Re: Duty to God (was Atheist Scouts)
Joseph Alessi (JosephAlessi@COMPUSERVE.COM)
Tue, 4 Nov 1997 11:58:48 -0500
>> If I remember correctly, these boys were refused admission to the Cub
Scout program several years ago because they are atheists. Their father
initiated legal action which resulted in the California courts ordering
the BSA to grant admission. Since then, the California courts have
allowed them to become Boy Scouts (although they *do not* subscribe to
the Scout Oath) and to progress in the program to where they are close
to acheiveing the Eagle Award. <<
The Randall boys were already cub scouts. Here are the basic
facts (taken from the initial court ruling - the full text of
the ruling is in the Compuserve "scouting" library):
Michael and William Randall, twin boys now age 10 years,
were members of a Cub Scout Pack in Los Angeles County, Pack
146, prior to their parents' move to Orange County in April,
Upon relocation in Orange County, the parents and the boys
applied for membership in Cub Scouts Den 4, Pack 519. The boys,
Michael and William, attended Den meetings on a regular basis.
And the parents, James and Valerie Randall, participated as
parents in Cub Scout activities as requested or as required to
support the membership of Michael and William.
On or about January, 1991, during a Den meeting at the home
of Angela Cutts, the Den mother, discussion between Mrs. Cutts
and William centered on the completion of a requirement a for
Cub Scout Badge regarding duty to God, as stated in the book of
advancement of the Cub Scouts. (The Bear book.)
Upon questioning of the boys by Mrs. Cutts, she was told by
them that they did "not know what God was" and they would not
"swear a duty to God" either as an oral or written oath to earn
a badge, as stated in the Bear book.
Thereafter, in a conversation between Mrs. Randall and Mrs.
Cutts, Mrs. Randall was advised that if Michael and William
would not swear a duty to God, they could not continue in the
Cub Scout organization. Mrs. Cutts further advised Mrs. Randall
that this decision came from Orange County Council.
Upon hearing of this decision, Mr. James Randall contacted
Orange County Council and confirmed that the boys, Michael and
William, although permitted to remain in the Den as Cub Scouts,
could not advance in the organization unless and until they
swore a duty to God in order to complete the badge requirements
of duty [ p. 3] to God, and that the parents must sign off in
the Bear book of each boy that such had been accomplished.
These conditions were imposed on the Randall boys for
continued membership were confirmed by the national Council of
Boy Scouts of America, B.S.A., Irving, Texas.
Joseph A. Alessi in Ozwin 2.14
District Advancement Chair, Lafayette District
ASM Troop 313
Advisor to the Treasurer, Unami Lodge
I used to be an Owl
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City