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They are two seperate topics, my point was- I don't care if a boy is homesexual or atheist. The boy is welcome in Scouting as long as he obeys the Scout and Law.

I personally have a strong belief in God, and I also believe that Homosexuality is wrong, thise topics for another day and another place. But as it relates to Scouting, the Scout oath and law are the rule and there are no exceptions to that.


Our Troop lost it's charter as well as our Cub Scout Pack. The public School literally kicked us out. And I mean literally- one night in the middle of a meeting the janitor came in and turned off all the lights and said " You're done- you need to leave". So we took our flags and finished the meeting in the parking lot. Two weeks later we were picked up by our Current CO, the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic Mens Fraternal organization (of which I belong).


Again- I do not fight or argue this. The rules are clear and simple.

The Boy Scouts are said to be behind the times...Good...maybe those earlier times were better times and we need to go back to them, or at least revisit the values they represent. I am proud to say that I am Scouter and that everyday we try to instill in our Scouts timeless values and strong character.

I love to see our Scouts holding a door open for a lady or elderly person. I love to see boys from my Troop at Church. I love it when I get a call from a Mom or Dad and they say what a difference Scouts is making on their son.

I love to go in my two sons room and see that Scout Law hanging on their wall, and knowing that they really try to live up to the promise they make every meeting to do their best to do their Duty to God and Country, to help other people at all time and to obey the Scout law.


Gay- atheist- not on my radar- as long as they live the Oath and Law.




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Vicki Wrote:


"Prairie Scouter wrote >Do you think it's possible to separate the actions of BSA's national office from the local Scouting units? >


I don't think it is possible. The local Scouting unit, while chartered to a CO, gets its identity from the National organization - hence the ability to use the name "Boy Scouts of America" and all the associated materials instead of being "Boys Associated with ABC Church." As National goes, so do we. Can't have it both ways."


Actually, it is possible to separate the actions of BSA's national office from the local units, and it happens all the time. Maybe not officially. Maybe not in the red-state heartland. But on the blue-state coasts, where majorities of the population are slowly approving gay marriage and civil unions, and where belief in God is rarely talked about outside of church or synagogue, local packs and troops basically ignore the national program's pressure to expel homosexuals and atheists. As both the volunteer and professional leaders told me when I asked these questions before introducing my son to Tigers, "it just doesn't come up."


Many posts in this thread have taken the tone of "I'm glad the BSA is behind the times - those were better times." Maybe, but large parts of the country must therefore be considered "ahead of the times" and they are doing the best they can to expose boys to the parts of scouting which all can enjoy and appreciate -- camping, citizenship, leadership, do a good turn. We just do our best to ignore what most of us view as distasteful intolerance.


You may not like it; you may think it's inconsistent with BSA policies. But the boys thrive nonetheless. And it happens all the time.




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Let me use a different example. A person chops down a cherry tree or a person gets caught red-handed eating the cherries from said tree or a person gets caught lying about either action. Now, the defense would like nothing better than to make it a long sad story but a judge likes to cut to the chase. Yes or no, guilty or not. Reason: The explanation is generally pretty simple when it is dishonesty and most everyone can see it clearly.


Second example, A person chops down a cherry tree and has done so for years for fun, firewood, and furniture but nowadays people are up in arms about cutting down trees and it is considered bad manners to do so. It is not dishonesty but being behind the times on chopping down trees that is the issue.


When the explanation of what the BSA has or hasnt done takes paragraphs to figure out and it always appears in shades of gray instead of black and white, then most probably it is not at all about honesty or dishonesty but something else like being behind the times.





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Here is my two cents:


First: Don't try to convert an athiest, unless s/he is trying to convert you. That's not fair. Besides, as a belief system, athieism is just like any other, except it is not predicated on something you cannot see.


Second: My opinion is that if the BSA was THAT concerned with ensuring all leaders believe in some form of superior being, and expect leaders to exercise that belief, athiests would be found out and expelled. It wouldn't come to you having to resign. One might interpret this lack of diligence as institutional hyprocracy. The fact of the matter is they don't because they need/want everyone they can get. The BSA simply cannot afford to turn away interested adults.


So, as a leader, you should ask yourself - are you benefitting the boys? Are you impinging upon their ability to make their own determination of faith? If the answer is 'yes' and 'no' respectively, lighten up on yourself and do the best you can for the boys.


After all, if you were perfect, EVERYONE would hate you.



