Ethics Dunce: The Boy Scouts of America

I owe a lot to the Boy Scouts: namely my father. An only child whose father abandoned his family, forced to move from school to school as his mother sought work during the Depression, my dad was quite literally raised by the Louisville area Boy Scout troop that provided his only lasting friends and only stability. They taught my father well, too: if any man lived his life being faithful to the Scout oath…

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight…

…it was Jack Marshall, Sr. Had it not been for World War II, I have no doubt that Dad would have made scouting his life.

Thus it is painful for me to see the Boy Scout organization reject its core values and relegate itself to irrelevance and cultural estrangement by refusing to alter its archaic policy excluding gays from participation. After the Scouts received a narrow (and correct) affirmation by the U.S. Supreme Court that it had the right, as a private organization, to refuse to accept gay scoutmasters into the organization, they commissioned a panel to decide whether it was time to enter the 21st Century, and banish the faith-based bigotry that made the Boy Scouts hostile to gay Americans. The Scouts just announced that the two year inquiry resulted in an affirmation of the Scouts’ traditional position, unchanged after 118 years: gays aren’t welcome.

Let us be clear about what this decision means, and get past the PR spin being placed on it by the Scouts. The Scouts’ chief executive, Bob Mazzuca, said, “The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers and at the appropriate time and in the right setting. We fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society.” That has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Nobody has argued that the Scouts needed a gay merit badge. Sexual conduct, gay or heterosexual, is not part of scouting. A scoutmaster shouldn’t be talking about his sex life, no matter what it involves: stick to whittling, building campfires and constructing monkey bridges, guys. That does not, however, mean that the Boy Scouts are right to declare a large group of good kids unworthy of the Scouting experience. If the Boy Scouts, a youth organization that stands for moral and ethical values, officially adopts such a position, then it is officially denigrating and marginalizing children (and adults) based on prejudice, fear, and ignorance. Sure, people who don’t care about the Boy Scouts won’t be influenced, and thanks to this decision, that group will grow. For those who respect the Scouts, however, their implied condemnation carries weight. An organization that has used its influence to promote good values to young men is now using its prominence and prestige to promote exclusion, prejudice and bigotry. Those are not good values. And an organization that embraces those values cannot claim to be a good organization, for kids or the culture.

“The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”

Does this decision advance this mission, or defy it? The Boy Scout Law states..

A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

After its reaffirmation of the anti-gay policy, the Boy Scouts are no longer Trustworthy. Faced with a significant moral and ethical choice, the organization chose the unethical course. How can such a group be entrusted with the task of preparing young men to make ethical choices? Loyal means loyal to others, as well as loyal to community and national institutions. The Declaration of Independence decrees that all of us are created equal, have equal rights, and deserve to pursue happiness. The Scout policy rejecting gays implicitly violates these principles. Helpful? As gay Americans slowly, laboriously manage to gain equality of respect and opportunity in this nation, a slap in the face by the nation’s largest youth organization isn’t helpful…nor is it Friendly, Courteous, or Kind. Brave would have been to defy the worst intransigents in the organization, who believe being gay is a “choice,” and an immoral one. Instead, the Boy Scouts surrendered to them.

The term “Ethics Dunce” doesn’t do justice to an organization founded on a dedication to ethical training that rejects both its own values and those of the nation it extols, or one that defiles it own reputation while crippling its future ability to be a force for societal good. Until I think of a better one, however, it will have to suffice.

_________________________________

Facts: ABC

Graphic: Troop 21

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at  jamproethics@verizon.net.

148 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: The Boy Scouts of America

  1. I agree with you 100% with your cogent article. I was saddened by BSA’s affirmation of it’s anti-gay policy. Your last paragraph especially crytallizes their departure from the Boy Scout Law. Principles which shaped my character and are etched in my mind. My memories of scouting started as a Cub and ended as an Explorer. My friendships span the world and are still cherished and strong after five decades. I cannot recall ever discussing with nor knowing the sexual orientation of any scouting friends. For BSA to maintain the status quo transcends “Ethics dunce” to stigamatization and stereotyping.

  2. As an Eagle Scout, and as someone who has seen how supporters of gay rights (as well as atheists) have treated them, I have to disagree.

    First, the response of many cities and other jurisdictions towards the Boy Scouts has been nothing short of bullying for a politically correct cause. At this time, a court case has been pending for over a decade to deprive the Scouts of land at Balboa Park that they have had for decades, and when they have a signed lease that should be good until 2026.

    Philadelphia tried to take a building the Scouts have used in that city since 1929 – never mind that the BSA built the building on its dime, and paid for the maintenance.

    So, gee… with what amounts to well over a decade of bullying, why do the Boy Scouts get called the Ethics Dunces? Why not the cities of Philadelphia or San Diego? Add to this the cases of Jennifer Keeton and Julea Ward, and I get the sense that some really unethical stuff is okay in the minds of some when the gay community benefits.

    If it’s bullying, it’s bullying, and it doesn’t matter if the target of the bullying is gay or if they’re the Boy Scouts. Otherwise, we’re just promoting politically correct bullying.

    • Your argument appears to be nothing more than the Tit for Tat, “they asked for it” rationalization for unethical conduct. So when people are obnoxious in asserting their rights and protesting discrimination, that justifies a lower standard of treatment? It surely does not. Ok, they “bullied” the Boy Scouts. What does that have to do with whether the gay 12 year old down the street should have a chance to be a Boy Scout, or be told that he’s not “clean” and “moral” enough?

    • Your argument appears to be nothing more than the Tit for Tat, “they asked for it” rationalization for unethical conduct. So when people are obnoxious in asserting their rights and protesting discrimination, that justifies a lower standard of treatment? It surely does not. Ok, they “bullied” the Boy Scouts. What does that have to do with whether the gay 12 year old down the street should have a chance to be a Boy Scout, or be told that he’s not “clean” and “moral” enough?

  3. Mr. Marshall,
    Thanks.
    I have gone back and forth on this several times. I think ethically they made the right call in the end. It could not have been easy but looking at how it worked out for the GSA. I think they had to go with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. I doubt they arrived at it easily but in the end they have long established beliefs and I think it does them injustice to use the vitriolic language against such a great organization over this one issue. They have always promoted tolerance and community service. You can say they are discriminating but it does not apply in this case.

      • My view of this is starting to solidify the more I see the reaction. Nearly everyone discriminates in some way or another, not a justification but a reality. This is a private organization; they can associate with whomever they desire. Although it would have been great if they could have come up with a way to make this work for children the support for the change does not appear to have been strong enough, however there is nothing that prohibits the Gay Community from forming their own scouts, the BSA are not stopping them. I can understand the disappointment and disagreement but not the attacks. This organization has a long history and widely excepted beliefs. They do not let girls join, other than some fringe elements; no one has any issues with it. What about children and adults that do not fit in the age requirements? Is that unethical? The atheists have been at odds with them for a long time, does that make the BSA unethical? Calling them bigots is a bit over the top don’t you think?

        • Ugh. I’m sorry, Steve, but this must be the worst comment I’ve encountered for a long time, and maybe ever.

          My view of this is starting to solidify the more I see the reaction.

          What does the reaction have to do with anything?

          Nearly everyone discriminates in some way or another, not a justification but a reality.
          “Everybody does it.” Not an excuse, not a justification, not an argument. So why say it?

          This is a private organization; they can associate with whomever they desire.
          Irrelevant. Ethics isn’t about what you CAN do, it’s about what you should do. Yes, SCOTUS established that: they have a right to be bigots. That doesn’t make it fair, right or responsible.

          Although it would have been great if they could have come up with a way to make this work for children the support for the change does not appear to have been strong enough,
          What do you mean, “if they could have found a way”? Stop the policy of discriminating against gays. What’s so hard about that? I do it. The army does it. And you are arguing that if “support” for unethical conduct is strong enough, that justifies being unethical? Tell the bigots to go piss in a sock—this is the right thing to do, under the values of scouting.

          “…however there is nothing that prohibits the Gay Community from forming their own scouts, the BSA are not stopping them.
          “And those black folks can always start their own schools! What’s stopping them?” “Separate is inherently unequal”—Brown v. Board of Education. You’ve heard of it? You’re advocating apartheid.

          I can understand the disappointment and disagreement but not the attacks.
          What do you mean “attacks”? You mean people have been vitriolic about the largest youth organization in the nation saying that they aren’t good enough to participate? Fancy that!

          This organization has a long history and widely excepted beliefs.

          So does the KKK. This isn’t an argument.

          They do not let girls join, other than some fringe elements; no one has any issues with it.
          That’s because boys and girls are different in important and undeniable ways that relate to scouting. Your logic, such as it is, would also so justify discrimination against blacks.

          What about children and adults that do not fit in the age requirements? Is that unethical?
          What??? The age requirements are rationally related to socialization and activity—kids grow. If you really think this is a valid analogy, you’re beyond help.

          The atheists have been at odds with them for a long time, does that make the BSA unethical?
          I don’t even know what that means. The BSA is unethical because of what other groups say or feel about them? Uh, no. Point?

          Calling them bigots is a bit over the top don’t you think?
          What would you call a group that declares a class of innocent kids and adults unfit to socialize with based on nothing but prejudice and superstition? I mean, other than cruel, irresponsible and ignorant?

