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Atheist in the Pack

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Of course you should kick him out immediately, just as you should kick out an 11-year-old Jew if you belonged to a no-Jews club. In fact, not kicking out the kid as soon as possible might give him th



just returned last evening from a weekend with my daughter's cadette troop at Girl Scout Encampment. I really enjoyed it and as am involved with my 8 yr old's Cub Scout pack was kind of trying to note some of the differences and also take some clues away from this incredibly successful weekend.


On the way home a group of us went to lunch and a discussion arose about religion. Both other parents had husbands who had been boy scouts and I mentioned how my perception was that there was a heavy religious hand in Boy Scouts as opposed to Girl Scouts (although they DO pledge allegiance). We agreed that we were all pretty uncomfortable with this infusion or pressure plus the husbands didnt even remember that part of scouts.


Bottom line is that the biggest difference I can see between Girl and Boy Scouts is that Girl Scouting is very child focused. My daughter's troop planned and executed most of the events for the weekend, with events geared to younger girls at one point and older girls at another. The events were fun and the girls really enjoyed them. The parents really took a back seat to the whole weekend as our focus is what are we doing to help the girls have a good time and learn something.


My perception with Boy Scouts is that it is very PARENT focused. The parents make the decisions and darn it, like it or not the boys will do what we want them to do. Its not that the boys dont have fun also but this isnt the primary goal. The parents and scouting has an agenda (not assigning a right or wrong just what I see) of what the boys should/could be doing. After our last pack campout there were a couple of Dad's who were disappointed because not all the little boys (6, 7, 8 year olds) wanted to take a long hike up a mountain before dinner. And they didnt really care what the kids wanted, it was and I quote "I personally think it is vital not to over-structure the campouts for the kids. They need time to throw rocks (not at each other) drag sticks, run around like chickens and climb trees....We must absolutely and at all times keep them safe, but not insulated. Struggling up hills is good for them (and their parents). Walking under the stars is very good especially if it is scary at first. Falling in the lake is a good thing if you learn something from it. Getting poison oak is good if you need that to remember why you have to identify it. Getting blisters close to camp instead of on your first long hike with the Boy Scouts is a good thing....."


Its just interesting. I just want my child to get outside and into nature. But I dont really care about the whole getting blisters and being manly for goodness sake. This is a kid who still likes to dance and rock out to American Idol and High School musical.


Then adults wonder why boys dont want to continue in scouting. With my girl this weekend she learned leadership, responsibility (because the mom's actually make the kids clean up, just like at home), how to work with young kids and adults and how to organize and structure a day. Great leadership skills for herself and for preparing for high school and college.


She still doesnt like admitting she is a girl scout but she has a blast and its HER decision because since day one, its been about the girls NOT about the parents.


Bottom line is to actively try to eliminate kids from scouting based on their parents is just a crime. I know its a private institution but what you are creating is a group where the larger population is just not welcome. I just dont recall what chapter in the bible this comes from.


We have a great pack and I will take my son to a church to learn about these goals. But our personal beliefs should have nothing to do with the 99% of things they can learn about in scouting.



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"I teach my children (7 and 10) about Jesus because as a parent that is my job. Whether or not they choose to believe or make a profession of faith in Christ is theirs."


Thats not your job that is your CHOICE. Its not required to be a parent to teach kids about Jesus. Ask anyone who is Jewish about that. Are they bad parents?


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IMHO, yes, it my job as a parent it the job of every parent to religiously educate their children. I believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven, so yes Jewish parents that don't teach there children about Jesus are bad parents. As are any other parents that mislead their children with false hopes of what will get them to heaven. If I didn't believe this I wouldn't have faith.


I really don't want to get into a religious debate but I will defend against attacks.

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"I really don't want to get into a religious debate but I will defend against attacks."


And there's nothing for a good defense like being really, really offensive. (Hmm, I don't think that's how that saying is exactly supposed to go.)


Hear that, ScoutMomSD, anyone who isn't a Christian is a bad parent. Sign me up!(This message has been edited by DanKroh)

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"What if he decides through reason to be a anti-semetic national socialist. What then?"

For one thing, he could have a lot of fun on the scouter.com forums.


"Like I said you can't let a child decide anything he/she wants?"

You really think you have that kind of control over thought? Raise some children and then think again.


"If you believe there is only one right way, why wouldn't you teach their child that right away to ensure they don't make the wrong decision."

