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Trevorum

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Posts posted by Trevorum


  1. Hey there Pack! Congratulations on #1 grandson joining cubs! It'll be deja vu for you I suspect. I have three grandkids coming up on Cub age in a few years and I, too, am looking forward to the next Scouting chapter. Things have changed a lot in the last 15 years!

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  2. I hope so too. But the BSA's Religious Relationship Committee would have to rescind it's ban on the UUA religious emblems. And would probably have to reinstate the original agreement and allow a UUA representative on the Committee.

     

     

    I'd gladly sponsor a UUA guest and would also be happy to relinquish my UUSO seat in the RR Task Force. 


  3. Hey there, Eamonn!  Nice to see you again. I too have just poked my head up after an extended absence. And I too am looking forward to becoming a Grandpa. Your free-verse posts make me feel feel at home here again.


  4. Thanks. In years past, this topic was more promptly and elegantly posted by Trevorum and others. For auld lang syne.
    Thanks, Schiff. I missed sending out my annual solstice greetings, mea culpa!

     

    Previously, i had received a not so nice note protesting my promotion of an 'alternative holiday.' For the record, the winter solstice is a very special day for me, for personal and not mystical reasons. ( I also celebrate Christmas, but not for religious reasons.)

    Merry Christmas to all my Scouting friends here on the forums.


  5. Part of the problem is that the BSA is inconsistent in how they interpret their own policies. For example, the BSA has said the following is incompatible with BSA values (and one of the given reasons for disallowing the Unitarian religion awards):

     

    http://www.uua.org/re/children/scouting/169563.shtml

     

    But I think it is an excellent way of looking at Duty to God. Of course I am Unitarian, so I am biased. However, I cannot see anything in there that is "inconsistent with boy scout values".

    see http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/MeritBadges/relig.aspx

     

     

     

    also http://www.scouting.org/filestore/membership/pdf/522-031_WB.pdf

     

     

     

    and http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-879_WB.pdf

     

     

     

    and http://www.praypub.org/main_frameset.htm


  6. OK, Finally!!!

     

    Here's the response I had tried to send a while back:

     

     

     

    Welcome to the forums. You are not alone. I think Merlyn may be better

     

    able to respond to your questions as he is a long-time forum member

     

    and critic, and is quite knowledgeable with regard to this topic. My

     

    response is that the membership application now has a Declaration of

     

    Religious Principle (DRP) that anyone signing the form agrees to. From

     

    my experience, some people never notice it, and even when they do,

     

    they don't pay much attention to it. Others take the DRP very

     

    seriously. There's quite a diverse set of views on it.

     

     

     

    As near as I can tell, the requirement is for a belief in a 'higher

     

    power', not necessarily a supreme being. As I understand it, BSA will

     

    accept a belief system that worships a rock or even the 'Flying

     

    Spaghetti Monster', (I'm not making this stuff up) both of which, to

     

    my mind, hardly qualify as a supreme being...at least not.any more

     

    than my cat does (although that cat evidently THINKS it is some kind

     

    of supreme being).

     

     

     

    In this manner, BSA has, for all practical purposes, accepted any

     

    belief system, although a recent forum member has noted that being

     

    Pagan has led to local rejection. One forum member long ago noted that

     

    his belief in the "higher power of reason" seems to be acceptable to

     

    BSA. And in response, even some of the most devout forum members

     

    shrank from criticizing him. It's hard to argue with that one.....

    At the May 2013 meeting of the Religious Relationships Task Force, we began review of a proposed Sikh religious award for Cub Scouts. Uncertain as to how many units are sponsored by Sikh chartering partners, I asked whether the rule of 25 was still in effect. The answer was to the effect of "... not really." I get the distinct feeling that inclusiveness has become more than a mere slogan within BSA National (despite pockets of resistance) and that the Hart and Crescent award might get a different reception today.

  7. Part of the problem is that the BSA is inconsistent in how they interpret their own policies. For example, the BSA has said the following is incompatible with BSA values (and one of the given reasons for disallowing the Unitarian religion awards):

     

    http://www.uua.org/re/children/scouting/169563.shtml

     

    But I think it is an excellent way of looking at Duty to God. Of course I am Unitarian, so I am biased. However, I cannot see anything in there that is "inconsistent with boy scout values".

    Rick, just to be clear, BSA has not disallowed the "Unitarian religion" awards. There are currently four Unitarian religion awards that are approved for uniform wear. see http://www.uuscouters.org/uuso-awards/

     

     

     

    This may seem like a fine point, but what the BSA did about 15 years ago was disapprove the awards developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association. The dispute between BSA and the UUA was concerning homosexuality, which is now moot for youth members.


  8. "BSA does not define what constitutes belief in God or the Practice of religion." (BSA policy statement).

     

     

     

    ​Accordingly, there is no requirement for "God" to be defined as a "supreme being" (although most certainly, the overwhelming majority of members use that definition). I personally know many Scouters who conceive of "God" in very different ways than a supreme being.

    I've not found dictionaries to be particularly helpful in exploring the numinous.

  9. "BSA does not define what constitutes belief in God or the Practice of religion." (BSA policy statement).

     

     

     

    ​Accordingly, there is no requirement for "God" to be defined as a "supreme being" (although most certainly, the overwhelming majority of members use that definition). I personally know many Scouters who conceive of "God" in very different ways than a supreme being.


  10. I strongly benefited from Wood Badge. I was exposed to some leadership tactics that helped me be a better Scoutmaster. The ticket motivated me to reach beyond my comfort zone. As a result, I met Scouters who have had a profound impact on me and who afforded me opportunities for service and personal growth. The legacy of my Wood Badge experience continues to affect my life.

    Some detractors will focus on the fun elements of the course- the critters and the games - which are mere packaging. And some folks will never admit any possible benefits simply because the current course is not the same as the original. That's OK. It's optional and everyone will take away something different anyway.


  11. 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?

    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.


  12. 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.
    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!

  13. 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.


  14. Are non-Christian prayers acceptable at council or district events?

     

    At my local council and district events, the opening prayer or invocation usually takes one of two forms: overtly Christian (“In Jesus’ name, amenâ€Â) or generic (“May the great Scout Master...â€Â). Almost never overtly Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, etc. Now I live in a diverse region, we have many churches and temples of different faiths in the area (there is even a Zoroastrian temple in town - I’ve been told one of the local troops has a pair of Zoroastrian scouts). In my own pack, most of the families are various flavors of Christian (mostly Catholic), but we have, or have had, Muslims, Jewish and Hindu families. So this topic came up for discussion with some scouters at a round table BBQ a while back.

     

    One of the scouters said that his previous council (he has recently moved to our area) all the prayers were overtly Christian, and he had offered to give a Muslim prayer to open a round table (he is Muslim). He was told no because too many scouters would be offended so it wasn’t allowed (there is a story he was told to go along with that - I don’t want to derail the discussion, so I won’t repeat it here). I found this to be very surprising (and hope what he was told was incorrect). I have no reason to believe a similar rule exists in my local council or district.

     

    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?

    At the National Councils meeting of the Religious Relationships Task Force last week in Grapevine, Texas, the opening prayer was given by a Muslim.

  15. Folks, I don't really know what 'flagging' really does so I just flagged the last few posts to experiment with it.

    It seemed like a good time to try it out.

    "Flag a post feature is ONLY to be used to report spam, advertising messages, and problematic (harassment, fighting, or rude) posts."

     

    Since the Super-duper Moderators don't seem to get these "reports", my guess is that only the Quasi-deity Moderator (Terry) recieves them.

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