Re: BSA definition of religious responsibilities
Bruce Major (major@GATOR.NET)
Wed, 5 Nov 1997 10:56:40 -0500
Your very articulate post raises a number of issues, but the short answer
to the question below is easy: they progressed by court order.
The issue no one has really raised is the uncomfortable one - WHY is their
so much disagreement on this issue? You are correct - the BSA written
materials are explicit and don't leave room for a lot of misunderstanding.
We may need to face a simple fact - there is no firm agreement among
scouters or Americans in general about the importance of religion in
contemporary life. The face of religion has changed. It is no longer a
public face, but a private one. Perhaps this is the way it should be.
Without a social support for the importance of religion, it is reduced to a
personal concern no more nor less valid than any other personal feeling,
decision, or belief. This reality is reflected in the disagreement among
scouters on this issue and in every day life. Not even the people of the
cloth will argue as a rule for a more-than-personal conception and
experience of God.
It may well be time to re-evaluate the necessity of requiring scouts to
subscribe to a belief that their culture will not support. If all religion
is a personal decision, then the decision to have no religion is an equally
valid decision. While this may be painful to many of us, it also appears to
We may be left with only a moral or ethical code standing alone, bereft of
the underpinnings of responsibility to the Creator. If that results in
people treating each other with humanity, tolerance, and understanding,
maybe it is enough.
If the experience of God is to be consigned to the personal only, God and I
will still be in communication. Perhaps that example of perseverance is all
we have to offer. For the rest, if people who chose not to believe or
don't know what to believe at least act kindly toward one another, it may
SM, Troop 84
> MY QUESTIONS for someone to answer please:
> How is it that an atheist can progress to even the Tenderfoot Scout, much
> less Eagle Scout rank given the written definitions of the requirements
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City