PLEASE, grant me this.
Alan Burdette (howdy01@JUNO.COM)
Tue, 4 Nov 1997 11:52:41 EST
This will be the last post that I will make on the subject of Duty to
God. For most of you, my previous post was simply that. A post, one
letter, one opinion. But for me it's been much more. I've received
countless responses, some public, but most private. And to many of you I
have responded. Now I wish to respond to you all. Please read the
following, whether you read my original or not. It is a copy of my
response to an email that I received concerning my previous posting. My
apologies to those who have already received this. I understand too,
that this is considered by some as an inappropriate subject of
discussion. To you I also apologize.
In response to the following:
> For you, religion and God is Jesus centered and defined by his
>described his works. And, that's great!
> But, for some of us, and a majority of the world's population Jesus
>God, though he might have been a prophet. God or Gods or reverence are
>in many other legitimate ways. If you insist on your way being the only
>define religiosity then you deny the humanity of others.
I understand that the world is made of many cultures and many beliefs.
And while I continue to stand firm in my faith I am proud that scouting
opens its arms to many peoples. But in doing so, it should stand firm in
its faith. Again, it seems so clear that scouting had something more in
mind than respect for others when it comes to "reverence". While the
intricacies of the program change, its fundamental principles should stay
"On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my Country;
and to obey the Scout Law. To help other people at all times. To keep
myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."
This is the scout oath. This is what I promise as a scout. This is what
I promise as an Eagle Scout. This is what my father promises as an Eagle
Scout. I try every day to do my duty to God. The Lord knows that I
often fail. I understand that it doesn't say "duty to a Christian God,"
but it says "God" nonetheless. I admit it - I don't know much about
Buddha and his teachings. I don't know much about the practices of
Hinduism. But I do know that an atheist believes that there is no God.
How can an atheist do his duty to God? Look, search your heart, search
your faith. I am glad that the two California scouts were honest. That
certainly is a quality important to scouting. But that's not at all the
end. All that I aimed at was to inspire someone to honestly consider
what they believe, and in an indirect way that's exactly what the
California scouts have done. However, that does not complete my "Duty to
God" requirement, nor does it theirs.
The question at hand is not our humanity, it's our salvation from it.
Thank you for reading the above. I don't know the answer. I don't ask
to. I have faith.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City