Re: atheist policy?
Don Izard (IZARD@UBVM.BITNET)
Wed, 24 Mar 1993 14:32:37 EST
On Wed, 24 Mar 1993 14:18:13 -0500 <GRS03109@APPSTATE> said:
>Can someone tell me exactly what is the BSA policy on atheists?
I can NOT quote any of the specific chapter or verse of BSA policy
but I would like to stir the fire will some ideas the came to the
point of discusing "DUTY TO GOD" and a SCOUT is REVERENT as it
related to our developing troop by-laws and advancement and BOR
questions. What is an athesist? A person that does not believe
in the ONE (christian) GOD? Well that posibly elliminates some
Native American religions, and eastern cultures such as Budism.
If a person has a religion that does not believe in the ONE
christian GOD, is that OK? I don't know what the OFFICIAL polciy
statement will be, but our unit have left it up to each scout and
his family to answere two basic questions: 1) How does the scout
understand and fullfill his scout promise of DUTY TO GOD?
I don't beleive in GOD is not acceptable, but an explaination that
meets the objectives may be on an individual basis. What does BSA
require of a scout to meet his promise does not seem to be exactly
spelled out for every world wide religion or belief. 2) How does the
Scout accept and follow that part of the scout law, " A SCOUT IS
REVERENT". MUST a scout be active in a formal "traditional" religion?
Is that not up to the family? I must add that our discussion in this
area is only just begun, and we paln to envolve our YOUTH pastor and IR
in making the determination. Do we want to throw out a youth becasue
he is not a member of our church? or any church at this time? Maybe
we should reach out to the scout and his family and offer them the benefit
of our church, and invite them to consider our church at theirs?
I am also very confused on this issue at this point. And I await any
exact BSA/national guidelines that tell us exactly how to handle each
and every scout. However, I don't think that is the intent, but I could
be wrong again ++++. On the otherhand I prefer to work to find a way
that a scout with out a formal religion, can be brought into the scouting
family, and he and his family may find that a faith in a SUPREME being
is not so bad. We also had a debate over exact terms. Is a belief in
a SUPREME POWER enough? How about the FORCE as conveyed in STAR WARS?
Or a SUPREME FORCE? What about gravity? Is it a supreme force? You
can see it, you can't touch it? But it holds the earth and the moon in
just the exact place in the universe so we have life on this small
planet. Without gravity, we would all float out into space and DIE!
Pretty powerfull stuff? But getting off the track again +++. However,
if you get a large international group together to discuss such topics,
you will find a great deal of varity in the answers. I almost wish I
had never offered to help draft the guidelines. It may NEVER be finished!
At least IF the entire committee, our DE, CE, COR, and pastor all have to
agree, it may never happen!!
don, it used to be so easy when parents could just tell me what to believe!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City