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There a number of issues with Boy Scouts of America.  The most "public" controversy has to do with their discriminatory "membership criteria" which excludes homosexuals and athiests.  I won't go near that - publicly questioning that issue gets you thrown out of Scouting despite assertions that:

B.S.A. is a representative democracy that considers a diversity of opinions invaluable.

It seems that Free Speech is unwelcome in Boy Scouts -whatever the topic.  

Even defending the stated values of Scouting can get you thrown out of B.S.A. as "Red Dog" Maynard has found out in SW Florida.

"Red Dog" Maynard, is a retired Colonel who's been active in Scouting for 34 years. His story and the larger issue - the proposed sale of Camp Flying Eagle can be found at:  http://www.savecfe.org/

  more below

Property sales are a conroversial topic in Scouting.  Volunteers see Camp sales as hurting Scouting. Less places to go and less things to do makes for a less interesting program for kids.  Such sales also alienate the volunteers that use these places and anger the base that supports Scouting. BSA hasn't caught on to the fact that people STOP giving money to BSA when they see facilites for kids getting sold off.  When you sold the place I spent so much time as a kid, I'm NOT going to be to likely to give you money - especially when I find out how much the paid guy 'running things' (that you never see)is paid.

But BSA and its leadership (national and local) seem to be more concerned with money.  Trust funds are a far more valuable asset than Camps and Scout reservations.  But if you dare to speak out - or take real action in opposing BSA on this issue - you're in trouble.

You think BSA would be looking to hold onto its facilities.  They've been getting challenged in court regularly over their use of public land and facilities - and losing the preferential treatment they'd been granted - back to that "discrimination issue."  BSA wants things both ways - to get favorable treatment from government but preserving its status as a "private organization" that can do as it wishes.  But Courts have been taking a more limiting point of view lately.  So - common sense would say, "Don't count on using public facilities - hold onto the places you own."

Now Scouting is something of a "take it or leave it" thing for most people. Honestly, a lot of the volunteer leaders tolerate some of the more idyosynchratic "issues" inherent in BSA because they really don't have a viable alternative.  BSA has a monoploy on Scouting - thanks to a Congressional Charter.  

Still, many - myself included - found it a worthwhile part of growing up and think our kids can also benefit from the experience. Most adolescent males are pyromaniacs - Scouting teaches proper firemaking, a "controlled" outlet. I've actually used the myriad knots I learned and personally enjoy the outdoors. As I get older I prefer ending a day of hiking in a bed and breakfast or lodge somewhere but my kids still think tent camping is great.

Scouting made adolescence easier for me. My Jewish best friend from Kindergarten loved bacon cooked to charcoal. I preferred cooking a nice steak for dinner and french toast for breakfast.  I learned I could hike 20 miles with a full pack - in the rain - in mud - going uphill - despite blisters. A strange sense of masochistic misery and accomplishment marked my most memorable hikes.  But we went to some pretty great places and saw some things we never would've seen otherwise. Climbing Mount Marcy was a big thing for a 15 year old.  

Scouting was also the only group where you could find pretty much any type of kid involved (even a few that turned out gay and a couple that - worse - turned out to be liberal lawyers). My tentmate was one of THOSE - probably even an ACLU member. BSA seems to be trying all it can to stop that from happening now though.  You had jocks, smart kids, a few stoners, pretty much anyone could be involved. And most kids seemed to go through a "I don't believe in God" phase - seems to be part of growing up. The gay thing.... well some kids were "different" - no big deal.  We were more offended by the heterosexual "perverts" who clearly knew NOTHING about sex but wanted to talk about it all the time. Seriously, you weren't going to learn anything about sex in our Troop and if our Scoutmaster heard you discussing the topic, you got fined - same as if you cursed. "Not appropriate."

NO other group in High School and Junior High was as inclusive. It was kind of like a far more benign Marine Corps - we were all "green" - this was before the changeover to tan uniforms (you think someone with a sense of history might have raised a red flag there - National Jamboree this year was was like a poorly run Nuremberg Rally.... Cindy Sheehan wasn't the only person Bush kept waiting in the heat last summer). BSA hasn't run all the non-republican non-conservatives out yet - at least not in NY.

We did kick-ass hikes, covered a good part of the Appalachian Trail and learned a pretty good dose of self-reliance.  Never did know why our Scoutmaster did it - never thanked him properly either.  But that's the ignorance of a kid - you learn as you grow up.  Most of us found out we could do more than we ever thought we could.  

