Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Religious Emblem approved for Unitarian Universalist youth!

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

  • #31
    That link has now been repaired.

    One other glitch I noticed: it should be clarified that the award may be worked on by Boy Scouts until their 18th birthday and by Venturers (including females) up until their 21st birthday.

    Comment


    • #32
      This may be a "dead" topic, but just wondering if anyone knows the status of the UUSO's planned cub scout program, meant to "accompany" the UUA's "Love and Help."

      Comment


      • #33
        Hello astrophe, and welcome to the Forums!

        I know that the UUSO has a committee that is currently developing this curriculum for Cub Scouts but I'm not sure of the time frame. If I hear more, I'll relay the info.

        Comment


        • #34
          Trev, Have any Scouts earned the UUSO Award yet?
          What is the status of the whole UUA UUSO Situatation and the old UUA award?
           It seems strange to me that the BSA should make any judgement on a particular denominations award. The award is given by the denomination not the BSA.
          Doesn't seem to fit with the BSA's religious policy that "it (BSA) is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life."
          rv

          Comment


          • #35
            Hello ronvo,

            Yes, I know of several Scouts and Venturers who have completed the Living Your Religion study curriculum and have earned the award. However, I believe there has been a delay in getting the actual medals manufactured. (It may have to do with fronting the cost for an entire manufacturing run with an organizational budget of nearly zero; I believe the UUSO treasurer is working with the membership committee and the manufacturer to resolve this.) Nevertheless, the Scouts and Venturers are entitled to wear the knot (representing the award) on their uniform.

            Scouts are encouraged to earn either the Religion in Life award (UUA sponsored) and/or the Living Your Religion award (UUSO sponsored). However, at present, only the Living your Religion award is authorized for uniform wear.

            BSA is indeed nonsectarian in it's approach to reverence and (IMHO) made no judgement against the UU faith in it's retraction of the UUA sponsored award. At that time, the materials mailed out to interested scouts included some UUA material - peripheral to the actual curriculum - that was critical of BSA membership policies with regards to homosexuals and atheists. BSA and UUA could not reach an agreement and so after several years, the UUSO was organized by several concerned Scouters to resolve the impasse. UU Scouts can once more wear the emblem of their religion on their uniform. I know that several UU Scouters have disagreed with this strategy, preferring to keep the social issues at the forefront. I respect their position, but I personally feel (along with UUSO membership) that is is more important to encourage UU Scouts to learn about their faith while pursuing an award they can wear proudly on their Scout uniform.

            To learn more about the UUSO and the Living Your Religion award for UU Scouts and Venturers, visit http://www.uuscouters.org/

            Comment


            • #36
              Thanks for the update Trev.

              I am sure that even a small quality die for casting medals can run into the thousands of dollars.

              While I see how the BSA could say that an award can't be worn it seems with all the other "uniform infractions" that few would notice or care.

              That most scouts wear the square knot which is universal - representing all faiths' awards so who would know.

              Finally it seems silly that time and money is wasted by a Natioanl BSA committee on such matters that really don't bring Scouting to boys.

              Don't get me wrong I do understand that BSA felt they were being attacked through the peripheral materials and were trying to right what they saw as a wrong.

              OMO
              ronvo

              Comment


              • #37
                Don't get me wrong I do understand that BSA felt they were being attacked through the peripheral materials and were trying to right what they saw as a wrong.

                Where would the BSA be if they couldn't label opposition to their polices of discrimination as "an attack"? Especially priceless is the phrase "an attack on Scouting" as if fundamentalist values are Scouting values.

                Some Unitarian-Universalists are anti-gay, so a non-UUA award for older UUA Scouts who place BSA values above UUA values makes sense, especially in the former slave-states (Some Unitarians --a former Puritan church-- were pro-slavery as well. President Grover Cleveland, who signed the Fugitive Slave Act into law, was a member of my UUA congregation).

                But the BSA never specified any objectionable material in the UUA's Cub Scout "Love and Help" Religious Award. It discriminates against Unitarian Cub Scouts merely because they are Unitarian-Universalists.

                Discrimination is bad enough, but to discriminate against the smallest of children (as they did to six-year-old UU Mark Welsh as well) is evil.

                For Unitarian-Universalists to wear a non-UUA Cub Scout religious award merely because the BSA discriminates against little children for no stated reason is questionable, to say the least.

                Ron, the "nonsectarian attitude" applies only to members who agree with the BSA that those who do not worship their sky-god are bad citizens.

                Most Unitarians do not believe in sky-gods, and if the whole disturbing "nonsectarian" passage is always quoted, it should be apparent why the BSA discriminates against the UUA for including in their religious award for older Scouts the specifics of why their religion differs from the BSA's theology:

                The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary for the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members. No matter what the religious faith of the members may be, this fundamental need of good citizenship should be kept before them. The Boy Scouts of America, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely non-sectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policies that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.

