«

»

The Scouts Go Pink

The Boy Scouts have announced that they might change the rules on admitting gay scouts (it will be left up to individual troops, not set as national policy). Here’s the thing I like about it: it didn’t come from a Court decision or a federal law. SCOTUS, in fact, rejected anti-discrimination lawsuits against the Boy Scouts because they are a private organization*. What’s changing this is pressure from without and within the organization.

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.

I was a scout for several years. I never went very far but I enjoyed it. My troop was based around a church and was a little nervous about me because I was literally the first or second Jew to ever join their troop. But, in the end, they were welcoming and I got just as much hazing and support as any other scout. I’m confident they will deal with gays (and, potentially, atheists and agnostics) with the same warmth and grace.

I’m glad to see not only that they are reconsidering their policy, but considering, in essence, federalizing it. Leaving it to individual troops, at least for the time being, will ease the Scouts into the inclusive waters rather than jumping in and splashing everyone.

(*That designation is itself controversial since the Boy Scouts get a number of public benefits, including the President as honorary president. Most notable is the ongoing case of Barnes-Walls v. BSA over the $1 rent the Scouts pay for using part of Balboa Park.)

28 comments

No ping yet

  1. Kimpost says:

    I was a scout as well. For a year, before I got bored with it. Religion was never mentioned.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  2. TxAg94 says:

    First, like everything else, they have gay scouts and scoutmasters already. They may not know it or they may know it and it’s never made an issue.

    Second, I have no problem with this but it sure seems less like a decision they’ve come to because they feel it’s the right thing and more like a financial issue. Sponsors dropping out, ratings drops (whatever that means), and so forth all point to money being the prime issue. I think it’s perfectly legitimate for all those businesses to not offer support for whatever reason but the whole thing smells of fiscal arm twisting. Will those businesses renew their support if the gay ban is lifted? Or was it a convenient excuse to cut costs while pointing out how cutting edge they are? I guess we’ll see.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      
  3. pfluffy says:

    I was a scout as well. For a year, before I got bored with it. Religion was never mentioned.

    I was a girl scout for four years. I suppose looking back there were religious overtones, but I really paid no attention. This was the early 70′s and there were Jesus-freak religious overtones to everything.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

      
  4. Hal_10000 says:

    Most Boy Scouts are run out of churches, but some are not. If I recall correctly, the LDS church, in particular, has been very into Scouting in the last couple of decades. The Mormons are moderating on gays as well so that may be one reason the Scouts are as well.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  5. swassociates says:

    I was a scout up to Eagle and enjoyed every day of it. The best child and young adult experience I had. It taught me tons of practical knowledge about life.

    The idea that someone has to be openly Homosexual iridiculesas. Try just being a scout.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

      
  6. Mook says:

    This looks to be an Alinsky-style effort to strongarm and undermine an organization that has promoted itself as moral and Christian, and has received support on that basis. Leftists always lecture us that if we don’t like a particular tv show, turn the channel. Why don’t they follow their own advice here and “turn channel” by leaving the scouts alone? The BSA is a private organization. shouldn’t they have the freedom to choose and restrict membership in their organization?

    That the BSA gets some public benefits (while providing plenty of benefits back to the public) is a poor grasping-at-straws justification in my view. The amount of public assistance they receive appears negligible.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      
  7. Hal_10000 says:

    This looks to be an Alinsky-style effort to strongarm and undermine an organization that has promoted itself as moral and Christian,

    You know, I tired of the “Alinsky” line. If anyone has use Alinsky’s tactics to perfection, it has been the radical Religious Right in this country.

    Hot! Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

      
  8. Mississippi Yankee says:

    First, like everything else, they have gay scouts and scoutmasters already. They may not know it or they may know it and it’s never made an issue.

    I too was a scout, both cub and boy scout (1955 thru 1963) and there were a few “fem-y kids and one or two scout masters that you’d think were more girly than your mom but the unwritten rule of law was “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

    And it worked just fine in the military too until whinny social progressives Alinsky’ed it.

    If anyone has use Alinsky’s tactics to perfection, it has been the radical Religious Right in this country.

