scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Re: LDS & Scouts
Jason Cruse (jcruse@SOCKET.NET
Fri May 05 2000 - 13:00:00 CDT
>I just wanted to point out that "concessions" are allowed to the LDS Church
>to allow them to run the program differently than the rest of us do. Why
>shouldn't other groups be allowed to, for instance, decide that certain
>groups are not inherently immoral?
There are two answers to this.
First, the LDS is NOT given special dispensation to do as they wish any more
than ANY OTHER chartering institution is. EVERY chartering institution has
the same ability. I would pose the question in a different way: do the
changes adopted by the LDS Church significantly alter BSA's program? No;
they are different, but the program is still clearly recognizable as a BSA
program. Believing the it is an LDS BSA program is not correct, neither by
BSA standards nor by LDS standards. ALL of the proposed differences that
the LDS Church has have been approve by BSA in advance--the LDS Church does
not ramrod ideas through the national committee. Tiger Cubs is a case in
point--the LDS Church was very much opposed to this program and does not
sponsor it. Yet, for those of you who think scouting is run by the LDS
Church, Tiger Cubs is a program anyway.
The second answer is two-fold. First, the Unitarian church, as a chartered
partner, made changes in their scouting philosophy. BSA evidently believed
that these changes would be counter to BSA's philosophy, and no longer
recognizes that religion's scouting religious award. So, as I stated in my
previous paragraph, all chartering partners CAN make changes...whether or
not BSA chooses to accept them is another matter.
Finally, earlier today, I wrote of my opinion of what *might* occur, should
the courts decide adversely to BSA's position: more decision-making
responsibilities will be given to chartering institutions. Some
institutions choose not to exercise this authority; others do, perhaps on a
more local level. For example, the LDS church comes under a great deal of
fire for generally not camping on Sunday. However, I do know of some parish
priests, for example, who make the same rule for their troops. The ability
to make adopt and adjust program to fit needs is part of WHY the LDS church
adopted scouting as THE program for young men ages 11 - 18 in their church.