Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [Scouter_T] Re: Atheist Eagle Scout Gets Ultimatum

Expand Messages
  • Debbie Beer
    True I have personally told leaders that scouts can believe in whomever their God is. We are not to define what their higher power is. Atheist as you know
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 7, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      True I have personally told leaders that scouts can believe in whomever
      their God is. We are not to define what their higher power is.

      Atheist as you know means that they do not have belief in anything.
      Therefore, he did not do his duty to any God, because he does not have any
      belief in a higher power.

      However, I feel sorry for this young man that he was lead this far and then
      told oh sorry now we are going to enforce the rules. That in itself is a
      real shame.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Michael Brown" <emb021@...>
      To: <scouter_t@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2002 2:56 PM
      Subject: [Scouter_T] Re: Atheist Eagle Scout Gets Ultimatum


      > --- In scouter_t@y..., "Debbie Beer" <beer@c...> wrote:
      > > I will have to agree that I agree with the Scouting director. The
      > > requirement of belief in a higher power and reverence are clearly
      > stated.
      > > My only question is how did this young man get so far in scouting
      > and make
      > > these advancements if he was not reverent?
      > >
      >
      > It doesn't have to be that rigid.
      >
      > Read some of the documents at the WOSM website.
      >
      > Scouting is based on three fundamental principles: duty to God, duty
      > to others, and duty to self. Without these, you don't have Scouting.
      >
      > WOSM makes it clear that "Duty to God" mearly means doing your
      > religious duties, whatever they may be. WOSM does not define what
      > those duties are or what God is.
      >
      > BSA follows that policy (tho some don't seem to understand this).
      > The BSA does NOT define what God is or have a list of acceptable
      > religious, etc. The BSA is NOT a Christian or a Judeo-Christian
      > organization. Nor do you even have to be a member of an organized
      > religion. So long as YOU do not have a problem with "doing your duty
      > to God" as YOU define it, there is no issue.
      >
      > In this case, this scouter intended to ignore a fundamental principle
      > and now feels he should get it dropped. Its clear the scout council
      > tried to work with him to accept some kind of 'higher power', no
      > matter how vague. He wouldn't do that. So he's out.
      >
      > This is not just a "BSA issue", but a world scouting issue.
      >
      > That's all I have to say on the matter.
      >
      > Michael Brown
      > SW Florida Council, BSA
      >
      >
      > For subscription and delevery options send a message to:
      > scouter_t-help@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > Scouting The Net - http://www.arkie.net/scouting/
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
    • Chris Jacobi
      Such stories make me sad. What is wrong with us that we can t survive a person with different religion? I have real qualms to entrust my children to people
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 10, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        Such stories make me sad. What is wrong with us that
        we can't survive a person with different religion?

        I have real qualms to entrust my children to people
        who take their religion as a reason to hurt others.

        If you would read the excerpt from the declaration
        of religious principle, you'd see that it requires
        recognition of the religious element in the training
        of the member...
        I fail to see a mandate to purge atheists from scouts
        in these words.

        As next, should we take away their money, because
        it has "in God we trust" printed on it?

        Chris
      • Bill Nelson
        This, indeed, is an unfortunate occurrence. And seems to have happened because of a series of mistakes, or omissions by other adults and by the young man
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 10, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          This, indeed, is an unfortunate occurrence. And seems to have
          happened because of a series of mistakes, or omissions by other
          adults and by the young man himself. It is also a good news story.
          News stories are 'news' when the unusual occurs. When a young man
          who does not believe in one of the fundamental principles of
          Scouting wants to belong to Scouts that is unusual, so it is news.
          The fact that 4 million others do believe in the principles and want
          to belong is not news and so is not reported. It is the
          old 'dog bites man' vs. 'man bites dog' adage...

          First off, a Boy Scout is taught that the the Scout Oath, Law,
          Outdoor Code, slogan and motto are very serious guidelines for how
          to run his life. He is asked when he joins if he can abide by these
          principles. If he cannot or will not, he cannot join. It is
          explained to him that this is a matter of his personal honor and a
          very serious step. As he moves through the ranks
          of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle, he is
          reminded of this promise at his Scoutmaster conference (we call this
          the Scout Spirit requirement). At each troop meeting and major
          Scouting event, the Oath and Law are recited, solumely, by all
          Scouts present. If there is anything that is consistant in BSA
          Scouting, throughout the entire organization, it is the abiding of
          these basic principles. One can say, they are what makes a BSA
          Scout a Scout.

