Thursday, December 06, 2007

I'm shocked.

Someone finally stood up to the Boy Scouts! Way to go Philly!! The city that booed Santa says, "Go away, haters!" And you know it's bad when Philly thinks you're a dick.

The Boy Scouts of America group has been hijacked by the religious right and it is a shame. Not allowing non-Christians and homosexuals is flagrantly wrong, regardless of its legality. The fact that these groups are meeting rent-free in city buildings all over the US is wrong and tacitly proves that the government believes in religious and sexual discrimination. I don't care if you want to have the Junior KKK (being a scum-bag isn't illegal), just hold it in your own living room- I shouldn't have to pay for it.

I had an amazing experience with the Girl Scouts (which is unaffiliated with the Boy Scouts) and wish that ALL boys could enjoy such a wonderful childhood experience as scouting. Very little is more American than a keen appreciation of cookies and nature.

It makes me sad that there are probably tons of children and parents out there who just love scouting and what it used to stand for, but who have to meet under the discriminatory policies put in place by recent right-wing leadership. (As no written rules were specified about membership qualifications in those areas, what the man says in the article about scouts always being discriminatory is patently false [although I'm sure it was like all fraternal organizations at the time Jewless, blackless, and boobless] and even if that were true, that certainly does that excuse being an absolute ass-hat now.

And so in honor of Philly's awesome advance, I have thought long and hard [snicker] and come up with a tasteless Boy Scout joke:

I would have thought the Boy Scouts would be all about rubbing two sticks together.


Drew said...

You know, this actually kinda upsets me. I know you see a victory here in the effort to seperate church and state, but I see a setback for both gay rights activists and the children of Philly.

While it's true that the national leadership of the boyscouts leans right (much like our federal government has for the last 7 years), that doesn't mean that local leadership does. By far and large, it doesn't, but they're still bound to National policy in much the same way states are trumped by federal policy.

That being said, and speaking as a gay rights proponent, I think it's a poor strategic move on behalf of the gay rights movement to target scouting as they've done to push their agendas forward.

Granted, it's a very attractive target, and I can understand why it's such a hot topic. They want to prove that being gay is not equivical with being a pedophile, and they want to be recognized a legitimate segment of the population that demonstrates civic responsibility, and what better way to do that than to help mold the young people of tommorrow?

Instead, my perception is that there's an active campaign to Vilify the boyscouts, which only adds to the perception of right-leaning states that their values are under attack. Nothing's more dangerous than a group of scared, ignorant people. Even assuming that the perception is totally invalid, it's still there, and engaging in these types of tactics arn't to help you. It's just going to piss everybody on both sides off.

To people who oppose gay rights, this sort of tactic suggests that homosexuals are attacking their children in addition to their way of life. And in all honestly, they're not entirely wrong. If you look at the bottom line here... An urban youth center that serviced thousands of children has been displaced, even though it was obvious that the local leadership didn't agree with the national council. Have you really changed anyone's mind? Who's the winner here? The Council and other members of the nebulious Religious Right are just going to use this as another martyer in the war against American Values. No peace or progress has been made here. You haven't integrated any segment of the population. The biggest casualty here are the the urban youth that have just been deprived of a place to stay off the street.

That's not a good perception to build in your cause. This isn't helped by the case that, up untill my generation, homosexuality was linked in the public conciousness with drugs, pedophilia, sex in public restrooms, and running around people's backs pretending to be something you're not.

No, it seems to me the better route of attack would be to subversion. Instead of placing your political battlegrounds in the midsts of kids, for whom sexuality wasn't an issue untill the grownups made it one, make Washington the battlefield. Concentrate on increasing the number of gay advocates in office. Concentrate on getting openly gay clergy members in churches. Garner enough money to start a PR campaign that shows that homosexuals are caring, devoted, law-abiding, civically contributing members of society. Use your war chest to help sponsor civic programs for youth outside the scouts. Change your image.

Don't go around fucking over kids everywhere. People will think you're enjoying it too much.

qtilla said...

I don't see this as part of some greater gay rights agenda. I see this as the government requiring the Boy Scouts to conform to the rules it has set forth for the use of its buildings. Period.

People can hate gay people, whatever, you're scum, but I don't care, but I must absolutely draw the line at my tax dollars aiding people who are teaching children that the only good Americans are straight and Christian.

I'm sure that individual scout leaders may differ, I just simply don't care. It would be a cold day in hell before I put my fictitious child in scouting.

I don't care how you paint it, it's wrong and that is the end of that. I don't need to "win over" the beer swilling, King of Queens watching morons of America- and neither does the "gay movement."

Drew said...


