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May 10, 2006

Comments

EssEm

Is there any reason, finally, why the Scouts ought not eventually to be attacked for excluding girls, too? I have become increasingly distressed over the tolerance industry. It's too often part of an ACLU-style makeover of the whole culture.

They're a private organization, like a church or a fraternity, one of the many mediating bodies that make our culture work. I'm sorry they don't want me cause I'm gay but that's their right. And don't you think if they took atheists, they'd eventually be forced to erase all references to God, so the little guys wouldn't "feel exluded"?

When tolerance becomes the primary and overriding value, dissolution of traditional organisms is the final result. Tolerance is never enough; it's only the vestibuel to "full inclusion". Many of my gay brethren (and the LGBT&Q personages, especially) would be happy to create this Brave New World. But I read the book, so I'm not interested. Joining the Scouts is neither a civil nor human right.

EssEm

Sp. "vestibule"

Malcontent

As I blogged here, I fully supported their victory in the SCOTUS. But they should not get any taxpayer money whatsoever, either directly or indirectly. Not one fucking cent.

el polacko

exactly right. they can include or exclude any kid they want to, but they don't get my tax money.
on the other hand, as a former acquaintance of tim curran, the eagle scout who first sued the scouts over being thrown out for being gay (he lost)i have great sympathy for the poor kids who were good and dedicated scouts who found themselves thrown into the street for simply being honest about who they are.

The Rev. Jack Malebranche

Oh, the dramatic language...

"thrown into the street" = not allowed to participate in non-essential private club

I agree with EssEm, and I also agree that The Boy Scouts probably shouldn't get public funds, just because public funds shouldn't support private clubs, no matter what they do or who they allow or don't allow in.

But the net publicity effect of this fight is negative.

"Gays attack beloved, wholesome institution, force it to change core values to suit their agenda."

Why is it so important to go where you're not wanted?

Is this necessary for the survival and success of males with homosexual preferences?

Are George Bush and the BSA really even indirectly responsible for high homo teen suicide rates?

Being associated with this kind of nonsense makes me want to commit suicide.

That was a joke, folks, don't everyone get excited.

Jamie

Why is it so important to go where you're not wanted?

Do ya really think that's the point here? Most scouts start at a young age, and, here's the kicker, are scouts before they know they're gay. I can see them wanting to continue their fraternal relationships with their friends.

But I also think they're deluding themselves if they think they'll be accepted. The situation is very much akin to suing a church to let you belong. When I came out I had to say goodbye to the Catholic Church because that's what their rules say. Same with the scouts.

I think Mal's hit it on the head: Have your private organizations, but don't expect my tax money to pay for it. If I want to pay tithe, I'll go back to church.

Fortunately, there are those groups sprouting all over the place that take the place of scouts for gay youth. More every day.

Robbie

Jamie brings up an excellent point and the crux of my issue with the Scouts.

It's not that you're a young gay man who suddenly decides he wants into the Boy Scouts. For many people, they join Cub Scouts and things when they're very young, they grow up in this almost familial environment with many close friends, they realize they're gay, and then it's, "Get the fuck out."

Now, they're a private organization. They can do just as they please, and I will kindly ask they not get any of my tax money. However, that doesn't mean I'm not going to excoriate them for excommunicating young men from an organization they have devoted so much of their lives to.

There is a lot of work that goes into attaining Eagle Scout. My best friend constantly had this or that project. His fellow Scouts were his oldest friends. If one day, they had cut him off from all of that, it would've completely crushed him. So, yeah, I have no problem calling these people out for being a bunch of heartless, Bible-thumping fanatics who hurt young men after they've spent so much of their lives living up to a set of ideals that grow rarer and rarer in this society.

Patrick

Oh, the dramatic language...

"thrown into the street" = not allowed to participate in non-essential private club

Yes, the language is dramatic, but isn't the reality for the kids (who should be the focus, not the organization) worse? You define the situation these gay kids are in as a meaningless trifle. I don't have to have a bleeding heart to know that no matter the situation or intention, when people are being hurt (especially children- still growing and developing), something has to change. One of the worst things that we can do to a child is outcast them. No one enjoys being thrown off anything, and the effects can be lasting.