          • Why do not the Girl Scouts hire straight male scoutmasters?

            That’s because boys and girls are different in important and undeniable ways that relate to scouting.

            In case you have not noticed, sexual orientation is wholly derivative from sex differences.

            Of course, why not throw the door open to straight girls. Maybe the Boy Scouts can issue merit badges for meeting child support.

            • I think this is a specious and unpersuasive argument, just blatant slippery sloping in the opposite direction. Boy Scouts are for boys, and boys behave differently around girls, and vice-versa, as you know. Letting boys participate in all-boy activities is healthy and natural, and the equivalent is true of girls. Gay men are still men, and gay boys are still boys.

              • Are you really meaning to admit a slippery slope, by calling out a reasonable idea “just blatant slippery sloping in the opposite direction?”

                • A slippery slope in the wrong direction is, among other things, illogical and in defiance of gravity, but that’s what this kind of argument attempts. Slippery slop arguments can be valid—one that makes a specious comparison like this one isn’t This is in the same category as Santorum’s infamous argument that if you can legalize gay marriage, why not bestiality?

                  • Not following you there, Jack. Michael’s argument is absolutely as relevant, and every bit as reasonable and logical (only moreso), as any argument that equates race-based prejudice to sexuality-based prejudice.

                    • No, it’s not. Nothing about race or sexual orientation has any relevance to the Boy Scouts or their activities. Gender differences are relevant, especially gender differences in the pre-teen and teen ages that participate in scouting. Michale’s argument is a rationalization without roots in substance. Girls are not excluded from Boy Scouts because of bigotry (and they aren’t excluded from men’s clubs because of bigotry either.)

          • My apologies about last night’s post, I should have waited until this morning and got my thoughts strait. I probably still won’t do much justice to my position. I can’t really say it is not discriminatory or fair. But being part of BSA and having been part of 3 different BSA and GSA troops over the last several years I have a unique perspective on this. My kids are in the same age brackets so I see an apple to apple comparison. Nearly everyone in my family is involved in scouting and it is a big portion of our lives. Many of our family members have completely pulled away from the GSA, or were able to find a GSA troops that have not completely lost their way. Our daughter is no longer a scout but there is a great organization she was able to join that a couple of the churches have set up that is a non faith based girls club. Our current BSA troop is superb and we have two families that this affects. But I guess that is why I don’t understand the vitriolic responses as this will not change anything. Those families will not experience one change. We are close to one of the families who have kids the same ages as ours and also had a girl in a different GSA troop; they have recently pulled her out of the GSA as well. They don’t feel threatened about this at all, they all but support it. Maybe it is a lack of understanding of those that are not part of scouting. The morality of homosexuality really does not play a part in this, at least in my mind. There are plenty who are part of the BSA that do not agree with homosexuality but are tolerant of how they choose to live their lives and will welcome them and particularly their children into the BSA. I truly believe that this decision is to keep the BSA from going the route of the GSA. Other than this decision I have never see one thing that makes me believe the BSA is anything but inclusive and tolerant. They produce model citizens and establish great fundamentals. With that said, all emotions aside I have to agree that it is unethical. But I won’t go as far as to demonize the entire organization and the great things they do.

            • This is still junk. The closest you come to a defense of the position is: “I truly believe that this decision is to keep the BSA from going the route of the GSA,” and that doesn’t make any logical sense. Doing the ethical thing would make the BSA like the GSA, and that’s a bad thing?

              • tgt,
                Yes it is a bad thing. The girl scouts in my experience are no longer about scouting but about progressive values and sexuality. The last straw for us was the day the troop discussed that men are predators. For our friends’ child although a bit older it was even worse. Discussions in regards to masturbation are not acceptable. If for any reason it should come up it should be stopped and referred to the parents. I don’t believe sexuality should be part of the scouts.

                • ,Yes it is a bad thing.

                  It’s a bad thing to be moral? You’re an idiot. I guess you could also be trying to say that doing something ethical will make the Boy Scouts be all about progressive values and sexuality, but that’s even stupider.

                  The girl scouts in my experience are no longer about scouting but about progressive values and sexuality.

                  Really?

                  The last straw for us was the day the troop discussed that men are predators.

                  That has nothing to do with either progressive values or sexuality. It’s just stupid. I’d leave a troop that was stupid, too.

                  For our friends’ child although a bit older it was even worse. Discussions in regards to masturbation are not acceptable. If for any reason it should come up it should be stopped and referred to the parents. I don’t believe sexuality should be part of the scouts.

                  Part of scouting, as I’ve always seen it, is learning to be comfortable in the world. While I don’t think that a troop leader bringing up masturbation would be appropriate, if it comes up in a group of tweens, discussing it seems perfectly fine to me. I have no idea how you think this is worse than scaring little kids away from men.

                  • tgt,
                    Nice attack. Who’s morality? Yours? Mine? BSA? LGBT community?
                    My position is I don’t want to exclude any boy from this great organization. But I do not want it to be drastically changed as has happened to the GSA either. If that can happen then I am ok with it but based on what has happened to the GSA I don’t think it can.
                    You have stated yourself that you believe sexuality has nothing to do with scouting and now you say it is perfectly fine? What position do you really have or are you just interested in attacking whoever you can? Are you a contrarian?

                    • Nice attack. Who’s morality? Yours? Mine? BSA? LGBT community?

                      Red herring. Say I go kill all members of the AFA. Is that moral? Whose morality do we use? Yours? Mine? The AFA’s? Hitler’s? My cat’s?

                      You might as well have said “How do you know the world exists outside your mind?”

                      But I do not want it to be drastically changed as has happened to the GSA either. If that can happen then I am ok with it but based on what has happened to the GSA I don’t think it can.

                      When did the GSA drastically change? Also until you show me an actual causation between allowing gay scout leaders and becoming a den of progressivity and sexuality, your argument fails.

                      You have stated yourself that you believe sexuality has nothing to do with scouting and now you say it is perfectly fine?

                      You’re equivocating. I said that someone’s sexuality has nothing to do with scouting. I didn’t say that the topic of sexuality should be banned from being discussed among scouts. That was what you suggested.

                      I stand by my previous comments.

                    • tgt,
                      Talk about red herring. You’re going to equate murder to exclusion? Your a moving target, are you arguing BSA should let homosexuals in because it is moral? Then you disregard their moral convictions. It’s a no win situation.
                      Why should the topic of sexuality be allowed, this is where much of the concern originates from. This is not a organization that was formed to instruct sex education. I do not see how self reliance, civility, tolerance, and the like require sex to be discussed.

                    • Talk about red herring. You’re going to equate murder to exclusion?

                      I didn’t equate exclusion to murder. I pointed out that you tried to derail the topic into the philosophy of morality instead of using standard terms.

                      Your a moving target, are you arguing BSA should let homosexuals in because it is moral? Then you disregard their moral convictions. It’s a no win situation.

                      Moral convictions are conclusions, not premises. We don’t disregard specific moral convictions; instead, we look at the evidence behind the convictions, weigh it, and make a judgment call about right and wrong. If we didn’t do that, we’d have anarchy.

                      Why should the topic of sexuality be allowed, this is where much of the concern originates from. This is not a organization that was formed to instruct sex education. I do not see how self reliance, civility, tolerance, and the like require sex to be discussed.

                      Nothing requires sex to be discussed, and I have never claimed such. The key is that there’s no reason to ban its discussion either. What part of self reliance, civility, tolerance, and the like requires sexuality to not be discussed?

  4. For me this argument boils down to one fact.

    When my 11-year-old son heard about the decision he immediately recognized it as unfair. He’s not gay. His mother and I are not gay. He has no gay agenda. He’s just a kid who understands the golden rule.

    Even though he loves being a Boy Scout he gave it up.
    http://kubalak.com/2012/07/18/lost-boy-scout/

    No gay agenda. No bullying. Just being fair.

  5. What’s interesting is the secrecy surrounding this “panel”. The only organisation we know is definitely on it is the American Family Association (at least they said they were on their website).

    Given their opinions:
    http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/american-family-association-spokesman-wants-strip-children-gay-parents180712

    The conclusion is not unexpected. Certainly no Gay organisations were invited to contribute.

    The “variety of views” appears to range from those who would shun gays, those who would imprison them, and those who would exterminate them.

  6. The term “Ethics Dunce” doesn’t do justice to an organization founded on a dedication to ethical training that rejects both its own values and those of the nation it extols, or one that defiles it own reputation while crippling its future ability to be a force for societal good.

    I wonder what the nation thought of same-sex sodomy when the Boy Scouts were first founded.

    • I don’t see how that’s relevant. The values of the nation (at least what we claim are the values of the nation) include inclusiveness and fighting against bigotry.

      • It’s not relevant. The nation also thought Africans were a lower form of humanity when the Boy Scouts were founded. The world thought the sun revolved around the Earth when the Catholic Church was founded. The desperate rationalizations used on this thread to try to justify the Scouts’ decision proves just how indefensible it is.

              • Oh, yes: fighting against one manifestation of bigotry absolutely (and merely) reflects only some other manifestation of bigotry. We’re talking about a clash of values, a conflict between two camps of thought over two conditions that are recognized as impossible to coexist (inclusion vs. exclusion). There is no room for compromise. The blogger-dad’s inference that some troops could exclude while others could include was laughable, camel’s-nose-in-the-tent compromise, unsatisfactory to all.

