Re: A Scout's Duty t...
Rick Busdiecker (rfb@LEHMAN.COM)
Thu, 14 Jul 1994 14:29:23 -0400
While I believe that it was accidental, Lew's message had headers
which implied that it was From: me and that you should Reply-To: me,
etc. I'm guessing that he used some sort of `resend' command but then
edited the resent message.
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Resent-Date: Thu, 14 Jul 94 08:09:30 EDT
Resent-From: Lew Bowling <LBOWLING@ukcc.uky.edu>
< Excuse me, John, but if you will read BP's writings he had a very
< specific set of standards in mind for the "club" he started. If
< you do not agree with the standards of Scouting, you are more than
< free to find another club. This is a free country.
<By this `Love it or leave it standard' which is suggested quite often
<in this forum, BSA should still be practicing racial discrimination
<and those who don't like it should just join organizations that don't.
<Instead, I'm glad that those who came before me worked for change
<withing BSA and I think that it is quite reasonable to continue that
This isn't about practising something, such as racial
discrimination, that isn't an inherant part of scouting.
Correct. BSA no longer practices racial discrimination.
As regards the religious expectation, the Scout Oath says "...to
do my duty to God..." If a Scout is expected to live up to the
Oath, that would imply belief in some sort of Supreme Being.
Not at all. As someone pointed out to me, BSA is *very* careful not
to define God. You are free to define God as a Supreme Being, but you
may not necessarily be required to do so.
In any case, the point which I was making is simply that your duty to
an entity in which you do not believe is null. It is fulfilled
without doing anything.
This is, of course, semantic nit picking. However, the semantic nit
picking on this issue started with those who wanted to exclude
atheists while maintaining that BSA does not practice religious
However, as Rick says, one can work within Scouts to make changes.
I would think that the name would have to be changed to Scouts of
America and "duty to God" would have to be removed from the Oath.
I don't quite follow you. Why would you change the name of the
organization if BSA stopped discriminating on religious and sexuality
bases? Note that I've only been discussing two of the `Three Gs' :-)
In any case, I think that GSUSA's approach to the issue of God has
been quite reasonable and their oath still refers to God. I would
have no objection to the Oath being changed as you suggested, however
I don't see it is a necessity.
Personally, I don't object to a private organization having
certain expectations of its members, especially if those
expectations are principles upon which the organization was
founded. If a private organization cannot have as one of its
requirements the belief is God, then logically we should expect
churches, synagogues, etc. to admit athiests as full members. It
may sound facetious, but it's not.
I completely agree, although I'll point out that BSA differs from a
church in quite a few ways :-)
As I've mentioned a number of times, I would be quite upset if BSA
were compelled from outside to change its position on these points.
In fact, I think that it would have been wrong if BSA had been
*compelled* to abandon its past racial discrimination. I think that
the organization is stronger for having made the change from within.
I definitely want for BSA to have certain expectations of its members,
however I believe that at least two of the current expections are
inappropriate for the organization. I also believe that it's
important that people realize that BSA does not currently maintain all
of the expectations which it maintained in the past. The organization
has grown past prejudice in the past, and I believe that it will
continue to do so. I think that we can all be thankful to those who
helped BSA to overcome racial discrimination in the past and that
future generations will be thankful to those of us working for change
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City