But Scouting HAS changed.  It has lost its focus on service to youth and lost its tolerance for any form of "disagreement."

Mr. Maynard is one of those "local legends" in Scouting - one of those at the core of the program in his community.  Something of a character I suppose - most of these guys are - but full of stories and a memory filled with Scouting.  He's one of those people that really make Scouting worthwhile for kids.  He's dedicated to serving youth and has spent decades devoted to Scouting. You think BSA would view such a person as a priceless resource and reward him for his dedication.  Nope..... BSA isn't particularly "Loyal" to its volunteers.

Mr. Maynard had the audacity to take action when his Council leadership tried to get Camp property re-zoned - to allow it to be sold. Seeing that a WHOLE lot of people are opposed to this sale, you think this would be one of those times when that "representative democracy" thing would kick in.  Nope..... And forget "diverse opinions."

Mr. Maynard was rightfully upset with BSA breaking its word and had the gall to use the court system to fight back. He wanted this property preserved - it was a rarity in an area seeing explosive growth, an asset worth preserving. Now seeing as this property was deeded to BSA with the understanding that it would be preserved for the use of Scouts, this seems like an honorable and noble stance.  

Frankly, BSA should be ashamed to even be thinking about selling this land under the circumstances.  But $$ takes precedence to pretty much anything else in BSA now.  BSA Inc is being run by businessmen - not Scouts (but frankly they're doing a horrid job - finances and membership have been tanking..... but none of the overpaid executives running things ever get fired - that's another story).

"Red Dog" been thrown out of Scouting - not for being gay or an athiest, not for being a threat to boys or committing some illegal or immoral act.  He's been thrown out of Boy Scouts for being a Scout.  

He was "Brave" and spoke out for what he believed in despite the risk of puishment or ridicule.  

How ironic that BSA is the one punishing him - but they don't like their own hypocrisy pointed out.

This link provides an overview of media coverage thus far:

http://www.savecfe.org/...

Reprinted the following articles from the Bradenton Herald:

(Originally published on March 25, 2006)
Scouts seek camp master's resignation
NICHOLAS AZZARA
Herald Staff Writer

B.J. Maynard, a camp master known to hundreds of Boy Scouts as "Red Dog," may have helped young people earn merit badges for the last time in a dispute over the fiture of Camp Flying Eagle.

On Friday morning, Maynard, 75, received a phone call that may have ended his long relationship with the Boy Scouts of America.  Scout executives at the Southwest Florida Council in Fort Myers asked for his resignation, citing a conflict of interest with him.

Maynard said he was told that his actions cost the council money in litigation fees and caused embarrassment to professional scouts.

"Scouting is a passion with me," Maynard said.  "This has torn me up."

Gary Hampton, the council's executive director, acknowledged that Maynard was asked to resign for a conflict of interest...........

Conflict of interest?!?!  He's doing what his Council Leadership should be doing.  He's holding BSA to their own stated values.

On Tuesday, Maynard addressed county commissioners as the president of the development association, an organization that filed suit against the Southwest Florida Council in September to prevent the Boy Scouts from selling the camp to developers.

The Boys Development Association, Maynard said, handled ownership of the camp over to the Boy Scouts in 1991, after allowing them to use the property since 1929.

"In 1991, the camp was an outright gift to the Boy Scouts," Maynard said.  "Legally they transferred the property but morally they were gifting the property to the youth of Manatee County."...............

Maynard told the commissioners that Camp Flying Eagle is one of the community's amenities and should be protected from future development...............

"I don't feel like the Boy Scouts are kicking me out; they love me," Maynard said.  "I fully expected it knowing the character of our scout executives.  Gary Hampton has a history of dismissing people that disagree with him."

Carlos Mendez, scoutmaster of Troop 8 for the past three years, could not believe the news.  Mendez said the move was an unfair act of vengeance.

"It gets me very angry that (Southwest Florida Council of Boy Scouts) would sabotage scouting in this county," Mendex said.  "They're always crying for more volunteers, and Red Dog is pivotal for scouting in our county.  The boys love him."