                  • Party One’s expectation that Party Two practice inclusion as Party One demands is absolutely of a bigoted, tyrannical mind.

                    • Where’s the prejudice? Where’s the stereotyping? Where’s the refusal to listen to counterevidence?

                      That’s not bigotry.

      • I think that claiming a homosexual marriage will somehow affect heterosexual marriages is lamer. The “gays are bullying the Boy Scouts” is just plug and play of a common projection: “atheists are bullying Christians when they demand separation of church and state”, “women are bullying men when they demand not to be groped”, and “blacks are bullying whites when they demand to be able to drink from water fountains”.

      • Let’s take another poll: Yes or No – Does the sexuality-based exclusivity of the Boy Scouts of America equate to bullying of the excluded?

          • Sorry – again, not following you here, but appreciating our dialogue all the same. I expect that the Scouts will not be “ignoring,” even if they do continue excluding. When the Eagle Scout aspirants do their community service projects, I’m sure they’re not going to be wasting any time screening potential beneficiaries of their service with what-sex-do-you-prefer surveys. More likely, those aspirants are going to have their projects sabotaged, even vandalized, by “if-we-can’t-have-it-our-way-then-no-one-have-what-you-offer” retaliators.

      • They ARE bullying because after losing SEVERAL law suits over 12 years they keep right on attacking the High Court supported right as a PRIVATE organization to have exclusions in their membership standard of the organization.

        How about the startling idea that instead of wasting their time and money trying to tear down a PRIVATE organization on a particular membership by creating their own “:BSA” private group and get around 20% of the current BSA members and those perpetually aggrieved Homosexuals/Lesbians to join?

        But naah it is better to continue wasting time and money tearing down a legal organization instead.

      • As long as they are bullying we will be around to make sure others know about it. Biased? We are not biased. If you people would keep your perversion behind closed doors, all would be well. As it is, the queers have a “in your face” attitude and if we normals did that, we’d be in jail, unlike the queers who think they are special.

        • If you people would keep your perversion behind closed doors, all would be well.

          Are they fucking in public? No? Then it’s behind closed doors. You just have a double standard.

          As it is, the queers have a “in your face” attitude and if we normals did that, we’d be in jail, unlike the queers who think they are special.

          (Pretend it’s 1955)

          As it is, the niggers have a “in your face” attitude and if we normals did that, we’d by in jail, unlike the niggers who think they are special.

          • We are not talking about race moron. We are talking about behaviors….perverted ones. Being black is not a perversion…its a race. Homosexuality is a behavior. In fact, homosexuality is neither race or gender so your stupid racist remark is useless.

            • Watch the gratuitous insults, JB–they will get you banned here. That doesn’t add anything to your argument, and it violates house rules. You have been duly warned.

              This is particularly true when you write nonsense. Homosexuality is a sexual orientation, and requires no conduct whatsoever. A gay individual can be a lifetime virgin, just like a heterosexual. A heterosexual can engage in sex with the same gender, and not be gay. In short, you don’t know what you’re spouting off about.

              • This isn’t face book so get over it. WordPress won’t delete me unless I make personal threats of violence. I repeat myself again…..homosexuality is a behavior…NOT a race or a gender. Get used to it. I know that homosexuality doesn’t do a thing for society except pass along unwanted diseases. Yes, I have done plenty of research on the queer lifestyle. Its trashy to say the least, dangerous and goes against nature. So Please, don’t try to act like this is your beloved queerbook. I know all about it. Believe me.

                • homosexuality is a behavior…NOT a race or a gender.

                  I never claimed homosexuality was race or gender. Race and gender are race and gender. You might as well be claiming red hair is a a behavior.

                  I know that homosexuality doesn’t do a thing for society except pass along unwanted diseases.

                  This goes in the “not even wrong” category.

                  Yes, I have done plenty of research on the queer lifestyle. Its trashy to say the least, dangerous and goes against nature.

                  Clearly, you haven’t done any accurate research. Being homosexual is natural and there is no such think as a “queer lifestyle”. Homosexuals run the same gamut as hetersexuals when it comes to behavior.

                    • tgt,
                      I don’t agree with this cat on his conclusions but there is a difference between race/gender and homosexuality. The science on it is lacking but I would agree regardless of cause, homosexuals feel that they are how they are. I will say that 1. Every human has free will. 2 If a human cannot exert their free will then it can be classified as a mental disorder. 3 No amount of free will change your race or gender without surgery. Homosexuality is generally defined by its behavior, the individual may feel desires and affection to the same sex but without action it is an attitude, not behavior.
                      With that said the greater part of the population feels this is a morality issue, a minority of the population feels it is a biological issue. Some on both sides hold their BELIEFS very strongly. Both sides will cite studies and vehemently oppose contradictory studies but I think it is a fair assessment of the majority of the more regarded studies that a cause cannot be definitively determined and the best guess is that it is a combination of nature and nurture. No one should ever accept that biology alone made someone behave in a way a certain manner; that would be acceptance without regard to morality. That would justify nearly every deviant or illegal behavior. (Defined as a generally accepted morality)
                      Homosexuality is at a morality crossroad right now. There is a general acceptance but not approval.
                      So to me it comes down to does it hurt someone if someone else is gay, generally I would say no. But when it comes to being forced to change values and beliefs it does cause harm. Sexual behavior in regards to that individual’s inclusion should be entirely up to that group. This is not a civil rights issue for anyone but the BSA, it is their choice who to associate with. I am convinced this decision was not an easy one for the BSA but based on the all the evidence they had and witnessing the GSA evolution, they choose to not exclude homosexuals but to define how individuals identify themselves. Is it fair that heterosexuals don’t have to hide who they are but homosexuals do? Yes as cultural normalcy is heterosexual. The BSA is not founded on principals of sexual identity but on cultural and faith based moral values. That does not mean they stop teaching about tolerance or respect for others’ beliefs but they also don’t have to embrace and celebrate homosexuality.
                      You will likely not agree with anything I said, but I think you may agree this subject is very contentious, and no progress will be made if the both sides just keep digging in their heels deeper. By denigrating either side it just makes acceptance of someone’s differing point of view or desire that much harder to achieve.
                      Your Dunning–Kruger effect non argument can be applied to many on both sides of this issue.

                  • Steven,

                    I don’t agree with this cat on his conclusions but there is a difference between race/gender and homosexuality. The science on it is lacking but I would agree regardless of cause, homosexuals feel that they are how they are. I will say that 1. Every human has free will. 2 If a human cannot exert their free will then it can be classified as a mental disorder. 3 No amount of free will change your race or gender without surgery. Homosexuality is generally defined by its behavior, the individual may feel desires and affection to the same sex but without action it is an attitude, not behavior.

                    First, homosexuality is alot closer to gender than you give it credit for. Gender is also not necessarily purely genetic. The same actually goes for things that are commonly thought of as fully genetic, like height. What is not in question is that homosexuality vs heterosexuality vs bisexuality vs various others arise naturally based on some combination of genes and early development.

                    Second, there is no such thing as “free will” as traditionally defined, so everything you base on that is junk.

                    Third, homosexuality is defined by sexual urges, not acting on those urges. You seem to be stuck in the past with your definition.

                    So to me it comes down to does it hurt someone if someone else is gay, generally I would say no. But when it comes to being forced to change values and beliefs it does cause harm.

                    How? You seem to have a weird definition/weighting of harm. Is it harm to point out that the earth is more than 6000 years old and that we’re in a heliocentric galaxy? Both of those force changed values and beliefs. Are we harming mysogenists when we point out that men and women are equally intelligent?

                    Sexual behavior in regards to that individual’s inclusion should be entirely up to that group. This is not a civil rights issue for anyone but the BSA, it is their choice who to associate with.

                    And it is. That doesn’t mean the decisions can’t be unethical, not does it mean we should be quite about it and tolerate it. The BSA, so long as it’s not getting government support, is allowed to discriminate all it wants. We though, are allowed, nay, ethically required, to call out this behavior and work against it.

                    I am convinced this decision was not an easy one for the BSA but based on the all the evidence they had and witnessing the GSA evolution, they choose to not exclude homosexuals but to define how individuals identify themselves.

                    What now? That’s just trying put a pretty face on the ugliness and double standards inherent in “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

                    Is it fair that heterosexuals don’t have to hide who they are but homosexuals do? Yes as cultural normalcy is heterosexual.

                    Apparently “fair” is what the majority (or at least those in power) want. So it was fair to round up and kill Jews during the holocaust. Cultural normalcy was Christian… Majority dominance is a horribly dangerous idea. That’s why we have checks and balances built into the U.S. government.

                    That does not mean they stop teaching about tolerance or respect for others’ beliefs but they also don’t have to embrace and celebrate homosexuality.

                    Strawman. There’s a large gap between allowing gay troop leaders and celebrating homosexuality.

                    You will likely not agree with anything I said, but I think you may agree this subject is very contentious, and no progress will be made if the both sides just keep digging in their heels deeper. By denigrating either side it just makes acceptance of someone’s differing point of view or desire that much harder to achieve.

                    I absolutely reject this as the false equivalence accomodationist bullshit it is. If you grant respect to atrocious ideas, you are validating those atrocious ideas.

