Re: University Park Father Gets Booted as Popcorn Sales Volunteer

Listen to Jon Langbert today at 12:20 0n KRLD 1080 with Mitch Carr and Scott Bradock.

UPDATE: Also, tune in to see Jon Langbert tonight on WFAA’s 5:00 news with Debbie Denmon.

UPDATE 2: Also see Jon Langbert on FOX (live) at 9:00 and CBS at 10:00. NBC, you on vacay?

35 thoughts on “Re: University Park Father Gets Booted as Popcorn Sales Volunteer

  • October 18, 2010 at 12:57 pm
    Permalink

    Just got finished listening to Jon. I need to know what he means when he says that the scouts are saying that “We are not morally straight”. Are those the words the scouts are using to describe Jon and his son? Or is that the words he is using to describe the situation? Because I’m thinking the “not morally straight” designation (in BSA speak) would only be applied to him. Why would he include his son in that designation? Is that what he is teaching his kid? That because the BSA calls him “not morally straight” that must mean he (his son) is not morally straight? An a=b and b=c than a=c analogy? Whoever is using the designation should be appalled at bringing the child into this situation in that manner. Whether it is the BSA or Jon it is completely inappropriate.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 1:06 pm
    Permalink

    @James Tucker- I thought Langbert did an excellent job discussing (for the first time in any public way, though he has been contacted by several news organizations so stay tuned) a difficult and very emotional topic. I do not believe he meant what you’re implying. He was referring throughout the interview to the “out of touch” nature of the BSA’s rule and how it will impact his son. I think you’re taking a much too literal approach with your question. But to answer it: He meant that he and his son are distraught and that the BSA rule hurts the kids too.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 1:28 pm
    Permalink

    Merritt, words have meaning. I am not taking the wording of his last comment too literal. Either the BSA is lumping Jon’s son in with his sexual orientation and Jon is parroting their statements or Jon is. Either way it is highly inappropriate to do this to a 4th grader. Don’t spin what is being said because you want a specific outcome to this story.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 1:42 pm
    Permalink

    Yes, this whole situation is “highly inappropriate” to do to a 4th grader.

    Maybe the dads who started this problem should have thought about that before they decided it was their moral mission to prevent Mr. Langbert from volunteering with his son’s Boy Scouts group.

    Continuing to blame Mr. Langbert for just being a dad who participates in his kids’ lives is off base, Mr. Tucker.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm
    Permalink

    OMG! This is ONLY about the fact that Jon is gay. How ridiculous! That is the reason the non-volunteer dads reported him and had him removed. Not because of the job he did. Not because of the kind of neighbor he is. Not because of the kind of parent he is. They had him removed because he is gay and that made THEM uncomfortable. It’s wrong of the people who had him removed, including the BSA. I think we need to focus more on the bigotry and less on Jon. He’s gay. So what? We might not be able to change the BSA, but we can certainly teach our children tolerance and kindness. We should model tolerance and kindness, even if our views are different from Jon’s. And this does involve Jon’s son. Jon being gay and a single father defines their family dynamics. That makes their family unique and different from many in the Park Cities, but it certainly doesn’t make them wrong.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm
    Permalink

    @Eloise,

    I haven’t blamed Jon for this situation. In any of my posts. I just think his responses to this situation are the most important responses for his kids. He has to decide how he is going to handle it. High road or low road.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm
    Permalink

    @ James: “Don’t spin what is being said because you want a specific outcome to this story.”

    You may want to look in the mirror, that statement fits you…

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm
    Permalink

    I’m concerned about Mr. Lambert taking time and money away from our school district in a difficult economy to push his own personal agenda. Any litigation he threatens will take education dollars out of his son’s future. HPISD does not equal BSA. If your beef is with BSA, hey quit. We did. What about his girls? Maybe it’s time he spend time volunteering with their groups. The best thing is to eliminate that which is stressful and not postivie and focus on the good you can do here an dnow.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm
    Permalink

    @D, My outcome is healthy well adjusted kids doing what they want in one of the greatest places for kids to live. What is yours?