Assuming this is still about religion, there are two answers I can think of: first, it's only your BELIEF - it isn't any of your business to go against the parents in matters of faith, and second; at least in these parts, you might not want to have that resulting confrontation with the parents...for health reasons.


Trev, Jesus was a communist...at least that's what I believe, probably the original communist but seeing as how movable print hadn't been invented, and he didn't have much interest in politics, the honor for the idea went to someone else much later.

In fact I have seen plenty of guys who looked just like Jesus in the commune. Weren't many virgins though, at least not that I could find....you know - in some ways Jesus had it pretty good come to think of it.


Edited part: "so yes Jewish parents that don't teach there children about Jesus are bad parents."

Wow, how did I manage to miss this one!? I guess at first I read it and laughed...something that absurdly intolerant HAD to be crude sarcasm or perhaps satire. But then I thought to myself...'where do I live?' And I realized that this was not sarcasm but rather the way a lot of people really think (term used loosely). Trev, as you say...(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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Comparing the program for a 7th grade Girl Scout to that of a 2nd grade Cub Scout, is like comparing apples to pineapples. Please do NOT do that. Would you compare the program for Daiseys to that of Cadette Girl Scouts?


If you feel the need to compare BSA and GSUSA at least do so in somewhat comparable age groups. A well run Boy Scout Troop is led by its youth members, NOT the parents. A 7th grade Boy Scout is most likely at least a Star Scout. He has had leadership positions and done service. He has taught new Scouts and worked with, and might even been in charge of, older Scouts.


Back to the original question.


The den leader can have a discussion with the parents about the fact that their son has declared himself an atheist.


Most kids in 4th and 5th grade don't really have a clue how they feel about religion, if they even consider it (past being something they are "forced" to do) at all.


I would not be to heavy handed, start lecturing about religion, or throw around any comments about lying every time he says the Cub Scout Promise. A pleasant chat in the vein of hey, do you know what your son said to me the other day, kind of thing, is the way to go.



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And you have to wonder why people become atheists? It is precisely because of the bigotry, hatred, and intolerance to other ideas and ideals that we are experiencing on this message board. Fortunately, I've been impressed with many of the responses I've read on here, but there are a few that need to open their minds.


In my opinion, we should question everything we are told and remember the history of what has occurred in the past so we do not make the same mistakes over and over again.


Communism is not evil. It is a form of government that appears to not fit the human condition very well, at least in the ways it has been implemented in the past. We should learn from those mistakes...not just listen to our parents or the government and say to ourselves "They are evil, we are good." That is exactly what THEY could say about US.


If we do not teach about what has and hasn't worked about communism, and many other forms of government, to our children, we will never progress and will be doomed to repeat the mistakes we've already made.


I am an atheist, both of my children consider themselves Christians, right now. They believe this way because of the Christian school we sent them to for pre-school and kindergarten. We sent them there because it was what we found to be the best for them at the time. I intend on teaching them about many different religions so they can choose for themselves what is right for them.


As for the BSA, they have every right to deny membership to anyone they want. For the most part, BSA leaders appear to be pretty well educated and tolerant. Let's not let a few bad apples spoil the pie. I will actively search for a non-relious based organization for my son to participate in. If enough parents find a need for such an organization, none of us will need to worry about this topic...



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Personally, I think my JOB as a parent is to give my children the tools to use that wonderful cognitive power they have to make moral and ethical decisions for themselves, including what religion, if any, they chose to practice as adults, rather than to dictate dogma to them and turn them into unthinking indoctrinated automatons.


But hey, I'm just one of them heathens, and a bad parent, to boot.

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Tens of millions died in the process of trying to make communism a reality.

Generations were shortchanged from economic progress and personal liberty.


If thats not an evil idealogy what is?


If you teach children the wrong thing about their eternal salvation, isn't that wrong? Or is that ok?


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What about the millions of people who were slaughtered - both directly as well as through biological warfare - as western European Christian nations conquered North America, South America, Australia, and New Zealand? Not a shred of communism in their ideology.


The point is, you are confusing economic systems with politics. There are lots of American who today would swear that capitalism is evil, having lost their jobs, pensions, and homes to capitalistic greed.

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Yes Communism wasn't the only reason for mass murder throughout history.


What does that prove?


Capitalism is hardly as evil. Have tens of millions died for it? Have generations lost their personal liberty?

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I think you know there were many reasons behind the expansion into the Americas, nacesnt capitalism being only a small part.


So is that the only defense of communism? Other sytsems killed tens of millions too?

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