Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bullies and Heroes

Scout-posted flag for Presidents Day, 2013
Washington's Birthday (and Lincoln's) on a Monday
Something is happening here. And with apologies to Buffalo Springfield, what it is ain't exactly clear.

I already committed to fight bullying in Scouting. There's not much I've done directly, but I try to influence boys for the good when I can. I'm now Troop Committee Chair so I do get involved in Boards of Review, Courts of Honor, and I help out when I can like with the flags on holidays.

My wife is working on BSA National Council committees to rewrite some handbooks and adult training curricula. She also teaches Science in Jr. High. We often talk about kids and bullying and maybe my influence is through her as she has so much more clout in these things. Although she hardly needs me to do the right thing to address bullying.

And then this seems to tie right back to the whole Scouting and Gay policy thing and the current review of the recent review that is now going on. I've stated my position that the BSA ought to at least accept the current official LDS Church position that same-sex attraction is not  wrong and to be concerned only with the behavioral aspects. There have always been Gays in Scouting, there are now, and always will be. I see no problem in acknowledging it and keeping proper behavioral standards. I mean, Scouting isn't supposed to be about any kind of sexual activity. And it shouldn't be about denying reality either. But I won't speculate further as to what the LDS Church or Scouting may do with this. I've made my views known to the local council leadership.

Honestly, I try to stay out of the Culture Wars but they keep on coming after me - and after us all.

Today I was struck and powerfully moved by two interesting videos. The first I will link is about surviving childhood. (h/t AEP). I don't think the world is really divided into bullies and the picked-upon. There's at least a Venn diagram where the two overlap. I'm in that broad overlap. And my wife tells me that it is the bully who truly lacks self-esteem and may susceptible to suicide as well as the victim. This just has to stop.

We have to teach our children better. We have to be better examples. But I'll get off my diatribe and to the video which tells it so well. Check it out:

And then there was this one from this amazing blog post.

Look at the comments on the post (yours truly is in there). Those comments reveal how difficult this world is and full of hate from "religious" Gay-bashers and Gay Mormon-bashers (I think some of them are even posers [sock puppets?] on both sides of the bullying). It is astounding. To make a terrible comparison, it's almost like being a politically left-of-center Mormon. Many on the left don't quite trust me and some are quite nasty. And many Mormons think I'm evil (and probably Gay). And being a  Mormon Democrat isn't nearly as painful as being Gay in a church that requires life-long celibacy. Heaven forbid if I were to lose my wife! I would be in the same situation as a celibate straight person. The difference is, of course, I might find someone else to marry but maybe not. I don't see that painful situation as anything I want to go through.

There are truly decent people out there in the world along with all the bad ones. But that's one of my main points. There is no such thing as a good or bad person, we are all a mix of both as long as we're in this world. And we all could go strongly one way or the other. It depends on our constant choices. And I think most of us find ourselves in that big center of the Venn diagram for bullies and the bullied. We've all got to do a lot better. I know I do.


  1. Agree. It is really sad to have members get so hateful over things they don;t agree with. I am a left leaning member. On another pro-Mormon site I was personally attacked because of my political beliefs. The attacking person said Democrat Mormons and their like should not get Temple recommends no matter what, because one can't be a good member and be a Democrat. No joke. I asked this attacking person if the First Presidency made a mistake by calling Marlin Jensen, a Democrat, to the Seventy. Never got an answer. These types of members remind me of anti-Mormons (cough Evangelicals) who self righteously bash those who don't believe exactly the way they do. I have been bullied all my life for being Mormon. I have even been bullied by church members, I had a hard life and still do. I still don't know what to believe on what makes people homosexual or have same gender attraction. But I have compassion for them and others and I try to understand what the other person is feeling and going through. Without getting into details - my husband has severe medical problems; I am married and celibate and it will be that way for the rest of our lives and we are only 50 years old. Been this way for 6 years. So do I divorce him and marry someone who can perform in the bedroom? Yes I have had the pleasure of intimacy and children, but there are married people who are celibate for various reasons out of their control. Yes I have companionship but it is limited as we are more like room mates. Other problems have crept in. As always I enjoy your site.

    1. Thanks, Anonymous & Papa D. We will continue to address some of these issues as we keep working to figure it out - and ourselves.


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