Scouting in a Fractured American Culture

Tuesday, August 3, AD 2010

The New York Times runs an article about how the national leaders of the Boy Scouts of America are seeking to address concerns about shrinking membership as they celebrate 100 years of boy scouting in the US. The number of boy scouts has declined 42% since it’s peak in 1978, with 2.8 million boys currently in the Scouts.

To judge from the commentariat at the Times, you would think this is entirely the result of the BSA remaining firm in their ban of gay scout leaders and statement that “homosexual conduct is inconsistent with obligations in the Scout Oath.” Not to mention saying that boys who refuse to recite the Scout Oath because of its references to God and reverence may simply not have a place in the program. Commenters claiming to be Eagle Scouts line up one after another in the comments to announce that no son of theirs will ever be a member of the Scouts while it remains homophobic and theocratic.

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6 Responses to Scouting in a Fractured American Culture

  • After a year in scouts, I allowed my son to walk away. My girl is still in scouts. There are many, many factors involved. A lot of it is the parental leaders. The pool is small for those able to do it, and they are volunteers after all. Another factor is other activities. There is a lot more for children to do, and of course those activities are also run by adult volunteers. Then there are the not so good reasons like there being more entertainment available at home through electronics.

    I always find the political explanations somewhat entertaining. In neither scouting group was their a vast amount of ideological diversity. For a den we’re talking 8-12 children. Politics and political issues don’t come up all that often and were it ever to come up, whatever instruction the kid had from the parent would generally be respected. Most people when they are off the Internet don’t look for excuses to beat other people over the head.

  • My sons are currently in scouting. My oldest son is 12 and in Scouts. My 8yr old is in Cubscouts. I am a den leader for the Cubscouts. I have been a leader for 6 years and being that I have a 2 year old will probably end up being a leader for about 15 years. I have found that in Cubscouts the focus is learning morals and some responsibility but also to have alot of fun with friends in your den and Pack but also to foster fun within the family. Parents are a key component to the success of the Scouts. The more you involve the parents the better chance that the boys will remain in Scouts and the better chance that they will get more out of the program.

    My goal has always been to get the boys to have fun at the den meetings, pack meetings and at home with the family. I enjoy seeing the boys mature in there confidence and there relationships with other members of the Pack and especially with there family. For me there is nothing more satisfying then getting the Cubscouts into Boyscouts where they will fully mature and learn life skills that are not taught today in the culture in general.

    Along with the factors you talked about another factor contributing to the loss of members in Scouting is the idea of sacrifice. I think that a culture that loses its connection with Christianity loses the idea of sacrifice. I think sometimes People are a little selfish with there time. They seem to feel that it is there time and they don’t have to share it with anyone. Now this is a small percentage that I am talking about but just wanted to add to the things that are affecting attendace.

    Scouts is one of the greatest organizations for boys to be involved with. Of course that is second to the Church.

  • “The number of boy scouts has declined 42% since it’s peak in 1978….”

    Umm, there’s an even easier and more straightforward reason for this decline. The Baby Boom. The number of boys born between 1946 and 1964 accounts for the peak number in 1978.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_boom

  • Good point. Maybe simplier is more correct.

  • The population went through a sudden period of growth with the baby boom, but the population has continued to grow since that time. The absolute number of boys 8-18 is higher now than it was in 1978.

  • My husband is the scoutmaster of my son’s troop at our parish church. My son-15 is the oldest scout in the troop and hopefully will complete his Eagle project within the next year and a half. That being said, my son has told me repeatedly that it’s not “cool” to be in Scouts. He likes Scouts but doesn’t want it mentioned to anyone. I embarrassed him once by mentioning he was in Scouts to two girls he liked. In our troop, once the boys make Eagle or turn driving age, they drop out of the troop, leaving the troop pretty leaderless(as the troop is supposed to be self-led. we do have adult volunteers). Being a clean cut Scout is no longer appealing to a lot of teenage boys.

