Monday, April 21, 2014

Newest "Progressive" move: Bar members of the Boy Scouts from being judges

Courtesy of the Daily Caller:
California is proposing to ban members of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) from serving as judges because the Boy Scouts do not allow gay troop leaders, The Daily Caller has learned.
In a move with major legal implications, The California Supreme Court Advisory Committee on The Code of Judicial Ethics has proposed to classify the Boy Scouts as practicing “invidious discrimination” against gays, which would end the group’s exemption to anti-discriminatory ethics rules and would prohibit judges from being affiliated with the group.
Dissent is not allowed. Associating with dissenters is not allowed. And if you fail to praise people's sexual proclivities as great and moral and grand, you will be hounded, belittled, mocked, persecuted and - if they can get away with it - worse, until you come around.

17 comments:

Acatus Bensley said...

The left likes to think of it's opponents as enemies of personal freedom, yet does things like this. I guess the greatest of evils really do start out as the best of intentions.

lotharlorraine said...


Acatus: In French the proverb is "the hell is paved with good intentions."

Crude: I fear that bullying people into adopting one's own positions seem to be a widespread sinful human tendency.
In that respect liberals are no better than Conservatives, despite their delusion of moral superiority.

I'll certainly blog in the future about such shameless violation of personal freedom.

This could very well happen to progressive Christians such as myself questioning the morality of abortion.

http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/abortion-and-the-pride-of-the-western-world/.


Albeit unrelated, I'd like to call your attention to an Easter tale I just published, given you told me you have some interest for European culture :-)
http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/easter-tale-ostermarchen-conte-de-paque/


Crude said...

Lothar,

The problem I have with this kind of reply is that often it seems custom-crafted to excuse the sorts of events I'm talking about. You know, 'well gosh, both sides are guilty of being a bit too mean, so...' With the unspoken 'so' being followed by 'so this isn't worth talking about.'

And frankly, Lothar... it's hard to even call you progressive. In fact, I can pretty well guarantee if you continue to talk about race, abortion and feminism on the terms you do, you are eventually either going to be cowed into silence by the "progressives" you think are on your side, or you're going to have to make a break with them.

Acatus Bensley said...

Just call yourself a moderate. It seems more practical.

lotharlorraine said...


"The problem I have with this kind of reply is that often it seems custom-crafted to excuse the sorts of events I'm talking about. "

Oh no, perish the thought! I think it is an egregious evil which ought to be combated.

"it's hard to even call you progressive."
Thanks for the compliment :-)

I define a "progressive" as someone rejecting all kinds of dogmas (both religious and secular) hindering our moral progress towards the Good.
The folks you decry here are PSEUDO-progressives who just want to serve the Zeitgeist and feel "cool" while ignoring crying injustices (such as the place of mentally ill people in society) because the fight against them is not trendy enough.

I have been repeating for a while that it is always wicked to maltreat someone due to his or her ethnicity, that this should play absolutely no role in our behavior and judgment (universal golden rule, good-samaritan-principle).
Consistently applying this principle leads me to expose many blacks and Arabs living in France who passionately hate white folks and profoundly despise the culture of Europe.
As a consequence, I have been called a racist many times and this completely infuriates me, because I also keep pointing out that many such immigrants (and their children) are very nice people completely integrated and that they should never be discriminated on the ground of their skin color.


I have a suggestion for you: what about replacing your use of the word "progressive" by UISZ (Useful Idiot Serving the Zeitgeist) or SPC (Slave of Political Correctness)? ;-)

Crude said...

The problem with that, Lothar, is that as near as I can tell, most self-described "progressives" are guilty of encouraging or turning a blind eye to the very problems I'm talking about - consistently. So it doesn't make sense to me to start zeroing in on some hypothetical other group that every "progressive" under the sun would react to by saying "I don't think they exist, and even if they do, I'm not one of them".

These laws aren't getting passed, these actions are not taking place, in the face of the ire and condemnation of "progressives". At best you get a faint few who say "Well maybe we're going too far", and even then it's very often worded in a way that makes it clear their fear isn't justice and right, but fear of backlash.

Acatus Bensley said...

