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06 February 2013

Comments

JesusBetterman

This fully explains our co-ed middle schools, and why we banned them.

Gregory

Freedom of association used to be a right.

My Eagle Scout son, himself a camp employee in the past, told me he'd spoken to co-workers of a gay counselor let go from a Sierra Nevada Boy Scout summer camp last year who filed suit. He wasn't fired for being gay, he was fired for being flamboyantly so and ignoring the uniform dress code in a series of provocations; red nail polish and overly tight shorts were the last straw. Personally, I was happy for the policy (in essence, don't ask/don't tell) as what I wanted for my son in Scout activities was the lack of any sexual pressure. There's time for that later.

"If you're looking for adventure of a new and different kind,
And you run across a Girl Scout who is similarly inclined,
Don't be nervous,
Don't be frightened,
Don't be scared.
Be Prepared!"

"Be Prepared" from Songs by Tom Lehrer
UC Santa Cruz emeritus professor of Math
Inventor of the Jello shot.

George Rebane

Gregory 428pm - "Freedom of association used to be a right." Yes, I remember it well.

BTW, it appears that this topic, at least from the presented perspective, may be bit too hot to handle. If so, I think more such pieces are in order.

Michael Anderson

Greg wrote: "Personally, I was happy for the policy (in essence, don't ask/don't tell) as what I wanted for my son in Scout activities was the lack of any sexual pressure."

Greg, sometimes I get sexual pressure during the simple act of watching TV. That's been happening since I was in my teens, and I have learned to control myself, only expressing that pressure when it was appropriate. And I happen to like when my emerging tween boys are exposed to mild sexual pressure, because that's how they will learn how to behave in a civilized, two-sex, fully integrated, 21st-century modern society.

Don't ask/don't tell is dishonest, disrespectful, ignorant, and honors the emotion of fear. A complete waste of time, and we're moving on. Oh, and it's also the libertarian thing to do, BTW.

Sorry, but this Boy Scouts-gays issue is today's Woolworth Soda Fountain. I know, it sucks, because you are going to have to either change your thinking or find a more comfortable state of denial. But that's how it's going to be, because the alternative is like trying to coax a tsunami back into the ocean.

I'd like to know if the gay counselor you cite prevailed in his suit. If so, that would indeed be a travesty of justice. He was clearly fired for cause, with pretty cut-and-dry employment law precedent.

Gregory

George, you were a bit heavy handed.

George Rebane

Gregory 818pm - Interesting; in what way?

JesusBetterman

The above illustrates one of the failings of USA culture, absolutely rotten prep of the males for successful negotiations with the females, with mutually happy outcomes. Halfway willing to bet the poorly communicated skills play a part in the mass shooter's psyche of frustration. Not a bad job of blending several threads, even if I do say so for myself.

Michael Anderson

George asked Gregory: "Interesting; in what way?"

I'll bite.

I'd like to go through your missive, highlighting your most egregious examples of "heavy handedness" as Greg describes:

M. A.

1. "...the campaign to force a private organization to accept its mores and values regarding homosexuals.."
A private organization that uses public resources, as cited here (you'll need to scroll down a bit)--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Scouts_of_America_membership_controversies

2. "...when the gathering also involves group eating, sleeping, and performing ablutionary activities...", which is why God invented camp counselors. BTW, if you're going to ablute yourself perhaps it would be best to do that behind closed doors, both to achieve the greatest level of theistic privacy as well as to prevent any ambient ablutionary liquids from spraying unwary fellow campers.

3. "...and in response society fixed things so that peeking in windows was about as close as such wishes could be fulfilled."
Ummm, huh? George, I think you're regressing. Seriously, peeking in windows? The Intertubes have kinda made that completely obsolete, though I will grant you that smelling underpanties is still not available via an IP address (today anyway; there's probably a VC fund on Sand Hill Rd. that has this idea in a prospectus, as I type this).

Michael Anderson


4. "The theory being that a homosexual’s hormones can be turned on/off like a light switch, or (gasp!) maybe homosexual tendencies are only in the mind which can succumb to therapy."
I tried to parse this eleven ways to Sunday and came up empty. The only response I can think of is to relate that in my experience, hormones are hormones, regardless of the sex of the desire-er or the desire-ee. And proper behavior in a given context has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Once you know the rules, you follow the rules or you're out.

