Re: religion and bugs
David B. O'Donnell (EL406006@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 28 May 1991 18:15:44 EDT
On Tue, 28 May 1991 09:35:00 CDT you said:
>If you sign the app and you do not believe in
>some manifestation of "God" (or whatever you call your "divine being"),
>you are not being *honest* and even though you may be a wonderful person
>you should not be a BSA leader.
I agree with the premise, that honest is important. But I disagree with the
discriminatory policies of the BSA:
>1. It would seem unlikely that someone who has no religious beliefs could
> help the boys and young men in Scouting develop and define their own
> beliefs without unduly influencing their thoughts in a negative manner.
Then you have a pretty poor view of your fellow humans. One which, I expect,
is based on insufficient experience. Just because one is an atheist does
not automatically make one a "god hater". And please explain this "negative
> I must add here, however, that I also have problems with people who believe
> their religion is the *only* "path to God." Religion is a very personal
> thing and should be allowed to be practiced according to the beliefs of
> the holder (as long as those beliefs do not infringe on the rights of
> others!). Scouting recognizes this and allows for a *wide* latitude in
> its definition of "belief in God."
This is silly. BSA allows a "wide" definition of "god", but it denies those
who personally believe in no god the ability to take part in its activities?
What is this, are they afraid that the atheist will "convert" the children??
If so, then BSA might as well disallow anyone of ANY stated religion to
take part, for won't they try to convert everyone else?
>2. Most ethical/moral/legal systems acknowledge a divine giver/enforcer of
> laws/principles. A person who does not acknowledge duty to a higher
> being becomes a "god" for him/herself. The ramifications of this type
> of thought are profound. If you want something your neighbor has and
> you cannot afford it yourself, you make a "law" that it is OK for *you*
> to steal it because you really do deserve it.... The possibilities are
I beg your pardon? Your line of reasoning (if I can call it such) is more
than simply "extreme" -- it is patently ludicrous. Belief in god does not
automatically confer responsibility, and non-belief in (a) god does not
automatically make someone irresponsible.
> I realize this is probably carrying this line of thought to an extreme
> end, but you can see the problems that total free will can create.
Oh yes, definitely. And we should limit people from travelling, because
you know how unsettling exposure to different cultures is. And we should
limit people from reading, because you know how dangerous learning is. And
we should limit people from thinking, because you KNOW how dangerous knowledge
is... I wonder, have you had a talk with your deity about this free-will
> is your perogative to believe whatever you want, but most people are
> not able to exercise enough self-control to prevent their beliefs from
> spilling over into their daily lives. Children tend to imitate what
> they see adults do (no matter what the adults *say*!); if they see you
> excuse the rules for your benefit (or even for the Scout group's benefit)
> they will assume it is OK if they do the same in different circumstances.
> This leads to tragic results. Unfortunately, this attitude is the rule
> rather than the exception in the US today: it is easy to see why we have
> so many social problems! I, personally, look at the strong foundation
> Scouting provides in *traditional* values as one way of combatting these
Give me a break! Traditional doesn't mean anything, other than possibly being
an indicator of stultification and an unwillingness to look beyond the narrow
confines of an ethical/political system which fears change. We might have
a lot FEWER "social problems" if we stopped trying to force everyone into
little restrictive niches. As far as the adult "bending" the rules, if they
are so unscrupulous, or cannot explain the rationale behind it, then they
are obviously unsuited to their position and should be removed.
>Scouting acknowledges a belief in "God" -- no matter what you call him or
>her :) -- as an important part of the foundation needed to build positive
>values in the boys with whom we work. It allows such latitude in what
>"belief in God" means that anyone who tries can probably find a "God" they
>can accept if they look hard enough! If you can't, you really don't have
>a place in the BSA.
Then it's a good thing I left scouting when I did, because y'all would
probably hate this moderately leftist pro-choice faggot. FYI, I left
scouting because it *was* restrictive and narrow-minded and made me
uncomfortable. In fact, the only other place I have been made to feel so
inferior and unwanted was in a church.
Get your laws OFF of my BODY,
OUT of my BEDROOM,
and AWAY from my ART!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City