Re: Are You Afraid......
Gary Sherwin (sherwin@SUNSHINE.PGH.WEC.COM)
Wed, 8 Feb 1995 09:26:20 EST
Settummanque, Steve, et al:
I hereby appologize to those of you who have been beaten by the
opposition after you have fought as long as you were physicaly,
spiritualy and emotionaly able to. BUT I repeat my admonition to
all others using another of my own experiences as an negative
example and also using your own list related experience:
A fine young couple moved into our community and became
active in our church. The young lady was a gifted puppeteer,
teacher and sunday-school leader. Soon she took a position as
Children's Department Superintendant and Devotional Leader. She was
such a possitive influence, that the size of the Children's department
trippled within the year. This made everyone in the church very happy,
EXCEPT for a certain family which considered her use of puppets to
teach scripture by way of parody to be inapropriate. They set out
to destroy her. The young lady had 3 children. The scoundrels began
their attack by belittling the children for having a "stupid" mother.
It was easy for them to do, because they held three of the eight
teaching positions in the department and held two seats on the
church governing board. They harrassed and slandered the young
lady and her family, untill she tearfully resigned her position and
moved on to another church in the next town down the road.
I and my family moved into town while these things were going on
but I was at school and did not know about it. SOOOO when I finished
school, I returned to my new home and began to become involved in the
local church. Two years later I was chosen to be Childrens Department
Superintendant and Worship Leader. I had seen one of the aforementioned
young lady's puppet presentations during a weekend visit home from school
and appreciated the positive effect that her puppetry had on children.
I did not know of the political situation and so I naively followed in
her foot steps. KA-BOOOM!!! The events repeated and eventualy, I
resign and leave the church.
I meet the young lady at the mall and she expresses disapointment
at my resignation, but equally importantly she tells me that she is
very sorry that she did not persue the problem to it's conclusion and
felt that she was at fault for allowing the situation to continue. She
didn't extend the fault to me but it was obvious. The same thing
occurred two more times before someone had the fortitude to FIX IT!
Now to your related experience:
> I have personally have had a personal run-in with one Council
> Executive that did not like the fact that I was married to a white
> woman and wanted to "withdraw membership in the BSA..." After his
> legal counsel convinced him that such a move would create lots of
> problems with those few black units, he just asked me (and I agreed)
> not to step foot in *his* Council again.
> He was thrown out of the BSA a few years later (probably for trying to
> do the same thing to someone else, I guess).
With great respect to a person/couple who are obviously taking on
social prejudice and its resulting discrimination, Mike, please consider
at least for list discussion purpose that had you been able to stand up
to this ILLEGAL DISCRIMINATION EVEN IN A PRIVATE ORGANIZATION. The one
or two following victims, might not have had to experience this. Thankfuly,
eventualy, someone did STAND UP TO this power abusive bigot. So now
when the next forward looking and committed couple enters that council they
will probably not even know that such a prejudice ever existed.
> As Jessica would tell me when I tell her things which make sense but
> do not play out in reality, "That's very easy and conforable for you
> to say...but until you have been personally involved, you have no
> idea of what you would do or say".
OH Realy! But I will not go into that, because it is another long
story. By the way my experience had to do with being a non-parent leader.
and being reported to council for improper activities and expectations.
I'm still here and so are the now educated parents.
> This applies here, Gary. I just posted twenty minutes ago a followup
> to Steve Tobin's posting in which he, like many Scouters are doing,
> questions whether or not the personal liability and risk of good
> character weighs out the fun and enjoyment of Scouting and the ability
> to develop and see young men develop into adults of good sound
> personal and spirital character.
> In my followup, I referenced a BSA guide to "eliminating the
> undesirables" from our program, called "Maintaining Standards of
> Membership"...... norm".
> This has NOTHING to do with blame, and EVERYTHING to do with the
> morality of those in power deciding on the registration status of BSA
> members and leaders.
We can not control others immorality, but we can set and adhere
to our own high moral standards, part of which, I feel should include a
committment not to be bullied by abusive authorities.
If it is a moral issue, then COST IS NOT A VALID PLAYER. If the
founders of our nation had not done such, the USA would not exist, If
many slaves and sympathisers had not done so, Slavery would still be
the norm in the USA.
When I leave this life my bank accounts and depts do not follow me
but both my antagonist and I will have to answer to our maker, for the
investments and profits of our journey to meet that one.
My utmost admiration to all who stay the course, including you,
Steve and you, Settummanque.
I used to be an Eagle NE-V-19
Gary W. Sherwin SM
Troop 461 Yukon, Pa.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City