Gay scout leaders

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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby whmxn » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:16 pm

be64 wrote:
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.

I wasn't looking at it as the church "suffering" from no connection to the BSA so much as some people might miss out on the blessings that living the gospel can bring as they won't be exposed to it as much without scouting.

For the most part I agree with what you have said. You are certainly correct that as boys get older they lose interest in rank advancements and merit badges, but that is why the scouting program is designed to progress as the boys do. Varsity and Venture scouts have very different activities than boy scouts. I work with the priests in Venturing and there is nothing to do with merit badges in Venturing. The activities can range from snowmobiling to scuba diving and cowboy action shooting. Those activities keep boys interested. As you mentioned, they come for the fun activities. The goal in venturing is to teach the boys to lead. They have to do the planning to make those activities happen and that is where they grow.

Clearly we as members of the church could do that by other means (Duty to God being one way), but in wards like mine where all the scouting programs are working together as they should be I think it would be a small set back.

You mentioned most leaders not wanting to serve in scouting and I agree, I see that alot. I think it's sad that non LDS units with volunteers frequently run better scouting programs than LDS units do because we of all people should know the need or youth have of being mentored into becoming the men, husbands, fathers and leaders of the future. Just because some people don't fulfill their callings as they should doesn't mean the program is without merit. If they aren't willing to run the Varsity and Venturing programs now, which were almost entirely designed by the church, are they really going to be willing to run a church program any differently/better?

Regardless of my opinions one way or another I've been asked to run a scouting program by my leaders and that's what I'm going to do until I'm told otherwise. I do, however feel there is some hypocrisy... how should I now respond to the temple recommend interview question asking if I'm affiliated with any organizations that go against church teachings? It's a confusing world to live in these days...
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby be64 » Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:09 am

Whmxn, thank you for your thoughtful reply.

I mentioned it then you mentioned also and I believe it's true that many times the church's scout program does not work well because the leaders don't want to be there. I was not into scouting as a boy and have not been a scout leader as an adult. I've always felt however that it would be doing a disservice to the boys if I was called because I don't have scouting experience or enthusiasm.

I have always felt that the the outdoor survival skills part of scouting is outdated. I think modern boys need modern survival skills such as how to get a good education, a good job, how to manage money and so forth. We are living in the 21st century, not the 19th century.
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby OkieDokie » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:36 am

be64 wrote:Whmxn, thank you for your thoughtful reply.

I mentioned it then you mentioned also and I believe it's true that many times the church's scout program does not work well because the leaders don't want to be there. I was not into scouting as a boy and have not been a scout leader as an adult. I've always felt however that it would be doing a disservice to the boys if I was called because I don't have scouting experience or enthusiasm.

I have always felt that the the outdoor survival skills part of scouting is outdated. I think modern boys need modern survival skills such as how to get a good education, a good job, how to manage money and so forth. We are living in the 21st century, not the 19th century.


1507
I was never called into scouting either however I have been asked many times to help get the scout camp in order prior to scouting season. Seems most city folks do not know one end of a hammer from the other.
I never knew anything about scouting when young never even heard if it. Met my first scout when I was in high school. We farm kids were never in scouting since as soon as we could engage the clutch on a tractor we were in the fields working. I recall being alone out in the field plowing or cultivating by about age 7. By age about age 12, I was on the tractor from 5 am to near midnight. When not on a tractor i was on a hay truck stacking bales and bringing them in.

Also never knew anything about homos until I was in college. Did not even know such a person existed. So I have no experience there either. To my recollection and knowledge I never even met a queer face to face until I was in my mid 30's. my view of gay was from the "gay o'l time" learned by watching Fred and Wilma Flintstone on TV.

As far as homosexual leaders, i suspect the concern is more about teaching kids to be queer and accept those deviant activities as mainstream normal instead of tieing knots. But I am 65 , more and more people now are choosing to live a gay life style. I guess homosexuals , when i was young, stayed in the shadows like cockroaches. Now they are PROUD to display their lifestyle.

I suspect in the future as the world becomes more and more deviant, churches, LDS included, will follow suit to maintain cash flow and membership.
Last edited by OkieDokie on Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby be64 » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:51 am

OkieDokie wrote:
be64 wrote:Whmxn, thank you for your thoughtful reply.

I mentioned it then you mentioned also and I believe it's true that many times the church's scout program does not work well because the leaders don't want to be there. I was not into scouting as a boy and have not been a scout leader as an adult. I've always felt however that it would be doing a disservice to the boys if I was called because I don't have scouting experience or enthusiasm.

I have always felt that the the outdoor survival skills part of scouting is outdated. I think modern boys need modern survival skills such as how to get a good education, a good job, how to manage money and so forth. We are living in the 21st century, not the 19th century.