You're right in that the government should be enforcing the standards to use it's buildings. They're well within their rights to do so, and they should.

However, it took till 2007, almost 2008 to do so, when the boyscouts have been occupying it for decades? Government, by it's nature, is lazy and inactive. It only leaps into action when it'll look bad for not doing so. That's part of the beauty of democracy, it's set up in such a way as to defend the status quo. That's also one of it's faults.

Trust me, they didn't go into action over this untill someone complained about it in an organized way, threatening to impact someone's position or pocketbooks. That group would be the Equality Advocates Pennsylvania, a group that does have an agenda to promote and advocate Gay rights. That would constitute an agenda. I'm simply saying that their methodolgy of acheiving their goals isn't nessessarily the wisest thing to do, nor is it the best way to expend their energies.

Further evidence of this is the hundreds of AA counciling groups that take place in city sponsered (and court mandated sessions.) AA's an even bigger offender in terms of state-sponsered right-leaning religion. They've been doing this for decades, and I can almost gauruntee that there's some unspoken rule against homosexuality in there. They're just a little more subtle about it, and have never had anyone call it on them in a media frenzy. So they don't go after AA, because it's not as juicy a target. Who wants to be seen as taking on an organization that helps alchaholics?

Secondly: No, you don't have to win over every beer swilling idiot in America, but you have to win over the people in power who make a difference. The battle for the ideals of a society is of the utmost improtance. If you can control the way people think about things, then you can control them. The Civil Rights movement had to fight the notion that blacks were somehow lesser or subhuman. Women's Rights movements have had to battle the notion that women are inferior. Likewise, the Gay Rights movement has to fight the perception that they're somehow morally inferior in order to achieve their goals.

And stereotyping brings me to the last point of contention...

I'm not entirely comfortable with your sterotype of Boy Scouts.

I spoke earlier about how the scouts have been somewhat demonized by certain sectors of the gay rights advocacy, and this is what I mean. I get the impression that you think the boy scouts are a monolithic group of right wing, homophobic nut-jobs.

As an Eagle Scout, I feel somewhat qualified to comment on the nature of the scouting program. I don't recall anywhere in my years of scouting of them saying only straight, christians are good Americans. I never remember cracking open a bible. If anything, I learned to be more open minded and tolerant of other poeple and new ideas than my immediate redneck surroundings would've allowed. It was an awsome experience, and I'd want my fictional children to experience the same. It's not some evangelical operation.

To phrase it another way...

Just because there's highly vocal biggots in high positions of Christian leadership doesn't prevent you from being an active part in your church. It doesn't keep you from disagreeing with your leadership, or keep you from becoming engaged in the direction your church is taking.

At the same time, doesn't it piss you off when you hear of people complaining how Christians are biggots and bastards when you know the majority of them arn't like that? Don't you think that it's a somewhat fruitless endevour when people attack social symptoms that happen to manifest in the church, and blame it on the church instead of addressing the root issues?

That's how I feel.

qtilla said...

I understand your sensitivity towards this issue completely. I'm not against Boy Scouts, I'm against teaching kids un-American ideals while promising them American ideals.

I'm mad because some jerks have come and perverted a group that used to be a great place for boys of all walks of life to come together and learn amazing things. I loved being a Girl Scout and that is why I'm pissed off.

I think of this situation in the way that I think of the military. I don't think all soldiers are bigots because the government says "don't ask don't tell." That being said, I will still declare it to be both stupid and wrong and further call the people who continue this practice ass-hats.

It isn't that I feel that all Scouts and those involved are bigots. But I very strongly feel that when an organization officially states that they are bigots, it is time for all the people from that organization to either overthrow their leadership or form a separate group. In exactly the way that you describe certain churches having bigots. I go to a non-bigoted church, because I feel the way I do.

Regarding AA, it is about as subtle as a sledgehammer. And I don't think AA should be endorsed by our justice system either. As the government is not willing to shell out its own money for effective drug and alcohol counseling we are screwed on that issue. said...

I may be re-writing history here, but the United Way is the first organization I remember going on record against this particular discrimination. A number of United Way agencies have pulled their funding for the BSA in their communities because of their policies of discrimination on the basis of religion and sexual orientation. They simply don't see how discrimination can be, as Drew said, "a setback" for children.
So if this is an important issue to you, the United Way is a good place for a contribution. Or not, as the case may be.
And, Qtilla, you will be glad to know Philly isn't alone. A handful of cities such as Chicago has told local scouts they can't use parks and schools.
Bottom line, Drew, it is the right and obligation of the citizenry to be sure the government and other organizations keep the constitution in mind.