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Bsa Proposed Policy Statement On Sexual Orientation And Membership


KevinG

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I understand that, the Church isn't going to make a definite statement until the BSA has actually made a change. I'm just not convinced that the Church would sever ties over this policy. I could see them go either way.

I don't think the Church is going to sever ties over this policy, if they were they would have said so -- so I don't see them severing ties if it is adopted.

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I understand that, the Church isn't going to make a definite statement until the BSA has actually made a change. I'm just not convinced that the Church would sever ties over this policy. I could see them go either way.

Why would they sever ties over a policy that is in line with how they do things (allowing gay youths to participate in Scouts)?
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Why would they sever ties over a policy that is in line with how they do things (allowing gay youths to participate in Scouts)?

Apparently I am way off the base, the AP is reporting the Church's news release as approving of the new policy. I didn't read it that way at all. Applauding the BSA's efforts to compromise yes, but explicit approval of the new policy, no.

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Apparently I am way off the base, the AP is reporting the Church's news release as approving of the new policy. I didn't read it that way at all. Applauding the BSA's efforts to compromise yes, but explicit approval of the new policy, no.

The article accompanying the official statement said the Church was satisfied with the compromise. The church did not officially approve or reject the original compromise. It was the Salt Lake Council that spiked that attempt, and the Salt Lake Council hasn't said what their position is on this one yet. Since they are the largest Council, they apparently have considerable sway. I don't think that the original compromise would have gotten as far as it did without at least tacit approval of Church leadership because of their influence on the National. So I view this as primarily a conservative/liberal political struggle within BSA rather than a struggle initiated by the Church. It's a cultural battle in other words.

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MORMON CHURCH PLEASED WITH BOY SCOUTS PROPOSAL

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church has given its blessing to the Boy Scouts of America on its latest proposal to lift the gay ban for youth members but continue to exclude gays as adult leaders.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted a statement on its website Thursday saying it is satisfied with the proposal, which the Boy Scouts announced last week and will submit to its National Council at a meeting in Texas the week of May 20.

The Salt Lake City-based church said it is satisfied that the Boy Scouts of America has made a "thoughtful, good-faith effort to address issues that, as they have said, remain 'among the most complex and challenging issues facing the BSA and society today.'"

It added the proposal recognizes that "Scouting exists to serve and benefit youth rather than Scout leaders, a single standard of moral purity for youth in the program, and a renewed emphasis for Scouts to honor their duty to God."

The reaction from the LDS church comes six days after the Boy Scouts of America made its major announcement. The Mormon church has more Scouting troops than any other religious denomination in the country so there was widespread interest in what it would say about the proposal.

The LDS church still teaches its members that marriage is between a man and a woman and that same-sex relationships are sinful. In December, however, the church launched a website encouraging members to be more compassionate in discussions about homosexuality. The website says Mormons should be loving and respectful toward gays and lesbians, while appealing to gay and lesbian Mormons to stay in the church.

It marked the most significant outreach yet to gays and lesbians by the Mormon church, which has about 14 million members worldwide.

The Boy Scouts of America issued a statement Thursday saying the organization is deeply appreciative of its long-standing relationship with the Mormon church and pleased to hear it is satisfied with the proposal. Scouting is successful because of strong relationships with chartered organizations like the Mormon church, the Boy Scouts' statement said.

The latest proposal from the Boy Scouts of America is a compromise on the divisive issue; the organization earlier floated the idea of completely lifting the ban on gays. Gay-rights groups, which had demanded that the ban be removed, have criticized the latest proposal as inadequate.

In making its announcement last week, Boy Scouts of America estimated that easing the ban on gay adults could cause widespread defections that cost the organization 100,000 to 350,000 members.

Utah likely was included in that estimate.

The Boy Scouts' Great Salt Lake Council is one of biggest in country, with 5,500 troops and 73,400 youth. Almost all of those troops are sponsored by the Mormon church.

In a survey the council sent to its members, four out of five Scout leaders and parents said they're opposed to lifting the ban on gays. About 4,700 adults responded to the survey, which the council shared with the Boy Scouts. Nearly half of the respondents said they would quit the Boy Scouts if the ban on gays is lifted.

The Great Salt Lake Council has not yet weighed in on the latest proposal. Members are going to meet to discuss it at their May 8 meeting before coming out with any opinion, said Rick Barnes, executive of the Boy Scouts' Great Salt Lake Council.

