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  • #46
    Originally posted by boomerscout View Post
    Earlier I asked about how an atheist can have religious beliefs since religion implies the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.
    Really? That would be news to a whole bunch of Buddhist (and a bunch of people of quite a few other faiths). Though I guess you could be one of those people that don't believe Buddhism is a real religion.


    • NJCubScouter
      NJCubScouter commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by thomasjefferson
      But I cannot believe in a human-personified God because such myths and stories only make sense on a planet that exists alone in the universe. These myths were all conceived on a world that most believed to be the only world, with hell (lava) below and heaven (stars) above. In a galaxy with 200 billion stars and perhaps 1 billion habitable worlds, such a belief system is silly to me.
      Which doesn't necessarily make one an atheist, of course. I do not believe in a "human-personified God" either, but I am also not an atheist.

      Because a God in charge of a Universe this size where another planet may be controlled by trisexual octopus like creatures with the ability to be spacecraft that go faster than light - that being isn't going to care about human homosexuality or humans worshipping images of other gods. Nor is it going to make ten commandments about mothers and fathers.
      And after reading that, I wonder whether you are actually an atheist or not, yourself. It's up to you, of course. But there was a time in my life when I believed I was an atheist, when it probably turns out that what I didn't believe in was the anthropmorphic, involved-in-our-lives version of God. I eventually came to the conclusion that the Universe had to have been created by something "bigger than us" (us including your alien octopus, the Romulans, the Vulcans, Jedi Knights and whatever or whoever may inhabit the apparently habitable planets circling the star Gliese 561, etc.) I call that something "God" for sake of convenience, so I don't have to go through this whole explanation when the word "God" is sufficient for the occasion.
      Last edited by NJCubScouter; 07-08-2013, 04:57 PM. Reason: Eliminate extra white space

    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      Seems that TJ (if he truly exists and is not some random bits projected on the internet in advance of a trisexual octupus-like exploitation of our blue orb) would be squarely in the non-religious/atheist camp. He makes it clear that he has no need to align himself with the powers of the universe. Any thing that is represented as a power is mere atoms just like the rest of us.

      That is where my Buddhist atheist friends seem to distinguish themselves. They act in such a way that seems to be out of obligation to a higher order than the material world. -- Along the lines of NJ's thinking.

      I have never conversed at length to any UUA's like DLWise describes himself. So I don't know how I would categorize that flavor, really. But then again, I am also told that systematic categories are just another artifact of Western civilization, so it may be a moot point.

    • packsaddle
      packsaddle commented
      Editing a comment
      Qwazse, I think you'll find that every UU is unique in this particular aspect so don't expect, necessarily, to 'understand' TJ by meeting other UUs. Better to just work with TJ if you really want to figure out TJ. This probably applies to everyone else too, lol, IMHO.

  • #47
    And "they" say we don't need a "Faith and Chaplaincy " forummmmmmmmm.

    Is the "Supernatural Ruling Entity of the universe" real or mythological? Depends on your attitude.
    Is it a Deist type (set the rules and components of the universe in motion and stand back to watch) or a (don't have a title) activist God, who takes personal inerest in his creation? Or some sort of combination? Can't rescind the law of gravity , but maybe help a human along the way.... Can't prevent cancer if the certain conditions are met, but maybe help show the way to avoid breathing toluene and ammonia.

    The recorded miracles of Jesus are part of how/why the Christian faiths were created. We don't have BIG miracles anymore to "prove" faith. Parting seas, raising the dead, curing deseases from a distance....
    So we have to learn to recognize the "small" miracles. Some folks call these "coincidences", or "accidents". But they are the personal attention getters that fall across our path every so often.

