BSA lobby? First floor, no charge.
July 26, 2006 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Newsfilter: While Philadelphia officials dispute with a local chapter of the Boys Scouts of America over its use of taxpayer-subsidized, rent-free property, despite a policy of open discrimination, the Republican-controlled federal government discusses legislation that would make it illegal for taxpayers to withdraw funding from any youth organization, including the Boy Scouts of America, regardless of its activities or stated policies.
posted by Blazecock Pileon (194 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
the Republican-controlled federal government discusses legislation that would make it illegal for taxpayers to withdraw funding from any youth organization, including the Boy Scouts of America, regardless of its activities or stated policies.

Did you read it? Because that isn't what the Bill says.
posted by dios at 7:38 AM on July 26, 2006


What, in your considered opinion, would be a fairer rendering of the bill's official wording into the vernacular?
posted by little miss manners at 7:45 AM on July 26, 2006


No action has been taken on the Senate version of the bill, and the House version of the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology on Apr 11, 2005. I wouldn't expect to ever see this bill again.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:50 AM on July 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


It's an equal access bill. It is saying that whatever funding or faciliites are made available, have to be made equally available to the any organization described under part B of subtitle II of title 36, United States Code, that is intended to serve individuals under the age of 21 years. Thus, the bill has a very specific purpose and is limited in scope.

It no where says that it is "illegal" "to withdraw funding from any youth organization" "regardless of its activities or stated policies." That language... which is the key to the soapboxing of the post.... is no where in the bill
posted by dios at 7:52 AM on July 26, 2006


I'm somehow less than surprised to see Frist's name adorning this particular bit of legislation. His office long ago stopped responding to my (increasingly angry and occasionally incoherent) emails, after realizing I wasn't a constituent, but damn, do I ever hate this man.

Also, on preview: I'm confused, dios.

No Federal law (including any rule, regulation, directive, instruction, or order) shall be construed to limit any Federal agency from providing any form of support for a youth organization (including the Boy Scouts of America or any group officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America) that would result in that Federal agency providing less support to that youth organization (or any similar organization chartered under the chapter of title 36, United States Code, relating to that youth organization) than was provided during each of the preceding 4 fiscal years.

That doesn't read like an equal opportunity bill; it reads like Frist trying to shore up an organization being actively sieged for anti-equal-opportunity practices.
posted by Mayor West at 7:54 AM on July 26, 2006


No action has been taken on the Senate version of the bill, and the House version of the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology on Apr 11, 2005. I wouldn't expect to ever see this bill again.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:50 AM CST on July 26


That are rarely is important in these posts, monju_bosatsu. In pretty every post on Metafilter that deals with a piece of legislation, the legislation is (a) mischaracterized by stating it means something it doesn't, (b) overstated to suggest that it is important when it isn't, (c) falsely suggested that this is something that is law or likely to be law when it is a stillborn piece of legislation, or (d) all of the above.
posted by dios at 7:54 AM on July 26, 2006 [3 favorites]


Humour me, if you would: does the absence of any "unless they kick out the homos" clause imply that they can, in fact, kick out the homos without repercussion?
posted by Zozo at 7:55 AM on July 26, 2006


When I was growing up, the Scouts were a wonderful program.

At this point, they have been hijacked by the Mormon Church. They are the youth arm of that organization. The Mormons have taken control simply by having the policy that EVERY boy in the Church will join the Scouts; they've taken over by sheer numbers. All Scout policies are, ultimately, directed from Utah.

I don't suggest putting your kids in this program anymore. It once had a lot going for it, but as always, religion screws up everything it touches.
posted by Malor at 7:55 AM on July 26, 2006


How do you interpret this portion of it, then:
(1) SUPPORT FOR YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS- No Federal law (including any rule, regulation, directive, instruction, or order) shall be construed to limit any Federal agency from providing any form of support for a youth organization (including the Boy Scouts of America or any group officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America) that would result in that Federal agency providing less support to that youth organization (or any similar organization chartered under the chapter of title 36, United States Code, relating to that youth organization) than was provided during each of the preceding 4 fiscal years.


To my untrained eyes this does indicate that there are certain restrictions being placed on the interpretation of existing federal law, namely that any existing federal law applicable in the relevant context cannot be interpreted in such a way as would result in a reduction in the amount of financial support given the group in comparison to the previous four years.

Is this interpretation accurate?
posted by little miss manners at 8:00 AM on July 26, 2006


whoops, needed to close the block quote after the first paragraph.
posted by little miss manners at 8:01 AM on July 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


No action has been taken on the Senate version of the bill, and the House version of the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology on Apr 11, 2005. I wouldn't expect to ever see this bill again.

I sure hope you are right. Still, it was introduced by someone with aspirations for a presidential run in 2008, and with the current backlash against civil rights, at times this seems like another example of throwing bills against the wall to see what sticks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:01 AM on July 26, 2006


Malor - is this just in utah, or do you have some nationwide data to back this up?
posted by Pastabagel at 8:04 AM on July 26, 2006


How many youth programs received federal funding over the last 4 fiscal years? This bill will not, as you imply in your post, result in federal funds for Hitler Youth, Kids of the Michigan Militia, or the KKKKK (Ku Klux Klan Kids Klub - which, to my knowledge, doesn't exist, but I had fun making up the name).

Fo some, of course, the distinction between those groups and the Boy Scouts of America is minimal.

Personal aside: I had a pleasant time with the BSA, but that was due to the good fortune of landing with a troop that wasn't hung up on religious or the pre-military aspects of the organization. For me, it amounted to lots and lots of unsupervised fun in the woods with knives and fire. What more could a boy ask for?
posted by aladfar at 8:08 AM on July 26, 2006


There couldn't possibly be ANY unintended consequences if this bill passes.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:08 AM on July 26, 2006


For me, it amounted to lots and lots of unsupervised fun in the woods with knives and fire. What more could a boy ask for?
posted by aladfar at 11:08 AM EST on July 26 [+fave] [!]


We did the same thing! Except instead of joining the boy scouts, we got hold of a friend's older brother's copy of the anarchist's cookbook.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:21 AM on July 26, 2006


I was curious exactly which "Yough Organizations" were covered under the bill, so I looked up USC Title 36, Subsection 2, Part B. Turns out they are listed specifically by name, so it would take an act of Congress to get the KKKKK included.

I did see the National Federation of Music Clubs listed, so if you're in a band and need free practice space, create a local chapter of the NFoMC and head over to the nearest Federal property where the Boy Scouts meet. Of course, you'd need to "intended to serve individuals under the age of 21 years", but if you've got band members that your (or heck, even play at all-ages shows), I bet you'd have a case.
posted by ewagoner at 8:22 AM on July 26, 2006


The Bill only applies to specific groups that are specifically chartered by Federal Law.

Title 36 of the United States Code includes the following organizations to which this bill could apply. Now the bill conditions its application to organizations in the above-linked list that are "intended to serve individuals under the age of 21." From that list, this Bill would *probably* apply to the following organizations (I can't say for sure because I am not familiar with all of the groups and who they intended to serve):

CHAPTER 301--BIG BROTHERS--BIG SISTERS OF AMERICA
CHAPTER 309--BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
CHAPTER 311--BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA
CHAPTER 709--FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA
CHAPTER 803--GIRL SCOUTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
CHAPTER 1305--LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL, INCORPORATED

As worded, this "bill" would apply to all of the above group equally and it says that two things can't be done:
(1) the "support" of these groups by a federal agency cannot be reduced below anything that was extended during the last 4 years (support is defined: its not referring to finanical support, it specifically refers to holding meetings on federal property and hosting offical events); and
(2) equal access to any public forum.

These restrictions apply to all the groups above. It is an equal access bill. The federal government chartered these groups, and it is trying to ensure these groups have a equal access to public facilities that it has had in the past or could have in the future.
posted by dios at 8:25 AM on July 26, 2006


I've said this before, but I'm happy to repeat it: most of the gay people I know, I met through the Scouting program. Knee socks and sashes, people.
posted by ColdChef at 8:28 AM on July 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


aladfar: Not to derail, but Ku Klux Klan Kidz Klub would be better, maybe.
posted by raysmj at 8:29 AM on July 26, 2006


Ah, the finite listing makes it much less noxious than it appeared at first. Thanks for the clarification.

It still seems like the sort of thing that makes me look askance at any politician who'd sponsor it -- choice of priorities, etc. -- but nothing nearly so dramatic as implied. Again, much appreciated.
posted by little miss manners at 8:29 AM on July 26, 2006


dios,

(1) It says "Support described ... shall include" meeting space and hosting events. If this was all Frist meant, would it not say "is limited to" instead of "shall include"?

(2) You forgot to include "limited public forum, or nonpublic forum" along with the public forums.
posted by ewagoner at 8:32 AM on July 26, 2006


I'll sue.
posted by ewkpates at 8:38 AM on July 26, 2006


I also have good memories of my time in BSA. Our troop focused on outdoor activities, and we camped a lot. That's what BSA should be. Religion belongs in church, militancy belongs in the military.
Discrimination is bullshit.
It is perfectly reasonable to require that an organization receiving taxpayer monies adhere to higher, non-discriminatory standards of conduct.
If the BSA does not like that requirement, they are free to seek funding from the private sector. Considering the millions of boys who've passed through the organization in the past hundred years, I seriously doubt the BSA would have trouble finding sympathetic citizens with deep pockets.
Enough already.
There are many, many more pressing issues that demand the attention of Congress. That they are wasting time formulating federal legislation to help the BSA beat the city of Philadelphia is another example of just how little they seem to comprehend the priorities of their office.
posted by cows of industry at 8:41 AM on July 26, 2006


the "support" of these groups by a federal agency cannot be reduced below anything that was extended during the last 4 years

by referring to federal rules or regulations ... saying "we ran out of money to maintain the park" would still be allowed

in the case of philadelphia, under this law they probably could not refuse to continue to lease the property to the boy scouts ... however they could sell the property to a 3rd private party who could turn it into condos, a parking lot or whatever ... or announce they were changing it into an office building for governmental purposes ... in both cases, the property would no longer be a "forum"

in short, it's really one of those laws that doesn't do much of anything
posted by pyramid termite at 8:49 AM on July 26, 2006


If government funding means giving your organization to the thought police, by all means go private. And before anyone gets huffy, that sword cuts both ways. Meanwhile,whether their fears were accurate or not ,a lot of parents would not want a gay scoutmaster working with their boys. That would put the Scouts between a rock and a hard place, I think-if they ended their policy in order to keep or obtain funding they would lose a lot of their support base. That is simply a fact.

Meanwhile I know of several church organizations that have developed their own versions of scouting programs. Our own church eventually stopped dealing with the Girl Scouts for several reasons one of which they didn't seem to like the fact that there was some God thrown in(the meetings were held in our church by our church members.) An alternate program was found. Interestingly enough we still have the Boy Scouts.
posted by konolia at 8:50 AM on July 26, 2006


I don't know what could have contributed to malor's views above, but from my experience, it could not be further from the truth. I have been a scout volunteer for a church sponsored troop for nearly 10 years about as deep in the Bible belt as you can be...I do not attend this specific church or any church for that matter and no one has ever asked me or any other adult volunteer about their religious views. I have had the opportunity to meet the leaders of dozens of other troops and just like in any large organization, the people come in all sorts of flavors. I have run into everything from fiery eyed bible thumpers to vegan hippies with backpacks and tevas...the two common themes I have found are an interest in introducing their sons and other boys to the cool parts of the outdoors and an attempt to expose them to the good judgement they will need to succeed in life...or at least enough judgement to avoid driving themselves and a carload of friends into a bridge abutment. Religion is one of the basic underpinnings of scouting...but the organization is way more non-denominational than it was when I was a scout. I am aware that the Mormon church is a strong supporter of scouting, but I have never heard anything that led me to believe the Mormons exerted any influence beyond their part of the whole. You can criticize scouting all you want for the shenanigans of some of its national leadership, but at its core, it is still a great organization for boys. I don't think you can possibly understand this until you have attended an eagle ceremony and listened to the accomplishments of a young man who has achieved that rank.
posted by cyclopz at 8:55 AM on July 26, 2006


If this bill is about treating all organizations fairly, then the Scouts should have no problem shutting the fuck up and paying normal rent like all the other organizations that don't want to adhere to the government's guidelines. They're bitching that they're being told they can't discriminate at a discount. Fuck them.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:09 AM on July 26, 2006


You have to admit, a gay troop leader is sort of creepy.

