Gay scout leaders

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Gay scout leaders

Postby be64 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:52 pm

Any opinions on the church's announcement that it will stick with scouting despite the acceptance of gay leaders?

I have spent the last many weeks reading articles and opinions on the gay scout leader issue and I came to the conclusion that the church had no option but to leave scouting. However, life experience shown me that no matter what the controversy, and no matter how angry church members are over the association with the BSA the church always without exception supports scouting. I told my family awhile back that although I thought the only option was to leave the scouting program I would go on record as saying that the church leaders' response would be to reaffirm their undying support of the Boy Scouts of America. There was no risk in me saying this because that is how it has always been and it seems it always will be.

At any rate it seems to me that church officials were more concerned about upsetting scouting enthusiasts and gays within and without the church than they were about upsetting the majority of active members who feel that the church should leave the scouting program. (Based on a recent poll)

This whole topic reminds me of this saying,

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

― Alexander Pope

It seems we we are entering the embrace phase when it comes to homosexuality.

Quoting from the press release,

"As leaders of the Church, we want the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to succeed in its historic mission to instill leadership skills and high moral standards in youth of all faiths and circumstances, thereby equipping them for greater success in life and valuable service to their country."

It will be interesting to see how "high moral standards in youth of all faiths and circumstances" will be taught by openly gay practicing homosexuals on the national level beyond the control of church leaders.

Since homosexuality is being accepted as an alternate lifestyle in society, how long will it be before gays insist that the scout handbook promote homosexuality as a natural and normal alternative to heterosexuality. What would the church do then?

This is what happened in 1972, which I think was unfortunate,

"When masturbation was declared to be a normal behavior by the American Medical Association in 1972, the Boy Scout Handbook was updated to reflect current health information. The new edition stated:

Many young men like to masturbate.... People used to think this caused weakness, insanity, and other physical and mental problems. Doctors today agree that it doesn’t cause any of these and is really a part of growing up sexually (Boy Scouts of America, 1972a: 334).

This edition met with disapproval from Mormon and Catholic authorities, who are major sponsors of the Boy Scouts. The moral views of popular church culture were now at odds with modern medical science. Church influence on Boy Scout officials resulted in 25,000 copies being destroyed. A new revised printing removed the medical facts about masturbation health that were in conflict with church leader’s opinions (Rowan, 2000). This revision advised:

You may have questions about sexual matters such as nocturnal emissions (also called “wet dreams”) masturbation and even those strange feelings that you may have. Talk them over with your parents and/or spiritual advisor or doctor” (Boy Scouts of America, 1972b, p. 334.) "

I doubt that the church would have such influence today if the gay lifestyle was promoted in a scout handbook.
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby beachdreamer » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:34 am

I was thinking they might abandon scouts also. But, Pres. Monson LOVES scouting. He has spent his life closely involved. I think he won't abandon them unless he has to. They probably think that it won't be bad because boys in our units have very little contact with other leaders. But I suspect it won't last too long.

I think if/when the church pulls out, scouting will die all the quicker. I am sad to see it go. I am an Eagle scout and have worked in scouting leadership for many years.
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby be64 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:46 am

beachdreamer wrote:I was thinking they might abandon scouts also. But, Pres. Monson LOVES scouting. He has spent his life closely involved. I think he won't abandon them unless he has to. They probably think that it won't be bad because boys in our units have very little contact with other leaders. But I suspect it won't last too long.

I think if/when the church pulls out, scouting will die all the quicker. I am sad to see it go. I am an Eagle scout and have worked in scouting leadership for many years.

Boys who live in areas where the church has a much smaller presence would have more contact with leaders of Jon LDS sponsored units. Also leaders on the national level may now be practicing homosexuals so it seems it's only a matter of time before homosexual influence spreads throughout the orginazation.

It's sad the the church being the largest financial supporter of scouting is following rather than leading when it comes to these issues.
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby blahblahblah » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:04 am

Interesting thoughts. No doubt their decision surprised many who thought they would pull out. I was actually thinking that given the direction the church was headed (more tolerance), and the fact that the BSA had stated that religious chartered units would still be able to apply their own criteria for leadership, that they would most likely stick with Scouts. In fact, I thought it would have been quite a rash and foolish decision for the church to pull out, creating tons of upheaval in the primary and ym organizations. Could they still do it in the future? Perhaps - I don't know what the future will bring.

Either way, I don't think worrying about who they were "upsetting" had anything to do with their decision. I'm pretty sure it had more to do with making the choice they thought was "right" and "best" for church membership at the time.

So I have a question for you all as well. What most disturbs you about the possibility of gay leaders in scouts as it relates to the actual boys?
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby be64 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:41 am

blahblahblah wrote:Interesting thoughts. No doubt their decision surprised many who thought they would pull out. I was actually thinking that given the direction the church was headed (more tolerance), and the fact that the BSA had stated that religious chartered units would still be able to apply their own criteria for leadership, that they would most likely stick with Scouts. In fact, I thought it would have been quite a rash and foolish decision for the church to pull out, creating tons of upheaval in the primary and ym organizations. Could they still do it in the future? Perhaps - I don't know what the future will bring.