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 4:41 pm
    Permalink

    What happened to this James Tucker, a little rightwing but tolerant of the diverse views of our community? He was even making another poster feel good about the diversity of our neighborhood. I miss him.

    James Tucker @ March 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm
    @AD, I saw my first Obama for pres sticker on a brand new S500 sedan at Germany Park in April of ‘07. Both Merritt and Charles (God bless you all in advance) played out their Hillary Vs. Obama political gun fight on these pages. As soon as Charles put up his “Obama for President” yard sign, dozens more went up. Wick Allison, the publisher of this newspaper and D Magazine, wrote an editorial endorsing Obama that was published in the latter and linked to the former. There are plenty of trial lawyers in this town that have always embraced the democrat agenda. We live in a very diverse community.

    AD @ March 26, 2010 at 5:58 pm
    @james tucker

    Thanks for the information. I do feel better about the diversity of the area. I guess the other more conservative side just stands out.

    Source: http://www.parkcitiespeople.com/2010/03/24/biden-bound-for-hp/

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm
    Permalink

    @Sharpay, Thanks for the prop, I think? I don’t know what exactly you point is though. Diversity is about differing opinions and the fact we can have them and not de-volve into tribalism. It isn’t about homogeneity where we all have the same opinion. I think you have been reading the posts of the likes of @Seriously who has written in his own words about what I am saying…which was wrong. Some have accused me intolerance…I ask them to show me that in my posts. Some have said that I thought Jon should move, which is another lie. Nope Sharpay, the problem is I’m not toeing the majority line of “Bad BSA, Bad HPISD” and I’m not treating Jon like a victim.

    I will continue to say that there has to be some good parenting skills there if he has gotten them to 4th grade. So he needs to stop thinking of Jon and keep on thinking of his kids. It’s the main thing. And the main thing is the main thing and nothing else should come first even his feelings. Because it will probably get worse as they get older. We know this because we have or are parenting teenagers and know it gets worse even in the best of families.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm
    Permalink

    @boysmom, I think it’s unfair to say Jon is taking “time & money away from our school district in a difficult economy to push his own personal agenda.” Remember, Jon didn’t start this issue; he’s been a part of this Cub Scout pack for 2 years and it’s actually a couple of homophobic dads who are pushing THEIR own personal agenda by going to the local leader to complain about it. I also don’t understand your point. All Jon wants to do is have the HPISD schools turn away from a discriminatory policy. The pack can meet in churches or private homes, instead. The city of Philadelphia did exactly the same thing in 2008, based on this same policy, when they evicted the local Scouts from a rent-free building unless they were willing to admit homosexual members. I agree that our school district shouldn’t be subsidizing bigotry. I’m sure if the Scouts membership policy excluded Jews or persons of color, you’d be appalled. I really don’t know how this is any different.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks for sharing this, Merritt. I read an article in Dallas Morning News & Philanthropy Today that a donation in the amount of $25M was made to the Boy Scouts by Dallas oilman, Trever Reese-Jones. Maybe, just maybe, a donation of that size can be used for creating an “awareness” program WITHIN the boy scouts. These rules are archaic.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm
    Permalink

    To recap:

    A dad, who is openly homosexual, enrolls his son in an organization that has a rule the prevents dad’s service as an adult leader, a rule which was created almost 20 years before the dad joined the organization. The local branch mistakenly allowed dad to serve as an adult leader (where he apparently did a good job) until the national organization learned of the mistake and enforced it’s rule. Dad was precluded from serving as a leader. He was not, nor was his son, barred from the organization.

    Dad contacts his good friend, a columnist at the local paper, and threatens to pursue the matter, despite the fact the the US Supreme Court 1)upheld the organization’s right to preclude him as a leader (a ruling that was issued 10 years ago), and 2) upheld the organization’s right to use public facilities for it’s meetings.

    Scorn is heaped upon BSA, for having the audacity to make it’s own rules, HPISD, for following the law of the land, University Park, because a couple of dads requested that the organization’s rules be applied and enforced, and any who disagree with the dad in question.

