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Old 02-18-2020, 03:50 AM
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Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy


Sorry I can't copy/paste a link from this tablet but there it is - too much sexual abuse & coverup.
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Old 02-18-2020, 04:24 AM
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If only the Catholic church could take a hint.
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Old 02-18-2020, 04:40 AM
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Does this mean it actually goes away? Or does it just mean they get to keep existing without having to pay their legal debts?

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Old 02-18-2020, 05:06 AM
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Does this mean it actually goes away? Or does it just mean they get to keep existing without having to pay their legal debts?
The latter, more likely.
Only individuals middle-class or lower have to pay their debts, after all.
Organizations, corporations, and the wealthy can just skate on them, screwing over everybody else.
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Old 02-18-2020, 05:08 AM
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Here's a Washington Post link.
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Facing a wave of lawsuits over allegations of sexual abuse, the Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy.

The long-anticipated Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing will allow the Boy Scouts to keep operating as it reorganizes its finances and handles claims from hundreds of potential victims. It will also give victims a limited amount of time to come forward before being barred indefinitely from seeking compensation.
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:17 AM
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So that large national organization has less than $50,000? Wheeere's yooour Goood nooow?
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:27 AM
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Does this mean it actually goes away? Or does it just mean they get to keep existing without having to pay their legal debts?
I suppose you could burn down the organization and salt the earth. Not sure exactly who it helps.

It's not like the BSA is owned by some rich fat-cat who gets to keep his money by screwing over his victims. The only people who are actually going to "pay", when you get right down to it, are the families of today's scouts. It's certainly not going to be the people who committed the abuses.
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:43 AM
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Found this informative article from last month on some right-leaning site.
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:43 AM
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I suppose you could burn down the organization and salt the earth. Not sure exactly who it helps.

It's not like the BSA is owned by some rich fat-cat who gets to keep his money by screwing over his victims. The only people who are actually going to "pay", when you get right down to it, are the families of today's scouts. It's certainly not going to be the people who committed the abuses.
The Boy Scouts has always been an organization that fights to preserve and perpetuate the status quo hierarchy. It’s benefits everyone when an organization like that is destroyed.
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:47 AM
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Those noble little bastions of democracy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D8bGAucjSI
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:54 AM
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I suppose you could burn down the organization and salt the earth. Not sure exactly who it helps.

It's not like the BSA is owned by some rich fat-cat who gets to keep his money by screwing over his victims. The only people who are actually going to "pay", when you get right down to it, are the families of today's scouts. It's certainly not going to be the people who committed the abuses.
Right. It's a pretty decentralized organization- the structure is generally like this:

National Organization- owns the major "high adventure" facilities that are national in scope, sets standards at a national level- stuff like what is required to be an Eagle Scout, what the uniforms look like, etc... They also arrange the production of uniforms and other gear, publication of books, etc... They don't really interact with individual scouts or even troops, and their focus is on national-level stuff and events, like the Jamborees, etc...

Council. The local council is probably the single most... pertinent level of scouting for this kind of thing. Most big cities are their own councils, and rural areas are a little more wide-ranging. The councils themselves are the ones who own the local summer camps, approve/deny the big scout awards (Eagle, Order of the Arrow, etc...), certify the scoutmasters/cubmasters/den-leaders, and handle most of the administration for the various troops/packs within their area. AFAIK, the individual Councils are incorporated as separate entities within the aegis of Scouting, sort of like franchisees are. They have to toe the line on certain things if they want to keep calling themselves Boy Scout councils, but otherwise they're nearly wholly independent.

So for Dallas, the council is the Circle Ten council.

District. Most councils are subdivided into districts. They tend to be organized roughly by school district lines. They seem to be primarily used to organize things that would be too big for whole-council stuff, but too big for individual troops/packs, like day camps, some leadership training, etc...

My sons' Cub Scout pack is part of the Northern Trail district.

Finally, there's the troop/pack. These are the local units, which at least in Cub Scouts, are organized primarily by elementary schools, where several schools are assigned to one pack. This is *the* primary level of Scouting- the Scoutmaster/Cubmaster approves the award giving, meetings are held at this level, etc...

