Re: atheists, cont.
JOAN E. UPHAM (UPHAMJE@SNYPOTVA.BITNET)
Wed, 24 Nov 1993 08:56:00 EDT
Buddhism is a recognized "religion" by the world and BSA. I know
BSA recognizes it because they had a religious service for Buddists
on Sunday at the Jambo this past summer. I know that they had this
religious service because my son attended it with the 2 Mongolian
scouts which were being hosted in our council's second troop (#1242).
He went to that service instead of his own...he said it was fasinating
and lovely and he wants to learn more about their religion so
he understands it better.
As for atheism in at least Cub Scouting, the religious part of the
Bear badge seems to be the part where the "non-believers" seem to
fall apart because it starts out with one of the options being
participation in some church thing or earning the religious emblem
for their faith. BUT...if the parents would FINISH reading that section,
it goes on to say something like..."or discuss your family's beliefs
with your parents." I am sure that part was put in there to accommodate
some religions which have no organized church as such in this country
or to encompass any and all religious ideas but I have always felt that
the open endedness of that requirement would allow anyone -- even
atheists -- to participate in Cubs. Certainly, all the parent has
to do is sit Jr. down and say..."this is what we believe and why"/
and the requirement is fulfilled. There is no person in the Cub
program who will question or require certification that a youngster
was told about and believes in a supreme being(s).
When a boy gets to Boy Scouts, it might be more of a problem but
there again...where "God" is referred to...it wouldn't be impossible.
After all...when God is referred to in Boy Scouts, I would ask...
Which God? All the boys do not have the same one or the same image
in mind...it is a "very" personal idea and belief! So...the atheist
"could" have his own image of what "God" meant to him in that
context...it wouldn't have to be "my" God that he was thinking of
or believing in...and that is what this country was founded on and
I don't think that BSA is trying to change that.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City