Sunday, July 29, 2012

Rodcast 108: BSA

Our prodigal local LDS satire artist has returned! Matsby's back. At least this week.

We're totally lost in Alma.

Second topic is the Church's affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America. Matt threw in an interesting curveball we didn't see coming. Also, we're veering dangerously close to the big discussion that will get The Iron Rodcast taken off the air.

And a fond welcome to new listener Michelle!

Download here!

Next week: Kilts, lava-lavas and other questionable church attire!


  1. Ugh. I had a great comment and it vanished. I'll try again.

    I think the BSA is a great program and aligns with many of our church's values, but I agree with Pete. If the LDS church is in anyway controlling BSA, that's a bad thing.

    I have mixed feelings about combining camps for boys and girls. I wonder if girls would be disinclined to come because they'd be intimidated/embarrassed that they couldn't do some of the things the manly men (or manly girls) could do. Plus, I think girls are more likely to be more accepting of other girls if boys aren't thrown into the mix -- I've witnessed this first hand. If you add a cute boy, a girl's attention is drawn from reaching out to other girls who need it (one of the great things about girls camp) and they're focused on getting the attention of that boy. And then if that boy catches the eye of more than one girl, then that's a whole other layer of trouble.

    Maybe Youth Conference (which is combined) is good enough for a co-ed fix? Our YW and YM did a river trip last year. That was fun. What was funny though was there was a boy scout troop adjacent to our camp. Their scout camp was the river trip. So they got to play tag with our kids (including the girls). That was probably the highlight of their camp.

    Oh and girls don't sit around at mutual talking about makeup and chastity. We do however make crafts and exchange clothes. Seriously though, in my old stake, the YW and YM met together for opening exercises each week and then split up so the boys could go shoot guns or play basketball or whatever. Once a month we had a combined mutual activity. Combined activities varied from outside games to etiquette night. They enjoyed it.

  2. Poor Michelle is probably going to hate this episode, with all the fireworks in the background. I just focus on what is being said and I'm able to ignore all the eating noises. ;)

    I was looking forward to hearing all the fun stories you had in Scouts. Like the fun stories Laura had during her report on Girl's Camp.

    Anyhow, I got to go to two different scout troops. One sponsored by the Church, and one not. A big difference was we got to have two night weekend campouts because they weren't as concerned about getting back to administer the Sacrament and such. We did have short, non-demoninational devotionals on Sunday mornings instead.

    The Church probably just uses the BSA for convenience. The BSA program is very compatible with the mission of the Church, and so they can use that program without coming up with something new. The Girl scouts are probably not consistent with the values of the Church, and that is probably why they came up with the whole Personal Progress awards. I would be interested to hear Pete's Mom's opinion about what is so great about the Young Women program. The girls can probably do any activities the boys do in scouts, The leaders just need to ask, or come up with a plan.

    I don't think the Church has as much influence over the BSA as Matt thinks. It does sponsor a lot of troops, but there are lots of other churches that sponsor more troops total. (Check out for a reference) Most of the BSA troops are chartered to churches so that is probably the reason for the gay policies. If the Church had all the power to control the BSA the gay policy would probably more like the Church's. Gay people would be welcome, but they would have to follow rules.

    I think the Church does the right thing by separating the boys and girls. Boys are different from girls, and learn in different ways and different rates. The schools should separate the sexes and then all would learn better. This is probably a pipe dream in the politically correct world we live in these days.

    If Matt wants his daughters to have more fun activities he should get the help of the Primary President and make fun activities happen. A lot of times it just takes one person to stand up to make changes. But if no one does anything, can we really be surprised that nothing changes?

    Anyhow, what do I know? I'm still single.

    I'll send some comments to read in an email.


    PS Ethan needs to be a part of the Rodcast more so Pete can say "Vitamin E!"

  3. According to the church news: "We're the largest charter partner in terms of the boys and young men that participate in Scouting, and in terms of adult-leader participation, we're way bigger than any other sponsoring organization,"

    And President Monson "has been on the BSA Executive Board for 40 years, longer than any other member."

    According to the supreme court case of BSA v. James Dale, the L.D.S. Church sponsors more Scout units than any other organization affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America and has stated that they will pull out of the program if the scouts reverse their policy towards homosexuals. The argument the BSA makes is that they cannot be forced to stop discriminating against gays or else the church will pull out and other churches may as well which will cause the BSA to cease to exist. (page 25)

    I think that suggests a pretty strong influence.

    If the church has a program organized for boys, I don't know why I would need to organize my own programs for young women in the church. I do not believe that boys learn differently from girls any more significantly than one boy learns differently from another boy. I don't believe that saying men and women are equal is non PC. In fact we do say it pretty often in the church.