    People we meet, "just in the nick of time", who are just the right person to help at just the right moment. The tree that falls across your cars path, not hitting it, thus preventing you from driving into another problem you meet later. The right words that come to your lips , despite your not being prepared to speak on that subject. Remembering that odd piece of something that you saved for no good reason on the back of the top shelf that happens to be just the thing to fix the necessary part you need for that important project. That piece of broken rock that could have hit you , had you been a foot further along the sidewalk, but you hesitated to glance at the pretty flower. This is more than "not boarding the Titanic".
    Recognizing the godspark can allow more to be recognized.
    As Quakers, we meet in silence, allowing the Spirit to inspire us and (perhaps) speak the message given us. I participated in a workshop once on the subject of recognizing when to Speak in Meeting, and when to Wait. We recognized there are "symptoms" indicating a need to speak, sweaty palms, nervous feet, inability to sit still, an urgency to say ,,,,something. Sometimes the subject is not known until we stand and give voice to it. One of the older women in the workshop circle was seen to be crying as we discussed these "symptoms". She finally said she had experienced all of them at one time or another , over the years had successfully fought them down, and now they no longer occurred.

    Look for and acknowledge the Small Miracles in your life.


    • #48
      I wonder why a non believer would want to join an organization of believers (in this case the Boy Scouts). I do not get it. The Boy Scouts are a private orginazation and as such have the right to dictate who can be a member. The Boy Scouts have that same right as other private organizations such as the NAACP, NRA, NOW, and the Catholic Church do. The NAACP can discriminate by refusing to accept a Klansman as a member. The Catholic Church discriminates against Jews when it requires priests to be Catholic. NOW would be correct in denying membership to George Bush a person who is not pro-choice. And the NRA discriminates by denying membership to President Obama who wants to ban the private ownership and use of guns.

      The Boy Scouts as a private organization can have a good reason, bad reason, irrational reason, or any other reason in establishing membership criteria. Their reason can be one that you might not approve of but as a private orginazation it is their right to discriminate. I appose everything the Nazi Party of the United States stands for but they have a right to exist and they have a right to establish membership criteria. To be clear I am not comparing the Nazi Party to that of the Boy Scouts.

      What is sad and to me it is anti-freedom to have those who oppose the Boy Scouts sue the Boy Scouts time and time again attempting to force them to take them in as a member. Atheists have no right to be a member of the Boy Scouts in the same way Jews have no right to be priests of the Catholic Church. Why is it anti-freedom for Atheists though the use of the courts to become a member of the Boy Scouts is because if this were to happen some court might require another private orginazation to accept as a member someone they do not want. The NAACP might be required to have a Klansman as a member. The NAACP might be required to operate their orginazation against their wishes. This has happened. In the 1950’s legislators in the South passed laws requiring the NAACP to turn over their membership information to them. This was done so the police could harass and threaten the members and supporters of the NAACP. The US Supreme Court ruled the NAACP could not be required to give their membership information to government officials. They ruled such laws violated the 1st amendment.

      Where do we get our rights. The founders believed we get our rights from God. In the Declaration of Independence Americans declared in 1776 that "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Those who signed the Declaration of Independence, and the people of the states they represented believed that fundamental truth.

      Through out America’s history the belief that God is our creator and the source of human rights has been acknowledged again and again. In 1781, Thomas Jefferson in his work titled, “Notes on the State of Virginia” wrote, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God.”

      Congress in September 25, 1789 approved a resolution calling on President Washington to proclaim a National Day of Thanksgiving for the people declaring, “A day of public Thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging . . . The many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity to establish a Constitution of Government for their safety and happiness.” This President Washington did so establishing the first Thanksgiving holiday under the US Constitution. In the proclamation given Washington thanked God for the recent victory over the British and helping establish a nation founded on the liberty of the people.

      In 1863 President Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address said, “. . . that this Nation under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and the Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not parish from the Earth.”

      In June 15, 1954 President Eisenhower signed into law that amended the Pledge of Allegiance to read, “ . . . one Nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

      The Boy Scouts in the oath referencing God attest to the basic fact that our rights come from God. You might not agree that our rights come from God but that is irrelevant because the historical fact is that Americans believe that our rights come from God that no government can take away.

      What should Atheists do? First they and their supporters should leave the Boy Scouts alone. Secondly they can join another organization such as the 4H Club, the Boys Club, or Atheist United that will welcome them as members. They can form their own camping orginazation and set whatever membership criteria they want. They can get together with friends and go camping.