                    Your Dunning–Kruger effect non argument can be applied to many on both sides of this issue.

                    Of course it can, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t apply here. The science is pretty clear that humans are just one kind of animal and that homosexuality occurs naturally. You might as well be saying that nobody should ever argue for/against anything. It’s a silly comment that, if valid, would derail any argument.

                    • “First, homosexuality is alot closer to gender than you give it credit for. Gender is also not necessarily purely genetic. The same actually goes for things that are commonly thought of as fully genetic, like height. What is not in question is that homosexuality vs heterosexuality vs bisexuality vs various others arise naturally based on some combination of genes and early development”

                      You know you’re “various others” opens up the door to pedophilia, bestiality and many other forms that are undeniably harmful to others if the attitude becomes a behavior. By your standard pedophiles couldn’t be discriminated against, it occurs in naturally, so it should be accepted. I as well as most utterly reject this notion.

                      “Second, there is no such thing as “free will” as traditionally defined, so everything you base on that is junk.”

                      So you surmise that things such as a higher being controls what you do and how you act. That you have no control over the actions you take? Nonsense

                      “Third, homosexuality is defined by sexual urges, not acting on those urges. You seem to be stuck in the past with your definition. ”

                      It is the behavior that defines it to others around the individual and has the potential to cause harm. It is how homosexuality is defined to the majority. Many have urges that goes against social norms, most don’t act on them.

                      “How? You seem to have a weird definition/weighting of harm. Is it harm to point out that the earth is more than 6000 years old and that we’re in a heliocentric galaxy? Both of those force changed values and beliefs. Are we harming mysogenists when we point out that men and women are equally intelligent? ”

                      Through science and acceptance; by your standard we should still be treating homosexuals as mentally ill. That is unless you have found the “gay gene”? or some other proof of a strictly biological factor.

                      “And it is. That doesn’t mean the decisions can’t be unethical, not does it mean we should be quite about it and tolerate it. The BSA, so long as it’s not getting government support, is allowed to discriminate all it wants. We though, are allowed, nay, ethically required, to call out this behavior and work against it. ”

                      That cuts both ways, it is unethical for BSA to abandon its principals and policies because a vocal minority demands it should. It is unethical to demand BSA change its policies that does not prohibit you from forming a club for youths.

                      “What now? That’s just trying put a pretty face on the ugliness and double standards inherent in “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

                      That is allowing an exception to policy for the benefit of the minority who do not share the same morality with understanding that individual sexuality is not to be discussed as it is counter to the standards widely held by the organizations participants.

                      “Apparently “fair” is what the majority (or at least those in power) want. So it was fair to round up and kill Jews during the holocaust. Cultural normalcy was Christian… Majority dominance is a horribly dangerous idea. That’s why we have checks and balances built into the U.S. government. ”

                      You’re confusing a majority morality belief with tyrannical government. The power of the government comes from the people in the U.S. with protections in place for the minority and majority. Equating the holocaust caused by a minority in a tyrannical government with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies of the BSA is intellectually dishonest.

                      “There’s a large gap between allowing gay troop leaders and celebrating homosexuality.”

                      Gay troop leaders are allowed; they just can’t make it their identity and force everyone to agree with them.

                      “I absolutely reject this as the false equivalence accomodationist bullshit it is. If you grant respect to atrocious ideas, you are validating those atrocious ideas. ”

                      Of course you do because you have dug your heels in and refuse to accept that the majority of the population, some much more knowledgeable then you, some less, don’t all agree with you. So therefore you equate them to being Nazis wanting to eliminate all Jews. Dunning–Kruger effect indeed!

                      I am open to difference in opinion/beliefs; I refrain from denigration as much as possible because it is not the same as arguing a point.

                      This whole argument has been rehashed a million times, to move forward you have to recognize differing opinions and compromise. One day there will be a consensus on the cause AND affect of homosexuality that even the most stalwarts on either side won’t be able to reject however today and in this country it is possible to respect each other and not impinge on each other’s rights.

                    • “First, homosexuality is alot closer to gender than you give it credit for. Gender is also not necessarily purely genetic. The same actually goes for things that are commonly thought of as fully genetic, like height. What is not in question is that homosexuality vs heterosexuality vs bisexuality vs various others arise naturally based on some combination of genes and early development”

                      You know you’re “various others” opens up the door to pedophilia, bestiality and many other forms that are undeniably harmful to others if the attitude becomes a behavior. By your standard pedophiles couldn’t be discriminated against, it occurs in naturally, so it should be accepted. I as well as most utterly reject this notion.

                      I think I’m on record here stating that beastiality, so long as the animal appears cool with it, is fine. Pedophilia, while natural, does damage. I have never claimed that natural = good. You’re attacking strawmen. I was merely pointing out that your comments were incorrect on the science. If you want to jump to comparing the ethics of homosexuality with the ethics of pedophilia, I hope you have something more than that they are both natural.

                      “Second, there is no such thing as “free will” as traditionally defined, so everything you base on that is junk.”

                      So you surmise that things such as a higher being controls what you do and how you act. That you have no control over the actions you take? Nonsense

                      You’re making irrational leaps. I never suggested a higher being, and if we’re going to talk about “control”, we have to define what we mean by that first. The “simple” answer is that “yes, our brains control our actions”. You know what, maybe we should leave free will alone for a different thread. It’s muddy as hell.

                      “Third, homosexuality is defined by sexual urges, not acting on those urges. You seem to be stuck in the past with your definition. ”

                      It is the behavior that defines it to others around the individual and has the potential to cause harm. It is how homosexuality is defined to the majority. Many have urges that goes against social norms, most don’t act on them.

                      – How does knowing someone is homosexual cause harm?
                      – Why are you equivocating on the word “defined”?
                      – Why are you appealing to popularity?
                      – Why are you flat out lying? Pretty much everyone does something against social norms. For instance, I like Ultimate Frisbee.
                      – Why are you begging the question? (I act on my desire to play Ultimate Frisbee, that doesn’t exactly make me a bad person.)


                      “How? You seem to have a weird definition/weighting of harm. Is it harm to point out that the earth is more than 6000 years old and that we’re in a heliocentric galaxy? Both of those force changed values and beliefs. Are we harming mysogenists when we point out that men and women are equally intelligent? ”

                      Through science and acceptance; by your standard we should still be treating homosexuals as mentally ill. That is unless you have found the “gay gene”? or some other proof of a strictly biological factor.

                      Non sequitur alert. By my standard, we should note that being homosexual doesn’t hurt anyone, and let it be. When I ask for the harm in homosexuality, you completely misrepresent my postion to pretend you’re the enlightened one, and then use a poisoned question at me, completely ignoring my examples that are parallel to your previous claim. I assume your attempt to avoid the issue means that you realize you can’t defend your point.

                      I think this is where I say “Game. Set. Match.”

                      “And it is. That doesn’t mean the decisions can’t be unethical, not does it mean we should be quite about it and tolerate it. The BSA, so long as it’s not getting government support, is allowed to discriminate all it wants. We though, are allowed, nay, ethically required, to call out this behavior and work against it. ”

                      That cuts both ways, it is unethical for BSA to abandon its principals and policies because a vocal minority demands it should. It is unethical to demand BSA change its policies that does not prohibit you from forming a club for youths.

                      Ah, the giving in to terrorists logic. It’s not ethical to give up when you’re right, but it’s also not ethical to dig in when you’re wrong. The BSA is wrong. They don’t get let off the hook if someone crosses a line fighting them.

                      “What now? That’s just trying put a pretty face on the ugliness and double standards inherent in “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

                      That is allowing an exception to policy for the benefit of the minority who do not share the same morality with understanding that individual sexuality is not to be discussed as it is counter to the standards widely held by the organizations participants.

                      Nobody is talking about discussing individual sexuality. You’re the one who’s suggesting that generally social acceptable conversation for hetersexuals are inappropriate for homosexuals.

                      Again. Yes, the boy scouts are allowed to be bigotted. That doesn’t mean we should pretend it’s anything else.

                      “Apparently “fair” is what the majority (or at least those in power) want. So it was fair to round up and kill Jews during the holocaust. Cultural normalcy was Christian… Majority dominance is a horribly dangerous idea. That’s why we have checks and balances built into the U.S. government. ”

                      You’re confusing a majority morality belief with tyrannical government. The power of the government comes from the people in the U.S. with protections in place for the minority and majority. Equating the holocaust caused by a minority in a tyrannical government with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies of the BSA is intellectually dishonest.

                      We’re talking about social norms. Whether it’s the minority driving it or the majority is irrelevant. If you insist on staying in the majority, it must have been fair to enslave blacks in the Americas. It must be fair to keep atheists out of politics (still on the books in 7 states). It must have been fair to marry off daughters as property and give all inheritance to sons. You have the losing argument here.

                      “There’s a large gap between allowing gay troop leaders and celebrating homosexuality.”

                      Gay troop leaders are allowed; they just can’t make it their identity and force everyone to agree with them.

                      They just can’t ever let it be known they are gay, like by bringing their husband to events where other leader’s bring their wives. Like by eever saying “I had to drop my boyfriend off at work”. We’ve been around on this before.

