scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: Speech freedom on issues
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blkeagle@USSCOUTS.ORG
Tue Apr 13 1993 - 19:01:07 CDT
Chic Harmon wrote in part:
>I would like to weigh in on the issue addressed by Mr. Bowman concerning
>discussion of topics in the newsgroup. I am not a lawyer, only a
>regular person, but IMHO, the issues, especially concerning homosexual
>leadership is one that MUST be discussed, ESPECIALLY if Irving listens
>to the likes of this group and other leaders within the ranks of
If the listowner would allow such discussion, we would be discussing this
topic for about four years STRAIGHT, Chic. I'm a part of the ongoing
discussion over at the USENET newsgroup rec.scouting.issues, and that part
of the discussion has been going on for SIX YEARS...every single day, every
week. With very little break.
Back when we (Scouts-L, that is) was a LOT smaller, we attempted TWICE to
have a real discussion about this topic and the other "two Gs" (the role of
religion within Scouting and the effect of having female youth members in
Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting and its off-shoots (at that time we had two
such off-shoots, one for outdoor youth and another for sports oriented
youth). Both discussions quickly degenerated into discussion on issues not
related to Scouting nor youth, and in the process alienated a lot of adults
that came to this list seeking advice, information and discussion on how to
make their youth program the best it could be.
Our listowner, after consulting with several members of the list whom
contributed many of the discussion (good, bad, otherwise), decided to BAN
discussion on the "three Gs" other than to present information which would
point to other discussion groups. He did so because rec.scouting.issues
(which used to be rec.scouting before many Scouters there complained that
such discussions merit its own "forum"), already carried the discussion and
most Scouters that are interested in such discussion can easily sign on and
become contributors in that forum.
This is all summarized, Chic, in the WELCOME letter which is sent to you and
all other members of this forum; and is one of the few "rules" of this
mailing discussion list which is enforced strengently.
As one of the people whom Jon sought some guidance with a while back, I
remember posting to him that "such discussions always start out civil enough
with the best of intentions. However, as the topic wears downward and as
Scouters entrench themselves into their positions, the best intentions
become verbal assults and in some cases, some outright yelling. This would
tend to transform this list, which has been know for the way we handle
various Scouting and youth-program related topics -- and the people whom ask
and answer them -- into a forum similar in scope as rec.scouting and some
other groups had become. People come here to Scouts-L because they do NOT
want to be yelled at, do NOT want to be belittled, and do NOT want to be
told that "they are stupid" nor "a wacko" for what they have to say and how
they say it".
Others whom Jon has sought input from, I'm sure, have stated similar things
for the same reasonings as mine.
It's NOT Jon's intention to "kill free speech" on this forum; I know this,
even though I cannot speak directly for him. It IS Jon's intention to keep
the list going and growing, and that's part of my charter for being a part
of this list. We all have to remember that Jon DID receive ownership of this
list, and that HIS NAME is that which is released to every other party out
there, good, bad or otherwise....therefore, since it is "his list", we have
to conform to the very few rules which belongs to his list.
I'm sorry that this *sounds* like a restriction on your freedom and others'
to exercise your voice on these matters. If you truly care about those
matters, Chic, good or negatively, join me and some others on this list over
at the USENET newsgroup rec.scouting.issues. Take a little time and read
all of the postings in the various topics, and then jump in with your
opinions, thoughts and expressions on this or any other Scouting-related
issue or conversation.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
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