Re: atheist policy?
Settummanque, the blackeagle (WALTOML@WKUVX1.BITNET)
Sun, 28 Mar 1993 17:02:20 CST
Don Izard <IZARD@UBVM.BITNET> writes:
>On Wed, 24 Mar 1993 15:12:13 CST Kathie Cerveny said:
>>The latest edition of the Handbook for Boys, published in 1990, reads:
>> A Scout is reverent. . . .
>. . . . 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.
> It is this exact section of the POLICY that leaves OTHERS to answers the
> QUESTION then: WHAT is GOD, or WHICH GOD? Or WHO is GOD? What relegions
> are therefore acceptable and which are NOT? Is there a list????
Nope, there's not a list...because how can you include several
THOUSAND "religious groups" into an "booklet on acceptable rites and
religions recognized by the BSA" ???
I think the next paragraph is the guidance you are looking for:
>>The Boy Scouts of America has always been committed to the moral, ethical, and
>> spiritual 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
>> Virtually every religion is represented in Scouting, and the BSA does not
>> define or interpret God.
>>That is the role of the Scout's family and religious advisers.
So, if you're a member of the First Church of the Unwritten Oath (I
hope there's not anyone a member of this church!), you may become a
Scout since the Church believes in "Apostles" that will come back to
Earth to "bring up those believers that have kept the Oath in their
hearts and souls", youth members *can* become Scouts.
> MAJOR UNDEFINED AREA right here!!!
I don't think that it's all that hard to understand, Don! I think
what the BSA wants to do is to make sure that the kid understands some
form or concept that he or she sees everything around them and it
comes from/to some higher force or being or entity that "runs the
world" for him and his family. The BSA really don't care what this
"higher force" is, just that he believes in some form of "god".
> So if the family and relgious advisor OK the scout is he OK with BSA???
If the family has been a member of the First Church, and the Leader of
the Church's congregation states that the Church is legit, than what
can we (BSA) say??
> That is my problem, and the problem for our comittee. Again BSA has
> only stated a GUIDELINE and not RULES or a clear definition! If his
> "relegion is based on the Native american concept of creation" I must
> consider that BSA accepts that as OK, since BSA recognizes several
> native american (NON Christian?) troops.
Yep...and they also have approved chartering of many other units that
are chartered to "a group of citizens" in the old Soviet Union, in
Peru, on the Island of Ceylon and in China. I am sure that the BSA
did not write each person and ask them personally what religion they
practice. I am also sure that they left that determination to that
local Council (or the BSA's Direct Service Council) for the decision
to admit youth or to charter the unit.
> This does NOT provide an EXACT answer to every situation.
> It pretty much says, If you believe in A god, and/or have a religion
> you are OK as a scout. If you REJECT all concept or moral principal
> and ethical values associated with religious values, YOU DO NOT BELONG
> IN THE SCOUTING PROGRAM. And to that extent, NO, scouting is not
> for everone.
That's a good summary....a VERY Good summary, one in which if you
don't mind, will go into my reference file so that the next time this
discussion comes back up, I can pull this out and state that "this is
a short summary of the BSA's policy....from Don Izard, 1993!:"
Mike L. Walton
( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
((MAJ) Mike L. Walton (among other "endearing" names) ( )
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