Mr. Maynard still believes in "Boy Scouts" - he doesn't see that his local Scout Executive is a direct reflection of the model set by the uppermost levels of BSA.  They don't care about boys or Scouting anymore.  BSA has its own Nomenklatura running things - benefitting personally from a "noble cause."  They hide behind "ideals" - Character and values, country and God in this case.  But it's all rhetoric.  They don't really believe.  It's all a way to fund a very comfortable career. It is all about money.

How many true believers in Communism went marching off into the Gulag thinking "It was all a mistake that if Stalin knew, he's make things right?" when it was always about money and power for a select few.  

This is the type of thing that sparks revolts and revolutions. SW Florida's membership is pretty po'd right now.

You've already had a whole Council revolt in Chicago over the sale of one of BSA's oldest camps.  They voted their leadership out - a near impossibility under the Stalininst rules of Democracy imposed by BSA on Councils.  But their leadership refuses to leave.  The battle continues in court but it seems that the volunteers have won the Zoning battle there.  Owasippe looks like it may be around fo a while - despite BSA's best efforts to get rid of it.

I hope the revolt spreads..... BSA needs a coup d'etat.  Scouts need to take back control of BSA......

And Penn and Teller got it wrong..... the religious right has a disproportionate amount of influence, yes , but that's only because the paid guys running things are desperate to keep membership from tanking even more....   BSA is really a corporate scandal with overpaid executives presiding over a failing organization looting it for all its worth.  They're using the support of religious conservatives to provide a core base of support and make things look better than they are - and to provide some "moral" cover for some pretty unethical behavior.  

Sound familiar?  Co-opt a basically good organization, use it for your own purposes, loot away, hide behind rhetoric about character and values - and blame gays and the ACLU whenever you're caught doing something "questionable."   I think the current Administration really IS a bunch of Boy Scouts.....

Again, I concede that this is a topic of limited interest but DK does provide an increased level of visibility.  "Red Dog" could use the visibility.  

Originally posted to xrepub on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 10:29 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's a shame. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cathy b, WV Democrat

    I got a lot out of Scouting as a kid. But if I had a son these days, I'd be hesitant to let him join an organization that practices discrimination and hypocrisy at the level the modern BSA does.

  •  BSA needs LDS (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rgilly, cathy b, vacantlook

    LDS subsidizes BSA and every LDS boy is required to be in scouting - 1/4 of all scouts are LDS.

    Recently, the LDS church has been much more involved in BSA operations. I'm not entirely sure why that is, but I wonder if there are any land sales taking place in heavily Mormon areas.

    "I want my people to be the most intolerant people in the world." - Jerry Falwell

    by johnsonwax on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 10:53:44 PM PDT

  •  Mormon church & BSA link? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat

    I'd read that there is a strong faction of mormon church leaders who have been taking over the directorship of BSA, over the last 10-15 years. A lot of the anti-gay stances that have been taken come directly from this faction.  

    My sons were in Boy Scouts for years, and my husband who had never belonged to the group as a kid joined on as a leader. He went to some of the indoctrination sessions that were required (or whatever they are called, teamwork programs or whatever), and came home all exhausted, "these people are like a CULT!" he hissed. (He's very areligious--to call him an agnostic or atheist would mean he actually thinks about religion, and he dislikes organized faith too much for that.)  

    They joined in the early 90s or so, before most of the anti-gay stuff hit the news. And when it did, one of my sons just really loves camping, so they stayed in for that reason. The small troop they belonged to was a sort of outsider group, with mostly like-minded parents. One mom was really cool about finding and including a lot of low-income kids whose parents were very uninvolved in their lives.

    The compromise we made was that our kids did not do any fundraising that benefitted BSA "corp.," but we did do fundraising that benefitted the small troop they belonged to. We also donated enough money every year to send a couple of extra kids to camp whose families couldn't afford it otherwise.

    •  My son is in cub scouts (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polecat, cathy b

      And neither my wife and I will take a leadership position due to the faith requirement (I'm surprised your husband got through that part).

      My son has recently declared his atheism, which will become a problem as there is a share your faith module. We're not so much of an outsider group since it was our district that was sued by the atheists a few years ago. I sense a legal challenge in my future...

      I don't think any of the parents or other scouts in the pack have a problem with him being there, but district leadership will once they catch on.

      Sigh.

      "I want my people to be the most intolerant people in the world." - Jerry Falwell

      by johnsonwax on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 11:49:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How old is your son? (0+ / 0-)

        Declared his atheism?  I didn't figure out what I believed until well after the years that I would be in the Cub Scouts.  Then again, I guess religions do start kids pretty young, but I just found it funny for some reason that a kid in Cub Scouts is declaring his atheism.