I'd almost guarantee that any abuse was handled at the Council level, and was likely troop/pack level adult leaders who perpetrated it. The national organization's involvement was likely tangential at best, and my guess is that if they are liable, it would be to the extent that they didn't have good vetting/reporting procedures in place in say... 1965. And even that's debatable, in that

I think the problem with this is that like Cheesesteak says, it seems to be ultimately punishing today's scouts for something in the past, and to make it worse, they're attacking the wrong organization, IMO. They should be going after their local councils, not the national organization, as the local councils were the responsible layer.
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:12 AM
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AP News: Boy Scouts’ future uncertain after bankruptcy filing.

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Old 02-18-2020, 09:26 AM
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The Boy Scouts has always been an organization that fights to preserve and perpetuate the status quo hierarchy. It’s benefits everyone when an organization like that is destroyed.
What the hell are you talking about?
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:32 AM
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I just hope other groups step up and provide outdoorsy/social experiences like the scouts have.

I had nothing but exciting, positive* outings: wilderness camping, SCUBA diving, hiking the Appalachian trail, and helping with conservation efforts (like controlled burns, woohoo!).


*Okay, there was that week-long Boundary Waters canoe trip with rain and bugs (someone thought it'd be fine to pitch our tents on Mosquito Point... the fuck?) Oh, and we learned great swear words from our leaders (gritty WW2 vets, who would've beat any abusers to a pulp).

I guess I lucked out, and I feel terrible for kids that were preyed upon. But I hope kids can get the same adventures somehow (YMCA? Private groups? Incredibly organized parents with tons of free time?)
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:15 AM
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I just hope other groups step up and provide outdoorsy/social experiences like the scouts have.
My kids never were into scouting, but I took them camping, hiking, and kayaking. They were just things that we did. When my daughter wanted to learn about canine obedience training, I signed her and her dog up for classes. She learned an awful lot, but never got a badge.
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:23 AM
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My kids never were into scouting, but I took them camping, hiking, and kayaking. They were just things that we did. When my daughter wanted to learn about canine obedience training, I signed her and her dog up for classes. She learned an awful lot, but never got a badge.
Sure, but it sounds like your family was already outdoorsy to begin with.

Lots of kids have parents who aren't outdoorsy, or who choose to do other stuff with the little free time they have. Scouts is a great way for them to if nothing else, get exposed to outdoor recreational activities without a large investment in equipment, etc...
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:55 AM
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Even without the financial liabilities (and bad press) from the sexual abuse cases, the Boy Scouts have been suffering substantial declines in participation for decades. This source indicates that there were 6 million boys involved in Scouting in 1969, and only 2 million as of last year, despite the fact that the U.S. population had grown by over 60% over that time.

I suspect that the clean-cut image of the Scouts, and Scouting's traditional focus on outdoorsy activities (camping, hiking, swimming) made it seem increasingly uninteresting or irrelevant to many boys and families.

I also know that Scouting is tremendously dependent on the time and energy of adult volunteers, especially at the local level. With many families having both parents working (or single parents), I would imagine that they struggle to get those volunteers, even from families who support Scouting for their sons.

Also, though the Scouts are, ostentisbly, a non-religious organization, the Scout Oath includes "duty to God," and many of the local troops and dens are organized through churches. As fewer (particularly younger) Americans identify themselves as religious, this, too, may be making Scouting seem less relevant to some.

And, they've suffered defections from within. As Scouting tried to make itself more inclusive and relevant, by removing bans on homosexual Scouts and leaders, this angered many conservatives who were involved in Scouting, and caused at least two schisms that I know of -- the LDS Church was responsible for about 20% of all Scouts, and they are now forming their own Scout-like organization, while the Southern Baptist Convention is sponsoring an alternative organization, Trail LIfe USA.

Finally, in an effort to shore up membership, the Boy Scouts started allowing girls to participate in all branches of Scouting a few years ago. This violated a longstanding handshake agreement with the Girl Scouts, who sued the Boy Scouts for poaching their potential members.

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Old 02-18-2020, 11:21 AM
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Scouts is a great way for them to if nothing else, get exposed to outdoor recreational activities without a large investment in equipment, etc...
As long as you are a Christian--or willing to lie about it.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:24 AM
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What the hell are you talking about?
Instutionalized anti-LGBT bigotry, on top of all the abuse.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-right...yet-boy-scouts

It's a shitty organization hiding its pervasive bigotry behind "good works", just like the Salvation Army.