    WTF
    Yeah because the Westboro Baptist Church is so popular. Could you be an even bigger moonbat?

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

      
  9. Biggie G says:

    an organization that has promoted itself as moral and Christian

    Actually, the BSA has promoted itself as a faith-based organization with no official religious affiliation. All that is required is a belief in God. No participation in an organized religion is required. The real evangelical Christians have their own organization, the Royal Rangers, that has an active religious requirement for participation.

    The BSA is a private organization. shouldn’t they have the freedom to choose and restrict membership in their organization?

    They do. In the case of BSA v. Dale, SCOTUS affirmed the right of the BSA, as a private organization, to have the leadership of their choosing.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      
  10. Biggie G says:

    Most Boy Scouts are run out of churches, but some are not. If I recall correctly, the LDS church, in particular, has been very into Scouting in the last couple of decades

    According to Wikipedia, 68% of units are chartered by religious organizations. The LDS church has made the BSA program part of its youth program, and I believe that all boys are required to participate to some extent. This makes them the single largest charter partner of the BSA.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  11. Dave D says:

    If anyone thinks the Westboro Church and their ilk are part of the “radical” religious right (whatever the fuck that is!), then you have bought into the propaganda lock, stock, and barrel and TOTALLY don’t understand Christians in this country.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

      
  12. Biggie G says:

    I was a girl scout for four years. I suppose looking back there were religious overtones, but I really paid no attention. This was the early 70′s and there were Jesus-freak religious overtones to everything.

    That’s actually kind of funny because now the Girl Scouts get a lot of crap for being too lefty.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      
  13. Xetrov says:

    The LDS church has made the BSA program part of its youth program, and I believe that all boys are required to participate to some extent.

    Not required, but strongly encouraged.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      
  14. Hal_10000 says:

    WTF

    There’s nothing intrinsically lefty about Alinsky’s tactics. Just about every mass movement has used them. How do they apply to the Religious Right?

    1) work within the system – check

    2) agitate with resentment, hostility and controversy – check

    3) create a mass army through organizers — moral majority, family research council, operation rescue, etc.

    4) define an enemy – gays, secularists, democrats, libruls, Obama, Clintons 1 and 2.

    5) RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” – check. Hell, I use this one.

    6) “RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”” – can you possibly say this isn’t happening?

    I’m not the first person to say this. Hey, here’s John Hawkins advising the use of Alinsky tactics. Here’s politico on the spread of Alinsky tactics on the right.

    The only way you can say that the right — that really, most people — aren’t using Alinsky tactics is if you have no idea what Alinsky tactics are.

    Hot! Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

      
  15. Mook says:

    There’s nothing intrinsically lefty about Alinsky’s tactics.

    You’re wrong (in part, not totally) about that, in both in theory and in actual practice.

    Alinsky Rules for radicals:

    RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

    The left, by and large, is much more likely to be committed protesters with too much time on their handa in comparison to conservatives. See OWS movement, environmental protests, Bush/Hitler massive protests, etc. Their style is to overwhelm with protests relative to their numbers. Conservative groups have protests too, but not nearly as often and not nearly as intense

    RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

    Both sides do this, but only the left routinely does so explicitly as an Alinsky-style strategy ridiculing conservatives even when they have solid ideas, whereas conservatives ridicule leftists for actual ridiculous behavior and ideas. It’s why Paul Ryan, even with his milquetoast plan to reign in the budget was ridiculed as some kind of cold hearted (push Grandma off a cliff) budget slashing extremists when nothing could be further from the truth.

    RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.

    Because liberals tend to be more “political heavy breathers” with too much time on their hands as compared to conservatives who just want govt. to leave us alone, this rule 8 applies much more for the Alinsky left as compared to the right. The “right wing” organizations you cited don’t begin to compare to the nonstop leftwing pressures from NAACP/LULAC, radical feminist organizations, enviros, ACORN, OWS, etc.

    RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.

