Re: Duty to God (was Atheist Scouts)
hilding holroyd (hilding@BLUESTONE.COM)
Tue, 4 Nov 1997 07:26:52 -0500
I was thinking about this issue on the way home from work last night.
Since I am a District Advancement Chairman, I am also on the Council
(Jersey Shore Council) Advancement Committee. I was posing the question to
How would I handle a Board of Review for someone who is an avowed athiest?
1) I would really be irate at all of the Scout Leaders along the way for
allowing the situation to progress as far as the Eagle Board of Review. I
understand that they are somewhat forced, by Court order, to allow the
boys in question to "pursue Eagle".
2) How can these boys be "signed off" on the Scout Spirit requirements
which (now) state "Show that you live the Scout Oath and Law in everyday
life"? If the Scouts in question refuse to recite the Scout Oath, how can
they possibly live it in their everyday life?
3) If the matter came to an Eagle Board of Review on which I served, I
would ask the Scout, as I always do, to open the Board of Review with the
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, and then the Scout Oath or Law. I give
the Scout the choice. In this case, I would probably insist on both. I
would then have some questions to the Scout regarding why he refuses to
recite the Scout Oath.
4) My vote would certainly be a resounding NO, should the Scout refuse to
recite the Oath and not have a valid explanation, for the Scout cannot
possibly live the Scout Oath if he refuses to recite it. (see #2) That, to
me, is one of the paramount requirements for a Scout of ANY rank.
I realize that this could be quite tricky when they bring the issue into a
Court of Law. From what I understand from the previous postings, BSA is
required to allow the Scouts to "persue" Eagle. If the local
District/Council follows all NORMAL, documented, procedures (e.g. stick to
the requirements, Scoutmaster interview, all paperwork done properly and a
"normal" Board of Review - what ever is normal for the area) ... has the
Court stipulated that the individuals MUST be awarded the rank or is there
room for dissent on the Board of Review? Recall that if there is even a
single dissenting vote, the rank is not awarded, but there is an option
for another Board of Review, should the Scout be under 18.
I would certainly rather see a denied Eagle and the Scouts go through a
normal, documented, appeal process over giving the award and then
recinding it should the Court case go the way of the BSA.
Just some more thoughts on the matter.....
Hilding W. Holroyd Troop & District Advancement Chairman
Jackson, NJ BSA Troop 250, Lakewood, NJ
Eagle Class '68 Jersey Shore Council
"I used to be a FOX!", NE-IV-54
"I used to be a STAFFER!", NE-IV-71, NE-II-79, NE-II-89
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