5. "And here comes the point – such fortuitous introduction of the odd sexually oriented individual into a single gendered group is discrimination pure and simple."
Yeah, I think the key word you've used here is "odd." You've outed yourself, George, and you have no idea what you are talking about. Do you have have gay friends? If so, what do they feel about what you have written here?

M. A.


6. "Or why could not the parents of a homosexual boy, fully aware of the pubescent focus arguments, not sue to have a girls school accept their son so that he could be in an educational environment that is not distractive?"
Let 'em sue. It'll be tossed before the ink dries. I call red herring.

7. "...we are again fiddling with the latch on another Pandora’s Box."
No, we're not. Instead, we're seeing a window into George's homophobia that is a bit disturbing to me. But I give you a pass, since you are a Traditional, and you guys never had to deal with this shit before. Us Boomers aren't much better; the only reason I am highly evolved on this subject is because I worked in the TV/movie business before I changed careers in the 1980s, and learned 40 years ago how hard it was to be gay in America. Believe me, hitting on vulnerable fellow scouts is the least of these young men's worries.

Goerge, I have read many or your writings over the years, and contributed here quite a bit as well. This is one of your most troubling offerings, but I'm glad you wrote it since you seem to want to hear the feedback, so this is mine. I welcome any further exchange we may have on this subject. Thanks for the opportunity.

Michael A.

M. A.

George,
Sorry for having to break this up into pieces, but the Typepad code-monkeys kept touching themselves inappropriately, and I have found over the years that the best way to handle this kind of behavior is to give the miscreants the what-for.
Michael A.

George Rebane

MichaelA 1120pm etc – Michael, thank you for that considered reply. Unfortunately you may have overextended yourself.

First, let me dispel the use of ‘odd’. When I drafted this piece I used the word ‘odd’ in its numerical sense to indicate that the number of homosexuals in any cohort under consideration would be small, or represent a small fraction of those present. Example: ‘Except for an odd truck now and then, the highway was used almost entirely by passenger cars.’ Upon rereading, the word stood out in its other context implying that homosexuals were odd. (While that may be true in its semantic precision, that was not the point I was making.) I was going to rewrite it, but decided to leave it in to elicit the usual hot-button analyses offered by amateur psychologists in such cases. No critique of this kind of piece would be complete without them.

Now as to my experience with homosexuals; it appears to be of much longer duration, complexity, and depth of understanding than you have enjoyed. Your attributions of my knowledge of homosexuality borders on the staid if not sophomoric

I first encountered and learned about homosexuality and homosexuals when in my late teens I pledged my fraternity at university. Our beloved chapter adviser was homosexual and deported himself with complete correctness when dealing with fraternity matters and being in our midst – a group that could not have been more heterosexual and horny (but then, that’s why God invented sororities and I found the wife of my life). The point here is that early in life I learned to reject the stereotype characteristics of ‘queers’ that were subjects of so many jokes during younger teen years.

In the Army I was in daily charge of company sized units (in the artillery we call them batteries) of 120 men living and ‘abluting’ in close quarters. It is not appropriate here to detail these experiences, but every officer with men under him had to contend with problems whose solutions were a delicate tread between Army regulations of the 1960s and unit morale.

In the workplace over the years I have had many colleagues and friends who were known homosexuals and with whom I enjoyed the closest of professional relationships. I have regularly hired homosexuals to work in my company or directly under me. Years before the public square accepted homosexuals, we in the engineering and academic arenas were already there. The relationships sometimes developed into deeper friendships and have remained so. Jo Ann and I have homosexual friends (couples) whom we entertain at our house, we are entertained at their house, and enjoy other social events together. (We have also been invited to and attended West Hollywood parties where we were the only straight couple.)

Today in Nevada County I belong to a Rotary club that is known for the prominent local homosexuals in its membership. These are also people with whom we break bread and whose company we enjoy at various community/club projects and social occasions that include our home. And anyone who knows me knows that I do not much frequent occasions where the order of the day is daisy talk. With our homosexual friends we have always had frank, in-depth, and illuminating discussions about homosexuality, socialization of homosexuals in puritanical societies, the perspectives of homosexuality then and now, and also the tremendous problems (stresses, etc) that being a homosexual in an overwhelmingly straight culture has entailed.

From this experience of reality, it is clear to me that you speak of the topic as well-meaning naïf who seeks to put others into an established assortment of convenient boxes that populate your world. You don’t have a clue about the pressures that a young homosexual feels as he becomes aware of his sexuality. And yes, you do seem to believe that homosexuals can turn their sexuality off like a light switch, while heterosexuals have an accepted (although today less so) outlet for openly expressing theirs in social settings.

