Dan OCanna (ocanna@ALPHA.CAER.UKY.EDU)
Sun, 21 May 1995 02:42:52 EDT
Fred Smith asked:
I would be interested in knowing how others would react to Quaker Scouts not
wishing to remove their hats.
I know of few Scouters who, when they are aware of them, lack tolerance of
the religious practices of others. In almost ALL cases any lack of
sensitivity is caused by ignorance and lack of exposure to cultural diversity
rather than a bad attitude. I had a discussion with a member of my Wood Badge
patrol who stated that BSA was a "Christian" organization. After a couple of
yes/no type exchanges he stopped, thought for a second, and explained that the
BSA philosopy of conduct mirrored his feelings about his religion. I agree.
In this case one of the finest fellows I know made a remark that could have
been taken as offensive. Not because he is intolerant, but because he did not
have his Politicaly Correct thinking cap on at the moment. I've been guilty
of similar short sightedness myself working with Hindi boys in my son's Cub
pack. My ignorance was tolerated and often illuminated, I believe, because
those boys' parents knew me and recognized me for the well intentioned oaf
that I was. I'm now a slightly better informed oaf for the experience.
I seriously doubt any Scouter would be offened to be quietly informed of
one's actions on behalf of their beliefs. Most would be chagrined at
their _faux pas_, and be interested to learn a little about the culture of
YIS Dan O'Canna [email@example.com] Lexington, KY
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City