Re: Religious Tolerance
Kathie Cerveny (kathie@DELTA.EECS.NWU.EDU)
Wed, 24 May 1995 10:17:29 -0500
You are quite correct. Many LDS Scouters can not wear our shorts,
even if they are attending Woodbadge, and for good, religious reasons.
And, you are correct, this has never been a "christian" movement, in
all of the years of studying I have done about our founder, etc., the
stress has been in a belief in a god. Just that. Not on whether a
hat is worn or not, shorts are worn or not, we can or can not camp out
on a Friday or a Sunday. Whatever! Tolerance, is caring.
Remembering, of course, that Lord Baden-Powell originally wrote and saw
our movement for the "boys of England" and not beyond their shores.
The original boys he targeted were also those who were homeless and/or
Things change, times change. The timelessness of our values, however,
does not change. Periodically I am told to "not mention my
Christianity in front of those of the Jewish faith," and that bothers
me a great deal. I work extensively with the Native Americans (no I
am not of that ancestry, but that does not stop me from caring.)
We have changed only in that we do require a belief in a supreme
being, and when national once more returns to that terminology, much
of the confusion on this issue will disappear.
However --- the intolerance will not. I do not believe that I can
continue to apologize for being christian, by not mentioning
"christian things" in front of anyone. Tolerance, my friends, is just
2 weeks ago I attended an all day introductory training session for a
specific christian ministry group, and all went fairly well until the
end of the day, when the instructor had us go into buz groups to
determine some "uniquely Christian" tools that we have to bring to a
care giving program. AND -- she had on paper and said outloud,
"....uniquely Christian, means only the Christians have that tool,
I could not believe the intolerance and inaccuracy of that statement.
That, I give you is intolerance. Why is it that I have been told, do
not mention the name of Jesus in front of my Jewish wife, she cringes
(but is a Scouter and a Scouter's wife for many years), but I am
expected to be tolerant (and am) when I hear words and statements from
the Torah, etc. Why is it that our movement can not BE what it
proports to be ---- we teach tolerance --- not hiding, ignoring, or
lack of acknowledgement.
Our founder said, that a belief in God was fundamental to the human
race. However, who am I to say what to call god. My beliefs are mine,
and you are most welcome to look into what I believe, your beliefs are
yours, and you are most welcome to them.
Quakers can, of course, keep on their hats, who cares. I care that
the people I have met of the Quaker faith have been wonderful, caring
people, I care that they work to help us all help "just one more young
boy." I care that that we all take the time to help our movement
forward to our goal of guiding our young people towards the "best"
they can be. That includes the adults.
Sorry for the length. I didn't notice my "soapbox" until too late.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City