    All the articles I can find about why the church does not partner with the GSA say it is because they do allow homosexuals and athiests in their program. None of the articles are official but only speculations.

  4. OK, the Church is the largest sponsoring organization that sponsors the BSA. The BSA still is a great program that the church can use for the young men. It is unfortunate that they don't want to use the Girl Scouts because of the moral issues. But the Church did come up with the Young Women organization for the girls, and there are no rules that the Primary has to have only boy/girl activities, they could have Cub Scout activities and also have activities for the girls. You can improve these existing programs.

    We will probably have to agree to disagree on Scouting, and Laura seems to agree with me that boys and girls need to have separate activities. I still don't understand why I should be worried that the Church is the biggest booster of Scouting?

    Anyhow, I love the thought provoking comments.


  5. If Romney wins, I will check with my friend Steve as to whether the ward boundaries get 'fixed'. It's speculation at this point, of course.

    It would be fun if Mark became the new roommate so he could finally be proximate enough to be on the show.

    Faith in God is for Primary-aged girls, I think, Pd. Getting them ready to do Personal Progress.

    I was in Girl Scouts growing up in PA and think it is a really good program. I went to camp one summer, where we swam and canoed and did all kinds of outdoorsy stuff, went cross-country skiing one winter, do crafty stuff a lot (especially around holidays), cook and bake a lot...all good skills and experiences for girls to have. So what if the national organization allows homosexuals and atheists to be members and leaders? I guess I'm dangerous and see such diversity as enriching and not dangerous. It does disappoint me that the Church doesn't support the GSA like they do the BSA, even just to encourage girls to join troops...even if the Church doesn't sponsor them. YW camp shouldn't be "it". Having a weekly meeting and the opportunity to earn badges and awards (bronze, silver and the highest ranks of Boy Scouting) is good. Doing the cookie sale is good. Getting to meet and hang out with girls who aren't LDS, maybe aren't white...if I lived in the Intermountain West, I think I would love that. I know I liked Girl Scouts a lot back home in PA and think the program would be enriching to any girl.

    Overall, I basically agreed with Matt's thoughts top-to-bottom, including the molestation-by-leaders potential being more 'dangerous' than the homosexual-presence potential. The BSA's stand on homosexuality is ridiculous to if they're going to defile the other boys in a troop just because their orientation is what it is. I agree about their lives being hard enough and maybe having some camaraderie with heterosexual boys would be appreciated (and horizon-broadening for the other boys)...and the fact that the Church extends callings in the organization is tacit approval of their policies. I agree, however, that in a coming day, homosexuality will become a protected class like race. Particularly in a situation like this, I can't see that as being a bad thing. Good discussion.

    Did you guys know about the Scouting Education major at BYU, btw?

    Enjoyed Matt's "licked cupcake" comment, btw. Never heard that one.


  6. I too enjoyed the "licked cupcake" comment. I had a good laugh at that.

    Hopefully Michelle will still listen, though I really do like the idea of guessing what is being eaten during the rodcast.

    Pete Diddy, I unfortunately am not looking for a room. If I ever do need to find a new place, you'll be at the top of the list. I think it would be fun do live with you guys.

    Scouting runs pretty deep in my family. My two brothers and I are Eagle scouts, and both of my parents have been heavily involved with scouting (Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Woodbadge, etc). I enjoyed scouts and think it's a great program for boys to be involved in. As for the relationship between the church and Boy Scouts, I don't think the church should have an influence on the BSA organization. I'm ok with the church extending callings related to Scouting, but the BSA should be it's own organization that the church just participates in.

    As for the homosexuality thing, I simply can't support the BSA's stance. I don't subscribe to the notion that having gay scouts in the organization is going to create any more moral problems than there will be naturally. Part of the scout law is to be friendly, courteous, and kind, and banning kids from joining the scouts on the basis of sexuality (which has no place in scouting to begin with, gay or not), simply isn't adhering to the scout law. Allowing same sex attracted individuals into scouting doesn't condone homosexual acts, just like letting those same individuals attend church doesn't condone homosexual acts. It's the love the sinner, not the sin thing. We're all imperfect, and I would hate to be discriminated against for my imperfections. I'm still a supporter of scouting but I hope that the BSA will see that what they are doing is discrimination and adopt a more accepting stance.

    On the 2nd topic of church atire, I'm ok with people wearing stuff like that as long as it's either appropriate for the culture they live in or appropriate for the culture they come from. A kid who has lived in Sandy his whole life shouldn't be wearing a kilt to church in Sandy. It's simply distracting and somewhat attention seeking in my opinion, even if you have the legs for it. Besides, as the old joke goes: What does a true Scotsman wear under his kilt? His shoes, and nobody wants to see that. I guess Pete Diddy would know if that saying is true.


    Interesting article.