What is the good if you reject all dogmas both religious and secular? Wouldn't that make you a moral relativist and a Deist? Wouldn't that make your definition of the good contingent on popular opinion or culture?

Tarun Menon said...

What exactly is your objection here?

Do you object to the idea that judges should be banned from belonging to discriminatory groups? This is the policy in 47 states, not all of them progressive havens, so if this is your concern, then your quarrel isn't just with the progressives.

Or do you object specifically to a ban against judges participating in groups that discriminate based on sexual orientation, but not to a ban against groups that discriminate based on race (for instance)? If this is your objection, I'd like to hear your grounds for this distinction.

Or do you object to the characterization of the BSA as a group that discriminates based on sexual orientation? It's worth noting that it is not just homosexual conduct that the BSA disallows, it is homosexual orientation (among employees and scout leaders). Also, the ban doesn't just apply to male homosexuals (where the rationale might be the safety of the boys), but also to lesbians.

Crude said...

Do you object to the idea that judges should be banned from belonging to discriminatory groups?

So long as 'discriminatory groups' is forever defined and redefined in increasingly arbitrary and ridiculous ways, yep. Mozilla demonstrably discriminates against people who hold certain opinions about the morality of same-sex marriage, etc. Let me guess - that kind of discrimination is okay?

In fact, I suppose you support the firing and harassment of people who oppose same-sex marriage, yes? Firing catholics and jews and the like for failing to bend knee at the altar of your choosing - that's the good kind of discrimination, yes?

Or do you object specifically to a ban against judges participating in groups that discriminate based on sexual orientation, but not to a ban against groups that discriminate based on race (for instance)? If this is your objection, I'd like to hear your grounds for this distinction.

Yes, I think that membership in an organization that, say... denies leadership roles to people who openly and avowedly endorse swinging, enjoying rape porn, etc should be regarded as A-OK. You disagree? If so, I'd love to hear your reasoning.

Or do you object to the characterization of the BSA as a group that discriminates based on sexual orientation? It's worth noting that it is not just homosexual conduct that the BSA disallows, it is homosexual orientation (among employees and scout leaders).

From the scout.org website: While the BSA does not proactively inquire about sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.

So no, contrary to your claims, they do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, full stop. They discriminate against 'open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would be a distraction to the mission of the BSA.'

But let's clarify: do you think it would be acceptable for the BSA to allow homosexual scout leaders, so long as they openly declared that while they may be same-sex attracted, they regard same-sex marriage and same-sex sexual activity to be immoral and/or unacceptable?

Tarun Menon said...

Mozilla demonstrably discriminates against people who hold certain opinions about the morality of same-sex marriage, etc. Let me guess - that kind of discrimination is okay?

Yes, it is. But lest you think my criterion for acceptable discrimination is simply "whatever I agree with", let me also say that I think the fact the boy scouts discriminate against atheists is also okay. The kind of discrimination that's not okay, in this particular context (judges' implicit endorsement) is discrimination based on a plausibly innate or immutable trait that has no bearing on one's ability to contribute productively to the organization in question. I don't have a problem with the scouts discriminating on the basis of sexual conduct, but that does not appear to be what they are doing (more on this below).

In fact, I suppose you support the firing and harassment of people who oppose same-sex marriage, yes? Firing catholics and jews and the like for failing to bend knee at the altar of your choosing - that's the good kind of discrimination, yes?

Umm... no?

Yes, I think that membership in an organization that, say... denies leadership roles to people who openly and avowedly endorse swinging, enjoying rape porn, etc should be regarded as A-OK. You disagree?

No, I don't. You're not very good at mind reading.

So no, contrary to your claims, they do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, full stop

"Open homosexual" does not equate to "sexually active homosexual". Someone could be open about their same-sex sexual attraction while still maintaining chastity.

In fact, the BSA itself seems to recognize the distinction. Evidence: their charter explicitly permits openly homosexual members. But their charter also expressly forbids any form of sexual conduct for its members (since they are minors). If "open homosexual" implies sexual activity, then these two rules are in straightforward contradiction.

But let's clarify: do you think it would be acceptable for the BSA to allow homosexual scout leaders, so long as they openly declared that while they may be same-sex attracted, they regard same-sex marriage and same-sex sexual activity to be immoral and/or unacceptable?

