QUESTION FROM SCOUTER ECHO
BRUCE C JOHNSON (JOHNSON@MAIL.LOC.GOV)
Mon, 17 May 1993 07:38:07 GMT
The following message was posted on the Fidonet Scouter Echo. From what
I remember from my Cub Basic and Scoutmaster Fundamentals courses this
council is apparently misinterpreting BSA rules. Can anyone (Mike/Kathy,
?) point me toward the BSA policy document that addresses boys who fo
religious reasons are unable to recite the pledge of allegience?
Date: Wed May 12 1993 13:33:00
From: Ted Rosenberg
It seems that Scouting in the US is more interested in rules on how not to do
things than on how to do them.
I have been in scouting for 45 years, cub, Webelos, Scout, Explorer,
Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Post Advisor, Committee Chair, - you name it.
I've seen National fight tooth and nail to keep women from becoming leaders, and
other equaly stupid positions.
Currently I am just a Committee secretary for my youngest son's troop, and I ran
into something that infuriated me.
With all the fuss over atheists and agnostics being barred from scouting, I find
that if you are too religious you can be barred from scouting.
We had an energetic young boy come to our recent recruiting night. He was
interested, he hit it right off with the boys in the troop. BUT
He is a Jehovah's witness, so we were told by Council that he could not be a
scout. Jehovah's Witness's (also many Quakers, Dunkards, Mennonites and a lot
of other religious groups in the area) can not pledge allegience to the flag
only to God. So we were told that the boy would only be allowed to join scouts
if he foreswore his religion.
THAT constitutes "A Scout is Reverent"
--- RA/IM/GEcho 1.00+
* Origin: WRITER'S BLOCK (An EchoNet BBS) 410-945-1540 (1:261/1056)
Yours in Scouting,
Dave Hultberg KA3UZR | firstname.lastname@example.org
Fidonet: 1:270/101.28 | Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 196
Cubmaster, Pack 196, Keystone Area Council | Susquehannock Lodge 11 WWW
THIS IS A REPLY TO THE ABOVE MESSAGE
SUBJECT OF THE REPLY: REPLY
I don't have the relevant documents here, though a phone
call to the national Religious Relationships Director should take
care of this. As a very active Quaker Scouter, I can tell you
that many Quakers are uncomfortable with the pledge of
allegience, many so much so that they won't do it. While I'm
willing to do it, I fully understand and am sympathetic with
those who feel that way.
In the 3 years I served on the BSA National Religious
Relationships Committee, this question never came up directly. I
will say, however, that the council's interpretation of BSA rules
is 180 degrees off the mark. My understanding is that one's duty
is to God first and country second. If your religious conviction
prevent you from pledging allegience (or anything else for that
matter), that should be the end of it.
I for one am very pleased to hear of this young man's
interest in Scouting and only hope that the council in question
will take prompt, decisive actions to correct this VERY, VERY
Bruce Chr. Johnson
Friends Committee on Scouting
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City