          It has been reported by the young man and a woman from his troop who
          also was present at his Eagle board of review (before he was 18)
          that he told the board that he did not believe in God, but they
          passed him anyway. Mrs. Lambert said several board members
          complimented her for having a son with courage and integrity. It is
          unclear exactly what transpired during that board to cause this
          effect. Normally, the board is asked to determine the
          Scout Spirit requirement, which for Eagle, like all other ranks in
          the Boy Scout program is defined as: Demonstrate Scout spirit by
          living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
          The 1st duty in the Scout Oath is a Scout's Duty to God, and the
          last point of the Scout Law is that a Scout is Reverent ("A Scout is
          reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He
          respects the beliefs of others.") On the face of it, the board
          should not have passed him, and the Scout Executive of his
          council said as much a few days ago. But once and Eagle award is
          given to a youth, it is rarely revoked.

          He said he was an atheist since 9th grade, it is interesting to note
          that his mother was his Scoutmaster from that time forward and that
          each rank does have a similar Scout Spirit requirement that should
          be signed off by the Scoutmaster.

          One wonders what was going through the young man's mind when he
          weekly recited an oath that said he would do his best to do his duty
          to God, when he didn't believe in God. In this day and age, maybe
          breaking oaths and telling an untruth is not that unusual. In
          Scouting, it is.

          If he does not believe in God, we respect his beliefs, we just ask
          him to respect the beliefs of the organization. The question is,
          can he put his fingers in the air and say: `On my honor I will do my
          best to do my duty to God?' For the Boy Scouts to insist on anything
          less would be unfair to the other five million members. It would be
          a disservice to all the other members to allow someone to
          selectively obey or ignore our rules.

          It should also be noted that he did have to sign an adult
          application to become an Assistant Scoutmaster, and in it he needs
          to sign a statement that he subscribes to the Declaration of
          Religious Principles (which is printed on the application). He said
          he 'glossed over' that when he signed the application. Well at age
          19, it is time to stop 'glossing over' what you sign.

          It is not unusual for young people to question faith and religion.
          In fact, the BSA processes allow us as Scoutmasters to refer youth
          who question their faith to their parents and religious leaders
          rather than removing them from the program (we probably should not
          be advancing them though if they don't say they do a duty to God).
          If they continue to reject the Scout Oath, they should be asked to
          leave. However at 19 he is no longer considered a youth in the Boy
          Scout program and he wanted to continue as a teacher in the program,
          in an adult position that we call an Assistant Scoutmaster. The
          process is not as flexible for adults as it is for youth. If an
          adult does not subscribe to a duty to God or the Declaration of
          Religious Principles, he cannot remain a teacher in the program.

          My 2-cents. I hope this is of some assistance.

          Bill Nelson
        • Debbie Beer
          Amen. I think you have said it all in this letter. My hat is off to you! ... From: Bill Nelson To:
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 11, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            Amen. I think you have said it all in this letter. My hat is off to you!
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Bill Nelson" <bnelson45@...>
            To: <scouter_t@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, November 10, 2002 1:48 PM
            Subject: [Scouter_T] Re: Atheist Eagle Scout Gets Ultimatum


