Re: BSA Actions Toward UUA & Others
Brian Suddeth (Brian@SUDDETH.COM)
Wed, 26 Aug 1998 08:28:02 -0400
I see two different facets of the same basic issue here. First is the
issue of discrimination against gays, second is discrimination against
atheists. BSA policy is doing both *currently*. As a "private"
organization, it is probably within its right to do so. The question
is, "IS IT RIGHT TO DO SO?"
I've spent 26 years in Scouting, and it is only recently I've had to do
more and more appologizing for BSA's official intolerance of cultural
differences. While my religion claims homosexuality is "an
abomination", not all religions feel that way. While my religion
depicts a description of God, it also says that none of us may know Him
nor His form, nor His mind.
I have been touched in my heart and mind by God as he revealed Himself
and his Love to me and healed my Soul when I needed Him most. That is a
very personal experience, and is the nucleus of my faith toward God.
FAITH AND RELIGION ARE NOT THE SAME. The religion is the codes,
scriptures, and ceremonies performed by a sect and is all external
trappings. Faith is what comes from inside the heart and mind. OF THE
TWO, FAITH IS THE MORE IMPORTANT.
My God is a healing and forgiving God. I hope yours is too.
I do not understand how BSA can apparently be in such conflict. They
forbid themselves to define HOW a scout must worship, yet they also make
policies that are in direct conflict with many religions. These
conflicts do not cause me any lack of faith in God. They do however
weaken my faith in the BSA.
I expect to follow the Scouting Spirit in this. I insist that
Reverence and Duty to God must be part of the program. It must be
nurtured in the hearts of the Scouts. My religion is NOT the only one
that they may follow. My prayers are NOT the only ones heard by God.
If a situation comes up that is causing a problem, I'll talk to the
individual, and see if what they are doing (be it homosexuality, athism,
speaking out against an elected leader, eating pork, or whatever) is
consistent with THEIR religious beliefs and faith. It is THEIR DUTY TO
*THEIR* GOD that matters in Scouting, NOT THEIR DUTY TO *MY* GOD!
I will pray that the confusion and confilicts in these matters is
cleared up in a way that is consistent with Scouting's SPIRIT. I don't
like having to appologize for the BSA.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City