Re: PLEASE READ (Reverence to God)
Bruce Major (major@GATOR.NET)
Mon, 3 Nov 1997 22:55:07 -0500
A truly impassioned response. While I don't disagree with the sentiments
expressed, there are a couple of points which should be raised. See below.
> Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got
> together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this
> question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
> Jesus replied saying: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart
> and with all your strength and with all your mind. This is the first
> and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your
> neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these
> two commandments."
> (Matthew 22:34-40)
> Did you read that? For me to be "Reverent", I have to love the Lord my
> God, with all my heart, soul, and mind!
For YOU to be reverent, yes, since you are a professing Christian. But this
does not apply to the millions of people of other faiths who are reverent
within their own traditions. Scouting recognizes many religious traditions
as equally valid.
>Because works without
> faith are dead.
Actually, a nice turn of the phrase, and if you did it to make a point,
fine. But the actual verse is
"faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). I myself would be more
comfortable in sticking with the conclusion as written.
Reverent, according to my Funk & Wagnalls, is defined as "impressed with or
(don't you love it when they do that?) Reverence is defined as "A feeling
of profound respect often mingled with awe and affection; veneration." No
association with a deity is implied.
Considering this, the twelfth point may be interpreted to mean " a scout is
imbued with a feeling of profound respect". The Handbook expands on this
point to say that "A Scout is reverent toward God".
Now certainly, even an atheist is capable of reverence in the first
instance. Hard to look closely at any part of this universe without feeling
reverence. In fairness, an atheist could also fulfill the requirement of
being "reverent toward God" by having profound respect for others' beliefs.
Certainly as a Christian you would respect the beliefs of a Buddhist, even
if you did not share them.
Or at least you should. I am always reminded of that remark attributed to
Ghandi to the effect that he "would have been a Christian but for the
things I have seen Christians do".
The issue here is not so much faith as law. The BSA has been found, in the
past, to have the right to determine its membership criteria. The DRP
states one of the criteria. If the BSA is correct, then the court in
California is wrong.
SM, Troop 84
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City