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Churches Evicting Troops, and a new organization

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  • #16
    I have not heard of a Trails life troop around here. The only flack I've heard about the whole membership issue is that an older lady told the boys selling popcorn how mad she was about the BSA decision, and we had a district executive resign over the issue (he's still involved as a a parent/OA member, just not as paid staff).

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    • #17
      We've lost a few COs but none that have switched over to TL as far as I know.

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      • #18
        I watched about half of their 39 minute video. The program seems to be rigidly structured and adult led. With church membership declining, I don't see them as a growth area. I wonder if they're going to sell Trail's Life popcorn?

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        • #19

          Two troops near us have converted to TL. One was a small unit which dropped BSA all together. The other a larger unit, but about half the Scouts moved to another CO and are continuing with BSA. We've gained Scouts from both.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by nextgenscouter1 View Post
            ...I personally find this new organization disturbing for many different reasons.The first is their oath which is a dead ringer of the boy scout...
            I don't think their oath is that similar. But even if it was, it's not like the BSA can claim that for their own. The original oath and law were written by Baden-Powell in his 1908 Scouting for Boys books, before the BSA formed. Much of the BSA program came from BP's original scouting movement over in the UK.

            Other scouting groups besides the BSA also use similarly worded oaths and laws. No one really owns them.

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            • #21
              I agree with those here who have said that this spin off would probably have eventually happened even if the vote on the gay issue had not come up. There were (and still are) a group of people in the BSA that are not interested in, and have no intention of embracing the BSA values of pluralism (the BSA is “completely nonsectarian” and A Scout is Reverent - “... He respects the beliefs of others.”). They want the BSA to be an explicitly conservative Christian organization that allowed others to join, as long as they agreed to follow conservative Christian values (after all, these are the only valid “values”). The vote was a signal that the BSA was no-longer moving in the direction they wished.

              So it’s no surprise that Trail Life is an explicitly Christian organization (and only a certain kind of Christian at that), that has a policy on gays that is almost identical to the new BSA one (because it was really a religious issue, not one about gays). I have no problem with them and I wish them well. Trail Life (like the American Heritage Girls) is very up-front and honest about what they are, and provides an alternative to those scouters that don’t want to rub elbows with people of different faiths.

              Comment


              • EmberMike
                EmberMike commented
                Editing a comment
                moosetracker I have to disagree. Had the BSA kept this as a local decision to make, the same thing still would have happened eventually. This thing was always a powder keg. All it would take to set it off was that one district with a "no gays" policy and one kid getting kicked out and taking it to the press. That was going to happen eventually, no matter if the policy was locally or nationally set.

              • ghjim
                ghjim commented
                Editing a comment
                I was a scout in the 1960s and an adult program director in the late 1970s.
                I knew several gay scouts, however they were not really out in the open then.

                I don't recall anybody ever being kicked out for not being religious.

              • j2huggies
                j2huggies commented
                Editing a comment
                American Heritage Girls is the same people who founded TLUSA

            • #22
              Conservatve church "scout" like programs have been around for years. Just one more to add to the pile.

              Stosh

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              • #23
                My understanding is our Council hasn't lost any units. The most conservative/fundamentalist Church in our area has a long time very active Troop, they still don't have any women leaders, but they are sticking around. I lost one scout, which is odd because we're a Catholic unit and the new policy is pretty much the same policy our schools have. I never had to confront the issue, but I think the previous policy was as much a violation of our rules as it was consistent with them.

                I wonder how well the level of political activism in the Church correlates with the likelihood that they are leaving.

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                • moosetracker
                  moosetracker commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Well uprising may be strong, but he definitely mixed religion with politics and tried to force Catholics to all organize and protest and vote a certain way.. Dictating that all the priest read a certain political speech at all their services for a week, regardless of if the priest believed it or not.. My husband got his political speech dosed out at a Catholic funeral of all places!!.. I guess some priests who got into the speech too much expounded on it likening Obama to Hitlar or Stalin.. Other brave priest, noted what they were required to read, and then gave a sermon on why it was wrong to give a sermon on such crap..