This is the AP article I read: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/mormon-church-pleased-boy-scouts-proposal

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Well, it might tell you that, or it might also signal that they would have gone with the original compromise as well.

So what? The same principle applies: wherever there are negatives, with typical Mormon optimism, the positives work out and outshine them “as we work together in the future.” What does the Church's support/tolerance/acceptance of one proposal over another have to do with that?

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What do you think the effect will be on LDS troops in particular if this is passed?

Many in my circle of callings said that the Church would never agree to something like that. And now you have the DNews article. I had reminded them that the Church allowed gays to serve and be ordained conditionally and that this type of thing would be a natural outgrowth of that policy. However one should note that I disagree with the Church on this proposed BSA policy even though I predicted it to the other leaders in my Stake. They will probably come to accept the policy if implemented. I probably won't. I have been exposed directly to homosexual society and politics in my service to the Church and I know what they are all about (no good whatsoever).

Will this put the controversy to rest or will outside groups continue to push for changes within the BSA?

They will continue to push and will not stop until the BSA and doctrine of the Church are completely changed. Note that neither have changed...yet

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Bear in mind that the new policy is only a proposal. It could still be rejected when voted on, and the association of the Church with Scouting would again be in jeopardy.

This is true. But notice that the Church's statement is completely neutral which allows them to go either way, wherever the vote takes the BSA, without losing face. This means, I predict, the if the BSA adopts the policy, the Church won't fight it or create their own program, etc.

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This is true. But notice that the Church's statement is completely neutral which allows them to go either way, wherever the vote takes the BSA, without losing face. This means, I predict, the if the BSA adopts the policy, the Church won't fight it or create their own program, etc.

I don’t think it’s about saving face, but about dong as much good as possible with the resources the BSA has at hand. The Church leaders on the NEB, in my opinion, are acting as Christ acted when interacting with those operating with less light than He. The Church is keeping an opportunity open for the saints to continue to serve as leaven among a national group, which, considering its moral resources in comparison to the Church’s and the saints', cannot remain unsullied from society’s pressures.

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I don't believe either compromise proposal would have got as far as it did without tacit Church approval. The two heavyweights with the BSA are the LDS Church and the Catholic Church. The Southern Baptists have already set up their alternative program called the Ambassadors or something. We have a huge number of units, but our troops in the Midwest and northeast are small and weak for the most part. The Catholic troops are usually more robust out here.

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I don't believe either compromise proposal would have got as far as it did without tacit Church approval. The two heavyweights with the BSA are the LDS Church and the Catholic Church. The Southern Baptists have already set up their alternative program called the Ambassadors or something. We have a huge number of units, but our troops in the Midwest and northeast are small and weak for the most part. The Catholic troops are usually more robust out here.

I actually was in a catholic troop. I was already in the troop before my family joined the church, I didn't see any reason to switch so I stayed. I'd say 80% of the troop was non-catholic, we fluctuated between about 100 boys to about 30 at our smallest.
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I actually was in a catholic troop. I was already in the troop before my family joined the church, I didn't see any reason to switch so I stayed. I'd say 80% of the troop was non-catholic, we fluctuated between about 100 boys to about 30 at our smallest.

Yeah there are lots of LDS Troops with like 6 kids in them out here. My deceased wife and I ran the largest LDS Pack I have run into in the Midwest, and it was like 90% non members we had people from three counties and about four school districts driving to be in that Pack. But we were very maverick about the way we ran it and violated some Church policy in doing so...as in we had a Tiger Cubs unit and weren't supposed to. I think it became a Methodist Pack after we left, I don't know if they changed some of our maverick policies or not. I cannot conceive of the gay scout issue ever having come up in our Pack or our Troop. This whole cultural/political/religious tug of war is most unfortunate, they should have just let the units Chartering Organizations make their own policy on the subject and moved on instead of all tis high profile fighting.

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The article accompanying the official statement said the Church was satisfied with the compromise. The church did not officially approve or reject the original compromise. It was the Salt Lake Council that spiked that attempt, and the Salt Lake Council hasn't said what their position is on this one yet. Since they are the largest Council, they apparently have considerable sway. I don't think that the original compromise would have gotten as far as it did without at least tacit approval of Church leadership because of their influence on the National. So I view this as primarily a conservative/liberal political struggle within BSA rather than a struggle initiated by the Church. It's a cultural battle in other words.

First of all, it's called the Great Salt Lake Council, not the Salt Lake Council. Scout councils tend to be named after geographic landmarks here in Utah.