      Finally I go back to the beginning, “Why would a non-believer want to join the Boy Scouts an organization of believers in God who do not want non-believers as members?"
      Last edited by JoeC; 07-13-2013, 11:43 PM.


      • Merlyn_LeRoy
        Merlyn_LeRoy commented
        Editing a comment
        What should Atheists do? First they and their supporters should leave the Boy Scouts alone.

        Since atheists have first amendment rights, and since the BSA has been less than honest when excluding atheists, no.

      • packsaddle
        packsaddle commented
        Editing a comment
        When I was CM, doing the 'roundup' thing, there was absolutely no mention, whatsoever, by me or the other CM's present, or the DE, of anything about there being a religious requirement for membership. The only thing we talked about was all the fun the boys would have, with examples of the activities and sometimes even a few scouts present in uniform. We were recruiting. We weren't trying to polarize people by telling them right there that, "By the way, if you don't believe so-and-so you're not welcome as a member". So when you ask why someone would want to join a private religious organization if they didn't share those religious beliefs, in my experience it is because that recruiting process was deceptive and allowed people to remain ignorant of BSA's status as a private religious organization.

        Years later when I asked him, the DE noted that it would have 'turned people off' if we had stood in front of those families and told them that we want them to consider joining BUT gay persons and atheists are not welcome. If we had then, as the DE went on to explain, we'd probably get fewer people to sign up. THAT, to me, is clearly a deception. And I think that provides part of the answer for the first sentence in your post.

        Edit to add: I have several times over the years, offered the opinion that in those recruiting efforts, we should prominently and proudly proclaim that BSA is a private religious organization and that we reject gays and non-believers. That way the potential customers would know what the product really is...and the marketplace would take care of things.
        Last edited by packsaddle; 07-15-2013, 05:23 AM.

      • DWise1
        DWise1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Why would anybody want to join the Boy Scouts? Think about it! Why would anybody want to join the Boy Scouts? In particular, why would any adult, especially a parent of a boy, want to join?

        How's about because they believe in the principles and ideals of Scouting. Because they remember what they had themselves learned as Scouts (or the women vicariously through their brothers) and they want their own sons to learn the same things and to have the same experiences, so they join as well as volunteer leaders. Or because they loved the experience and want to continue in it, giving back to the movement.

        That last category would include senior Scouts who age out at 18 and stay on in the troop as junior adult leaders. Or men and women whose own sons have aged out and remain active at the district and council level; our district had several such members of the "Goat Patrol". Or men who have no sons who want to continue on -- we have one such who was active in Venture Scouting and also volunteered to help with our troop.

        The reason for joining Boy Scouts is Scouting! Why else would anyone join?

        Originally posted by JoeC
        The Boy Scouts as a private organization can have a good reason, bad reason, irrational reason, or any other reason in establishing membership criteria. Their reason can be one that you might not approve of but as a private orginazation it is their right to discriminate.
        Yes, but once they have established their membership criteria, then they are obligated to apply and enforce it! BSA has indeed established its membership criteria in its officially published Rules and Regulations, Bylaws, and other official policy statements.

        None of BSA's officially published policy gives any reason for excluding an atheist just for being an atheist. BSA has repeatedly claimed to have a rule that requires "belief in a Supreme Being" and insisting that that was the rule that required them "against their will" to exclude atheists. The problem is that that rule simply does not exist. Not only would such a rule directly conflict with officially published BSA policy, but it has even been officially denied:
        1. In 1985 in the Paul Trout incident by CSE Ben Love and Relationships Division Director William McCleery III.
        2. In a 21 December 1994 letter by Relations Division Director Larry Townsend.
        3. In the Randall trial by Orange County Council SE Kent Gibbs when directly ordered by Judge Frazee to produce that "rule" that Gibbs kept going on about.

        As a matter of fact, the entire reason for this topic is for me to ask whether anyone knows whether this "rule's" offical status has changed since circa 1998, when last I had checked.

        Originally posted by JoeC
        The founders believed we get our rights from God. In the Declaration of Independence. {etc}
        It is really not a good idea for you to always assume that when someone uses the word "God" then it must always mean the same as you would use that word and that it must always mean your own god. It rarely works out that way. You always need to be aware of context to be able to approach the true meaning of anything that's said or written.

