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Scouting for bigots

Scouting for bigots

FROM New Year’s Day, 2014, the Boy Scouts of America began implementing a new, inclusive policy that allows openly gay youngsters to join the movement.

This development is part of seismic shift in attitude towards LGBT communities in the US. A survey published by the Public Religion Research Institute in February shows a significant move the across the entire religious and political spectrum in every region of the country toward a greater tolerance of gay people – and a huge fall in numbers of people attending churches at which homosexuality is condemned.

The survey showed that currently a majority (53 percent) of Americans favour allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry, compared to 41 percent who oppose. In 2003, less than one-third (32 percent) of Americans supported allowing gay and lesbian people to legally marry, compared to nearly 6-in-10 (59 percent) who opposed.

Ron Orr

Ron Orr

A major driving force behind this increased tolerance is the fact that almost two-thirds (65 percent) of Americans report having a close friend or family member who is gay or lesbian, nearly three times the number (22 percent) who reported having such a relationship in 1993.

But for one Texas man – Ron Orr – the BSA’s decision to accept gay youngsters was a step too far, and he decided launch an alternative organisation called Trail Life where Christians  – including his 15-year old son Andrew – son could indulge their prejudices and idiotic beliefs to their hearts content.

Orr, according to this report, is clear about his Christian faith and what it says about homosexuality: It is a sin that cannot be tolerated.

So the Orrs upped and left BSA in a huff and set out with other families to build a new organisation based on what they believe to be Christian values.

The Orrs and others in Trail Life say they are fighting for the traditional values of Christianity and of Scouting, which includes a command in the Scout Oath to be ‘‘morally straight”, “straight, of course, being the operative word.

Said Orr:

As Christians from a scriptural basis, we love all folks, but the Scripture is very clear that being homosexual is a sin. We’ve got to be able to hold a strong line and set a consistent example for our young men.

His son agreed. He would forgo the century-old BSA for Trail Life, which officially launched just last month. Trail Life offers youngsters:

A journey established on timeless values derived from the Bible. Our vision is to be the premier national character development organization for young men which produces Godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens.

The face of Christian scouting:  Trail master Phillip Buchholz speaks to boys during a Trail Life meeting in North Richland Hills, Texas. Trail Life USA, the new Christian-based alternative to the Boy Scouts of America, excludes openly gay members. Photo: LM Otero, AP

The face (and belly) of Christian scouting: Trail master Phillip Buchholz speaks to boys during a Trail Life meeting in North Richland Hills, Texas. Trail Life USA, the new Christian-based alternative to the Boy Scouts of America, excludes openly gay members. Photo: LM Otero, AP

Trail Life has established units in more than 40 states, gleaning members mostly from Boy Scouts and parents who feel their old organisation has lost its way. It has about 600 units up and running or in the process of registration, executive director Rob Green said.

As many as half of those who have expressed interest were not affiliated with the Boy Scouts beforehand, Green said. It is still a tiny movement compared to Scouting, which has nearly 2.5 million youth members and remains a powerful force in American life, even with a six percent drop in membership last year. Trail Life  welcomes all boys, but adds

 We grant membership to adults and youth who do not engage in or promote sexual immorality of any kind, or engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the program.

For over a century, Scouting banned openly gay youth and leaders, fighting all the way to the Supreme Court to defend its right to do so. Leaders who were revealed to be gay were excluded, and some boys were denied Eagle Scout awards by regional councils that were notified of their sexual orientation.

But the Scouts eventually began to face pressure from sponsors and CEOs who serve in Scouting leadership but lead companies with anti-discrimination policies.

BSA surveys also showed that youths and parents of Scouting-age children were supportive of allowing openly gay Scouts. Scouting leadership proposed a compromise: Accept openly gay youth, but exclude gay adult volunteers. BSA’s National Council voted in May to enact it.

Hat tip: Pete Hurren

35 Responses to “Scouting for bigots”

  1. barriejohn says:

    There was another report recently stating that the anti gay marriage stance of Christians was driving young people away from American churches, but I can’t locate it now! This is from 2012, and says a very similar thing:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/05/17/christianitys_anti_gay_stance_backfires/

  2. barriejohn says:

    This remarkable report is from yesterday’s Guardian site:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/01/gay-rights-georgia-bible-belt-south

  3. ian says:

    When are the so called Christians going to realise that Jesus Christ, what ever he was, was not a Christian?

