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    Several people have sent e-mails regarding books on the subject of BSA and it's exclusionary membership policies. This page has been added and lists a few of the books that can be found on this subject.
      In addition to books, there are some videos that are related to this subject, so they're noted below.

415Sv8nuG+L._SL500_AA300_Discrimination Against Athiests: A New Legal Hierarchy Among Religious Beliefs
by Nina Weiler-Harwell

Weiler-Harwell examines continuing, legal, discrimination against atheists, as made clear in two cases: Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000) and Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow (2004). These rulings created a new, discriminatory level of distinction for believers versus non-believers that is ahistorical in light of previous Supreme Court precedent. Both cases created new standards for analyzing equality under the law for non-conformists such as atheists, shaping a new hierarchy of protected and unprotected forms of religious belief. The new judicial standards elevate monotheistic religious belief over the neutrality standard that had been heralded in prior Supreme Court decisions and create a kind of American Civil Religion.

38083975Right to Discriminate?: How the Case of Boy Scouts of America V. James Dale Warped the Law of Free Association
by Andrew Koppelman and, Tobias Barrington Wolff

Should the Boy Scouts of America and other noncommercial associations have a right to discriminate when selecting their members?

Does the state have a legitimate interest in regulating the membership practices of private associations? These questions-- raised by Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Scouts had a right to expel gay members-- are at the core of this provocative book, an in -depth exploration of the tension between freedom of association and antidiscrimination law.

The book demonstrates that the "right" to discriminate has a long and unpleasant history. Andrew Koppelman and Tobias Wolff bring together legal history, constitutional theory, and political philosophy to analyze how the law ought to deal with discriminatory private organizations.

Click here to buy this book from Amazon.comMaking American Boys: Boyology and the Feral Tale
by Kenneth B. Kidd

Will boys be boys? What are little boys made of? Kenneth B. Kidd responds to these familiar questions with a thorough review of boy culture in America since the late nineteenth century. From the "boy work" promoted by character-building organizations such as Scouting and 4-H to current therapeutic and pop psychological obsessions with children's self-esteem, Kidd presents the great variety of cultural influences on the changing notion of boyhood.

Kidd finds that the education and supervision of boys in the United States have been shaped by the collaboration of two seemingly conflictive approaches. In 1916, Henry William Gibson, a leader of the YMCA, created the term boyology, which came to refer to professional writing about the biological and social development of boys. At the same time, the feral tale, with its roots in myth and folklore, emphasized boys' wild nature, epitomized by such classic protagonists as Mowgli in The Jungle Books and Huck Finn. From the tension between these two perspectives evolved society's perception of what makes a "good boy": from the responsible son asserting his independence from his father in the late 1800s, to the idealized, sexually confident, and psychologically healthy youth of today. The image of the savage child, raised by wolves, has been tamed and transformed into a model of white, middle-class masculinity.

Analyzing icons of boyhood and maleness from Father Flanagan's Boys Town and Max in Where the Wild Things Are to Elián González and even Michael Jackson, Kidd surveys films, psychoanalytic case studies, parenting manuals, historical accounts of the discoveries of "wolf-boys," and self-help books to provide a rigorous history of what it has meant to be an all-American boy.

Click here to but the bookScouting For Boys: The Original 1908 Edition
by Robert Baden-Powell

     A startling amalgam of Zulu war-cry and Sherlock Holmes, of practical tips on health and hygiene and object lessons in woodcraft, Scouting for Boys (1908) is the original blueprint and inspiration for the Boy Scout Movement. An all-time bestseller in the English-speaking world, second in its heyday only to the Bible, it is one of the most influential manuals for youth ever published, known and loved around the world.
     Including all of Baden-Powell's original illustrations, this new critical edition of Scouting for Boys serves up a wonderful hodge-podge of true crime stories, stern moralizing, stock adventure tales, natural history, first-aid tips, advice on observation and tracking, and much more. Readers will find a roughly composed pastiche of jingoist lore and tracker legend, padded with lengthy quotations from adventure fiction--from Rudyard Kipling and James Fenimore Cooper, to Alexander Dumas and Arthur Conan Doyle--and seamed through with the multiple anxieties of its time: fears of degeneration ('the fall of the Roman empire was due to bad citizenship') and a constant worry over imminent war. Alongside practical instructions on how to light fires, build a boat, or stalk animals (or men), it includes sections on chivalry, self-discipline, self-improvement, and citizenship. Indeed, the book brims with Baden-Powell's philosophy of life, one that replaces self with service, puts country before the individual, and duty above all. The introduction by Elleke Boehmer illuminates the book's maverick complexity and her notes clarify obscure references. Though almost a century old, Scouting for Boys continues to fascinate, surprise, and motivate readers today. It will delight anyone interested in popular culture, Victorian history, and literature for children.

