Boy Scouts march in uniform at Utah’s Gay Pride Parade


Boy Scouts are shown marching in the Utah Gay Pride Parade Sunday, June 2, 2013, in Salt Lake City. Members of Scouts for Equality marched in the parade following last week's vote by Boy Scouts of America to allow openly gay youth to participate in scouting. Scouts for Equality is made up of Scouting alumni advocating to end the BSA's ban on gay members and leaders. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Boy Scouts are shown marching in the Utah Gay Pride Parade Sunday, June 2, 2013, in Salt Lake City. Members of Scouts for Equality marched in the parade following last week’s vote by Boy Scouts of America to allow openly gay youth to participate in scouting. Scouts for Equality is made up of Scouting alumni advocating to end the BSA’s ban on gay members and leaders. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)


Incrementalism is a method of working by adding to a project using many small (often unplanned), incremental changes instead of a few (extensively planned) large jumps.  Logical incrementalism implies that the steps in the process are sensible.[3] Logical Incrementalism focuses on “the Power-Behavioral Approach to planning rather than to the Formal Systems Planning Approach.” [4] In public policy, incrementalism refers to the method of change by which many small policy changes are enacted over time in order to create a larger broad based policy change. This was the theoretical policy of rationality developed by Lindblom to be seen as a middle way between the rational actor model and bounded rationality, as both long term goal driven policy rationality and satisficing were not seen as adequate. 

In large projects, there is normally a need to allocate time to plan the project in order to avoid what is termed “fire fighting”. In contrast to other systems of planning such as top down, bottom up and so on, incrementalism states that you should concentrate on dealing with the immediate problems as they arrive and avoid trying to create an overall strategic plan.

The antithesis of incrementalism is that work must be accomplished in one single push rather than through a process of continuous improvement. All work must be planned, only presented when complete and work in progress must be hidden. Revolutionism would be an example of this approach.

Incrementalism in the study of rationality can be seen as a stealthy way to bring about radical changes that were not initially wanted: a slippery slope.



Washington DC, Jan 21, 2009 / 03:19 am (CNA).- Former Supreme Court nominee Judge Robert Bork has predicted that upcoming legal battles will have significant ramifications for religious freedom. He names as issues of major concern the continued freedom of Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions and the likely “terrible conflict” resulting from the advancement of homosexual rights.

Speaking in an interview published Tuesday by Cybercast News Service, Judge Bork discussed the contentious nature of modern politics.

“Everything is up for debate these days. I can’t think of anything that isn’t,” he said.

“You are going to get Catholic hospitals that are going to be required as a matter of law to perform abortions,” he claimed.

“We are going to see in the near future a terrible conflict between claimed rights of homosexuals and religious freedom… You are going to get Catholic or other groups’ relief services that are going to be required to allow adoption of a child by homosexual couples. We are going to have a real conflict that goes right to the heart of the society.”

Asked whether there was a freedom of conscience clause anywhere in the Constitution that might prohibit the U.S. government from compelling a religious hospital to perform abortions, he replied:

“Well, the free exercise of religion clause might fulfill that role.”

He agreed with the CNS interviewer, Editor in Chief Terry Jeffrey, that such coercion forces someone to act against their religion and could be construed as a violation of the right to free exercise of religion.

However, Judge Bork was unsure about whether the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold such a right. He predicted the decision would rest with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who in some cases sides with liberals and at other times with “originalists,” those who profess to hold a more tradition-minded interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

“It depends upon Anthony Kennedy,” Judge Bork told CNS. “Now, it’s a funny situation in which the moral life of a nation is in effect decided by one judge, because you have four solid liberal votes, four solid originalist votes, and one vote you can’t predict too accurately in advance.”

Though Justice Kennedy is a Catholic, he sided with the majority who upheld the pro-abortion rights Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade in the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Judge Bork said that a decision involving the freedom of Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions would split by a 5-4 vote.

“But I don’t know which way,” he added.

The Cybercast News interview with the jurist also touched upon the place of religion in public life.

“I don’t think the disputants talk much about God anymore,” Judge Bork commented. “That’s one of the things that I think is regrettable–and I know liberals have said the same thing, it is not a conservative position particularly–but it is regrettable that religion has dropped out of our public discourse. I think it impoverishes it and makes it more violent.”

He explained that he believed this violence was not armed conflict, but rather “violent language and propaganda.”

Judge Bork said he also thought that America is “now going down a path towards kind of a happy-go-lucky nihilism.”

“A lot of people are nihilists,” he continued. “They don’t think about religion. They don’t think about ultimate questions. They go along. They worry about consumer goods, comfort, and so forth.

“As a matter of fact, the abortion question is largely a question about convenience. If you look at the polls about why people have abortions, 90 percent of it has nothing to do with medical conditions. It’s convenience. And that’s I think an example of the secularization of an issue that ought to have a religious dimension.”

When asked whether a nihilistic society can remain “happy-go-lucky” for long, Judge Bork replied:

“I don’t know. I guess we are going to find out.”


