I believe the Boy Scouts of America has been showing the true spirit of being
good Americans in regard to this issue.Upholding your beliefsShowing respect to a crowd, even though you don't agree with that
crowdTrying to help all young menThese are admirable,
American, and virtuous. The integrity of the scout character remains in tact.
There are some who accuse the BSA of not actually showing respect. Of course,
their very argument relies on "respect" meaning "full agreement"
or "full adoption of my own opinion".When we help others,
show respect, and are firm in our belief and purpose, we have integrity. In
fact, it perfectly defines the meaning of the word."If there is
anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after
They should serve all boys, no matter if they think they might be different. The
only exception is violent boys. There out.
Aggielove,The concern isn't with people who are
"different". It's never been about that. It's been about
protecting boys. I don't want a teenage boy and girl in a tent together. I
also don't want two boys who've had gay feelings and aren't sure
about themselves in a tent together. I also don't want two admittedly gay
boys in a tent together.The qualifier in those scenarios isn't
"difference" as the boy and girl aren't different from my own
orientation. It's about preventing sexual activity in an environmental
built to teach young men the values and skills to be good people. We need more
of that, not more distractions from it.Ironically, those bullying
the BSA and demanding tolerance are flying their own intolerance flag pretty
high. I tolerate their beliefs, but I don't agree with them. Where as they
are bullying everyone else into agreement.Who is it here that
won't accept difference? It isn't the BSA.
This current news is a good approach. All of humanity have an unending
combination of tendencies, predispositions, penchants, affinities, leanings,
bents, traits, habits, orientations, and propensities. Some are DNA driven, some
environmentally or socially nurtured, others are personal choice. Some violent;
some innocuous. Some acceptable; some not. Some criminal, many not. They
influence how we see life, each other, and self. We learn to live with and deal
with all our lives. Some we 'get over' only to run into another set
of challenges. Since its inception Scouting has been a forum, done well and not
so well, to address these uncountable issues based on religious perspectives of
its sponsors. That has been one of the key hallmarks of Scouting.
From GLAAD:"The Mormon Church sponsors the most Boy Scout troops
in the country. They have released a statement that supports lifting the ban on
gay scouts."And my respect for the Mormon Church just went up a
As far as I'm concerned, as a Scoutmaster and LDS Young Men leader, the
most important words in the proposed BSA resolution are these: "any sexual
conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is
contrary to the virtues of Scouting."This doesn't leave a
lot of "weasel" room for those who would rather give a lax
interpretation of the "morally straight" clause of the Boy Scout Oath.
It upholds the LDS Church's stance on sexual morality 100%. And it proves
that the BSA is concerned about conduct, not about feelings.As I
tell anyone who will listen, none of us has control over what we are tempted
with. We can only control how we respond to that temptation; that is, whether
we accept it or reject it. And just because someone's tempation may be
greater or different than someone else's, it doesn't make that person
any more or less sinful, if they are able to exercise the self control to reject
To FatherOf FourThe statement by the LDS church did not say it
"supports lifting the ban on gay scouts". It only said that the church
was pleased with the way the BSA was handeling the issue. It remains to be seen
what will happen after the results of the voting.
This clarfication could be a great boon to the boys who may not have a lot of
positive examples when it comes to chaste/disciplined behavior models. I'm
thinking of the problems right now in the armed forces regarding Sexual Assault,
and how scouting could be a great model for how to encourage young men to
respect sexual boundaries (no matter orientation) and redirect pent up
attractions into quality activities and service to country and community.
The boys are only about 11-14 years old. Older boys generally lose interest in
Scouting. How in the world can gays be identified at that early age? Without
very intrusive questioning, you often can't tell. Scouting has always had
gays among the ranks of its youth. Just recognize that fact and move on. Teach
all boys to live moral, productive lives and enjoy the outdoors.
@MGB"The LDS Church announced on Thursday that it would
officially endorse The Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) recent proposal to
change their anti-gay policies and allow gay youth members, but not adults, to
join the organization."Deseret News won't let me post the
link itself, but it is available on the GLAAD site.
I am surprised by the recent statement by The LDS Church. If the Christian
Churches (ie Catholic, Baptist, LDS, etc) cannot beat this movement, they really
should bow out gracefully. Young people are very impressionable. I do not hold
anything against people who drink, smoke, and do drugs (as long as they do not
harm others). I still respect them as people although I disagree with their
choices. However, I am not going to expose my young kids by sending them into a
bar or allow them to witness drug use. If my kids choose to do these things
when they are older, then that will be their choice. Current laws back up my
opinion as minors are not allowed in bars, casinos, or to be exposed to drug
use.By the same token, I do not think The LDS Church should have LDS
Sponsored Troops while having OPENLY gay scouts attend. This will not work.
Promoting sex of any persuasion does not belong around young people. If a
"don't ask don't tell" policy or separate gay or church
sponsored groups do not work, then the church should say thanks and bow out.
