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Home » CHFWeb Forum » HotTopics » Boy Scouts
Boy Scouts [message #819473] Tue, 31 January 2017 21:53 Go to next message
praise2christ  is currently offline praise2christ
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I'm not really wanting to start a debate, but I know that this could easily be a Hot Topic. If you haven't already heard, the Boy Scouts of America have decided to allow "transgender" children to be Scouts. This directly affects my family - specifically my DS. This decision means that my son may find himself using the restroom or sharing a tent with a girl.

So, as we are preparing to talk to him about puberty and s*x, we now need to add in transgender issues. I hate the idea of pulling him out of Scouts, but I know that it is necessary.

He was intent on being an Eagle Scout and I know that he is going to have a hard time with the idea of not being able to meet that goal. I know there are alternatives (Trail Life), but his heart was set on being an Eagle Scout, so it just isn't quite the same.

Frankly, I'm a bit angry that this is happening. Not just in Boy Scouts, but in our nation. We have gotten so far from God and we have gotten to the point where we have declared that sin and even mental illness is perfectly normal and must be accepted by all. This is just another example of how this affects our children.

Anyway, the real reason I am posting is to ask for prayer as we navigate this situation with our DS.


Stacy, mom to 12-year-old boy/girl twins and a three-year-old boy.

"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger." Hans Christian Andersen
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819475 is a reply to message #819473 ] Wed, 01 February 2017 12:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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I'm so disappointed to hear this. They took such a firm stand on similar issues in the past. Praying for all concerned. (And for the lostness of our nation!)


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819476 is a reply to message #819473 ] Wed, 01 February 2017 14:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jamie
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I share your frustration. I literally was looking up age ranges for this and 4-H when the news rolled in.


Peace
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819477 is a reply to message #819473 ] Wed, 01 February 2017 15:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa T.  is currently offline Lisa T.
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My grandson likes Trail Life.


Lisa T.
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819482 is a reply to message #819473 ] Thu, 02 February 2017 16:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Leslie Fay  is currently offline Leslie Fay
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This is disappointing. This is the world we live in.
I would consider all that being a Scout has to offer, especially an Eagle Scout, and all the opportunities it would present before pulling out though. For instance, is this something that would directly impact my ds's troop right now? In reality, is he going to have a transgender person in his troop next week, or year, or ever? Depending on his age, is this an opportunity to learn how to treat the lost, the unlovable, the undesirable? I tend to think in terms of teachable opportunities (age appropriate)for growth in Christ, and asking if a situation we find ourselves in is in fact God ordained for that purpose. I am not suggesting what you ought to do, only sharing a slightly different angle to think about. I do not know what you should do, and pray for guidance for you. <3


Leslie
wife to Bobby
mama of three blessings
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819485 is a reply to message #819482 ] Fri, 03 February 2017 09:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
praise2christ  is currently offline praise2christ
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Leslie Fay wrote on Thu, 02 February 2017 16:18

This is disappointing. This is the world we live in.
I would consider all that being a Scout has to offer, especially an Eagle Scout, and all the opportunities it would present before pulling out though. For instance, is this something that would directly impact my ds's troop right now? In reality, is he going to have a transgender person in his troop next week, or year, or ever? Depending on his age, is this an opportunity to learn how to treat the lost, the unlovable, the undesirable? I tend to think in terms of teachable opportunities (age appropriate)for growth in Christ, and asking if a situation we find ourselves in is in fact God ordained for that purpose. I am not suggesting what you ought to do, only sharing a slightly different angle to think about. I do not know what you should do, and pray for guidance for you. <3


I honestly have no way of knowing if it is something that would directly affect my DS's troop. When I first told my DH about this, I said that this means DS could end up sharing a bathroom or a tent with a girl. He said, "And that's when we pull him out!" But the problem is, we would have no way of knowing. If a girl dressed like a boy and acted like a boy, we would have no way of knowing it was a girl. And, even if my DS never saw her private parts, she could walk past him at a urinal or watch him change clothes and that is an invasion of his privacy and modesty. And, this isn't just an issue if there is a girl who joins his troop. He goes to events with other troops all the time (camp, district events, etc).