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Old 02-18-2020, 11:34 AM
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As long as you are a Christian--or willing to lie about it.
Not a defender of the Boy Scouts, but that is really not true. They support all religions though technically they require a religion. My sons troop ignored even that. No shortage of non-Christians in the Scouts in the North East at least. Maybe it is different elsewhere, but not here.

I don't like the anti-atheist bit as an agnostic but they really don't discriminate against race or religion and many troops just ignore the religion thing all-together.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:51 AM
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I think something else that contributes to the issue is that kids have been increasingly active in a lot more activities than in days of yore. My brother was in Boy Scouts and Little League, and that's it. That was pretty typical back in the Sixties. His experiences, by the way, were good ones. I would have enrolled my son, but his father said the Scouts were "too militaristic."

The Girl Scouts have been struggling for years, though they've tried to combat it with Girl Power themes and have said they'll allow boys. I was a Brownie and then, briefly, a Girl Scout. Back then I felt special wearing my Scouts uniform to school.

I think it's important to note that any positions, paid or not, where adults interact with kids and build their trust is a lure for pedophiles. I'm not saying most youth group or recreation program leaders, pediatricians, daycare workers, teachers, etc. are pedophiles; very few are, but people shouldn't have a false sense of security because their kids aren't in Boy Scouts. Only a tiny percentage of pedophiles are Boy Scout leaders; the rest get access to kids in other ways.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:56 AM
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As long as you are a Christian--or willing to lie about it.
My scout troop met in the basement of the local a synagogue . There is as others mentioned non-denominational reference to God in scouting, but it's not specifically Christian.

I was a boy scout in the '60's. My sons were not when same age in 90's because...no specific reason I can remember. One of them is a pretty major outdoor type as adult so it's not that they wanted to sit inside and play video games. I might have suggested it and they didn't want to at the time for whatever reason (I joined because friends from the block, both Catholic like me and Jewish, wanted to not because my parents wanted me to).

The fact that civic organizations are generally weaker is not good generally IMO. Though I like I said, I can't say I did a lot to sustain the Scouts in the next generation of my family.

FWIW (not a whole lot because if sexual abuse occurs fairly rarely that's still way too often) my experiences with Scout leaders was always positive. I dropped out because we moved and, again for no specific reason I can remember, didn't pick it up in the new place.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:57 AM
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I think something else that contributes to the issue is that kids have been increasingly active in a lot more activities than in days of yore. My brother was in Boy Scouts and Little League, and that's it.
Not only that, but if a kid is "active" in a sport or activity, it's now far more likely to be a huge sink of time than it was back then (and not just for the kids, but for the parents, too).
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:00 PM
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Sure, but it sounds like your family was already outdoorsy to begin with.

Lots of kids have parents who aren't outdoorsy, or who choose to do other stuff with the little free time they have. Scouts is a great way for them to if nothing else, get exposed to outdoor recreational activities without a large investment in equipment, etc...
As a single kid from a single mom, Scouts introduced me to opportunities and experiences I would have never had otherwise. As a child growing up in a home full of domestic violence and as a victim of sexual molestation, Scouts gave me a respite and something to look forward to on a regular basis away from the chaos. The men who were the leadership of our troop, in their own limited way, showed me a "normal" model of male behavior. They helped shape my beliefs on trustworthiness, respect for self and for others, loyalty, community and charity, and good citizenship to name a few.

This news saddens me for many reasons and it saddens me even more to see people jumping in glee over this outcome with snarky ignorant comments. The Boy Scouts of America are a great organization for boys and teenagers. If I had had boys instead of girls, I would have them participate in Scouting with no reservations at all. Without question I believe the people and the proper organizations need to be held accountable for the actions that occurred related to sexual abuse - without question. I just deeply hope that the Boy Scouts survive as an organization.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:07 PM
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Not a defender of the Boy Scouts, but that is really not true. They support all religions though technically they require a religion. My sons troop ignored even that. No shortage of non-Christians in the Scouts in the North East at least. Maybe it is different elsewhere, but not here.

I don't like the anti-atheist bit as an agnostic but they really don't discriminate against race or religion and many troops just ignore the religion thing all-together.
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Also, though the Scouts are, ostentisbly, a non-religious organization, the Scout Oath includes "duty to God," and many of the local troops and dens are organized through churches. As fewer (particularly younger) Americans identify themselves as religious, this, too, may be making Scouting seem less relevant to some.

