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View Diary: This response ends the debate on gay Scouts. (176 comments)

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  •  How old is the oath? (7+ / 0-)

    I don't think "straight" meaning "not gay" is that old, though whether that means early 1900s, or the 60s, I'm not sure..

    •  BSA was founded in 1910 - 113 years ago today (20+ / 0-)

      2/8/1910 is considered the "birthday" of Scouting in the US.  I think the actual federal charter was signed in 1916, if I remember my history right.  But 2/8/1910 was always the "date" the guys that founded it made it an actual organization - it's why Scout Sunday is celebrated this week.    

      To my son and I, morally straight always meant to be a person who does the right thing and stands up for others who cannot stand up for themselves.  

      Has nothing to do with anybody's orientation - nothing to do with sex at all.  

      There are alternative oaths - Scouting is international and not all of them use God in the Oath.  

      The explanation for the 12th Scout Law was, when we were involved in 1970's - 2002, A Scout is Reverent toward God and respects the beliefs of others.  We always figured "God" is whatever you perceive him / her / it to be - depending on your faith or non-faith.  God could be Nature.  God could be the Universe.  I fall somewhere between agnostic and following the United Church of Christ, faith in "something" but not sure what it might be.  

      But I can be reverent toward Nature and Mother Earth and try to take care of the planet and its critters and people.  Gazing at the stars makes me feel reverent.  Gazing at the ocean, too.  Something bigger than me.  Something more awesome and interesting than me.  Might be, might not be "God."  

      "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

      by Ricochet67 on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 04:01:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oops - can't add or type - 103 years ago today eom (0+ / 0-)

        "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

        by Ricochet67 on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 08:35:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •   In 19th century English, "Straight" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suzq, TheMeansAreTheEnd, quarkstomper

      meant  "strict" or "tight" ... as in Straight Laced.  

       It doesn't mean your corsets are neatly done up with parallel seams ... it means you torture yourself with as much pressure as your back and belly will stand -- plus some.

      In thieves cant ... which got adopted into common usage  ... it also means the opposite of "bent" or "crooked". Hence it was a disparaging term for a law-abiding citizens in some circles ... a complement on someone's trustworthiness  in others.

    •  my understanding of that context (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheMeansAreTheEnd, Flying Goat

      was that it was straight as in "straight and narrow," ie. "not crooked." not heterosexual per se.

      •  Yes, it had nothing to do with orientation nt (0+ / 0-)
        •  not initially (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Flying Goat

          although the later meaning of straight as "not gay" derives from the earlier meaning, and the assumption that being gay was deviant and thus crooked.

          but even as late as the 80s when i was doing scouting, it was always explained in the broader, more generic sense. i imagine it would have been different in a mormon or southern baptist-based troop.

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