Click here to buy this book from Amazon.comScout's Honor: A Father's Unlikely Foray into the Woods. Peter Applebome, May 2003. Harcourt.

"New York Times writer and author Applebome (Dixie Rising) turns from the political to the personal as he recounts his adventures over three years as a Scoutmaster for his son's Boy Scout troop in suburban New York. A "committed indoorsman" who was turned off by the "dorky superfluity" of scouting during his own baby boomer childhood, he "soon found himself sucked in to Scouting" and "the way that it brought kids and dads together in a totally noncompetitive way." This engaging book moves back and forth among three narrative strands. Applebome gives a loving and often amusing description of his son's scouting adventures, "one part Braveheart and one part Lord of the Flies." He provides an excellent short history of the Boy Scouts, from the Edwardian roots of its first leader, the "astoundingly complex" British war hero and "repressed homosexual" Lord Robert Baden-Powell, to its current enrollment decline. He also discusses the institutional scouting policy that bans gays from being members, a position successfully defended before the Supreme Court. Applebome struggles with the tension between the right of free association and the "threadbare" logic of the Scout position. But while he disagrees with the ban, he too easily dismisses it as having "minimal real-world implications," not fully acknowledging that the wonderfulness of this "unexpected vehicle to share [his] son's youth" is something that the Boy Scout organization openly denies to parents with gay children.-- son's youth" is something that the Boy Scout organization openly denies to parents with gay children. " Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Click here to buy this book from Amazon.comOn My Honor: Boy Scouts and the Making of American Youth. Jay Mechling, September 2001. U of Chicago Press

A timely contribution to current debates over the psychology of boys and the construction of their social lives, On My Honor explores the folk customs of adolescent young men in the Boy Scouts of America during a summer encampment in California's Sierra Nevada. Based on more than twenty years of research and extensive visits and interviews with members of a single troop, Mechling uncovers the key rituals and play events through which the Boy Scouts shapes boys into men. He describes the campfire songs, initiation rites, games, and activities they use to mold the scouts into responsible adults. The themes of honor and character alternate in this new study as we witness troop leaders offering examples in structure, discipline, and guidance, and teaching Scouts the difficult balance between freedom and self-control. What results is a probing look into the inner lives of adolescent boys in our culture and their rocky transition into manhood. On My Honor provides a provocative, sometimes shocking glimpse into the sexual awakening and moral development of young men coming to grips with their nascent desires, their innate aggressions, their inclination toward peer pressure and violence, and their social acculturation.

On My Honor ultimately shows how the Boy Scouts of America continues to edify and mentor young men against the backdrop of controversies over freedom of religious expression, homosexuality, and the proposed inclusion of female members. While the organization's bureaucracy has taken an unyielding stance against gay men and atheists, real live Scouts are often more open to plurality than we might assume. In their embrace of tolerance, acceptance, and understanding, then, troop leaders at the local level have the power to shape boys into emotionally mature men.

Click here to buy this book from Amazon.comBaden-Powell
by Tim Jeal

"Teal explores in considerable depth Baden-Powell's . . . relationships with boys, men, young girls and the designing women who would have been his wife. . . . Mr. Jeal comes to the not unsurprising conclusion that Baden-Powell was a suppressed homosexual. . . . This is a sympathetic though not uncritical study. . . . Mr. Jeal brilliantly illuminates the many borrowings, only some acknowledged, that lay behind the creation of the Boy Scouts. . . . {However, he} might have sacrificed some of the minute details of Balden-Powell's life for greater insight into the social and cultural climate of Edwardian Britain that made the emergence of the Scouting movement inevitable. . . . Balden-Powell is a fascinating character who is well served by his new biographer, but oversized studies of men who are less than giants require additional justification." From Zara Steiner - The New York Times Book Review

"Hero of the Boer War siege of Mafeking, founder of the Boy Scouts, and a leading British advocate of what Teddy Roosevelt called the ``strenuous life,'' Lord Baden-Powell long has needed a careful, deeply researched biography. This is especially true given the rumors of homosexuality, suggestions that he pilfered most of his scouting ideas from Ernest Thomson Seton, and general exercises in iconoclasm which have surrounded Baden-Powell's career in recent years. Of course, Jeal is no stranger to the ranks of idol breakers, as his widely acclaimed life of Dr. David Livingstone showed ( Livingstone , LJ 11/1/73). He brings the same talents which made that biography a hit to the present work, and the result is a balanced, definitive assessment which so far transcends previous treatments as to make them almost meaningless. This becomes the life of Baden-Powell, and it belongs on the shelves of every library, public and academic.-- James A. Casada, Winthrop Coll., Rock Hill, S . C.

