God and Scouting
Masahiro Sayano (sayano@MICRO.CALTECH.EDU)
Mon, 11 May 1992 11:26:11 PDT
Greetings, Fellow Scouters:
I read through the piles of flames/opinions/information on this subject
this morning. It's beginning to look like rec.scouting on usenet! I quit
reading that newsgroup since it's so full of garbage and not on what I
consider important as a Scouter: Program ideas and issues related with
the operation of a Scouting unit. Unfortunately, this issue has touched
me personally as well: I belong to a Buddhist sect which, thanks to the
influence of Japanese culture, has evolved into a form that, if you change
the names and ignore some details, begins to look a lot like some Western
However, we neither confirm nor deny the existence of God or gods from a
religious viewpoint. My religion officially does not address the issue.
That does not prevent some people from demanding that all Buddhist temples
prohibit the chartering of Boy Scout units for the same reasons given in
some previous postings. The rest of the temple membership either does not
care about this issue or takes the stance that "duty to God" means, to us,
duty to religion. Besides, from the point of view that the immigrants from
Japan about 70-100 years ago, Scouting, with Japanese language school and
martial arts such as judo and kendo, were a way to keep their kids off the
streets and give them guidance, and not anything else.
A lot of people with personal agendas have seem to have forgotten this.
I personally do not agree with all the policies which the BSA has set up;
however, since I have signed up as a member of this group, I should abide
by the policies/guidelines set by them. If I get to the point where I
disagree on too many points to suit me, I'll leave and join another youth
program with ideas which I agree with more.
But until then, we should all concentrate on delivering a quality program
for youth. That should be a big enough job for all of us. And, as
parents/guardians go, they should find a unit with ideas or unit rules
which they agree with; if not, go elsewhere. It's not good for both
the youth and the unit if factions develop within the unit.
Please don't use this network for flames/political issues. I'll read
rec.scouting if I want that. Now if you have program features or other
unit-level, youth-related issues, that'll be great; that's what I would
like to read and talk about.
Yours in Scouting,
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 738
Los Angeles Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City