        You should also become familiar with Deism, which didsn't believe in a personal interactive god, but rather in a remote Prime Mover that had gotten the Universe started and then stood back to let it run. One term for this "Creator" was "the God of Nature" or "Nature's God" which had created the Laws of Nature. And certainly, that is the exact wording we find in the Declaration of Independence. You will also find it in Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, in which Paine refuted Christianity, which he considered to be a form of atheism because it denied the true God of Nature in order to worship a man. There's even a conspiracy theory, like "who really wrote Shakespeare?", that Paine had ghost-written the Declaration, since it is so similar to his style. And I'm fairly certain that your sources consider Paine to be an atheist, but his beliefs weren't much different than other Deists', such as Jefferson and several other Founding Fathers.

        Since you mistakenly find religious significance in the alteration of the Pledge, you should also read A Memorial and Remonstrance by James Madison, in which he described the need to separate government and religion a few years before he drafted the First Amendment. In it, he enumerates and demonstrates the detrimental effects on both government and religion when the two are allowed to co-mingle. And this has come to pass; in Supreme Court Justice Brennan's dissenting opinion in Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668 (1984):
        Originally posted by Justic Brennan
        ...I would suggest that such practices as the designation of "In God We Trust" as our national motto, or the references to God contained in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag can best be understood, in Dean Rostow's apt phrase, as a form a "ceremonial deism," protected from Establishment Clause scrutiny chiefly because they have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content.
        So in the Pledge and the new Motto, "God" has been reduced to meaningless "ceremonial deism". Congratulations! I'm sure you're so proud of yourself.

        And that "any significant religious content" had been arrived at by "rote repetition". Gee, that sounds like "Duty to God" in the Scout Oath, doesn't it? Only officially published BSA policy does tell us what it means, that each member is to be attentive in the duties of his own religion. What does BSA require that duty to be? It doesn't! That is up to each member's own religious leaders and community. What does BSA define "God" to be? It doesn't, nor may it! That is up to each member's own religious leaders and community. What about "belief in God"? Not only does BSA not attempt to define it, but it doesn't even require it! Well, except for that fictitious non-rule that BSA keeps lying about.

        All that BSA officially requires regarding religion is that definite attention be given to that aspect of one's life.

        Originally posted by JoeC
        Atheists have no right to be a member of the Boy Scouts in the same way Jews have no right to be priests of the Catholic Church.
        Where exactly in BSA's officially published policies does it say that atheists cannot be members of BSA? Cite it and quote it!

        Of course, you may have difficulty doing that, besides for the obvious reason that it does not say it. That other difficulty would be just gaining access to the documents. Back around 1990, copies of BSA's Rules and Regulations and Bylaws were readily available for sale in the Scout Shop. But then BSA suddenly pulled them all off the shelves and restricted access to them on a need-to-know basis. Why? Because they started showing up in court in the hands of the victims of BSA discrimination. And because they clearly showed the courts that BSA was violating its own officially published rules, regulations, bylaws, and policies. Faced with the truth, BSA did what all liars do, which is to try to hide the truth.

        Let me ask you a question. Both "A Scout is Reverent" and the description of "Duty to God" in the first Handbook require the scout to respect the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion. Obviously, a religious bigot cannot do that.

        Why then would a religious bigot ever want to join the Boy Scouts? Especially since his beliefs are in direct opposition to the religious principles of BSA and of Scouting.

        And, yes, I do fully realize that I'm yet again casting pearls before swine. My minister kept warning me about that, but here I go again.

    • #49
      JoeBob : "I wonder why a non believer would want to join an organization of believers (in this case the Boy Scouts). I do not get it. "

      From what I see of members of the BSA I would hardly call us a group of "believers" like a church would be.. Perhaps some units tightly controlled by a religious organization who limit their units to members of their church, or insist on prayer and Sunday services.. But, the majority of groups that treat religious teachings as up to the parents and really don't deal with it, we are a group of believers and those who don't give it much thought except a fuzzy perhaps there is something..