And, they've suffered defections from within. As Scouting tried to make itself more inclusive and relevant, by removing bans on homosexual Scouts and leaders, this angered many conservatives who were involved in Scouting, and caused at least two schisms that I know of -- the LDS Church was responsible for about 20% of all Scouts, and they are now forming their own Scout-like organization, while the Southern Baptist Convention is sponsoring an alternative organization, Trail LIfe USA.
Call it the decline of "ceremonial Deism" in American private life: Back not very long ago, there was a broader expectation that people would be religious, with a similar expectation that such religiosity wouldn't really impact their day-to-day life or even their moral sense very much. So there were more "religious" organizations which didn't have a lot to do with religion defined as being a dogmatic creed, you were just expected to bow your head when the leader mumbled something at the beginning of the meeting and then everyone got on with things.

These days? Well, I'll quote myself:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derleth
Modern Christianity is coming to be seen as only for the hard-right racists, homophobes, transphobes, and Trump voters. Religious morality is now synonymous with hating people for things they can't change.

Without social coercion to force the majority to go to church and play along, the moderates aren't in the pews to "water down" the hate and make the congregation majority sane; more importantly, saying that homosexuality is wrong because Jesus says so no longer holds any water for a majority, so the people who still preach the traditional bigotries seem like evil aliens instead of respected thought leaders.
The religious want their religion to be religious, and the rest of us have exited into a society which isn't judging us for not playing along. Hence the Mormons and the Southern Baptists making their own parochial scouting organizations. Hence mainstream Scouting, one of those "ceremonially Deist" groups which meets in church basements and has religious language in its creed, declining among people who don't have any use for such things.

I'll say the religious groups fired the first shots in this one, but going beyond that would land us in Great Debates.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:07 PM
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Scouts is a great way for them to if nothing else, get exposed to outdoor recreational activities without a large investment in equipment, etc...
I spent a short time as a cub scout when I was whatever age cub scouts are. I was a little uncomfortable with the god thing. I was born an atheist, and in cub scouts I was constantly told I was wrong. Fuck that.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:15 PM
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As a single kid from a single mom, Scouts introduced me to opportunities and experiences I would have never had otherwise. As a child growing up in a home full of domestic violence and as a victim of sexual molestation, Scouts gave me a respite and something to look forward to on a regular basis away from the chaos. The men who were the leadership of our troop, in their own limited way, showed me a "normal" model of male behavior. They helped shape my beliefs on trustworthiness, respect for self and for others, loyalty, community and charity, and good citizenship to name a few.

This news saddens me for many reasons and it saddens me even more to see people jumping in glee over this outcome with snarky ignorant comments. The Boy Scouts of America are a great organization for boys and teenagers. If I had had boys instead of girls, I would have them participate in Scouting with no reservations at all. Without question I believe the people and the proper organizations need to be held accountable for the actions that occurred related to sexual abuse - without question. I just deeply hope that the Boy Scouts survive as an organization.
I don't question that you benefited greatly from the Boy Scouts. But what values do they really espouse? This is what I mean by hiding bigotry behind good works:

Respect for self and for others... so long as they are not gay.
Community and charity... among straight Christians.
Good citizenship... except for the Equal Protection Clause.
The Boy Scouts of America are a great organization for boys and teenagers... who are not gay or transgender.

And I'm not, of course, suggesting that all, or even the majority, of individual members have these attitudes. But when organizations as a whole embrace bigotry as en explicit core value, you can't just let it go. And I can't respect people who join such organizations on the basis that they will just ignore it because of the good stuff. There are other ways to do the good stuff.

Last edited by Riemann; 02-18-2020 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:26 PM
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:

Respect for self and for others... so long as they are not gay.
They recently changed their policy on LGBT--they can join as long as they aren't filthy atheist scum.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:33 PM
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The only people who are actually going to "pay", when you get right down to it, are the families of today's scouts. It's certainly not going to be the people who committed the abuses.
I don't really care if the Boy Scouts as a group makes it through this or not. I didn't intend to imply any bias in my question. I was just legitimately curious.

