scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Politics IN Scouting
Jim Miller Jr. (jmillerjr@LSFCU.ORG
Mon Aug 07 2000 - 14:30:33 CDT
I don't know where any of you people ever got the idea that there should be
no politics in Scouting. This is completely false because such a restriction
would grind the program to a dead halt. Maybe some of us are getting
confused with the idea that there should be no Scouting in Politics.
Politics happens every day in Scouting. Held a PLC meeting lately? Last time
I checked those were elected representatives determining program, agenda,
and policy for their constituents through debate and compromise. That's
Held a Troop election any time in history? That would be two or more young
men competing for the votes of their peers to hold a leadership position
within the group. That's politics.
Been to an Order of the Arrow Lodge or Section election? See above.
As for the issue when stated the other way around, no Scout or Scouter
should use their position in the BSA to advocate or endorse a particular
political ideology, party, position, or candidate.
This, of course, does not preclude Scouts from providing color guards or
other non-partisan services at a political event. It simply means that they
should leave the stage as soon as they finish so they can avoid the
appearance of endorsement. It should also be provided on an equal basis to
all who request such services without regard to political affiliation.
In regard to adult Scouters actively participating in the political process,
I fail to see how anyone couldn't and maintain a clean conscience. If I miss
an election, cast an uninformed ballot, fail to understand the issues
presented for a vote, or fail to take an active role in the shaping of
public policy, I am not doing my "Duty to Country" as defined by the Scout
Oath. Depending on just how active one becomes in the process, there is
simply no way to avoid having your Scouts find out to which political party
you may belong. At some point they may well read a ballot with your name on
Just for today, a change of .sig files...
Jim Miller, Jr.
Executive Committee Member, Hudson County Republican Committee
Chairman, Hudson County Young Republicans