Catholic leaders urge support for Boy Scouts after shift on gays

June 12, 2013

Religion News Service

David Gibson


The U.S. Catholic Church’s top liaison to the Boy Scouts of America is telling Catholic Scout leaders and troop sponsors that the BSA’s new policy welcoming gay Scouts “is not in conflict with Catholic teaching” and they should continue to support scouting programs.

“Scouting is still the best youth-serving program available to all youth,” Edward P. Martin, chairman of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, wrote in a May 29 letter addressed to “fellow Catholic Scouters.”

“We should be encouraged that the change in BSA’s youth membership standard is not in conflict with Catholic teaching,” Martin said, asking that “Catholic Scouters and chartered organization heads not rush to judgment.”

Martin said that despite some concerns, the NCCS had taken a neutral stance on a resolution adopted on May 23 by the BSA’s National Council.

In balloting that was seen as a potential watershed in the culture wars, more than 60 percent of the 1,400 members of the BSA council voted to allow gay Scouts while still barring gay men from being Scout leaders. The policy change takes effect Jan. 1.

Martin said that in the week following the vote, he and his colleagues consulted with the BSA, with other faith-based Scouting groups and with Catholic experts, and weighed feedback on social media before declaring themselves satisfied that the new policy would not conflict with Catholic teaching.

One of the experts Martin cited was Edward Peters, a canon lawyer popular with church conservatives who wrote that while he disliked the new policy it was not contrary to church doctrine.

Martin noted that Scouting policies still bar sexual activity of any kind, and that the Boy Scouts are still a religiously oriented group that prohibits members from promoting “any social or political position or agenda.” He also noted that many young Catholics themselves do not want to leave the Boy Scouts.

Martin’s comments will come as a relief to the BSA, because religious organizations comprise 70 percent of its sponsoring organizations and many fear the new policy could split American scouting. The Roman Catholic Church, which is the BSA’s third-largest sponsor, accounts for about 10 percent of the national total of 2.6 million Scouts. Mormons are the top sponsors, followed by United Methodists.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – the Mormons – has already signaled that it does not object to the new policy and United Methodist Scouting officials said they would continue to support the BSA. On the other side, Southern Baptists and other evangelical and conservative Christian groups have raised strong objections to the move and some have said they will explore alternatives to the Boy Scouts.

Martin’s letter may also be important in heading off a potential split within the Catholic Church over the new BSA policy.

Following the vote, a number of Catholics said the church should sever its ties with the BSA and launch alternative scouting groups. The Sunday after the BSA decision, the Rev. Derek Lappe of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Bremerton, Wash., announced that he was closing the parish’s scouting program in a lengthy broadside that called gays “loser men” and listed widely discredited reasons why some men are gay.

But most Catholics appear to be supportive of the move, and church leaders seem willing to find an accommodation given that Scouting is such a popular way of keeping boys connected to church.

Bishop Robert Guglielmone of Charleston, S.C., who is the hierarchy’s official adviser to the NCCS, attended the May 23 meeting of the BSA and said afterward that while he was “not particularly encouraged” by the vote “we can live with it.”

Since most boys are going to stay no matter what happens, Guglielmone told the National Catholic Register, “We have a real obligation to stay in dialogue and to stay connected to the program.”

But he warned the BSA that “if it gets to the point where some of our basic issues are threatened — such as being able to pick leaders for Catholic chartered groups or in diminishing the role of religion and God — then we will have to re-evaluate our participation in the program at that time.”

Each bishop can decide whether the new membership policy is acceptable. Guglielmone has written to every U.S. bishop, and Martin said the NCCS would develop a plan to ensure “a consistent message is delivered to dioceses, parishes, Catholic Scouters and the media” on the church’s views about allowing gay Scouts.


I am a former Boy Scout.  I became a Scout at age 12.  As a priest and bishop I have supported the BSA.  I am the recipient of both the St. George Award and the Silver Beaver Award.  As Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi I worked closely with the leadership of the Gulf Coast Council of BSA.  As President of the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Foundation I supported every grant request the Foundation received from the Gulf Coast Council.  As a member of the Sacred Constantinian Military Order of Saint George I supported and participated in the bi-annual Saint George Trek for Catholic scouts at Camp Philmont in New Mexico many years.  With this disclosure I think that I am on firm ground when I state that I think that the recent vote by the nation’s scout leaders to permit homosexual young men to become members of the BSA is a tragic mistake.  I think that it is a watershed moment for scouting from which there will be no turning back and, on the contrary is a first incremental step to the weakening and ultimate destruction of the moral formation component of scouting that was so responsible for the good that scouting has done for America’s youth.  Can anyone deny that the same kind of incrementalism has brought us to the present state of the adoption of children, the breakdown of the place of traditional marriage in our society, the infringement on the freedom of conscience in the Afordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) and the infringement of the freedom of the expression of religion in the nation’s schools and military service?

For these reasons I disagree with the leadership of the USCCB Committee on Scouting and I urge Catholic parents to withdraw their children from the BSA and I urge pastors to drop parish sponsorship of scouting if the new policy of admission of homosexual young men in implemented in their local unit of scouting.  I urge those who value scouting, as I have for the past 78 years, to work for the creation of an alternate form of scouting, independent of the BSA, that will have as its goals the same moral goals of the scouting of the BSA prior to the recent vote.

– Abyssum




About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas