Re: Framework of BSA
Bill Claycomb (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fri May 08 03:58:59 1998
I don't know if this has been responded to already -- my list is set to
digest mode, so I only see it once a day, but I thought I would say a
few words anyway.
> It is interesting that two persons who have benefited from the > B.S.A.'s "relaxing" their standards have such opposing view points!
Since I am someone who did not gain membership rights through the
"relaxing" of standards, I feel justified in presented an opposing
position. I do not mean to imply that anyone should feel unjustified in
making comments, though some may feel that way due to previous comments.
I feel that I, and the entire organization, benefited from the changes
refered to. I don't think that was the original implication, however.
> Meaning, when "Boy" Scouting was first established, it was for boys
> only. A couple of decades back, the B.S.A. woke up (at least > partially) and started admitting girls.
> Did it weaken the program? Or did it expand it? I guess it is for > each of us to decide then accept (at least for a little while longer).
I agree that the Boy Scouts decision to admit women was "waking up" to
some extent, because the addition they make to the program is
beneficial, and because their inclusion (and contributions) are
consistent with the foundations of the program we enjoy. There is
nothing in the Scout Oath or Law that makes any reference to gender,
only to standards that both men and women are equally capable of
There is, however, a point to be made against the inclusion of people
that do not follow the guidelines set out by the Scout Oath and Law.
That point is simple -- to join an organization, particularly a private
organization (another hotly debated topic), you may be required to meet
membership standards. If you do not meet those standards, you do not
have any right to join, no matter how much money you get from the ACLU.
(Sorry, couldn't resist that cheap shot).
Basically, the issue of admitting women and the issue of admitting
homosexuals or athiests is not the same. Because they are two issues
that involve a growth in the potential membership base, they may seem
similar, but when we examine the foundations of the arguments against
each, we find that they are very different.
I feel that the Boy Scouts are not only sending a message to the
community, but a message to their own membership by taking a stand on
this issue. That message might seem negative to some, but I prefer to
think of it as a positive message: that we will not bend to pressure
from special interest groups, that the BSA has standards that we have
stood by and taught our children by since 1910, and we will continue to