Religious Toleration ?
Charles S. Robinson (crobinso@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Fri, 14 Jul 1995 08:49:30 -0400
About a year ago our troop transferred from a public
school to a Protestant church for our meetings and
chartering organization. We had problems with space
and meeting-time conflicts at the school. Our troop has
Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish scouts and scouters.
The chartering organization's representative met with
us and during the meeting led a sectarian or Protestant
prayer which surprised and dismayed some of us. I
mentioned the problem to our district advisor but got
During our last Eagle Court of Honor a
non-denominational Grace was said before our meal as
is often done as well as other "Scouts Own" religious
activities at camporees and other scouting events. In
addition to other speakers, the chartering
organization's representative spoke. His talk was
religious and sectarian. This was offensive to me and
certainly overdone to several of his coreligionists.
I spoke to the scoutmaster and some of the other ASMs
about my concerns. Later, I related my feelings
directly to the chartering representative. After some
consideration, he said that he was within his rights to
use the platform at our troop's events as he wished. I
explained the religious heterogeneity of the troop and
how I felt his religious views where out of bounds in
scouting where there are diverse traditions present. I
also objected to my child being subject to proselytism.
What is the policy in scouting? What should I do? I do
not want to divide the troop over this issue; but, I may
be forced to resign if "Scouts Own" is not the accepted
A scout is reverent; but, does not that imply he is also
tolerant of the religious beliefs of others?
Charles Robinson, ASM email@example.com
Eagle Class of '59
Charles S. Robinson, Economist 202-606-9670 (telephone)
(at work) 202-606-5313 (fax)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City