scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Scouts and Politics
Ted Burton (scouter@CONSULTBURTON.COM
Sat Aug 19 2000 - 09:31:14 CDT
At 21:16 -0700 on 8/18/00, Bob Riley spake about Re: Scouts at
Democratic Convention thus:
The following discussion treads upon one of the forbidden "3-G's",
namely "gays." Possibly that is inevitable, given the current legal
setting of the discussion. However, it is clear what the National
Council's position on this matter is, and the Court has declared that
the National Council is free to set its own membership standards.
Those who believe a change in those standards is merited, need to get
involved in the politics of their Council to do anything about it.
The trickle up nature of political change in the National Council is
an obstacle to sudden change of anything. Change in this policy would
require a sort of insurrection at a large number of District and
Council meetings on a nationwide basis, for the prevalent consensus
is rather to the contrary of change.
It is also clear that, whether or not they ought to have them, and
whether or not they are correct in having them, major charter
partners of the BSA do have pronounced thoughts on this issue. There
is little doubt what would happen to Scouting if these half a dozen
churches withdrew from the program. In some states the result would
be near disappearance of the program, and some nasty local politics.
That is a reality, whether or not justified.
>Bill Nelson said :
><<Support for homosexual rights has become such a key part of the
>---> Dogma? I thought everybody's "rights" were already secured
>under our Constitution. Dogma is a religious word. This has nothing
>to do with religion.
Single-issue analyses of elections appall me.
Of all the issues facing the United States, "homosexual rights" is a
small one to everyone other than those directly involved. [The "send
not to learn for whom the bell tolls" analysis could enter here, but
that's another discussion.] Matters like whether or not to apply
current surpluses to extinguishing the National Debt, whether or not
to fund Social Security and Medicare well into the future, whether or
not to renew and continue the Clean Air Act, the Clear Water Act, the
Safe Drinking Water Act, and possibly to fund the local effort,
whether and at what level to fund education, are of far greater
importance to the country. Even the new land management decisions
contemplated in the response to the current wildfires are of far
greater moment. National bankruptcy, saddling my grandkids with
debt, abandoning seniors, dirty air, dirty water, incineration, and
like adverse outcomes are fully equal opportunity events.
I am not the least bit interested in obtaining wrong answers to many
of those issues, in order to obtain right answers on any single
issue. People who peddle platitudes and promise cash in my pocket
scare the hell out of me. 21st Century bread and circuses.
Mr. Riley is undoubtedly correct that individual units and local
councils will suffer by reason of a perception that BSA has now taken
a turn to the right. It does not matter that the policy has not
changed, that nothing has changed at this time. That which folks
protest about today, they should have been protesting about ten years
ago. The Court decision only upheld the status quo. However, and
whether or not this should be the case, truth is irrelevant in
politics, and perceptions are everything. Magic lies in causing the
popular perception to correspond to the truth, but politicians full
of truth get to be truthful on the sidelines, if they do not deal
with popular perception. Truth becomes critical when politics are
done peopling the government, but that's another matter.
Asst Scoutmaster, District Committee, District Commissioner,
Lewis-Clark Trail District, Inland Northwest Council 611, &
'a good ol' Fox too'; Es Kaielgu Lodge 311, Tseminicum Chapter,
Vigil, mailto:email@example.com ; and Macintosh fan.
Take a look at http://www.consultburton.com/scouter.html