Re: atheist policy?
Kathie Cerveny (kathie@DELTA.EECS.NWU.EDU)
Thu, 25 Mar 1993 12:39:55 CST
Official BSA religious position:
REAFFIRMATION OF THE
THE BOYS SCOUTS OF AMERICA
ON DUTY TO GOD
Be it resolved that the following reaffirmation of the position of the
boy Scouts of America relating to duty to God be, and hereby is,
enacted and that the bylaws, rules and regulations, and literature of
the Corporation reflect this reaffirmation accordingly.
In 1985, America celebrated the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Boy Scout of
America. Since 1910,
eighty million American have subscribed to the Scout Oath and the Scout Law,
which have stood the
test of time.
The National Executive Board or the BSA proudly states, through its mission
statement, that the
values which the organization strives to instill in young people are those based
upon the Scout Oath
and the Scout Law. A Scout pledges: "On my honor I will do my best to do my
duty to God and my
country and to obey the Scout Law.."
The first Boy Scouts of America Handbook for Boys, published in August 1911,
declares that "..no
boy can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to
God." (page 215)
The latest edition of the Handbook for Boys, published in 1990, reads: "A Scout
is reverent toward
God. He is faithful in his religious duties, He respects the beliefs of
others," (page 561) While not
intending to define what constitutes belief in God, the Boy Scouts of America is
proud to reaffirm
the Scout Oath and its declaration of duty to God.
The following statements are additional information on the BSA position:
The Boy Scouts of America has always been committed to the moral, ethical, and
development of our youth. Scouting is not a religion, but duty to God is a
basic tenet of the Scout
Oath and Law.
Scouting does not seek to impose its beliefs upon others who do not share them.
religion is represented in Scouting, and the BSA does not define or interpret
That is the role of the Scout's family and religious advisers.
Scouting respects those who do not share its beliefs and it would not ask others
to alter their faith
in any fashion in order to become Scouts. They too are free to follow their own
beliefs. Rather, the
BSA membership believes that the principles set forth in the Scout Oath and Law
are central to the
BSA goal of teaching the values of self-reliance, courage, integrity, and
consideration to others.
Scouting may not be for everyone, but for eight decades, Scouting has provided
and adventure to more than eighty million young people in the United States.
Approved, BSA National Executive Board, June 12, 1991.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City