scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Why not non-denominational?
Betsy Miller (ccbmill@SURFSOUTH.COM
Fri Aug 11 2000 - 08:55:40 CDT
Why not non-denominational? I beg to differ with you, sir.
I have always considered "non-denominational" to mean
no denomination, or with no particular leanings towards one
religion or another. I have always expected non-denominational faith
services to be respectful of ALL faiths and beliefs, regardless
of any Protestant, Catholic, Jewish or any other religious leanings.
And I have always expected non-denominational services to present
ideas, thoughts, concepts, and other spiritual material that could
be broadly applied and understood across all peoples, races,
religions, and cultures.
Because of your post, I was motivated to search out the correct
meaning of the term, "non-denominational," in order to be sure
that I really did understand it correctly.
According to my much older version of the Webster's dictionary,
(copywrite 1973), denomination means "A name or designation;
esp: a general term for a category; also, a religious
organization uniting in a single legal and administrative
body a number of local congregations." So denomination means a
designation or category of an organized religion, ie: Catholics
or Protestants, Mormons, Jewish, Muslim, etc.
The term, "non," alters the word to mean "lacking the usual
characteristics of the thing specified; not, the reverse of,
Therefore, the term "non-denominational" broadly means
"lacking the usual charateristics of an organized religion."
So an interfaith service can also be a non-denominational service.
This, then, means that the term, "non-denominational"
can be aptly applied to services which are presented to
persons of the Jewish, Mormon, Catholic, Protestant,
Muslim, or any other faith.
For whatever it's worth, that's the way I've always understood
it, and to me, non-denominational services are not strictly Protestant
but are inclusive of other organized religions as well.
Betsy Miller, ASM, RN, MSN
I used to be a beaver... but have always been a child at heart...
Dick Sheldon wrote:
> Several recent postings mentioned "non-denominational" services
> with the implication they meant to "interfaith" religious celebrations.
> The term "non-denominational" usually refers to "protestant" services.
> If you are planning a "Scouts' Own" service suitable for all religions,
> then call it a "Religious Observance" or the like; and not