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Hello, everyone.

I'm a member of Scouting for Equality (and you should be, too), and this lovely missive came across in my email this morning.  My pack is currently chartered by a UU church, so this makes me very happy indeed.

Details below the swirly.

http://www.scoutsforequality.com/...

United Church of Christ & Scouts for Equality

The United Church of Christ (UCC) has a long history of supporting social justice and affirming the worth of all God’s children, regardless of who they love. The Boy Scouts of America has served our nation well, and helped develop boys into men and children into leaders through spiritual guidance and community service. It is in that spirit that we ask them to join the UCC and Scouts for Equality in making the BSA a home for every boy.

God’s table is open to everyone. We embrace the God-given worth and dignity of all people and are committed to the value of extravagant welcome where everyone has a place at the table. We cannot support a policy that limits the diversity of BSA membership any more than we can deny the interconnected web of faith that unites us all in the eyes of God. Adopting an inclusive membership policy and supporting all youth is the right thing to do.

The BSA has welcomed many people from many backgrounds, and we look forward to the day that our gay and bisexual brothers and sisters are welcome as scouts and as leaders. We stand with Scouts for Equality and ask the BSA to end its policy of exclusion.

Quote from Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, UCC executive and minster for LGBT concerns:
“Citizenship, a core value of scouting, honoring and protecting the worth and dignity of every person. The discriminatory membership policies of the Boy Scouts of America violate these values and should be changed. The BSA should honor its values of respecting the diversity of theological teachings that exist among the broad spectrum of faith groups that participate, including the UCC’s values of extravagant welcome and inclusion.”

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Unitarian Univeralist Association & Scouts for Equality

We are pleased to announce the support of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in our work to end the BSA’s ban on gay youth and parents. Their acceptance of people from all walks of life is affirmed by the foundations of Scouting, which has long fostered an environment for interfaith development of our nation’s youth. Just as the BSA has been a home to a wide range of religious backgrounds, the UUA stands with Scouts for Equality in asking the BSA to accept gay youth and parents regardless of sexual orientation. We welcome the UUA’s support of equality and inclusiveness in the BSA.

As an organization of faith and spirituality, the UUA exemplifies what it means to honor the inherent worth and to nurture spiritual growth of all people. Similarly, the BSA has a long history of standing by these same guiding principles; even the father of the Scouting movement, Lord Robert Baden-Powell, said “the sport in Scouting is to find the good in every boy and develop it.” By accepting all youth who are willing to live by Scouting’s principles into the BSA, we are able to follow his vision.

We welcome the UUA’s commitment to respect the inherent worth and dignity of all people, and
we look forward to working with the UUA and many other faith-based organizations to ensure a stronger BSA for our nation’s youth.

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Originally posted to Scouts and Scouters on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 06:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight and Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Episcopal Church has passed this (25+ / 0-)

    resolution at General Convention, backed by both the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops:

    Text of C031:
    "The Boy Scouts of America Policy on Homosexuals" as adopted by the General Convention:

    Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 73rd General Convention recommends that all clegy in charge of congregations and vestries:

    1) Inform the local Boy Scouts of America Council and other organizations of the Episcopal Church's policy adopted at the 65th General Convention (1976) that "homosexual persons are children of God who have full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance and pastoral concern and care of the Church;"

    2) Encourage the Boy Scouts of America to allow membership to youth and adult leaders irrespective of their sexual orientation;

    3) Strongly encourage individual churches which charter or host scout units to open a dialogue with the unit leaders, scouts and their parents regarding discrimination against youth and leaders on the basis of sexual orientation;

    4) Engage in educational programs within their churches to inform members and others about these issues; and be it further

    Resolved, That the 73rd General Conventions recommends that the Office of General Convention send a copy of this resolution to the National Office of the Boy Scouts of America.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 07:05:10 AM PDT

  •  sky is blue (11+ / 0-)

    One of my sunday school teachers 20+ years ago was a lesbian so it is hardly surprising that the UUs would support gays in scouts.  What I would love to see, since they are a majority atheist/agnostic church, is for them to come out in favor of atheists in scouts.  That would be awesome though it would of course risk drawing too much attention to themselves especially if they are running packs.

    •  This only makes sense. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, commonmass, PinHole, blueoasis

      Why exclude those without faith? Perfect chance to show the faithless what good religion can do for people. This coming from an agnostic :)

    •  I met my first avowed atheist while (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, pixxer

      in the BSA and that was over 40 years ago. So it isn't as though there haven't been atheist scouts anymore than there have been no gay scouts.

      That said, it's a fact that the BSA has always required scouts to take an oath to do their duty to God and country.

      In short, they have always been a theistic organization. I'm not sure how you can force an organization that is religious in character, albeit ecumenical, to admit those who aren't religious.

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 07:39:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unitarian Universalsits unite around common values (6+ / 0-)

      Atheist, Agnostics, Theists, and lovers of Mother Earth unite with Buddhists, and followers of Jesus and those who are still exploring in a common covenant to create religious community together and support each other's spiritual growth.

      So it isn't accurate to say they are a majority atheist/agnostic, perhaps some UUs think they are the majority but after 70 years of being a very active Unitarian Universalist, I have learned that those lables don't describe what unites us, we unite around aspirations not "definitions."

    •  Done! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bartcopfan, shaso

      They did, twenty years ago or so, when visibility and discussion of the ban on gay and atheist scouts started.  It's just not the half of the conversation with momentum right now.  (And as an straight atheist, I understand, and am much more concerned about gay scouts being able to join -- when that fight is won, we'll work on the next.  I'm OK with the UUA addressing the two separately, even if it means no discussion of te atheism ban right now.)