    What was he, if in fact he existed? A Jew!

  4. sailor1031 says:

    It’s good that these people self-identify and form exclusive groups. It’ll make it much easier for the United Nations troops to round them all up and herd them into FEMA concentration camps when Obama finally implements Agenda 21.

  5. remigius says:

    I think this is a fabulous idea. What could be more wholesome than a couple of middle-aged guys taking young boys into the woods and making men out of them.

    Imagine their squeals of delight when skinny-dipping in a crystal lake, then letting the sun dry off their lithe young bodies – before heading back to camp for a good ol’ fashioned spit-roast.

    Marvellous.

  6. joe mendez says:

    GREAT! another hate group.

  7. carl kolotylo says:

    Proper education and an end to home schooling would be the best way to end this religious blight upon humankind. What chance do these kids have when they are exposed to no other worldview other than that provided by zealot fanatical parents who value religion over their own famiy?

  8. Trevor Blake says:

    No change whatsoever in the BSA disallowing atheists to be members or leaders. I do not support legislation to force private groups to change their policies – nor do I support private groups having special access to state funded resources such as schools or parks. I only note the BSA bias against atheists is so deep it is invisible even in this atheist periodical.

  9. barriejohn says:

    Trevor Blake: I fear that you are right. There may be some confusion over this, due to acceptance of homosexuals.

    http://atheism.about.com/od/religiousright/ig/Christian-Propaganda-Posters/Boy-Scouts-Fight.htm

  10. barriejohn says:

    Depressing news regarding education in England and Wales:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26405714

    “Vote for us and we’ll…change nothing.”

  11. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: These politicians come from the same pool of privileged, privately educated posh boys. The public are voting fodder there to put them in positions of power with snivelling acolytes, personal chauffeurs and the flattery of regular missives from Charles Windsor. Yuk!

  12. WTF says:

    …and a fat, bald guy with tits is a good role model, is he??

  13. barriejohn says:

    WTF: We don’t know what the other men look like in those parts!

  14. […] From New Year’s Day, 2014, the Boy Scouts of America began implementing a new, inclusive policy that allows openly gay youngsters to join the movement. This development is part of seismic shift in attitude towards LGBT communities in the US. [.] But for one Texas man – Ron Orr – the BSA’s decision to accept gay youngsters was a step too far, and he decided launch an alternative organisation called Trail Life where Christians – including his 15-year old son Andrew – son could indulge their prejudices and idiotic beliefs to their hearts content.  […]

  15. gwen says:

    Teaching bigotry.

  16. radioredrafts says:

    Shades of WBC?

  17. Kicka says:

    It is truly amazing to read all of these posts. If conservatives were to say the same thing about liberals we would be brought up in front of the Justice Department for racism. I totally support Mr. Orr and his right to raise his boys in a Christian framework. I might actually bring his idea to my hometown. No matter how loud liberals scream or how progressive our society becomes doesn’t change the fact that in God’s eyes living an active homosexual lifestyle is a sin-full stop. God’s word on this won’t change even when 90% of the culture disagrees.

  18. barriejohn says:

    Kicka: RACISM? You’re a fucking idiot!

  19. Barry Duke says:

    Kicka: 1: Please define racism.
    2: Please define “sin”.
    Oh, and this god that speaks … heard it, have you?”

  20. X-15 says:

    “For over a century, Scouting banned openly gay youth and leaders…”

    No, the issue only reared its ugly head in the last few years by emboldened faggots who want to recruit children to their perverse ‘lifestyle’. Good riddance to the BSA, they’re traitors to everything good and decent. Another underpinning of Western Civilization lost to modern decadence, congratulations queers.

  21. remigius says:

    …or how progressive our society becomes

    Er, kicka. You do know what progess means?

    It’s about advancing as a society. Advancing – as in getting better!

    You know more open, more tolerant, more civilised.

    It’s a thought.

  22. 1859 says:

    Dear Mrs Kicka,
    What I do with my genitals is none of your business. Whom I love is also none of your business. How I express my love is none of your business, nor is it the business of your imaginary god, because god’s existence is, and always has been, a disgusting fairy tale. The ‘sin’ you describe is wholly lodged in your mind, eating a hole in your brain, eating an ulcer through your mind. How people choose to express their love together is their concern, not yours. Your religion has taught you the ways of bigotry and you will always suffer the pain of those with an ungenerous, narrow and intolerant humanity.

