BSA Revises Scout Law

“A Scout is Hypocritical” is the new thirteenth point of the Scout Law. That’s the only logical conclusion from this week’s vote that opens membership to gay youth, but leaves in place a ban on gay adult leaders.

The Chief Scout Executive has called lifting the ban on gay youth a step that is “compassionate, caring and kind.” If that’s true, then leaving in place the ban on gay leaders must be exactly the opposite: callous, hard-hearted and cruel.

As an Eagle Scout and a former Scoutmaster who is gay, and a man who holds dear the values instilled in his Scouting days, I find this “compromise” odious and intolerable.

Before this decision, the BSA could at least argue they were taking a principled stand based on dearly-held institutional values. We could disagree on that stand, but it was reasonable position. They held that being gay was inconsistent with the Scout Oath’s promise to be “morally straight.” They were within their rights to interpret their own teachings that way.

Now what? Now they are employing situational ethics to justify discrimination on one hand, while practicing inclusion on the other. Now the BSA now speak with forked tongue. The very definition of hypocrisy.

What are troop leaders to do when this topic arises in troop meetings, as it surely will? What’s the lesson for the boys? How does one relate this move to the values one is trying to instill? What’s the takeaway? It’s OK to employ double-standards?

And what’s the message for the now-accepted gay youth? You’re going through a phase? It’s OK to be a gay teen, but you’d better get your act together by the time you turn 18, or you’re out?

Usually, I’m a fan of incremental change, but this is a mess of epic proportions.

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New Year’s Day 5K

committedAs an outgrowth of my personal fitness journey over the past year, I decided to participate in the Commitment Day 5K organized by Lifetime Fitness. The event was originally scheduled to take place in downtown San Antonio, kicking off at the relatively civilized hour of 10:00 a.m., rather than a typical early morning start for such an event. A wise move, I thought, to encourage broader participation on the morning after most folks stay up past midnight to ring in the new year. I signed up and convinced a few friends to join me.

Read more about Commitment Day, details about my personal fitness journey, and some thoughts on the obesity problem we face in a blog post I wrote for the Rivard Report.

STDTSAWhen event organizers announced that they were moving the event 16 miles north — outside the 1604 — with a new starting time of 8:30 a.m., we were frustrated and disinclined to participate. Registration for the event opened at 6:30 a.m.! On New Year’s morning? Uh, no. Still committed to the idea of kicking off our New Year’s resolutions on January 1st, however, we decided instead to organize a walk of our own in Southtown and downtown. We dubbed it the “Southtown/Downtown SA New Year’s Day 5K.” (Notice the lyrical, rhyming quality of the name?)  Continue reading

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BSA’s LGBT Ban by the Numbers

For those wondering what’s behind the BSA’s continuing ban on LGBT folks, here are some numbers to consider. Bear in mind that the organizations that sponsor the most troops and/or have the greatest enrollment of Scouts exert great influence over national policy.

According to the “2011 Boy Scouts of America Local Council Index,” as of December 31, 2011, 55% of Boy Scouts were registered to a troop chartered by one of the top six faith-based institutional* sponsors of Scouting: Continue reading

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An Open Letter to BSA National Leadership

Ladies and Gentlemen:

As an Eagle Scout, the BSA’s continuing ban on the membership of gay and lesbian Scouts and Scouters saddens me beyond measure. The BSA’s position on this matter is a clear violation of its own Declaration of Religious Principles, in which it states that “it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward … religious training.”

In light of this declaration, how does the BSA reconcile its policy with the teachings of those religious institutions that are welcoming and affirming of all people, including LGBT folk? What of the Scout that belongs to a Unitarian Universalist Church? Or a Presbyterian Church? The Episcopal Church is welcoming and affirming, as is the United Church of Christ. Among the many other welcoming and affirming Christian denominations, there’s even an Association of Welcome and Affirming Baptists. Reform and Reconstructionist Jewish Congregations are accepting of LGBT folk, as are many religions outside the Judeo-Christian tradition. What are the Scouts that belong to any of these churches or religions to make of this policy, which stands in stark contradiction to the teachings of their faiths?  Continue reading

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San Antonio’s Connecticut Connection

Moses Austin Statue

Statue of Moses Austin at San Antonio City Hall

When visiting San Antonio’s City Hall, one finds a statue of Moses Austin on the gounds there, across the way from the Spanish Governor’s Palace. Moses Austin is a native Connecticut son, born in Durham, Connecticut in 1761. His life’s path took him from Connecticut to Philadelphia to Richmond, Virginia and then to Wythe County, Virginia. After his business there failed, he led the first English American settlement west of the Mississippi, in Missouri.

