Re: Religious freedom/hat removal
Paul S. Wolf (aa854@CLEVELAND.FREENET.EDU)
Mon, 29 May 1995 16:52:41 -0400
Reply to message from PANNELLJ@DELPHI.COM of Sun, 21 May
>> In the area of Scout tradition honoring tolerance, I would be
>> interested in knowing how others would react to Quaker Scouts not
>> wishing to remove their hats.
>I'm waiting for this to happen here in my council! *g*
>Here in the South, being open to all religions often means including the
>Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics with the Southern Baptists as
>long as they don't make too much of a fuss.
>A Scout -- or Leader! -- nearly invariably offers grace before meals and
>concludes with something along the lines of "...in Jesus' name we pray..."
Don't feel bad. It happens here in the North too. Drives me nuts
sometimes. Most of the LEADERS and SCOUTS who know me and my troop are
careful, but at council and district dinners, etc. the Ministers, Priests
and lay leaders the council gets to lead Grace never seem to realize that
Scouting, and the USA in general are NOT Christian organizations. I
usually wind up mumbling under my breath.
>The demand before prayer is always "A Scout is Reverent, please remove your
>hat." I can imagine the scene that would develop should someone, unknown to
>the ptb's, be Jewish or a Quaker and then stand up for his customs. A lot
>of Southerners would get a crash course in religious tolerance that day!
>It's not that anyone is intolerant towards or against other religions, they
>just are ignorant about them, especially the Scouts, due to lack of
>exposure. This is vastly different from when I grew up on Long Island. We
>have a Quaker college here in NC, but I know of none involved in Scouting.
> Even though we have a synagogue nearby, the Jewish community is very small
>here and I know of none who are Scouts.
>My only quandry would be whether I should remain "covered" when a Jew or
>Quaker would offer grace. What would be proper in this case, to follow my
>custom (and uncover) or theirs (and remain covered)?
IMHO, you should follow your custom. For a Jew, the prayer before a meal
is simply a prayer over bread, usually called "Hamotzi". The prayer is
usually translated as:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings
forth Bread from the earth.
A traditional Jew will say Grace AFTER the Meal, called the Birchat
Hamazon. That can be a 2 to 10 PAGE long series of prayers. I bet that
would REALLY be a learning experience.
Paul S. Wolf, P.E. aa854@Cleveland.Freenet.Edu
Traffic Engineer, Cuyahoga County Engineer's Office
SIGOP, The Scouting Center on The Cleveland Freenet
Honorary Pres., Great Lakes Region, Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City