Whoever Is Testing Me, You Can Stop Now, Thanks.

  1. There’s a woman in my office (I’ll call her M) who is probably the only person on the planet that I actually hate. There are many people that I do not care for, but M doesn’t fall in to that category. Oh no. I hate this woman with the white-hot blazing passion of a thousand suns. The sight of her makes me want to set my eyeballs on fire. The sound of her voice makes me want to jab sharp sticks in my ears.

Last week, we all put our names in for our office Secret Santa drawing. All weekend long, I was filled with a very odd feeling about this drawing. I just knew I was going to pull M’s name. Don’t ask me why I felt this way–I do not know. It was creepy.

The drawing was today. My odd feeling? Right on the money. Yep. I got M.

I figured that someone must be testing me. So I’ve decided to pass the test. I’ll get what’s on her wish list, probably give her a handmade card, and wish her the happiest of holidays. I mean, what else can I do? Give her a card that says “Happy Holidays! I hope the next year finds you stuck under the wheels of a speeding truck! Wishing you much pain and sorrow, Persephone”? I don’t think so. Not really in keeping with the spirit of the holidays, ya know?

  1. My stepson wants to join the Cub Scouts. Argh.

He was a Cub when he lived in New York, and he liked it. But then, he didn’t have any strong male role models around. No family there at all, except his mom & sisters. Now he lives with us. He’s got his dad, his dad’s friends, and my family and friends. They adore him, and he adores them.

But the stance that the BSA National Council has taken against gays and atheists within their ranks flies in the face of everything my husband and I believe in. I believe they have the right to choose who can lead their members, but I also believe that I have the right to believe that they are wrong. Scouting does so much good, but discrimination is just not a trivial issue. So here I am, wondering just what the heck I should do. My husband and I haven’t said yes or no yet. The Timinator has been an angel ever since he’s been here, so I can’t say no based on any behavior problems. His grades are good. He’s making lots of friends, and some of them will probably be joining the Scouts. It seems a shame to deny him based on my personal belief, but again, this is discrimination we’re talking about here.

Sigh. I’ll figure it out eventually, I suppose.

“I think he’s on to us, Melvin.”
“There goes our funding.”
-C & H

Persephone, good for you for deciding to pass the test. Although anthrax-laced fruitcake is all the rage this holiday season, according Martha Stewart. Still, getting The Miserable Cow-Orker From Hell[sup]TM[/sup] something nice is a big ol’ deposit in the First Metaphysical Bank of Karma, don’t forget.

As for the Timinator and the Scouts, of course, that’s your decision, but there is such a thing as cutting off your nose to spite your face. Or your kid’s face, or something. Will he get positive things from it? Probably. Will they indoctrinate him somehow at this level? I seriously doubt it. Part of your dilemma is that, on the national level, you’re against their policy. But on the personal level, there’s much to be gained. Either way, unfortunately, it’s a win/lose situation. But then, which is the greater good, taking a stand against something you believe to be wrong (big picture), or giving Tim something that will benefit him greatly (small [sub](yet somehow bigger)[/sub] picture)?

I guess you could relate it sorta to school and evolution. Some folks believe so strongly that teaching evolution is wrong, they yank their kids out of public school and send them to parochial school or home teach them. Others may not hold with evolution, but provide their children with an education at church and at home that offers a different viewpoint. Then the child can make an informed decision when they’re old enough. There are benefits and drawbacks to both these scenarios. But it’s a tough old world out there.

You’re between a rock and a hard place, my dear, no doubt, and there is only a “best” decision, not a “right” one. Good luck, and I know you’ll make the best decision for you.

(BTW, Sakura and I are really getting cranked for the Jan. Fest. See you there! ;))

The decision to grin and bear it on the gift is absolutely the right one. As The Great and Wise Dave-Guy[sup]tm[/sup] has pointed out, doing a good deed for someone you despise is an even better karmic act than doing one for a stranger.

As for the other issue, are there alternatives to BSA in your area? I seem to recall in one of the many threads on the topic, which I don’t have time to search for at the moment, some folks mentioned other organizations similar to BSA but without the onus of their anti-gay policies. Check that out.

And for something to lift your spirits, remember that you are part of a verrrrry special and exclusive group, the Dopers Who Have Seen Geobabe Nekkid. :smiley:

[hijack]And for something to lift your spirits, remember that you are part of a verrrrry special and exclusive group, the Dopers Who Have Seen Geobabe Nekkid.
Can I join? Can I? Huh? Can I? My…uh…spirits need lifting too. Can I? Pleeeeeze?[/hijack]

When I was a kid, my parents wouldn’t let me join Cub Scouts because: “They don’t worship the same God that we do!” (Conservative Lutheran upbringing.)

All I wanted to do was camp out, learn how to tie knots, earn a couple badges, and make some friends.

They won. I couldn’t join.

I’m still ticked about it.

My advice is to sit him down, explain your reservations, and leave the decision up to him.

I’d say go for it with the Scouts. It is entirely possible that he can learn from it, and grow into a better person because of scouting. Like enuma said, however, talk to your stepson first and make sure he understands your reservations.

We had our son in Scouts for a while. He was the only member of his troop/pack/gang of predators/whatever that wasn’t a student at the church/school that hosted the meetings, so he didn’t fit in too well. If your stepson has friends who are going into it, and he can be in their collective, that’d probably help.