                      “I absolutely reject this as the false equivalence accomodationist bullshit it is. If you grant respect to atrocious ideas, you are validating those atrocious ideas. ”

                      Of course you do because you have dug your heels in and refuse to accept that the majority of the population, some much more knowledgeable then you, some less, don’t all agree with you. So therefore you equate them to being Nazis wanting to eliminate all Jews. Dunning–Kruger effect indeed!

                      How many things are wrong with this paragraph? Let me count the ways:
                      1. Thinking that atrocious ideas should not be validated is a general idea. It has nothing to do with my individual positions on individual topics.
                      2. I completely understand that my positions are not always agreed with. They should be argued on their merits, not on appeals to popularity and strawmen arguments.
                      3. I didn’t equate people who disagree with me with Nazi’s who eliminate jews. I just showed that your argument that social norms should be upheld was a loser with some pretty clear counter examples.
                      4. You lied about my positions, put words in my mouth, didn’t understand basic logic, and then you tried to reflect the Dunning-Kruger line at me again. Well done. You are clearly superior to me.

                      Wait. Were there only 4? I really thought you’d packed more craziness into that passage.

                      5. Your cause and effect don’t make sense. I refuse to accept the majority disagrees with me, so I lash out and call them Nazis? If I’m calling them Nazis, wouldn’t I have already accepted they disagree with me?

                      Woooo. I knew it was more than 4.

                      I am open to difference in opinion/beliefs; I refrain from denigration as much as possible because it is not the same as arguing a point.

                      Non sequitur. I agree that denigration is not the same as arguing a point. Why does that mean you should avoid denigration? Bad arguments are bad. When people repeatedly give bad and already answered arguments, calling them out on it directly is appropriate. If you don’t, you’re letting them, essentially, DOS (denial of service) attack you. Denigration is a tool that can be used validly or invalidly. Just because it’s mostly used for the latter doesn’t mean that all uses are the latter.

                      This whole argument has been rehashed a million times, to move forward you have to recognize differing opinions and compromise.

                      Citation needed. This is more “both sides are wrong in every argument” silliness. Between the position that “arguments should be judged on the merits” and “Steven is always wrong by definition and he’s also a doodoohead”, clearly, to move forward we have to recognize differing opinions and compromise. Maybe to “Steven is always wrong, but not a doodoohead.”

                      Have I mentioned how stupid the accomodationist position is?

                      One day there will be a consensus on the cause AND affect of homosexuality that even the most stalwarts on either side won’t be able to reject however today and in this country it is possible to respect each other and not impinge on each other’s rights.

                      1) I strongly doubt there will be a consensus everyone agrees to. I mean, we still have people who think the world is 6000 years old and that Adam and Eve were literal people who talked to a snake (genetics shows the human population was never less than thousands).

                      2) Your main clause has nothing to do with your predicate clause.

                      3) It is absolutely possible to respect each other and not impinge on each other’s rights. I deny that respecting everyone is something we should strive towards. I wonder why you’re not arguing that the BSA suck for not respecting homosexuals. I can’t see a reason for talking about impingement of rights in this subthread. Also, I see that you attempted to tie lack of respect to impingement of rights. Naughty, naughty Steven.

                    • “I think I’m on record here stating that beastiality, so long as the animal appears cool with it, is fine.”
                      Ok, that was amusing. +3 for levity
                      My argument from the start is that the BSA has a belief and policy that is counter to what the LGBT community would desire, which I think I have treated fairly equally, yet instead of actually addressing much of it you cry straw men, non sequitur, lies, irrational, and my favorite “citation needed”. You have put forward almost nothing; you demand proof of a position yet never back any of your assertions. You make counterpoints and claim that yours are logical but any against yours are not. I will stop there as I truly try to attack the position not the man. I am not always successful. I may revisit later but for now at least on this subject I am taking a break as it is not going anywhere.
                      I do look forward to the “free will” discussion when it comes up.

                    • Steven, I have enjoyed your thoughtful comments in this thread, and look forward to reading more from you in other threads.

                    • My argument from the start is that the BSA has a belief and policy that is counter to what the LGBT community would desire,[…]

                      Which is both (A) agreed to by all, and (B) irrelevant to whether or not the policy is ethical.

                      […]which I think I have treated fairly equally, yet instead of actually addressing much of it you cry straw men, non sequitur, lies, irrational, and my favorite “citation needed”.

                      Do you believe that any of my comments were inaccurate? If so, please tell me which. When someone provides invalid points, pointing out how and why they are invalid DOES address them.

                      You have put forward almost nothing; you demand proof of a position yet never back any of your assertions.

                      What assertion would like me to back up? My main claim is that it is unethical to discriminate against someone for innate, non-harmful behavior. Past that, I haven’t had to make, well, pretty much any claims. I’ve just been swatting down bad arguments for why that rule does not apply in this case.

                      You make counterpoints and claim that yours are logical but any against yours are not.

                      I don’t generally say that all points against me are false. I look at each point individually. If you have a problem with any of my points and counterclaims, please point them out. I do listen to evidence, as you can see from the flight or fight thread.

                      I will stop there as I truly try to attack the position not the man. I am not always successful. I may revisit later but for now at least on this subject I am taking a break as it is not going anywhere.

                      The discussion has gone plenty of places; they’ve just all been invalid.

                      I do look forward to the “free will” discussion when it comes up.

                      It’s good times. Jerry Coyne at https://whyevolutionistrue.com went over the topic repeatedly this past spring and summer. My views are pretty much in sync with his.

  7. Jack,

    You said: “[B]oys and girls are different in important and undeniable ways that relate to scouting.”

    I don’t actually know of any of those things. Can you elaborate?

    • Sure. Each gender benefits from socializing in single gender groups, as long as that isn’t the extent of their socializing. I’m not going to track down the studies, but I did when I directed the first of three productions of “Twelve Angry Men.” Guys and guys and girls and girls relate differently than guys and girls. There are mixed gender versions of scouting, and those are fine; but the objective of scouting was to have men bonding with boys, a troop male role model, tribal experience. This is what I hated about scouting, frankly. But that’s what it is. All-male schools and all-female schools also have their benefits.

      The Boy Scout activities are only gender neutral if you buy the 70’s nonsense that males and females are the same except for how society trains them. That notion was political, not scientific.

      You’re just being obstreperous—I refuse to believe that you really think there’s no justification for having Boy Scouts for boys and Girl Scouts for girls.

      • I really do think the Boy Scount activities are gender neutral. Survival skills (orientation, knife safety, plant recognition, etc), handiness skills (building birdhouses, sewing, etc), hobbies (archery, bird watching, etc), and comradery. I don’t see why any should be boys only.

        I do agree that it makes sense to split Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts into different groups, but that’s more to do with social constructs than anything else. I don’t thing it has anything to do with scouting itself.

  8. I’m an average God believing American, I was in the Scouts as a kid, and those who choose the sex deviate lifestyle are not welcome in my house either. The ’21st Century’ doesn’t mean it’s time to ignore God’s will. And we definitely should not be exampling sex deviate behavior choices to our vulnerable children.

  9. This is to continue from where “nested Replies” appear to have nested to their limit…

    Jack, you said in Reply to me (July 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm): “Nothing about race or sexual orientation has any relevance to the Boy Scouts or their activities.”

    That is where we differ. Because of behavioral implications, I don’t equate race and sexual orientation in the context of arguing against discrimination (or for discrimination).

    In matters of discrimination, I consider sexual orientation relevant, but race, irrelevant. Race is genetic but not inherently indicative of any particular behavior; sexual orientation remains debatably genetic, but is absolutely indicative of at least inherent tendency, or inclination, to particular behavior, irrespective of race. You might consider all-sufficient this rebuttal (I don’t): an argument that, for example, since males who prefer sex exclusively with other males have shown capability nevertheless of having sex exclusively with females, sexual orientation is therefore irrelevant since it is NOT “indicative of at least inherent tendency, or inclination, to particular behavior.” (and since actual behavior “deviated” from actual orientation)

    I am all for honesty including “coming out,” and for discrimination to follow as is appropriate. To me, without sexuality-based discrimination being permanently enshrined, a society so confused is on a slippery slope ad absurdum. To wit, via sarcasm: of course social justice would be best served by laws that prohibit cannibals from denying vegans “equal protection.”

    • I work with gay men and women every day. There is nothing about the fact of being gay that should have any relevance to scouting. They will not be engaged in sex while scouting—any sex while scouting is inappropriate. So what is the basis for exclusion? Some kind of gay stereotype? Wrists too limp to put up tents? Too much lisping for bird calls? Leering at tent mates? Nonsense. It is that being gay is “immoral” in religious terms, or “unclean” in scouting terms. Both are demonstrably absurd. Gay boys are still boys. Girls are not boys.

      Seems pretty straightforward to me.

            • So gay people don’t have different scouting morals? Different ideas of freed of conscience and freedom of association? Or did you not even bother to try to respond to my question?

                  • Funny you would ask that question at 2:43; I was also wondering if there was some playbook being used here. I am not using any particular playbook as far as I know, though of course it’s certainly possible for anyone to appear at anytime to be using one, in places like this. I guess I could say, I am right alongside you, waiting for YOUR answers to YOUR questions. I don’t feel obligated to answer every question I am asked – especially when it comes to your questions(!), because in my experience with you, you seem to aim to make points with your questions, but that gets old, off-the-track, impossible for me to understand, very quickly in my case. We would probably move forward if I could read YOUR points, instead of being expected to know what point it is you are trying to make with your question, and then striving to make whatever point of mine it is that I believe you may be challenging. I could understand what we were discussing, up until your questions at 2:37; from there, I honestly do not know, and cannot figure out, what you are asking.

