Re: Duty to God (was Athiest Scouts)
The O'Briens (obie6@EROLS.COM)
Sun, 2 Nov 1997 19:39:15 -0500
My understanding of "Duty to God" has always been that belief in "God"
means belief in a "Greater Power" however that Power is named. I don't
know how I came to believe this, but maybe the wide range of religions for
which Merit Badges are available had something to do with it!
In any event, as Pack CC a number of years back I was in the position of
refusing an Adult Leader Application when the prospective leader, a parent,
indicated that she is atheist and could not agree with the Scout
"Dedication of Religious Principle." (may have the wrong terminology, as
it's been awhile, but you know what I I mean.) I never could understand
how she could have signed her son's application, which had a line that read
something like "As a parent, you should be aware that all registered
leaders must agree with" said "Declaration of Religious Principle." Our
COR indicated that this parent's application could not be approved without
agreement to all the requirements, so the point was moot; I never received
the application back after I explained BSA's position to the parent. I had
no problem with her son remaining in the Pack (which he did, but never
joined a troop a few years later.) I don't think that a boy of Cub Scout
age can have made his own decision about "God", especially if he's never
been taught about a Greater Being of any kind.
I understood the article (and the legal decision) to read that the boys
cannot be blocked from working toward their Eagle awards. I don't believe
that the decision indicated that BSA is required to award the Eagle rank;
this is done through the Eagle BOR as well as submission of the written
report of the project, etc. If I remember from my son's experience, the
requirement of Faith was not brought up until the BOR. Did anyone else
understand the article differently?
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City