But, all this is circumstantial - very "what if". However, the fact that this organization used to stand for teaching boys to be strong, moral men and they have now lost their moral compass is not a "what if". This organization has a lot of influence in the lives of the boys involved. And, I don't think that I want to allow this influence in my son's life.


Stacy, mom to 12-year-old boy/girl twins and a three-year-old boy.

"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger." Hans Christian Andersen
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819486 is a reply to message #819485 ] Fri, 03 February 2017 11:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jamie
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[quote title=praise2christ wrote on Fri, 03 February 2017 09:05]
Leslie Fay wrote on Thu, 02 February 2017 16:18

However, the fact that this organization used to stand for teaching boys to be strong, moral men

And that's the part I'm *looking* for, particularly since we lack men in numbers in our family. I suppose, in part, because it is difficult for me to believe at all in the transgender issue, I'm figuring that there are clubs similar to 4-H who already encompasses boys and girls, I'm not sure why the need to change a core identifier?


Peace
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819488 is a reply to message #819486 ] Fri, 03 February 2017 17:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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Jamie wrote on Fri, 03 February 2017 11:34

I'm not sure why the need to change a core identifier?


Since we're in Hot Topics on a Christian, I will pop in and state that the whole tolerance/acceptance angle of the gender issues has much to do with changing society--there is an agenda in the LGBQwhatever movement (at the top, more than among those you run into in your lives who just want to live with their "partner"). It is not enough to let folks live their lives in sin peacefully without persecution. We have to *accept* or *embrace* it as well...and they don't seem to want to stop till that happens.

It's what makes things so difficult for Christians who believe in an absolute standard, given by God. Everyone else is living by manmade standards. It is also confusing to so many Christians because we're supposed to be known by our love, and love is re-defined by society. We know that it is not loving to leave sin unchallenged, but it *feels* unloving to those in sin when we confront it.

I won't soapbox it any more. We live in a society where everyone but the Christians are pretty much going to support the transgender stuff, and it will be progressively more difficult to stay separate. We are truly strangers in this world, and it will become more and more obvious as time goes on. Satan is having a heyday with all this mess, I'm sure of it!


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819490 is a reply to message #819488 ] Sat, 04 February 2017 07:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
carolinec
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This is a bit of a side track, but Lisa, could you help me understand this:

Quote:

We know that it is not loving to leave sin unchallenged, but it *feels* unloving to those in sin when we confront it.


What does sin matter, if a person is not saved? That is - what is the objective when you confront the sin?

Living a "good" life isn't going to get you salvation, only faith will. Even if someone stops the act, it's ... well, meaningless in terms of their soul, no?

I'm struggling to see the love in calling sin in others out (unless we're in a very deep, close relationship with them and they invite such a challenge) -- and not just on the level of feelings. If we're not challenging the person's action in order to save them, then.. what is it but challenging someone because their behaviour challenges/subverts someone else's ideas about how they *themselves* should live themselves (as a believer).

Does that make sense? If faith alone is what saves, what's the point in confronting actions? What's the loving objective?

I know we have very different views on this*, but I'm really want to try and understand where you're coming from. I keep hearing statements like this made, and I just don't get them. Please forgive me if I come across as rude, it's not my intent.

*that is, on a whole lot of cultural issues, and thoughts about what demands Christianity places on believes Smile
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819491 is a reply to message #819490 ] Sat, 04 February 2017 08:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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Quote:

If we're not challenging the person's action in order to save them, then.. what is it but challenging someone because their behaviour challenges/subverts someone else's ideas about how they *themselves* should live themselves (as a believer).


Sorry...I was in a rush, and trying to not to write my usual "novel."

I absolutely believe this. There IS no point in confronting folks about sinful behavior alone if they don't know Christ. Only the Holy Spirit frees us from sin, therefore in regard to the lost, the idea is to present Jesus as Savior and Lord, not to ask them to change their behavior.

In my head, though, I was thinking about the sort of societal push to stop saying that sin is sin, and to embrace sinful behavior and views as perfectly acceptable. While I think we should afford the same sorts of civil rights to everyone in our society, that is not the same as saying that all lifestyles are acceptable to God. They (and we, when we are in sin) live the way we do because we are not living in obedience to the Lord. Without Christ, we are condemned. It is not loving to simply embrace sinful lifestyles and let folks go on their merry way without confronting them with their need for a Savior, and sharing the good news of Christ with them.

