Comments about ‘Scouts greeting Romney violated policy against political participation’

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Published: Thursday, Sept. 20 2012 8:00 p.m. MDT

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Dixie Dan
Saint George, UT

The unanswered question is whether they would have also shown up for President Obama's plane.

Provo, UT

It is right for the Deseret News and the National Scout leadership to comment on what happened at the Salt Lake and Provo airports and to instruct people to be cognizant of the message that kind of image sends to the populace. In this case, the message was: certain Utah scout leaders aren't reading their handbooks carefully . . . .

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

You really don't have to look very hard to find someone who will be offended by just about anything.

Jim Debakis is right on this one.

Durham, NC

Yes, asking people to obey the rules of their organization is truly political correctness gone amuck. I personally see no real foul here at face value... but the Boy Scouts has rules to protect itself, and if local leaders should decide for themselves if they choose to abide by them, regardless if they agree with them or not.

Take the kids there next time as just a bunch of families to support the candidate, and no one will care. Go there wearing the uniform of an organization in violation of the bodies rules... that isn't political correctness, it is just a disregard to the rules.

I love the lesson being taught here.... if you decide it isn't hurting anything, well then by all means violate the rules. I assume these were church troops, so what a wonderful message to teach these kids.... rules are subject to your own judgement if you want to obey them.

Temecula, CA

Just a reminder: Both Candidates have had scouts present at events the past few months.

Liberty or Death
Taylorsville, UT

They make a big deal of this at the same time they are asking for donations to Friends of Scouting, to support the operating costs and professional scouters salaries, for the Great Salt Lake Council? I may have to think about whether to donate this year.

Taylorsville, UT

I see no harm or violation of the rights of these scouts. The BSA does have a merit badge for community service and donating time to charity and other community projects. Local police and fire department visits, UDOT road cleaning, and rivers and water ways preservation. They also have a merit badge showing respect and loyalty to being an american and duty to god and country and this is also a meritorious gesture of respect by the scout leader.

There are many state and federal and city projects scouts participate in and every one thanks them for their help. These scouts were not participation in any particular violation of their oath to themselves and their country. If the BSA rules are in conflict with the constitution and these childrens freedoms, then the BSA is the organization in the wrong.

The BSA is not funded and should not be politically controlled to ban the practicing of scouts duty to country and rights then the policy is out of touch with reality, these scouts have every right to participate in their constitutional rights.

Politics in the BSA has driven the BSA to stop scout participation in freedom of speech and their rights.

Huntsville, UT

It may have been nice for Matthew and his buddies to meet the Presidential candidate, but they were nothing more than props to the candidate, which is what is truly sad.

Snowflake, AZ

I went with thousands of scouts, in uniform, to see President Reagan speak at the Salt Palace, a great thrill. My parents also took me to see President Carter speak at the Tabernacle... I didn't get in, but I did get to shake his hand afterward, as he walked out and greeted the crowd. That's not endorsement, merely involment. I've been interested in the political process ever since.

Salt Lake City, UT

There is no need to send warnings to scout troops who wave or actually just shake a hand at someone while traveling to an event. If that were true. Why are there scouts at Obama's events? Yes, I have seen scouts, and other youth groups that also aren't supposed to be there. And they are actually violating their bylaws. And they are holding signs. Why does he have soldiers forced to stand behind him, when troops are not supposed to be a part of any political events either, while in uniform? It is okay for Scouts to be a part of this environment. They need to know about our system, and how to participate in it. They get Merit Badges for stuff like this. They didn't have a sign saying "vote for Mitt". They also didn't say, "to heck with Obama." I am sure they would have done the same for Obama, as he has allowed other scouts to do the same, without a fuss.

Salt Lake City, UT

OK, if the scouts had vote for Mitt signs, that would have been one thing. They are supposed to be involved, going to town halls, city council, etc.

I think this blog is the one out of line. I believe even the very liberal leaning new Citizenship in the Nation pamphlet, written by Harry Chatten Boyte (a Pres. Obama supporter and aid) a required merit badge, would disagree with Rick Barnes, especially his timing.

Re: pamphlet, From the apparent intentional confusion re: Democracy and a Republic, to contradicting the 10th amendment prior to introducing it, to the flexible constitution that is amended informally in broad ways. The lack of understanding and explanation of the electoral college. Broad Implied Executive Powers.

It is hardly politically neutral. The timing of the complaints is just as bad.

Mcallen, TX

Let's hope these scouts, don't cause riots.

Phoenix, AZ

So is the message here: that Utah Republicans are a bad influence on Boy Scouts demonstrating disrespect of rules and teaching them to be outlaws.

Colorado Springs, CO

@Sergio: No, the message here is that it is against BSA policy.

Brigham City, UT

@My2Cents: Sorry, but your post is just a little over the top. Their is nothing in BSA policy that infringes on these young men's constitutional rights. The BSA has every right to determine when, where and how their uniform will be worn. I'm guessing you support their right to be exclusionary when it somes to other things. Why then should they not be able to set policy about the wearing of their uniform at political events?

Orem, UT

I disagree that they were just "props" for the candidates. We encourage our scouts to take part in the political process, but meeting with someone at the airport does not mean you endorse them.

I understand the need for the policy which is to prevent the appearance of political favoritism, but I think it should be changed to allow scouts to appear in uniform at places like this for both candidates.

I personally dislike Obama. I think his policies are very bad for the country. However; if I were invited to meet with him at the White House or anywhere else, I would go. It would be an honor to meet with the president, no matter who occupies the office.

Saint George, UT

Good! Let's hope this horrific breach of protocol causes the LDS Church to, once and for all, break its ties with the BSA!

ute alumni
Tengoku, UT

Jim Dabakis for governor. the only lib that makes sense. thanks Jim.

Sandy, UT

This is NOT a breach of policy or protocol. It is an actual requirement of the Boy Scouts in the Citizenship merit badge to go meet and talk with Political Leaders. This is a GOOD experience for them to help them develop the concept and idea of politics. What would have been breaking policy is if they would have held up signs in their boy scout uniforms endorsing one candidate or the other, which they clearly DID NOT DO! Shaking hands and being at a location with political leaders meets a Boy Scout REQUIREMENT, and does NOT Endorse anyone!

Next time do some more research people, this is a NON Story and I can't believe it made the newspaper or that anyone with logic or reason would be denouncing this experience for those scouts!

Stephen Kent Ehat
Lindon, UT

Instinct Magazine has an August 2012 article titled "President Obama Comes Out Against Boy Scouts' Ban On Gays." (Google "instinct magazine" and "President Obama Comes Out Against Boy Scouts' Ban On Gays" to see it.) Look at the photo that accompanies that article.

The Boy Scout policy could easily be tweaked to allow these young men, even while in uniform, to greet and be greeted by sitting and campaigning politicians -- local, state, national, and international -- so long as the Scouts hold no signs and make no other verbal statements.

And both BSA officials and professionals, BSA local and troop leaders, Boy Scouts themselves, parents, and the public can simply adopt the mental attitude that even when in uniform, these young men are not, either for themselves or for the BSA organization itself, in any way either endorsing any candidate or making any political statement. They are, instead, getting worthwhile exposure to what makes their governments, here and abroad, worth being involved with.

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