I think the only solution here is for the BSA to play by the rules. If they want to be a private organization they can't rely on tax dollars (or a big million dollar jamboree compliments of the U.S. Military- hello, $1 is not rent!). If they want our money, they can make their org inclusive of all children.

Malcontent

Oh, the dramatic language...

"thrown into the street" = not allowed to participate in non-essential private club

Jack is a bit of a nihilist.

el polacko

so sorry for the "drama" but i'm speaking from intimate knowledge of how these kids feel when they are cast out while their str8 friends are allowed to stay... as if they aren't dealing with enough already in the coming out process.
(and it's a real nice lesson for the str8 kids too) it has nothing to do with gay people trying to bust IN to the group. even the churches will mostly let 'the sinner' stay in the congregation so it's not completely analagous. the scout leadership is composed of a bunch of cruel pricks who should not have their exclusive club lauded as being as american as mom and apple pie and, therefore, deserving of public monies, one dollar rentals, and the presidential seal of approval.

rob

Since when does a PRIVATE ORGANIZATION have to bow the radical Gay left PR machine . Its the BOY SCOUTS so its really not a topic that the Gay left should be involved in . The Boy scouts stand for patriotic , american loving , god fearing families and its god place for kids to be KIDS .
The Gay left hates god, america, republicans, etc... . Butt out of a private club for young boys. Does the left in particular the gay left any give it a rest !

The Rev. Jack Malebranche

I don't really think of myself as a nihilist.

But I don't believe that you can win a war to prevent hurt feelings. And that is increasingly what gay activism seems to be about these days.

I understand that it probably sucks to be excluded from something, even turned away from an organization you've worked hard to support.

However, the language of the release was hysterical, and some other rhetoric in the comments on it was surprisingly maudlin or melodramatic.

There's nothing wrong with saying it's a stupid, discriminatory policy. It is.

But it's not the kids fighting these wars. They'll eventually either chalk it up to a life lesson (one they'll have to learn sooner or later) or remain bitter and bitch about how mean the boy scouts are for the rest of their lives.

Adults are backing these fights, and when they're gay activists, I stand by what I said. The message is that it's morally wrong for other people not to accept homosexuality, and that they'll press this until the policy is changed or federal funding is removed and the institution runs into financial trouble--at which point they'll be perfectly smug about it and say "those bastards got what they deserved."

I just don't think activism is the answer to everything.

A lot of times, it just perpetuates--as the language here does--the idea that homos are victims who are going to fall to pieces if you treat them badly.

This is not a good way to win respect. And real respect is worth a lot more than politically correct 'acceptance.'

They say the best revenge is living well.

It really is.

All of those homos who are out there, not whining but making successes of themselves in a world in which it is truly possible with very few real hurdles will collectively do more for these kids than a bunch activists holding candlelight vigils ever will. That's real 'pride.' The world is an oyster for homosexual men who have more freedom to pursue their dreams than their counterparts having kids in their early 20s will. I never hear that message.

If you want me to get angry or emotionally involved, tell me about kids who were wrongly tossed in jail or harassed and beaten by cops or something major.

Being kicked out of the Boy Scouts probably sucks, but it is not the end of the world.

By making all of this hooplah, activists just reinforce the idea that it really IS the end of the world. Sending the message that everyone is out to get them doesn't help.

The best message you can send to homosexual kids having a hard time is that yes, some people are assholes and not everyone is going to accept your homosexuality with open arms, but things can and will get better.

It's when they can't see the light at the end of the tunnel that they commit suicide or become self-destructive. That's true for anyone.

And you called me a nihilist.

Jamie

The best message you can send to homosexual kids having a hard time is that yes, some people are assholes and not everyone is going to accept your homosexuality with open arms, but things can and will get better.