Of course BSA says "we're here to serve all boys"; they want the
money so employees on the district level can continue to receive their
six-figure salaries. Sure BSA is here to serve all boys....until your check
bounces, and then we'll see how willing they are to "serve" you.
Jon W.,well said.FatherOfFour,I appreciate
that you are pleased with the LDS Church's statements on this. Although I
thought it was interesting that your attitude changed. The LDS Church has always
believed in showing kindness and tolerance of other human beings. While we
believe God has given us a plan for happiness in the family, we also believe in
respecting other people and their opinions.The media represents the
LDS Church very inconsistently and very inaccurately. We live in a world of
blog-like reporting and perpetual opinion rather than simple presented
information. People want that, so that's what people get. I'm not
saying anything negative about it as much as I'm saying that how the media
portrays the LDS Church is inconsistent, how the LDS Church has stated it's
official position is not.With that being the case, if your attitude
has changed, even if only a little, I might suggest reading official statements
rather than media reports. Michael Otterson stated the LDS position, gave points
of disagreement and agreement, and affirmed our love and respect for all human
beings. It's not what the media likes, but it's the truth.
To "Scott3" the "don't ask, don't tell" policy would
be bad for the BSA. What that will end up doing is to place boys in potentially
harmful situations. By knowing that there is are a Scout is gay, the
Scoutmaster can protect all of the boys in the troop to ensure that the BSA
policy of no sexual activity is upheld.
Re: Scott3"By the same token, I do not think The LDS Church
should have LDS Sponsored Troops while having OPENLY gay scouts attend. This
will not work."It seems to work fine for Young Men quorums,
where the openly gay youth not only attend, but actively hold the priesthood.
It also seems to work fine in bishoprics, where openly gay men can not only
attend, but preside. Being gay does not necessitate that one engage in sexual
relations with every person of the same-sex one encounters. Nor does it imply
one is sexually active at all.
BSA’s proposed change upholds present standards and emphasizes
inclusivness. The BSA has always accepted all youth who are committed to do
their best to do their duty to God, country, fellow men, live up to the Scout
law and who commit to keep themselves physically strong, mentally awake and
morally straight. Morally straight encompasses a tremendous commitment to do
what is morally right including; no “sexual conduct, whether homosexual or
heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age” as it is contrary to the virtues
of Scouting. Same gender attraction is not the same as homosexuality
and youth should not be advertising their sexual desires around the campfire or
in other scouting activities. Any youth who has a same gender attraction as all
scouts in all situations should be protected from any hazing, bullying or
harmful/embarrassing initiation, BSA forbids it. A Scout Master is obligated to
help scouts learn to do right, live the oath taken. Counseling on moral and
repentance issuess however are left to ecclesiastical leaders and are
confidential. I hope the 70 percent of leaders who say they will limit or stop
their participation will continue to full-heartedly support BSA.
Let me see if I understand a couple of comments correctly. The site GLAAD, a
site devoted to the promotion of the LGBT community has comments suggesting the
the LDS Church will openly support gays in scouting? That makes sense...not.The BSA will cave to political pressure and current reductions in
corporate funding programs. Won't matter because the LDS church already
has a back up plan. They always do. Do we not think that the church had had
something in the works for when this day will eventually come. If
they don't cave now, they will cave later. Just a matter of time.
Claudio: I doubt the church would put an openly gay man in the bishopbric.
Re: snowmanActually, they already have. We can't post links
here, but it was widely reported as taking place in California.
The focus should be on the boys --- and disregard for any of the bi-laws should
be addressed. Just because a boy is 'straight' does not give him
license to be immoral and that should apply to everyone.Leadership
is a different issue entirely.
Claudio: Then the man either lied or he isn't gay because the church
wouldn't put an openly gay in the bishopbric.
Snowman,The widely publicized article I speak of was published by
the Church's PR office, posted on the LDS Newsroom website, and includes
quotes from LDS General Authorities. You can continue to accuse me of being a
liar, or you can look for yourself and discover I'm correct. An apology
for your accusations would be appreciated.
@snowman --Here's the headline, from the Salt Lake Tribune:"Gay Mormon named to key local LDS leadership post in San
FranciscoBy Peggy Fletcher Stack The Salt Lake TribunePublished September 7, 2011 3:34 pm"The man in question is the
"executive secretary" to the bishop. " On Sunday, Mayne
was installed in a highly visible role as the bishop's "executive
secretary," assisting the local LDS leader in virtually every task.Mayne is openly gay — a fact that has created a buzz up and down the
Mormon Internet world.He is not the first self-identified gay member
to hold a key leadership position within the LDS Church's all-volunteer
clergy and staffing. A Seattle ward (congregation), for example, reportedly had
a gay counselor to the bishop and in Oakland, Calif., a gay man is on the
stake's high council and is a temple worker."
Contrarius: The bishopbric consists of the bishop and two counselours