Second, it strikes me as naive to assume that the GSL Council acts without at least tacit approval from the Church leaders since the council's constituency is so richly populated with LDS chartered units.

Thus I'm quite confident that in getting the original proposal spiked and forcing the move toward a compromise, the GSL Council acted consistently with the desires of the Church leaders.

I have no inside information on this, and I could be wrong, but my intuition says otherwise.

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First of all, it's called the Great Salt Lake Council, not the Salt Lake Council. Scout councils tend to be named after geographic landmarks here in Utah.

Second, it strikes me as naive to assume that the GSL Council acts without at least tacit approval from the Church leaders since the council!'s constituency is so richly populated with LDS chartered units.

Thus I'm quite confident that in getting the original proposal spiked and forcing the move toward a compromise, the GSL Council acted consistently with the desires of the Church leaders.

I have no inside information on this, and I could be wrong, but my intuition says otherwise.

My intuition says otherwise. The Church was not issuing a stance on the original compromise, which strongly suggests that they would have reacted the same as they did to this compromise. The Great Salt Lake Council, on the other hand went on the attack demanding a delay in the vote, etc. Unless the Church was using the GSL Council as a proxy in the fight, which I doubt, this is more likely a case where the Utah culture is being more aggressive than the Church. If you match up direct connections between the Church general leadership and a Council, I think you will find the connection with the National Council stronger even though I assume that the local Mormons dominate the GSL Council. I guess we wait and see how the GSL Council behaves to determine whether it is more conservative than the Church leadership on this issue, my guess is that it is.

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My intuition says otherwise. The Church was not issuing a stance on the original compromise, which strongly suggests that they would have reacted the same as they did to this compromise.

It strongly suggests no such thing. More likely that the Church was content to let the Great Salt Lake Council handle the confrontation and then to wait for the outcome before deciding on a course of action.

The Great Salt Lake Council, on the other hand went on the attack demanding a delay in the vote, etc.

If the Church had disapproved of such a thing, they could easily have reined in the Great Salt Lake Council, which would have readily complied.

Unless the Church was using the GSL Council as a proxy in the fight, which I doubt, this is more likely a case where the Utah culture is being more aggressive than the Church. If you match up direct connections between the Church general leadership and a Council, I think you will find the connection with the National Council stronger even though I assume that the local Mormons dominate the GSL Council.

I think you are being amazingly naive here, perhaps because you are not from Utah and have not had opportunity to observe local conditions over a lifetime as I have. An overwhelming majority of the Great Salt Lake Council's constituency is LDS units. It is almost a de facto LDS council. They hardly make a move without the direct or assumed approval of the Church leaders. The Church's influence with the national BSA leadership, on the other hand, is far less substantial.

I guess we wait and see how the GSL Council behaves to determine whether it is more conservative than the Church leadership on this issue, my guess is that it is.

I think you're fantasizing. In the end, the Great Salt Lake Council is going to take a position on this compromise identical to that of the Church leadership.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My intuition says otherwise. The Church was not issuing a stance on the original compromise, which strongly suggests that they would have reacted the same as they did to this compromise. The Great Salt Lake Council, on the other hand went on the attack demanding a delay in the vote, etc. Unless the Church was using the GSL Council as a proxy in the fight, which I doubt, this is more likely a case where the Utah culture is being more aggressive than the Church. If you match up direct connections between the Church general leadership and a Council, I think you will find the connection with the National Council stronger even though I assume that the local Mormons dominate the GSL Council. I guess we wait and see how the GSL Council behaves to determine whether it is more conservative than the Church leadership on this issue, my guess is that it is.

The following statement from the Great Salt Lake Council was sent to me as a news media representative in an unsolicited email two days ago:

Great Salt Lake Council statement on the proposed BSA resolution:

We acknowledge and commend the BSA for seeking input from membership at all levels as well as public input on Scouting and its membership policy. We are appreciative of the opportunity to participate in the process and that our voice was heard.

Also, we believe that “Duty to God” and moral behavior must continue to be core values of the Scout Oath and Law, as the proposed resolution indicates. This morning the Great Salt Lake Council unanimously passed a motion to allow each of our 15 voters to vote their conscience as to what is in the best interest of our youth members, the council, and the BSA.

We will work closely with our Scouting family and remain totally committed to Scouting’s mission and delivering our quality programs to more than 100,000 members and leaders.

This should put to rest Stone holm's notion that the Great Salt Lake Council, as part of the "Utah culture" (whatever that is supposed to mean) is going to behave more "aggressively" and "conservatively" on this matter.