    That about sums it up, right? While you think about it, I’ll go set my TIVO to catch Mr. Langbert’s 4th (or is it the 5th?) appearance of the day in/on the local media.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm
    Permalink

    @ James,

    More spin from you. The outcome that YOU want is to make Jon’s response to this incident to become the story, and not the BSA or HPISD.

    But to your point, the outcome that I want is for everyone to be treated with respect and not be discriminated against. I have a problem with BSA’s stance, but they are within their rights to take that stance. HPISD, on the other hand, should be held to a higher standard, being a public institution.

    And with that, I’m done.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 9:00 pm
    Permalink

    @D, since there is nothing that can be done legal to the BSA or HPISD the only story is Jon’s response. I would have rather this whole story not been a story. Now, since Jon has appeared on 3-4 shows today, it looks as if the story is going to be poor Jon the victim. And it is beginning to have a political tinge to it that makes me think that it was a story waiting for Troop 70, its Dad’s or the BSA to stumble into it. Since Jon was callus enough to make the statement on KRLD that the BSA thinks that “WE are not morally straight” as opposed to the BSA thinking “I am not morally straight” I’m beginning to wonder if his kids are going to become pawns in some greater political story. It is time for Jon to step up and and take care of his kids and not his ego.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm
    Permalink

    @James: When Jon said that the scouts say “We are not morally straight,” I understood him clearly to mean “we [gay people].” You seem very determined to interpret what Mr. Langbert said in the most negative way possible. Why is that?
    I do agree that Jon is a difficult situation as a parent, in terms of whether and how to fight this, and what is best for his kids. I am glad I do not have to make that decision. But maybe, just maybe, what is best for his kids is for him to make a public, principled stand for what he believes in, for not being ashamed of what he is. Cannot you consider that as even a possibility?
    Legally, it would be an uphill fight – but not an impossible one. Just ask John Lawrence, who, in 1998, was arrested, imprisoned, and prosecuted for violating Texas’ criminal statute against private, consensual homosexual conduct. The Texas statute was similar to one already upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was “the rules” at the time – and quite settled. Mr. Lawrence (who went to neither Harvard nor St. Marks) took his case public, gathered support, and managed to have the law and the U.S. Supreme Court precedent overturned. Many in this community didn’t like that Supreme Court decision, but many, including myself, applauded it. I think Mr. Lawrence’s decision to go public (he wasn’t “out” before his arrest) – to not merely “work quietly behind the scenes,” to not just “man up” (in your words) and quietly accept his punishment – made this country a better place, in my opinion, for adults and children alike.
    The Boy Scouts are entitled to their policies, but I think it is important for people to know what those policies really say, what the BSA’s motives are, and that they can have real effects on real people – including your neighbors.
    Ultimately, this whole controversy has to do with what we teach our children about what is “right.”

    Reply
  • October 18, 2010 at 10:48 pm
    Permalink

    @James… To reiterate a point you made earlier today on the other thread… please quit getting caught up on one word because you are missing the point. When Jon said WE this afternoon, could he not have been referring to the collective WE of gay men who are trying to support their sons in Scouting. Because guess what, James, Jon isn’t the only gay father who is simply trying to expose his son to the positive aspects of the BSA… not nationally and not even here in the Park Cities. Why should boys and young men be punished because an organization deems their fathers to not be “morally straight”? Imagine for a moment if someone told your son the same thing about you. Imagine the devastation that person or organization would cause your son by tearing down his idol – his dad. It’s not a good place to be, and it would certainly be enough to make me fight back… just as Jon is now doing.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010 at 11:07 am
    Permalink

    Because, @Rico, it’s wrong in every way and it needs to change. It’s obvious from the two threads here on the matter that this gentleman has huge support in our community, as well as citywide, statewide and nationwide. I admire him taking this on and wish him the best with it. BSA – it’s time to change, or get out of our public schools completely.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm
    Permalink

    Forgive me for coming to this conversation late. But may I ask some questions? Is Jon Langbert openly gay? Is he a believer? If so, what is his take on homosexuality in the church?