Intolerance in the Name of Tolerance

Thursday, July 29, AD 2010

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  In modern society those who prate the most about tolerance often tend to be the most intolerant.   Case in point, what is happening to Jennifer Keeton, a grad student at Augusta State College, studying to be a school counselor.  She is a Christian and believes that homosexual conduct is wrong.  Her faculty has decreed that she must undergo “sensitivity” (read re-education a la the Red Chinese) training to alter her views on homosexuality.  It was suggested that she go to a local gay pride march among other activities.

The Alliance Defense Fund, the same group representing Dr. Ken Howell, who ran afoul of the thought police at the U of I, is representing Keeton.  Go here to read about the lawsuit they have filed on her behalf.

Shockingly, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by a grad student, Julea Ward, at Eastern Michigan University who was faced with precisely the same situation facing Keenan.  Go here to read the details at the blogprof.  Go here to read the Alliance Defense Fund’s, which represented Ms. Ward, overview of the case and their intent to appeal the decision.

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17 Responses to Intolerance in the Name of Tolerance

  • This society is in for a rough ride and it may be a good thing. We will have to see.

  • Professional schools are becoming notorious for this kind of thing. Future educators, doctors, lawyers, and counselors beware!

  • Things haven’t really changed that much from what I recall. Liberal college profs (a bit redundant) always try to push their view and punish those who disagree. Professors did not really want you to think, they just wanted you to spit back what they vomit out to you. Most were there just for a piece of paper to get a job anyway, so it went in one ear, onto the test paper, and out for good. So much for their “indoctrination” attempts.

  • First, ‘it’ was illegal.

    Then, “not that there’s anything wrong with ‘it’.”

    Then, ‘it’ became sacrosanct.

    Next, ‘it’ will be mandatory.

  • Wow, nice strawman you set on fire. The standard is not that counselors cannot hold a negative opinion of their clients’ behaviors.

    The person in question holds the belief that homosexuality is a personality disorder along the lines of sociopathy. This is counter to current views in the psychiatric community. Persons wishing to graduate from a counseling program must evidence that they understand and work within the psychiatric community. She is more than welcome to be christian or prolife or conservative, but defining something as a personality disorder that is not a personality disorder disqualifies her from receiving accreditation from this program.

    As for “it” will be mandatory, give me a break! I promise you that gay stormtroopers in lavender uniforms will not be breaking into your bedroom to force you to have gay sex and abortions until 2013 at the earliest. Calm down.

  • The pschological communicty did view homosexuality as a disorder until the (?) 80’s. Changed their view not so much on solid evidence as changing social norms. Much the same as medical societies opposed abortion until it became the social norm.

    Up till now, medical societies respected the conscience of individuals in regards to abortion and contraception. This is changing now, particularly with the support of the Obama administration. May very well be that the psychological community also will seek to impose their perspectives on practitioners.

    Though with the Nov. elections, the political ability to affect this will probably change. So it won’t be 2013. Likely later when the Dems have a solid majority again.

  • The person in question holds the belief that homosexuality is a personality disorder along the lines of sociopathy. This is counter to current views in the psychiatric community. Persons wishing to graduate from a counseling program must evidence that they understand and work within the psychiatric community.

    Do you think that prior to 1970 people who didn’t believe that homosexuality was a psychological disorder shouldn’t have been able to be psychiatrists?

  • Personal Failure: How can you make such a promise?

    Anyhow, it was a joke. They can take our money. They can take our lives. They can’t take our religion.

    Anyhow, anyhow, gay stormtroopers will have to fight their way past the pooch – slobbering all over their trendy clothes.

  • “…slobbering all over their trendy clothes.”

    Well that should stop them. 🙂

  • This is counter to current views in the psychiatric community.

    In order to diagnose someone as ill, you have to have a conception of what it means to be well, which requires an assessment of proper dispositions and behaviors. The question arises as to why the norms favored by the current cohort of the mental health trade are properly enforceable on the rest of the society through state licensing. Why cannot state legislatures properly declare their own norms? (Or, perhaps, shut down the licensing boards and incorporate into law the idea that the ministrations of these characters will be compensated by re-imbursements from insurers when clergymen are so compensated).

  • The standard is not that counselors cannot hold a negative opinion of their clients’ behaviors.