In 1821, Moses Austin won the first contract to colonize Spanish Texas from Governor Antonio María Martînez, but died before he could carry out his plan. His son, Stephen F. Austin, inherited the contract and carried out his father’s plan, thus becoming “The Father of Texas.” The Austin family name, of course, graces the state’s capital city, and appears in many other place names and institutional names across the state.

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The Monterey Offers Epic, Eclectic Eats, Beers, Wines & Sake!

The Monty exterior shot

The Monty exterior. Click for more detail.

This post is so overdue it’s not funny. Waaaaay back in March, thepixelarchitect and I discovered a true gem on the San Antonio foodie scene when we went to The Monterey (Facebook | Twitter | Yelp) for Sunday brunch. We went back three more times in the first week! Since then we’ve become regulars, showing up there about once or twice a week. Luckily, it’s only a few blocks from our house.

To some extent, reviewing the actual individual dishes is pointless, because the menu is ever changing and evolving. A new menu is published every Wednesday. What you need to know is that all of the dishes are very creative, with surprising combinations offering sensational taste experiences! Continue reading

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SA Cocktail Conference is coming! Be there or be Square!

San Antonio Cocktail ConferenceThe folks over at the Bar at Bohanan’s are organizing the first-ever San Antonio Cocktail Conference, set to take place January 26-29, 2012. Ocho Lounge at the Havana, Soho Wine and Martini Bar, and Rio San Antonio Cruises are co-sponsors. The three bars, along with the Esquire Tavern will serve as a venues for conference events. (Personally, I’d like to see Bar du Mon Ami in the mix. Hint, hint!)

Yesterday, Jennifer McInnis of the Express-News reported about the conference on MySA.com: Continue reading

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Top Chef Mania Hits San Antonio!

Top Chef logoMySA is reporting that Bravo director of communications Tory Brody has confirmed that “a large percentage [of Top Chef's next season] will be in San Antonio.” In fact, the season is focusing on Texas, not just San Antonio, with filming also having taken place in Austin and Dallas. Of course, San Antonio foodies have known this for weeks, as there have been repeated sightings of various Top Chef glitterati around town. I have had two brushes with the cast. Last Sunday while having brunch at The Monterey, thepixelarchitect and I walked right past regular judge Gail Simmons and her husband dining al fresco and trying the breakfast casserole — an excellent choice.

But there’s more! Those of you who follow me on Facebook got live updates of a much more exciting encounter that livened my morning last Thursday. Herewith is the full tale in all its glory . . . Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Food, General, King William, Lavaca, San Antonio, Southtown | 2 Comments

Summer Lovin’ in San Antonio

This week's forecast.

This week's forecast.

As summer speeds by, I’m struck by how livable the weather has been, despite consistent temperatures in the high 90s and low 100s. We have yet to experience any real humidity — perhaps because we’re in the midst of one of the worst droughts in Texas history — so that has made the high temps much more bearable. (“But it’s a DRY heat!”) And, of course, everything is air-conditioned. I’ve even experienced air conditioning in an outdoor space!

One of the benefits of hot (dry) summer weather is the beautiful warm summer evenings. San Antonio is blessed with some great breezes. Passing some time on an outdoor river-side patio or at our local outdoor icehouse on a warm, breezy summer evening is a lovely experience. Especially with a nice cold beer or sangria at hand.

Of course, things can always get worse. August lies ahead, and we’re told that San Antonio in August is like Paris in July — everone (who can) leaves! We shall see. Stay tuned!

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Bitter Brown Coffee — What To Do?

I don’t typically write about politics here on Texas Yankee. This is the first such post, and while I can’t say it will never happen again, I don’t anticipate doing so very often.

On Friday, New York passed its historic marriage equality legislation, becoming the sixth and largest state — plus the District of Columbia — to open the institution of marriage to same-sex couples.

While much of the population was celebrating this step forward in our nation’s ever-advancing civil rights struggle, the folks over at San Antonio’s own Brown Coffee Company were taking to Twitter with apparent bitterness, tweeting the following:

BrownCoffeeCo No human law can ever legitimize what natural law precludes #SorryFolks #NotEqual #WhyBother #ChasingAfterTheWind #SelfEvident.

The tweet itself was bad enough, but the string of nasty hashtags following it made things ever so much worse. Continue reading

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