But, since you brought it up, I will just point out that one could use your reasoning to argue that police departments should never be held liable for any wrong doings or civil rights violations. After all, the only people who are going to pay that settlement are the tax payers. Why should they pay for something a department, or rather, an individual officer did wrong?
I don't necessarily disagree with your conclusion. But I definitely disagree with your premise and the argument you used to get there. Hell, the families of today's scouts actually get to decide if they want to continue to belong to the organization and wish to continue supporting it financially--including funding their legal obligations. They don't have to remain with the organization. I wish it were that easy to stop paying taxes that will just go to the next victim to be raped in police custody.
Tax payers have more of an argument for not paying those lawsuits than the families of today's scouts.

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Old 02-18-2020, 12:41 PM
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Also, though the Scouts are, ostentisbly, a non-religious organization
It is explicitly a religious organization. It requires religious belief of its members.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:45 PM
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we learned great swear words from our leaders (gritty WW2 vets, who would've beat any abusers to a pulp).
Gritty WW2 vets can be abusers too.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:47 PM
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They recently changed their policy on LGBT--
They were dragged there kicking and screaming. And even when they did ostensibly end their policy of bigotry a few years ago (after Obergefell), to great fanfare, look what was hidden in the small print:

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Originally Posted by The Boy Scouts Of America
This change allows Scouting's members and parents to select local units, chartered to organizations with similar beliefs, that best meet the needs of their families. This change would also respect the right of religious chartered organizations to continue to choose adult leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own.
So they haven't actually banned bigotry within their organization. All they have said is that bigotry is no longer an obligatory national policy, and local Scout groups are free to continue with their bigotry if they choose to do so.

It's transparently a conservative Christian organization.

Last edited by Riemann; 02-18-2020 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:57 PM
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They were dragged there kicking and screaming. And even when they did ostensibly end their policy of bigotry a few years ago (after Obergefell), to great fanfare, look what was hidden in the small print:



So they haven't actually banned bigotry within their organization. All they have said is that bigotry is no longer an obligatory national policy, and local Scout groups are free to continue with their bigotry if they choose to do so.

It's transparently a conservative Christian organization.
So they went too far for the Southern Baptists and the Mormons but not nearly far enough for normal, reasonable people.

There is a place for scouting in our world. There isn't a place for the BSA in our world, unless and until the BSA picks a side and commits to it.
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Old 02-18-2020, 01:23 PM
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There is a place for scouting in our world. There isn't a place for the BSA in our world, unless and until the BSA picks a side and commits to it.
Exactly. And given their history, the "don't ask don't tell" type of bullshit won't cut it. They need to cut all ties to bigoted Christian organizations, take drastic steps to cull bigots out of their organization, put in place clear national policies to actively teach and promote diversity. Otherwise, as Acsenray said - best that the organization just dies and something civilized replaces them.

Electing an LGBT national leader might be a good start.

Last edited by Riemann; 02-18-2020 at 01:25 PM.
  #35  
Old 02-18-2020, 01:30 PM
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This was the Girl Scouts, but still: When my wife aged out of Brownies and wanted to join the Scouts, it was run as an invitation only social club and my wife and the other Jewish girl in her Brownies troop did not get invitations. She knew they could probably complain to the national organization, but didn't want to join under those circumstances. This was in Southern NJ (Exit 1).

On the other hand, my daughter was very happy in Girl Guides here in Montreal. Though they met in a church basement, there was no religion even implicit.
  #36  
Old 02-18-2020, 01:49 PM
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As long as you are a Christian--or willing to lie about it.
To add to the pile on, my dad started a troop at our shul, and we went to a Kosher camp that was part of the big Ten Mile River camp run by the Greater New York Council.
Great camp - they didn't trust us to wash the dishes.

My father was also Scoutmaster of the UN troop which did not have "A Scout is Reverent" in its laws. Thanks to the Soviet Union, he said. (This was 1950.)

But the US Scouts are anti-atheist (we had to go to services) and very Mormon until they more or less pulled out after the LGBT rules changes.
  #37  
Old 02-18-2020, 01:54 PM
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It requires religious belief of its members.
Neither BSA group my son was/is a member of required any such thing.
  #38  
Old 02-18-2020, 01:55 PM
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Instutionalized anti-LGBT bigotry, on top of all the abuse.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-right...yet-boy-scouts

It's a shitty organization hiding its pervasive bigotry behind "good works", just like the Salvation Army.
Oh good grief. I best not even get you started on Chick-fil-a
  #39  
Old 02-18-2020, 02:10 PM
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Neither BSA group my son was/is a member of required any such thing.
The Scout Oath says:

Quote:
On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
(Emphasis mine)

And, one of the twelve points of the Scout Law is:

Quote:
REVERENT. Be reverent toward God. Be faithful in your religious duties. Respect the beliefs of others.
Source for both of these: https://www.scouting.org/about/faq/question10/

Now, neither of those "require religion" from the standpoint of "you must be a member of a church" or "you must regularly attend religious services." But, the Scout Oath and the Scout Law both contain explicit declarations of faith, which Boy Scouts are expected to recite.
  #40  
Old 02-18-2020, 02:14 PM
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Oh good grief. I best not even get you started on Chick-fil-a
What exactly are you rolling your eyes at? What shouldn't I "get started" on? You say these things like something is self-evident to any normal person. It's not.

Do you think bigoted organizations are just fine, and we shouldn't be so mean to them?

Last edited by Riemann; 02-18-2020 at 02:15 PM.
  #41  
Old 02-18-2020, 02:16 PM
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Neither BSA group my son was/is a member of required any such thing.
#NotAllScouts
  #42  
Old 02-18-2020, 02:18 PM
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As long as you are a Christian--or willing to lie about it.
Not even close. Although the religious aspects seem to have become more prominent in recent years, it's specifically non-denominational.

For all intents and purposes, when I was a Cub and Boy scout in the 1980s, it was non-religious. Our troop had Methodists, Catholics, Baptists, Hindus, Jews and a few atheists. It just wasn't an issue. And it wasn't any more homophobic than society in general at the time either.

What I have noticed is that as a kid, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts never had much in the way of religious requirements- you *could* go work on your specific religious award , if you chose, but the actual advancements didn't actually have any religious aspects to them that I recall. Now they have some faith based requirements that are nondenominational. For my part as a den leader, I'm just telling the parents that it's up to them, and I'm going to count them done by the end of the school year. None of my business.
  #43  
Old 02-18-2020, 02:40 PM
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The Boy Scouts were put in multiple no-win situations.

Ban gays? You're homophobic.
Allow gays? Conservative Christians and LDS then bail out.
Don't allow girls? You're sexist.
Allow girls? You're poaching girls from the Girl Scouts.
  #44  
Old 02-18-2020, 02:46 PM
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Oh good grief. I best not even get you started on Chick-fil-a
Thinking queer people are human beings worthy of respect is a pretty mainstream view these days. You may not think so, because people tend to live in fairly durable bubbles, but it happens to be true. Sorry if finding out you're in a minority is traumatizing. I'm sure you'll be able to find people willing to sell you the notion you're still part of a community with long-term relevance; lots of people make money by lying to their clients.
  #45  
Old 02-18-2020, 02:51 PM
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The Boy Scouts were put in multiple no-win situations.

Ban gays? You're homophobic.
Allow gays? Conservative Christians and LDS then bail out.
Be homophobic, or offend those that are homophobic.
How is this a no-win situation?
  #46  
Old 02-18-2020, 02:55 PM
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I spent a short time as a cub scout when I was whatever age cub scouts are. I was a little uncomfortable with the god thing. I was born an atheist, and in cub scouts I was constantly told I was wrong. Fuck that.
This was my experience as well as a young'un. My family was non-religious and I was very uncomfortable with the oaths. I was often singled out by pack leaders as that non-church non-God kid and it never felt inclusive. The activities were fun, but the struggle for inclusion in a group that didn't want me was not. I left after a year or two of it.
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  #47  
Old 02-18-2020, 03:01 PM
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Be homophobic, or offend those that are homophobic.
How is this a no-win situation?
Doing the latter appears to be costing the Boy Scouts a significant portion of their remaining base of Scouts and involved parents. One might argue "good riddance," but for an organization fighting against a membership death-spiral, every Scout, and every troop, that leaves the organization is one more step down the path to non-existence.
  #48  
Old 02-18-2020, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
Doing the latter appears to be costing the Boy Scouts a significant portion of their remaining base of Scouts and involved parents. One might argue "good riddance," but for an organization fighting against a membership death-spiral, every Scout, and every troop, that leaves the organization is one more step down the path to non-existence.
If pandering to homophobes is the price they have to pay to survive...
  #49  
Old 02-18-2020, 03:11 PM
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I was a Boy Scout (and an Eagle Scout) growing up, as was my son. I have also been a Scout leader since 2004.