I personally wouldn't want to have a gay troop leader flaming around while the troop pisses out the camp fire.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:11 AM on July 26, 2006


I'm with XQ. Plus I love the tough guy schtick. Arnold wasn't a boy scout. Neither was Chuck Norris. #$%@ them.
posted by ewkpates at 9:13 AM on July 26, 2006


Well...

On the one hand, I think the principle of the second half of this bill is sound, in that government-owned forums should be open to any group who wishes to use the forum.

On the other hand, is it discrimination if the government makes a rule and seeks to apply that rule equally to all groups wishing to use a space?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:15 AM on July 26, 2006


You have to admit, a gay troop leader is sort of creepy.

No, a troop leader who molests children is creepy. Just like the clergy, the two issues are not one and the same. For one thing, the former is an actual action while the latter is a situation that tends to have little to do with being a Scout in the first place. What the hell does sexual orientation have to do with 99% of the stuff Scoutmasters teach their kids?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:18 AM on July 26, 2006


My Scoutmaster was Lance Bass. Weblows was interesting.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:25 AM on July 26, 2006


Jesse Helms, your asshole is showing.

Or, what XQETC. said.
posted by papercake at 9:27 AM on July 26, 2006


Meanwhile,whether their fears were accurate or not ,a lot of parents would not want a gay scoutmaster working with their boys.

I'm sure there are some parents who wouldn't want a black scoutmaster working with thier kids too. Don't mean the BSA has the right to deny black men the opportunity to become scoutmasters.
posted by eustacescrubb at 9:34 AM on July 26, 2006


Amen, brotha Cow. Kinda.

Back in the day, the goal of the Scouts was to direct boys toward becoming (lemme see if I remember this still...) trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent young men. And, it seems, that is still what their goal. Which is why there's all the pissin' and moanin' going on.

See, in the day, a good citizen displayed those traits proudly. Since "the day", though, society has lowered the bar... a whole lot. So much that if a young man possesses any of those traits, and knows what's good for him, he'll hide them from everyone. Nowadays, folks like that are buzzkills and wusses.

Props to the BSA for refusing to stoop and follow our society into the gutter! But, at the same time, parting from our society's path means parting with our society's support. The BSA should absolutely be free to bar those they feel are improper role models... but should also recognize that they'll be punished for standing up for what's right and secure private funding.

If the coming couple decades continue as have the last couple, with regard to the whole "celebrate diversity" crock o' crap, we can probably expect this same situation to come up again with Little League Baseball and other youth sports groups. Soon (again, assuming we lemmings continue on our present course) members of "reform" groups such as NAMBLA and NORML will be considered just as socially acceptable as gays and will likewise begin bitching and whining that Little League is illegally discriminating against them by not allowing them to coach your kids. And, as is happening with the BSA, they'll be forced to choose between what every honest and mentally healthy person knows is right, and society's spiraling standards.
posted by CodeBaloo at 9:36 AM on July 26, 2006


You have to admit, a gay troop leader is sort of creepy.
then
No, a troop leader who molests children is creepy.

No, both are equally creepy. Well... okay... the child molester's more creepy, but the point remains: they're both creepy.
posted by CodeBaloo at 9:41 AM on July 26, 2006


No Federal law (including any rule, regulation, directive, instruction, or order) shall be construed to limit any Federal agency from providing any form of support for a youth organization ...

It is clear that this legislation is in reaction to local anti-discrimination actions as described in the first link. Frist can't do anything about state or local funds, but he can with federal funds.

If dios denies the plain language and intent of this legislation it is just one more example of his complete dishonesty in discussing just about any topic.

"Equal access bill!" You can't get more dishonest than that.
posted by JackFlash at 9:41 AM on July 26, 2006


Trolls are creepy, too.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:43 AM on July 26, 2006


You have to admit, a gay troop leader is sort of creepy.

Not to pile on, but child molesters are disproportionately ostensibly straight men. The odds are strongly against being molested by a "gay man".
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:44 AM on July 26, 2006


I find Republicans creepy.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:48 AM on July 26, 2006


Code Baloo's a troll, folks. Move on.
posted by the_savage_mind at 9:49 AM on July 26, 2006


I'd echo what ColdChef said. I really wanted to do all the Boy Scout-y things when I was a kid, but what kept me out was my pre-pubescent gaydar telling me something was really, really wrong with those uniforms.

That said, I'm also in agreement with XQ about discount discrimination. Fuck those losers. If I had a son, I'd think one of the best ways to make sure he didn't turn into a homophobic bigot would be to show him at an early age that there are adult gays who actually care about him and aren't out to bugger him.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:50 AM on July 26, 2006


Trolls are creepy, too.

Yeah. Let us know if you spot one, 'kay?

I am fully aware that what I posted will be seen as troll-ish. So be it. But it's how I feel. In time you'll notice, as others have before, that I am willing and able to both engage in reasonable dialogue and refrain from engaging in unreasonable dialogue.

BTW, most trolls, I'd imagine, don't pay for the right to troll when there are plenty of free places to ply their trade.
posted by CodeBaloo at 9:50 AM on July 26, 2006


In time you'll notice, as others have before, that I am willing and able to both engage in reasonable dialogue and refrain from engaging in unreasonable dialogue.

Okay, so let's see you try it. Explain, using your abilities of reason, what is so creepy about a gay scout master.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:55 AM on July 26, 2006


members of "reform" groups such as NAMBLA and NORML will be considered just as socially acceptable as gays and will likewise begin bitching and whining that Little League is illegally discriminating against them by not allowing them to coach your kids. And, as is happening with the BSA, they'll be forced to choose between what every honest and mentally healthy person knows is right, and society's spiraling standards.

Smoking weed is morally equivalent to child molestation?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:55 AM on July 26, 2006


CodeBaloo writes "BTW, most trolls, I'd imagine, don't pay for the right to troll when there are plenty of free places to ply their trade."

You'd think so, but then you'd be thinking wrong.
posted by Fezboy! at 9:56 AM on July 26, 2006


"Fuck those losers. If I had a son, I'd think one of the best ways to make sure he didn't turn into a homophobic bigot would be to show him at an early age that there are adult gays who actually care about him and aren't out to bugger him."

WTF?

"Timmy, we just want you to know your Scoutmaster is gay, but he's really a nice guy and only buggers adults outside the troop."

Oh, yeah. That'll help him avoid the bigotry no end...

Maybe the best way to avoid him being a homophobic bigot is to kind of not make sexual orientation a big flamin' deal, and de-emphasize the differences in a quiet manner. Realistically, pre-puberty it's not going to matter, and post-puberty they're going to be busy trying to figure out which direction their own plumbing points.

I think our society bombards kids with too much sex as is. (Wait until you're a parent - the little guy's 8 and so far a lot of stuff is sailing over his head. Pretty soon, it won't.) How about having some safe areas where it isn't an issue?
posted by JB71 at 10:07 AM on July 26, 2006


Diversity! *shudder* It's a slippery slope. A slippery, slippery, wet-hot slippery slope straight down into the steaming pit of Satan's Anus. Luckily, I got my Merit Badge in denial.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:07 AM on July 26, 2006


Perhaps the solution is to get over your cheap self and deal with your own discomfort?

One of the big problems is that a lot of scouting adult leadership is recruited from within the ranks. So there are a fair number of us out there who reached adulthood only to find that our sexuality and religious opinions suddenly meant that the leadership skills learned in getting that cherished Eagle badge meant nothing within the organization.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:07 AM on July 26, 2006


Explain, using your abilities of reason, what is so creepy about a gay scout master.

I can't. A "creepy" feeling is subjective, and isn't something that can reasonably be explained. Similarly, I can't reasonably defend why I'd feel creepy about a child molester Scoutmaster. But that wouldn't make me feel any less creeped out by it.

The closest I can come would be this: I'd associate the (assumed "openly") gay Scoutmaster's attraction to men with a woman's attraction to men. And it would be just as creepy to have a gay Scoutmaster as it would, for example, if I was near-naked and crammed shoulder to shoulder in a Native American sweat lodge with a woman Scoutmaster. Or coming out of the tent in my underwear to visit the latrine with a woman Scoutmaster in camp. Or, as another poster commented, being in a ring of boys pissing out the campfire... with a woman Scoutmaster a few feet away.

Sorry, but for "creepy" that's the best I could do.
posted by CodeBaloo at 10:11 AM on July 26, 2006


What we all need is more laws...
posted by oncogenesis at 10:15 AM on July 26, 2006


You have to admit, a gay troop leader is sort of creepy.
then
No, a troop leader who molests children is creepy.

No, both are equally creepy. Well... okay... the child molester's more creepy, but the point remains: they're both creepy.
WTF ... XQ pointed it out the difference to you, but you still insist on judging a perfectly benign action by irrelevant sexual preference.

Would you like to list other things that straight people can do without anyone raising an eye, but become creepy when a gay man does it?

'cause when you say that "leading a group of children" is one of those creepy things for a gay man, you're implying that he has a sexual interest in those children. Not cool.
posted by adzuki at 10:15 AM on July 26, 2006


Realistically, pre-puberty it's not going to matter, and post-puberty they're going to be busy trying to figure out which direction their own plumbing points.

I think our society bombards kids with too much sex as is. (Wait until you're a parent - the little guy's 8 and so far a lot of stuff is sailing over his head. Pretty soon, it won't.) How about having some safe areas where it isn't an issue?


From "A Brief History of the Boy Scouts of America":

Age Range. The upper age limit for Boy Scout troops has always been 18. For almost 40 years, the entry age was 12. The BSA lowered the entry age to 11 in 1949. In 1972, the entry age was slightly lowered again, to 10-1/2 if a boy had finished Fifth Grade. In 1988, the age limit was further adjusted to allow a boy to join either at age 11, or upon completion of Fifth Grade regardless of age, or upon earning the Webelos Arrow of Light award; in 2004, this requirement was clarified to set the minimum age at 10.

Ten to eighteen sounds like puberty to post-puberty, no? It's probably not pre-puberty in the way you're referring, and, in any case, I do remember getting some school-led sex education in fifth grade.

Not meaning to split hairs, but society hasn't made fifth grade onwards a "safe area" for sexuality for some time, with or without the consent of the Boy Scouts of America.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:16 AM on July 26, 2006


The Jesse Helms writes "You have to admit, a gay troop leader is sort of creepy."

I don't admit that at all. It seems to me that the creep scale and the sexual orientation scale are orthogonal to each other.
posted by Mitheral at 10:16 AM on July 26, 2006


A lot of you are missing the point. There are plenty of rational troops out there who will accept atheism and homosexuality as normal behavior. The problem is that the national and Council levels of the BSA are controlled by nutcases who back up any troop who does that crazy discrimination shit, and sends letters down to the reasonable troops when they find out about a homo or atheist or pagan and demand they be given the boot.
posted by Megafly at 10:20 AM on July 26, 2006


BTW, most trolls, I'd imagine, don't pay for the right to troll when there are plenty of free places to ply their trade.

Honey, welcome to MetaFilter. It's your second day here. You'll soon learn that we have our fair share of 'trolls' here who've poneyed up $5 to post and stir up some shit.
posted by ericb at 10:21 AM on July 26, 2006


I can't reasonably defend why I'd feel creepy about a child molester Scoutmaster.

Uh, sure you can: child molesters molest children and they shouldn't have have unrestricted contact with them.