"Jeal aims for impartiality and splendidly fails. His Baden-Powell is a wire-walker who sprints dizzily over gulfs of contradictions, and the author's sympathy for what propels him, coupled with admiration for his nerve, is plain and understandable. Starved of love by his mother, . . . Baden-Powell's entire life was an attempt to reclaim his lost childhood. . . . Jeal refutes charges made by earlier detractors (notably Brian Gardner, Michael Rosenthal and Thomas Pakenham) that Baden-Powell was racist and that he stole the blacks' food to sell on a white market and points to the irrefutable fact that the nation's hero was also a hero to his men. . . . The story that Tim Jeal has to tell is epic, funny and touching. Somehow it misses being inspirational, but the fashion in heroes has changed and Baden-Powell is--temporarily perhaps--in the wrong historical compartment." From Philip Oakes - New Statesman & Society

Click here to buy this book from Amazon.comTake the Young Stranger by the Hand: Same-Sex Relations and the YMCA (Chicago Series on Sexuality, History, and Society)
by John Donald Gustav-Wrathall

Why is this book listed here? Because the very first BSA Scout Executive was really a YMCA professional. Many of the original men involved with BSA were also Y-men.

There are two decidedly different images of the YMCA and its contributions to the lives of young men alone in the city, set adrift from hearth and home. Although it positions itself as a stabilizing moral force, it also has a reputation for housing unregulated gay male sexual activity. In Take the Young Stranger by the Hand, John Donald Gustav-Wrathall performs a fascinating and entertaining analysis that reveals these contradictory traditions as so intertwined historically and socially as to be inevitable.

Founded in the mid-19th century, the YMCA fostered close, spiritually sustaining relationships between young men. By the century's end the "Y," as it became known, had implemented a wide-scale program of physical exercise and sex education, in part to combat the increasingly visible specter of physical intimacy between men. But this emphasis on the perfected male body only increased the institution's reputation as a haven for homosexuality. Drawing upon diverse sources, including YMCA records, social histories, urban and economic studies, "physical culture" physique magazines, and gay memoirs, Gustav-Wrathall explicates not only the hidden sexual subtexts of the Y's social history but examines how changing attitudes about sexuality, male friendship, gender, marriage, and privacy all contributed to shaping the nature and both the overt and covert purpose of the organization. Take the Young Stranger by the Hand is a highly readable addition to the ever-growing body of gay history and theory. --Michael Bronski

Click here to buy this book from Amazon.comScout's Honor: Sexual Abuse in America's Most Trusted Institution
by Patrick Boyle

Boyle puts a human face on sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts by placing one offender's story at the center of his report. Now imprisoned for his second Scout-abuse conviction, Carl Bittenbender's a nice guy, not gay (boy -molesters usually aren't, Boyle says), "good" with kids; he fits the profile for scoutmaster--and, unfortunately, also for the typical boy-molester. Skilled at conning others and himself (he knows molestation is wrong), he's pitiable, even forgivable. But not trustworthy. Boyle demonstrates that the Boy Scouts' national organization knew about Bittenbender and his ilk since it has kept files on sex offenders among scouting volunteers for decades. But it largely ignored them, never using them systematically to help local scouting officers screen prospective volunteers. Until Bittenbender's and other cases exploded in the press during the 1980s, that is, since when it has done nearly everything--short of admitting to molestation troubles from scouting's beginnings--to correct its neglect. An absorbing, admirably evenhanded treatment of one of those things nobody wants to talk about--which, of course, is a large part of the problem.

Click here to buy this book from Amazon.comBuilding Character in the American Boy: The Boy Scouts, YMCA, and Their Forerunners, 1870-1920
by David I. MacLeod

"Steady and sober, this exhaustive history of the Boy Scouts of America and the Y.M.C.A. suffers from some of the unexciting virtues of an ideal scout. But bear with it. David I. MacLeod has an interesting story to tell about the evolution of service organizations for boys and about middle-class ideals of manliness." From Wendy Kaminer - The New York Times Book Review

"The study is thoroughly documented from the author's inspection of Scout records and publications, manuscript collections, child psychology studies, dissertations, and other secondary works. Informative statistical tables enable readers to evaluate interpretations regarding middle-class influence in Scout and YMCA programs. Avoiding the smarmy froth of many popular treatments of the Scouts, MacLeod presents a tough-minded and critical analysis of an important, yet neglected, topic deserving a wide audience among social historians." From Allan Whitmore - The Journal of American History

Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example
by D. Michael Quinn

Winner of the Herbert Feis Award from the American Historical Association and named one of the best religion books of the year by Publishers Weekly, D. Michael Quinn's Same-Sex Dynamics among Nineteenth-Century Americans has elicited critical acclaim as well as controversy. Using Mormonism as a case study of the extent of early America's acceptance of same-sex intimacy, Quinn examines several examples of long-term relationships among Mormon same-sex couples and the environment in which they flourished before the onset of homophobia in the late 1950s. Who could have possibly imagined the tolerance with which same-sex relationships were accepted by the Mormon Church, as recently as the 1940s? Quinn carefully sets the theoretical parameters of his work in the first chapters and then demonstrates, with thorough documentation, several examples of long-term relationships among Mormon same-sex couples and the environment in which they flourished. His extraordinary accomplishment is especially notable for the subtlety of his claims and the nuanced interpretation he gives them, all supported by exhaustive documentation.

Click here to buy this book from Amazon.comOn My Honor: Lesbians Reflect on Their Scouting Experience
by Nancy Manahan (Editor)

This groundbreaking book is filled with funny, tender, inspiring and occasionally painful memories. Whether you're straight, gay, a former scout or just know one, you'll find this a stirring testimony to what lesbians have contributed to and received from Girl Scouting. Read and remember the thrill of discovering strong women working and playing together. 50 b&w photos.


FIRST AMENDMENT in the 21st Century - Boy Scouts of America v. Dale: The Gay Scoutmaster Case

30 minutes, color, DVD, Closed Captions , Spanish Subtitles

Boy Scouts of America v Dale presents an interesting clash between the First Amendment right - the freedom of association - and the State's compelling interest in eradicating discrimination based on sexual orientation. And it is that clash between freedom of association and an anti-discrimination law that made this decision so close, and deeply divided the country. Guided by the nation's top First Amendment scholars, this program brings into focus a critical First Amendment issue in the technological world of the 21st century.

Click here to orderKampvuur (Campfire)
35 mm, color, 2000, 21 minutes, Dutch (flemish) dialogues, fr.&eng. subtitles

Camp-fire witnesses desire and denial in a tale of unrequited love in a boy scout's heaven. When the 18 year-old Tijl is forced to choose between his girlfriend Ineke and his best friend Wout, their camping trip turns into a tension-filled journey of self-discovery. Playing truth or dare by the fire confronts the protagonists with some important choices. This particular short film is being shown in children (aged 12-18) in Belgium schools, to discuss tolerance towards lesbian and gay people.

Available in a compilation DVD, with four other short films by Bavo Defurne: Saint, Particularly Now, In Spring, Sailor

Click here to orderScout's Honor
60 minutes, color, VHS, English

This documentary film "traces the conflict between the anti-gay policies of the Boy Scouts of America and the broad-based movement by many of its members to overturn them. The story is told predominantly through the experiences of a 13-year old boy and a 70-year-old man - both heterosexual, both dedicated to the Scouts, and both determined to change the course of Scouting history. Their challenge is being waged in their hometown of Petaluma, California - a place more familiar with agriculture than activism. Yet it is here where they have begun an international grassroots petition drive and media campaign to overturn the BSA's anti-gay policy. In 1998, they formalized their movement into an organization called Scouting for All.

click here to order

78 minutes, color, VHS;16mm, 1996

Created by Academy Award-winning director Debra Chasnoff and producer Helen S. Cohen, IT'S ELEMENTARY: Talking About Gay Issues In School, is a highly acclaimed film shot in first through eighth grade classrooms across the United States. The film, intended for an adult audience, is a window into what really happens when educators address gay issues with their students in age-appropriate ways.

With surprisingly funny and moving footage, IT'S ELEMENTARY demystifies what it means to talk with kids about gay people. The film makes a compelling argument that anti-gay prejudice and violence can be prevented if children have an opportunity to have these discussions when they're young.

Released in 1996, IT'S ELEMENTARY has won numerous awards for excellence, been acquired by nearly 2000 educational institutions, and has received widespread acclaim from educators, policy makers, parents and religious leaders. Not surprisingly, IT'S ELEMENTARY has also been relentlessly condemned by the religious right.

Click here to order video

60 Minutes (April 1, 2001 episode; Segment title - Boy Scouts: No Gays Allowed.)

This episode of CBS' "60 Minutes" reviewed the quasi-military BSA arguments against gay scoutmasters and whether there was a "common sense" concern over pedophilia, which CBS refuted with the FBI statistic that three times as many crimes against underage boys are committed by heterosexually married men as by single men identifying as "gay."

For an excerpted transcript of this episode, click here.

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