Yes, it would. Now it's your turn to clarify: If it is in fact true that the boy scouts discriminate on the basis of orientation, not conduct, is the advisory board's proposal still worthy of ire and condemnation?

Crude said...

Tarun,

The kind of discrimination that's not okay, in this particular context (judges' implicit endorsement) is discrimination based on a plausibly innate or immutable trait that has no bearing on one's ability to contribute productively to the organization in question.

Except what the Boy Scouts discriminate against are people who are not people who simply have same-sex attraction - they discriminate against people who outwardly identify as homosexual and explicitly or implicitly present the acts and inclinations as good, moral, healthy, etc.

Umm... no?

Well, you're already inconsistent, since you already supported Mozilla's decision to fire Eich for his past opposition to same-sex marriage (and this while having a record of boosting support for LGBT people in the company, from what I read.) So there's a problem already.

No, I don't. You're not very good at mind reading.

Considering I asked you a question, rather than said what you believed, you don't seem very good at reading, full stop.

But let's run with that. So even though human beings are born with the desire to have sex with people other than their spouses, an organization is fully within their rights to regard such attraction as negative, and prohibit people who openly proclaim said attraction and celebrate it as a good thing?

If so, it looks like 'being born with an inclination to a particular kind of sexual act' is still something an organization can oppose.

"Open homosexual" does not equate to "sexually active homosexual". Someone could be open about their same-sex sexual attraction while still maintaining chastity.

They sure can, but when the BSA mentions expressly that they do not inquire about the sexual attraction of their members, but they do not grant leadership roles to 'open and avowed homosexuals', it's pretty clear their problem isn't with same-sex attraction per se, but celebration and identification of it.

At the very least, that wording absolutely obscures the conclusion you'd like to draw. And, let's be frank here - the big problem people have with the BSA isn't that they fail to allow leadership roles to chaste homosexuals who regard same-sex sexual behavior as wrong.

Yes, it would.

Wonderful. Then what you're apparently telling me that the judicial advisory board is wrong on this point - since the BSA targets 'open or avowed homosexuals' or people who 'engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.' They don't oppose 'homosexuals', period, which is what you need here.

If it is in fact true that the boy scouts discriminate on the basis of orientation, not conduct, is the advisory board's proposal still worthy of ire and condemnation?

I'd need a concrete example. Should lesbian high school coaches be allowed full access to the changing rooms of teenage schoolgirls? How about heterosexual males?

Tarun Menon said...


Well, you're already inconsistent, since you already supported Mozilla's decision to fire Eich for his past opposition to same-sex marriage (and this while having a record of boosting support for LGBT people in the company, from what I read.) So there's a problem already.


Nope. I said it's okay for Mozilla to do what it did in the particular context we're discussing -- whether judges should be able to participate in the organization. The "okay" there wasn't meant to signal blanket approval, let alone support. There's a huge difference between believing some action is permissible in a particular legal context (or even permissible simpliciter) and endorsing or supporting that action.

I said on the next line that I think the BSA's policy against atheists is also okay, but I definitely don't think it's okay, all things considered. I think it's okay from the standpoint of deciding whether the discrimination is of the type that would justify the sort of ban California is considering.

Considering I asked you a question, rather than said what you believed, you don't seem very good at reading, full stop.

I am quite good at reading. I'm also good at detecting conversational implicature, which is why it was obvious to me you expected a certain answer to that question, different from the answer you actually received. Not every belief needs to be explicitly stated in order to be reliably inferred.

Your previous paragraph, about how you suppose I'm all about firing and harassing my ideological opponents, was a pretty big tip-off.

But let's run with that. So even though human beings are born with the desire to have sex with people other than their spouses, an organization is fully within their rights to regard such attraction as negative, and prohibit people who openly proclaim said attraction and celebrate it as a good thing?

I don't buy that swingers are biologically or neurologically different from non-swingers in relevant respects. I don't think "swinging", the trait that distinguishes the group of swingers from the group of non-swingers, is innate. If polygamy is a tendency shared by all humans, as you suggest, then by definition it's not discrimination to forbid it.