You're not a troll, you're just stupid. Welcome to MetaFilter.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:22 AM on July 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


CodeBaloo said: Soon (again, assuming we lemmings continue on our present course) members of "reform" groups such as NAMBLA and NORML will be considered just as socially acceptable as gays and will likewise begin bitching and whining that Little League is illegally discriminating against them by not allowing them to coach your kids. And, as is happening with the BSA, they'll be forced to choose between what every honest and mentally healthy person knows is right, and society's spiraling standards.

Wow...so many cliches, so little time...and from someone who's user name could certainly be construed as a pink hanky in the back pocket...you big Bear, you.

Let's see: "lemmings" meme...check, "scare quotes"...check, equating NAMBLA with TeH Gay...check, equating stoners with pedophiles...that's a new one, good on you. "Won't someone please think of the children?"...check. Homosexuals are causing the downfall of society as we know it...check.

Ok darlin, I think you managed to hit all your talking points in one paragraph. Good work, take the rest of the day off.
posted by dejah420 at 10:27 AM on July 26, 2006


KirkJobSluder - I readily accept my discomfort, so I have nothing to get over.

I appreciate the bind you illustrate regarding recruiting leaders from within the ranks. It sucks. But unless the BSA changes it's ideals, you'd have to be teaching the kids to be morally straight. Coming from a gay man, when the BSA and, for the moment, society's idea of morally straight exclude homosexuality, you'd be teaching "do as I say, not as I do."

On the flip side of the same coin, as a fat guy, if the BSA applied its standards uniformly, I shouldn't be allowed to lead because I'd have the same problem in teaching the kids to be physically fit.
posted by CodeBaloo at 10:27 AM on July 26, 2006


CodeBaloo: "And it would be just as creepy to have a gay Scoutmaster as it would, for example, if I was near-naked and crammed shoulder to shoulder in a Native American sweat lodge with a woman Scoutmaster. Or coming out of the tent in my underwear to visit the latrine with a woman Scoutmaster in camp. Or, as another poster commented, being in a ring of boys pissing out the campfire... with a woman Scoutmaster a few feet away."

So... near-naked and crammed shoulder to shoulder with a woman would be creepy to you, but with a bunch of young men... That would be almost as much fun as a ring of boys around the campfire with their willies in their hands? Sounds like a column of steaming piss to me.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:27 AM on July 26, 2006


I am willing and able to both engage in reasonable dialogue and refrain from engaging in unreasonable dialogue.

You aren't engaging in reasonable dialogue when you are suggesting that accepting gays will lead to accepting child molesters. That is completely unreasonable, because gay people are not the equivalent of child molesters.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:27 AM on July 26, 2006


CodeBaloo: Similarly, I can't reasonably defend why I'd feel creepy about a child molester Scoutmaster.

I can. I think it is reasonable to suppose that child molesters are quite likely to commit a the crime of molestation.

The closest I can come would be this: I'd associate the (assumed "openly") gay Scoutmaster's attraction to men with a woman's attraction to men. And it would be just as creepy to have a gay Scoutmaster as it would, for example, if I was near-naked and crammed shoulder to shoulder in a Native American sweat lodge with a woman Scoutmaster. Or coming out of the tent in my underwear to visit the latrine with a woman Scoutmaster in camp. Or, as another poster commented, being in a ring of boys pissing out the campfire... with a woman Scoutmaster a few feet away.

You do know that women Assistant Scoutmasters are acceptable (or were when I left the organization)?

I think the myth here is that gay and bisexual men treat other men the way that straight men treat women. In other words, we can't help but step into a gym shower and get so sexually aroused by the sight of other men that we must jump your bones for an anonymous quicky.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:28 AM on July 26, 2006


BTW --

"...[T]he ratio of heterosexual to homosexual pedophiles was calculated to be approximately 11:1."

[National Center for Biotechnology Information | U.S. National Library of Medicine].
posted by ericb at 10:28 AM on July 26, 2006


And, as is happening with the BSA, they'll be forced to choose between what every honest and mentally healthy person knows is right
[...]
they're both creepy.


You're fucking creepy.

In time you'll notice, as others have before, that I am willing and able to both engage in reasonable dialogue and refrain from engaging in unreasonable dialogue.

Suggesting that anyone who would support gays in scouting is either not honest or not mentally healthy or both is not reasonable dialogue.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:28 AM on July 26, 2006


KirkJobSluder writes :
On the other hand, is it discrimination if the government makes a rule and seeks to apply that rule equally to all groups wishing to use a space?

I am reminded of a quote by Anatole France:
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."

Poll taxes. A ban on headwear in schools. Prohibition on marrying someone of a different race.

Applying a law equally does not make it fair. (Applying a law unequally however probably does make it unfair) A prohibition on de-funding groups certainly favors the groups that already have funding over those that don't.
posted by adzuki at 10:30 AM on July 26, 2006


In Internet terminology, a troll is someone who comes into an established community such as an online discussion forum, and posts inflammatory, rude, repetitive or offensive messages designed intentionally to annoy and antagonize the existing members or disrupt the flow of discussion, including the personal attack of calling others trolls.

My comment is not designed to inflame, or to relegate anyone back to the safety of bipolar talking points like crabs backed into a corner.

"Republicans are creepy"

Yes, I have no doubt that Ralph Reed is a complete shitbag, as are most conservative religious types, who must continually announce their morality as they are the least moral of all.

"No, a troop leader who molests children is creepy."

That's pretty creepy. But consider a 9 year old boy in a packed gay bar. What is molestation then? Is it only rape behind the campsite, or is it possible that it is also inappropriate circumstances of proximity and sexual orientation?

I believe my stance is correct, that grown men interested in penis should not be in the midst of young boys (for example, changing underwear after swimming in a river,) despite a troop leader's most sincere intentions.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:31 AM on July 26, 2006


cyclopz, you may just not have much contact with National. Many local chapters are pretty independent, but the organization as a whole has changed into A) primarily an arm of the Mormon church, and B) primarily a fundraising operation.

I'm speaking largely from my experience (and my family's) in California, but it corresponds strongly with most folks' I've spoken with that have dealt much with National. The paid professionals in Scouting are dominated by Mormons. It may be less true in deeply religious areas like the South, since they wouldn't have as strong an influence (or as many to pick from) there, but in areas like California, their control is essentially absolute.

And in Northern California, at least, the drive toward fundraising became so incredibly prevalent that it became noxious... the kids were expected to spend as much time raising money as, you know, camping. The circle of Scouters around our family, by and large, felt the program had been severely impaired.

And, of course, the exec in charge, who was considered a great guy by National because he was able to raise so much money, was promoted into a Utah council. It was considered a big deal, a steppingstone to a very senior position in Scouts. (I can't remember his name now, it's been a long time.) He left behind, in my opinion, a smoking ruin of a kids' program.
posted by Malor at 10:32 AM on July 26, 2006


I believe my stance is correct, that grown men interested in penis should not be in the midst of young boys (for example, changing underwear after swimming in a river,) despite a troop leader's most sincere intentions.

What about grown women that are interested in penis?
posted by MegoSteve at 10:33 AM on July 26, 2006


grown men interested in penis should not be in the midst of young boys

As a gay man, I can tell you I have no interest or attraction to boys, or to straight men. BTW -- don't flatter yourself thinking that any gay man would find you attractive.
posted by ericb at 10:33 AM on July 26, 2006


I believe my stance is correct, that grown men interested in penis should not be in the midst of young boys (for example, changing underwear after swimming in a river,) despite a troop leader's most sincere intentions.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:31 AM PST on July 26


I guess that means I will never have to put up with diaper duty if I ever have a daughter; thanks, TJH.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:34 AM on July 26, 2006


In related news -- Prosecutors fight 'gay panic' defenses.
posted by ericb at 10:35 AM on July 26, 2006


I believe my stance is correct, that grown men interested in penis should not be in the midst of young boys (for example, changing underwear after swimming in a river,) despite a troop leader's most sincere intentions.

So do you think gay men should be teaching in classrooms in "the midst of young boys"? What about other positions of responsibility involving children of either gender? Does my being "interested in penis" disqualify me from being near or in the vicinity of children, period? My two 7- and 5-year-old nephews would be quite unhappy to hear that.

And what about non-grown men "interested in penis"? Or do men only become "interested in penis" once they're all done and growed up?
posted by blucevalo at 10:38 AM on July 26, 2006


I guess that means I will never have to put up with diaper duty if I ever have a daughter; thanks, TJH.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:34 AM PST on July 26



Boy scouts aren't infants. Would you take a shower with your 13 year old daughter?
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:39 AM on July 26, 2006


So do you think gay men should be teaching in classrooms in "the midst of young boys"?

Math class isn't exactly flashlights and dicks.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:42 AM on July 26, 2006


A prohibition on de-funding groups certainly favors the groups that already have funding over those that don't.

This is certainly an interesting and discriminatory aspect of the law, as proposed, but not one discussed by its proponents, for obvious reasons.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:42 AM on July 26, 2006


The Jesse Helms: "Math class isn't exactly flashlights and dicks."

Neither is Boy Scouts. And I really can't remember taking showers with any Scoutmasters of any persuasion. You must have had a really gay troup.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:45 AM on July 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


I don't think Boy Scouts should be Federally funded though, I do agree that the Boy Scouts are discriminatory.

Just like churches shouldn't get one fucking dime of my tax dollar - yet they are awash in cash from Bush's Money for Votes Faith Based Initiative.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:47 AM on July 26, 2006


CodeBaloo: I readily accept my discomfort, so I have nothing to get over.

Your irrational discomfort is not a strong enough justification to justify discrimination.

But unless the BSA changes it's ideals, you'd have to be teaching the kids to be morally straight. Coming from a gay man, when the BSA and, for the moment, society's idea of morally straight exclude homosexuality, you'd be teaching "do as I say, not as I do."

Well how is "morally straight" defined:
To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.
My beliefs, and the belief systems in which I was raised, hold that prejudice, bigotry and discrimination are bad things to practice. The whole Scout Oath does not say that one must be faithful to a specific morality, but the morality of their religious community. (Which is another problem with the BSA's policy is that it has started to refuse to recognize denominations tolerant of homosexuality.)

I don't see how gay and bisexual men are excluded from conducting their lives in a "morally straight" manner, at least according to the definition as such presented by the BSA.

The Jessie Helms: That's pretty creepy. But consider a 9 year old boy in a packed gay bar. What is molestation then? Is it only rape behind the campsite, or is it possible that it is also inappropriate circumstances of proximity and sexual orientation?

I don't think 9 year old boys should be taken to singles bars either. And yet, we don't have an objection to Cub Scout mothers. Proximity is a silly standard, because it means that gay and bisexual men shouldn't be out in public in any capacity.

I believe my stance is correct, that grown men interested in penis should not be in the midst of young boys (for example, changing underwear after swimming in a river,) despite a troop leader's most sincere intentions.

ZOMG! Nudity!
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:47 AM on July 26, 2006


You must have had a really gay troup.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:45 AM PST on July 26


One of the former youth leaders is still in prison. I'll let you guess why.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:48 AM on July 26, 2006


Boy scouts aren't infants. Would you take a shower with your 13 year old daughter?

That depends. Is she hot?
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 10:53 AM on July 26, 2006



I should also snicker and point out that a prohibition on de-funding groups also strongly favors those groups who not only have funding, but are in some political danger of losing it.

That gets it down to a pretty specific group.
posted by adzuki at 10:55 AM on July 26, 2006


The Jesse Helms: "One of the former youth leaders is still in prison. I'll let you guess why."

Flashlight envy?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:59 AM on July 26, 2006


The Jesse Helms: One of the former youth leaders is still in prison. I'll let you guess why.

If I was a bookmaker, I'd place strong odds that person never openly identified as gay or bisexual (and still does not.)

Which is why the whole thing about excluding openly gay and bisexual scoutmasters in order to prevent molestation is a big pile of bullshit. If you are really concerned about that, you have other rules in place. Two adults with kids at all times. Adults don't share tents or showers with kids.