      (I was in Girl Scouts when the whole thing first heated up, so I was watching it avidly.)

      http://www.uua.org/... is official, if you like.

    •  Looks like another good spot for the... (0+ / 0-)

      ...Belief-O-Matic Quiz!!

      "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

      by bartcopfan on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 08:32:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Boy Scouts need an alternative national group (5+ / 0-)

    The original Boy Scouts of America or Scouting USA or whatever it's called now turned all religious and stuff around the time it moved from New Jersey to Texas.  Now it's largely the youth wing of some right-wing churches, including the Mormons.  They explicitly described themselves as a religious organization in order to get past a lawsuit about this discrimination.

    So why don't troops who don't want to be affiliate with what the BSA has become join or form another national sanctioning group?  I suspect a lot of Scouting regalia is public domain, if it's not a protected trademark (those don't expire) and was created pre-1926 (after which time copyrights became essentially eternal).  A mass exodus, a fork as it were, seems to be more appropriate.  The new group could arrange for some campsites and do its own jamborees.

    The Girl Scouts and Campfire USA organizations are non-discriminatory.  The trademark "Boy Scouts" might be a problem, but given that Girl Scouts exist, a different name even with "scout" in it might be usable.

  •  Damn Christians obsessed with controlling (4+ / 0-)

    sexual expression, controlling women and reproduction, convinced their pitiful delusions about their mythical invisible sky god Jesus give them the divine right to tell the rest of us who we can love, intolerant, bigoted, hatespewing, poisonou...

    ... wait

    What?

    YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

    by raincrow on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 09:16:43 AM PDT

  •  UCC is not a religion: it's a church nt (5+ / 0-)

    American exceptionalism is America's road to perdition.

    by Alexandre on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 12:27:34 PM PDT

  •  I attended a Council presentation on the issue... (4+ / 0-)

    and the Council Executive (paid employee of the BSA) and the Council President (a volunteer) both emphasized that the possible revision of the membership policy is exclusively due to the conflict between the current policy of excluding homosexuals and the policies of individual organizatins that don't allow such discrimination.  The view is that the BSA offers a franchise of its program to individual chartering organizations, and it can't put its chartered organization into conflicts with the organization's own policies.

    My Council hasn't announced any results yet, but two BSA councils (in Massachusetts and California) have announced their survey results, and they are in favor of ending the ban.  The officials at the meeting I attended did a great job of shutting down anyone who wanted to preach on either side of the issue.  They also pointed out that there was a difference between orientation and activity, and that either heterosexual or homosexual activity on a Scout trip could be sanctioned.

    The Scout Law (trustworthy, loyal, helpful...) is a GREAT liberal manifesto.

    by DaytonMike on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 12:37:59 PM PDT

  •  I am a proud member of this church: (4+ / 0-)
    United Church of Christ & Scouts for Equality

     The United Church of Christ (UCC) has a long history of supporting social justice and affirming the worth of all God’s children, regardless of who they love. The Boy Scouts of America has served our nation well, and helped develop boys into men and children into leaders through spiritual guidance and community service. It is in that spirit that we ask them to join the UCC and Scouts for Equality in making the BSA a home for every boy.

    God’s table is open to everyone. We embrace the God-given worth and dignity of all people and are committed to the value of extravagant welcome where everyone has a place at the table. We cannot support a policy that limits the diversity of BSA membership any more than we can deny the interconnected web of faith that unites us all in the eyes of God. Adopting an inclusive membership policy and supporting all youth is the right thing to do.

    The BSA has welcomed many people from many backgrounds, and we look forward to the day that our gay and bisexual brothers and sisters are welcome as scouts and as leaders. We stand with Scouts for Equality and ask the BSA to end its policy of exclusion.

    Quote from Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, UCC executive and minster for LGBT concerns:
     “Citizenship, a core value of scouting, honoring and protecting the worth and dignity of every person. The discriminatory membership policies of the Boy Scouts of America violate these values and should be changed. The BSA should honor its values of respecting the diversity of theological teachings that exist among the broad spectrum of faith groups that participate, including the UCC’s values of extravagant welcome and inclusion.”

    ...and am very happy that our Synod has adopted this position.  Incidentally, if any of you are in Dallas, Cathedral of Hope is an amazing place to come worship.  Come one, come all, come see the love of God, not the hatred of Man, at work.

    "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level, and beat you with experience every time." --Unknown

    by Subwoofer of the House on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 12:43:28 PM PDT

  •  As a member of an (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW

    Open and Affirming UCC church, it would be impossible for us to sponsor a Boy Scout troop at this time because of their policy on LGBT people.  Even if the BSA reverses their policy, it will be a while before some liberal churches could bring themselves to sponsor a troop unless the ban on LGBT participation is removed on the organization as a whole.  This is a justice issue after all, and the liberal churches are about pursuing social justice as a chief part of their mission.

    For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. --John Maynard Keynes

    by Kurt from CMH on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 08:25:27 AM PDT

  •  I've been so disappointed in this whole thing :(. (0+ / 0-)

    When I was young and in Arizona, I was in scouting, although frequent surgeries and a move at age 14 put an end to my time as a Boy Scout.  Although we were hosted by what I later came to learn was a conservative church (not our church), our troop seemed to studiously avoid these kinds of issues and I believe that we would have quietly accepted gay families.

    Has scouting become more conservative?  I recognize that now the Mormons have deep ties to Boy Scouts and I find myself wondering if this conservatism is newfound or if it was simply less noticeable in the '80s and '90s.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 10:22:59 PM PDT

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