What is your view on Gays in Scouting? On Girls as Eagle Scouts or as members of Scout units? On the relationship between believing in God and being a Boy Scout? Are your viewpoints the same as the BSA's or different and why? How can you call yourself a "good Scout" if you don't believe the same way as (or "how can you call yourself a "good Scout" if you can't make up your own mind without being influenced by") the BSA? Are you a Christian or are you "Mormon" or some other religion? I heard that the "Mormons" run the BSA anyway, and that if you're not a "Mormon", you won't get any awards or anything. So, you must be a "Mormon" if you've gotten all of those badges and things, right?
I have some definite views and opinions on "gaybiles" in Scouting (it's a term I coined about five or six years ago to keep from having to type "gay men, bisexual men and women and lesbians" every single time. Some people find it offensive; it was coined with NO OFFENSE toward anyone). I feel first that "gaybiles" have no place serving as "primary leaders" (those are leaders with direct contact with youth members) in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting or Venturing. However, I disagree with the BSA that "gaybiles" would not make good volunteer Scouters. There are a variety of roles in which gay, bisexual and straight individuals may serve, without revealing their sexual preference or choice in life partners. Those roles are positions with limited interaction with youth and those that deal directly with other adults, for instance, as committee members, Commissioners or consultants. The BSA has NEVER asked for anyone to describe their sexual preferences to them, and that's for a good reason: they don't care AS LONG AS you are not "open and insistent" about your preferences to others, particularly youth. Remember that the BSA has a federal charter to "develop positive character", and to the BSA as a corporation, that includes that of what their "mainline chartering organizations" feel is "positive character". By the way, this is how the BSA dealt with females in their programs and before that, with minority groups in their programs. So, I only see that permitting "gaybiles" as eventual members and leaders as a natural extension of their previous policies on a corporate or national basis over the last 90 years.
I do not feel that female youth should be members of Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting units. The Girl Scouts of the USA has a very active outdoor program, and their "traditional" mode of learning has been modified due to many Girl Scouting leaders serving as Cub or Boy Scouting leaders as well. So I do not feel that girls should be able to earn the Arrow of Light and the Eagle Scout Award; they do have the Girl Scout's Silver and Gold Award which is, if you looked at the requirements, much TOUGHER to earn than the BSA's Eagle Scout Award for boys. Additionally, Seniors (normally in senior high school, (thanks Wendy Colby for letting me know!!)) earn the Gold Award as opposed to boys as young as seventh grade earning Eagle, so to me, there's a maturity factor built into the Girl Scouts' awards that the BSA doesn't have.
I am a child of God, and I hold my religious beliefs seriously. However, I also believe that the BSA is big enough for all youth, regardless of belief. I do maintain, however, that every youth member and every adult member enrolled in Scouting must "believe in Something or Someone higher or more important than themselves" to serve as a member. I explain why in my explanation of the Scout Law point of Reverence. To those youth whom feel that they are "lost" and "don't really believe in a God because I am not sure", I can only offer those words within the Reverence part of the Scout Law as I've explained it.
I am NOT a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (what many refer to as the "Mormon" Church, which is technically incorrect...). Nor have I ever been a member. I do, however, have a strong respect for their faith and for the people I've known who have professed membership in that faith. They are strong people, with strong families and strong sense of community and nation. However, the "Mormon" faith nor any other faith or organization "runs the BSA." If this was so, then going back to the poster's question, how would I be able to earn several training awards, several service awards, and serve on National Jamboree staffs three times in the last five National Jamborees?
(and although it's really nobody's business, I am not gay nor bi; my Godsister is a lesbian, however. I still love her, will take care of her and while I cannot understand everything dealing with her lifestyle, I will support and help her in any way as I can, as she has been there for me many times in my life. I am very proud of my sissy...there has been many times in which she was the only person proud of her big brother. I have learned much about the gaybiles lifestyle from her and from other individuals whom took the time to explain various things to me without being crude nor condensending; at the same time, I have been able to relay my beliefs to them without preaching nor "damning them".)
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