        I am an ILL State Assassin. Legalize Qualo. Those in Chicago - listen to Boers & Bernstein on 670 AM The Score 2-6 M-F. You'll be glad you did.

        by Larry Horse on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 01:10:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's 8 (0+ / 0-)

          Surprised me as well. I was hoping such delcarations would be a few years off. He's thought it through pretty well, too. We send him to religious education classes, so it's not as though he isn't exposed to faith, but he's made this declaration and is holding firm. I keep trying to undermine it, but no luck so far.

          FWIW, I'm also an atheist, but I really want this to be his decision to make.

          "I want my people to be the most intolerant people in the world." - Jerry Falwell

          by johnsonwax on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 10:27:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe find like-minded families and splinter off? (0+ / 0-)

        I don't know if this thread is still active, and notice the author hasn't been back at all, but I'll respond to your note:

        My husband was never asked about his faith when he went to the few BSA sponsored troop leader trainings that he could stomach. This was in the early 90s or so, so maybe things have changed.

        The troop that my kids belonged to was very small, around 20 kids, with cub scouts, webelo and older boyscouts mixed together, and run by a couple who had issues with the leaders of a larger troop in the area. They had been in scouting for a couple of generations or so, and started a troop of their own in a smaller local school. BSA was okay with them, they got to stay away from the larger, more political and religiously-run group, and were able to take advantage of BSA camps and materials. They pretty much ran things as they liked it, ignored the ritual that they didn't want, and did what they thought was useful.

        I would have preferred that my sons get involved in groups that had included girls, especially since they don't have sisters--I always thought that gender-mixed activities outside of school were important--but there wasn't anything similar nearby. My sons were also involved in theater groups and marching band that were mixed gender, but scouts was the only thing that would include real camping throughout the year.

        •  I'm looking into Camp Fire (0+ / 0-)

          They're mixed gender. Unfortunately, there are huge benefits to being in scouts and he really enjoys it as well, so I don't want to be forced to seek out an alternative unless he wants it himself.

          "I want my people to be the most intolerant people in the world." - Jerry Falwell

          by johnsonwax on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 10:29:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's the problem (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cathy b

            BSA has benefitted for decades from all those donations of property and funds.  They have a structure in place nationwide.  But BSA would rather people simply leave.

            People SHOULD be fighting to take control back - but BSA makes it VERY difficult.  Hence - many choose to stay involved "in spite" of it all - at the local level only.  

  •  BSA = Mormon Sea Org Brownshirts... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, ortcutt
    in 2006.

    I belonged to a troop for a while years ago, got a full-on food poisoning the first night of a early spring camp-out and received no sympathy from anyone. I was sick for an entire week following. Dragged ass home and never went back to these fucking sadists again.

    It was a Prebyterian church-sponsored asshole troop in the Sam Houston Council (Houston, TX). Must have been the hardcore Scottish self-reliance streak or something like that in the leadership at the time. They never even bothered to call to know of my condition or check up.

    Talk about leaving a man behind. BSA can rot in hell and be taken over by Deseret freaky underwear-wearin' closet-polygamist fanatics from Salt Lake, for all I care.

    Baden-Powell is spinning in his grave, fer sure.

    People in Eurasia on the brink of oppression: I hope it's gonna be alright... Pet Shop Boys: Introspective

    by rgilly on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 11:15:13 PM PDT

  •  Oh, hell (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, House

    I hate learning about all this stuff. I was a scout as a kid, and like xrepub sez, it was a place where pretty much anybody was accepted.  (Although, none of the Kool Kidz joined in my neighborhood).

    My youngest son is joining the local troop, and it looks like a good group. So far, in the councils (Baltimore and York-Adams) I've been a part of, I don't see the craziness that the other posts are talking about. I hope it stays that way. I also haven't seen any move to sell off the scout camps at Broad Creek or Tuckahoe. Maybe we're lucky that they're WAY off the beaten path.

    Despite everything, Scouting still means something to me. Last Saturday I hiked 15 miles on the C&O canal with four guys from my troop from 40 years ago. And I have the blisters to show for it.  :-)

    So how do we change things at the top???

    (PS Pyromania? Boy Scouts is where I learned that saltpeter and sugar works just as good as gunpowder for blowing stuff up!)