I could go on, but this should give you a little inkling why and how I wrote this piece. Don’t let any of the tongue-in-cheek expressions continue to fool you. Every aspect I describe is very real and will have to be dealt with in ways we have not yet mastered. Political correctness continues to be a madness that over arches our shared culture and makes it more dysfunctional with each passing day. In the end, you will not be able to ‘regulate hormones’ because their impact in the lives of homosexuals is as real as they are in the rest of the heterosexual population – they are real people with exact analogues of feelings that we have. But even in the year 2013 their full expression by homosexuals is neither fully understood nor accepted by the population at large.

In short Michael, your heart is in the right place, but I do believe your social filter needs a major tune up.

Ben Emery

George,
I didn't read through all the comments so this might be a repeat question. To my understanding the issue is with scout leaders or is this a different uproar? If it is scout leaders I would have to point out being homosexual and being a pedophile are not even close to the same thing. Two consenting partners in a relationship and a predator/ victim relationship, please try not to conflate these two. If it is about excluding homosexual scouts that is a hard one to enforce because during the development years as you correctly pointed out hormones are raging. Personally I agree with both sides of this argument. If the Boy Scouts are private association they should be able to have their own rules but their public visits to the White House should stop because of their bigoted polices of creating second class citizens. If they receive government funding that line then becomes blurred and the organization needs to make a decision to either to not discriminate and take the funding or to become completely privately funded. As for the progressive pressure, I am 100% for it. Isn't that the free market regulating itself?

JesusBetterman

"but decided to leave it in to elicit the usual hot-button analyses offered by amateur psychologists in such cases."

George comes out of the closet as "Troll."

JesusBetterman

Would holding scout meetings in public schools be an example of gov funding?

Gregory

Mike, the Boy Scouts remains a private organization, no one is forced to be a member and it doesn't take homophobia for a parent to be concerned about multi day outings in a group containing gay leaders and members. There are mixed gender youth groups and youth groups that don't care about one's preferences.

The Scouts are also upfront about expecting a certain spirituality, and that was onerous enough that I chose not to be a adult member myself, though I have volunteered on a regular basis to help my son's troop. I didn't sue them because I'd have to cross my fingers when making the odd oath they'd expect.

There's a reason there are separate Girl and Boy Scout organizations even though many of the activities are similar. I respect that, and I respect and appreciate their past, present and possibly future choice to not accept gay leaders or members.

Right now, an atheist or agnostic Scout can either come out and be expelled, or bite their tongue. Same thing.

George Rebane

BenE 928am - I'm not trying to "conflate" anything here except raise a category of perspectives that can and will be argued in court once the Boy Scouts accept openly homosexual leaders and boys into their ranks. The courts are already full of suits that transcend the border of idiocy, and I believe that the genre of examples I provided will have to be accepted and adjudicated with a straight face. Nowhere here am I trying to make light of the problem outlined. It simply is what it is.

BTW, I did not address the staffing concerns, but they also give rise to another layer of problems without even addressing pedophilia. I am not aware that homosexuals have any higher incidence of that aberration than do straight people.

JesusBetterman

I had to learn to recite the 23rd Psalm in order to weAR an official Ragger HANDKERCHIEF AT MY ymca SUMMER CAMP. We had a really cool counselor, who had us hike htree days to reach the Pacific Coast, and get away from some of the silly games and rituals.

An insight into brother Steve, who attended the same camp, different session (BTW, I sold soap door to door to pay my way) Steve was at the dining table, and had so precisely poured the milk into his glass, that it appeared to another boy that the pitcher was empty. When the other boy called for another pitcher, Steve informed him that it was not empty.

Empty!

not empty

EMPTY!

not empty

whereupon the other boy turned the pitcher upside down to prove it was empty.

SPLASH!

Ben Emery

George,
I just wanted to clarify that the comparison of homosexuality and pedophilia wasn't being implied.

TheMikeyMcD

George, our daughters belong to a Boy Scout (BSA) sister organization (started after the Girl Scouts went progressive). They have announced, to our pleasure, that they will be cutting all ties with BSA if the BSA cave.

Our largest reason for belonging to a group is for mentors of similar values to be positive role models for our girls (different dynamic when a mentor makes a suggestions vs when a parent does).

Why would I spend the time, money, effort to belong to an organization that does not share my values?

The question is, can a private organization discriminate membership?... the obvious answer is yes.