                  For me Pope Benedict was a scary dude.. He said that God spoke to him and told him to step aside.. If so.. Thank you God..

                  Converting your religious members into a political army is wrong and dangerous.. Thankfully it all ended when they discovered the Republicans agenda against the poor.. It calmed down to both parties have pluses and minuses so make your own decision.

                  Then Pope Benedict left and this new pope is a breath of fresh air, even for us non-Catholics.. Especially those of us who fear religious leaders using their pulpit to create political armies in the name of God.

                  We still have the Conservative Protestants engaging in politicizing their religion though, so I still worry about them.. But my worries about Catholics have calmed down.

                • Sentinel947
                  Sentinel947 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Here's where Catholicism and Protestantism are different. There are plenty of issues where Catholics are free to have an opinion. There are some things that if Catholics don't believe them, you are denying central tenants of the religion. The Trinity, The Eucharist, the sanctity of life. (No death penalty, no euthanasia, no abortion, yes to social charity.)

                  The reason Catholics have the Priest, have the Clergy is to uphold the teachings of the Faith.

                  The document I cited earlier, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, breaks down the Bible and the beliefs of the church.

                  What might sound political is often reinforcing and reteaching some of the core values of the religion. If the Pope or any clergy told people Specifically who to vote for, that's wrong. But if they didn't warn Catholics about voting for things that are wrong, they wouldn't be doing their jobs.

                  Again I doubt Benedict Xvi was that involved with American Politics. More likely than not the order to speak about those issues came from the US bishops.

                  The Catholic Church is going to push it's members to vote for a government that reflects it's goals. Were you complaining about politicization of Catholics when the US Council of Bishops was giving support for Obamacare? Or support for immigration reform? My local parish in Ohio is in speaker Boehners district. The church organized a rally for immigration reform outside Boehners offices .

                  I hope I'm not coming off as pushy. Doing my best to explain a complex topic.
                  Last edited by Sentinel947; 02-12-2014, 07:52 AM. Reason: Typo

                • Peregrinator
                  Peregrinator commented
                  Editing a comment
                  There definitely weren't any "orders" to speak out or stage protests ... for all the nativist fear of Catholics getting their marching orders from the Vatican, it doesn't actually happen.

                  Take France for example -- do you think the "Manif pour Tous" movement is taking orders from the Pope? Sunday Mass attendance in France is so bad (in the single digits) that a priest would be thrilled with the level of Mass attendance in the U.S. (around 25%).

              • #24
                I'm giving up writing comments. My last two I posted under the right section and they were thrown into the thread but under the wrong post and not where I placed the comment..

                So In answer to Sentinel947 23.15.. ~~Did the council support it, or did they do sermons telling their followers to go out and rally and picket and protest about it as a massive group?.. One is fine, one is not, regardless of if it supports my ideas or not..
                They definitely went beyond preaching about sin.. They were stating who to vote for.. You had a lot of Catholics ALOT, walking away from that sermon with smoke blowing out of their ears.. Even my brother-in-law, who is basically Republican and all for Mitt Romney replacing Obama was livid with the speech they were forced to listen to during that funeral.. It was probably close to what his beliefs were, but had absolutely no place being spoken in a church.. They were not at a political pep rally.

                --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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                • Sentinel947
                  Sentinel947 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Why can't a church have an opinion about how government policy's are working? What's the difference between a church and any other non profit special interest group?

                  I'd agree any preaching that incites hatred or violent action is at the least contrary to almost all religious teachings. But you still haven't satisfied my question above.

                • moosetracker
                  moosetracker commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Politics by nature divides, especially in these polarized times.

                  Also there is a difference between the Koch brothers wanting me to vote a special way, per a commercial advertisement, and my priest telling me God wants me to vote a certain way or I will burn in hell for all eternity..

                  It is fine for Priest to get up and talk about things one way or another that if you follow politics you can attribute to siding with one political party views, but someone else who does not follow politics just takes it as a message on how they personally should conduct their personal life.. You are mistaken to think protestant sermons do not do this, at least the churches I attended did.. The priest would pull something out of the current news, and entwine or compare it to something in the bible to come up with some words of wisdom to go home and think about.. But, I don't remember them bring a politician by name into the sermon to condemn them or a political party into the sermon to condemn it.. Definitely never gave us a laundry list of the candidates that God wanted us to vote for..

