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Gotta love Boy Scouting! - Chronarchy

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May 7th, 2007


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02:22 pm - Gotta love Boy Scouting!
So, today I'm looking at my Boy Scout Troop's website. I haven't been there for a while (I'm far too busy with a lot of other things), and I'm rather amused to see that if I want to camp with them again, I need to go through a program called "Protecting God's Children".

You can find an introduction here: http://www.virtusonline.org/virtus/preview_pgc.cfm

I recommend playing Pink Floyd in the background while running the introductory Flash program. It's totally a great soundtrack for it. I was listening to "In the Flesh" from The Wall disc 2. Do it!

What you need to understand, of course, is that the troop I work with is part of a Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has always seen Scouting as a branch of its Youth Ministry, and so we pray before meetings (a Hail Mary and the Lord's Prayer), and the troop has a high percentage of religious awards. This is why I'll have to go through this program.

This program assumes that all persons going through are Catholic, which is a consistent assumption in my work with this troop. It doesn't bother me at all: as a polytheist, I don't see a conflict with the beliefs or the prayers. And, in fact, I see my work in Scouting as a sort of youth ministry as well, except that it's not at all religious: it's hoping that the kids gain what I did from the organization. It's building bridges and helping to open their minds and think for themselves. I suppose that there's an old poem that really has always described my Scouting journey, and it describes my work better than I've ever been able to: The Bridge Builder.

Besides, someone's got to work on undoing a lot of the close-mindedness of the BSA. It might as well be me, ya know?

To an extent, I resent being presumed a sex offender who will either be "cured" or "found out" by this little three-hour session. This is a reality of our time, though: people are punished beyond their sentencing with mandatory reporting and restrictions on where they can live; cases of trusted authority misusing that power-over relationship to get something they want are reported widely; and those programs associated with the Catholic Church in particular have to do something to fix their landslide of an image.

Thankfully, they do say very specifically: "Most sexual offenders are homosexual? Myth. Most sex offenders are heterosexual, not homosexual." That's a message I like to see.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Migration", -JB

(18 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 7th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC)
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Dunno. I'm not sure that the Chief Scout Executive watches South Park, but you know: it's entirely possible :)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:qorinda
Date:May 7th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
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Great poem. :) It's pretty much why I do the things I do too.
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From:chronarchy
Date:May 8th, 2007 12:48 pm (UTC)
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It's one of the few poems I actually enjoy hearing. It's a good one.
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From:gangrel_pri
Date:May 7th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
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Thankfully, they do say very specifically: "Most sexual offenders are homosexual? Myth. Most sex offenders are heterosexual, not homosexual." That's a message I like to see.

Wow, BSA or at least a branch of it has gotten enlightenment. I'm in shock.

Not that us gay folks can be adult leaders, regardless...
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 8th, 2007 12:41 pm (UTC)
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Well, of course. The BSA is freakin' backwards for the most part. I find it easy to work within the system mostly because I'm straight and don't have an issue with any deity they might want me to pray to.

But I was very happy to see this little bit of enlightenment. Very, very happy.
[User Picture]
From:gangrel_pri
Date:May 8th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
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Me as well. Thank you for sharing that:)
[User Picture]
From:capriciouslass
Date:May 7th, 2007 09:37 pm (UTC)
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Wait. You were listening to something besides Jimmy Buffett? When did that start happening?
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 8th, 2007 12:42 pm (UTC)
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My tastes in music are actually wide and varied. I just don't listen to anything else while at work (which is where I post the stuff I write at other times). :)
[User Picture]
From:capriciouslass
Date:May 8th, 2007 01:06 pm (UTC)
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I kinda assumed that, I just had to poke you. I do things like that...
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 8th, 2007 01:25 pm (UTC)
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*poke**poke*!

Totally cool with me :) I just had to explain it: I do things like that :)
[User Picture]
From:wishesofastar
Date:May 7th, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC)
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people are punished beyond their sentencing with mandatory reporting and restrictions on where they can live

Hear, hear! Upper Arlington recently passed one of the strictest sex offender laws in the country. If you're a convicted sex offender, you cannot live OR work within 1,000 feet of a school, park, daycare, library, and a couple of other places that seem unrelated to child concern issues. By following the registration laws, a s.e. can't work at nearly 3/4 of the businesses in UA; not sure how that impacts living arrangements. And the offense might have nothing to do with children! God, people piss me off on a regular basis.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 8th, 2007 12:43 pm (UTC)
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I'm hoping that these laws will be found unconstitutional. Of course, when they are, it will be because "activist judges" are "enforcing the atheist agenda" and "denying this country's moral founding principles."
[User Picture]
From:tlachtga
Date:May 7th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
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Besides, someone's got to work on undoing a lot of the close-mindedness of the BSA. It might as well be me, ya know?

Yes yes yes.

It's funny--I was a Girl Scout until I was probably 13 or 14 (I think 14--right before I started high school, and started rebelling). Religion wasn't a huge issue, and while we used a Lutheran community center for meetings, it wasn't assumed we were all Lutheran, though once a year the church had a service for us. I went, and was interested by the similarities with the Catholic Mass.

Anyway.

I never remember sexuality being brought up in the Girl Scouts. Not at meetings, not at camp. It just wasn't a topic. Cookies, yeah. Badges, yeah. Soldering, yeah. (Hey, they wanted us to be well-rounded). But never sexuality.

And thank the gods! Because by the end, I already knew I wasn't quite like the other girls.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 8th, 2007 12:48 pm (UTC)
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I still think the BSA might be best served by including a sewing merit badge. And requiring that for the Eagle rank.

The BSA has always, so far as I remember, been involved with discussing sexual assault in particular. Even the Cub Scout books have booklets in the front of them that the parents are to go over with their kids and sign.

And then there was that video I watched in 1993 before I went to the National Jamboree about all the things you should report. It was. . . well, it was pretty funny at the time. Glad they showed it, though.
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From:rfunk
Date:May 8th, 2007 04:03 pm (UTC)
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I don't remember anything about sexual assault from when I was in scouting. But that was the early 80s. (And while I was in Cub Scouts for years I was only a Boy Scout for about a year.)
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