      Since BSA units are not 90% to 100% of prayer and Bible readings, but instead 90% to 99% of camping and fun, I get it..

      Joe - If your unit it 90% to 100% religion centered, I feel sorry for the fun your kids are missing.


      • packsaddle
        packsaddle commented
        Editing a comment
        Ahem, that was JoeC, not JoeBob.

    • #50
      Since atheists have first amendment rights

      Of course you and other atheists have the right to speak and criticize the Boy Scouts and I will defend that right. When I say “Leave us alone” I say to you, the parents of atheist children, the ACLU, NOW, Atheists United, and other liberal legal interest groups stop suing the Boy Scouts. School Districts, cities, states, and other government organizations stop the law suits! There have been law suits against the Boy scouts since the 1970’s over the issue concerning membership. And the law suits continue. We are a private orginazation and we have the right to decide who we want in our organization. We have the right to establish membership criteria. You and other atheist have no right to be in the Boy Scouts. When I say “Leave us alone” I say stop attempting to join the Boy Scouts using force via the courts. It is anti-freedom.

      and since the BSA has been less than honest when excluding atheists, no.

      We have been very honest. Since the founding of the Boy Scouts of America there has been a reference to God in the Boy Scout oath. Since the 1950’s when conducting a flag ceremony God has been referenced when Boy Scouts have recited the Pledge of Allegiance. And since the 1970’s the Boy Scouts have been very clear in press releases, statements made by officers of the Boy Scouts, briefs given in the courtroom, and arguments given to the US Supreme Court that if you are an atheist you cannot be a member. How clearer than that can we be.


      • qwazse
        qwazse commented
        Editing a comment
        Pack, I agree. When son #1 was interested in cub scouts, the cubmaster tried to do just that in presenting the program to us parents. I'm pretty sure he was following his own script, not the districts. He went a little too far in describing BSA as a "Christian" organization. (My experiences as a scout -- especially at Jamboree -- showed me how diverse the organization was, so I knew he was being a bit narrow.) But, he was clear to point out that it welcomed boys of all religions and expected leaders to have some belief in God. His statement didn't offend away any parents in the room. And, even if a couple folks weren't the church-going type, I think they appreciated the disclosure.

        He made no mention of homosexuality. Not because he was naive to it, but because it wasn't even on his radar considering the couples in the room and the age of youth he was dealing with.

        For the Venturers (and older boys), I have encouraged them to read the fine print on the youth application ("reference" being one of the foundational steps of teaching any skill, especially scouting). They are more than welcome to ask questions. Some Christians do ask for clarification on how broad "non-sectarian" is. Generally I tell them "very broad" and that they might find themselves in the company of the kind of people Jesus would bunk with, so their parents probably would not approve. I've also made it clear that I have no intention of applying the "gay ban" to youth. So far, it hasn't scared any of them away. (On the other hand, the possibility of little Jenny being around boys with the prevailing orientation has been the occasional deal-breaker!)

      • Merlyn_LeRoy
        Merlyn_LeRoy commented
        Editing a comment
        I say to you, the parents of atheist children, the ACLU, NOW, Atheists United, and other liberal legal interest groups stop suing the Boy Scouts

        What lawsuits about membership requirements have been filed since Dale? I don't know of any.

        School Districts, cities, states, and other government organizations stop the law suits

        Any public school or school district that charters a BSA unit ought to be sued. But again, I don't know of any since the Dale decision. There was the 2005 letter from the Illinois ACLU threatening to sue if the BSA continued to charter discriminatory BSA units to public schools, but since the BSA pretty much stopped issuing charters to government entities after that, I don't know of any lawsuits.

        There have been a few lawsuits post-Dale over special government deals that the BSA gets, because the government shouldn't take public tax money and spend it on an organization that discriminates on the basis of religion, as that's a first amendment issue.

        And the law suits continue.
        When I say “Leave us alone” I say stop attempting to join the Boy Scouts using force via the courts.

        Which lawsuits? I'm serious, cite some actual recent lawsuits. I'm very up on atheist issues and I don't know of any.