That is more what I meant. I agree that it is completely unhelpful to go around pointing out sin in the lives of those around us just for the sake of trying to get them to change their behavior to suit our views.

And, for the record, I don't recall finding you rude when you challenge my statements or my beliefs! I appreciate your kindness when you challenge. Smile


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819492 is a reply to message #819491 ] Sun, 05 February 2017 07:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
carolinec
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Lisa, thanks! Smile I thought that was a bit closer to things you've said in the past, and I'm with you 100% Smile

Would you mind unpacking a little more with me, please?

Quote:

Since we're in Hot Topics on a Christian, I will pop in and state that the whole tolerance/acceptance angle of the gender issues has much to do with changing society--there is an agenda in the LGBQwhatever movement (at the top, more than among those you run into in your lives who just want to live with their "partner"). It is not enough to let folks live their lives in sin peacefully without persecution. We have to *accept* or *embrace* it as well...and they don't seem to want to stop till that happens.


[quote title=Lisa R. wrote on Sat, 04 February 2017 07:42]
Quote:


In my head, though, I was thinking about the sort of societal push to stop saying that sin is sin, and to embrace sinful behavior and views as perfectly acceptable.



Can I ask where do you see the line between civil rights and "embracing" as being?
So for example, joining Boy Scouts - if trans-identifying people want to join the boy scouts, and push for this, is that forcing acceptance, or demanding rights?

Should rights *only* be enforceable against the government, or can they be owed by private organisations and the like too? Are there rights that we owe each other simply on the basis of our humanity?

I really appreciate you not minding me asking, it's much appreciated. Smile Hope you're having a lovely day.
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819494 is a reply to message #819492 ] Sun, 05 February 2017 14:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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[quote title=carolinec wrote on Sun, 05 February 2017 07:18]Lisa, thanks! Smile I thought that was a bit closer to things you've said in the past, and I'm with you 100% Smile

Would you mind unpacking a little more with me, please?
Serious rambling alert!! Smile
I'm happy to chat--but bear in mind that my views are currently in flux, as I've really gone from believing, a number of years ago, that the government should enforce Christian standards, to seeing what that does to individuals who do not know the Lord, and realizing that while you certainly can legislate morality, it is often better to let the Holy Spirit work and leave the State out of it...I haven't firmed everything up in my head and am still praying over many of these issues.

Quote:

Since we're in Hot Topics on a Christian, I will pop in and state that the whole tolerance/acceptance angle of the gender issues has much to do with changing society--there is an agenda in the LGBQwhatever movement (at the top, more than among those you run into in your lives who just want to live with their "partner"). It is not enough to let folks live their lives in sin peacefully without persecution. We have to *accept* or *embrace* it as well...and they don't seem to want to stop till that happens.


Lisa R. wrote on Sat, 04 February 2017 07:42

Quote:


In my head, though, I was thinking about the sort of societal push to stop saying that sin is sin, and to embrace sinful behavior and views as perfectly acceptable.



Can I ask where do you see the line between civil rights and "embracing" as being?
I haven't quite worked out an exact line in my own mind, and I'm still dealing with issues of private v. government. So, for instance, I think of a gay man in the hospital...there is nothing at all to be gained by having laws that keep his partner from going in to see him because he's not "family." This particular issue is actually the one that started me really re-thinking my views and how laws affect people who live in sin. I realized that what is easy to say in theory really affects people in real life in serious ways...my brother had brain surgery over over 15 years ago, and his then-live-in girlfriend wasn't able to go into ICU to see him, though we all were. They got married eventually, which solved their problem, but at that time, it wasn't even an option for the LGBT community.

