Re: Homosexual Scouting
Monica Pilman (TACVMCP@VM.TCS.TULANE.EDU)
Wed, 29 May 1991 09:18:02 CDT
I've enjoyed reading the discussion/debate on homosexuality and religion,
but it is time to re-iterate that it is "okay to disagree, but not okay
to be disagreeable." I've seen some fairly warm flames starting up...
and it would be a shame to spoil this discussion with personal attacks
on people who happen to disagree with you.
And in case you think that it is wrong for people to disagree with you:
that you are the possesor of the "one, true Boy Scouting ideal"...consider
how much we, as a population, disagree about things in other fields too.
Disagreement and dissent are as important to a free and civilized
society as concensus and cooperation. If a dissenter can poke holes in
your arguments, see it as an opportunity to learn from this, and
patch your logic and rationale to make it stronger. But please don't poke
holes in the dissenter!
I personally have no objection to a leader with any sort of sexual
preferences as long as he (1) does not sexually abuse my son, and (2) does
not in any way flaunt his preferences, and (3) does not try to convince my
son that his way, whatever it is, is the "right way". My son is only 11
years old, but I have already talked to him about sex, and made sure
he has good, fact based reference books available in the house. We also
frequently have family discussions that often center around some news article
one of us has read or seen on TV where our views on sex and sexual morality
are expressed & in which our son participates. A scout leader has no business
discussing sex with my son at all, in my opinion, unless my son goes to
him as a trusted adult mentor asking for advice.
I had such a trusted adult mentor when I was a teenager, and she kept me
out of trouble and helped me cope with problems when I didn't feel
comfortable going to Mom and Dad. She was more of a "friend who happens
to be an adult" than a parental figure...and there was never more to
the relationship than that on either of our parts. Such adult/child
friendships can be of enormous benefit to the child.
As for religion, I suppose you could best describe me as a lasped Catholic.
I believe, but I find myself pretty disgusted with the Catholic Church in
particular, and organized religions in general. And what I believe has
changed as I have matured, so that it no longer much resembles what I was
once taught as unquestionable truth. I am a heretic...I have questioned
the unquestionable truths of my church...but I have my beliefs. I keep
them to myself, and I generally expect other people to keep their
beliefs to themselves and not try to evangelize me. I can with a good
heart, say the Pledge and follow the Laws of the scouting organization.
If I could not, I would not belong. I agree with those who say that
EVERY organization discriminates in some way. An organization always
seperates "us" from "them", where "they" are different from "us" in some
way. This is the way of the world. There are some organizations where
the rules that exclude "them" are clearly injust and need to be changed,
but BSA is not, in my opinion, one of them, at least not with regards to
religion. I'd like to see the rules change in some ways, and the organization
I'd like to see become more open-minded and tolerant about some things...
but I am willing to work from within on these changes. Organizations not
only discriminate, but they also EVOLVE.
--- Monica Pilman
Unit Commissioner, Troop Committee Member
New Orleans Area Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City