        We have been very honest

        Nope, not when public schools were the #1 largest chartering partner while the BSA expected these public schools to exclude atheists. That's in violation of the constitution. Texas was the worst, with 25% of all cub scout packs chartered by public schools.

      • DWise1
        DWise1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by JoeC
        We are a private orginazation and we have the right to decide who we want in our organization. We have the right to establish membership criteria.
        Yes, BSA is and, yes, BSA does. And BSA has. The problem is that BSA refuses to follow its own rules and its own membership criteria.

        The reason for the lawsuits is because of BSA's actions, as well as their draconian methods for mistreating their victims. Because BSA allows no recourse whatsoever. When James Randall's sons were summarily expelled, he met with the council's SE and tried to resolve the matter. The SE refused all attempts at a resolution, finally telling Randall to sue them. That was BSA ordering the parent of its victims to sue BSA. Which he did. And he won. It was overturned several years later by the state supreme court, but at least the boys were able to participate and advance to their Eagle Review (which is why the state Attorney General pushed the court to rule on the case). Their Scoutmaster praised them as model Scouts and wished more of his boys were like them. BTW, the state supreme court upheld that BSA discriminated, however the law didn't apply to them as a private organization.

        And the lawsuits and other actions continue because of BSA continued actions.

        Originally posted by JoeC
        You and other atheist have no right to be in the Boy Scouts.
        Show me exactly where in officially published BSA policy that it says that.

        Show me.

        Originally posted by JoeC
        We have been very honest.
        That is a total falsehood! Because of that gross lie about a rule requiring "belief in a Supreme Being" and because of the outright fraud BSA has practiced by lying to get money from donors and sponsors who have non-discrimination criteria for their recipients and because all the other lies they've been telling the public.

        Originally posted by JoeC
        Since the 1950’s when conducting a flag ceremony God has been referenced when Boy Scouts have recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
        I have also seen a film clip from WWII where a Boy Scout recited the Pledge of Allegiance without any reference to "God". Of course, that was because those two words weren't added until 1954.

        But what makes this statement meaningless is because the word "God" in it has been reduced to meaningless mumbling as pointed out by US Supreme Court Justice Brennan. It's nothing now except "ceremonial deism", lacking any actual religious meaning.

        Originally posted by JoeC
        Since the founding of the Boy Scouts of America there has been a reference to God in the Boy Scout oath.
        More "ceremonial deism". And even BSA's own officially published policy does not identify it as a reference to your particular god, nor to any particular god (consider the Hindu scouts), nor even to any god at all (consider the Buddhist scouts).

        Originally posted by JoeC
        And since the 1970’s the Boy Scouts have been very clear in press releases, statements made by officers of the Boy Scouts, briefs given in the courtroom, and arguments given to the US Supreme Court that if you are an atheist you cannot be a member.
        All of which cite as the reason for expelling atheists that "belief in a Supreme Being" "rule" which does not even exist! So they're lying to the public and to the courts about that! Remember, Judge Frazee in the Randall trial directly ordered our SE to produce that "rule" and he finally had to admit to the judge that it does not exist!

        Plus we have that "we're a religious organization and we always have been" lie which they started around 1991 on the advice of their lawyers. Since religious organizations have an easier time fighting discrimination litigation, BSA attorneys decided to have BSA claim that. Ironically, BSA had spent its first several decades fighting the notion that it was a religious organization like so many other youth organizations, in particular that it was Protestant, because they wanted to bring in boys of all different faiths.

        At the exact same time that BSA was lying about being a religious organization (with a "secret religious agenda", no less), they also found themselves faced with litigation which was trying to bar them from recruiting in the public schools, just as no other religious organization is allowed to. So now they lied to the court that they aren't a religious organization and they never have been.

        That kind of shenanigans may be normal among lawyers, but out here in the real world we have to ask both "so which is it already?" and "either way you're lying, so why?". Either way, BSA is most definitely not being honest!