            > This, indeed, is an unfortunate occurrence. And seems to have
            > happened because of a series of mistakes, or omissions by other
            > adults and by the young man himself. It is also a good news story.
            > News stories are 'news' when the unusual occurs. When a young man
            > who does not believe in one of the fundamental principles of
            > Scouting wants to belong to Scouts that is unusual, so it is news.
            > The fact that 4 million others do believe in the principles and want
            > to belong is not news and so is not reported. It is the
            > old 'dog bites man' vs. 'man bites dog' adage...
            >
            > First off, a Boy Scout is taught that the the Scout Oath, Law,
            > Outdoor Code, slogan and motto are very serious guidelines for how
            > to run his life. He is asked when he joins if he can abide by these
            > principles. If he cannot or will not, he cannot join. It is
            > explained to him that this is a matter of his personal honor and a
            > very serious step. As he moves through the ranks
            > of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle, he is
            > reminded of this promise at his Scoutmaster conference (we call this
            > the Scout Spirit requirement). At each troop meeting and major
            > Scouting event, the Oath and Law are recited, solumely, by all
            > Scouts present. If there is anything that is consistant in BSA
            > Scouting, throughout the entire organization, it is the abiding of
            > these basic principles. One can say, they are what makes a BSA
            > Scout a Scout.
            >
            > It has been reported by the young man and a woman from his troop who
            > also was present at his Eagle board of review (before he was 18)
            > that he told the board that he did not believe in God, but they
            > passed him anyway. Mrs. Lambert said several board members
            > complimented her for having a son with courage and integrity. It is
            > unclear exactly what transpired during that board to cause this
            > effect. Normally, the board is asked to determine the
            > Scout Spirit requirement, which for Eagle, like all other ranks in
            > the Boy Scout program is defined as: Demonstrate Scout spirit by
            > living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
            > The 1st duty in the Scout Oath is a Scout's Duty to God, and the
            > last point of the Scout Law is that a Scout is Reverent ("A Scout is
            > reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He
            > respects the beliefs of others.") On the face of it, the board
            > should not have passed him, and the Scout Executive of his
            > council said as much a few days ago. But once and Eagle award is
            > given to a youth, it is rarely revoked.
            >
            > He said he was an atheist since 9th grade, it is interesting to note
            > that his mother was his Scoutmaster from that time forward and that
            > each rank does have a similar Scout Spirit requirement that should
            > be signed off by the Scoutmaster.
            >
            > One wonders what was going through the young man's mind when he
            > weekly recited an oath that said he would do his best to do his duty
            > to God, when he didn't believe in God. In this day and age, maybe
            > breaking oaths and telling an untruth is not that unusual. In
            > Scouting, it is.
            >
            > If he does not believe in God, we respect his beliefs, we just ask
            > him to respect the beliefs of the organization. The question is,
            > can he put his fingers in the air and say: `On my honor I will do my
            > best to do my duty to God?' For the Boy Scouts to insist on anything
            > less would be unfair to the other five million members. It would be
            > a disservice to all the other members to allow someone to
            > selectively obey or ignore our rules.
            >
            > It should also be noted that he did have to sign an adult
            > application to become an Assistant Scoutmaster, and in it he needs
            > to sign a statement that he subscribes to the Declaration of
            > Religious Principles (which is printed on the application). He said
            > he 'glossed over' that when he signed the application. Well at age
            > 19, it is time to stop 'glossing over' what you sign.
            >
            > It is not unusual for young people to question faith and religion.
            > In fact, the BSA processes allow us as Scoutmasters to refer youth
            > who question their faith to their parents and religious leaders
            > rather than removing them from the program (we probably should not
            > be advancing them though if they don't say they do a duty to God).
            > If they continue to reject the Scout Oath, they should be asked to
            > leave. However at 19 he is no longer considered a youth in the Boy
            > Scout program and he wanted to continue as a teacher in the program,
            > in an adult position that we call an Assistant Scoutmaster. The
            > process is not as flexible for adults as it is for youth. If an
            > adult does not subscribe to a duty to God or the Declaration of
            > Religious Principles, he cannot remain a teacher in the program.
            >
            > My 2-cents. I hope this is of some assistance.
            >
            > Bill Nelson
            >
            >
            > For subscription and delevery options send a message to:
            > scouter_t-help@yahoogroups.com
            >
            > Scouting The Net - http://www.arkie.net/scouting/
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
          • Debbie Beer
            Remember! This young man said he was an Atheist. He has no religion. This is not about tolerance of another religion. It is about this young man having no
            Message 5 of 10 , Nov 11, 2002
            • 0 Attachment
              Remember! This young man said he was an Atheist. He has no religion. This
              is not about tolerance of another religion. It is about this young man
              having no religion and taking an oath that says Duty to God. He has no
              respect for that oath or anything it stands for.

