Re: Duty to God, Duty to Oneself
Doug Roach (djroach@IX.NETCOM.COM)
Tue, 7 Oct 1997 01:14:20 -0400
> MR JOHN A SEVERINO wrote:
> > Scouts believe in God.
> > It's in the Scout Law.
All,I really don't see what it is that people seem to fear in someone
faith or lack of same. If you and your boys are comfortable and secure
in your belief, what does it matter that a Scout doesn't accept that
religion or the concept of a Diety as his own?
If the boys in the California case have not disrupted Scouts own
they have not proselytized, if they have not ridiculed other Scouts
then who are we to deny them the benefits of the Scouting program. If
the Scouting program is so convinced that they are dangerous or so wrong
in their lack of a commitment to a supreme being, wouldn't the Scouting
experience be an excellent opportunity to display behavior founded in
such a belief and show it to be virtuous?
This is NOT to suggest an evangelistic approach to converting anybody
just to demonstrate to them that perhaps a belief in God is not
the evil that their dad may make it out to be.
There also seems to be a rather indistinct line between what BSA deems
an "acceptable" belief in God and what may not be.
How about instead of that bugaboo word "atheist" we replace it with
There are millions of Taoists in the world, many in the U.S. They
venerate a scholar who was a contemporary of Confucius named Lao-Tse. He
is NOT God. In Taoism, development of virtue is one's chief task. In
Taoism, the three jewels in life to be sought are moderation, compassion
and humility. Do we see something to fear here? Do we exclude a Taoist
boy from Boy Scouting? He doesn't believe in God....
In Buddism there are many venerables and patriarchs, NOT one God.
(Buddah means awakened or enlightened one.) When one realizes proper and
equal enlightenment, and one is singleminded to the utmost, the Bodhi
resolve comes forth and one becomes a Buddha. It can also happen in
one's mind in the course of walking the Bodhi path. A true Buddha is
without karmic obstacles. (Something we can ALL aspire to..... just call
it self-awareness and an inner peace that knows no doubt.)
Many of the world's religions would seem not to measure up to our
western concept of God worship. That should NOT mean that the adherents
to these religions or even those who profess none at all are any less
worthy to participate in our program or our society.
I have never met a boy in Scouting who professed atheism. Should it
happen, I will probably explain that his requirement for reverence will
be satisfied by his unswerving respect for the beliefs of others.
As for his "...Duty to God..." well, that's between him and God. Not
If BSA is not satisfied with that, they have the right to replace me as
a volunteer. I am satisfied with the way I've conducted myself in this
program for the last twelve years. It'll be their loss.
By the way, not that it matters or is anyones business, but if you're
curious; I'm not an adherent to Eastern philosophy. I've found my peace
by being active and dedicated to the professions and life of the
Methodist church for 46 years. And believe me, that doesn't make me
holier than anybody... we just sing louder. :-)
SA Troop 10 - South Florida Council - Miami
http://www.action-net.net/T10 (ya'll come visit)
"Got to keep the loonies on the Path..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City