                  That is the Protestant Churches I was raised in.. I don't know if during that time period the conservative protestant was as political as they are now, but now, politizing religion is (or was before your new pope) not just a flaw of Catholics.. The conservative protestants do the same thing, they were in on the Sunday protest where they were going to tell their congregation who to vote for.

                  God does not get involved in politics.. The priest is the biased person, and has somehow deemed that if they believe in a set politics with all their heart, then it must be God speaking through them.. But, it is just a flawed, biased human being on the pulpit telling his congregation his beliefs are Gods beliefs..

                  Even now Catholics are trying to politicize what the Pope says.. He is not endorsing the Republicans or the Democrats.. But, people want to see one party or another in his words, and use it as an endorsement.. There was some interview where the Pope did say it was wrong to twist his words into some sort of political agenda.. But, there are Catholics so use to the old Pope, that they just can't help themselves..
                  Last edited by moosetracker; 02-18-2014, 06:07 AM.

                • Sentinel947
                  Sentinel947 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I understand your point. I agree.

                  You keep pointing to Pope Benedict XVI as an especially political pope, but you don't provide any evidence to back your claim.

              • #25
                Well, I attended that "Trail Life USA Town Meeting" last night. Attendance was sparse, mostly district people who plan to be involved in both organizations, plus a guy from the Royal Rangers willing to lend a hand to the new organization.

                I was able to briefly examine a Trail Life handbook. At first glance the Scoutcraft seemed even thinner than that of the BSA. The "Leadership and Character" (anti-Scoutcraft) aspects were even more pronounced, which should not be a surprise since it is an organization of BSA expatriates.

                My BSA Troop's former Chartered Organization Representative is the chief Trail Life commissioner in this area. I agreed to serve on his committee as an outdoor skills trainer if he can shepherd my application through the process.

                It turns out that one factor limiting involvement on district levels, is that a volunteer application must include a letter of reference from your pastor, so those who agree with Trail Life principles, but are not members of a church are excluded from membership.

                Comment


                • Peregrinator
                  Peregrinator commented
                  Editing a comment
                  As a Catholic, I wouldn't feel comfortable in an explicitly Christian organization unless it was explicitly Catholic. There are some Protestant groups that really do not like Catholics.

                  I don't think it has much to do with not liking. I mean, it can, but really the critical thing is Protestants, especially those influenced by the pietist tradition (which I think describes most of TPTB in Trail Life), not understanding what makes Catholics tick.

                • j2huggies
                  j2huggies commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Aren't Catholics Christians?

                • Sentinel947
                  Sentinel947 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  J2huggies: Yes Catholics are Christians.

                  And Peregrinator, that'd be what concerns me. The lack of understanding that leads some Protestants to dislike or fear Catholics.

              • #26
                A whole BS Troop here in Central MD moved to the local TL Troop and founded the 1st one I know of in MD (or at least Central MD)

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                • #27
                  An article in the Washington Post about a local Catholic church that has kicked out its BSA pack and troop and is replacing them with a TLUSA unit. Apparently there has not been a lot of impact in the National Capital Area Council as only two other troops have made this move out of 1700+ units.

                  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...y.html?hpid=z5

                  Comment


                  • Hal_Crawford
                    Hal_Crawford commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I wonder if they expect their boys to be trustworthy?

                  • RememberSchiff
                    RememberSchiff commented
                    Editing a comment
                    According to that same article, his diocese Cardinal does not agree with Father John De Celles, nor does Pope Francis. I see re-assignment coming.

                  • Sentinel947
                    Sentinel947 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Always a shameful and scandalous to see a Priest who doesn't understand the Catechism. I see reassignment or forced retirement coming if he keeps preaching what he is preaching.