              Scouting teaches values. One of the most sacred values is to be a man of
              your word.



              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Chris Jacobi" <jacobi@...>
              To: <scouter_t@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Sunday, November 10, 2002 1:30 PM
              Subject: Re: [Scouter_T] Re: Atheist Eagle Scout Gets Ultimatum


              > Such stories make me sad. What is wrong with us that
              > we can't survive a person with different religion?
              >
              > I have real qualms to entrust my children to people
              > who take their religion as a reason to hurt others.
              >
              > If you would read the excerpt from the declaration
              > of religious principle, you'd see that it requires
              > recognition of the religious element in the training
              > of the member...
              > I fail to see a mandate to purge atheists from scouts
              > in these words.
              >
              > As next, should we take away their money, because
              > it has "in God we trust" printed on it?
              >
              > Chris
              >
              >
              >
              > For subscription and delevery options send a message to:
              > scouter_t-help@yahoogroups.com
              >
              > Scouting The Net - http://www.arkie.net/scouting/
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
            • Debbie Beer
              Maybe it is just that you do not know the meaning of the word atheist. Note you refer to religious element. Atheist - no belief - therefore, no religion. If
              Message 6 of 10 , Nov 11, 2002
              • 0 Attachment
                Maybe it is just that you do not know the meaning of the word atheist. Note
                you refer to religious element. Atheist - no belief - therefore, no
                religion.

                If you would read the excerpt from the declaration
                of religious principle, you'd see that it requires
                recognition of the religious element in the training
                of the member...

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Chris Jacobi" <jacobi@...>
                To: <scouter_t@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Sunday, November 10, 2002 1:30 PM
                Subject: Re: [Scouter_T] Re: Atheist Eagle Scout Gets Ultimatum


                > Such stories make me sad. What is wrong with us that
                > we can't survive a person with different religion?
                >
                > I have real qualms to entrust my children to people
                > who take their religion as a reason to hurt others.
                >
                > If you would read the excerpt from the declaration
                > of religious principle, you'd see that it requires
                > recognition of the religious element in the training
                > of the member...
                > I fail to see a mandate to purge atheists from scouts
                > in these words.
                >
                > As next, should we take away their money, because
                > it has "in God we trust" printed on it?
                >
                > Chris
                >
                >
                >
                > For subscription and delevery options send a message to:
                > scouter_t-help@yahoogroups.com
                >
                > Scouting The Net - http://www.arkie.net/scouting/
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
              • Michael Brown
                ... We don t have an issue with different religions. One can believe any religion and be involved in scouting. The person in question is an atheist. That
                Message 7 of 10 , Nov 11, 2002
                • 0 Attachment
                  --- In scouter_t@y..., Chris Jacobi <jacobi@a...> wrote:
                  > Such stories make me sad. What is wrong with us that
                  > we can't survive a person with different religion?
                  >

                  We don't have an issue with different religions. One can believe any
                  religion and be involved in scouting.

                  The person in question is an atheist. That means is he 'has no
                  religion'.

                  Also, HE made an issue of it. The council tried to be resonable,
                  even telling him to say he 'believed in mother nature' or the like
                  and it would be ok. Further, he wants to eliminate 'duty to God'
                  from Scouting. Sorry, but that's a fundamental principle of
                  Scouting. Without it, it isn't scouting.

                  To try to tie it back with the topic of this group: Training, let me
                  add this.

                  This issue shows two issues that can be addressed by training:

                  * What is Scouting? Too many people don't understand this. Its
                  clearly covered in training, but how many take it, or take it and not
                  pay attention to it.

                  * What do we mean by "Duty to God"? Too many take the attitude that
                  you have to be a member of a church/etc., be Christian/Jewish, etc.
                  which causes problems for youth. Boys going for Eagle are NOT
                  required to have a letter from a religious leader if they aren't a
                  member of a formal religious group. I read that one council turned
                  away a muslim boy because "Scoutings only for Christians and Jews".
                  And some 'new age spiritual types' have formed a rival 'scouting
                  group' because they have been made unwelcome in the BSA. I think a
                  lot of this could be solved by better training in this area.

                  Michael Brown
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.