3 thoughts on “Doakes Sunday:

  1. Forewarned is forearmed. If you enroll your son into the Boy Scouts, you have little room to complain when he gets violated.

    The Reprobates have taken down yet another American icon. Sooner or later, people will get pissed…but maybe it’s too late.

  2. I’ve been having a lengthy discussion about this topic over at my place. I don’t think the Boy Scouts are going to have an issue, for two reasons:

    • They have a thorough and well-established youth protection program — all Scouting events need to have at least two adult leaders in attendance and no one-on-one contact is allowed with a scout who is not your own son. That even includes electronic communication. I am a merit badge counselor and when I need to communicate with a scout, I have to use email and copy either the Scoutmaster or the scout’s parent. I typically do both.
    • The chartering organizations can still, at their discretion, ban adult gays from being involved in the troops they charter. Most chartering organizations are churches and while some might allow a gay man to become involved in the troop, most won’t.

    The Scouts had a serious problem in the past, but they’ve had to watch things very carefully for a number of years. My son is an Eagle Scout and had a great experience in Scouting. Since the adult leaders in his troop were always parents of the other scouts in the troop, there was (and still is) a consensus that the rules matter and that we needed to watch out for one another. You’re not going to see that change. If I had another son, I would have no hesitation about him being involved in Scouting.

  3. I’m almost at Mark’s position. What will be seen in the BSA is similar to what we see among teachers, who are also subject to similar provisions. BSA has a slight edge with two deep, though. Specifically, just as some teachers violate policies to get access to students, some of the new Scoutmasters will violate policies in the same way. Hopefully the culture is strong enough so that others will step up and say “you need to get out of here before we have to get you arrested.”

    One place where I differ with Mr. D. is whether the current plan can stay–the core of the attacks on Scouting has been to get into volunteer positions, so my guess is that this policy only lasts a few years at best. The “Dale” decision is pretty vulnerable with Kagan and Sotomayor on the court, really.

    The big thing this changes, though, is that Scouting has, since Baden-Powell, enshrined a number of moral stances, and they’re coming fairly close to abdicating on this one. So if those moral stances are, as Baden-Powell argued, central towards the formation of a Scout, it’s a withering situation in the BSA today.

    Plus, if the courts do what I’m predicting, the Scouts are going to need to part ways and form church-sponsored groups that can appeal more directly to the 1st Amendment….that is, if Roberts doesn’t find some penumbra that makes that a dead letter, too.

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