Bonnie McGuire

Personally, I remember when homosexual men talked about young boys as "chickens ready to be plucked." More recently remember the boy that was sexually abused by a homosexual man at church camp? During his trial he was grinning at the boys like he'd get off, and she shot him. Real smart...she died in prison. The Boy Scouts has always been a wonderful organization. Why would anyone want to put a fox in with the chickens?

Gregory

Bonnie, pedophiles come in three models, homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual.

Most homosexuals aren't also pedophiles.

I'd put the whole question a bit differently... is it reasonable for a private youth group to have as an organizing principle that no active participant be sexually attracted to another active participant? As an Eagle Scout's dad, I thought it was, and one does not have to be a "homophobe" to agree.

Ben Emery

Bonnie,
Following strict rules of conduct because we were told to wasn't my cup of tea so I don't remember much about my year in the scouts. By the rationale you laid forward my boy/ cub scout leader as a kid Mrs. Martinez shouldn't have been able to do the job, she was heterosexual and attracted to males? Absurd. Either someone is attracted to children or they are not. It has nothing to do with being hetero or homo sexual. This idea is just another ignorant propaganda scare tactic of those who fear something outside of what they perceive as "normal".

Gregory

Ben, the younger scout groups have always had den mothers; if anything, your counter example is the classic 'exception that proves the rule' case as Scout adults are bound by 'in loco parentis' expectations.

FWIW the scout troop I was in for a year or two as a young teenager was horrible, with a distant alcoholic scout master and with the older boys in charge being fans of various hazing rituals. However, my first wife was from a family with a history of scout activism and I let her be the judge of the local scouting groups. My son's experience was, in contrast to mine, uniformly excellent.

Steve Frisch

The use of the word "odd" was indeed odd!

Was it that it was intended to be taken in its mathematical definition, its social definition, its implied meaning, or was it intentionally ambiguous?

Well, a window into George's soul: the admission that it was intentionally ambiguous!

The master propagandist at work again.

If Michael asks the question based on the social interpretation, well then he is an 'amateur psychologists', and thus open to critique. If he accepts the mathematical definition unquestioningly, then other readers are allowed to assume the social interpretation, and George's message that being gay is 'odd' is delivered via dog whistle.

Bravo....Joe......

George Rebane

SteveF 807am - Thanks for the good words as usual Steve. BTW, I think we're all amateur psychologists, and the pros haven't been doing too well either for the last century or so, but the state lets them charge cash money for their offerings.

M. A.

Freedom of association...I love it.

Got Woolworth Cafe?

Sorry kids, been done decided.

M. A.

Condi Rice might be of some help here. She likes to wack the ball around, apparently: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusta_National_Golf_Club

Private? Heh, heh.......

George Rebane

M.A. 1115pm - Does the freedom to associate exist any more?

M. A.

BTW Bonnie, Greg has it right. The perverts are non-denominational, they try to do what they would like to do from all different angles.

I would just add one thing, and that is that some religious leaders who are supposed to be particularly devout use their positions of trust to influence young men in a sexual direction that they never would have thought of had it not been for their church leader.

M. A.

"Odd" indeed.

Sorry George, gays are not odd. They are normal. In fact, they might be the folks who save the world. Why would you disparage them? I don't understand...

M. A.

George asked: "Does the freedom to associate exist any more?"

Of course it does. Just not in the public space. This was decided decades ago. No one is forcing you to have people you don't like invade your personal property. You can do whatever you want there.

In a national forest? Gays have to be allowed. Even boy scout gays. Sorry, I know it's a bummer but we are done talking about it. Your side loses.

Not only does your side lose, but if you continue the effort to turn the clock back, there are machines that are now calibrated to extract remuneration from your public resources. You have explicated them quite well in these pages.

Gregory

"Of course it does. Just not in the public space."

The Boy Scouts are not a public space.

George Rebane

M.A. 1132pm - pay attention Michael, I covered that in my 842am reply to you. You are raising the point as if it were new. Do you have an objective here for being obtuse?

1143pm - so private organizations reserving space in 'public areas' forsake their freedom to associate. And the only place freedom of association remains is on your own private property - i.e. you can use existing trespassing laws to order off those with whom you don't want to associate. Bottom line, if a private membership organization ever uses a public space in a way that does not contest or inconvenience anyone else, they still automatically have to open their membership to everyone. Am not sure whether that is your implied meaning.

M. A.

This is what we are talking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusta_National_Golf_Club

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