        When I started out, I saw the requirement that they be "absolutely nonsectarian" in their attitude towards religion. And as I researched further into officially published BSA policy, I saw that it was a very enlighted policy that could very well implement an "absolutely nonsectarian" program. But then news of the Randall twins' expulsion hit the news and realized that there was something very wrong happening. I realized that BSA was violating its own rules.

        Now, our United Way, like most other United Ways, had a non-discrimination requirement for all recipients. So BSA would bring in their officially published policies to show United Way that they didn't discriminate and United Way would give them their money. And then BSA would not only discriminate at will, but proclaim in court and even in some public statements that they discriminate and they are proud to discriminate. But in all their dealings with United Way and with all other charities and donors and sponsors they would trot out their official rules and lie to them that they don't discriminate. I feel that that kind of dishonesty for monetary gain borders on outright fraud. At the very least, it most certainly is not being honest.

        Far worse is the situation with their chartering organizations (CO) that have non-discrimination policies. BSA will trot out its officially published policies to show that they do not discriminate and then when the CO has units BSA will arbitrarily discriminate against one of the units' members completely against the will of the CO. Without warning, those COs suddenly become accomplices in discrimination and are completely helpless to do anything about it. So because of BSA's dishonesty, those COs are subject to whatever penalties they face for violating their own non-discrimination policies, all though no fault of their own except that they were foolish enough to trust BSA.

        But wait, there's more! In court, BSA has argued that since they are a private "religious" organization, the plaintiffs cannot sue them, so the plaintiffs should instead sue the CO for discrimination. That's right! First BSA creates the situation, forcing discrimination on the CO completely against their will (and ignoring all attempts by the CO to make it stop), and then BSA throws the CO under the bus.

        How many points of the "Scout Law" do we see being violated there? At the very least "Trustworthy", "Loyal", "Helpful", "Friendly", "Courteous", "Kind", "Obediant" (eg, violating court orders to not interfere with the Randall twins' participation while appeals were pending), "Cheerful" (more like sneering and gloating), "Thrifty" (wasting literally millions of dollars on unnecesary court cases that they themselves created; our council went to the units begging for donations citing legal costs of $5 million and I think they said it was just for the Randall trial), "Brave" (they kept snivelling in court that the Mormons were making them expel their victims). And don't forget "Reverent", since they show zero respect for the beliefs of others.

        Originally posted by JoeC
        We have been very honest.
        Sorry, Joe. Not even close. The extreme opposite, actually.

        So now the situation is still the same, only how the donors and the charities have learned through the lawsuits that BSA does indeed discriminate. So BSA has been losing money from those donors who do not allow discrimination. Why do you think that they voted gay youth in? Because they had suddenly seen the error of their ways? No, because they've been losing money. BSA wants to be able to claim that they don't discriminate anymore, but everyone can plainly see that they still do.

        Government agencies (including public schools) can no longer charter units, nor directly support BSA. BSA is losing use of public lands. And that is all right and proper for an organization that wants the benefits of being private and "religious". That is BSA's choice. And in all that BSA is losing and will lose, it is all because of what BSA has done and continues to do. They can still turn themselves around and start to actually follow their own rules, but I doubt that they will. You cannot say that anybody is excluding BSA, but rather that BSA is excluding itself*.

        So what has to be done is to inform all potential COs of what BSA has done and will do, so that they do not get suckered in by BSA's lies and become yet another of its victims.

        { * FOOTNOTE: Another of BSA's lies that it would tell the public was "We're not excluding atheists and gays; they're excluding themselves." }

    • #51
      My best friend, a non-catholic (non-Catholic?) sent his boys to a Jesuit run high school. Why? Because he thought that they would get a good education. I had my two sons go through the BSA program (Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts) because I thought it would do them and myself good. Both even earned their age appropriate religious youth emblem award (Light of Christ, Parvuli Dei and for one of them Ad Altare Dei). Maybe because their mother pushed them? Maybe because they thought having medals and knots on their uniform was cool?

      Anyway, my point is that the DRP was anything I was that enamored with or against so either way I thought the program would be good for my boys.