So, a "line" for me in this issue would be that I will not vote against gay marriage bills (if there are any left to vote for), and now believe that if they want to get married, there shouldn't be a legal barrier. I'd prefer it be called a civil union because I believe it is a huge corruption of God's institution of marriage, but whatever. However, believing that they should not be barred by law doesn't mean that I shouldn't be able to say it is sin. Letting them live their lives as they please falls under civil rights (IHMO), but I still need to be able to live with my understanding of the Bible which calls such unions sin. Pushing the agenda further to say that preachers can't preach what's in scripture pushes me/us to "embrace" their views, and I can't do that. We have gay friends, people who are welcome in our home. We've had two of them state that they are rethinking their views of God because of the love that our family extends. I'm not talking about hatefulness in any way...but as much as we love these dear friends, I still cannot say that their lifestyle is okay before the Lord, and I still pray for their salvation. Pushing me to "embrace" it would mean that I would have to accept it as an equally valid choice before the Lord and refuse to call it sin.


So for example, joining Boy Scouts - if trans-identifying people want to join the boy scouts, and push for this, is that forcing acceptance, or demanding rights?

Should rights *only* be enforceable against the government, or can they be owed by private organisations and the like too? Are there rights that we owe each other simply on the basis of our humanity?

Honestly, I'm still thinking this one through. I'm still not sure what my opinion of "right" is on private organizations. On the one hand, by making exceptions for private organizations, you run the risk of having misguided private organizations making all kinds of exclusions like we had in the south during the civil rights era...small southern voter registrars putting up ridiculous barriers to blacks voting and so forth. It would be easy for those who don't see (or don't agree) with the differences between nature and choice to move from excluding people on so many issues. Gender and skin color seem like such obvious "natural" things, but now we have surgeries and hormones to change what God has decreed. And so many people believe that homosexuality is how people are and not what they choose, so that seems to leave "right" pretty much up in the air.

When the whole debate about government forcing Christian bakers to bake the cakes for gay weddings, I was initially all up in arms because in my mind, if the baker sincerely believes gay marriage to be a violation of God's laws, and if he sincerely believes that to bake the cake is participating in sin, then the law seems to be a violation of the First Amendment right to freedom of religion, by forcing the baker to sin.

Someone brought up the idea that diner owners in the '60's were forced to serve blacks even when they believed that it was a sin to mix the races. In my mind, it seems clear that homosexuality is a sin and being black is not...but other people sincerely believe different from me. Who gets to judge who is right? That is where we end up when we're dealing with exclusion.

In my own mind, after praying, I finally decided that I would actually bake the cake...and realized that I had practical experience...I was working in a copy center and when someone brought in flyers for cult meetings, I didn't have the option to not print them. I knew full well that the stuff I was printing was actively leading people astray, so I made a point of praying over the materials and for the people who would read them. I figured if I had my own business, I could do the same thing.

But there's still the issue of forcing people--especially now when there are so many people who are happy to accommodate. (i.e., it is highly unlikely that a gay couple would have to do without a cake in this day and age, as a black person would have had to do without all of the things that segregation excluded them from--but where IS the line, and what is the principle from which we operate?)

Somehow, the Boy Scouts have managed to keep girls out, keep openly homosexual leaders out, and keep their Christian roots. I am inclined to think that there is a place for groups that are exclusive in some ways.

Having raised 9 kids, I can say that I struggled with how to allow several of my kids and their friends to have private times (older kids with friends shouldn't necessarily have to have the 2yo trying to play along all the time...I had a friend who did that and her older kids were incredibly frustrated and resentful of siblings), and also teach them to include others they might not prefer. So, we had times when we required them all to play together, and times when they could pick and choose.

I think ultimately society is going to have to come to some sort of similar compromises. So many people are uncomfortable with the privacy issues as in the original post. I, personally, feel uncomfortable with having a man in the next stall in the bathroom, because those cracks around the door are HUGE! I don't want him to be able to look in at me, and I don't want to accidentally see anything, either. I don't want to be forced to be in that position. I have spoken to folks who have traveled to, or who come from, Europe and ask "What's the big deal? There aren't separate bathrooms over there!" Well..it's going to be awhile before people of a certain age in America feel comfortable with that sort of openness in what we usually consider to be an area of great privacy. But that puts the transgender person literally in no man's land. What is the compassionate response?