Who are you and what have you done with Jack? You know, the self-avowed pessimist? :)

Patrick

Being kicked out of the Boy Scouts probably sucks, but it is not the end of the world.

I take it you feel that Americans should not consider nor act upon the emotional health of it's youth? A lot of the commenters here like to label good deeds as "activism" and make it political. It's easy to do and it helps your arguments because it make the deed seem less significant and "wimpy". Take the heart out of it and make it seem calculated and cold. It's insulting to the kids who are truly the reason why we're discussing this in the first place. They just want help. Jack, I can understand being uninterested in this particular topic, but do you mean to say that it is wrong to help these kids?

Butt out of a private club for young boys.

OMG that's hilarious, Rob! You sound like a troop leading NAMBLA member.

The Rev. Jack Malebranche

Who are you and what have you done with Jack? You know, the self-avowed pessimist? :)

I'm not a pessimist, just a realist. Human nature is a constant.

It's insulting to the kids who are truly the reason why we're discussing this in the first place. They just want help. Jack, I can understand being uninterested in this particular topic, but do you mean to say that it is wrong to help these kids?

Wrong. You have no idea what the kids want or need. You can't speak for them. You're projecting.

What I mean to say is that young homos today are exponentially better adjusted and better assimilated than their counterparts even 15 years ago.

I'm not insulting them. I'm saying they can handle this.

Insulting them is calling them a bunch of victims who are going to fall apart because someone doesn't want them.

Tell them they're capable and encourage them to move past this, look to the future; tell them they can do just about anything they want, because they can.

No matter what they say they want, what they need is to be empowered.

They need positive role models who have made it through this stuff and managed to rise above it.

Not activists who are still nursing adolescent wounds and holding pointless marches that virtually everyone will ignore.

I'm saying that press releases like the one above hurt more than they help. Paint the kids as suicidal victims, and you'll reap what you sow.

Can't we send a more positive message? Isn't that what we'd do if we really cared?


Patrick

Wrong. You have no idea what the kids want or need. You can't speak for them. You're projecting.

It is not projecting to say that kids don't need to be excluded and ostracized. It's not projecting to say that kids don't want to be excluded or ostracized. It's not projecting to say that being thrown out of a club is hurtful. That is a fact- ask any kid!!!

Tell them they're capable and encourage them to move past this, look to the future; tell them they can do just about anything they want, because they can.

That is a joke. Is that how you would parent? Tell them they're strong and they can deal with it, just hold on until you're an adult? I'm sorry Jack but you are recommending we neglect the kids, advising them to ignore it and it will go away. Turning the other cheek doesn't solve problems and certainly doesn't help the kids.

They need positive role models who have made it through this stuff and managed to rise above it.

In this case "rising above" and into "the future" is really reaching adulthood. That's what you'd like to say to these kids? Suck it up and 'til you grow up? I would expect from you something a little more anarchic...

Wrong. You have no idea what the kids want or need. You can't speak for them. You're projecting.

Can no adult speak for kids?


The Rev. Jack Malebranche

It is not projecting to say that kids don't need to be excluded and ostracized.

Kids who are different will always be excluded and ostracized to some extent. That's a fact of life. You can set a positive example and show them how to deal with that positively, or you can tell them how awful and unfair it is and convince them that they are terribly oppressed.

That is a joke. Is that how you would parent?

So it's a joke to say that homosexual kids will probably experience some level of ostracism, but to encourage them to take it on the chin and look to the future--to tell them that just because some people don't like them doesn't mean they can't become successful in adulthood?

Yeah, actually that's exactly how I would parent.

Adolescence is short, and it's a hard time. Adulthood is long. The best thing you can give a kid dealing with adolescent problems is a sense of perspective. Kids who were ostracized in high school will almost always find their niche in college or in adult life.

Kids who commit suicide or run through their high schools with semi-automatic weapons gunning down their classmates do so because they see no way out. They lack perspective. I had a really hard time, and I honestly could have been one of those kids. The thing that saved me was a sense of self-worth and that I was going somewhere. I ended up doing early admissions to college instead. My parents were supportive, but they knew that they couldn't fight all of my battles for me.