                    I’ll try one point: the SCOUTS have decided that differences in sexual orientation touch on the Scouts’ pre-determined qualifications for membership in the Scouts – regardless of whether the orientation is acted-out. The Scouts have decided that sex orientation is relevant, and is cause for exclusion from membership where the orientation is at odds with what the Scouts hold as acceptable and tolerable for membership. I agree with the Scouts’ right to set and uphold that standard. I do not agree that the Scouts have a right to set and uphold a standard for exclusion from membership based on race.

                    • Blow-by-Blow:
                      You claim there are inherent differences that affect scouting.
                      Jack points out that none of the differences affect scouting and says the conclusion is obvious.
                      You You say the conclusion is obvious, but reversed.
                      I ask what specific differences there are.
                      You talk about morals.
                      I call out that you’re not backing up your own argument (that there are inherent differences that affect scouting).
                      You You make a comment about me and SMP
                      I call you out for continuing to not back up your point.
                      You claim all sorts of crap.

                      I guess I could say, I am right alongside you, waiting for YOUR answers to YOUR questions.

                      My answers are there: There are no differences that affect scouting.

                      I don’t feel obligated to answer every question I am asked – especially when it comes to your questions(!), because in my experience with you, you seem to aim to make points with your questions, but that gets old, off-the-track, impossible for me to understand, very quickly in my case.

                      Yes, I make points with my questions. That’s because I use them to point to what I see as possible holes in arguments. If the holes can’t be filled in (or shown to be inapplicable), then the arguments fail. You’re saying you don’t want to answer my questions because your answers would show that your argument fails.

                      We would probably move forward if I could read YOUR points, instead of being expected to know what point it is you are trying to make with your question, and then striving to make whatever point of mine it is that I believe you may be challenging.

                      You really couldn’t tell that I was challenging your point that there are inherent differences between gays and straights that have a bearing on scouting? Seriously?

                      I could understand what we were discussing, up until your questions at 2:37; from there, I honestly do not know, and cannot figure out, what you are asking.

                      At 2:37 I’m trying to put your response to me in the context of my previous post. Your 2:32 response can mean one of two things. Option 1 is composed of 3 parts: (A1) you think gays have different morality than straights, (A2) you think gays have different ideas of freedom of conscience as straights, and (A3) you think gays have different ideas of freedom of association as straights. Option 2 is that your post had nothing to do with the question of what is inherently different between gays and straights that affects scouts. In the latter case, it’s YOU who changes the topic instead of defending your position.

                      I’ll try one point: the SCOUTS have decided that differences in sexual orientation touch on the Scouts’ pre-determined qualifications for membership in the Scouts – regardless of whether the orientation is acted-out. The Scouts have decided that sex orientation is relevant, and is cause for exclusion from membership where the orientation is at odds with what the Scouts hold as acceptable and tolerable for membership. I agree with the Scouts’ right to set and uphold that standard. I do not agree that the Scouts have a right to set and uphold a standard for exclusion from membership based on race.

                      Originally you said there were actual differences between gays and straights that affect scouting. You are now saying that there are differences because the scouts say so, not because there are any actual differences. By that logic, if the scouts decided that race (or height or hair color or tanning ability or nose length) is relevant, they could ethically* exclude people with the undesired traits as well.
                      (*I’m assuming your “have a right” is really talking about ethics, as the rights are not actually in question.)

                      You created a logic rule that does not exist, and are selectively applying it. Your argument breaks down to “If group A says B is true, then all of group A’s actions that depend on B are necessarily ethical, no matter whether or not B is true”. If Jack says it’s true that people with three letter psuedonyms don’t have the qualities necessary to comment on blogs, then, by your rule, it’s ethical for Jack to ban me. If I’ve decided that it’s important to Baseball that all players be white, I can ethically kick all those black players out of my league. Sure I have the right do kick them out blacks and Jack has the right to ban me, but would either action be ethical? No. Your rule fails.

      • So what is the basis for exclusion? Some kind of gay stereotype? Wrists too limp to put up tents? Too much lisping for bird calls? Leering at tent mates? Nonsense. It is that being gay is “immoral” in religious terms, or “unclean” in scouting terms. Both are demonstrably absurd. Gay boys are still boys. Girls are not boys.

        Same-sex sodomy has been described as malum in se, i.e., immoral and corruptible in its nature without regard to the fact of its being noticed or punished by the law of the state. National Gay Task Force v. Board of Education, 729 F.2d 1270 at 1276 (10th Cir. 1984) (Barrett, J. dissenting) The bolded text means that whether sodomy is evil is independent of whether it occurs in circumstances that would limit the state’s ability to punish sodomy.

        • And Christianity has been described as both “Loving” and “hating”, that doesn’t mean it’s either. This isn’t a high school research paper. Claiming “someone said X” does not prove X is true

    • Race is genetic but not inherently indicative of any particular behavior; sexual orientation remains debatably genetic, but is absolutely indicative of at least inherent tendency, or inclination, to particular behavior, irrespective of race.

      …and that behavior is dating, kissing, screwing, and settling down with men instead of women. Nothing else. How does that impact scouting at all?

      I’d respond to the rest of your post, but I can’t find any spot where 3 consecutive sentences make sense together.

  10. The Boys Scout Oath:
    “On my honor, I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”

    How is THIS unethical for a PRIVATE organization to uphold against the Homosexual lifestyle the Boy Scout clearly oppose in their very oath?

    • What is “the Homosexual lifestyle”? Where in the oath does it say anything about this? Are you claiming you know the mind of God? I think I can reuse a comment from earlier:

      If you have evidence for what [duty to God entails], or even just the existence of “God”, we’d love to hear it. Until then, you’re just a rationalizing bigot.

      • Federal courts have recognized that sexual orientation is based on conduct. See Christian Legal Soc’y v. Martinez, 130 S.Ct. 2971 at 2990 (2010) (identifying homosexuality as a form of conduct) accord National Gay Task Force v. Board of Education, 729 F.2d 1270 at 1273 (10th Cir. 1984) (referring to homosexuality as a choice in sexual partners)

        • Federal courts do a lot of things. The point of the conduct distinction cuts against your argument—a gay individual who does nothing gay isn’t gay anyway, in the view of these cases. Court cases are not about ethics, or even common sense: they are about the law. Okay, a couple of cases say that being gay is based on conduct, in the eyes of the law. So what? Is a celibate gay man still gay? Why?

        • Now you’re just lying. In Martinez, you’re talking about a concurring opinion, not the court. The court said that that homosexual conduct follows from homosexuality just like wearing a a yarmulke follows from being Jewish.

          Also, as Jack said, a court ruling does not make a think be; Courts determine law, not reality.

  11. I was a Cub Scout, and my Mom was a den mother. Later I was a Boy Scout, never got past 2nd Class, however. Today if I had a son I would advise him against joining.

    My daughter was a Bluebird, a jnior version of Camp Fire. I notte that Camp Fire accepts kids of any race, creed, color, etc., and any SEXUAL ORIENTATION.

    Hooray for Camp Fire, a good alternative for kids.

    • It is amusing that you applaud a different PRIVATE organization simply because they allow anyone to join.But blast the BSA for the very opposite position on just one area.They allow kids of every race,religion,creed and color to join but not Same sex orientation.

      To me this is a classic example of being a leftist because that is what they often do is to water down standards of private organizations to fit a political agenda.To fit the longstanding trend of destroying a part of America that wants to be different.

      What really stands out is that Homosexuals and Lesbians can form their own organization and have what they have wasted over 10 years in trying to overturn a legitimate HIGH COURT supported right for a PRIVATE organization in excluding a small group of people from being a part of the PRIVATE organization.

      When are the Homosexuals/Lesbians going to stop harassing the BSA and accept the several times High Court affirmation as a PRIVATE organization in excluding a small group of people from being members?

      I think the real intolerance is NOT accepting the rights of a private organization that has been repeatedly supported by the HIGH COURTS over a 12 year period to have exclusions into their membership criteria.

      When will the Homosexual/Lesbians going to stop harassing the BSA?

      • It is amusing that you applaud a different PRIVATE organization simply because they allow anyone to join.But blast the BSA for the very opposite position on just one area.They allow kids of every race,religion,creed and color to join but not Same sex orientation.

        Curmudgeon praises a group that gets it right and blasts a group that gets it wrong. I’m not sure how this is amusing.

        To me this is a classic example of being a leftist because that is what they often do is to water down standards of private organizations to fit a political agenda.To fit the longstanding trend of destroying a part of America that wants to be different.

        Does anyone else see a sane sentence here?

        What really stands out is that Homosexuals and Lesbians can form their own organization and have what they have wasted over 10 years in trying to overturn a legitimate HIGH COURT supported right for a PRIVATE organization in excluding a small group of people from being a part of the PRIVATE organization.

        When are the Homosexuals/Lesbians going to stop harassing the BSA and accept the several times High Court affirmation as a PRIVATE organization in excluding a small group of people from being members?