The ultimate answer is, of course, Jesus. But spouting, ""Jesus is the answer; let's all share the love of God," doesn't give us practical behavioral guidelines. I've found some good answers in my own life, individually, but societal issues are harder. I read something the other day that seemed to strike at the basis of the problem. It was Seth Godin's blog, found here: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2017/01/shared-reali ty-diverse-opinions.html. As a society, we can't agree on the basis of reality. We Christians are bad about spouting out God's Word as Truth, because it is...but if the people we're talking to don't agree with that, the reality doesn't matter to them. Finding ways to come to agreement on a starting place is really the problem. I'm finding love and the Holy Spirit work better than forcing on both sides.

All that to say, I don't have a clear response or a clear position, and am glad I'm not the one making rules and laws for our country. I am regularly in prayer because there has to be some room for those believe there are no rules and everything and everyone goes all the time everywhere, as well as room for those who believe in sin and God's judgment to live out His love as well as striving for His holiness. I really wish we could get all the violence and hatred stopped, and learn to speak reasonably with one another...but it really is hard to find common ground.

Sorry for spewing all that incoherence out there..this is an issue really close to my heart as my social groups are largely non-Christian, and the views are SO very different.

I really appreciate you not minding me asking, it's much appreciated. Smile Hope you're having a lovely day.



Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819495 is a reply to message #819492 ] Sun, 05 February 2017 15:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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Caroline, I just saw a meme that said, "Equal rights for others doesn't mean less rights for you. It's not pie."

The problem is, sometimes it does. For instance, the Boy Scouts are a Christian-based (I believe) group who wish to associate together and live out their Boy Scout promise, which states, "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."

If that promise and law is understood to mean living according to biblical principle, and to "trans" your "gender" is sin under God's law, then for the government to step in and force you to accept transgendered individuals into your group, well, you don't get to have a group that stands for what it stood for before the judicial decision. Your kid doesn't get to be an Eagle Scout if he wants to continue to stand for the values he stood for when he joined the group. The transgender kid might get to be an Eagle Scout at some point, but by that point, scouting has changed.

I *still* don't know for sure what I believe *should* be allowed or forced or embraced...but for the left-leaners, it doesn't mean less rights for the original poster's son...but for her son, it does.

It's such a hard issue.

P.S. Praise2Christ (Stacy??), I'm sorry if we've totally derailed your thread. But thanks for a spot for me to write out my thoughts...it helps me sort through them.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819497 is a reply to message #819473 ] Sun, 05 February 2017 19:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa T.  is currently offline Lisa T.
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Be aware that Boy Scouts is NOT a Christian organization, nor does it purport to be. My brother-in-law is an Eagle Scout, and he is Jewish. I knew Muslim Boy Scouts and animist Boy Scouts in Ghana...same organization.

Boy Scouts is a religious organization in that it requires belief in God and reverence for God. Look up the Declaration of Religious Principle for more details.

A Boy Scout may be Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist, or indeed any religion at all.

Because of this, it is not necessarily guided by Christian or biblical principles.


Lisa T.
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819498 is a reply to message #819495 ] Sun, 05 February 2017 22:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
praise2christ  is currently offline praise2christ
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Lisa R. wrote on Sun, 05 February 2017 15:12


P.S. Praise2Christ (Stacy??), I'm sorry if we've totally derailed your thread. But thanks for a spot for me to write out my thoughts...it helps me sort through them.


Not at all! I am glad we can work through all of this together. These are such deep issues and the more I talk them through the more I am forced to dig for God's Truth.

I'll probably come back and post more tomorrow. Right now my brain is to fried to be coherent.


Stacy, mom to 12-year-old boy/girl twins and a three-year-old boy.

"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger." Hans Christian Andersen
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819500 is a reply to message #819497 ] Mon, 06 February 2017 08:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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Lisa T. wrote on Sun, 05 February 2017 19:21

Be aware that Boy Scouts is NOT a Christian organization, nor does it purport to be. My brother-in-law is an Eagle Scout, and he is Jewish. I knew Muslim Boy Scouts and animist Boy Scouts in Ghana...same organization.

Boy Scouts is a religious organization in that it requires belief in God and reverence for God. Look up the Declaration of Religious Principle for more details.

A Boy Scout may be Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist, or indeed any religion at all.

Because of this, it is not necessarily guided by Christian or biblical principles.