Don't portray the kids as helpless victims. Empower them with a sense of self worth and a future.

I'd hardly call that neglect.

I'm sorry Jack but you are recommending we neglect the kids, advising them to ignore it and it will go away.

But IT DOES GO AWAY. Insecure kids that ostracize them while establishing their own identities and sexualities chill out and grow up (for the most part). Whether you were kicked out of the Boy Scouts or not--any bullshit you faced in high school--will or should be water under the bridge by the time you are 25. They will grow up and find jobs and social groups that they fit into and everything that seemed like the end of the world in high school will be laughable ancient history.

Growing up actually solves a great deal, and not just for homos. Ask anyone over 25 about what they thought was the end of the world in high school, and ask them how they feel about it now.

I would expect from you something a little more anarchic...

Sorry to disappoint. As I said, I'm a realist.

Can no adult speak for kids?

I think a lot of gays pretend to speak for kids, but they're really speaking for themselves and re-living their own adolescent trauma. Many of them are still trying to scold their bullies, and causes like this are an outlet for that.


Tommy

My personal experience has nothing to do with being excluded from boy scouts or picked on in high school. I was a BS'er until I got too busy with sports in h.s., had a great social life, and most certainly was never picked on.

The terrible thing about being young and gay for many, perhaps most, is not the exclusion from the group or being picked on, its the alienation and moral corruption of the closet, which only teaches and instills lying, dishonesty, and self-hatred.

As for the BS'ers, in that they would promote this closet they are themselves morally corrupt and liers, as clearly this rob guy is, since he does not acknowlege that some Chistians and rightwingers also think the BS'ers policies are foolish and harmful and, in fact, are designed to harm. Yes, lets go after the kids for thier well developed theology and sexuality. That's B.S.

The Rev. Jack Malebranche

I was a BS'er until I got too busy with sports in h.s., had a great social life, and most certainly was never picked on.

I think a lot more kids actually have that experience today, whether they are closeted or not. (As I'm sure everyone here can imagine, I was a weird kid by any standard--I was harassed as a fag long before I even conceived of the possibility of homosexual acts.)

If kids today 'come out' I can only imagine that they are likely to get picked on a little, but in many cases, not like they would have decades ago.

As for the closet, well, I don't think the closet is as common as it used to be, but I also don't think kids should rush to identify themselves as gay until they've really figured themselves out. And that may require keeping things on the down-low for a while. Calling yourself gay is not something people are going to let you 'take back' once you announce it. It's something I think people should live with privately for a while before they make it common knowledge. I think there are worse things in the world than 'the closet.'

Tommy

The rediculousness of it is the BSA would not have to change one f#$king thing about thier organization if they just let the kids supposedly excluded participate because 1)they already participate and 2) there is nothing overly religious or sexual involved. Its all just a shiboleth. And I am pretty certain the closet still exists in HS, at least that's what my sister the High School teacher tells me. The decision is not left up to the individual to tell or not tell. The message is DEFINATELY DON'T TELL. And so there are worse things, there are always worse things - like that's an excuse.

The Rev. Jack Malebranche

As a footnote...I just got off the phone with my old friend who works in gay youth outreach. What's really interesting is that he, and apparently all his peers, are looking at young homos in a new way these days. Even they think the gay community is falling apart, and that all of these kids are so integrated that they don't need the kind of help that they used to. From what he told me, most of them have pretty active lives aside from being homos, and that they're doing so well they can barely be bothered with 'gay issues.' And those are just the ones that are interested enough to show up at all. They really are OK.

North Dallas Thirty

What a scary thought.....they're normal teenagers.

=)

Teddy Pig

Hey guys,

I go with Jack on this one.

You are talking about a military type organization for kids right?

I guess in that case you better get used to saying "I'm not gay" pretty fast.

Why do you even think the military is giving these guys the time of day.
More warm bodies for the military!
Anyway, better to learn the facts of life early than to think that everyone is going to accept you with open arms.

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