    Leftists are FAR more likely to follow this strategy to an extreme. Witness their alleged Republican “War on Women” “War on minorities”, Republicans “hate minorities”. Again, no comparison with the right. You’re way off base in doing so

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

      
  16. Dave D says:

    2) agitate with resentment, hostility and controversy – check

    Hal:

    Your misunderstanding/rear/hatred of Christians is mind boggling! Particularly this statement. So believeing in a religious code and not compromising your values based on that code to the point of voting based on those beliefs is now “agitation with resentment/hostility….”????

    Unbelievable. I’d definitely say that the (single issue) homosexual community is CONSITENTLY resentful and hostile.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

      
  17. AlexInCT says:

    Hal_10000 says:

    January 30, 2013 9:52 am at 9:52 am (UTC -5)

    Alinsky tactics are primarily about lying and doing whatever it takes (the end justifies the means) to win, and that is the domain of the left. Don’t make me laugh my ass off by pretending the right, or people in general, in this country does it too. The right is losing the fight about how the left is destroying the western world primarily because they keep pretending that they can stay above the shitstorm that comes from the political left, and still win, contrary to all the evidence that shows they are being drowned by the lies from the left.

    Quit insulting people’s intelligence.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

      
  18. Hal_10000 says:

    Mook, the most popular radio show in America is Rush Limbaugh, who has pretty much defined himself by ridiculing the Left (illustrating absurdity).

    The Right Wing *has* its professional agitators — huge vast wings of commentariat. Talk radio, Fox News. Huge numbers of former Bush people and Republican pols have prominent commentary spots in newspapers, TV and radio. You can’t possibly say there isn’t a professional conservative agitator class in this country. There absolutely is. Yeah, MSNBC, etc. We agree that the Left has their professional agitators. But the Right does too.

    RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.

    Oh, come on. The entire last four years have been defined by this. Every time Obama turns, the Right Wing is coming at him from some different direction. Every time we turn, we’re being told about something we should be REALLY REALLY fucking angry about.

    Your misunderstanding/rear/hatred of Christians is mind boggling! Particularly this statement. So believeing in a religious code and not compromising your values based on that code to the point of voting based on those beliefs is now “agitation with resentment/hostility….”????

    Not Christians, Dave; the radical religious right. When you have RR figures going out and saying gay marriage is an attack on traditional marriage, that there is a “war on Christmas” because some town took down a nativity display, that being called anti-gay bigots is offensive, well, what do you call that?

    The point at which it became obvious to me that a large part of the GOP had nothing but resentment and anger to go on was the 2004 GOP convention. The GOP, you may remember, had both house of Congress, SCOTUS and the White House. And the convention was a long primal scream about things that opposed them: gays, Michael Moore, liberals, Barba Streisand, Bill Clinton, John kerry, etc. They had literally nothing to offer but anger. The entire last four years has been dominated by steaming screaming hatred of Obama and how he wants to destroy this country.

    You can not possibly look at the radical right in this country and claim there is not a gigantic stew of resentment and anger there and a media culture that is constantly stirring it. The fever may be breaking, but it’s bene a long dark time coming. And when you look at the origins of it, you see Alinsky tactics all over it.

    Alinsky tactics are primarily about lying and doing whatever it takes (the end justifies the means) to win,

    As opposed to every Right Wing pundit claiming Romney was going to win in a landslide? As opposed to branding Obama a Marxist when he proposes policies the GOP endorsed like ten seconds ago (Obamacare, stimulus)? As opposed the constant undending shitstorm of nontroversies (Obama didn’t mention God in a speech!) As opposed to anti-science BS about evolution and AGW? Give me a break.

    Look, I’m not going to defend the Left. I grew disgusted with them 25 years ago. But the entire point I’ve been making for the last few years is that the GOP, particularly the radical rump, has basically become the left: screaming, angry, factually-challenged and constantly prodded by Alinsky tactics from their leaders and the commentariat.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

      
  19. Dave D says:

    Hal: Do you even WATCH what the other side is doing? Your examples are just responses to THAT. Also, there is NO “radical religious right” or whatever you faith-phobes keep spouting. Religious people who believe in the bible are being intentionally squeezed out. It’s a fact. Anyone who speaks up for them is immediately shouted down by those who don’t hold those beliefs and held up by people like you as some sort of radical group, when they are really just trying to maintain their beliefs and standards as they are or used to be. “Conservative”, imo. The fact that the low-information or 20-something voter who has been force fed that the morality of the bible is no longer universal or to be held as a standard by the media/hollywood for the bulk of their lives just serves to accelerate this decline.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

      
  20. Hal_10000 says:

    Your misunderstanding/rear/hatred of Christians is mind boggling!