    •  Changing things at the top is tough (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love

      The BSA have survived quite a few legal challenges regarding their policies. They are currently appealing a ruling from a San Diego lawsuit that would preclude them from having preferential access to public land. They want to claim to be a public organization as access to school property is very important for them - that's where most meeting take place. Religious organizations, however, are prevented from having free access to schools here in CA.

      So one front is attacking any taxpayer benefits they get while they employ these policies.

      Another front is to sue against their congressional charter - no other organization can be a 'scouting' group due to congressional mandate. That means that atheists and gays are, by federal decree, precluded from any scouting in the country. The last suit on this went to the Supreme Court and the BSA won a 5-4 decision. It was focused on gays in leadership and not membership. The BSA argued that a gay leader violated it's principle of role models being 'morally straight'. A member wouldn't have that charge, and leveling it against an atheist is much more difficult to do - religion is better articulated than sexual preference in rights.

      A final front is on state-level discrimination laws which is similar to the above, but harder to win because they're typically directed toward business operations.

      I think it's the congressional charter that they're most susceptible to and they've not been, to my knowledge, challenged on that front with respect to participation of a member.

      "I want my people to be the most intolerant people in the world." - Jerry Falwell

      by johnsonwax on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 12:04:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Broad Creek and Tuckahoe (0+ / 0-)

      Ahhh... gold ol' F*ckahoe.

      We actually got kicked out of that camp. Our troop of 60 strong, was very tight, and we won all challenges at Tuckahoe.

      We got so spirited at dining hall that ALL other troops hated us. We started a F*ckahoe chant the last day. That old timer guy (similar to the diarist's hero in SW FL), well he nearly went stark raving mad.

      "Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground?" -George Washington

      by House on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 07:39:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you Penn & Teller. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, vacantlook

    I had no idea how far the organization that taught me so much had fallen until I saw Bullshit yesterday. For those who haven't seen it make an effort to.

    Eat the rich. Their toes taste like chocolate.

    by rjo on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 11:52:33 PM PDT

  •  I think if you look at (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cathy b, johnsonwax

    the Directors of BSA you'll find they're not merely businessmen but far-right, Scaife-type wingnuts.  

    I suggest interested parties contact Scouting For All or Campfire Boys and Girls, both of which are inclusive, organized for the kids, and apolitical.

    "... Just so long as I'm the dictator." - GWB, 12/18/00

    by Bob Love on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 12:06:56 AM PDT

  •  Y Adventure Guides, another alternative (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cathy b, johnsonwax

    My daughter is in Girl Scouts, which is run by a completely different organization than Boy Scouts.  Girl Scouts are not required to use the term "God" in the GS Pledge if they don't want to.  (My daughter leaves it out, and it's no biggie in her troop or to the national leadership.)

    Our son is not in Boy Scouts.  We told him he'd have to lie if he wanted to join.  Our local YMCA sponsors Adventure Guides for boys in K-3 and an older group for grades 4-6.  It's a program boys do with their dads.  They have their own camping property too.

    If there's any discimination in Y Adventure Guides, I have yet to see it.  I also don't see any religion requirement or even suggestion in the program.  And the YMCA calls itself the Y these days, it isn't C for Christian anymore.

    Chaos, fear, dread. My work here is done.

    by madhaus on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 12:33:19 AM PDT

  •  It's sad to see it come to this (0+ / 0-)

    There remains a place in my heart for Scouting.  As a youth, I also had the kind of masochistic wilderness experiences (complete with blisters) that you describe above.

    However, to see the organization change in this manner, turns my stomach.

    The LDS, brownshirt, and gay comments are off topic, BTW.

    (And some of them are downright offensive!)

    Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 04:59:16 AM PDT

  •  In Haymarket, VA... (0+ / 0-)
    a stately BSA pleasuredome decree:

    Theme Park-Like Camp for Cub Scouts Built on Old Disney Site

    The Boy Scouts of America is planning to open a $17 million camp catering to Cub Scouts next month on the site near Haymarket where the Walt Disney Co. tried to build a theme park 12 years ago.

    The camp will be built and operated by the National Capital Council, which represents more than 85,000 Scouts and 23,000 volunteers in the District and 16 counties in Maryland and Virginia. It is one of the most expensive scouting construction projects in the nation, officials said, and unusual because of its focus on Cub Scouts as well as Boy Scouts

    Roughing it? More like a day at Space Camp or some dude ranch:

    The camp has themed areas such as the Big Dig, where Scouts can dig up replicas of dinosaur bones and assemble their own skeletons, and the Space Port, where they can explore a simulation of Mars, said Maj. Gen. Raymond Johns, chairman of program development at the camp.

