Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

What does nonsectarian mean to you?

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    Originally posted by packsaddle View Post
    Why does religious expression have to occur as part of a herd? Why can't each person just do their own personal thing without requiring the presence of others? This is something I've never understood.

    If I like something, I want to share it with others. Why wouldn't this apply to religion as well?

    Comment


    • Trevorum
      Trevorum commented
      Editing a comment
      It does apply, in the 'outside world.'

      But in a Scouting context, we accept others at face value and don't try to convince them that OUR religion, or politics, is better than theirs.

    • Hal_Crawford
      Hal_Crawford commented
      Editing a comment
      IMO, Reverent ends at the point you try to tell me that your religion is better than mine.

    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      The problem with almost all religions is they "know" they are right and everyone else has it "wrong". They are superior because they believe in the one "true" religion.

      If you are one that believes only people who subscribe to your religious viewpoints and dogma will go to Heaven, I hope you are right because I really don't want to be there with you for eternity.

  • #32
    Originally posted by packsaddle View Post
    Why does religious expression have to occur as part of a herd? Why can't each person just do their own personal thing without requiring the presence of others? This is something I've never understood.

    If I like something, I want to share it with others. Why wouldn't this apply to religion as well?

    Comment


    • #33
      That's fine if others want to share it. Make the offer but don't shove it in their face.

      Comment


      • Peregrinator
        Peregrinator commented
        Editing a comment
        I think some people feel you're shoving it in their face if you make the offer.

      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        That is because you are putting someone in the very uncomfortable position of rejecting your faith.

    • #34
      Originally posted by Rick_in_CA View Post
      So the question: would you be offended if an overtly Muslim, Hindu, Zoroastrian, or other non-Christian prayer was used to open a district or council event (unit events are a different issue)? If yes, why? And if yes, are you also offended by overtly Christian prayers (and if no to that, why not)? Does your local district or council have a rule against non-Christian prayers at district or council events?
      It's kind of like deciding whether a scout did the work for a POR, or whether a person is moral in the eyes of his religious beliefs, or whether a man is truly sorry for a mistake he made. What are they really thinking? We talk about servant leadership as caring for the people in our group. Did the person leading the overtly Christian prayer consider the non-Christians in the room? When people berate me for not taking off my hat during their prayer I assume either ignorance of my religious beliefs or complete disregard for them. So, to answer your question, somewhere between annoyance and offended. Either way I don't feel like praying with them. The guy that told the Muslim to keep quiet so he wouldn't offend anyone was beyond belief. To paraphrase the Dalai Lama: "I like your Scout Oath and Scout Law, I just don't like your Scouters. They are so unlike each other."

      Packsaddle, religious expression occurs as "part of a herd" because a big part of religion is developing a community. If it's done with the right intent and the right spirit, it's a very good thing. I go to services and it's a calming thing that brings us together. We sing prayers, we think about our relationship with God, we drink wine, we break bread together (literally), we commune. It makes us better as individuals and closer as a group. I'm also fairly sure Mormons would not approve of the wine. That's why I wouldn't suggest at a roundtable to say a prayer over wine. It's simply a matter of understanding who you're with and caring enough about them to do the right thing. Since that's a big part of what we're trying to teach the scouts, maybe we should do it ourselves.

      Comment


      • #35
        Non-sectarian means that the BSA will respect and welcome our Pack conducting a Christian scout's own service that meets the needs of our Pack family members. It also means they will respect and welcome our decision not to offer a multi-faith or inter-faith service. Also, we will be respected and welcome if we choose not do one at all.

        Comment


        • Trevorum
          Trevorum commented
          Editing a comment
          Your pack is welcome to hold a service that meets your needs and you need not make accomodations for, say, Zoroastrianism if there are no families of that faith in your pack. However, I would hope that you are welcoming to the new Hindu family and respectful of their beliefs, should they want to join Scouting!

        • Jeffrey H
          Jeffrey H commented
          Editing a comment
          Yep. We welcome all faiths and no-faith. All people are God's creation and must be honored with respect and dignity. Attendance at our Scout's Own services are optional and we only do them maybe twice a year. When we do them, they reflect the values and beliefs of our Church Charter Organization.

      • #36
        What non-sectarian means to me and what it means to my council are entirely different. To me it means that a scout must believe in a higher power, but nowhere does it state which higher power. To my Council non-sectarian means non-denominational Christian.

        At Wood Badge last June I was told that my religion was occult and had no place in Scouting. (I’m Druid; goddess forbid that scouts interact with people who worship nature and count the solstices and equinoxes as holy days!) The upshot of “coming out” as a non-Christian was that I was not allowed to complete my ticket. Then when our committee chair stepped down in January our Troop Committee wanted to put me in his place, but our council said they would revoke our charter if I was Committee Chair.