    That is exactly the standard they’re employing. Can you imagine a school coming up with a re-education plan for someone who thought that gender identity disorder is no such thing? Yet it’s on the DSM-IV list.

  • The APA reclassification was due to political pressure, not any change in the medical facts. Much like the ACOG position on the necessity for late term abortions.

  • College counseling programs rely for foundational medical and scientific credibility on the 1973 decision by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to remove homosexuality as a mental disorder from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).

    Removal followed a two year campaign Newsweek described as ongoing disruptive, chaotic attacks on psychiatrists and physiologists. Yet throughout these disruptive attacks, no academic papers were presented at conferences refuting any research previously done. Eventually attacks forced sufficient abstentions and apprehensive responses for a third of APA’s 17,000 plus membership to vote removal.

    After this decision a new task force was established to ensure perpetual sanctity for the APA action. No research papers would again arise to confirm initial therapy success rates of 30% to 60 %, substantiating that 7 of 10 homosexuals could eventually walk away from the lifestyle forever. This task force would set peer review standards mandating pre-ordained theses, acceptable flexibility in design definitions, and acceptable human data points. Psychology and Psychiatry chose to abandon scientific rigor in exchange for popular societal and political acclaim.

    Psychology and Psychiatry have always had a tenuous hold on claims they were sciences with the standing of Chemistry and Physics. On the scale of intellectual rigor, their research more often resembles oral history, and seldom, if ever, approaches the determinism found in a Chemistry laboratory.

    Developments in statistics should have enabled them to a least determine there is a marginal or significant propensity for a particular disorder, for its behaviors, and for selecting methods of treatment. Responsible research would also acknowledge those pesky humans, who in spite of their genetics and upbringing, decide to live positive lives without APA professional help.

    Instead, Psychology and Psychiatry have chosen to abandon all pretense of scientific rigor in exchange for popular societal and political acclaim. The barriers erected to meaningful research about homosexuality remind me of Genesis 3:23-24. In these verses the Lord God banished humanity from the Garden of Eden and placed an angel in the Garden to keep humanity away forever. By their actions, Psychology and Psychiatry appear to consider the accoutrements of a religion to be more attractive than those of a science.

    When Jewish, Christian, and Muslim believers seek counseling degrees they find their Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion threatened by college departments. For many followers of desert religions, who seek degrees homosexual behavior is unacceptable. Instead it resides among the myriad sins entrapping humanity that lives in a fallen world with a fallen nature. These college professors cannot accept any position, which might contradict their embrace of what is essentially a secular humanist religious position.

    For believers foundational scholarship concludes homosexual relationships separate believers from God. The Old Testament, holy to “People of the Book”, speaks of the character, identity, and purpose of God in a manner, which continuously addresses homosexuality. God is spoken of as masculine, and all humans become feminine in relation to Him. In addition to creating all things, God created the single institution of heterosexual marriage as the earthy manifestation of the relationship of absolute unity and love He seeks with each person. Classical Semitic theology emphasizes searching for and identifying with God in the spiritual dimension. Spiritual life for these, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim believers means any subsequent reasoning from scriptures must proceed from that basic understanding in order to be a valid derivation. Therefore after this ruling, when believers reject homosexuality in counseling rolls or in common life expressions, they become guilty by popular acclamation of at least cultural prejudice, if not criminal behavior.

  • This has been going on for years: what you can’t pass in law because of constitutional rights and protection create in policy and enforced that as law bypassing constitutional representation, rights, and protection. If it interes with inaliable rights and liberties the policy should not be permitted to stand and incur tort. Policies are judicially standing without civic representation. You see this in police enforcement, schools, jobs, etc…the courts are using this avenue to circumvent our executive branches of govt. to create policies and illicitly enforcing them as laws in our judicial branches…this stinks of treason and Masonic manipulations. So the court dismiss or refuse to hear the case a departmental policies are created in the private sector by individuals without representational election becomes law…ludricrous…

  • Last time a society became tolerant of those engaged in Sodomy, Hitler and his SA (that’s German for Sodomite Army) were elected.

    Tolerance is merely the nice way to get you to go along with evil. I for one am happily intolerant – what are you gonna do about it?

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