RYAN KEIL (RYAN.KEIL@M.CC.UTAH.EDU)
Tue, 14 Jun 1994 00:59:33 -0600
On Sun, 12 Jun 1994, John Pannell wrote:
> >Another of the boys has just about to turn 9. This boy, and his family,
> >receive frequent invitations to attend church meetings [ LDS ] and to
> >participate in church activities. They have yet to do either. My wife is
> >currently trying to figure out how to help this boy meet his religious
> >participation requirements. [ I'm not in Cubbing so I don't even know
> >what's involved. ]
---deleted: some of John's comments (quite valid, but--bandwith)
> If there _is_ a specific [religious] requirement, it should be quite
> suitable for the boy to meet it at a church other than the sponsoring
> organization. Does anyone know what faith the child and his family claims?
> Has anyone asked?
The family is LDS, but inactive. They respond positively to each
invitation, but don't perform, so to speak. They have not, as far as we
know, expressed an interest in or attended another church.
The requirement reads: "Practice your religion as you are taught in your
home, church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious community."
Alternatively, the Cub may earn the religious emblem of his religion.
The Cub Scout program allows for sufficient lattitude in the
adult leader's judgement to enable each requirement to be met in some way;
however, does a lack of _practicing_ in a home where there is no religion
fulfill this requirement? I think not. While John's point that BSA
should not, could not in good conscious, and does not proselytize--that is
require participation in a specific religion are advance and advocate any
specific teachings with regard to religion, it does require an
acknowledgement of deity. As I understand this requirement, BSA would
have the youth begin to explore for himself some understanding or
relationship toward/with deity. I agree because this is the age at which
a boy or girl is capable of developing, defining, etc., a
personal relationship or understanding of deity for him/herself.
Again, as John points out, this boy should not, cannot, and will not be
required to participate in LDS activities. In some way, we [my wife
specifically, and we as scouters] must find a way to challenge and invite
the youth to at a very minimum explore his own feelings toward God. And
just as you can't learn to whittle or pitch tent without a little bit of
doing, this exploration, too, requires some active involvement. Again, the
specific nature of such involvement cannot be defined in detail by BSA or
any of its leaders, but it can be loosely identified in conference between
the BSA leader and whatever source of religion instruction may be present
in the youth's life, including the parents.
Ryan Keil - BEAR-ly Scoutin'
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City