Re: Prayers - A Scout is Reverent
David Drabkin 703-614-3882/F:614-1690 (drabkid@ACQ.OSD.MIL)
Tue, 29 Aug 1995 08:15:24 -0500
Recently there has been a lot of discussion about religion and scouting.
Here are my two cents worth.
Perhaps part of the problem we are all having is the time and place in
the country we were raised. I recall as I grew up in the 50s and 60s
that the country was being swept, at least in the major metropolitan
parts of the
country, with a spirit of ecumenism. There was much discussion of the
"One G-d" and all of us appeared to be trying to appreciate our
differences and find constructive ways to share our similarities. I
remember services where the Baptists, Catholics, Methodists and Jews all
joined together in each other's house of worship to pray. I remember
going Christmas Caroling and then to midnight Mass and having my
non-Jewish friends and neighbors in to light the Chanukah menorah and
eat latkes. During Easter we went to Easter egg hunts and had friends
in to join us for the Seder and the story of the Passover. It was a
pretty glorious time when you stop to think about it. The possibilities
seemed endless. Discrimination based on religion seemed unthinkable.
And then something happened in the 70's. The focus on similarities and
the "One G-d" was gone. The walls we had tried to tear down were
erected anew, perhaps even thicker and higher than before. The belief
that there was only "One-G-d, Mine" seemed to flourish and the focus on
similarities instead of differences disappeared. I remember asking the
chief chaplain at an Army base in the 1980s to come out and perform a
nondenominational service on a Scout camporee and being told that he
would only perform a service consistent with his faith and that others
were free to pray separately.
Through all of this what I was taught in scouting helped me greatly.
You see I was taught that reverence applied not only to the G-d I
worshipped but also for the beliefs of others. That out of respect for
those others I should remove my hat when I entered a church and bow my
head when prayers were offered, no matter who offered them. Similarly,
this same reverence would require others to be considerate of my
religious beliefs when praying collectively.
Why don't we all focus on our similarities and find a way to pray
together? As Scouters it seems to me that this ought to be our focus.
I used to be a Bobwhite
I am an Eagle
But I'm really old and feeble now
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City