  23. Carl Kolotylo says:

    Easy to see why the religious right hate the boy scouts. I was a scout and they teach self reliance, manners, compassion and respect. Absolutely nothing in common with Christianity.

  24. Broga says:

    Kicka: There is no God. There is no Son of God. There is no Holy Ghost. And when you put them all together they still don’t exist.

  25. AgentCormac says:

    @ Kicka
    Just read X-15’s comments. Better still, follow the link to his abhorrent little website. I think you’ll find that ‘conservatives’ feel free to say just about anything they like about ‘liberals’, and always have. Now, do crawl back under your stone and shut the fuck up. Nobody likes people like you two any more.

  26. Paul Cook says:

    @ Kicka

    I will happily agree with you on this point: “God’s word on this won’t change even when 90% of the culture [don't you mean population?] disagrees”

    WHEN you can prove the following:
    1. there is a god
    2. he makes/made these statements
    3. we can read them, or see them in writing
    4. or see or hear them spoken by god.

    Incredible don’t you think in this age of technology, TV, radio, cameras, film, internet, mass media that NO ONE has ever seen god, or heard him, or read his alleged ‘words’ or managed a photograph, image, recoding, film, or media capture of god – EVER. All these people on this planet – no one ever sees it…..god …. Is this not suspicious or lacking credibility

    EXCEPT

    the references you make to a 4000 year set of pamphlets written in a language you most likely do not read and never will (I certainly do not) that by educated respectable scholars know are just ridiculous in their written form and are on the whole falsified.

  27. Paul Cook says:

    @ X-15

    It will be helpful for you to show evidence of your assertions. Spouting that sort of junk hinders all of your comment. It makes you look angry, petulant and quite childish.

    What evidence do you have.

    On the other there exists, (in reality not in the imagination), an unbelievable and incredible amount of real evidence regarding priests, & deeply religious people, and their very real torture, sodomising and sexual abuse of children in churches and on church properties and in church schools.

    Real depraved sexual predatory abuse conducted by so called church people on children. I know where my children would be safer.

  28. barriejohn says:

    AgentCormac: I took your hint and had a look at X-15’s website. What a load of rubbish.

    One of our fundamental rights is that of our right to freedom of association. The correlative right to freedom of association is the equally important right to freedom of non-association. Yes, the right to NOT associate — to exclude people from our interrelationships…

    The idiot doesn’t have any idea what he is talking about. If there is, indeed, such a thing as the “freedom of non-association”, then that would mean that a person could not be FORCED into an association, not that they have the freedom to prevent others from entering into an association. That’s not “correlative” at all. No wonder it’s so difficult (impossible) trying to reason with these people!

  29. AgentCormac says:

    @ barriejohn

    I’m glad it wasn’t just me who couldn’t make head nor tail of X-15?s torturous logic. He’s probably spent hours trying to get it to make sense – and failed horribly.

  30. barriejohn says:

    AgentCormac: I forgot to provide the link.

    http://freedom4um.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi

    It is impossible to have a meaningful debate with someone who thinks that the opposite of up is sideways.

  31. Paul Cook says:

    I looked at his web site. The link is in his name.

    I couldn’t understand it either.

    I think if the National Socialists had a web page and were around today, it would be very similar.

  32. AgentCormac says:

    @ Paul Cook

    I’d say there’s very little doubt that X-15 is a national socialist!

  33. AgentCormac says:

    Somewhat OT, but this will no doubt fill the homophobic hearts of Kicka and X-15 with delight. According to a BBC report, four Nigerian men have received 20 lashes each after an Islamic court in the northern city of Bauchi convicted them of gay sex. It would seem there are still parts of the world that are living in the same Middle Ages time warp as some parts of the United States.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26469501

  34. Peterat says:

    If you can somehow equate homosexuality with paedophilia – same sex attraction with an attraction to children of your gender – then surely it’s not a leap to equate heterosexuality with paedophilia – opposite sex attraction to children of your gender.
    Sadly for the ranting xtains out there – there is absolutely no proof of either assertion. You either prefer people of your own age (and gender) or you prefer children. And there is significant evidence that suggests that paedophilia does not always discriminategender-wise.
    Same moronic argument about the alleged slippery slope equating same sex marriage to marrying animals. They should be ashamed, but alas, they haven’t the capacity!