Since the council has expressed its unanimous determination to let its 15 voters "vote their conscience" on the proposal, and since the council is overwhelmingly LDS, I think it safe to predict that the council by and large will conform to the Church's position.

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The following statement from the Great Salt Lake Council was sent to me as a news media representative in an unsolicited email two days ago:

This should put to rest Stone holm's notion that the Great Salt Lake Council, as part of the "Utah culture" (whatever that is supposed to mean) is going to behave more "aggressively" and "conservatively" on this matter.

Since the council has expressed its unanimous determination to let its 15 voters "vote their conscience" on the proposal, and since the council is overwhelmingly LDS, I think it safe to predict that the council by and large will conform to the Church's position.

Utah Mormons are creating a liberal cesspool with all their notions of agency and what not.

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The following statement from the Great Salt Lake Council was sent to me as a news media representative in an unsolicited email two days ago:

This should put to rest Stone holm's notion that the Great Salt Lake Council, as part of the "Utah culture" (whatever that is supposed to mean) is going to behave more "aggressively" and "conservatively" on this matter.

Since the council has expressed its unanimous determination to let its 15 voters "vote their conscience" on the proposal, and since the council is overwhelmingly LDS, I think it safe to predict that the council by and large will conform to the Church's position.

Possibly, but not sure I agree it puts anything to rest. I do, however, think that if the Church wasn't satisfied with the original compromise that it would never have let it get as far as it did -- the fact that the original compromise even got scheduled for a vote suggests to me that it probably had a "no objection" signal from the Church. It would have been very embarrassing for the Church to have tried to step in and tell the Council to not derail the first compromise. I don't know whether the Church stepped in and told the Councilmembers to approve the second compromise -- however, it really shouldn't have had to since it pronounced itself satisfied with the second compromise before the Council acted which was a very clear signal to the Council not to derail the second compromise.

While the second compromise is clearly consistent with our standards, it, unlike the first compromise, has no chance of settling the BSA controversy or to removing BSA from being used as a religious/cultural/political proxy battlefield, whereas the first compromise at least had the possibility of doing so. Now any church or synagogue which ordains lesbians or gays as ministers or rabbis is going to be in the awkward situation of being asked to sponsor an organization who its own leaders are barred from being leaders in -- that will I assume lead to one or two things, 1) that church or synagogue will withdraw from BSA on moral grounds, or 2) that sponsoring organization will continue to lobby for a change in the rules as to adult leaders.

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Possibly, but not sure I agree it puts anything to rest. I do, however, think that if the Church wasn't satisfied with the original compromise that it would never have let it get as far as it did -- the fact that the original compromise even got scheduled for a vote suggests to me that it probably had a "no objection" signal from the Church.

It really does mystify me where you get this idea that the Church has such control (not mere influence) over the actions of the national council. Nothing I've seen supports such a notion.

I think what has been put to rest is your notion that the Great Salt Lake Council, driven by some monolithic "Utah culture," is going to pursue some hostile, redneck, reactionary course with regard to the national BSA that is not in conformity with the Church's own position on the matter. What we see, instead, is that the council has taken a hands-off position with regard to the latest proposal and has determined to let its voting members "vote their conscience," presumably by secret ballot.

It would have been very embarrassing for the Church to have tried to step in and tell the Council to not derail the first compromise.

It didn't have to. The Great Salt Lake Council, which is overwhelmingly composed of LDS units, led the charge to put the brakes on that proposal, which was in process of being railroaded into policy, until cooler heads could prevail. The Church does have great influence over the Great Salt Lake Council and could have gotten the council to stand down at that point, had it chosen to do so.

I don't know whether the Church stepped in and told the Councilmembers to approve the second compromise -- however, it really shouldn't have had to since it pronounced itself satisfied with the second compromise before the Council acted which was a very clear signal to the Council not to derail the second compromise.

So you appear to be acknowledging the decisive influence the Church has over the Great Salt Lake Council.

While the second compromise is clearly consistent with our standards, it, unlike the first compromise, has no chance of settling the BSA controversy or to removing BSA from being used as a religious/cultural/political proxy battlefield, whereas the first compromise at least had the possibility of doing so. Now any church or synagogue which ordains lesbians or gays as ministers or rabbis is going to be in the awkward situation of being asked to sponsor an organization who its own leaders are barred from being leaders in -- that will I assume lead to one or two things, 1) that church or synagogue will withdraw from BSA on moral grounds, or 2) that sponsoring organization will continue to lobby for a change in the rules as to adult leaders.

