Re: What is 3G?
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Sun, 31 Mar 1996 11:04:36 -0500
On Mar 31, 1996 09:36:20, 'Susan Ganther <susan@EMAIL.UNC.EDU>' wrote:
>Please be careful about posting common misconceptions about lawsuits. The
>lawsuit from the atheist was not because he wanted his son to be a Tiger
>Cub. It was from someone whose son had been a Tiger Cub and had been told
>that he was no longer welcome because the boys had been coached to refuse
>to say the Scout oath. He was suing not only to try to force Scouting to
>readmit him, but to try to force BSA to remove religion from Scouting. It
>was his anti-religion agenda that got him removed, not the fact that he
>is an atheist. BSA does not discriminate against children of atheists,
>but your post could give the impression that it does.
As long as you are going to admonish people to get the facts straight then
here is some information for you. First, I believe the Tiger Cub case he
was referring to was Elliott Welch's in Illinois where he was refused the
ability to register his son as a Tiger Cub because he would not sign the
Declaration of Religious Principles and Tigers requires an adult partner.
The pack was sponsored by the PTA and met and recruited in the school. In
effect, Mark could not join because Elliott would not sign the DRP.
Elliott maintained then, and continues to do so now, including on
rec.scouting, that it was never his intention to attempt to remove religion
from Scouting but merely to have the program accommodate those without a
belief by allowing them to modify the Oath to a formulation consistent with
I believe you are referring to the case of the Randall twins which involved
Cub Scouts and not Tigers. This was in California. Here the twins refused
to recite the part of the Promise concerning duty to God because they
claimed not to believe. To conclude that they were coached is rather
disingenouus. Their father, an attorney, contends that it was his sons who
pressed him to pursue the matter, even though he might not have done so
otherwise. As a result he was subjected to a torrent of hate mail and
phone calls (much of it probably from those tolerant people in our program)
and ultimately lost his job because of his stand.
Now, whether you agree with their positions, which I assume you don't, or
believe their statements about who, what and why, which again it appears
you don't, it is still unfair to make the statement you did above as fact.
Personally, I have my own feelings and doubts about motives, etc. In the
Randall case I heard the twins, on national TV say they didn't believe in
"God" but believed in "Mother Nature." To me that would indicate a belief
in a Supreme Being sufficient to meet the BSA's requirements. However,
whether I believe that or not is irrelevant. The question is whether THEY
believe that they meet the BSA's requirements, because this whole question
involves whether the individual believes he meets them and so can, in good
conscience, recite the appropriate oath or promise or sign the DRP.
As to your statement that they are trying to take religion out of Scouting,
well, IMHO, religion does not belong in Scouting. We can argue over
whether the requirement for a belief in a Supreme Being does or does not
belong in the program, but from all the literature I have ever read there
is NO religious component to the BSA program, other than providing the
opportunity for the Scouts to attend to their own personal religious needs.
This might be accomplished by conducting a religious service during an
event (or multiple services for those of different faiths) for those in our
units who CHOOSE to attend, but the BSA says very specifically that HOW a
Scout fulfills his religious obligation is specifically left to the Scout,
his family, and his religious leader. Thus, I believe that religious based
programming is inappropriate (other than that discussed above).
If we are going to chide others to be accurate, we should make sure that we
are being accurate ourselves.
Since this particular forum (Scouts-L) has managed to stay out of the 3G
debate for the most part it might be more appropriate to move this
discussion either to e-mail or to rec.scouting where people just love to
debate these matters. :-)
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City