We all received an email last night from the national BSA organization informing us of this bankruptcy filing. We are told that it should not significantly affect the local councils and troops, as they are “legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization.”

In the email we were sent, they note that the filing was necessary due to “increasing financial pressure on the BSA from litigation involving past abuse in Scouting.” They say the intent of the filing was “to achieve two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue to carry out Scouting’s mission for years to come.”

They also note that:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boy Scouts of America
Scouting is safer now than ever before. Approximately 90% of the pending and asserted claims against the BSA relate to abuse that occurred more than 30 years ago. As someone close to Scouting, you know the safety of children in our programs is the BSA’s absolute top priority and that one instance of abuse is one too many. That’s precisely why over many years we’ve developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization.

From mandatory youth protection training and background checks for all volunteers and staff, to policies that prohibit one-on-one interaction between youth and adults and require that any suspected abuse is reported to law enforcement, our volunteers and employees take youth protection extremely seriously and do their part to help keep kids safe. You can read more about the BSA’s multi-layered safeguards and our efforts to be part of the broader solution to child abuse at www.scouting.org/youth-safety. In fact, this is a resource that you can share with friends and family who are interested in understanding what the BSA is doing to keep kids safe.
Personally, I have been involved with four Boy Scout troops and two Cub Scout Packs in four states over the past 40+ years of my life. I have never seen any unit that discriminated against any boy, whether for sexual orientation or religious reasons (or any other reason). None have enforced the national organization’s requirement for religious belief, saying it was a personal matter. None enforced the prohibition against LGBT youth or leaders, even before the rules were finally changed on the national level. My current unit is chartered by a church, but it doesn’t push its faith on any of the boys in the unit. (Our family is nominally a member of a different faith entirely, but in reality we are non-religious.)

On the other side of the ledger, Boy Scouts helped me and my son develop leadership skills, and also taught us about citizenship, first aid, emergency response, swimming/lifesaving, canoeing/kayaking, and outdoor skills. Every knot I know I learned in Boy Scouts. I learned how to hike, camp, cook in the outdoors, canoe, row, sleep outside in single-digit weather, and even how to downhill ski. The first scuba mask my son ever put on was at a BSA jamboree, and now he’s a certified diver going with me to the southern Caribbean later this spring. All of this was great for my son, who was not the type to get into competitive team sports. Were it not for Boy Scouts, he would have grown up doing little more than video games.

This past weekend, I organized our troop’s sixth annual ski trip. (A local ski resort lets us sleep overnight on the floor of the lodge after hours.) Several boys who were new to our troop and who had never put on skis before skied down the beginner hills for the first time. The total cost per boy was about $100, including lift ticket, rental, lesson, overnight stay, meals, and transportation. The boys who didn’t want to ski could go snow tubing instead.

Our troop actually has a monthly outdoor campout or other event year-round. This year our troop went on local backpacking trips in Connecticut, a hiking trip in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a 50-mile bike trek on Cape Cod, and a 60-mile canoe trip down the Allagash River in Maine. Like all BSA troops, all of our leaders are volunteers, so our expenses are very low. We also do fundraising to offset expenses (car washes, a flower sale, and paper shredding).

We also do community service, including minor projects like helping out the Town with spring cleanup and local hiking trail maintenance, as well as larger projects (often in conjunction with Eagle Scout service projects).

I honestly think BSA has a lot to offer our youth and communities, and I haven’t seen any other organization that is comparable. It would be a real shame if it ever goes away.
  #50  
Old 02-18-2020, 03:20 PM
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If pandering to homophobes is the price they have to pay to survive...
Don't get me wrong -- I think that they finally took a step towards inclusion and away from hatred when they removed the ban on gay Scouts and leaders (though, as was noted upthread, that action still allowed for local Scout organizations to keep on doing it).

But, that's the no-win nature of the situation: keep pandering to the homophobic wing of the Scouts, and find yourself increasingly seen as irrelevant and hateful by the broader society, or allow gays into the organization, and drive away a significant fraction of your membership (while probably not really moving the needle very much on how you're seen by people outside of Scouting).
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