Re: QUESTION FROM SCOUTER ECHO
Settummanque, the blackeagle (WALTOML@WKUVX1.BITNET)
Mon, 17 May 1993 20:06:17 CDT
BRUCE C JOHNSON <JOHNSON@MAIL.LOC.GOV> writes:
>> From: Dave Hultberg
>>... post on Jehovah's Witness as potential Scout deleted for space ....
> Maybe I've missed something along the way, but I don't
> recall ever having seen a condition of membership which required
> that the applicant had to say the Scout Oath. My memory is that
> Boy Scouts must understand and agree to live by the Scout Oath.
> I would suspect that that would be an important distinction for
> many of us. (I believe that the requirements are similar in Cubs
> and Exploring.) Let's not make Scouting exclusive just because
> we are intolerant or lack understanding of other people's
> religious beliefs. (I speak from repeated experiences along
> these lines.) Scouting is too good to be brought down to such
> low standards. (Sorry about the flame, but you really hit a
I may never get this out in one piece...if I don't, I will try to get
it out in two. I am seriously overquota and so I will have to really
summarize what the issue *seems* to be and how it can be resolved.
There are two conditions, according to the BSA's Rules and
Regulations and the BSA's Bylaws for youth membership. Saying of the Pledge
of Allegience NOR stating the Scout Oath or Law are either of the two
conditions. Therefore, since local Councils are PROHIBITED from
adding onto those two conditions, the "policy of the local Council" is
wrong and corrective action needs to be taken quickly.
(for those interested in the two conditions, I ask only that you open
your "hymnals" to the appropriate locations where it speaks of youth
membership: in the BSA Charter and Bylaws, it is on page 17 (under
Article VII, youth membership, section 1) and on page 18, once more is
the official policy on religion and Scouting (Article IX, Policies and
Definitions, religion, sections 1-4). In the BSA Rules and
Regulations, you will find an entire article (Article VII, youth
membership, all sections) devoted to an in-depth explaination of what
is expected of ALL youth members while a part of the BSA.
Nowhere in either document, the basis for all suits and court cases
which the BSA has been successful in defending itself, are phrases or
statement which state that "...must state the Pledge, ...must know the
Pledge," "...must state the Scout Oath or Law." Instead, there are
appropriate statements which concur what Bruce and I think it was
Keith said about not saying the Pledge of Allegience.)
(can I just add a sidebar to this please: Several times, I have been
present at Catholic programs whereby they have stated the Pledge of
Allegiance, adding after the phrase "with liberty and justice for all"
with the statement "for the born and unborn" (a reference to the
Church's stand against abortion). I don't like stating that part, and
when it comes to that part, I simply adhere to the 12th point of the
Scout Law ("a Scout respects the beliefs of others") and stand there.
Now some will say that my prescence there indicate acceptance and
approval; on the contrary, I state that as a American citizen, I have
that right not to state that...or the entire Pledge, as long as I am
respectful of the rights of others to stand and state it. I don't
really know what this has to do with this situation, but I wanted to
make the comment since it was firstmost in my mind at the time...)
I placed the "policy of the local Council" in quotes because I
personally feel that this was NOT the true policy of the local
Council, but instead the "statement" of the policy of the local
Council, stated by someone associated with that unit to possibly end
the discussion. Unless someone with all of us as resources, as Jim
surely became a resource to this Scouter, many of us would have just
accepted this statement as fact and went onward.
I commented last night on the America Online forum on Scouting that
what needs to be done is twofold: the parents need to sit down with
the Chartered Organization Representative and explain the situation.
That's what one of the jobs of that person is. I don't know about
you, but when I see a team of JWs come up the street, I pretend that
I'm not at home. Terrible thing to say, but it's true. Maybe these
people were trying to stave off an attempt by their Church to
interview parents of the unit. Maybe they just wanted to "shut the
door and pretend not to be at home".
In either way, they did it the wrong way. If the COR states this same
policy (which I would want to see the WRITTEN COUNCIL POLICY, not some
unit policy), I would then go to the SCOUT/COUNCIL EXECUTIVE (nobody
else, because in ALL court cases, he and the council's hired counsel,
NEEDS to know about this!!!!) and find out why not in written form.
There's not a pleasant way to state this, but I think that those
parents and the Scout in particular, were given a crock of crap to
swallow. Unfortunately, they have.
I have spent the last three hours looking at EVERY Scouting reference
I can find, officially and "backchannelled" and I cannot find a single
reference to anything other than what I've stated above. Perhaps
Kathie can find something that states it, but seeing how we'll using
the same materials, from the same sources, I firmly believe that what
was stated was a PERSONAL PREFERENCE and *not* BSA policy.
My apologies for using such strong verbage to anyone that took
Mike L. Walton
( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
((MAJ) Mike L. Walton (among other "endearing" names) ( )
( AIS/MR Recreation/Leisure Specialist, Lifeskills Inc. ___)_ )
( Phone 502-782-7992 (home) 502-842-2274 (office) |-=-|] )
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( KYBLKEAGLE@AOL.COM (America Online) / BSRWALTON@EKU (EKU VAX) )
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