Most gay and bisexual men have grown up around other men in various stages of undress. Just proximity and nakedness doesn't turn the crank of most. (Proximity, nakedness, and a "come here" look might.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:00 AM on July 26, 2006


Boy scouts aren't infants. Would you take a shower with your 13 year old daughter?
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:39 AM PST on July 26


I wasn't aware that BSA was all about showering.

Fuck it, we should just segregate all adults from all children.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:07 AM on July 26, 2006


Honey, welcome to MetaFilter. It's your second day here. You'll soon learn that we have our fair share of 'trolls' here who've poneyed up $5 to post and stir up some shit.

Yeah, thanks... I think I've learned that already. And based upon the quick and venomous reactions I've seen thus far, I'd imagine those that do fork over the $5 feel it's worth every cent and then some. This place seems it'd be troll Heaven... a goldmine of hair-triggers.

Sadly, it seems that here, as is more and more often the case in general, one is welcome to have one's own opinion, but only welcome to express it if it's been drawn from the official list of approved thoughts.

Oh well, chalk this one up to experience, I guess. Perhaps one day I'll learn. It'll be a challenge, but I'm sure I can learn to limit my MetaFilter comments to "yeah, I feel that way, too" and save the honest, discussion-prompting opinions for cooler heads.
posted by CodeBaloo at 11:08 AM on July 26, 2006


the honest, discussion-prompting opinions for cooler heads

Could it be that many (most?) people find your opinion(s) abhorrent and are expressing an opposing point?
posted by ericb at 11:11 AM on July 26, 2006


honest, discussion-prompting opinions

Lumping homosexuals, child molesters, and potheads all together is neither honest nor discussion prompting, unless you want the discussion to be about how dumb you are.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:11 AM on July 26, 2006


Metafilter isn't exactly flashlights and dicks.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:11 AM on July 26, 2006


KirkJobSluder - Your irrational discomfort is not a strong enough justification to justify discrimination.

...in your opinion. And in mine, it is enough. When all else is stripped away, that seems to be the essential debate.
posted by CodeBaloo at 11:13 AM on July 26, 2006


I had a gay scoutmaster. I didn't find out till he decided to out himself after nearly two decades of service.
Apparently he kept his sexuality and scouting pretty well separate, as people who had known him for 10+ years didn't know. Or maybe they did know, but they chose not to judge him based on sexuality, and more on his outstanding civic record with one of the largest troops in the US.

To assume that just because a man is gay means he's gonna be pokin the little ones, is not only disrespectful to someone who gave themselves wholeheartedly to an organization that thought he was morally less than them, but is pretty ignorant.
posted by fnord at 11:14 AM on July 26, 2006


Wow. Wouldn't think a machapologist would be such a crybaby when challenged.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:14 AM on July 26, 2006


And in mine, it is enough.

Too bad no one elected you king, huh?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:15 AM on July 26, 2006


Meanwhile, there is another problem that needs to be considered. I would say that the percentage of LGBT friends who have seriously contemplated or attempted suicide due to anti-gay bigotry is close to 50%. This isn't just some one-off attitude, this is something that is killing kids in the hundreds.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:16 AM on July 26, 2006


CodeBaloo -- Props to the BSA for refusing to stoop and follow our society into the gutter! ...The BSA should absolutely be free to bar those they feel are improper role models...And, as is happening with the BSA, they'll be forced to choose between what every honest and mentally healthy person knows is right, and society's spiraling standards.

Unbelievable! So, "the gay" is driving society into the gutter? Are gays not "mentally healthy?"
posted by ericb at 11:16 AM on July 26, 2006


Ericb - That could certainly be the case, and obviously is. Problem is most are not expressing an opposing point, rather coming after those who expressed the opinion. For example, see the post after the one I'm responding to. 'Nuff said?
posted by CodeBaloo at 11:16 AM on July 26, 2006


Math class isn't exactly flashlights and dicks.

A good point, and the point is taken. But my idea was more to say that there are many people who make exactly that equivalency, i.e., that teh gayz shouldn't be around kids period.

Thus, we can expect the next round of agitation from the same folks who brought us same-sex marriage bans to center around gay-foster-parent and gay-adoption bans.
posted by blucevalo at 11:17 AM on July 26, 2006


BTW, ericb, the timing of our mutual posts made it look awkward. I was referring to your earlier comment "Could it be that many (most?) people find your opinion(s) abhorrent and are expressing an opposing point?"
posted by CodeBaloo at 11:20 AM on July 26, 2006


The term for a person who can't justify a dislike for a class of people beyond an admission of irrational personal prejudice is bigot.

If the shoe fits, eat it.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:21 AM on July 26, 2006


This place seems it'd be troll Heaven... a goldmine of hair-triggers.

If you post what you've posted, equating homosexuality with mental illness and worse, and saying "my way or the highway," I'd say either that you'd probably better be prepared for more than a few venomous comments to come your way, or that you're confusing MetaFilter with Free Republic.
posted by blucevalo at 11:23 AM on July 26, 2006


KirkJobSluder - And what would that percentage would be if an assertive minority had not dragged homosexuality into the mainstream? Somebody mentioned unintended consequences earlier, remember? Let's put the blame for that sad figure where it rightly belongs.
posted by CodeBaloo at 11:24 AM on July 26, 2006


Oh well, chalk this one up to experience, I guess. Perhaps one day I'll learn. BLAH BLAH BLAH...

Get off your cross, smart guy. You equated homosexuals with child molesters and now have the audacity to whine about being persecuted when some folks pointed out that, well, it's a shitty equivocation? You'll do just fine here.

Metafilter: flashlights fleshlights and dicks.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:25 AM on July 26, 2006


I don't know why we're even bothing to argue with an unethical internet marketer like CodeBaloo here.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:25 AM on July 26, 2006


Optimus Chyme -- good point. I've added CodeBaloo to my ignore list (right up there with some other known trolls).
posted by ericb at 11:26 AM on July 26, 2006


I'm just marking time until lunch.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:27 AM on July 26, 2006


At which time I will be eating the souls of Christian babies.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:27 AM on July 26, 2006


Just don't go eating those souls in a gay way or anything.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:28 AM on July 26, 2006


Heaven forbid.
posted by blucevalo at 11:29 AM on July 26, 2006


And I really can't remember taking showers with any Scoutmasters of any persuasion.

That's because it's against BSA Policy.
Respect of privacy
Adult leaders must respect the privacy of youth members in situations such as changing clothes and taking showers at camp, and intrude only to the extent that health and safety require. Adults must protect their own privacy in similar situations.
I'm done with Scouts, as well. Even after getting Eagle and the Vigil Honor, I can't support the organization any more. Reverence is supposed to be tolerance and respect, not discrimination.
posted by shawnj at 11:30 AM on July 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


Blucevalo - kinda making my point. I never equated homosexuality with mental illness. I never said "my way or the highway". Yet, those are what my comments have been twisted into and responded to. Go back and follow the transformations... a slight change in wording here, some ellipses there so that two separate quotes are in visual proximity, and Voila!, you have something completely new and much more imflammatory to respond to.
posted by CodeBaloo at 11:30 AM on July 26, 2006


Hey -- this thread and the Lance Bass is Gay thread are neck-and-neck -- each with 107 comments.
posted by ericb at 11:31 AM on July 26, 2006


I never equated homosexuality with mental illness.

Another lie.

And, as is happening with the BSA, they'll be forced to choose between what every honest and mentally healthy person knows is right, and society's spiraling standards.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:33 AM on July 26, 2006


"Canada's Boy Scouts permit gay troops" [Toronto Globe and Mail | June 19, 2000] - damn hippies!
posted by ericb at 11:35 AM on July 26, 2006


Joe Lisboa - You equated homosexuals with child molesters...

Before you slam, perhaps you could please quote my comment that said this. It seems to have taken root. The only comment I made that had to do with child molesters was regarding society's slide into accepting more and more things as "normal" that aren't. Please show the leap from that to what you claim I said.
posted by CodeBaloo at 11:36 AM on July 26, 2006


Okay optimus, I'll finally take your bait...

And you think that is specifically calling someone, much less an entire group of someones, mentally ill?
posted by CodeBaloo at 11:39 AM on July 26, 2006


54 United Ways have withdrawn their support/funding for/of the Boy Scouts of America.

Just a sampling of other reactions to the BSA's discriminatory practices:
"The Los Angeles City Council voted 11 to 0 to cut the city's ties with the Boy Scouts of America.

Most California public high schools have withdrawn sponsorship of local scout troops.

Chicago, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., have told local Scout troops that they can no longer use parks, schools and other municipal sites.

San Francisco's judges cut all ties with the Boy Scouts

The Minneapolis school board voted unanimously to end its sponsorship of Boy Scout troops and to prohibit the Scouts from recruiting new members in the public schools.

Steven Spielberg stepped down...from an advisory board of the Boy Scouts of America, saying that he could no longer associate with a group that engages in 'discrimination.'

Chase Manhattan Bank, Levi-Strauss & Co. and Textron Inc. Wells Fargo severed ties in the early 1990s and recently asked the United Way to steer its $400,000 donation away from the Boy Scouts.

Novell Inc. will no longer match employee contributions to the Boy Scouts of America.

CVS Pharmacy chain stopped funding the Boy Scouts in September, 2001.

Carrier Corporation has stopped funding the Boy Scouts.

HSBC bank stops supporting Boy Scouts.

Scripps Networks has asked the United Way to exclude the Boy Scouts of America from their corporate gift.

Reform Jewish leaders are recommending that parents withdraw their children from membership in the Boy Scouts of America and that synagogues end their sponsorship of Scout troops."

[source]
posted by ericb at 11:42 AM on July 26, 2006


CodeBaloo: And what would that percentage would be if an assertive minority had not dragged homosexuality into the mainstream? Somebody mentioned unintended consequences earlier, remember? Let's put the blame for that sad figure where it rightly belongs.

Probably quite a bit higher. These were people who discovered their sexuality without the benefit of supportive communities, believed they were freaks, and thought they were the only ones who felt that way. So yes, lets put the blame squarely where it belongs: on anti-gay bigotry.

Your attitude is killing people, if this uncomfortable truth bothers you, perhaps you should rethink your position.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:45 AM on July 26, 2006


The only comment I made that had to do with child molesters was regarding society's slide into accepting more and more things as "normal" that aren't. Please show the leap from that to what you claim I said.

...

If the coming couple decades continue as have the last couple, with regard to the whole "celebrate diversity" crock o' crap, we can probably expect this same situation to come up again with Little League Baseball and other youth sports groups. Soon (again, assuming we lemmings continue on our present course) members of "reform" groups such as NAMBLA and NORML will be considered just as socially acceptable as gays and will likewise begin bitching and whining that Little League is illegally discriminating against them by not allowing them to coach your kids. And, as is happening with the BSA, they'll be forced to choose between what every honest and mentally healthy person knows is right, and society's spiraling standards.

You have thirteen comments in this thread, all but one from your entire posting history. You specifically compose nearly 10% of this entire thread, even more if you aggregate the responses to your ridiculous bullshit. Shut. The. Fuck. Up. And. Leave.
posted by prostyle at 11:45 AM on July 26, 2006


Before you slam, perhaps you could please quote my comment that said this.

Dude, you invoked the spectre of NAMBLA-member Little League coaching as a parallel to gay scoutmasters. If you were any more transparent, I could actually see Pat Robertson's hand up your ass making your lips move.

No wonder you're a tad touchy about the gay menace.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:47 AM on July 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


And you think that is specifically calling someone, much less an entire group of someones, mentally ill?
posted by CodeBaloo at 11:39 AM PST on July 26


Uh, yeah, pretty much. If "all honest and mentally healthy person know [prohibiting homosexuals from Scouting] is right," then the rest of us must be either dishonest or mentally ill.

Note that this discussion isn't even a referendum on BSA's ethics, but rather their right to discriminate and get government discounts while doing so. You're the one who flipped out and started posting weird stuff.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:51 AM on July 26, 2006


Some posts are born eponysterical; others have eponystericality forced upon them.
posted by furiousthought at 11:55 AM on July 26, 2006


Go back and follow the transformations... a slight change in wording here, some ellipses there so that two separate quotes are in visual proximity, and Voila!, you have something completely new and much more imflammatory to respond to.