        Speaking from experience I can honestly say that I hear a lot about how membership is left up to the units, but even when a unit accepts a non-Christian there can still be significant obstacles from the council and national.

        Comment


        • ThomasJefferson
          ThomasJefferson commented
          Editing a comment
          Humans are so stupid. How we made it this far is a mystery. Anyone who thinks we will be here in 300 years is not paying attention.

          I would have put my own wood badge beads on you myself if I had been personal witness to this atrocity.

          This is why BSA's membership policy has to go. BSA is too stupid to enforce a policy like this effectively. The guys who run BSA all have below average IQ's.

      • #37
        Welcome to the forums, Khaliela.
        What you describe makes me very discouraged on behalf of the scout law. But at least they're honest about their apocalyptic stupidity. Other councils might offer some mealy-mouthed deception to accomplish the same end while trying to maintain an appearance of fairness. It is just so sad, the hypocrisy.

        Comment


        • #38
          Originally posted by Khaliela View Post
          What non-sectarian means to me and what it means to my council are entirely different. To me it means that a scout must believe in a higher power, but nowhere does it state which higher power. To my Council non-sectarian means non-denominational Christian. At Wood Badge last June I was told that my religion was occult and had no place in Scouting. (I’m Druid; goddess forbid that scouts interact with people who worship nature and count the solstices and equinoxes as holy days!) The upshot of “coming out” as a non-Christian was that I was not allowed to complete my ticket. Then when our committee chair stepped down in January our Troop Committee wanted to put me in his place, but our council said they would revoke our charter if I was Committee Chair. Speaking from experience I can honestly say that I hear a lot about how membership is left up to the units, but even when a unit accepts a non-Christian there can still be significant obstacles from the council and national.
          Your Wood Badge counselor and Council are wrong and in violation of National policy; you should contact your Region or National and have the situation resolved. The Declaration of Religious Principle (http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/...AndBylaws.aspx) requires no specific faith, only faith. It also explicitly mandates reverence toward difference faiths in carrying out activities.

          Comment


          • #39
            Scouter99:
            I wrote two letters to national and got no response. The official word is that I was not prevented for holding leadership positions, removed as a district trainer, and prevented from completing my ticket because I’m not Christian. I was removed because I refused to adhere to the principals taught at Wood Badge.

            Basically, I didn’t wear the hat unless forced because in my religion your head is sacred and should not be covered. Then, by asking for religious accommodations I wasn’t following the patrol method because everyone in the patrol has to do the same thing, so I can’t go off on my own at any point for any reason AND I had to participate in all the Christian Religious ceremonies.

            Comment


            • Rick_in_CA
              Rick_in_CA commented
              Editing a comment
              KDD - I don't know anything about Khaliela's specific beliefs, but a good general start is probably:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Druidism

            • King Ding Dong
              King Ding Dong commented
              Editing a comment
              I vaguely remember from one of the online training courses selecting environmental stewardship or some such term as a value or goal of scouting and getting it wrong. Makes sense now, nature is just a classroom to be used to teach values.

              There are several religions that the BSA finds acceptable that I find vile, what is described here is very benign in comparison. Christians sure can be a funny bunch in numbers.

            • Scouter99
              Scouter99 commented
              Editing a comment
              Well, it all depends on how much it matters to you and how much you want to push it, but when I want to be I'm the kind of guy that it wouldn't go away as easy as ignoring me. Would they try to require an Orthodox Jew to *un*cover his head?

              King DD: I think to be a modern druid you just earn the Astronomy, Sustainability, Bird Study, Fish and Wildlife Management, Soil and Water Conservation, Mammal Study, Reptile Study, and Beekeeping MBs, plus the Leave no Trace Achievement Award, Paul Bunyan Woodsman award, and Hornaday Award.

          • #40
            @King Ding Dong:

            What is a “modern” Druid? Now there is a can of worms if ever I saw one!

            There are as many “denominations” of Pagans as there are denominations of Christians. Basically we can group Druids into three broad categories, paleopagan (Dead People and people who put in the time on archeological and anthropological research to do as the dead people did), mezzopagan (the guys who run around in the white robes) and neopagan (everyone else.)
            Technically someone isn’t a Druid unless they are a priest or priestess. That would be like a Catholic saying their religion was that of a Cardinal or a Pope. A Druid is a religious leader, not a religion, but it’s the easiest answer to give when a non-pagan ask what your religion is.