Either way, I don't think worrying about who they were "upsetting" had anything to do with their decision. I'm pretty sure it had more to do with making the choice they thought was "right" and "best" for church membership at the time.

So I have a question for you all as well. What most disturbs you about the possibility of gay leaders in scouts as it relates to the actual boys?


I think what bothers me most is that ultimately gays will push their agenda through the BSA and boys will be taught either directly or indirectly that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle choice. I realize that the church will attempt to counteract this, but it makes little sense to me to stay in an organization which is drifting far away from our standards.

It's also interesting that apparently it's okay to be a gay scout or scout leader so long as you aren't a "practicing homosexual", but you can't have a beard at BYU or BYU-I. Not that the two are related in any way, just an example of differing "standards".

I suppose you can attend BYU or serve a mission being gay so long as you are not sexually active, but the thought of having a gay mission companion or room mate would bother me.

In the poll I mentioned 63% of "very active" members surveyed thought the church should pull out. The church however is not directed by opinion polls and apparently not a great degree by "common consent" either.

I should note that this is not a doctrinal issue, but merely a policy and procedure issue.
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby Mr. E » Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:04 pm

be64 wrote:It will be interesting to see how "high moral standards in youth of all faiths and circumstances" will be taught by openly gay practicing homosexuals on the national level beyond the control of church leaders.

Since homosexuality is being accepted as an alternate lifestyle in society, how long will it be before gays insist that the scout handbook promote homosexuality as a natural and normal alternative to heterosexuality. What would the church do then?


Comments like yours are very unfortunate to me and seem as unenlightened and logically flawed as some of our past leaders' comments about blacks. Why are you afraid of the "gay agenda" being pushed on our children? I'm not worried my heterosexual children will "become" gay upon learning that there are many good people living among us who happen to be gay. On the other hand, if some of my children happen to be gay, I'd much rather them grow up in a world where they don't have to live their life feeling broken, deviant, and less than everyone else.

Your statements reminded me of some of these Brigham Young quotes. They remind me that though our prophets are good men that hold priesthood keys, they're still just as fallible as any man and have proven to be very wrong in some of their beliefs.

"Some of us are learning to swear almost as good as some of the Gentiles. Some of us are learning to get drunk almost as good as they can. I do not think that will benefit us very much. Some of us are learning to cheat and defraud our neighbors, and some are learning to steal. There is nothing smart about all this. A negro, a Hottentot, or an Indian can do that. There is nothing in these practices that bespeaks an intelligent mind, or that would recommend a person to the estimation of a good man, angels, or God. There is nothing Godlike in them."
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:1

“Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” Journal of Discourses 10:110-111

I don't believe the ability to "instill leadership skills and high moral standards in youth of all faiths and circumstances" has anything to do with one's personal sexual preferences that don't actively harm others. Whether you or I like BDSM, anal sex, big boobs, small boobs, or whatever, I think we can be persons of integrity and charity.

I agree with your Alexander Pope quote:

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

We've seen too oft the familiar face of elitist, judgmental shaming and condemnation of our brothers and sisters who happen to have same-sex attraction. We now embrace such embarrassing elitism and pride as acceptable behavior. We'll be as embarrassed about our treatment of our gay brothers and sisters as we are about our past treatment of other minority groups.
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby be64 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:22 pm

Mr. E wrote:
be64 wrote:It will be interesting to see how "high moral standards in youth of all faiths and circumstances" will be taught by openly gay practicing homosexuals on the national level beyond the control of church leaders.

Since homosexuality is being accepted as an alternate lifestyle in society, how long will it be before gays insist that the scout handbook promote homosexuality as a natural and normal alternative to heterosexuality. What would the church do then?


Comments like yours are very unfortunate to me and seem as unenlightened and logically flawed as some of our past leaders' comments about blacks. Why are you afraid of the "gay agenda" being pushed on our children? I'm not worried my heterosexual children will "become" gay upon learning that there are many good people living among us who happen to be gay. On the other hand, if some of my children happen to be gay, I'd much rather them grow up in a world where they don't have to live their life feeling broken, deviant, and less than everyone else.

Your statements reminded me of some of these Brigham Young quotes. They remind me that though our prophets are good men that hold priesthood keys, they're still just as fallible as any man and have proven to be very wrong in some of their beliefs.

"Some of us are learning to swear almost as good as some of the Gentiles. Some of us are learning to get drunk almost as good as they can. I do not think that will benefit us very much. Some of us are learning to cheat and defraud our neighbors, and some are learning to steal. There is nothing smart about all this. A negro, a Hottentot, or an Indian can do that. There is nothing in these practices that bespeaks an intelligent mind, or that would recommend a person to the estimation of a good man, angels, or God. There is nothing Godlike in them."
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:1

“Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” Journal of Discourses 10:110-111

I don't believe the ability to "instill leadership skills and high moral standards in youth of all faiths and circumstances" has anything to do with one's personal sexual preferences that don't actively harm others. Whether you or I like BDSM, anal sex, big boobs, small boobs, or whatever, I think we can be persons of integrity and charity.