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4YearLeader, Welcome to the forums. I understand what you wrote about the 'institutional hypocrisy' - I've written similar things in the past. To some degree, this is unavoidable by BSA because there simply is no way for the 'thought police' or the 'faith Nazis' to detect unexpressed thoughts. So those who remain silent are obviously 'allowed' to continue. The solution to this is to remove the restrictions and, as suggested by another poster, simply apply the background check. That, while not perfect, is at least actually related to the safety and health of the boys.

Edited Part: typo, sorry(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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This is not a Red State- Blue state issue..

This is an issue of consistant policy and maintaining the Scouting way.

Some one said that the BSA needs to take everyone it can get. Well- yes and no, as a matter of fact, once the Schools started bailing out on Character and moral fiber, civic and religious organizations began scooping up Scout units. I know that up here in the Cascade Pacific Council we were worried that there would be a flood of units folding due to perhaps the most backwards School system in America jumping ship on everything that is decent and right. On the contrary.. Churches, American Legion posts, VFW posts, "Friends of..." type groups started coming to the call.

Here in Oregon the cities of Portland and Salem (which make up the population base) colored the State blue, even thought that does not really represent the State as a whole, and so goes it Nationally.

America wants traditional values and people of Character. The BSA program, when executed properly offers that to its members.


Its not a Red State, Blue State issue, it is an issue of the program.

Like I have stated before, I could really care less if a parent/scout is gay or worships trees. There are simple rules to live by in the Boy Scouts of America. I teach the Scouts that when they hold up the three fingers of Scout sign it represents the three duties... Duty to God, Duty to Country, and Duty to self. They are expected to live the Scout law, which includes Reverent.

Some say this is intolerant... no... its an organization that believes in its program and knows that the program does good for its members and the Country as a whole.

Because it is good and wholesome, it must be bad it today's society.

Because we want our young men to tuck in their shirt, be clean and respectful, be good stewards of the outdoors, and discover or enhance their spiritual lives... we must be out of touch and living in the past.

As a Scoutmaster I hope I am a good rolemodel for these young men. I hope that by my example they see a good husband when they see me with my wife, I want them to see a good Father in the relationship I have with my kids, I want them to see an example of duty, duty to the community, the chuch, and to their Troop. They need to see that committment to see things thru, and that hard work pays off in the end. They need to see that it is cool to pray, it is cool to go to rated G movies, it is cool to talk with a clean mouth and not everything "sucks".

I am no Ward Cleaver, but I do understand my role as a leader, and I understand the role of the Boy Scouts of America as it applies to our young men and what our Aims and Methods are.


I am sorry for going on and on... but this is a subject that can be discussed forever.

I thank God that we have the opportunity to put our ideas out there and share.

Agree or disagree... your choice. All I ask is that if you are a Leader.. try to promote and execute the program that has been established by the BSA.

After all as BP said " this is a game with a purpose"

By the way BP himself pushed the role of God in the early Scouting movement and developed it as a tenant of Scouting as far back as day 1.



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Why does this have to get political? I believe that "organized religion" can be crupted by politics. And, there are some people that go to church regularly, who are not honest people during the rest of the week. (not everyone!)Going to church or claiming a religion does not automatically make anyone a good person.


I think you need to ask yourself...Are you a good person? An honest person? Open-minded & enjoy having fun with the kids? That's what these boys needs.


"Faith" doesn't come from a building...it comes from the heart. Personally, I choose not to particiipate in religious discussions because I have very ecentric views & don't want to alienate myself. Especially from my pack members. But, I also choose to respect other views. Afterall...who's to say if anyone is right or wrong...it's just a different view.


I have faith, and I can honestly participate in the law of the pack & pledge without guilt. But, my personal relationship with a "higher being" is just that...personal.


Good Luck with your decision.



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EagerLeader wrote >As I said, I plead ignorance to the Declaration of Religious Principle. When I filled out my DL application there was no cover sheet to it, which is where the Declaration of Religious Principle appears. Had I seen it and read it, I never would have signed it. snip..Apparently, I am not a good enough citizen to qualify as a leader.>


LilLeo 67 wrote>I think you need to ask yourself...Are you a good person? An honest person? Open-minded & enjoy having fun with the kids? That's what these boys needs. >


LilLeo, the BSA organization does not agree with you. According to the BSA, these boys also need individuals who can sign the Declaration of Religious Principle honestly. You can. EagerLeader, by his own admission quoted above, can't. It has nothing to do with whether or not one is a good person or a good citizen. Atheists can be both good people and good citizens. With the eight pages of posts on this topic (which have been very interesting) you have brought us full circle and that's the bottom line as far as the BSA in concerned.





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