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LanceEagle

Dad will not rise for pledge of allegiance

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Legalities...

 

No where is it required that a Scout, if it is counter to his sincerely held beliefs, salute and repeat the Pledge to the Flag. It is, however, a Scout requirement to be knowledgeable about, and be able to act appropriately (Wolf Badge requirement #2, frinstance), where the US Flag is concerned.

There are many faiths that view the PoA as a loyalty oath and bordering on idolatry, in that one is promising to be loyal to a piece of cloth, both of which are counter to their teachings.

The piece of cloth in question, however, DOES embody a proud history and DOES represent a certain set of ideals of which we should ever be reminded when seeing it and DOES symbolize our nation to the world. It should, therefore, be treated respectfully.

But a Scout is Trustworthy and Reverent. He must, therefore, believe and mean what he says.

If the Cub is saying the PoA and the father is not, it could be 1) the father is not a citizen of the USA, and the Cub is or 2) the father and the Cub are not citizens of the US and the father does not want to embarrass the Cub and so allows him to join his young comrades in the cermonial recitation or 3) the family is of a particular faith as described above but the Cub is being allowed to decide for himself what is right to do by his own belief or 4) something else.

I would not embarrass the Cub in front of his buddies, but privately and non-judgementally ask the parent his reasons. I daresay he would be willing to discuss them with you. I know several folks that will not recite the PoA for various reasons, but all will stand when the flag is "presented".

Patriotism is generally taught better by example than by insistance.

 

LanceEagle:::Good Scouting to you, and welcome to the campfire. Even tho it is electronic, you'll find it usually gives out a fair amount of heat...

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He should stand. He doesn't have to recite the pledge of allegiance, but he should still stand, whatever religion he is, or citizen of whatever country he is. It is a matter of respect, like Eammon said. Does the SPL or someone leading the flag ceremony say "Please stand while we recite the pledge of allegiance."

 

 

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I have to agree with the statement that yes, this is a free country and this father can stand or sit. That is his given right. Fortunatly I do not have this problem in our pack.

 

But if you want my personal , not that of my unit, district, council, or any other BSA or employment entity, I think if you enjoy the freedoms that are afforded to you by this great country, and defended by those like myself and many others here, and around the country, and across the world that you should stand up and recognize the very symbol of the freedoms that you have. If not, we have another great freedom, the freedom to leave.

 

Anybody else want this soap-box.

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Courtesy says that the dad at least stand. When I visited the UK, I stood when "God Sacve the Queen" was sung out of courtesy to my hosts.

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The closest thing to this that I've seen is back when I was a boy. The Presbyterian minister for our church would not allow the troop or anyone else to even bring the American flag into the church. I seem to remember this was a source of controversy at the time.

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First things being first, I'd have to ask him why he's not standing. His response would determine the best course of action but without knowing WHY he's not standing it's a stab in the dark to address it.

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I will agree with Scoutdad on one thing: In my "own, non associated with anybody else personal opinion"...

I think the dad should stand no matter what his persona opinion or belief is. Is it really religeous? Then I have a hard time imagining that dad would take his son to particcipate in a group that "idolizes" something he is religeously against!

 

If it's just a matter of citizenship..take him to a sporting event. NASCAR or Hockey for example: WHen playing teams from other countries, we always play the other teams anthem first as sign of respect. We are not saying we follow, believe in or are jealous of their anthem, just respecting it. When NASCAR has races in the upper united states ( meaning still in America) they still play the Canadian National Anthem because a vast percentage of the crowds are Canadian. Again.. just a sign of respect.

 

Now, again on a personal note ( and I mean persona in every way) If a religeon thinks saluting a flag is the same as idolizing the flag itself, what about crosses, stars, bibles, and what not thew other religeions bow to? Not trying to bash anybody, but seems like a bit of "But it's different when I do it!"

 

One thing is for sure...as mentioned above, until you discretely ask dad, you'll never know. It might be something just as simple as dad thought only the kids were supposed to do it, and it turn out dad didn't rise because he was TRYING NOT to be disrespectful.

 

 

Could just be a simple misunderstanding.

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Say you ask him and his response is "Mine your own business." Then what?

 

He's an adult not a scout. He is not disrupting, nor is he participating by his choice. Leave him be, tend to your unit. Maybe in time he will change. Make an issue out of it and he may stop attending ...with his son soon to follow. Do not specifically speak to the scout about his father's actions either.

 

Another $0.02,

 

 

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Rather than potentially putting him on the defensive by asking why he's not standing, simply let him know that all are expected to stand for the pledge. This lets him know that the culture of Scouts is to show an expected level of respect by standing. It's important that everyone does it, as that is the culture. If an adult doesn't stand, why should the Scouts stand?

 

I think I would do this by talking to him after a meeting and saying something like, "Hi. How are you this evening? Hey, I noticed that you were not standing during the pledge. I'd really appreciate if you would join us next time and stand as we recite the pledge. It's important that we all stand, as that's what we do here."

 

At this point, if he wants to tell you why he was not standing, fine. If not no worries. At least he now know that he is expected to stand.

 

If he tells you he will not stand (for what ever personal reason), simple let him know that he can wait at the back of the room or another location Den meeting.

 

No judgment no argument as to his reasons or issues. Simply let him know that if he is in the Den meeting area, all stand for the pledge. If he is unable to do this, he can find another place to be.

 

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"This lets him know that the culture of Scouts is to show an expected level of respect by standing. It's important that everyone does it, as that is the culture."

 

Not true. Perhaps it's the culture of this den or pack, but not for all of Scouting.

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I guess my point, shortridge, is to be transparent about it. Based on the initial posting, the culture of this Den is to stand. Let the guy know he's expected to stand with everyone else. It's being only fair to him.

 

 

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It is highly likely that if the guy is forced to stand he may convince his son that Scouts is not a good program.

 

To many people the PoA has controversy. Last night the five boys in the troop got it into their heads that the "liberty and justice for all" part is a lie. Not sure where this came from.

 

Yet they said the Scout Oath and Law, sometimes its over my head.

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eghiglie- interesting point. Maybe that's the basis for a good scoutmaster's minute on the importance of striving for ideals. We certainly have fallen short of the "liberty and justice for all" bit in our history. That doesn't mean we should stop trying, right? Teens (esp young teens) can be so absolute in their thinking sometimes.

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