Thanks for this...I knew that Scouts weren't required to be Christians and that it wasn't a "Christian organization," but I thought it was based on Christian principles.

I looked and found that you are right...under "Faith Traditions," their website says, "One of the key tenets of Scouting is "duty to God." While Scouting does not define religious belief for its members, it has been adopted by and works with youth programs of all major faiths."

Around here, scout troops are frequently run from or under the umbrella of churches, although they don't have to be...I had somehow picked up on that and the "duty to God and my country" part of the promise as indicating a Christian base.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819508 is a reply to message #819495 ] Tue, 07 February 2017 04:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
carolinec
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Lisa R. wrote on Sun, 05 February 2017 14:12

Caroline, I just saw a meme that said, "Equal rights for others doesn't mean less rights for you. It's not pie."

The problem is, sometimes it does. For instance, the Boy Scouts are a Christian-based (I believe) group who wish to associate together and live out their Boy Scout promise, which states, "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."

If that promise and law is understood to mean living according to biblical principle, and to "trans" your "gender" is sin under God's law, then for the government to step in and force you to accept transgendered individuals into your group, well, you don't get to have a group that stands for what it stood for before the judicial decision. Your kid doesn't get to be an Eagle Scout if he wants to continue to stand for the values he stood for when he joined the group. The transgender kid might get to be an Eagle Scout at some point, but by that point, scouting has changed.



Lisa, thanks so much for having this chat with me Smile It's really helpful for me to think things through.

This, I find really interesting... I suppose it's about the right of people to only have to associate with people they want to associate with, no? Because the sin act isn't the association, it's being trans? (I'm not sure I agree with that as a proposition, but for the sake of discussion...) *What* values are being stood for? Because again, it's about other people's conduct; not our own.

Thanks Lisa, for your time and thoughts, and Stacy for bearing with us!
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819511 is a reply to message #819508 ] Tue, 07 February 2017 09:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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carolinec wrote on Tue, 07 February 2017 04:07

Lisa R. wrote on Sun, 05 February 2017 14:12

Caroline, I just saw a meme that said, "Equal rights for others doesn't mean less rights for you. It's not pie."

The problem is, sometimes it does. For instance, the Boy Scouts are a Christian-based (I believe) group who wish to associate together and live out their Boy Scout promise, which states, "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."

If that promise and law is understood to mean living according to biblical principle, and to "trans" your "gender" is sin under God's law, then for the government to step in and force you to accept transgendered individuals into your group, well, you don't get to have a group that stands for what it stood for before the judicial decision. Your kid doesn't get to be an Eagle Scout if he wants to continue to stand for the values he stood for when he joined the group. The transgender kid might get to be an Eagle Scout at some point, but by that point, scouting has changed.



Lisa, thanks so much for having this chat with me Smile It's really helpful for me to think things through.

This, I find really interesting... I suppose it's about the right of people to only have to associate with people they want to associate with, no? Because the sin act isn't the association, it's being trans? (I'm not sure I agree with that as a proposition, but for the sake of discussion...) *What* values are being stood for? Because again, it's about other people's conduct; not our own.

Thanks Lisa, for your time and thoughts, and Stacy for bearing with us!


Honestly, I don't even know. This was such an easy topic 20 or 30 years ago when I lived in my own bubble , and all this stuff was theoretical, and didn't know anyone this stuff personally affected! :/

I'm just going to be really transparent here. I'm still struggling with "God's laws" "Man's laws" and "how I live out God's laws as I understand them," and "how I relate to others who reject God's laws as I understand them." Over the last 3 decades, I've gone from quite a blind, rather legalistic sort of walk to understanding that my way isn't the only way (although God's is!), and that we win more folks with love than with amazing doctrinal and intellectual arguments.

What I'm sort of working through now is how all this societal "inclusion" really is working and what it all means. It's all about free speech until you're a conservative Berkeley student. It's all about empowering all women in a huge march unless you're a pro-life woman.

Ultimately, Christianity IS an exclusive belief system, in that there is only the one way, the narrow gate. But we're not called to be exclusive in our associations. We're to be in the world, but not of it, loving the sinner, but not the sin. Jesus gave the example of eating with sinners, which would indicate that probably we should open up our groups to everyone...certainly I would never dream of excluding anyone from coming to my church, for instance.