            The word Pagan has Latin origins; the Romans used it to refer to the “uncivilized” peasants, including the cis-Alpine Celts, living in rural districts that refused to trek into the temples, but preferred to worship among the fields and forests. After the Christians made it to Rome the word Pagan was transformed to include all those who practiced any of the European tribal religions, including the Grecian, Roman, and Norse pantheons.

            Commonalities among groups:
            1. When it comes to God we have a pantheon (goddesses included.)
            2. We worship nature.
            3. We celebrate 8 holy days.
              1. The 4 Quarter days are the Solstices and Equinoxes. These are solar festivals.
              2. The 4 Cross-Quarter days are the mid-points between the solstices and equinoxes. These are lunar festivals (AKA fire festivals, because let’s face it, if you’re going to be outside at night you may as well have a bonfire and roast marshmallows. Besides, I’ve yet to meet a God who didn’t like burnt offerings! LOL)
              3. The purpose of these holy days is to celebrate the cycle of the seasons, the blessings of nature, the changes in our lives, and the wheel of the year.
            Once you get past that we are as diverse as the many Christian groups. Incidentally, many Christians unknowingly celebrate pagan holidays in precisely the way the Pagan Gods prescribed. Imbolc in the Pagan calendar is a cross-quarter day dedicated to the goddess Brigid; the Catholics turned it into Candlemass and dedicated it to Saint Bridig (Yes, they Sainted our Goddess and built an abbey on the sight of her sacred well.) Beltane became May Day, Lugnadesh became Lammas, Oestara became Easter (didn’t even bother to change the name on that one), etcetera. The upshot is most Christians are already familiar with the pagan holy days as well as the manner of celebration, albeit slightly twisted.

            Comment


            • #41
              @JoeBob: LOL!!!!

              You're probally right there. How they can advocate for leave-no-trace and promote the ATV program is beyond me! Camp Grizzly (INWC) started the program last year and it's got local law enforcement up in arms. The kids ride right down the middle of the road and if the Forest Service Ranger or Game Warden tries to stop and ticket them they head off into the brush where law enforcement trucks can't follow. I'm a Hunters Education Instructor so I see the Game Wardens faily often, apparently the new ATV program drives them crazy.

              Comment


              • #42
                Khaliela, welcome to the forums. We have several other members who follow pagan and naturalistic faith traditions here, so you're not alone. I am sorry for your unfair treatment at your Wood Badge course and I suspect it was due to one or several individuals at the local council level who have not fullly embraced the 'Inclusiveness' ideal. Your experience would have been different in other councils, including my own. As a voting member of the National Council's Religious Relationships Task Force, I can assure you that this is NOT a national policy. Most explicitly, ALL faith traditions are welcomed by BSA (though evidently not all all individuals). As you know, paganism is widely misunderstood and active discrimination is common. As a member of a minority faith myself, I simply try to open minds one at a time by example and through respectful dialogue. It has largely worked. Some Christan fundamentalists will never accept me, but they have learned a measure of tolerance within the Scouting community. I see that as success.

                Comment


                • #43
                  I wonder with many zealots abandoning ship....If the quality of the program will improve........Close minded christian only views of scouting stepping away from the table.

                  Comment


                  • #44
                    Originally posted by Rick_in_CA View Post
                    The BSA’s bylaws state that the BSA is “completely nonsectarian”. The question is: “What does nonsectarian mean to you in a BSA context”?
                    I think that official BSA publications describe very well what that means and how to implement it. I just found a post I had written for rec.scouting in 1996 that somebody else has quoted in full: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fro...ng/adi4Dl5TlZY In it I quoted those officially published BSA policies and then described how BSA was (and undoubtedly still is) willfully violating each and every one of them.

                    Every member is to following his own faith, not somebody else's, and put it into practice. Every member is to be judged by the standards of his own religious tradition, not by anybody else's. BSA is specifically and explicitly prohibited from defining "God", "Duty to God", or the practice of religion. BSA is specifically and explicitly prohibited from determining whether a member performs his own "Duty to God"; that duty is assigned explicitly to the member's own religious leaders.

                    Instead, BSA violates its own rules by defining "God" as a "Supreme Being" and "Duty to God" as requiring "belief in a Supreme Being." Furthermore, BSA persistently lied (and undoubtedly still does) about having a rule that requires belief in a "Supreme Being", when such a rule in fact did not exist (if that has changed, then please inform me; that is what those aborted attempts to create a new topic were about). Indeed, during the Randall Trial the judge ordered our Council Exec to produce that "Supreme Being" rule and our CE had to admit in court that it does not exist.

                    I do not have a problem with a private organization setting standards and rules for membership in that organization. I do have a problem when that organization then violates all those rules and then lies outrageously about it.

                    Comment


                    • #45
                      Since the server seems to be back up now, am trying this to return this topic to the top of the list.

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X