                Kudu

                Comment


                • #38
                  Wow, Kudu! I was about to respond in a very similar manner. If you read way back in my archives, you'll see that I agree completely. However we are, sadly, in a very small minority view in BSA.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Kudu, etc:
                    I happen to agree as well, mostly.

                    The real issue here is that I love what I see as the core philosophies of Scouting. Living in the US, my only real outlet to support Scouting is the BSA.

                    In most ways, I feel that the BSA is the best, most efficient, and well organized "wing" of the scouting movement in the world.

                    So it comes down to this: compromise a few of my personal beliefs so that I may pursue Scouting in a successful organization (the BSA),

                    OR

                    Not be involved in Scouting.

                    I bite my tongue whenever issues/conversations are raised over the BSA policies I personally disagree with. I do not use these times as a way to further my own beliefs, but I would refuse to personally enforce, for example, "unauthorized badges/awards on uniforms" in such a situation as a youth wearing a religious emblem without BSA authorization. Maybe, as a Scoutmaster, I am supposed to force such an offending scout to get "with the program". But I would not. It is a personal dilemma, but unlike my disagreements with the government, I choose to passively accept BSA policies even if I feel they are "un-scoutlike"

                    Kudu et al: What do you think I and others in our position should do? As I said, in most ways, I happen to agree with the policies of BSA. I understand that we all have things we are intolerant of. Most of us are intolerant of murder, for example. Obviously religious discrimination and murder are different, and as an organization the BSA has drawn it's line in the sand slightly farther to the "right" than many scouters I know are comfortable with.

                    But the reality is that we all have our "line in the sand" We all recognize Scouting as great because it teaches morals- some of these morals are inevitably going to rub people wrong. I doubt there is any person involved in the BSA who, upon serious reflection, does not take issue with some part of national BSA policy. Whether it is trying to interpret or understand semantic aspects of the language national uses, or a more fundamental disagreement with their core program, everyone will have a personal conflict at some point.

                    What should us, the independant-minded lovers of Scouting do when we are confronted with these issues?

                    The rhetorical question at stake: Should I cut off my Scouting nose just to spite my BSA face?(This message has been edited by jmenand)

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      jmenand writes:

                      The rhetorical question at stake: Should I cut off my Scouting nose just to spite my BSA face?

                      We all make compromises with the conservative religions that control Scouting in the United States. We all draw the line in different ways and unless we are religious fundamentalists ourselves, these lines tend to change over the years.

                      I suspect that most non-fundamentalists make a distinction between the passive acceptance and the active enforcement of the BSA's bylaws, including the Declaration of Religious Principle (DRP). For instance would you force a Unitarian Scout to remove his UUA religious medal from his Scout Uniform? Would you report a Scout who had confessed to you in a Scoutmaster Conference that he really no longer believes in God?

                      Baden-Powell himself was forced to make compromises because so many of his Scout Troops were sponsored by churches. In his early writings he suggested that boys could come to know God through Scouting in two ways which are universal to nearly all religions: outwardly by helping other people at all times (which he called "Practical Christianity"); and inwardly through encountering the wilderness (which he called "The Religion of the Backwoods").

                      Catholic and Anglican leaders threatened to destroy his Scouting Movement in 1921 because this pantheistic approach to spirituality was not based on "revealed wisdom" which is the bread & butter of organized religion. Baden-Powell's views were based loosely on the writings of his famous father who had been charged with heresy before his death, and as a boy B-P had grown up hearing famous religious conservatives declare publicly that God had denied eternal life to his father because of these "pantheistic" writings. Unlike his father, B-P quickly recanted rather than see his movement subjected to similar charges. See:

                      http://www.inquiry.net/ideals/beads.htm

                      Many people are working behind the scenes to challenge the BSA's legal monopoly and to establish alternatives to the BSA. Individual Scouters who belong to United Church of Christ, Episcopal, Reform Jew, Buddhist, Unitarian, or similar congregations often find that the compromises that they are forced to make in order to join the BSA contradict the beliefs of many members of their congregations. Such Scouters may rethink these compromises when alternatives to the BSA become available and their congregations begin to consider sponsoring a Scouting Troop. Does the BSA's practice of going to court to exclude a six-year-old boy from Scouting because of his father's religious beliefs best summarize your congregation's approach to fostering spiritual growth, or would you as a group consider other perspectives on the treament of children if you had the choice?

                      These questions will come out of the closet when alternatives to the BSA exist and American Scouting is no longer defined by the BSA's Declaration of Religious Principle.

                      Kudu

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Sorry to be so late getting back to this thread. Kudu you are always very well spoken when - I appreciate your knowledge and your reasoned responses.
                        One of my questions is if the belief in the bible-god is what BSA promotes then how do they justify allowing awards for Buddists and Hindus?
                        Maybe I do not understand these religons well - but I am fairly certain that the Buddists do not promote recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe. Kahuna is this correct?
                        ron

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Maybe I do not understand these religons well - but I am fairly certain that the Buddists do not promote recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe. Kahuna is this correct?