But let's say I grant that swingers have an innate proclivity for swinging. If someone said "I openly admit I would very much like to have sex with multiple women, but I consciously refrain from doing so" I wouldn't think it was okay (again, in this particular context) to fire them on that basis. If they celebrate it, it's a different story, but I already said that it is okay for the BSA to prevent people from celebrating homosexuality while on the job.

Tarun Menon said...

[continued]

They sure can, but when the BSA mentions expressly that they do not inquire about the sexual attraction of their members, but they do not grant leadership roles to 'open and avowed homosexuals', it's pretty clear their problem isn't with same-sex attraction per se, but celebration and identification of it.

The BSA has in the past fired employees not because they were advocating homosexuality to scouts or even openly admitting to homosexuality, but because the BSA acquired information from the person's private life suggesting that the person was gay. Their policy is clearly not "Don't ask, don't tell."

The mere fact that they don't explicitly ask if someone is gay does not even remotely prove that they are unconcerned with orientation. It simply proves that they are concerned about their public image. Adding that question to their application forms would mean even more negative scrutiny than they are currently receiving.

And you haven't addressed the part where the scouts actually permit openly homosexual members. Do you take this to mean that they permit their members to celebrate homosexuality?

Now, it's not obvious to me where exactly the BSA stands on this issue, and it is possible that your interpretation is correct. However, given the prior statements the organization has made about homosexuality and the obscurity of terms like "open" and "avowed", it is not unreasonable to interpret them as discriminating based on orientation.

If this is not in fact what they intend, then they can easily make this explicit, as the Catholic church has done. However, AFAIK they haven't made any clear statement on this to date.

And, let's be frank here - the big problem people have with the BSA isn't that they fail to allow leadership roles to chaste homosexuals who regard same-sex sexual behavior as wrong.

No disagreement there. So are you objecting to the board's advice per se or to the attitude that you (reasonably) infer underlies it? It is possible to consistently object to the latter but not the former.

I'd need a concrete example.

OK. Currently the BSA doesn't hire lesbians. Nor does it allow them to volunteer. Straight women can volunteer and be employed. If in fact this is based on orientation and not action, would the CA SC advisory board's proposal be worthy of ire and condemnation?

This is the last word from me on this, BTW. What started as light procrastination has turned into full-blown "Something is wrong on the internet", and I should disengage so I can get some work done.

Tarun Menon said...

I'm going to make a liar of myself and add one last point before retiring:

To me, "avowed" suggests some form of endorsement or celebration, but "open" does not. "Open" just connotes that the person is publicly honest about their proclivities. And the rules prohibit "open or avowed homosexuals", not "open and avowed homosexuals". The only sort of homosexual person who could apply for a job without violating the letter of the contract would be one who is not only chaste but also completely silent about his/her orientation, not just on the job but everywhere. Basically, a homosexual who cannot possibly be known to be homosexual.

So here's how I'm reading BSA's excuse: "We don't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation itself! We are perfectly willing to accept homosexuals as long as it is impossible for us or anyone else to know that they're homosexuals." Of course, it's just a coincidence that this policy will turn out to be functionally identical to a policy of not accepting homosexuals at all.

Crude said...

Tarun,

Nope. I said it's okay for Mozilla to do what it did in the particular context we're discussing -- whether judges should be able to participate in the organization. The "okay" there wasn't meant to signal blanket approval, let alone support. There's a huge difference between believing some action is permissible in a particular legal context (or even permissible simpliciter) and endorsing or supporting that action.

What I originally asked was this: In fact, I suppose you support the firing and harassment of people who oppose same-sex marriage, yes? Firing catholics and jews and the like for failing to bend knee at the altar of your choosing - that's the good kind of discrimination, yes?

I'd appreciate a straightforward answer to this question, because so far you're coming across to me as trying your damndest to kick up dust and have it both ways. I'm not just asking about legal support, but cultural and personal support.

I am quite good at reading. I'm also good at detecting conversational implicature,

Apparently not, since you're doing a bad job of it here. I even followed that up with an 'if so', just in case you did in fact agree - because it was a question, not a case of mind-reading.

Really, don't try this particular game with me. It's not going to get as far as it may with others.

