Re: Duty to God
Steven G. Tyler (sgtyler@EROLS.COM)
Wed, 5 Nov 1997 11:45:45 -0500
Russ Jones wrote, in part:
> One can only wonder if those who see no problem with the courts ordering the
> BSA to award its highest rank to an atheist would also see no problem if
> those same courts were to order their own religious institution to
> baptize/confirm/ordain* a non-believer (*or whatever practice their
> religious institution uses to recognize that one has been educated in, and
> accepted as part of their own value system, the tenets of the faith).
Oh, I think there's a BIG difference between membership in a sectarian
religious organization and membership in an organization that supports
religion in a studiously ecumenical manner. In the former, the tenants
of belief are central to and inseparable from the reason for the
organization. In the latter (i.e., Scouting), although Scouting is and
always has been supportive of the spiritual development of the Scouts,
it is emphatic in NOT specifying the contents of that development.
Witness all of the religious awards, NONE of which are BSA-granted, but
only BSA supported and encouraged.
Not to repeat my prior post, but I personally feel Scouting has
satisfied its goal of encouraging spiritual development if the Scout can
confirm that he has duly engaged the issues, regardless of the answers
he and his family have reached. Our goal in Scouting is to facilitate
development of well-rounded citizens, and that goal can be achieved with
atheist/agnostic youth as well. Excluding fanatics of any belief (or
none), I have yet to be shown that atheists or agnostics are any less
likely to develop and adhere to a moral code than the churched, or any
less in need of Scouting to help support them in developing that code.
Steve on Cattail Creek
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City