSA is an organization that absolutely does not allow boys who are gay or atheist to be scouts.

      There has to be an alternative for these boys and for other families who don't want their sons to be part of an organization that discriminates.

    3. Anonymous8:09 AM

      You're right I phrased it wrongly. They are also discriminating against Pagan and atheist kids, but what gets the attention is the discrimination against gays. Of course that discrimination should be in the news, but so should the religious discrimination.

      My only excuse- I was posting before coffee.


    4. I figured that was the case, Ivyfree. No worries!

  8. Anonymous5:44 AM

    Are the Boy Scouts still considered a non-profit organization?

    If yes then it needs to loose their status as non-profit.

    1. Anonymous7:51 AM

      absolutely, they are a NPO. A lot of people are not aware of the religious requirements of boy scouts. It's great fun to be a cub scout...camping, new friends, car racing...]:P

      it was a huge disappointment for the boy to be discriminated against FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE. We chose to allow him to experience various religions and learn about them, without belonging to any particular one. We, as parents, decided to let him choose a religion as an adult, if he wanted to.

      We live by the Golden Rule - Do Unto Others as You Would Have Done Unto You

      live life the best you can, try not to hurt anyone in the process, and pay it forward.

      It was so hurtful to be excluded on the basis of religion. It can not be repeated enough, BS are a religious group.

  9. Anonymous7:51 AM

    Mormon Boy Scout troops have their own special weeks for using Boy Scout facilities, too. Non-Mormons are not precisely excluded, but almost all of the reservation spaces are filled with Mormon troops. Our council used to set aside the week after July 4th for "Mormon Week," but apparently the Mormons didn't like that week, so they moved their week to another week that many Scout troops had been using for years (as in, 50 or more years). This has messed up a number of troops' program schedules significantly, but I guess if Mariott is paying to refurbish the facilities, the Scouts have to listen to them first.

  10. My late husband was a Boy Scout throughout his youth in the 1930s and 1940s, and became an Eagle Scout, an achievement of which he was very proud. He had all his badges in an antique leather-bound box with his pins and medals, and early on in our marriage showed them to me and told me stories of the adventures he experiences earning some of the badges (for instance, being a Scout horse wrangler up on the summer meadows at the base of Mt. Rainier -- and climbing up to the base camp the alpine climbers used).

    If he knew of the Mormon takeover of the Scouts, and the current intolerance of their code, he'd have been crushed. It puts a tarnish on all his memories.

  11. Anonymous9:14 AM

    Boy Scouts close to ending ban on gay members, leaders

    The Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation’s largest private youth organizations, is actively considering an end to its decades-long policy of banning gay scouts or scout leaders, according to scouting officials and outsiders familiar with internal discussions.

    If adopted by the organization’s board of directors, it would represent a profound change on an issue that has been highly controversial -- one that even went to the US Supreme Court. The new policy, now under discussion, would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts.

    “The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs,” according to Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts’ national organization.

    Individual sponsors and parents “would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families,” Smith said.

    The discussion of a potential change in policy is nearing its final stages, according to outside scouting supporters. If approved, the change could be announced as early as next week, after the BSA's national board holds a regularly scheduled meeting.

    Only seven months ago, the Boy Scouts affirmed a policy of banning gay members, after a nearly two-year examination of the issue by a committee of volunteers convened by national leaders of the Boy Scouts of America, known as the BSA.

    In a statement last July affirming the ban, its national executive board called it “the best policy for the organization.”

    But since then, a scouting official said, local chapters have been urging a reconsideration. "We're a grassroots organization. This is a response to what's happening at the local level," the official said.

    Two corporate CEOs on BSA’s national board, Randall Stephenson of AT&T and James Turley of Ernst & Young, have also said they would work to end the ban. Stephenson is next in line to be the BSA’s national chairman. During the 2012 presidential campaign, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney said the BSA should admit gay scouts and scout leaders.

    About 50 local United Way groups and several corporations and charities have concluded that the ban violates their non-discrimination requirements and have ceased providing financial aid to the Boy Scouts. An official of The Human Rights Campaign, an advocate for gay rights, said HRC planned to downgrade its non-discrimination ratings for corporations that continue to give the BSA financial support.

    “It’s an extremely complex issue,” said one Boy Scouts of America official, who explained that other organizations have threatened to withdraw their financial support if the BSA drops the ban.

    While the national scouting organization sets broad policies, more than 290 local councils nationwide govern the day-to-day conduct of the more than 116,000 local organizations. Individual scouting troops are sponsored by religious and civic organizations that represent a diversity of views on the issue of allowing gay scouts and leaders.

    “The beliefs of the sponsoring organizations are highly diverse,” the official said.

    The policy change now under discussion “would allow the religious, civic or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue,” said the BSA's Smith.

    “The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs,” he said.

    1. Anita Winecooler6:04 PM

      They're so tolerant, aren't they?

  12. Just announced on MSNBC as breaking news that the national BSA Board of Directors is considering/voting on allowing gay boy scouts into the program. Seems Romney agrees with this. WTF? Would love it for the kids but still am unhappy that the BSA is a religious-based organized now.

  13. Anonymous10:48 AM

    What a great breakthrough that is! But the real breakthrough will be when they finally allow gay men to be pack leaders! This has been your wet dream for years hasn't it jesse? That's when you will start to get more than 18 comments and people will really care.

    1. Anita Winecooler6:15 PM

      The brainiac can't help it, and apparently can't count!


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