If and when that happens, I suppose the Church will deal with it with regard to its continued association with BSA. For now, such a confrontation has been staved off, and the Church can continue its 100-year association with BSA, secure that it will not be compelled to embrace or tolerate changing societal whims that conflict with its bedrock standards.

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It really does mystify me where you get this idea that the Church has such control (not mere influence) over the actions of the national council. Nothing I've seen supports such a notion.

I think what has been put to rest is your notion that the Great Salt Lake Council, driven by some monolithic "Utah culture" is going to pursue some hostile, redneck, reactionary course with regard to the national BSA that is not in conformity with the Church's own position on the matter. What we see, instead, is that the council has taken a hands-off position with regard to the latest proposal and has determined to let its voting members "vote their conscience," presumably by secret ballot.

It didn't have to. The Great Salt Lake Council, which is overwhelmingly composed of LDS units, led the charge to put the brakes on that proposal, which was in process of being railroaded into policy, until cooler heads could prevail. The Church does have great influence over the Great Salt Lake Council and could have gotten the council to stand down at that point, had it chosen to do so.

So you appear to be acknowledging the decisive influence the Church has over the Great Salt Lake Council.

If and when that happens, I suppose the Church will deal with it with regard to its continued association with BSA. For now, such a confrontation has been staved off, and the Church can continue its 100-year association with BSA, secure that it will not be compelled to embrace or tolerate changing societal whims that conflict with its bedrock standards.

The Church has massive influence over the National BSA Council to the extent that the Council frequently and still does allow the Church to create custom Scout programs specifically tailored to the way the Church operates. Its influence over the National BSA Council is not just it representatives, but also financially since the National gets a monetary cut from every unit charter application and renewal. The Church for years has had the greatest number of Chartered Units so it is probably one of, if not the, largest sources of revenue that the BSA has. A dissassociation of the Church from BSA would be financially devastating to BSA. The Catholics are probably the second most important sources of revenue at the National level since for years they have had the most Scouts (not sure if that is still true). So it is basically inconceivable that the BSA would consider allowing a vote to be scheduled at the National level which could spell financial suicide for the BSA unless the organization capable of delivering the cynanide pill had signaled that it had no objection. The Church may, or may not, have expected that the Great Salt Lake Council was going to derail the original compromise. All of this is seen through a glass darkly, but what is very, very clear is that the second compromise keeps the controversy alive which is not in the best interest of BSA or the Scouts -- while the original compromise would have allowed the Church to go its own way which it has a tradition of doing so when it comes to Scouts anyway.

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The Church has massive influence over the National BSA Council to the extent that the Council frequently and still does allow the Church to create custom Scout programs specifically tailored to the way the Church operates. Its influence over the National BSA Council is not just it representatives, but also financially since the National gets a monetary cut from every unit charter application and renewal. The Church for years has had the greatest number of Chartered Units so it is probably one of, if not the, largest sources of revenue that the BSA has. A dissassociation of the Church from BSA would be financially devastating to BSA. The Catholics are probably the second most important sources of revenue at the National level since for years they have had the most Scouts (not sure if that is still true). So it is basically inconceivable that the BSA would consider allowing a vote to be scheduled at the National level which could spell financial suicide for the BSA unless the organization capable of delivering the cynanide pill had signaled that it had no objection. The Church may, or may not, have expected that the Great Salt Lake Council was going to derail the original compromise. All of this is seen through a glass darkly, but what is very, very clear is that the second compromise keeps the controversy alive which is not in the best interest of BSA or the Scouts -- while the original compromise would have allowed the Church to go its own way which it has a tradition of doing so when it comes to Scouts anyway.

The sense I get is that the Church is eager to be as conciliatory as it reasonably can, up to the point where the national policies begin to infringe on the Church's non-negotiable standards. That the Church will avoid the nuclear option (cutting off all ties with BSA) so long as it is not compelled to tolerate a policy whereby practicing homosexual men are installed in leadership positions.

Perhaps such a confrontation is inevitable, but for now it has been avoided, so for now, the Church can continue an association that has worked reasonably well for 100 years.

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The Church has massive influence over the National BSA Council to the extent that the Council frequently and still does allow the Church to create custom Scout programs specifically tailored to the way the Church operates.

I don't know that one can read a control issue into this. Does BSA not allow comparable flexibility to other sponsors?

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