                          Yes, essentially that is correct. Although I think all Buddhists would acknowledge that there is a universal intelligence of which all sentient beings are a part, it is not essential to being a Buddhist to believe that, nor is there any concept of a ruling and leading power in the universe. No heaven or hell, only karma which indicates that in future lives what goes around comes around.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            campcrafter, I think your question contains its own answer -- no where does BSA promote "belief in the bible-god".

                            That's why BSA can support religious awards to Hindus, Buddhists and Unitarians, among others.DECLARATION OF RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLE

                            The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God and, therefore, recognizes the religious element in training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life. Only persons willing to subscribe to this Declaration of Religious Prinicple and to the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of membership.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Fred,

                              The passage that you quote is only an excerpt from the Declaration of Religious Principle (DRP), and in the past was always clearly marked as such. When you join the BSA, however, you must agree to all of its bylaws usually sight unseen. The entire DRP, below, which the bylaws indicate is the definition of "Duty to God" and to which you must agree in order to join the government-established religious Scouting monopoly is clearly a description of the Middle-Eastern "Bible god" named "God."

                              Try substituting "Allah" for "God" (even though in theory it is the same god) and see how many people in your own congregation feel comfortable signing a statement that those who do not recognize Allah as the ruling and leading power in the universe are not the "best kind of citizens."

                              That's why BSA can support religious awards to Hindus, Buddhists and Unitarians, among others.

                              If Buddhists were to explain to their children within the context of their religious award the differences between the BSA's definition of "Duty to God," below, and the idea that it is not essential to being a Buddhist to believe "any concept of a ruling and leading power in the universe," then permission to wear the Buddhist religious award on a BSA Uniform would be yanked as quickly the Unitarians' was when they explained to their children the inconsistencies between their beliefs and those that the BSA mandates.

                              BYLAWS ARTICLE IX, SECTION 1.

                              Declaration of Religious Principle

                              Clause 1. The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into
                              the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the
                              first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, "On my honor I
                              will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout
                              Law." The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe
                              and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to
                              the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of
                              the growing members. No matter what the religious faith of the members may
                              be, this fundamental need of good citizenship should be kept before them. The
                              Boy Scouts of America, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the
                              training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude
                              toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the
                              organization of the group with which the member is connected shall give
                              definite attention to religious life.

                              For those who are unfamiliar with what Buddhists "believe," here is the Prajna Paramita or "Heat of Perfect Wisdom," which for some Buddhists is a sort of "Nicene Creed," or concise statement of "belief" (it is really more of a description of unclouded human perception on Earth). See if you find any description of God running the universe, demanding grateful acknowledgment for good karma, and judging people who hold other world-views to be less than the "best" citizens:

                              THE HEART SUTRA

                              The Bodhisattva of Compassion,
                              when he meditated deeply,
                              saw the emptiness of all five skandhas
                              and sundered the bonds that caused him suffering.

                              Here then,
                              form is no other than emptiness,
                              emptiness no other than form.

                              Form is only emptiness,
                              emptiness only form.
                              Feeling, thought and choice,
                              consciousness itself,
                              are the same as this.

                              All things are the primal void,
                              which is not born or destroyed,
                              nor is it stained or pure,
                              nor does it wax or wane.

                              So, in emptiness, no form,
                              no feeling, thought or choice,
                              nor is there consciousness.
                              No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind.
                              No color, sound, smell,
                              taste, touch or what the mind takes hold of,
                              nor even act of sensing.

                              No ignorance, no end of it,
                              nor all that comes of ignorance,
                              no withering, no death,
                              no end of them.

                              Nor is there pain, or cause of pain,
                              or cease in pain,
                              or noble path to lead from pain,
                              not even wisdom to attain.
                              Attainment too is emptiness!

                              So know that the Bodhisattva,
                              holding to nothing whatever
                              but dwelling in prajna wisdom,
                              is freed from delusive hindrance,
                              rid of the fears bred by it,
                              and reaches clearest Nirvana.

                              All Buddhas of past and present,
                              Buddhas of future time,
                              Using this prajna wisdom
                              Attain full and perfect enlightenment.

                              Hear then the great dharani,
                              the radiant peerless mantra,
                              the prajnaparamita
                              whose words allay all pain,
                              hear and know its truth!

                              Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha!

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Rick,

                                I've always considered the capitalized, singular word "God" to be a kind of title rather than a name. Sort of like the way we use the capitalized word "President", or "King". The actual name of this diety can variously be Yahweh, Adonai, Jehovah, or Allah (just to list a few). In the general case, the English word "God" can refer to any of many supreme beings, not just the one which originated with ancient near eastern shepards. Thus, some Native Americans pray to the "God" named Wakantanka. The lower-case, plural word "gods" refers collectively to any pantheon of supreme dieties.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X