If they celebrate it, it's a different story, but I already said that it is okay for the BSA to prevent people from celebrating homosexuality while on the job.

Fantastic. So, let's see where we're at here.

The BSA expressly says they don't look into people's personal lives - they are opposed to 'outspoken' homosexuals being in leadership roles. You interpret that as, against their policy, opposing anyone with same-sex attraction being in a leadership role, even if they're celibate and don't broadcast or defend their sexuality. I interpret that as being opposed to 'out and proud' or LGBT activist individuals, with private sexuality being otherwise moot.

I think the judicial advisory board can quite reasonably be inferred as moving against the BSA on the grounds that the BSA opposes the celebration of such acts, or actively living and/or promoting the morality of such a lifestyle. So, let's find some middle ground - the judicial advisory board should clarify their position, and state that there's nothing discriminatory about barring individuals from leadership roles in an organization owing to their public or personal endorsement of same-sex acts, etc. If they're making the move on the grounds I reasonably infer they are, then they are in fact worthy of ire and condemnation.

Sounds fair, eh?

Tarun Menon said...

Responding just to answer questions, not argue further.

What I originally asked was this: In fact, I suppose you support the firing and harassment of people who oppose same-sex marriage, yes? Firing catholics and jews and the like for failing to bend knee at the altar of your choosing - that's the good kind of discrimination, yes?

I'd appreciate a straightforward answer to this question, because so far you're coming across to me as trying your damndest to kick up dust and have it both ways. I'm not just asking about legal support, but cultural and personal support.


I reiterate my original answer: No, I do not support those things. To be even more explicit: I don't think firing Eich was a wise or just decision. I don't think the BSA's stance on homosexuality is wise or just, even if it is interpreted purely as forbidding homosexual activity. However, if it is interpreted that way, I don't think there should be a legal barrier to judges participating in the BSA. Similarly for Mozilla.

I think the judicial advisory board can quite reasonably be inferred as moving against the BSA on the grounds that the BSA opposes the celebration of such acts, or actively living and/or promoting the morality of such a lifestyle. So, let's find some middle ground - the judicial advisory board should clarify their position, and state that there's nothing discriminatory about barring individuals from leadership roles in an organization owing to their public or personal endorsement of same-sex acts, etc. If they're making the move on the grounds I reasonably infer they are, then they are in fact worthy of ire and condemnation.

Sounds fair, eh?


Agreed, with the added proviso that it is also incumbent on the BSA to be more explicit about their position, if it is as you state. I think my interpretation is the more reasonable one, and for that reason place more blame for the misunderstanding (if there is one) on the BSA than the advisory council.

Crude said...

Tarun,

The BSA has in the past fired employees not because they were advocating homosexuality to scouts or even openly admitting to homosexuality, but because the BSA acquired information from the person's private life suggesting that the person was gay. Their policy is clearly not "Don't ask, don't tell."

I'd have to know when and under what circumstances this has happened before that has even the beginning of a chance to influence my view.

The mere fact that they don't explicitly ask if someone is gay does not even remotely prove that they are unconcerned with orientation.

The fact that they explicitly say they don't inquire into such and that their standard is outward identification, from a policy perspective, suggests otherwise.

If this is not in fact what they intend, then they can easily make this explicit, as the Catholic church has done. However, AFAIK they haven't made any clear statement on this to date.

Nor has the court, for that matter.

And you haven't addressed the part where the scouts actually permit openly homosexual members. Do you take this to mean that they permit their members to celebrate homosexuality?

Their standards pretty much say that kids are confused about right or wrong and need direction, so yeah, I'm guessing kids get more leeway on this front.

OK. Currently the BSA doesn't hire lesbians. Nor does it allow them to volunteer. Straight women can volunteer and be employed. If in fact this is based on orientation and not action, would the CA SC advisory board's proposal be worthy of ire and condemnation?

It's deserving of the exact same amount of ire and condemnation with which Eich's firing was met, or the fining and persecution of people whose big crime is not wanting to bake a cake for a gay wedding after it's requested by some nasty, petty bullies intentionally spoiling for a fight.

Ideally? I think discrimination based on orientation alone is a bad thing. I have argued against it. Practically? The climate is becoming a warzone, and progressives can be thanked for that.