        I think the real intolerance is NOT accepting the rights of a private organization that has been repeatedly supported by the HIGH COURTS over a 12 year period to have exclusions into their membership criteria.

        While it’s been determined that it is legal for the BSA to discriminate, that doesn’t mean it’s right for the BSA to discriminate. I’m behind cutting out the legal attacks, but criticizing the BSA’s position seems legitimate to me.

        When will the Homosexual/Lesbians going to stop harassing the BSA?

        What harrassment?

  12. “While it’s been determined that it is legal for the BSA to discriminate, that doesn’t mean it’s right for the BSA to discriminate. I’m behind cutting out the legal attacks, but criticizing the BSA’s position seems legitimate to me.”

    Legal according to the SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES to have exclusionary rights in a PRIVATE organization.

    That was decided TWELVE years ago and yet the 1% of the US population wants to continue to force their blatant disregard for the organizations right to exclude a small group.

    The same group who can easily go around the BSA’s position by forming their own group that allows Homosexuals to join.But no they rather waste their time and money attacking a legal organization that will never change.The Supreme Court made the decision it is time to drop this continued attempts to force them to allow Homosexuals into the organization.

    This from TWELVE years ago and yet after the SCOTUS decision John Hemstreet who was at the time an alcoholic, former Boy Scout leader, former priest and convicted child molester wanted to continue to harass the organization anyway as he made it clear he is still going to attack the BSA position.

    http://www.wnd.com/2000/08/473/

    Now he is quiet these days as he probably wised up and let it go.

    By the way there are a few SMALL scouting groups who are still tiny in numbers years after they started up despite their allowance for Homosexuals to be members.

    BSA has 6.2 million scouts

    Scouting for All has how many? they never disclose their numbers despite their continual accusations that the BSA inflates theirs.

    I am sure it is still a very small organization today since it is an overt homosexual activist front which makes them unpalatable to most Americans who long ago have realized that they are not worth the time.

    LOL

    Meanwhile I have no problem over the BSA losing PUBLIC funds for their activities because of their PRIVATE organizational position of excluding a tiny number of people from their membership list.If they chose to discriminate as a PRIVATE organization then they should NOT get public funds that are in part given by the very people they exclude.

      • Yes they have gotten public funds and use public facilities in many area for many years.

        This one is from 1995 in the Humanist:
        http://www.thehumanist.org/humanist/articles/bsa.html

        Or try this one:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Scouts_of_America_membership_controversies

        I do not think the BSA should be allowed to get public funds or use public facilities as part of funding or supporting activities of the organization.Since they exclude people from joining they should not be allowed to use public funds that are in part paid by those they exclude.

        • There have been long-term leases signed – which these same humanists are literally yanking from under the BSA’s feet. Or does the BSA’s money NOT spend because humanists and the LGBT community disapprove?

        • From your link “no level of government directly funds the operating budget of the BSA”

          They do get use of facilities but that is not illegal.

            • If it is preferential use then that is not allowed. Funding and facilities although there is a monetary value is not the same thing, unless it is free for them and not another. Many groups who you may not agree with can utilize public facilities.

              • I agree in spirit, but not quite letter. There are more things that are preferential: paying less than another group, getting to pick before other groups, being allowed more than other groups, different rules about security or usage, etc…

                I absolutely support all private groups equal access to government resources. I’m perfectly fine with the BSA using elementary schools so long as my atheist group could use the same space with equal chance of getting said space and with the same rules about usage of the space.

    • Appeal to authority. Appeal to popularity. Appeal to (bad) humor. Ad Hominem. Equivocation. Non sequitur.

      Did I miss any other fallacies?

  13. “Curmudgeon praises a group that gets it right and blasts a group that gets it wrong. I’m not sure how this is amusing.”

    I never blasted the group he praises but his contradiction in attacking one private organization and support a different private organization over a single criteria.

    “Does anyone else see a sane sentence here?”

    Your single line indicates that you can’t contradict it.It is well known that only 100% of Homosexual organizations are liberals and leftists.

    “While it’s been determined that it is legal for the BSA to discriminate, that doesn’t mean it’s right for the BSA to discriminate.”

    After the SCOTUS decision came out the only area Homosexuals had left was to remove PUBLIC funding from getting into the hands of the BSA.But while they do some of that they continually attack them for their right to legally discriminate as a PRIVATE organization.A decision that was already decided by the SCOTUS in year 2000.

    Homosexuals are not going to stop their dead on arrival attacks on the legally supported right to discriminate by the BSA which is a PRIVATE organization.Therefore they will in the long run lose any credibility in the eyes of the rank and file Americans who understand that the SCOTUS has already decided the issue.

    “I’m behind cutting out the legal attacks, but criticizing the BSA’s position seems legitimate to me.”

    They will NOT stop the legal attacks and they never will until the BSA give in and that is made clear by the small private organization called Scouting for ALL.

    http://www.scoutingforall.org/data/home.html

    The truth is that Homosexuals can’t handle the idea that some groups and people do not want them around.

    • “Curmudgeon praises a group that gets it right and blasts a group that gets it wrong. I’m not sure how this is amusing.”

      I never blasted the group he praises but his contradiction in attacking one private organization and support a different private organization over a single criteria.

      I never claimed you blasted a group that Curmudgeon praised. Where did that come from?

      There’s no contradiction on supporting/attacking a private organization based on one criteria. I don’t think you know what a contradiction is.

      “Does anyone else see a sane sentence here?”

      Your single line indicates that you can’t contradict it.It is well known that only 100% of Homosexual organizations are liberals and leftists.

      No, it actually meant it read like you have a tinfoil hat on. I didn’t respond with more because it hurts my head to even parse the stupidity, but since you’re calling me on it, here goes on the original paragraph:

      1) “Leftists” have not traditionally watered down standards to fit a political agenda any more than any other group has done so.
      2) A group often doing action A does not make another instance of Action A a classic example of that group. (Christians often have killed heretics. A Muslim killing a heretic is not a classic example of being Christian.)
      3) There is no watering down of standards here. Gay people are not lesser than straight people
      4) There is no longstanding trend of destroying a part of America just because it is or wants to be different.

      and now onto your latest statement:

      1) It is not true that all homosexual based organizations are liberal and leftists. I’ll start with GOProud and Log Cabin Republicans.

      “While it’s been determined that it is legal for the BSA to discriminate, that doesn’t mean it’s right for the BSA to discriminate.”

      After the SCOTUS decision came out the only area Homosexuals had left was to remove PUBLIC funding from getting into the hands of the BSA.But while they do some of that they continually attack them for their right to legally discriminate as a PRIVATE organization.A decision that was already decided by the SCOTUS in year 2000.

      Why do you keep capitalizing the H in homosexuals? In any event, your comments about law were something I agreed with. Are you trying to say that criticizing the BSA and trying to put pressure on them to change is inappropriate?

      Homosexuals are not going to stop their dead on arrival attacks on the legally supported right to discriminate by the BSA which is a PRIVATE organization.Therefore they will in the long run lose any credibility in the eyes of the rank and file Americans who understand that the SCOTUS has already decided the issue.

      What does this have to do with anything? This seems like ranting.

      “I’m behind cutting out the legal attacks, but criticizing the BSA’s position seems legitimate to me.”

      They will NOT stop the legal attacks and they never will until the BSA give in and that is made clear by the small private organization called Scouting for ALL.

      http://www.scoutingforall.org/data/home.html

      Can you show me where Scouting for All even hints at constant legal attacks in their website. My perusal has found any. Also, what does this assertion have to do with whether or not it’s appropriate to critize the BSA?

      The truth is that Homosexuals can’t handle the idea that some groups and people do not want them around.

      No, they seem to be able to handle the idea. They, along with sane heterosexuals, realize that the position of these “some groups” is bigoted and bigotry is bad.

    • “It is well known that only 100% of Homosexual organizations are liberals and leftists.”

      Does that include the Log Cabin Republicans?

    • Sunset, I am having enough trouble trying to follow your arguement without all the distracting shouting. All caps does not add weight to anything you write, it only makes it hard to read. We understand the words and their meaning does not change in upper case. Please, stop with the caps lock key.

  14. SUNSET TOMMY: may I suggest please you research the history of Camp Fire before holding yourself out as an authority?

    Old proverb: “Better to say nothing and be thought….

    Well, you know the rest.

  15. Thank you Boy Scouts for not devolving to populist attitudes on negative behaviors. Homosexuality is a behavior; not a people — and we rightfully “bigoted” against many negative behaviors identified by their negative consequences — in the case of the self-abuse of homosexuality, manifested in long known higher rates of cancer, LV, BV, Epstein-Barr, reactive arthritis, compulsivity disorders, AIDS and a hundred others. Next populists will want the Boy Scouts to buy their kids cigarettes on a similar rationale (just because they feel they want one really badly). Good going Boy Scouts of America !

    • Homosexuality is a behavior; not a people

      Citation needed.

      in the case of the self-abuse of homosexuality, manifested in long known higher rates of cancer, LV, BV, Epstein-Barr, reactive arthritis, compulsivity disorders, AIDS and a hundred others.

      Citation needed.

  16. Thanks Scouts for not caving to the PC crowd! Next would have been an effort to change the uniforms and give rainbow badges! The push for acceptance of abnormal behavior is being pushed in our faces daily on the internet,facebook and by columns like this. I like the don’t ask,don’t tell,why does anyone need to announce who they choose to have sex with? Keep up the good work BS!!!

