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Boy Scouts' Extended Gay Debate Good for Business for Other Scouting Organizations

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Reason 24/7

In 2000 the Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts and other private organizations like them could set their own membership standards because of the first amendment right to free association. The Boy Scouts prohibit "avowed" gays from joining. A resolution passed last month will allow gay children to join the Boy Scouts starting in 2014. For some, the pace of change is too slow and for others it's too fast, which means other scouting organizations are experiencing a boon.

From the New York Times:

For more than a century, the Boy Scouts of America has had something of a monopoly on neckerchiefs, knot-tying, merit badges and all manner of backcountry skills for boys, treating snakebite and frostbite alike.

No more. The protracted debate over whether to allow gay scouts and scout leaders has angered many church leaders and parents across the political and religious spectrums. The result is a surge of enrollments in alternative outdoor and character-building programs that cater to pagans and Pentecostals and everyone in between.

"Before the Boy Scouts was founded in 1908 you had all these independent scouting groups like the Sons of Daniel Boone and the League of Woodcraft Indians," said Jay Mechling, professor emeritus of American studies at the University of California, Davis, and the author of "On My Honor: Boy Scouts and the Making of American Youth." "Now we are starting to see those types of groups again."

The market at work.

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  1. I will bet the fasting growing ones will be the ones who dont split the difference but take a hard line position in either direction.

  2. My youth organization is based on Lord of the Flies. That’s how you prepare youngsters to survive in the real world.

    1. (drops boulder on FoE)

      1. Kill the beast! Drink its blood!

        We had a pederast teaching English in my middle school.

        Lord of the flies was his favorite book. Yech.

  3. Isn’t this a good thing? This is how it is supposed to work. If you don’t like the scouts, go form or join another organization. Since there are alternatives to the Boy Scouts, how about everyone leave them the fuck alone and let them have whatever rules they want? If you don’t like them, go join one of these other organizations.

    Nah, what is the fun of that? The fun part of life is screwing with people and organizations you don’t like. There is never any fun to be had in leaving people the fuck alone.

    1. The fun part of life is screwing with people and organizations you don’t like.

      Dude, it’s called being tolerant! Good tolerant people do not tolerate intolerance! The Boy Scouts are intolerant! The more intolerant you are of an intolerant organization, the more tolerant you are!

      1. How about the attack on the Christian couple in Oregon who refused to sell a wedding cake to a lesbo couple?

        The organized LGBT community is the very quintessence of intolerance.

        1. It doesn’t change the fact that the current spate of lawsuits against businesses declining service to gays are obnoxious, but this article is pretty funny.

          WW Asks – I was calling to get a quote on a cake for a midsummer solstice party. My coven is celebrating on Friday, June 21. The decoration would be very simple: just a green pentagram. We’d like to pick it up sometime that afternoon, before the bonfire. It’ll be for about 30 people.

          Sweet Cake says – “For 30 poeople we have a couple options… We have two kind of cakes you could have. About the diagram you want on the cake, I’m not sure how much extra that would be.”

        2. Christians are intolerant! Attacking intolerant Christians is the height of tolerance! These lesbos deserve a tolerance medal!

        3. I don’t remember an attack. Were they beaten?

  4. It’s the stupid federal charter! Pushed by all the proto-fascists in the first decades of the 20th century who wanted the U.S. to have its own patriotic paramilitary youth group, that charter has been nothing but a source of trouble.

    The United States is a free country, and the government should not be associated with any youth groups whatsoever.

    Then the BSA can keep out the atheists; the Ernst Mayr Exporers can keep out the Christfags, and everyone wins.

    1. Yes. It annoys the hell out of me to see people fuck with organizations just to push an agenda. But the special treatment the Boy Scouts get from the government annoys me just as much. The Army basically runs their annual jamboree for them with government funds.

      1. I’d be interested in seeing any evidence of such an association.

        1. Daniel, as a former scout, we got lots of special treatment from the military. A lot of our campouts were on a nearby army base.

          Also, the BSA has a congressional charter that gives them special status. You can’t pretend that away. Sorry.

        2. I remember the big Boy Scout camp-outs being essentially Army recruiting sessions. When we would travel for a ski-trip or something like that we would stay in National Guard armories. That was 20 years ago, but I imagine such a close association has continued.

          1. Which is one of the many reasons why the scouts got special treatment from the military.

        3. So, Danny Boy, is this sufficiently evidentiary for you my lad?

          1. Geeze Toni…a little bit of an issue with you?

            First Danny Boy and then lad…

            Fine discourse indeed. I happen to be retired military and a Cub Scout leader. We really don’t have any extra attention from the military requiters toward the local Boy Scout troops.

            But then, with the Boy Scouts trying to help boys mature and be confident and self reliant, I can see the military wanting to recruit those with such traits. I have a few friends that are retired Army SF and credit scouting with their success in the military.

            What is missing is the Grand Conspiracy…

            1. Uh…I’m not claiming any sort of sinister conspiracy, and we (my troop, when I was a scout) were never actively recruited by the military. We were actively, but not officially, recruited by my scoutmaster (inactive marine, two ‘nam tours).

              Sure, the campouts on military bases were passive recruitment, but meh. We thought it was cool as hell at the time and I have no problem with that now (provided that the military makes the same offers to similarly situated groups).

              My beef is with the congressional charter.

      2. I was a scout during the vietnam era. There was no connection between the scouts and the military then. Although, I did get numerous comments about being an evil bastard child for wearing a uniform in public.

        1. That’s when I was a scout, too, kinnath. Our scout leaders were very god and country oriented. We never got any pushback. You were obviously in a more liberal area than I was.

          1. Chattanooga TN was not exactly liberal. We were patriotic for sure — doing our duty to god and country. But we were never militarized. Except for state/national civil war parks, we never camped at any type of military facility.

      3. Ultimately though, an organization is made up of the people that comprise it. If those people decide to change policies, I’m not seeing what’s wrong with that

  5. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Khaki Scouts.

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