Voila indeed. Your disingenuousness apparently knows no bounds. You're clever, I'll give you that.
posted by blucevalo at 11:58 AM on July 26, 2006


I've added CodeBaloo to my ignore list

There's an IGNORE list?!!

Man, I could have been saving my blood-pressure all this time.
posted by the_savage_mind at 12:06 PM on July 26, 2006


prostyle - you have a point... it's generally accepted that "troll" is not the best first impression to make. It happened that I had a contrary opinion on this topic and made the mistake of not only expressing it, but not changing it to an approved one. Things quickly deteriorated from there. As I mentioned, lesson is being learned and I'll try to only express opinions if they will make everybody nod in agreement as they read. Then all will be well in the world.

And on that note, I'll take your advice -- well, two-thirds of it anyway -- and S.T.F.U.

To those who hung in and tried to enlighten me, thanks; some of the comments actually made me think about my position on this.
posted by CodeBaloo at 12:08 PM on July 26, 2006


My dad spent a lot of time as a kid outdoors, hiking around the woods, learning to tie knots and doing first-aid and fishing.

He called it poverty.

That said, I was only a Cub Scout. Never got around to eating a Brownie.
posted by bardic at 12:09 PM on July 26, 2006


CodeBaloo may be full of shit but he and his friends rather skillfully derailed this thread into an argument about how the majority of the american people are mentally ill, boy scouts are a naked pile of writhing flesh one boner away from an orgy, and not being fond of something makes you legally able to use federal money to discriminate against it.
posted by Megafly at 12:10 PM on July 26, 2006


Malor...I have had contact with members of the national organization. I have personally met Roy Williams and while he may be a bit of an overenthusiatic whack job, he doesn't strike me as a Mormon sympathizer...in fact, I would have thought the opposite. Fund raising is a big part of scouting, but in our council, 80% of the money we raise directly supports the troop. The balance goes to the local council. The only money we send to National is the annual registration and rechartering fee...we use some of our additional raised funds to provide "scholarships" to help families fund those fees, buy uniforms, supplies, and camping gear. Your experience may have been as you say, but it strikes me as overreaching to use that experience to condemn the whole organization. I have no personal experience and can't find any documentary evidence that the Mormons exert any more control over scouting's national organization than the Catholic church or any other religious organization...who, by the way, provide the vast majority of meeting locations and local support.
posted by cyclopz at 12:11 PM on July 26, 2006


okay, now someone explain to me how to get this ignore feature working.
posted by the_savage_mind at 12:15 PM on July 26, 2006


boy scouts are a naked pile of writhing flesh one boner away from an orgy

So is the Troy College football team ..


posted by ericb at 12:16 PM on July 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


It happened that I had a contrary opinion on this topic and made the mistake of not only expressing it, but not changing it to an approved one.

You're such a victim! You poor guy!

Seriously... you came in saying that gay people were like pedophiles and that only mentally ill or dishonest people support them, then complain that the tone of the thread isn't nice and no one is supporting you? Jeez Louise.
posted by MegoSteve at 12:17 PM on July 26, 2006


okay, now someone explain to me how to get this ignore feature working.

i think people are actually talking about Mondo Meta when they mention an ignore list.
posted by lord_wolf at 12:21 PM on July 26, 2006


Too bad this thread devolved into a conversation about gays. There is broader problem here that threatens the very foundations of our Democracy. Frist's bill is another insidious way for conservatives to lessen the gap between church and state. One of their basic missions is to brainwash kids so they become good little red soldiers to serve their twisted version of Christ and the Almighty Corporatocracy. Groups like the BSA are Trojan horses they pack with like-minded, fascist, fundamentalist conservatives and quietly insert into neighborhoods, yes, like the Nazi's did with their Hitler Youth programs.
posted by chance at 12:21 PM on July 26, 2006


and you guys need to go easy on CodeBaloo. he's just expressing his sincerely held personal opinion, and if we can't understand the rationale behind his equating gays with child molesters and the clinically insane, it's our fault, not his!

(okay, CodeBaloo. I got your back, now i expect you to back me up in the future when i equate jews with demons, blacks with dogs and dentists with elderberries, then disingenously insist that i did nothing of the sort. and i want violins -- lots of em -- playing for me when i start playing the "noble victim" role.)
posted by lord_wolf at 12:26 PM on July 26, 2006


Whilst I might disagree vociferously with CodeBaloo I think it's poor form that people are telling him to shut up and fuck off. Just because he believes something different to you doesn't make him worthless or an enemy.

CodeBaloo - I'd like to see a genuine reason, other than the "ick-factor" that's usually used in this instance as to why homosexuals should not be involved in responsible child-caring activities (teaching, scout masters etc.) Do you have a specific fear that can be addressed or is there some more nebulous reason for your concern?
posted by longbaugh at 12:32 PM on July 26, 2006


On preview - I fucking hate the Jew Cub Scout menace too lord_wolf, perhaps we can join the KKKKKKKKK (Ku Klux Klan Kamikaze Kidz Klub Killing Kikes Kollective)?
posted by longbaugh at 12:34 PM on July 26, 2006


He's just afraid of the inevitable Boyscout-on-dog sex.
posted by bardic at 12:36 PM on July 26, 2006


Ah, thanks lord-wolf. Great script.
posted by the_savage_mind at 12:45 PM on July 26, 2006


longbaugh, in answer to your question to CodeBaloo:

"To declare a condition a 'non-condition,' a group of practitioners had removed it from our list of serious psychosexual disorders. The action was all the more remarkable when one considers that it involved an out-of-hand and peremptory disregard and dismissal not only of hundreds of psychiatric and psychoanalytic research papers and reports, but also a number of other serious studies by groups of psychiatrists, psychologists, and educators over the past seventy years ... For the next 18 years, the APA decision served as a Trojan horse, opening the gates to widespread psychological and social change in sexual customs and mores. The decision was to be used on numerous occasions for numerous purposes with the goal of normalizing homosexuality and elevating it to an esteemed status." [Charles Socarides, Sexual Politics and Scientific Logic: The Issue of Homosexuality (1992)]
posted by blucevalo at 12:46 PM on July 26, 2006


Ku Klux Klan Kamikaze Kidz Klub Killing Kikes Kollective

i'm down with that. i like the kamikaze part -- it gets the japanese in there. now if we can come up with a "k" word for dentists, aboriginals, stamp collectors, people who chew on ice cubes and rapists (all of the previously named groups are basically rapists anyway), we'd have the greatest. hate group. ever.
posted by lord_wolf at 12:48 PM on July 26, 2006


Hmmm... Kabuki Kamikaze Ku Klux Kinky Kid-Kuddling Kike Killing 0o Krunching Kolonised Kocksucker Kavity Kulling Kachet Kollecting Klan.

...and I claim my free hood.
posted by longbaugh at 1:07 PM on July 26, 2006


[bows to longbaugh, grand dragon of the kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk]

(note: we qualify for government funding!)
posted by lord_wolf at 1:38 PM on July 26, 2006


In Rehnquist's majority opinion in the Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, it was stated that the BSA is a private, not-for-profit organization.

Yet this same organization demanded the kind of access that public groups get to my school. In fact, the SCOTUS refused to hear a Michigan case from Brad Royal, saying that school scout partnerships do not promote religion.

They want it both ways.

And, speaking of creepy, let's talk about folks in that sky spirit cult where they hear voices in their head and are told that eating shrimp is bad. And let's handle those snakes. If that isn't creepy, I don't know what is. Watch some videos of evangelicals "exorcising" young people. I'd cheerfully hand over children to Akbar and Jeff before I'd let these wackos get near them.
posted by adipocere at 2:30 PM on July 26, 2006


Wow, Code Baloo, you seem awful homophobic.

As for having a gay scoutmaster, when I was a cubscout, my scoutmaster was a woman. Should she have been prohibited because she liked to have sex with men? Ergo, she might have molested little boys? That's ridiculous, as is the idea that ALL gay men want to molest little boys.

Most gay men I know are interested in other gay MEN, not children.
posted by MythMaker at 3:15 PM on July 26, 2006


"Whilst I might disagree vociferously with CodeBaloo I think it's poor form that people are telling him to shut up and fuck off."

I think a lot of people on the blue and in the real world have had it up to here with people who pronounce their personal ignorant bigotry as if it's truth as plain as water is wet, and then get confrontational when called out on it.

To give CodeBaloo some credit, at least he's honest that he really only has an unreasonable icky feeling about gay people, and he backed down after a while.

Meanwhile, the Feds are supporting an openly discriminatory organization, and attempting to override a city's attempt to enforce human rights. Lame, but no surprise.
posted by zoogleplex at 3:26 PM on July 26, 2006


Penn and Teller covered this like last season, old news.
Boy Scouts were completely taken over by the Mormon church in the late 70s or so.
The existing organization has basically nothing in common with the old one, except on the shallow surface.
posted by nightchrome at 5:58 PM on July 26, 2006


Penn and Teller covered this like last season, old news.

That's right. I did see that episode of 'Bullshit.'
posted by ericb at 6:07 PM on July 26, 2006


In reading this thread to this point, the thing that reflects badly on the established MetaFilter participants is that CodeBaloo has been fairly aggressively dismissed. There has been only minimal attempt to draw him out or show him the reasons why his prejudice is wrong. There are real reasons - some of which have been articulated (e.g., that gay adults are interested in other gay adults, just like heterosexual adults are likewise interested in other hetero adults; that gay != molester). There is an opportunity here to do some teaching maybe not that anyone owes it to anyone else, and that opportunity is lost becuase it is more fun to bash the basher. I totally understand the anger, and I totally disagree with CodeBaloo's points, but I remember being completely homophobic prior to my college years and frightened of gay people. It wasn't until I actually knew and was friendly with various gay people, and comfortable with my own sexuality that the threat ceased. I love the clever displays and liberal attitudes and all - that is why I come to MetaFilter and read it - it's the smartest discussion board out there, and the one that best fits who I am as a person - , but really - this sort of bashing the basher intolerance is itself counter-productive. We're not right in saying that CodeBaloo's position is wrong simply becuase we feel strongly about it. We have real reasons for believing this. There is data. We should communicate it rather than criticize. In summary, CodeBaloo, your position is wrong-headed and there are reasons why this is so. You're letting your emotional reaction to "gayness" overpower your capacity for rational thought and ignoring the data that shows that gayness is not a threat. Please reconsider.
posted by sirvesa at 6:26 PM on July 26, 2006


What I found fascinating about this thread (and Metafilter in general) is that as I learn more about the US from the discussions here, the more it does seem like some weird religious society with fucked up rules everywhere. As an Australian girl, I was in Scouts, which is mixed over here, with male and female leaders, and absolutely no religious aspect except for one of those vague prayers at the end of a big regional camp. And I can't imagine someone getting kicked out because they were gay, or not being able to be a leader. That would be totally creepy.
posted by jacalata at 7:11 PM on July 26, 2006


The US is a big place and you'll find outdoorsy children's groups that run the gamut from tyrannical religious despotisms to racist paramilitaries to nutty crunchy granola hippies to diversity-worshipping duck-squeezers to bored people looking for something outdoorsy to do to parents forcing their kids through any available program in an attempt to give them extracurricular activities in 4th grade.

It's also probably not an accident that Boy Scout/Cub Scout membership has dropped 24% since 1997.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:28 PM on July 26, 2006


Sirvesa - I certainly don’t mind discussion with people who think my position absolutely wrong. In fact, I enjoy it and have, on occasion altered my positions as a result. Unfortunately, as this thread demonstrates so clearly, civil discussion is beyond either most people’s interest or their capacity. So I appreciate the restraint shown by folks such as yourself, KirkJobSluder, blucevalo, ericb, and longbaugh.