    Just to return to this point: I don’t mention it often on this blog, but I am somewhat of a religious person, have attended Christian churches many times with friends/relatives and always liked the people there. I wrote a series of posts on my own site blogging my way through the God Delusion and fiercely disputing his anti-religious rhetoric. Faith, I ain’t got no problem with. Faith abused for political ideology? Yep.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

      
  21. CM says:

    RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

    The left, by and large, is much more likely to be committed protesters with too much time on their handa in comparison to conservatives. See OWS movement, environmental protests, Bush/Hitler massive protests, etc. Their style is to overwhelm with protests relative to their numbers. Conservative groups have protests too, but not nearly as often and not nearly as intense.

    Stephen McIntyre’s effort on the CRU followed this rule to the T. That’s the most obvious example I’ve heard of in the last few years and it sure wasn’t the left.

    Both sides do this, but only the left routinely does so explicitly as an Alinsky-style strategy ridiculing conservatives even when they have solid ideas, whereas conservatives ridicule leftists for actual ridiculous behavior and ideas. It’s why Paul Ryan, even with his milquetoast plan to reign in the budget was ridiculed as some kind of cold hearted (push Grandma off a cliff) budget slashing extremists when nothing could be further from the truth.

    Oh PULEASE. You’ve got to be kidding. Every single day here we hear how liberals are extremists. They want to destroy everything, with the military being the latest target.

    RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.

    Leftists are FAR more likely to follow this strategy to an extreme. Witness their alleged Republican “War on Women” “War on minorities”, Republicans “hate minorities”. Again, no comparison with the right. You’re way off base in doing so

    Right, because Death Panels, and all the talk about how all liberals want to do is destroy the USA (and the world with their One World Government) doesn’t constantly spew from the right continually.

    Alex seems to follow these rules very very closely.

    Unbelievable. I’d definitely say that the (single issue) homosexual community is CONSITENTLY resentful and hostile.

    Alinsky tactics are primarily about lying and doing whatever it takes (the end justifies the means) to win, and that is the domain of the left.

    That would be the domain of ideologues, such as yourself. You’re consistently shown to be making shit up, but you don’t give a shit. You largely just ignore it and move on. You don’t care that you’re wrong, you’re still right because you’re arguing for the right thing, and that’s all that matters.

    Don’t make me laugh my ass off by pretending the right, or people in general, in this country does it too. The right is losing the fight about how the left is destroying the western world primarily because they keep pretending that they can stay above the shitstorm that comes from the political left, and still win, contrary to all the evidence that shows they are being drowned by the lies from the left.

    There we go – “the left is destroying the western world”. Classic.

    Quit insulting people’s intelligence.

    How so? Can you provide examples?

    Every time Obama turns, the Right Wing is coming at him from some different direction. Every time we turn, we’re being told about something we should be REALLY REALLY fucking angry about.

    Bingo. Hilariously, but not surprisingly, many of those who mocked people for having BDS have spent four years displaying ODS. Sitting over here watching it from afar is a fascinating experience. I’m thankful that degree of insanity doesn’t happen here. Not yet anyway.

    As opposed to every Right Wing pundit claiming Romney was going to win in a landslide?

    And yet still no responsibility being taken for that (because nobody is making them take responsibility, so why would they).

    You can not possibly look at the radical right in this country and claim there is not a gigantic stew of resentment and anger there and a media culture that is constantly stirring it.

    Totally right.

    Faith, I ain’t got no problem with. Faith abused for political ideology? Yep.