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010 at 1:54 pm
    Permalink

    @Merritt — I am a little confused as to how these straightforward questions could possibly be seen as offensive.

    I am going to assume Jon is openly gay or in all probability this would never have been an issue. And thank you for letting me know his religious orientation. Do we know if Jon believes in God? And if he does, has Jon expressed anywhere his views of the relationship between his sexual orientation and his faith?

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010 at 2:27 pm
    Permalink

    A gay Jew in the Park Ciities?!?!
    NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010 at 2:50 pm
    Permalink

    Pack 70 seems like a very conservative group. Was this instigated by a couple dads? Was the scoutmaster in full support? How does this work? Jon improved fundraising from $4K to $13K?!? It sounds like some other dads and kids will need to step up to fill his void.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm
    Permalink

    I am going to go ahead and make my bigger point. If I’m running roughshod over the conversation, I sincerely apologize. But I feel this must be said. Those who know me well understand that I intend to offend no one.

    I understand and appreciate the well meaning defense of this gentleman by most on this blog. God loves us all, and the natural tendency to come to a neighbor’s defense is praiseworthy. But whatever your personal feelings about orthodox religion (i.e. that system of belief and action which is practiced by the majority of believers in our community — and which also happens to be the philosophical and religious basis for this scout policy), the Boy Scouts of America is a self-professed orthodox religious organization whose tenets are biblical, established, reasonable, not simply made up or invented, and not subject to whim, fancy, or fashion.

    I’ll say it again. Yes, the Boy Scouts of America is, gasp, an orthodox religious organization. Yes, a kind of “church,” as one poster sneered. And just as Jon does not apologize for his sexual orientation, the Boy Scouts does not apologize for this policy that necessarily excludes homosexuals. I’m sorry it hurts some feelings, but bravo for this organization for sticking to their guns in this day and age of radical egalitarianism and flim flam, rootless beliefs.

    I believe this summary of traditional views of homosexuality, which happens to have been borrowed from a 1996 catechism of the Catholic Church, explains the point of view well:

    “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

    Some in our community apparently disagree with orthodox religion. Though I think you are gravely wrong, you of course have every right to do so. But put me down as one who, even as a Methodist, completely agrees with the Catholic statement on homosexuality — as well as with the statement we are to “love the sinner and hate the sin.”

    I genuinely wish Jon well in his life outside of the Boy Scouts and hope that God will bless his life and the life of his son.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010 at 4:51 pm
    Permalink

    @Jim Swayze,
    With all due respect for your opinion, you are actually incorrect that the tenents of the Boy Scouts are Biblical. In fact, “The Boy Scouts of America has accepted Buddhist members and units since 1920, and also accepts members of various pantheistic faiths. Many Buddhists do not believe in a supreme being or creator deity, but because these beliefs are still religious and spiritual in nature, they are deemed acceptable by the BSA since their leaders subscribe to the BSA Declaration of Religious Principle.” The Boy Scouts of America also welcome Hindu & Muslim members. None of these 3 religions is Biblically based. Founder Robert Baden-Powell initially included Christianity (his own religion) as a foundation of the Scouts, but quickly adapted it to
    encompass “Spiritually” instead, as Scouting rapidly became a global organization. I think that attaching Catholic/Christian views (presenting “homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity”) to an organization that is actually inclusive of many world religions is a real stretch. Are you aware that the Girl Scouts of America removed the homosexuality ban from their mission statement way back in 1991? I realize that we will always disagree on this, just wanted to present some food for thought.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010 at 6:14 pm
    Permalink