First, to address the thread topic, the BSA, because it steadfastly holds to its discriminatory practices, does not deserve any public funding whatsoever. And, people should absolutely have the option to choose not only which nonprofits to support, but also which from whom to specifically withhold support.

As for the tangential thread…

Homophobia, MythMaker? A phobia is an irrational fear. I am not “afraid”, rationally or otherwise, of homosexuality. Incidentally, I have to give credit where due, it was a brilliant tactical move for the gay activist community to begin consistently, but incorrectly, attaching “-phobia/-phobe” to anyone opposing their agenda. Anything “-phobia” has an immediate negative connotation, implying that the person afflicted with such an irrational fear suffers from a mental disorder. Brilliant.

Homosexuality — or “homophilia”, to maintain semantic consistency with the “homophobia” label that gay community has chosen to associate with the issue — is becoming more “normal”, since the definition of normal fluctuates with the society’s whim. That society sees an issue as normal, though, does not require every member of that society to agree. And those who disagree are not necessarily afflicted with an irrational fear of the issue.

I don’t feel there is anything inherently wrong with a homosexual (or “homophile” – again, what’s good for the goose…) being in a position to care for children any more than anyone with any other sexual predilection. The problem is with the person who openly embraces, endorses, displays, advocates or otherwise models that sexual predilection being in a position to care for children.

I do not believe, and have not said, that homosexuals are pedophiles or that children are in any more danger of sexual abuse under the care of a homosexual. For those who still can’t see that, let me try to dumb it down a bit and paint what I said as an image. Imagine a very, very long playground slide. A kid on the slide represents society, and the kid’s position on the slide represents what is accepted by society as “normal”. At any point, the kid (society) has the option to get off the slide, or even begin crawling back up it. All along the slide are breakable barriers representing various ideas and practices. In big, capital letters floating in mid-air are “GOOD” near the top of the slide, and “BAD” near the bottom of the slide. For this example, let’s arbitrarily go with, from the top of the slide toward the bottom:
the traditional family,
the sexual revolution,
single parenting,
latchkey kids/both parents working,
the parent as primary teacher of moral values,
the homosexual revolution,
the relaxation of drug laws,
every sort of other evil thing you can imagine,
then at the very bottom, the NAMBLA freaks’ agenda.

Contrary to what some have tried to twist my position into, this is what I said: The kid has been in a downward slide for the past couple decades. The kid has shattered the traditional family, sexual revolution, single parent,and latchkey kids barriers. The the parent as primary moral teacher and homosexuality barriers are both nearly breached. If society continues its downward slide, over the coming couple decades it will eventually accept more and more things further down the slide as “normal” also, including the views of the NORML and, eventually, NAMBLA weirdoes. That is what I said. And somehow, amazingly, folks interpret that as “equating” homosexuals to NAMBLA or NORML members.

Is there a chance that I hold the wrong opinion? Sure. Is there a chance that the opposite view is wrong? Sure. Will you change my basic stance or I, yours? Possible, but not likely. That’s what makes hot-button issues so much fun to discuss.
posted by CodeBaloo at 5:36 AM on July 27, 2006


So basically it's not homosexuality (or homophilia if you will) that you disagree with, but the fact that the acceptance of it is an indication that society is moving towards a total lack of morals (future acceptance of NAMBLA et al)?

Is that kind of close to what you're saying or am I completely wrong?
posted by longbaugh at 5:50 AM on July 27, 2006


longbaugh: that's how I read him, also. There's some schools of thought wherein the greater public's deliberately maintaining a certain conformism of (public) morality has intrinsic merit, even if it were the case that some of the actions falling outside that particular morality aren't intrinsically immoral.

Ie, one could argue that maintaining a Victorian-style strict and uniform public morality has such great value as to outweigh allowing such things as public homosexuality, etc., not because homosexuality is necessarily wrong but simply because it cuts into the utility of having a clearly-defined, well-maintained group norm.

You can also construct a variant of this and argue that there are some things that we cannot allow to become widely accepted practice -- say, man-boy love a la nambla -- and to assume that allowing some not-really-all-that-objectionable practices (ie, in this case homosexuality and, apparently, marijuana use) would in turn foster a climate in which it would be harder to prevent the truly hideous practices from taking root. Under that view there would be practices, lifestyles, etc., that are not necessarily wrong in and of themselves, but to allow them would apparently grease the skids on a slippery slope we'd be better off avoiding.

Not really my own view, but it's a common outlook (especially in some non-western cultures) and is worth understanding due to its commonness.
posted by little miss manners at 6:08 AM on July 27, 2006


I don’t feel there is anything inherently wrong with a homosexual (or “homophile” – again, what’s good for the goose…) being in a position to care for children any more than anyone with any other sexual predilection. The problem is with the person who openly embraces, endorses, displays, advocates or otherwise models that sexual predilection being in a position to care for children.
If there's nothing wrong with being a homosexual or thinking that homosexuality is a normal subset of human sexuality, then why is it wrong for a role model to be openly homosexual (or to state that homosexuality is a normal subset of human sexuality)? If there's nothing wrong with it, then there's nothing wrong with expressing it (given the universal restrictions on Public Displays of Affection that apply across the board).
In big, capital letters floating in mid-air are “GOOD” near the top of the slide, and “BAD” near the bottom of the slide.
Can you give me any reason, other than the fact that you personally find the behavior "icky", that acceptance of homosexuality as a normal subset of human sexuality belongs at the "BAD" end of the slide?

Acceptance of, for example, interracial couples has also increased over this same time period. Would you argue that the loss of the stigma of "miscegenation" (and, in fact, loss of the word in general use) belongs on that slide of yours?

Also over the same time period, the idea that corporal punishment should be the standard form of discicpline for children has also been largely rejected. Do you feel that the passage of laws prohibiting teachers from physicaly striking the students under their care belongs on that slide?
And somehow, amazingly, folks interpret that as “equating” homosexuals to NAMBLA or NORML members.
People got that impression, not at all amazingly, because you brought up here the idea that accepting homosexuality is inevitably linked to the acceptance of NAMBLA. And, in fact, you are the only one who brought up the spectre of NAMBLA as even relevant to the issue at hand. The idea that you hold the two morally equivalent (even if not in scale) is not an unreasonable idea to take away from that post.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:30 AM on July 27, 2006


little miss manners writes "You can also construct a variant of this and argue that there are some things that we cannot allow to become widely accepted practice -- say, man-boy love a la nambla -- and to assume that allowing some not-really-all-that-objectionable practices (ie, in this case homosexuality and, apparently, marijuana use) would in turn foster a climate in which it would be harder to prevent the truly hideous practices from taking root. Under that view there would be practices, lifestyles, etc., that are not necessarily wrong in and of themselves, but to allow them would apparently grease the skids on a slippery slope we'd be better off avoiding."

If the practise isn't inherently wrong it would seem that any random act could be used to allow society to flex it's collective muscles. I nominate the lawns of suburbia instead of homosexuality. At least in the case of lawns you have something that is actually harmful instead of something that is victimless.
posted by Mitheral at 6:47 AM on July 27, 2006


CodeBaloo: The problem is with the person who openly embraces, endorses, displays, advocates or otherwise models that sexual predilection being in a position to care for children.

Ok, here is my experience. I started struggling with these issues as a teenager in a location where the very out and visible gay activist communities might as well be on the other side of the moon. My life was sheltered enough that I didn't even know such a community existed until college. My education about sexual oreintation was a single line in a health textbook suggesting that adolescent same-sex attraction is something most people outgrown, and headlines about AIDS. But still, some of my attractions and relationships (that never reached the level of actual physical sex) were baffling to me.

Then, it seemed like a bunch of teens from my church and my high school started popping out of the closet at once. Knowing that there were other people like me, and that they lived every day ordinary lives saved my life.

We don't know how or why, but some people are just going to end up homosexual or bisexual. Some people come out of adolescence as transgendered to various degrees. There is some strong evidence that genetic and pre-natal factors are influential in this development. There are a fair number of living men and women who realized this about themselves before Stonewall, and people who realized this coming from parts of the U.S. with no visible gay communities, and from other cultures as well. Brokeback Mountain was revolutionary because it describes same-sex relationships far away from the urban gay communitites. We know from diaries and other accounts that people engaged in same sex relationships before living memory as well. This makes it profoundly doubful that a growing visible gay community is causing people to become homosexual.

We know that culture doesn't have much to do with determining whether a person is attracted to the other sex or the same sex. Culture does have a profound effect on the development of gay and lesbian political and social identity however. So the question is, do we want a culture of the closet, built around secrets and lies, self-loathing, substance abuse and suicide? Or do we want a culture centered around openness and respect, long-term relationships and support?

Had I known in High School that certain adults of my acquaintance were gay and lesbian, and that they were in long-term relationships, successful professionals, and active in community life, the process of learning about my sexual orientation would have been far less painful.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:30 AM on July 27, 2006


CodeBaloo: "Unfortunately, as this thread demonstrates so clearly, civil discussion is beyond either most people’s interest or their capacity.

You aren't fooling anyone, in case that isn't patently clear to you. You played the victim card in your second post, so spare us your diatribes about our capacities for rational conversation. If it's really all that horrible, why don't you take your ball and go home? This is clearly no place for someone of your intellectual stature!

As for the tangential thread…

Oh, right... the gigantic derail that you created with your ridiculous posturing? Yeah, that one - how tangential! The one you are going to devote the majority of your post to discussing, with a ridiculously insane metaphor as an accompanying illustration? Go team!

A phobia is an irrational fear. I am not “afraid”, rationally or otherwise, of homosexuality. Incidentally, I have to give credit where due, it was a brilliant tactical move for the gay activist community to begin consistently, but incorrectly, attaching “-phobia/-phobe” to anyone opposing their agenda.

What? Are you derailing your own continuation of your original derail, or is this just more of your astute embodiment of "civil discussion"? Or did the "gay community" slip into MeFi while I was taking a smoke break and start beating you over the head with their "brilliant tactical" linguistics?

I don't feel there is anything inherently wrong with a homosexual (or “homophile” – again, what’s good for the goose…) being in a position to care for children any more than anyone with any other sexual predilection. The problem is with the person who openly embraces, endorses, displays, advocates or otherwise models that sexual predilection being in a position to care for children.

You can be homosexual as long as you don't "display" it around the children? Aren't you projecting your own inherent bias about homosexual activities and appearance upon their existence in this situation? How is this even a remotely balanced assertion?

For those who still cant see that, let me try to dumb it down a bit and paint what I said as an image.

Fantastic. What a wonderful image it is, I'm simply stunned by the grandeur of your loquacious bigotry. You've simply expanded the last paragraph of your original post and applied it to this broken analogy, with wonderful colorful descriptions like "big, capital letters floating in mid-air" for retarded people like myself. Thank you so much!

In big, capital letters floating in mid-air are “GOOD” near the top of the slide, and “BAD” near the bottom of the slide. For this example, let’s arbitrarily go with, from the top of the slide toward the bottom:

Arbitrary? Yeah, that's a bit of an understatement. What is the point of expanding your initial myopic bigotry with such flourishing descriptions? I really had no idea the things you disapprove of would be at the bottom of the slide, that one came out of left fucking field! Aside from that, you don't crawl back up a slide - in fact, the point of a slide is to go down it and enjoy the ride, so fundamentally your baseless analogy is beyond worthless and is rather indicative of your aloofness inherent throughout this entire conversation.

Contrary to what some have tried to twist my position into, this is what I said: The kid has been in a downward slide for the past couple decades. The kid has shattered the traditional family, sexual revolution, single parent,and latchkey kids barriers. The the parent as primary moral teacher and homosexuality barriers are both nearly breached. If society continues its downward slide, over the coming couple decades it will eventually accept more and more things further down the slide as “normal” also, including the views of the NORML and, eventually, NAMBLA weirdoes. That is what I said. And somehow, amazingly, folks interpret that as “equating” homosexuals to NAMBLA or NORML members.

