Re: Religious Toleration ? More
Virginia Watts (vwatts@NETAXS.COM)
Mon, 24 Jul 1995 19:41:13 -0400
>I just find it difficult to accept that my son refuses to get his First Class
>because of a fear that they will grill him at his BOR for not attending
>religious services and not being able to say he believes in a god as the
>others do. After all, he is only 12.
Charlie, your son might "be only 12", but I think that it might be a good
time for him to at least examine what he really does believe in. BSA does
require a belief in God, but I haven't seen any requirement for practices.
I believe that the chartering church has the right to "mold" their boys
according to their beliefs, but they should lay their cards on the table
before accepting members. If this is the problem with your chartering
church, I would either request that the troop find another sponsor or move
my son to another troop.
My son was originally in my church's (RC) cub program but I found it so
disorganized and non-goal oriented that my husband and I moved him into a
pack sponsored by another church. The point is that our goals did not
match, even tho we had the same spiritual beliefs. And there hasn't been
any pressure from the sponsoring church other than encouraging the boys to
get their religious knots for their particular organizations. My son was
able to work for both Catholic awards (Light of Christ and Parveuli Dei)
which were presented by the sponsoring non-Catholic church.
At 12, your son should be able to at least express his belief in God, even
if it isn't part of mainstream religion. This expression should be all that
is required. And, if your family, including your son, really believes in
their stance against organized religious practices, he should be able to
defend his stance. He may need your help in really defining and verbalizing
what these beliefs are but I think that it will help him to grow and mature
Ginny Watts (mom to 1st year Webelo, Pack 133, Chalfont, PA)
New Britain, PA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City