I agree with your Alexander Pope quote:

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

We've seen too oft the familiar face of elitist, judgmental shaming and condemnation of our brothers and sisters who happen to have same-sex attraction. We now embrace such embarrassing elitism and pride as acceptable behavior. We'll be as embarrassed about our treatment of our gay brothers and sisters as we are about our past treatment of other minority groups.


If you choose to believe in the traditional interpretation of the story of Lot and Sodom then you believe that Lot was told to leave Sodom because of the wickedness of the city which included homosexuality. Christianity has always until very recently been viewed homosexuality as sin. Why should we participate in what may become a Gay association? Why don't we follow Lot's example and get out of the city.

Your quotes of Brigham Young bring up another topic that causes me concern. I believe that when he and others made "racial" statements they truly believed they were teaching the will of God. Now with the new statement "Race and the Priesthood" we are told that all of these former teachings were in error and that there was no basis for withholding the priesthood from the blacks. I'm totally willing to accept that, however when it sinks in what they are now telling us you may come to realize that if current leaders can disavow 100+ years of teachings of prophets and apostles as being false, not of God, or just an erroneous opinions of the leaders based on the culture of the day, what does that say about what is being taught now? I believe when those men taught against blacks they thought the teachings were just as correct as leaders now think their current teachings are correct.

How can we know if what one prophet says is true when we are told that what another prophet said was in error?

For this reason I find it fairly easy to believe that what President Kimball and Elder Packer said about masturbation was their own opinions.

Homosexuals could use the same reasoning to support their position.
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby whmxn » Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:37 pm

I've been heavily involved in scouting for several years now and I'll admit to being a little surprised the church is sticking with it for now but I'll go along with it because I've seen the tremendous impact it can have on the lives of young men. One thing I would like to point out is that everyone talks about how the BSA would fall apart without the LDS Church sponsoring units, but have you thought about it the other way around? Sure, the church could come up with it's own program and impliment it but it would take years to get it to the level that scouting is at now. Additionally, how many families have been converted where the initial contact was scouting? I can think of a couple in my ward in the past and we currently have 2 boys participating that aren't members as well as a couple who come from innactive families. If scouting goes away, they certainly aren't going to come to "church" activities as readily as they do for scouting activities. I don't think it would be the end of the world as I have faith that the Lord will provide a way for his work to be done, but I do think there would be some lost missionary opportunities if the church went away from scouting. All that said, it's certainly a confusing time for the leaders and the boys right now...
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby be64 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:45 pm

By the way Mr. E, based on other post of yours in the forum I do not hold your views in very high esteem and I will not accept criticism from you.
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby be64 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:17 pm

whmxn wrote:I've been heavily involved in scouting for several years now and I'll admit to being a little surprised the church is sticking with it for now but I'll go along with it because I've seen the tremendous impact it can have on the lives of young men. One thing I would like to point out is that everyone talks about how the BSA would fall apart without the LDS Church sponsoring units, but have you thought about it the other way around? Sure, the church could come up with it's own program and impliment it but it would take years to get it to the level that scouting is at now. Additionally, how many families have been converted where the initial contact was scouting? I can think of a couple in my ward in the past and we currently have 2 boys participating that aren't members as well as a couple who come from innactive families. If scouting goes away, they certainly aren't going to come to "church" activities as readily as they do for scouting activities. I don't think it would be the end of the world as I have faith that the Lord will provide a way for his work to be done, but I do think there would be some lost missionary opportunities if the church went away from scouting. All that said, it's certainly a confusing time for the leaders and the boys right now...


I know that scout employees are pleased and delighted that the church is sticking with it. I don't think that scouting would suffer much without the church. Those who want to be in scouting would still be able to join outside of the church. The church wouldn't forbid members to join. In fact it might make scouting stronger if the scouts and leaders actually wanted to be there instead of being coerced into it. It has been my observation that most boys start out in scouting because they are basically forced into it, then when they get to about age fourteen most become disinterested in merit badges and rank advancement and only stay in it for some of the activities. Being called to be a scout leader is something it seems most adults dread, except for the odd man or woman who is really into scouting. Whereas outside of the church, scout leaders are volunteers, inside the church there is pretty much no such thing as a volunteer leader. In the church we do not volunteer for callings. We are merely assigned to do something and expected to say yes.

Without church involvement the BSA could gain back all the pro gay corporate sponsers they claim have left because of the anti gay issue. Without the church, pro gay money should come poring into BSA coffers. Boy Scout enrollment should be up also with all the gay boys looking for likeminded boys and men to share life learning experiences with.

As far as the church suffering without scouting, it must be remembered that in other parts of the world such as Brazil the church is not involved in scouting and seems to be thriving. The Duty to God program is already in place and incorporates many scouting like features.
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