Do you even read what you type? This is inane, nobody has to twist anything. When you position what you deem to be negative lifestyle group connotations in a completely linear scale it's rather difficult to imagine you aren't relating them in a direct fashion, especially in terms of a travel path defined as "a downward spiral". Ridiculous.

That’s what makes hot-button issues so much fun to discuss.
Bzzt. Wrong. Nobody is having fun, and you're still full of hot air. I may seem a bit reactive, but in this situation I could really care less. Considering your position and it's so called intricacies does not require compassion, thought, or insight. In fact, your position here embodies the diametrics of those very definitions.

little miss manners: "There's some schools of thought wherein the greater public's deliberately maintaining a certain conformism of (public) morality has intrinsic merit, even if it were the case that some of the actions falling outside that particular morality aren't intrinsically immoral.

Ie, one could argue that maintaining a Victorian-style strict and uniform public morality has such great value as to outweigh allowing such things as public homosexuality, etc., not because homosexuality is necessarily wrong but simply because it cuts into the utility of having a clearly-defined, well-maintained group norm.
"


What is the functional difference? None, whatsoever. You can skirt around the "subjectivity" of "wrong" and "right" but when you place a series of conforming laws upon a group of individuals the justifications are always rather ancillary. Really, you could say school uniforms should be required and only distributed in one size to reinforce the idea of healthy physical proportions, balanced meals and exercise. Wouldn't want any fatty fat fats running around as a byproduct of a free dress code, would we? Slippery fucking slope, indeed - one not worth considering, let alone discussing at length.
posted by prostyle at 8:26 AM on July 27, 2006


KirkJobSluder -- well said!
posted by ericb at 8:28 AM on July 27, 2006


A phobia is an irrational fear. I am not “afraid”, rationally or otherwise, of homosexuality. Incidentally, I have to give credit where due, it was a brilliant tactical move for the gay activist community to begin consistently, but incorrectly, attaching “-phobia/-phobe” to anyone opposing their agenda.

Ah, the grand gay cabal came up with the tactical term during one of their annual "Gay Agenda" gatherings.

Actually:
"According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word homophobia was originally used to mean "fear of men, or aversion towards the male sex". However, from 1969 the term has been more frequently used with its present meaning.

The first time it appeared in print was in the American Time magazine, where it was coined by clinical psychologist George Weinberg, who claims to have first thought of it while speaking at a homophile group in 1965, and popularized by his book Society and the Healthy Homosexual in 1971. It combines the Greek term phobos, meaning "fear" or "panic", and the root homo from the word "homosexual", which originates in the Greek word homos, meaning "the same". A possible etymological precursor was homoerotophobia, coined by Dr. Wainwright Churchill in Homosexual Behavior Among Males in 1967."
posted by ericb at 8:33 AM on July 27, 2006


BTW, clinical psychologist George Weinberg is heterosexual (or, would that be heterophilia?):
"An iconoclastic heterosexual, clinical psychologist and gay activist, George Weinberg has tirelessly championed gay rights for many decades, with his own priceless fusion of passion and clear-thinking analysis....George challenged the conventional notion of homosexuality as a disease and gave gay men and lesbians everywhere a solid theoretical basis for dignity and pride. The Oxford English Dictionary credits George Weinberg with coining the term 'homophobia' which is now a recognized term in the vocabulary of social theory and gay activism alike."
posted by ericb at 8:41 AM on July 27, 2006


It is profoundly delusional to think that gay, lesbian and bisexual teens are not growing up in youth organizations.

It is profoundly delusional to think that the institutional anti-gay prejudice of some youth organizations is going to magically make those teens heterosexual.

It is profoundly delusional to think that institutional ant-gay prejudice is in the best interest of gay, lesbian and bisexaual teens, or even the best interests of a majority of heterosexual teens.

There is a strong argument that the institutional anti-gay prejudice of some youth organizations actively harms a small but significant minority of the people they are intended to serve.

ericb: I've given up on "homophobia" instead prefering "anti-gay prejudice" or "anti-gay bigotry". Might as well call it what it is.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:49 AM on July 27, 2006


longbaugh and little miss manners - yeah, that seems to be a much better thought-out representation of my basic feeling, particularly the part that Mitheral quoted. Except, longbaugh, I think that at some point society will recognize it's gone too far and stop the decline, so I don't think we'll ever actually get to the bottom of the slide.

The slide was just a matter of coming up with a sampling of arbitrary milestones and then placing them I my own order. The fact that homosexuality ended up is at the bad half, maybe that's some subconscious thing, but I'd like to think it was simply a result of the number of milestones I chose to list. The fact that some worse things, and some better things, were not included has to do with the same idea... I only chose a few as a "you get the idea" kinda thing and never intended to make it a comprehensive list.

On preview, I see KirkJobSluder's comment, and it makes a good deal of sense. I don't deny that homosexuality has been present for as long as humans have been around. However, I don't believe that a visible gay community causes people to become gay. Rather, I think whatever the cause is, it comes from within the individual. However, I do think that a visible and accepted gay community may ancourage an individual to make permanent something that nature intended to be transient.

Regardless, this isn't my beef with the "open-ness" of a homosexual someone responsible for children. Perhaps, could it be a definition of terms issue? To me, someone who is openly gay (oddly, until this very second*) is an open advocate of homosexuality. And with that thought, an image of a protest sign reading "We're here. We're queer. Get used to it" pops in my head. And I believe an advocate of any brand of sexuality -- hetero, homo, bi, Martian, what have you) has no business being responsible for my children as their Scout leader. And if a person is so "open" as to feel compelled to demand he be allowed his right to do something regardless of his sexuality, then he is openly advocating for his sexual preference.

* "until this very second" - As I wrote that, I thought of the docs and nurses I work with, male and female. I'd say nearly half of them are gay. But other than some visual cues -- and yes, in many cases one can judge a book by it's cover in this respect -- you'd never know. They don't talk about it any more than a straight would talk about a husband or girlfriend; they don't make inappropriate comments any more than the straights; etc. But I guess they they're "openly gay" in that they wouldn't lie and say they weren't if asked. And I wouldn't have a problem with most of them being a youth leader.

So the problem for me then, needs to be evolved from "openly homosexual" to "a person openly advocating homosexuality".

Prostyle - Made it to the spew about the tangetial thread I started. And I neither deny nor regret starting it. Didn't read the balance, so I hope there was nothing significant.

ericb - No cabal, and not a negative. Just pointed out that it was a brilliant move to keep such an effective term at the forefront is all.
posted by CodeBaloo at 9:07 AM on July 27, 2006


If society continues its downward slide, over the coming couple decades it will eventually accept more and more things further down the slide as “normal” also, including the views of the NORML and, eventually, NAMBLA weirdoes. That is what I said. And somehow, amazingly, folks interpret that as “equating” homosexuals to NAMBLA or NORML members.

Arguing that homosexuality is the start of a slippery slope to general moral ruin and degradation is a classic fallacy, one so antiquated that you have to blow the dust and cobwebs off it to use it. That many people still believe it when it's used is unfortunate, but that doesn't make it any less a fallacy.
posted by blucevalo at 9:10 AM on July 27, 2006


blucevalo - that may be. But I don't claim it to be the start, just another milestone along the way.
posted by CodeBaloo at 9:13 AM on July 27, 2006


Nor, BTW, do I conclude that because Z is bad, A must be bad as well. Again, it's just another stop. Pointing out a downward slide, and mentioning examples of it, is not the same as a slippery slope fallacy.
posted by CodeBaloo at 9:19 AM on July 27, 2006


CodeBaloo: However, I do think that a visible and accepted gay community may ancourage an individual to make permanent something that nature intended to be transient.

From my point of view, this is baffling. There were periods of time when I wanted to change, and found myself surprised by the odd attraction that hit me with a sudden intensity. I know many people who made honest long-term attempts at changing their oreintation and failed. Even the ex-Gay ministries admit that their clients will struggle with their sexual oreintation for the rest of their lives.

For most people, it is not a transient phase.

To me, someone who is openly gay (oddly, until this very second*) is an open advocate of homosexuality. And with that thought, an image of a protest sign reading "We're here. We're queer. Get used to it" pops in my head. And I believe an advocate of any brand of sexuality -- hetero, homo, bi, Martian, what have you) has no business being responsible for my children as their Scout leader. And if a person is so "open" as to feel compelled to demand he be allowed his right to do something regardless of his sexuality, then he is openly advocating for his sexual preference

There is a social double-standard going on that makes this impossible. I can talks about my other-sex partner at length and it rarely ever gets old. In the past, the slightest mention of a same-sex partner was treated as in-your-face activism.

The question is, why shouldn't gay, lesbian and bisexual people advocate for equal rights regardless of their sexuality? In my participation in youth groups, quite a few adult members were politially active in causes ranging from the NRA, to labor unions, to conservation groups. An adult leader's politics shouldn't be an issue when engaging in a youth group.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:24 AM on July 27, 2006


Prostyle - Made it to the spew about the tangetial thread I started. And I neither deny nor regret starting it. Didn't read the balance, so I hope there was nothing significant.

Huh? Remind me again why you are here, if you cannot do us the service of reading the posts that are in response to your ridiculous assertions?

As I wrote that, I thought of the docs and nurses I work with, male and female. I'd say nearly half of them are gay. But other than some visual cues -- and yes, in many cases one can judge a book by it's cover in this respect -- you'd never know. They don't talk about it any more than a straight would talk about a husband or girlfriend; they don't make inappropriate comments any more than the straights; etc. But I guess they they're "openly gay" in that they wouldn't lie and say they weren't if asked. And I wouldn't have a problem with most of them being a youth leader.

Basing your assertions about a subset of society on assumptions you are making about coworkers and then projecting that onto an internet discussion with only a modicum of respect for standard logic and conversational order. Amazing.

So the problem for me then, needs to be evolved from "openly homosexual" to "a person openly advocating homosexuality".

Uh, what's the point? You can expand your definitions any way you choose and it will be entirely inconsequential. You are assuming things about individuals in close proximity to you, and seeing as how they don't give off enough "homosexual vibrations" you can't assert that they are "openly advocating homosexuality" and so those who do (who you fail to define, aside from an image of homosexuals rallying with posters) are the individuals that are causing this moral decline? What a pathetic chain of reasoning.

But I don't claim it to be the start, just another milestone along the way.

You are incoherent.
posted by prostyle at 9:33 AM on July 27, 2006


And if a person is so "open" as to feel compelled to demand he be allowed his right to do something regardless of his sexuality, then he is openly advocating for his sexual preference.

With some perspective, I wonder if you would be as bigoted as you are now, were heterosexuality labeled a "choice" and it gradually dawned on you that some of people's civil rights get determined simply by who they wish to sleep with?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:35 AM on July 27, 2006


KirkJobSluder - Maybe it's a difference of perspective. I can accept a transient attraction as a normal byproduct of sexual development and have difficulty believing that "[f]or most people, it is not a transient phase". Coming from a different perspective, you have more readily accept that it may not be a byproduct, rather the beginings of the person's true sexuality.

As for the presence of a double standard, I agree. But is disagree that (what I read you saying) a person cannot be homosexual and not be an advocate for homosexuality -- or more accurately, an advocate for the acceptance of homosexuality.

And as for why shouldn't GLBT folks fight for equal rights regardless of their sexuality, I have no good answer. However, I don't put one's sexual predilection in the same class as race, or sex, or ethnicity in the context of affording "equal right".
posted by CodeBaloo at 9:39 AM on July 27, 2006


Blazecock Pileon - We both know I would feel differently if the shoe were on the other foot.

As for "bigoted", a bigot (as I understand the word) is so entrenched in his own "side's"' belief that he is intolerant of the views of those who differ. I am tolerant of the views of those whose thoughts differ. In fact, I welcome views of those whose positions differ. I love to argue because I learn a lot through argument with others who can remain calm.