But I think the transgender thing hits too close to home for a lot of people. We Christians think a lot of modesty and sexual purity. There is the strong idea that God doesn't make mistakes and so people aren't "trapped in the wrong body." Sex is such a personal issue--even scripture says, "Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body." (1 Cor 6:18) So, there is the idea that folks are mutilating their own bodies, God's creation. There is the idea that folks changing in locker rooms or camping showers where our bodies may be exposed innocently because "we've all got the same stuff," but that dynamic changes when we *don't* all have the "same stuff," or we're interested in different ways. I mentioned the European freedom of gender in bathrooms---that's not really here in a big way, and we tend to over-sexualize everything here. For a teen boy to camp or hike with a a girl is one thing. To stand at a urinal while a girl walks by is quite another for most people. Does it matter? Honestly, I don't know. Ten years ago, I'd have said, Of course! For me, personally, it matters a lot whether a man is in the restroom with me, though I recognize that I may not even be aware of the fact in practical experience.

We as a society have a lot to work through. If the women's march on Washington can exclude pro-life women, why can't the Boy Scouts exclude girls that think they are boys? But if we don't exclude them, what do we do with modest or impressionable young men that don't want the exposure that might occur with the way our bathrooms and locker rooms are set up? Is it better to force someone who doesn't want that exposure to be exposed for the sake of the one who doesn't care, or ask the opposite gender person to stay out of the bathroom/locker room? Or is that even a real issue in practice? (IMHO, if gender is going to be so fluid, we probably need private stalls, but that's a tangent for another day).

And for Christians, if we believe Psalm 139 where God talks of knitting us together in our mother's womb, and by that, believe that choosing an opposite gender is sin, then how does that play out in our lives? How do we take a stand against such sin and still reach those folks for Christ? I've shared before how we ministered to a "transgendering" young man/woman at the college with our kids. I got a Mother's Day card from her. My daughter's dear lesbian friend admitted to really rethinking who God is because of our love for this young woman and another gay young man. But they're still living without the Lord, which is far more important than their gender or sexual choices. I have hope that one day maybe they will come to the Lord because of our love for them (especially after some other Christians were so hateful and refused to treat them with basic civility). They know we believe the scriptures teach their lifestyles to be sin, but we don't harp on it with them; we just relate to them as we do to any friend.

I need to be able to love them, but I also need to be able to hold to my understanding of scripture at the same time. I think it is the societal push to insist that we cannot believe it is wrong that frustrates me so much. From society's standpoint (as I see it in the media), it's not enough for me to love those who are different; I have to also accept that they are right.

Honestly, I do much better one-on-one. I love those who are different from me because Jesus loves them. Creating government standards is so much harder, I think. I guess I'm really frustrated at the double-standard...the women's march was allowed to exclude women who believed differently from the majority, but the scouts aren't allowed to do that. It seems so much of the forcing is in only one direction. That bothers me because when the government is enforcing these things without God's guidance, then the Christians are the ones to suffer. But in the past, it's been others who had to go underground (I'm thinking homosexual men who were forced to undergo chemical castration, for instance, a century or so ago).

Somehow, we have to figure out a way to have freedoms that work both ways. I wish I had easy answers, but the answers aren't easy. I am glad that God is bringing me along in love and mercy, and showing me the human side of things that were merely theoretical years ago. But in my flesh, it was so much easier just to pop off with a black and white answer!


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819538 is a reply to message #819511 ] Tue, 14 February 2017 11:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Tracy in Peru  is currently offline Tracy in Peru
Messages: 7985
Registered: April 2005
Location: Trujillo, Peru
Senior Member
Interesting discussion.

And I am right there with you Lisa. My niece and her partner have adopted five children through the foster care system and are far better parents than I could ever hope to be. I love them all dearly and our family interactions all go well. But, I can't get my brain wrapped around scripture and how it applies to my real life situation. Other family members have broken all contact with anyone that associates with them at all, in the name of Christ. I can't see how that advances God's kingdom at all. I just don't know the answers. Most days, I just accept that I don't, but you can really go down a rabbit hole and give yourself a headache thinking too much about it.