                • #28
                  I inquired about TLUSA, but I don't attend, nor belong to, any church, so I guess I am out lol

                  Comment


                  • SSScout
                    SSScout commented
                    Editing a comment
                    If I didn't have so few hours in my day already, I might be tempted to apply as an adult leader just to see if a Quaker could Qualify. We are definitely not "trinitarian", and some of us might not be as Christian as some, but then I'd have to discuss the Light within (mt 5:16?)

                • #29
                  Well, I looked a little farther and found this: http://www.postandcourier.com/articl...PC16/140219833 These two units were evicted out of 212 units in that council. But that area is what we call the 'low country' and it leans heavily toward 'Bible Belt' status. There is no mention of Trail Life and the evicted units appear to be finding other quarters. Not much impact so far, it seems.

                  Comment


                  • j2huggies
                    j2huggies commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Pack, are you from SC? I did 5.5 yrs there and planning on moving back

                  • packsaddle
                    packsaddle commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yes, I am in SC. What part are you planning to move to?
                    Edit: I tried to send a PM but it says I'm 'over quota' or something to that effect. I deleted every message there was and then permanently removed everything in the trash and still no luck on PM. So if you want to chat about your move sometime, email me at packsaddle@lycos.com
                    Cheers
                    Last edited by packsaddle; 02-18-2014, 02:37 PM.

                  • j2huggies
                    j2huggies commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Columbia area I think

                • #30
                  I have no dog in this hunt, I'm Jewish, my Pack meets in a Synagogue, so explicitly Christian groups aren't of interest to us.

                  LDS uses BSA as their youth programming.
                  Many churches house BSA programs, thinking it's a good program and happy to offer up meeting space, but how involved with the Church is the Unit? We have some Packs/Troops here attached to private parochial schools and only open to students there, they run it as an after school activity. We have a few chartered to a Church but that meet in a public school and only recruit from that school, the involvement with the Church is on paper.

                  The question is, does the church want an outdoor Youth Program? If so, then TLUSA/AHG gives them a Christian Outdoors Activity for boys and girls respectively that will be able to be tied in to the church. If you are housing a unit where few if any of the boys belong to the church, then the church isn't getting anything beyond a service project out of the deal. If they want to have a program to build membership in their church, the status quo isn't working.

                  Existing BSA Units have their leadership structure in place. If they aren't church members, then I completely see why the church would consider an alternative program that they can tie into their religious program.

                  When we moved from Self-Chartered to the Synagogue we meet at, there was an extensive discussion about what that would mean. They aren't asking all leaders be members (I'm personally a member of a Synagogue down the road), but they want an all-Jewish group that keeps Shabbat/Kasher as a Unit at campouts.

                  If you are a BSA program that meets in a church and has no relationship to the church, I'd be VERY VERY wary... if someone wants a church youth program, TLUSA and AHG are offering an opportunity to replace your program. BSA guidelines let the CO shape the leadership but not the membership. I would suggest asking the church/CO how you can help, what they want, and actively recruit there.

                  For example, we combine a recruiting event with the Synagogue Youth Department Kickoff, and do our Pinewood Derby at their Purim Carnival and our Space Regatta at the Lag B'omer Bon Fire. We have made ourselves a part of the CO's program, which results in the CO being very happy with us.

                  Comment


                  • qwazse
                    qwazse commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Originally posted by Pack18Alex View Post
                    The question is, does the church want an outdoor Youth Program? If so, then TLUSA/AHG gives them a Christian Outdoors Activity for boys and girls respectively that will be able to be tied in to the church. If you are housing a unit where few if any of the boys belong to the church, then the church isn't getting anything beyond a service project out of the deal. If they want to have a program to build membership in their church, the status quo isn't working.
                    This depends on one's theology. Some congregations, American ones especially, sense an obligation to hold programs for the community without regard to any bump in membership. In other words, they are not called to reach out to folks "like us," but to share their fruits with "the stranger in the land." So, a program that attracts kids just because their parents want them to know about Jesus might not pass muster with a church that wants *everyone* to know about the love of God.

                    BSA has benefited from these churches -- especially when it's stance against atheism got units removed from public schools.
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