I still hold my belief, and the others still hold theirs. That one doesn't readily embrace the other's belief, though, does not define the person as a bigot. Prejudicial, yeah, I'd accept that label. A pre-judging person can be educated and perhaps convinced to change views; a bigot won't be.
posted by CodeBaloo at 10:03 AM on July 27, 2006


Prejudicial, yeah, I'd accept that label. A pre-judging person can be educated and perhaps convinced to change views; a bigot won't be.

?
posted by prostyle at 10:18 AM on July 27, 2006


KirkJobSluder -- In rereading what I just wrote (trying to, at least, with all the errors due to hasty editing) I came to that last sentence. I wrote that without thinking it all the way through and realize that it's pure BS and, actually, not what I feel. Civil rights are due all citizens simply by virtue of citizenship. In that regard, ones sexual preference shouldn't influence whether those rights are granted.
posted by CodeBaloo at 10:24 AM on July 27, 2006


LOL... dude, just a few minutes ago I predicted to my wife that you'd come back with a quote {but link is even more illustrative} from that exact page! Wouldn't it have been more honest to link to the definition page instead? Wonder why you didn't. Oh, I see... nevermind. Thanks, man, that laugh made my whole morning!
posted by CodeBaloo at 10:32 AM on July 27, 2006


I dunno, wouldn't it "have been more honest" to respond to any of the points that I've made to you instead of choosing to criticize a fucking Thesaurus? The english language is highly fluid, and suggesting that simply because "prejudice" is not found specifically in the Dictionary definition of Bigot gets you off the hook for your inherent inability to conflate the terms (bigotry and prejudice) means little to nothing. Blow it out your ass - LOLOMFGBBQSTFU
posted by prostyle at 10:36 AM on July 27, 2006


In other news -- a role model for America's youth.
"St. Paul police cited the 81-year-old father of Sen. Norm Coleman (R. - Minn.) and a female companion after officers reported seeing them engaged in a sex act in the parking lot of a popular pizzeria.

A person passing Red Savoy's Pizza at 421 E. Seventh St. called police about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and said two people were 'having sex in a vehicle,' a police report said.

Officers issued citations to Norman B. Coleman Sr. and Patrizia M. Schrag, 38, for lewd and disorderly conduct."
posted by ericb at 10:41 AM on July 27, 2006


...suggesting that simply because "prejudice" is not found specifically in the Dictionary definition of Bigot...

Heh, you might want to check your definition link again - I just did, second entry:
bigot
n : a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own
What's that about making your morning? I'm sure your wife is impressed.
posted by prostyle at 10:51 AM on July 27, 2006


Okay, Okay, don't get 'em twisted in a knot.

The reason I don't bother reading your longer diatribes is that they are so laden with expletives and unbridled personal hatred... triggered, apparently, simply because you and I differ in opinion. By the posts that I have taken the time to read all the way through, and by the first few lines of the longer ones, you seem readily intelligent enough to make your points without all the rabid frothing at the mouth.

If you need and example, you need only see the post I'm responding to... could you not have taken just as effective a poke without conjuring an image of somebody red-faced, with neck veins bulging, and dribbling spittle? Of course you could have. But you chose not to do so.

When you choose to let your wit and intellect guide you, versus your rage, I'll happily respond in kind as I have with those here who despise my opinion just as much as you do, but express it reasonably. Until then, try as you might, you won't succeed in goading further responses from me.
posted by CodeBaloo at 10:55 AM on July 27, 2006


Civil rights are due all citizens simply by virtue of citizenship. In that regard, ones sexual preference shouldn't influence whether those rights are granted.

There are many, many people, with many, many lobbyists in their pockets, who are able to raise many, many dollars, and who are able to influence many, many legislators, not to mention George W. Bush, who vehemently and completely disagree with that assessment with every fiber of their being. Their disagreement is based on exactly the sorts of claims that you make about homosexuality.

I'm glad you can laugh with your wife. It must be wonderful. I wish I could laugh with my husband. I can't have a husband, because it's against the law in the United States (marriage is supposed to be between "one man and one woman"). I'm fortunate to live in a state where (for now) I am able to have a "domestic partner." In many states, I wouldn't even have that option. In many states, I wouldn't even be able to visit my partner in the hospital if he got sick because I'm not considered "family."

I have prejudices such as yours, and worse prejudices, to thank for that state of affairs.
posted by blucevalo at 10:56 AM on July 27, 2006


I do think that a visible and accepted gay community may ancourage [sic] an individual to make permanent something that nature intended to be transient.

60 Minutes: The Science Of Sexual Orientation
"There are few issues as hotly contested — and as poorly understood — as the question of what makes a person gay or straight. It's not only a political, social, and religious question but also a scientific question, one that might someday have an actual, provable answer.

The handful of scientists who work in this under-funded and politically charged field will tell you: That answer is a long way off. But as Lesley Stahl reports, their efforts are already yielding tantalizing clues. One focus of their research is twins." [more]
New Scientist: Male sexuality may be decided in the womb.

Associated Press: Men with older brothers more likely to be gay -- Research adds to idea of biological basis for sexual orientation.

Associated Press: Lesbians' brains respond differently from those of heterosexual women.

National Library of Medicine: Brain response to putative pheromones in lesbian women.

And elsewhere in the world ...

Seed Magazine: The Gay Animal Kingdom.
posted by ericb at 11:00 AM on July 27, 2006


Okay, I lied... one more.

Your point? Maybe you forgot what you were responding to. Here's a refresher.

ME: 'As for "bigoted", a bigot (as I understand the word) is so entrenched in his own "side's"' belief that he is intolerant of the views of those who differ. I am tolerant of the views of those whose thoughts differ. In fact, I welcome views of those whose positions differ.'

YOU just now:
"bigot
n : a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own"

I admitted prejudice. Now please read the balance of the definition you posted. I ask again: your point is...?
posted by CodeBaloo at 11:01 AM on July 27, 2006


Oh -- and for a comprehensive look at recent reserach ...

The Boston Globe: What Makes People Gay?
posted by ericb at 11:02 AM on July 27, 2006


CodeBaloo -- at what point did you "choose" to be heterosexual?
posted by ericb at 11:03 AM on July 27, 2006


Sometime after the "transient attraction as a normal byproduct of sexual development" phase, apparently.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:04 AM on July 27, 2006


When you choose to let your wit and intellect guide you, versus your rage, I'll happily respond in kind as I have with those here who despise my opinion just as much as you do, but express it reasonably.

Oh yes, cry about your mistreatment. It's unfair and outrageous that I would respond to your incindiary remarks with those of my own, isn't it? I suppose you can conflate a supposed moral decline to the prevalence of homosexuals and pot smokers all day as long as you don't swear while you're doing it, huh? I really don't know why I bothered to leave any comments after my initial one, there was and remains nothing more to be expressed to you. You won't need to worry about responding to any of my comments, because I will leave none in reply to your remarks - thankfully I won't be seeing them ever again.
posted by prostyle at 11:12 AM on July 27, 2006


ericb - Thanks for the links and the effort to compile them. I'll read those pages today.

When I chose to be heterosexual? I don't recall. But the answer I know you're looking for is: I didn't choose it, I just knew. And, as luck would have it, I don't recall choosing it and I just knew.

Now what? See I don't deny that there may well be a biological basis for homosexuality. Nor do I deny the existence of same-sex relationships among animals, human or otherwise.

And assuming there was a choice made, then to I.R.H.F - Apparently.

blucevalo - I can imagine what it must be like to be denied the one you love. And, anecdotally of course, I have never witnessed a partner being denied visitation with a patient. My understanding is that this becomes an issue primarily when it comes to making healthcare and end-of-life decisions on the patient's behalf without a specific advance directive in place naming the partner as the patient's decision-maker. Conversely, and also only anecdotally, I have seen a "best friend" override a family's wishes because such a directive was in place.

I know I didn't address the crux of your comment, but I've already dug myself a deep enough hole without heading down the marriage laws path.
posted by CodeBaloo at 11:51 AM on July 27, 2006


CodeBaloo: your personal history before joining MetaFilter is pretty clear. You were a professional scammer, and you are totally untrustworthy. You have nothing to offer anyone here.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:53 AM on July 27, 2006


To me, someone who is openly gay (oddly, until this very second*) is an open advocate of homosexuality. And with that thought, an image of a protest sign reading "We're here. We're queer. Get used to it" pops in my head.
Is "We're here. We're queer. Get used to it." advocating homosexuality? I thought it was advocating the right of homosexuals to exist.
posted by Karmakaze at 12:47 PM on July 27, 2006


I can imagine what it must be like to be denied the one you love.

CodeBaloo, thank you for at least acknowledging this, which is more than a lot of people would do. Just so you know, I do appreciate that. Just so I'm making myself clear, I'm not saying I'm denied the one I love. I live with him, we're together. I would not dream of comparing my status to the status of gay men and lesbians in countries like Iran or Egypt or even Latvia, where you can't even have a public gathering without being beaten by government-sanctioned thugs. What I am saying is that I cannot marry the one I love. At the same time, I appreciate and treasure that, at least in certain states in this country, I can have what approaches equality. That's not enough, but Lord knows it's a lot more than most people in the world have.

My understanding is that this becomes an issue primarily when it comes to making healthcare and end-of-life decisions on the patient's behalf without a specific advance directive in place naming the partner as the patient's decision-maker.

This is true as far as it goes. But in certain states if I have an specific advance directive in place it doesn't matter; my advance directive is completely overridden by the wishes of next of kin. If next of kin are hostile to your "lifestyle," which in my partner's case they are, you're screwed.
posted by blucevalo at 1:26 PM on July 27, 2006



posted by ericb at 1:35 PM on July 27, 2006


We've now had legal gay marriages here in Massachusetts for a couple of years. The erosion of the institution of "traditional marriage" has not happened. As a matter of fact, the trend shows just the opposite.
"America's divorce rate is close to a staggering 50 percent. Massachusetts...has one of the lowest divorce rates in the United States. At last count, Massachusetts' divorce rate is 2.4 per 1,000 people, while data complied by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that divorce rates among the Bible Belt states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas) are roughly 50 percent above the national average of 4.2 per 1,000 people.

Perhaps even more surprising are the divorce rates among professed evangelicals. A study released by the Barna Group in 2004 shows that the incidence of divorce among 'born-again Christians' is identical to 'those who are not born again.' According to this survey, 35 percent of born-again Christians who have married eventually divorce. That figure is identical to the married adults who do not identify themselves as 'born-again Christians.' This same survey also indicates that relatively few divorced Christians got divorced before their religious conversion and that among divorced Christians, nearly one-quarter get divorced two or more times.

News-Press | June 28, 2006]
So much for traditional family values!

How many of the current and former Republican "family values" crowd have been divorced and/or commited adultery?

Hmmm. Let's see:
Newt Gingrich (R-GA; adultery/divorced)

George Allen (R-VA; divorced)

Christiopher S. Bond (R-MO; divorced)

Kay Bailey Hutchison(R-TX; divorced)

Mitch McConnell (R-KY; divorced)

-- and that's just a beginning.
So much for the "sanctity of marriage!"
posted by ericb at 1:54 PM on July 27, 2006


Well, for what it's worth, ericb, I find the idea of Newt Gingrich near-naked in a Native American sweat lodge creepy. Definitely wouldn't want him "leading my pack," if you catch my drift.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:02 PM on July 27, 2006


*shudders*
posted by ericb at 2:07 PM on July 27, 2006


So, while some find the idea of gay men being scout masters and even teachers "creepy," others (on the religious right) are suing to get a teacher reinstated after she had been fired for having previously appeared in a porn film. Their rationale? "[S]he has since become a Christian and deserves a second chance."
posted by ericb at 9:19 AM on July 29, 2006


With the trend of female teachers having sex with their male students shouldn't we just ban women from teaching?
posted by ericb at 9:58 AM on July 29, 2006


What about the long-time trend of male bosses having sex with their female subordinates? Perhaps men should be banned from executive positions.
posted by zoogleplex at 10:29 AM on July 29, 2006


Maybe we all should be banned from our jobs!
posted by ericb at 11:27 AM on July 29, 2006


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