When I took my son to scout camp a couple summers ago, one day the camp chaplain showed up with brochures to talk to all the scouts about how various forms of worship can be studied and applied in scouting. He said something like, “I’ve got stuff here for Lutheran, Methodist, basically all the Christian beliefs; I can also do Jewish, Shinto, Buddhist, whatever. Everything except Pagan and Wiccan.”

At the back of the crowd, with the rest of the dads, up shoots my hand.

He ignores me.

“Why not Pagan and Wiccan?” I call out.

He ignores me.

Later, the pack leader came and explained that the chaplain was in seminary and needed to remain focussed on Christian beliefs, so he couldn’t let himself get sidetracked by anti-Christian beliefs.

Way to promote faith, guys.

My wife and I were married in a Wiccan ceremony, btw, although we don’t practice the religion ourselves.

Quick Persephone:

  1. What is the square root of 169?

  2. How many colonies were there originally in America?

  3. Who discovered Christopher Columbus?

  4. What am I wearing right now?
    Now THATS a test.

All kidding aside, good luck. As a one-time member of the BSA (never got past Webelo (sp?)) it was interesting and fun, but of course I had no idea of their views on homosexuality. The only advice I’d give is ask your son, he may be smarter than you think. Explain to him exactly what is troubling you and see how he feels. He may not want to be a Scout if he feels, as you do, that they discriminate. Worth a shot. Good Luck.

DAVEW0071, how the heck did you do that thing with the horizontal divider bar?

Dave’s not here man…

Try throwing in a [/QUOTE] where you want the divider.

In terms of the Scouts, shop around. If he joins a pack that sponsored by a more-strict Christian church, odds are it will be intolerant than most. Some packs are sponsored by more secular groups like the VFW/Amercian Legion. Find one of those and they may be more to your liking. Besides, at the Cub level, it’s usually pretty laid back. The serious stuff doesn’t start until you get past the Webelo stage.

On the other hand, if he does get involved with a more anti-gay organization, you can have your very own insider spreading dissention among the ranks, asking tough questions and showing by example how to act.

I am a Life scout from a troop in Gabriels, NY. I have also thought about these problems in scouting. I work for the scouts, my summer job is working with scouts, I was at the national jamboree (40,000 scouts camping for one week) and being a part of scouting gives me a chance to work on changing the views of scout executives. Sometimes you have to work on the inside to make changes to a group you love.

Have you thought about trading Secret Santa victims with someone else? Maybe someone who merely dislikes this person instead of actively loathes her?

Secret Santa can be a lot of fun (it’s fun being anonymously nice to people) but it loses a lot if you’re wasting effort and creativity on someone who doesn’t deserve it.

Can I join? Can I? Huh? Can I? My…uh…spirits need lifting too. Can I? Pleeeeeze?[/hijack] **

RE: The Coworker From Hell

You are on the right course to being granted a faster and better reincarnation for the next life by [wait for the cliche] *doing the right thing *. Even though this act of kindness is choking you internally, it is the right thing to do.

It does not mean, however, that you cannot continue to stick mental pins into an effigy of M in your mind. Maybe your own voodoo doll of her might help exorcise this woman’s evil hold on your wonderful shining kharmanic soul.
About the Boy Scouts.

While the entire BSA mentality of no gays or pagans need apply irks me, (I’m assuming its the same for the Girl Scouts as well) my memories as a Girl Scout are great and I have no recollection of religious overtones (ok, we were a Catholic Troop so there was prayer and stuff, but what 12 year old pays any attention to that?) and the outdoorsy stuff and hanging out with my friends gave me lottsa memories.

I would say I would let the Timinator try out the Scouts. If any of the anti-whatever comes up, then explain to your son the basic fundamental human rights of Freedom of Choice and the First Amendment and whatever other amendments may apply.
(constitutional law is not one of my strengths.)

I think there is something called the Indian Guides. Whether or not they allow future little devil worshipping fairies join up or not,I do not know :slight_smile: (But, Mr. Ujest was one…not a devil worshipping poof.) and he loved it.

It is the BSA’s right to exclude whomever they want. You have a right to stand up for what you beleive in. Regretfully, kids are the ones hurt the most in adult rhetoric.

A zippy little comback that has popped into my mind if the gay issue comes up is, (in a loud, indignant voice) “What do you mean they allow heterosexuals in BSA? Oh, Beeazulbub!”

About the cow-orker: I thought about switching with someone, but, well, my beloved supervisor (I do mean that sincerely) is trying very, very hard to promote a spirit of unity amongst us. I work for my local government, and there’s some seriously bad s*** going on up here. My boss is doing her all-fired best to lift our spirits. She and our other supervisor are even paying for our Christmas party, which we have catered every year (we usually pay for it ourselves). I figured that if I tried to switch with someone, that would do nothing but work against the unity that she’s trying to promote. I’m a b****, but I’m not that bad. :wink:

About the Cub Scouts: Upon much reflection and research (here and at the BSA website), I’ve decided to let him join. The Dave-Guy pretty well summed up my reasons. He can make up his own mind when he’s a little older. I don’t think the issues I have with the Scouts will even come up in this troop, anyway–their leader is a woman. :smiley:

You can also always take him volunteering at a charity that serves gays and lesbians–it’s in the scouting spirit and will help cover any bases you’re concerned about.