    "What a neat experience," he said.

    From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the camp will serve about 1,000 Cub Scouts a week, said Johns. Boy Scouts can camp there on weekends throughout the year.

    Johns and Lambert showed photos and drawings of the camp to the Prince William Board of County Supervisors yesterday. Other themed areas include a Native American village with tepees, a fort with a BB gun range and a ship surrounded by blue vulcanized rubber to suggest the ocean.

    The adventures will not be the traditional rustic experience the public associates with scouting and camping, Lambert said. He showed a photo of the 600-seat dining hall, still under construction, that looked more like a McMansion. The modern facilities, including upgraded bathrooms and showers, were responses to parents, especially mothers, concerned about how younger children and adult volunteers would fare in the wild, Lambert said.

    People in Eurasia on the brink of oppression: I hope it's gonna be alright... Pet Shop Boys: Introspective

    by rgilly on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 05:27:57 AM PDT

  •  Been a busy day - hence my absence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cathy b

    There are many fighting back - for various reasons.

    Some like S4A - are focused on discrimination - ironic since Cozza is really a gung-ho Scouting all the way kind of guy..... he's their ideal except for the gay thing.... I expect he's genuinely offended on the most fundamental level possible that he was rejected by something he was so committed to.

    Others like "Red Dog" are trying to keep BSA "honest" - if perhaps not seeing that they haven't been for some time....  if you stay focused locally on the kids you DON'T see the larger problems.  ANd many are contenet to simply ignore anything outside their local unit and keep "Council" at arm's length.  But if you publicly challenge BSA tehy hit you with a sledge hammer.  The revoked charters for Cub Scout Packs that took a pubic stand on discrimination.

    Some volunteers are genuinely po'd that BSA got co-opted and resent the $BILLION + that's going to end up funding the rerirement of the sleazes that wrecked the organization they were supposed to run.

    Others are more than aware of the religious aspect and have fought back - like the UUA..... man do the Unitarians annoy BSA leadership.....  I'm thinking of becoming one.... pretty open and sane view of things....  I bet most of our Founding Fathers would feel right at home with them.

    And some of us fight back for lots of reasons.... I know some really great volunteers in Scouting - people who I may or may not agree with politically or religiously but they're all dedicated to serving kids and all quite tolerant - unlike the organization they serve.  I'm furious at what's happening to MY scouting.  All the places I knew as a kid are gone - for no reason.  

    Hans Zeiger challenged me to write my own book - after providing him with a very different picture of Scouting than he knows - "I'm not aware of those issues..."  talking about head so far up.....they can't see daylight..... And why the hell isn't HE and all the other conservative pro-USA types volunteering for Iraq?

    I may just write that book.  I think BSA has served as a prototype for what's happened to America.....
    Real and good values co-opted by some out to use the organization for their own purposes.  Its "values" were distorted - turned mean and discriminatory..... by people less concerned with any character than preserving their own position.  They're more than happy to drive out those that disagree with them - and have been quite successful at doing so at the upper levels.  

    But at some point, even "true believers" see the fraud.  It's one thing to battle "outsiders" and paint them as attacking your values.  BSA seems to revel in suits by Lambda Legal and the ACLU.  It solidifies their position with their conservative supporters.

    However, now you're seeing BSA's own members taking the organization on.  I think a "tipping pooint" is approaching.  But it needs daylight.  BSA National HATES publicity and has been good at staying out of the spotlight - as P&T showed.  BSA simply REFUSES to ever face cameras and explain anything.... THEIR pedophile crisis  died from lack of light.  BSA was never held properly accountable and too many were willing to cut them slack at the time.  

    But Nancy Grace (I think) going off on BSA after the head of youth protection was arrested for distributing child porn (focusing on BOYS) was astounding....I hear O'Reilly isn't too fond of them either but have yet to see that myself - I generally avoid him.

    Still the "liberal" media is scared stiff of "attacking" Mom, Apple pie and Boy Scouts.... seems like story after story dies..... still wondering what happened to one reporter who had all the bases covered last Spring.... sure seems like friends in high places got the story squashed.

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