1507
I was never called into scouting either however I have been asked many times to help get the scout camp in order prior to scouting season. Seems most city folks do not know one end of a hammer from the other.
I never new anything about scouting when young never even heard if it. Met my first scout when I was in high school. We farm kids were never in scouting since as soon as we could engage the clutch on a tractor we were in the fields working. I recall being alone out in the field plowing or cultivating by about age 7. By age about age 12, I was on the tractor from 5 am to near midnight. When not on a tractor i was on a hay truck stacking bales and bringing them in.


That's why I wasn't involved in scouting either. We worked and didn't have time for scouting. Scouting was for city kids who didn't have anything to do. Probably still is.
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby blahblahblah » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:09 am

be64 wrote:How can we know if what one prophet says is true when we are told that what another prophet said was in error?


We can always do what we have been counselled to do - pray and seek confirmation from the Spirit to know for ourselves. That and also understanding that times do change, and what the prophets teach are mainly intended for their own time. Heck, that's why we have living prophets in the first place. We don't hear the same teachings today as they did in the Old Testament for example.

But anyway, I'm enjoying reading the discussion, and it seems the main concern is that gay leaders will normalize homosexuality, or teach that it is OK, and would therefore influence the boys to become homosexual. The other concern would be that as a leader, having another gay leader around while camping might be uncomfortable. Is that correct?

Can we talk about those? I think the fears stem from three places:

First, in the past, many had deemed homosexuality a serious moral defect in someone, and that was seen as proof that they were just a few steps away from a child molester, unfit for exposure to youth, and was therefore justification to shun them, abuse them, or even kill them. The worst thing in the world was to have your son be a queer.

Second, whether it is truly an individual choice to have same-sex attractions or not, and if it is a choice, being able to allow others their freedom to choose.

And third, the sensitive nature of sexuality, and our general difficulty recognizing others as sexual beings.

I personally don't think that having exposure to homosexuals is going to change the nature of my son's sexual orientation any more than exposure to black people is going to change the color of his skin. I just think that we as parents and as a society couldn't handle what we thought that meant.
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby One Step » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:25 pm

[/quote]

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.

[/quote]

I was thinking about this line of thinking. A key part to remember was that Lot did not leave the city until the Lord commanded him to. It's possible that leaving the Scouting organization prematurely would not be ideal easier. For now, it seems more akin to those in Jesus' time who objected to whom he broke bread and spent his time with.
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby be64 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:02 am

I guess that I really don't care if there are gays in scouting. I've always hated scouting and hoped that the church would finally leave this orginazation that I detest. This is my prime reason for disappointment that they are sticking with it. The other part of my concern is the seeming contradiction of the fact that gay scouts who may be sexually attracted to each other are allowed to sleep in the same tent without adult supervision, but boys and girls who may be sexually attracted to each other are not allowed to sleep in the same tent at a church activity. It is assumed that the gay scouts are committed to keeping the law of chastity and therefore will not make advanced toward each other if left alone in a tent yet it is assumed that a boy and a girl can't be trusted to keep the law of chastity if left alone in a tent. The same goes for leaders. A man and a woman who are not married to each other, but may be sexually attracted to each other cannot be trusted to keep the law of chastity and sleep in the same tent at a church activity, but two gay scout leaders who may be sexually attracted to each other are trusted to keep the law of chastity and are allowed to sleep in the same tent. Am I the only one who has a problem understanding the differences in these examples?

Here is an interesting bit from the handbook of instructions.

" 17.1.48
Travel of Men and Women Together

A man and a woman should not travel alone together for Church activities, meetings, or assignments unless they are married to each other or are both single. For other travel policies, see Handbook 2, 13.6.24."

It is interesting that if a man and a woman are single they may travel together, but if they are married but not to each other they may not travel together. It seems that single men and women are trusted to be chaste but married people are not trusted to be chaste. I think however that it is more of a matter of propriety than a matter of trust.
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Re: Gay scout leaders

Postby be64 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:30 am

blahblahblah wrote:
be64 wrote:How can we know if what one prophet says is true when we are told that what another prophet said was in error?


We can always do what we have been counselled to do - pray and seek confirmation from the Spirit to know for ourselves. That and also understanding that times do change, and what the prophets teach are mainly intended for their own time. Heck, that's why we have living prophets in the first place. We don't hear the same teachings today as they did in the Old Testament for example.


Here is good advice from the handbook of instruction.

"Members who need spiritual guidance, have weighty personal problems, or have doctrinal questions should make a diligent effort, including earnest prayer and scripture study, to find solutions and answers themselves. Church members are encouraged to seek guidance from the Holy Ghost to help them in their personal lives and in their family and Church responsibilities.

If members still need help, they should counsel first with their bishop. If necessary, he may refer them to the stake president."

Notice how the burden of finding answers to questions and solving problems is placed first on the individual. This is a good example of personal accountability and self reliance. We should only burden our Bishop or other church leaders in these matters as a last resort.
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