    @Jim: My reference to the BSA now being “a church” was not intended as a sneer – but simply as an observation. But if you perceived an angry tone in my posts, you perceive correctly. I am a former Cub Scout (at Pack 70 in University Park) and former Boy Scout. I have children at HPISD. This issue matters to me.
    Based on your post, I believe that you would agree that BSA’s position that gays are not “morally straight” and not “clean,” and that atheists and agnostics are not “the best kind of citizens,” are very much intended by BSA as explicit moral and religious judgments.
    Where perhaps you and I differ is the proper place of the public schools and other public institutions in facilitating the teaching of these particular moral and religous judgments.
    I would also take issue with your statement that the BSA’s policies are “not subject to whim, fancy, or fashion.” Quite to the contrary: BSA’s exclusionary policies are a departure from the BSA’s own best original traditions, and reflected a fashionable response among some right-wingers to the current “culture wars.” It was not until the 1990s that the BSA began to actively adopt these particular interpretations of its Oath and Law. Historically, before this time, the BSA had very good relations with groups that had very liberal and unorthodox theological positions. In fact, the BSA was first launched in 1910 by President William Howard Taft, a Unitarian (!) whose opponent, William Jennings Bryan, could not believe that the “American people would . . . elect a man President who disbelieved in the virgin birth and the divinity of Christ.” Taft was made honorary president of the BSA in 1911 and, by 1936, some 58 Unitarian and/or Universalist churches sponsored Boy Scout troops. In the 1990s, however, BSA kicked Taft’s denomination (now merged and called the Unitarian Universalist church) off of its Religious Relationships Committee, and out of its Religious Emblems program. (Why? Because the UU had included, in its own educational materials for its own UU scouts, statements suggesting that BSA’s new exclusionary policies with respect to gays, atheists, and agnostics were morally wrong.) This was the first time that the BSA had expelled an established religious group from its religion programs.
    I have tremendous respect for many aspects of the Boy Scouts organization and its history, and am very saddened that the BSA has abandoned the best progressive and inclusive traditions of its past and instead taken this sharp turn towards rigid, exclusionary policies.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010 at 8:04 pm
    Permalink

    @ Jim Swayze – REALLY? Citing the Catholic Church on homosexuality???
    Guess some of the clergy skipped class that day….

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010 at 9:49 pm
    Permalink

    Sunday Christians…

    Reply
  • October 19, 2010 at 10:22 pm
    Permalink

    @Margot – thank you for help in clarification; but all members are required to profess belief in God singular; if they are willing to do so, they will not be excluded

    @1635 – sorry for my reading of your use of the word “church” as a sneer; I am glad to be wrong; the Boy Scouts have hardly taken a “rigid or “exclusionary” turn; it wasn’t until very recently in historical terms — certainly well after the time of Taft and Bryan — that anyone would have considered homosexuality a remotely moral choice worthy of respect

    I will say this and then be done. If anyone who reads this professes to believe in God, let’s make a mutual promise to continue to pray for the truth in this matter, to pray to know whether homosexuality is really a part of God’s plan for this world.

    If you don’t believe in God, I humbly ask that you reconsider the matter.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2010 at 1:59 am
    Permalink

    @Jim Swayze,

    It is a little offensive & arrogant of you to ask Jon (or any gay person out there) to have to defend their sexual orientation & belief in God with you. It makes the presumption that only your viewpoint or beliefs are valid, and anything else is suspect.

    There are many people of religious faith (Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, etc) who don’t see a contradiction in being gay & believing in God.

    Unless you are God, they don’t have to answer to you.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2010 at 8:38 am
    Permalink

    Our dirty laundry is now national – most popular on cnn.com from headline news last night.

    Reply
  • October 25, 2010 at 10:26 pm
    Permalink

    Ooohhh. I remember one of my favorite childhood hyms from HP Sunday school and VBS– wait. How does it go???

    God loves a…. Straight guy? No
    God loves a …. Parent? No
    God loves a …. Person who judges others? No
    God loves … Only Christians? No.

    Ooooh. It’s God loves a cheerful giver. Give it all you’ve got. He loves to hear you laughing when you’re in an awkward spot. When the odds add up against you, it’s time to stop and sing. Praise God to praise Him is a joyous thing.

    Reply

Leave a Reply to grump Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *