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Comments about ‘Boy Scout numbers grow in Utah, defying national trend’

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Published: Thursday, May 22 2014 5:35 p.m. MDT

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Mack2828
Ft Thomas, KY

@Tiago,

I have looked back over my posts and can't find anywhere where I have even remotely suggested a 15 year old boy with SSA should be kicked out of scouts.
All of my posts have been encouraging the church to be prepared with a new program (like TrailLife USA, who also doesn't kick out your hypothetical 15 year old) as scouting continues to migrate away from our church standards.

Tiago
Seattle, WA

Mack2828,
I guess I don't see how scouting is migrating away from our church standards then. Can you give examples?
In my ward's troop we still recite the scout oath and law in every meeting and end with a scoutmaster minute focused on a gospel lesson. At scout camp in Washington the prayers in the dining hall are a bit silly and irreverent, but there are daily vespers focused on general religious concepts. I have never heard anyone in scouting advocate against the law of chastity, or against faith, repentance, families, or any other of our values.
I'm concerned about the message we send to gay people among us when we treat them like a threat and write policies exclusively to exclude them, stigmatize them, and discourage them from being honest.
On Wednesday night I sat in my church foyer and heard and older man talk for several minutes about how "the gays" are out to destroy scouting and take advantage of young boys. That kind of rhetoric is wrong, hurtful, and divisive. We don't need to characterize gay people as the enemy to maintain our commitment to moral standards.

Laura Bilington
Maple Valley, WA

Mack, any number of gay LDS men have said that they were told by their bishops to not come to church anymore. Do you think that this isn't happening? There is no reason to assume that a 15-17 year old boy who was openly gay (let's say he took another boy to the prom, but still wasn't sexually active) would be welcome at an LDS sponsored troop. And he wouldn't be welcome at Trail USA either.

Lilljemalm, when was the last time you heard of a straight boy (with a pregnant girlfriend) getting kicked out of the Boy Scouts? When a (straight) scoutmaster divorces his wife so he can marry his girlfriend, he gets to stay. Gay youth (and certainly, gay adults) are welcome in the BSA only if they are in the closet.

NedGrimley
Brigham City, UT

Laura: "...any number of gay LDS men have said that they were told by their bishops to not come to church anymore."

Is this anecdotal, or have these "any number of gay LDS men" spoken to you directly, and how long ago was that?

While I can't say that this may not have ever taken place, I think it is just as fair to say that "any number of gay LDS men" are serving faithfully in a number of LDS church callings around the world without repercussion. And, as attitudes continue to change, probably more so now than ever before.

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

@Mack2828
"Don't we still live in a country where private citizens can form private groups that are based on shared beliefs and exclusive of others?? "

Sure, but that doesn't mean they won't be criticized for it like Augusta National.

Mr. Bean
Phoenix, AZ

No way would I go camping and sleep in a tent with a gay scout. It'd be like a boy scout sleeping in a girl scout's tent.

Understands Math
Lacey, WA

@Mr. Bean:

And that's the kind of attitude that keeps gay people in the closet. The stereotype that gays are so sex-mad that they'll go after any male, even (or especially?) if he's straight.

Needless to say, there's no empirical evidence to support that kind of stereotype.

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