    Well said.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

      
  22. Hal_10000 says:

    Let me come at this a different way and back out from the debate over the extremes of politics. Let’s look at a debate where many of us where on the same side: Obamacare. Surely you would agree that the campaign against it was an insurgent campaign by outsiders? All the insiders — politicians, media, special interests — were in favor. Opposing it as fiercely as we did was itself pretty radical, no? Now look at the rules again:

    RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.

    Protests, tea parties, whole organizations were built o oppose it.

    RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
    RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” .

    One of the things we tried to do, over and over again, was to move the debate away from ground the Left was comfortable in — universal health care — toward territory we were — basic liberty and fiscal responsibility.

    RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

    We went to courts, we went to protests, we went to the ballot box.

    RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” .

    “Obamacare” itself is ridicule.

    RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”

    Most Tea Partiers felt positive about the experience.

    RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news.

    Not so much this; it hasn’t been very long.

    RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”

    Definitely. A host of lawsuits and massive protests.

    RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.

    Death panels, future cuts to Medicare, IPAB.

    RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”

    The smugness and dismissiveness of the President and his followers became a powerful weapon for our side. The conservative side loves to play the media victim card in any debate.

    RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”

    This was one of the few failures as no real alternative was produced. There was, however, a lot of talk of selling insurance across state lines, malpractic reform, etc.

    RULE 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

    The target was Obama.

    Now I will admit the Left has used these tactics in a more insidious manner. But tell me how the opposition to Obama — the justified, popular opposition — has not used these exact tactics? The reason Alinsky laid them out and the reason the Left has followed them is because they often work. This is why the conservative had adopted many of those techniques.

    And to return to what started this debate: the use of boycotts to force the Boy Scouts hand. Are these not tactics conservatives use? Donald Wildmon and his endless boycotts? Boycotts of the Dixie Chicks and such who we felt were disrespecting the President? Counter-boycotts of Chick-Fil-A? Boycotts of Ben and Jerry’s? I fail to see that a boycott designed to get a private organization to change is in any way sinister and Alinsky-esque. I generally don’t participate in boycotts of any kind, since I hate having politics rule my life. But I don’t think the tactics are illegitimate at all.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

      
  23. Mississippi Yankee says:

    If anyone thinks the Westboro Church and their ilk are part of the “radical” religious right (whatever the fuck that is!), then you have bought into the propaganda lock, stock, and barrel and TOTALLY don’t understand Christians in this country.

    Dave D, I hope you understand “that” wasn’t the point I was trying to make with Hal.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  24. Mississippi Yankee says:

    Just to return to this point: I don’t mention it often on this blog, but I am somewhat of a religious person, have attended Christian churches many times with friends/relatives and always liked the people there.

    That might be what you wrote Hal but what I read was:

    “Hey, I’m not racist,I have ‘black’ friends. Some are even clean and articulate.”

    (you got a little Biden in you?)

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      
  25. bbeeman says:

    Looks like this is not being well reported (surprise). For one thing, the National Board has not yet voted, although I doubt that it would be brought up if those wanting the policy to change did not believe that they had the votes.

    Assuming that the prohibition is removed, it appears that the actual decision will be left not to the actual units, but to the community organizations that sponsor those units, and who have always had the responsibility for selecting unit leaders.

    The institutions sponsoring the largest number of Scout units are the LDS church and the Southern Baptists, both of which are unlikely to embrace openly gay leaders.

    I suspect that at the end of the day neither side is going to be satisfied and the culture wars will go on. For one thing, these proposed policy changes don’t speak to the demands of some of the militant atheist organizations. But the legal profession will surely profit financially.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      
  26. CM says:

    (you got a little Biden in you?)

    Would you like some? [wink wink]

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      
  27. Hal_10000 says:

    “Hey, I’m not racist,I have ‘black’ friends. Some are even clean and articulate.”

    Not really applicable. I’m not saying I have religious friends; I’m saying I *am* religious.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      
  28. balthazar says:

    Not really applicable. I’m not saying I have religious friends; I’m saying I *am* religious.

    So we can call you a “Martin Luther” ala “Uncle Tom”?

    heh

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      

Comments have been disabled.