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Really need advice for my letters of recommendations please

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Your point of risk is this rather open-ended question:


"Please, tell us about your faith and how you work your faith out in your daily life?"


I've used that question on more than one Eagle BOR. If someone from the unit doesn't ask it, the District Guest, I assure you, will ... or something very similar.


It's not designed to be a trap; it's designed to be an open-ended question that allows the Scout to discuss faith whilst thinking on his feet. It gets at the 12th point of the Scout Law, which is a proactive point (as are all the points). If you show that you are at ease and comfortable with the question, however it comes, people will move on quickly. If you are obviously uncomfortable, or your answer sounds like fresh squeezed cow poop, your BOR will drill deeper.


What you choose to say is entirely up to you.

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I for one would not deny any Scout his Eagle for being unsure of the existence of a God.

As long as the Scout shows that he is Reverant, he'll pass. By reverent I am referring to the root of what I believe is the definition, Respectful of other's beliefs in religion.

I can say that I've had many beliefs myself in my 41 years. Born and raised Roman Catholic, but during my early teen years I quickly realized that I no longer believe in 99% of their teachings, I've practiced Wicca for well over a decade's time, I've also studied Buddhism until I've reached my current beliefs, agnostic swaying *very, very* much into Atheist. But, one thing that has always held true for me, and I would ask this of any scout, I have always shown respect for what other people believe. Everyone is spiritual in their own way, be it in a church, in the woods behind the house in a special place, or even just sitting alone pondering the reason that we are all in existence. For some, "God" is science and evolution, for others it's a "higher power"....

IMHO, Being reverent does not mean being religious, it's being "deeply respectful" of other's religious beliefs.

there are too many people that die in wars over religion, if only everyone shared the above view, there would be no more people dieing over the meaning of the word "God".


Mike B

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And if you decide it is for you, I certainly would recommend not posting anything that would immediately disqualify you nor anything that might allow people to identify you. Something like, say, a declaration of atheism/agnosticism and a first name and last initial. :-)


If you hang around the forums long enough, you can acquire thousands of postings. Someone you know might actually be able to id you based on a composite.

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Ok, I thought we had worked out differences of opinion in this thread about what constitutes reverence or belief in "God" but now I'm not so sure again. I still think there's plenty of room for individual interpretation in the scout principles, if you can somehow avoid actually declaring yourself an atheist. And I think that believing in the possibility of God (in some form, including belief in and reverence for the mystery of nature and evolution) allows agnostics to include themselves in the scouts without any ethical lapse. To think otherwise is, to me, clearly religious bigotry, demanding that others worship as you do, and is contrary to the religious principles as well. The 1992 edition of BSA's Advancement Guidelines: Council and District Functions, states:


"The Boy Scouts of America has a definite position on religious principles. The following interpretative statement may help clarify this position. The Boy Scouts of America:


Does not define what constitutes belief in God or the practice of religion."


End of story. If I believe that nature is God, and I have great reverence for it, you have no right to question my religious principles, and no right to question my membership in scouting.


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I will simply cite the relatively plain language of the DRP:


Declaration of Religious Principle, Bylaws of Boy Scouts of America, art. IX, 1, cl. 1



gThe 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, eOn my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.f 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 or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.h


Bylaws of Boy Scouts of America, art. IX, 1, cls. 2-4.

gThe activities of the members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be carried on under conditions which show respect to the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion, as required by the twelfth point of the Scout Law, reading eReverent. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.fh


gIn no case where a unit is connected with a church or other distinctively religious organization shall members of other denominations or faith be required, because of their membership in the unit, to take part in or observe a religious ceremony distinctly unique to that organization or church.h


gOnly persons willing to subscribe to these declarations of principles shall be entitled to certificates of leadership in carrying out the Scouting program.h


Belief in a Supreme Being is a condition of membership. It doesn't matter what belief system you practice. You must believe. It's that simple.


ETA: That system need not be monotheistic. Witness ahofer's and my conversations about Buddhism and Hinduism...




(This message has been edited by john-in-kc)

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