      • That behavior isn’t “normal” doesn’t make it wrong, and the fact that some people think it’s normal to ostracize those who are different, or who have different ideas, attractions, alliances or points of view doesn’t make that conduct right. In fact, it’s profoundly un-American. Respecting human rights is not “political correctness” by any definition of the term.

    • I like the don’t ask,don’t tell,why does anyone need to announce who they choose to have sex with?

      *sigh*. By your logic, heterosexuals announce who they choose to have sex with all the time…by mentioning their wife or girlfriend. Why should homosexuals be treated differently?

              • Incredibly weak, Eeyoure.
                There’s nothing much to get. I regarded the comment, the second I say it, as a hanging curve sitting in tgt’s wheelhouse, and I knew it would be launched into the bleechers. And so it was.

              • “incredibly weak” vs “easy to counter” is a distinction without a difference in this case.

                I think Jack’s continuation with with the metaphor was saying that whether simone’s argument was easy or difficult to deal with, in each case it was invalid. a 500 footer is worth the same as a short porcher.

                • Oh suuuuuure, guys. Incredibly weak. In your park, in your books, anyone who doesn’t talk about who they’re having sex with is a spitballer or gate-crashing spy. Keep writing your own scouting reports; eventually someone is bound to be suckered by the hype. In validation of simone’s point, the question was answered, “They don’t,” by the late Sally Ride.

                  • I guess I have to make this crystal clear, since you are being obnoxiously obtuse. In “don’t ask, don’t tell.” while I could talk about “my wife, Grace,” or “my fiancee, Frieda,” Sally could not say either, because that would say “who she is having sex with.” So for gays, the simple identification of significant others or domestic roles or living arrangements is considered bad manners and risque, while for heteros, it is not. Gays have to watch out for dropping “clues” that signal to people like Stephen that they are “deviants,” while non-gays can talk about their significant others without shame or impunity. That’s NOT equal treatment, it’s not fair and its not reasonable, and may I add, “Obviously.” And because it is obvious, Simone’s “point” is M-O-R-O-N-I-C and insulting to boot. Which is why it’s a fat pitch in ANY park where the batter isn’t blindfolded by conventional bigotry toward gays.

                    • Other things that violate “don’t ask don’t tell” for a homosexual:

                      * A picture on your desk with your family.
                      * Going to a party with your significant other.
                      * Having anyone over to your house.
                      * Having your co-parent go to any of your child’s events.

                      Should I also throw in that the penalty for violating the “don’t ask” part is, well, kicking out the homosexual who wasn’t telling? I don’t know, but I I should definitely mention that Sally Ride violated “don’t ask don’t tell”, it just didn’t become wide public knowledge.

  17. In reply to Jack’s comment of July 25, 2012 at 6:10 p.m.:

    (Jack): “I guess I have to make this crystal clear, since you are being obnoxiously obtuse.”

    E: I guess I have to apologize, if by obtuse you mean unclear. I will keep striving to be clear.

    (Jack): “In ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ while I could talk about ‘my wife, Grace,’ or ‘my fiancee, Frieda,’ Sally could not say either, because that would say ‘who she is having sex with.’ ”

    E: I was not referring to “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and Sally very evidently could (and did) say all that she meant to say (and could, and did, NOT say all that she meant not to say). For reasons we may never know (and do not need to know), information about “who she is having sex with” was not widely known. What she did NOT do (and to her credit), and what I was referring to in reference to simone’s comments, is make herself and her erotic ways into a dramatic, exploitative spectacle of “outing.” Evidently, she was lucky; she flew under the “gaydar” of the “outing-bound” fringe; meanwhile, everyone else who is (or may be) so inclined to think she SHOULD have outed herself more publicly, demonstrated ethical kindness to her by respecting the extent of privacy she desired.

    (Jack): “So for gays, the simple identification of significant others or domestic roles or living arrangements is considered bad manners and risque, while for heteros, it is not.”

    E: Citations? So far, I have yet to note even the most militant and inarticulate anti-homosexuality advocates calling the “simple identification” you refer to “bad manners and risque’.” I would say that “self-outing” sans “Warhol-ing” (for 15 minutes of fame) reflects good manners, including respect for diverse points of view. Conversely, the alternative (Warhol-ing) communicates the foolish pride of arrogance, and comprises a deliberate, uncivil attack on others’ manners, sensitivities and sensibilities – a disrespectful, spiteful striving-for-strife, unethical in toto. I appreciate the combative, self-respecting spirit in such disclosure (“I am who I am, and no one is going to make me regret it without my permission”), but I nonetheless reject and condemn the manner of disclosure. There is also double-mindedness in showy, splashy outing, but that point is for another day.

    (Jack): “Gays have to watch out for dropping ‘clues’ that signal to people like Stephen that they are ‘deviants,’ while non-gays can talk about their significant others without shame or impunity. That’s NOT equal treatment, it’s not fair and its not reasonable, and may I add, ‘Obviously.’ ”

    E: Here is your first sentence, made true using correct terms in place of the incorrect ones you used: “Supporters of the Boy Scouts’ exclusion policy have to watch out for dropping ‘clues’ that signal to people like Jack and tgt that they are ‘bigots,’ while opponents of the policy can talk about what they oppose without ridicule or defamation.” The second sentence then flows perfectly from the first.

    If this is obtuseness, I’m fresh out of apology: I support the Boy Scouts and their exclusionary policy. If they change that policy, I reserve both the right to continue supporting the organization, and the right to withdraw support. If the BSA changes its policy, and some new scouting movement arises with membership exclusively for heterosexuals, I reserve the right to support that movement.

  18. In reply to tgt’s comment of July 25, 2012, at 10:41 p.m.:

    (tgt): “I should definitely mention that Sally Ride violated ‘don’t ask don’t tell’, it just didn’t become wide public knowledge.”

    E: She didn’t violate anything. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was Department of Defense policy on active duty military members; it was not federal government-wide policy. Sally was with NASA for a few years, but never active duty military. NASA is far out (no pun intended) in front of DoD in integrating its workforce, insofar as policies toward alt-sex persons. Sally was an exemplar of a quality that all of us ought to strive to own in ever greater measure: discreet.

    • Eeyoure,

      We weren’t talking about official DoD policy. It was the general idea of “don’t ask, don’t tell” that was backed by Simone.

      Here’s a rundown:

      S: “I like the don’t ask,don’t tell,why does anyone need to announce who they choose to have sex with?”
      E: “In validation of simone’s point, the question was answered, ‘They don’t,’ by the late Sally Ride.”
      T: ” don’t know, but I I should definitely mention that Sally Ride violated ‘don’t ask don’t tell’, it just didn’t become wide public knowledge.”

      Sally Ride was out. There was a circle of people in her world who knew her sexuality. That violates general “don’t ask, don’t tell” ideas.

      • “We weren’t talking about official DoD policy.”

        Just a misunderstanding. When you used “violated,” it was not clear to me whether you were talking about simone’s general “liked” idea, or about official DoD policy. I would have used, and would have understood more easily, “did not honor” or “did not live according to,” instead of “violated.” I wasn’t contending over that rule anyway – I never “liked” it, neither as DoD policy nor as a general idea. Asking and telling – even “pursuing” (which is another part of the DoD policy that seemed silly to me, that is, “don’t pursue”) – are too natural, too intrinsic and basic to human endeavors, to deem it reasonable to expect people to exclude such from their conduct regarding sexuality.

        The validation of simone’s point that I was talking about was on the question about “why does anyone need to announce…?” Sally was “out,” I agree; she told, but did not “announce.” That’s the question I was saying she answered, by her example: NO ONE needs to announce “who they have sex with.” That – NO ONE – is the “they” I was referring to, regarding “who they have sex with;” my apology if unclear. Sally Ride was discreet. She did right.

        You may be shocked, maybe not, to read me telling that my eureka moment, epiphany, turning point, whatever, regarding the permissibility of sexual minorities in military service was right about the time the hearings leading to DADT cranked up in the early 1990s. I was on active duty at the time and far along in my career. By then, I knew well of active service members, and aspiring and past service members, who were “not like me” but thereby also knew of NO evidence to justify their exclusion (let alone justify discharge of those already in the ranks).

        Notwithstanding my position on inclusiveness in military service, I stand by the Boy Scouts policy.

        • The validation of simone’s point that I was talking about was on the question about “why does anyone need to announce…?” Sally was “out,” I agree; she told, but did not “announce.” That’s the question I was saying she answered, by her example: NO ONE needs to announce “who they have sex with.” That – NO ONE – is the “they” I was referring to, regarding “who they have sex with;” my apology if unclear. Sally Ride was discreet. She did right.

          You were perfectly clear, but you are also completely wrong.

          Mentioning your husband or boyfriend to anyone IS announcing your sexuality. Sally Ride didn’t make a big deal out of her sexuality, but that’s a far cry from keeping it secret.

          Notwithstanding my position on inclusiveness in military service, I stand by the Boy Scouts policy.

          Really? You’re still on the hook for showing why gays shouldn’t be scouts.

  19. Pingback: More Bullying of the BSA (Boy Scouts of America). The homofacist’s have nothing better to do. « Victims of Gay Bullying

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