      • #52
        I just saw this and thought it might be relevant to this thread:

        In case you don't read Italian here's a synopsis:

        Headline: "Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven"
        Edit: Oops, here's the English version:
        Last edited by packsaddle; 09-12-2013, 03:25 PM.


        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          Wow. A large segment of the flock is not going to like that. I just read the synopsis, but it seems he is saying as long as in your conscious something is not a sin, God is cool with that. That is sure going to make the Cafeteria Catholics happy.

        • WAKWIB
          WAKWIB commented
          Editing a comment
          The headline writer for the Independent seems to pour more into what the Pope is saying than what he is really saying.

          “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.
          Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”

          He seems to saying what the Bible says in that our conscience is the light of God within each person. That God holds people accountable for how they have responded to conscience even if they have not heard, understood, or sought out the Gospel of Jesus. He speaks of God's mercy but has included the condition of seeking that mercy with a humble and contrite heart.

          Most Atheists, as opposed to those who have not heard or sought the Gospel, are quite different. They REJECT the claims of church or scripture. They maintain that God cannot and does not exist and therefore would never seek him with a humble and contrite heart. Why would they even be concerned about a Heaven they are certain does not exist?

          The Pope knows the difference between those who have doubts, fears, and lack of knowledge as opposed to those who despise and revile the very mention of God.
          Nothing in his entire letter gives a free pass to atheists. He speaks of the primacy of faith in the crucified and risen Christ and the believers obligation to represent Him in the world with humility and respect to others so that those see and hear our words and actions of faith will respond with a willing heart that seeks Him.
          Last edited by WAKWIB; 09-12-2013, 07:19 PM.

      • #53
        Let me give this thread a lil spin:
        BSA has a very basic rule like Free Masons - it doesnt matter what religion, as long as you tick one.
        In other countries scouts are totally split into different organisations that DONT interact much based on
        the kids being catholic/protestant whatever. I strongly dislike that.
        There is nothing better than having christians, jews and muslims and hindus and buddhists and and
        go out and play together, and go thrue the scouting program TOGETHER.
        "A scouts own" can be different for every single scout. It should never be about
        converting your peers but sharing, caring and respecting the other beliefs.
        Excluding anyone is wrong IMHO, even if BSA is a private organisation,
        "scouting" is more of an idea, a spirit.


        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          May his noodly appendages touch you.

        • packsaddle
          packsaddle commented
          Editing a comment
          KDD, I am just SO glad I didn't have a mouthful of coffee or something when I just read your comment.....

      • #54
        Isn't there a place where old threads can go to die????

        With Trail Life taking the "Fundies" won't this become a non-issue now?


        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          No. You don't have to be Fundi for the "word" to drive you to do hateful things to children.

        • DWise1_AOL
          DWise1_AOL commented
          Editing a comment
          No, absolutely not!

          BSA has proposed outside of its actual rules, regulations, bylaws, etc, the existence of a rule that requires "belief in a Supreme Being". Such a rule has so far not been determined to actually exist. For that matter, in court in the case of Randall v. Orange County Council the judge did directly order BSA Orange County Council to produce such a rule and said Council Exec, Kent Gibbs, did directly inform the judge that no such rule in fact actually exists. Boy Scouts America, Inc, admitted in court that there is no such rule requiring "belief in a Supreme Being."

          Do you have any problem with that?

          The point of this entire thread is that as of the 1990's, there was in deed no BSA rule that actually required "belief in a Supreme Being". There was no such actual rule in the mid-1980's during the Paul Trout debacle and, in deed, BSA very explicitly stated that any "belief in a Supreme Being" "rule" was a complete "mistake". There was still no such rule in the early 1990's when Chief Scout Exec Ben Love, the exact same CSE who had reassured everybody during the Paul Trout debacle, was again enforcing the "belief in a Supreme Being" "rule" that in the Paul Trout debacle he himself had labelled a "mistake".

          My question in this entire thread from the very start was whether anything had changed since the late 1990's. Going into the late 1990'a, any "belief in a Supreme Being" rule in BSA did not exist. I am asking whether any official rule has been enacted since then. So far, all indications are completely negative.

          That is what I have been asking all along: What has officially changed since the late 1990's?