I worry sometimes I am not being loving enough to them by not acknowledging their homosexuality in the light of scripture. But now, them walking "right" with the Lord would mean the break up of a beautiful family and undo lots of healing work to children that are finally in a stable, caring environment. That doesn't seem right either. At one time, there was a firm boundary to hold onto, but no longer. God has not changed, but society has, which makes our actions in this world in need of change. "Holding the line" isn't the way to advance the kingdom anymore.

We see a similar parallel in our mission work. Culturally, getting married is just not needed here in Peru. We work with a lot of couples that aren't married, but have been living together and have a family together. We do everything we can to encourage them to marry, but we don't ask them to separate so they aren't living in sin, out of consideration for their children. It is tricky situation. I do think they are missing out on some blessings from God by living this way, but I trust God to work through the cultural issues too.


As for the Boy Scouts while I see the can of worms it has opened, there is also a small parental rights victory there too. If I say my child is a "boy" the BSA is going to accept that without question. No arguing, no proving gender, no extra documentation, just parents making what they think is the best choice for their child. I do think it would be foolish parenting to not bring up the subject of a trans-child, but I will leave the argument of if a child can truly be trans and bad parenting out of the scenario.

Good food for thought. I am again grateful for a safe place to discuss sticky subjects without being yelled at or called names. My views are evolving and I am learning, and I need places to think things through without fear of making mistakes or being considered intolerant.


In Him--Tracy
Re: Boy Scouts [message #819543 is a reply to message #819473 ] Wed, 15 February 2017 17:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Leigh  is currently offline Leigh
Messages: 4582
Registered: April 2005
Location: Tennessee
Senior Member
Freedom of association is different depending on who is doing the associating. Whom I associate with is a decision I can make as an adult, knowing I will bear the full consequence of that decision. I'm a little more careful about making those decisions for a minor child--especially when I have to sign documents and pay a membership fee.

Here in the south we managed our home school Girl Scout troop carefully. We followed all council and GSUSA policies and kept a very clear standard. Life is much different for our daughter managing her two boys in BSA in a major metropolitan area. She now has a little girl in GSUSA. Right now it's good because they have a lot of availability to talk to parents and leaders and help out, and as long as troop activities stay pretty contained. It may look different when the children are older and have more opportunities outside their local troops.

It's a decision that will be made very carefully based on the autonomy of each troop.

This whole gender fluidity is just wrong. I don't think tiny kids know what they are. They just know how they want to dress and play. It all works out as they grow up. I can't imagine telling a 4yo boy who likes pink that he can be Jessica and wear frilly dresses and call himself a girl. He may not feel so girlish when he's 14.

Sometimes a child has trauma, like the loss of a sibling, and the temporary manifestation of grief may be to live and act like the sibling. It's the only thing their maturity level will let them do.

I don't know what I would do if I was raising a child in this day and time. I'm sure my parents never had any idea that I would go to high school in the early 1970s with girls who killed their unborn children in the womb, either.

[Updated on: Wed, 15 February 2017 17:34]


Leigh
Tennessee

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

~~Benjamin Franklin

Re: Boy Scouts [message #819578 is a reply to message #819473 ] Tue, 21 February 2017 10:09 Go to previous message
praise2christ  is currently offline praise2christ
Messages: 2185
Registered: August 2009
Location: Northern KY
Senior Member
Just posting an update on our personal situation for those who might be wondering. My DH isn't quite as firm in his wanting to pull DS out and is wanting to take a more "wait and see" approach. I'm respecting that, although I don't really agree with it.

In the meantime, I've tried contacting Trail Life. I definitely want to get him involve in something else right away if we do pull him out. But, it took a few weeks to hear back from them. This morning I got a mass email stating that they have been overwhelmed by people wanting information since the Boy Scouts made their announcement. They are working hard to respond to everyone, but are understaffed. Since part of their mission statement is to remain privately funded and dept-free, any donation I could make would be appreciated. Sad So, I think it will be a while until I hear something from them about DS being able to join.


Stacy, mom to 12-year-old boy/girl twins and a three-year-old boy.

"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger." Hans Christian Andersen
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