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Atheist leader to be expelled from BSA

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rooster7 writes:

>Bigotry against people who refuse to believe in and/or recognize God? Hmmm.


>So, if a group or individual does not want to associate with another group or individual that believes in and/or does something distasteful to them, we must label that bigotry?


Would you mind addressing the specific statement quoted?


"Anybody that doesn't believe in god isn't a good citizen, and that if an atheist found a wallet on the ground they would pick it up, plunder the money and throw the wallet back on the ground."


For way of comparison, here is the same sentiment, except against Jews:


"Anybody that's Jewish isn't a good citizen, and that if a Jew found a wallet on the ground they would pick it up, plunder the money and throw the wallet back on the ground."


Now, if a "no Jews" group had a leader that said that, I'd say the speaker was bigoted against Jews. Furthermore, if I asked some members of that group about this statement and they didn't even address the inherent bigotry but instead rambled on about their "freedom of association", as if that excuses bigotry, I'd say they were bigots, too.

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Oh, you think Im stupid and will fall into your trap. You want me to say, No lying is wrong. Then you say, Well he lied every time he said the oath. We will handle that in just a moment.


No, I do not think you or any one else in this forum is stupid. And, no, no trap was planned, merely a point made.


By the way, we're still waiting for you to 'handle' it. Hope you handle it a little better than your second post.


Since you cracked open the dictionary to define 'reverent' and 'reverence' which included 'worshipful' as a synonym. Opening the dictionary again, the definition of worshipful is:


Given to or expressive of worship; reverent or adoring. (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


Definition of worship is:


The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object. (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


Also, thank you, but I don't want or need a cookie. You were the one that mentioned that you were an Eagle Scout, implying relevance (?and reverence?). And, yes, the twelfth point of the Scout Law is 'Reverent' and relevant to this issue. And 'Duty to God', in the Scout Oath or Promise, is relevent to this issue. Which, by the way, is one place where God is overtly mentioned.


You are right in your definitions only if you divorce the Oath from the Law, and if you superficially define 'reverent.' This is taking words and phrases out of context in order to reinforce your position.


By the way, you haven't answered the other question: When did you realize that a Scout was supposed to be Reverent? At what point did you realize that Scouting had such values? Was this a new relevation? Or, like Mr. Lambert, have you been 'glossing over' these issues in your own road to Eagle?


You speak contemptuously about adult leaders and how poor they are. How do you feel about young people who lie for years so they can get their Eagle?


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>Another assault by the minority....Merlyn, take kids who don't believe in a higher being and start your own organization. The military sponsors organizations overseas so kids don't have to miss even more while their parent's are defending atheists rights to be atheists.


What if the kid and/or the parents are atheists?


Oh, then their rights don't count, I suppose.


The ACLU lawsuit won't prevent the military from sponsoring youth groups, just ones that discriminate in ways the government can't. It would be perfectly fine if all the BSA units were changed to Campfire. So now even the atheist kids can join, instead of being turned away from a youth group run by their own government.


See how that works?


If you want a private, discriminatory organization, get used to losing special government support.

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You know, I believe that this thread has gone far afield.


Points in favor of Mr. Lambert and/or atheism in Scouting include:


1. Mr. Lambert sounds like a pretty good kid.

2. Everybody has a right to believe or disbelieve whatever they want.

3. Christians should not be imposing their beliefs on others, as they appear to do in Scouting and in this thread.

4. To deny Mr. Lambert his leadership position, or to deny atheists access to Scouting is bigotry.

5. Scout leaders can be/have been jerks.

6. It is illegal for U.S. Governmental bodies to sponsor Scouting, and soon all U.S. Governmental bodies will be compelled to drop Scouting as a youth program.


My observations/opinions about these points:


1. So?

2. Not in Scouting; this was/is clear from the start for 90 years.

3. I/we haven't. Christians aren't the only folks that support this position in the movement. But, this is just intended to distract and deflect, anyway.

4. Bigotry is narrow-minded intolerance. Scouting is very broad minded-- all it expects is a belief in something.

5. Yes, some Scout leaders are jerks. So have some boys and young adults. So?

6. So? (I have a lot of indifference about this item especially. It appears to be a 'custard pie' to be thrown over and over with intent to annoy and distract rather than to persuade. So, in fact, it's not really a point of reason.)


All of these points were presented with gusto and conviction, but are not totally relevent.


Mr. Lambert lied. He knew what the program was about, and he lied pretty consistently until the Board of Review. Why did he 'fess up then? Was there real danger in not achieving his objective, the Eagle Award? Maybe. Or, maybe not. I would not assume this to be heroism on his part at this point; witness the comments made by one of the Board members-- he may have known very well who was going to be on the Board and their attitudes. Nevertheless, he still lied and lied to obtain the reward he sought. Further, his troop and its Chartering Organization lied by agreeing to follow the program and then ignoring a significant part of the program. These major points have never been addressed.


Whether or not you agree with the 'A Scout is Reverent'/'Duty to God' tenet, Mr. Lambert failed in the 'A Scout is Trustworthy' category. This has always been my point, not that others have to believe in my God or my beliefs.


Also, for others that believe that atheists should be allowed in Scouting, I still wonder: why are the other eleven points of the Law valid to you, but not the twelfth? Why is 'Duty to God' optional? Most importantly, WHEN did you start believing this? It is implied that Mr. Lambert believed this early on. Is this the case for you, too?


If others are to accept your premise, where will you stand if others want to disregard other points of the Law or other aspects of the program (aspects that YOU care about)? Since Mr. Lambert and his troop/Chartering Organization have lied, these people are at the forefront in challenging the first point of the Law: A Scout is Trustworthy. How do you feel about that?


These other aspects that you want, are they more valid because YOU support them? Who is an intolerant bigot then?

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Why join an organization that wants to be about religion and the outdoors and leadership, swear to uphold the values, grab the highest honor, and then say, "Guess what. I lied. I don't believe in anything."

The Boy Scouts have the right to assemble, to define core beliefs, and to ask that people who join share their beliefs.

It's like joining the Catholic Church, then starting an abortion clinic, then crying "not fair" if the local parish called you on it.

Or: It's like being elected President. Then saying,

"Oh, by the way. I don't really believe in the constitution. I'm a communist. What? You want me to resign? Wah. Not fair."

This kid is not an Eagle in my book. He's a deceptive, confused, misguided kid. And another thing: he'd rather whine than say, "I love Scouting but I don't honestly believe what I stood up and swore I did. So the only honorable thing for me to do is return the badge."

Instead he's on Fox News getting attention for saying how unfair it is that he's getting booted.


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"If you want a private, discriminatory organization, get used to losing special government support."



I would bet all branches of the military would like to have platoons of Eagle Scouts.


Yes it is private but not discriminatory. And as far as loosing government support, I don't think that will happen. Remember, the BSA has a federal charter.


Ed Mori


Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10


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Let me say, folks, this has been an interesting discussion.


I want to thank you all, especially those who disagreed with my position but had the character and decency to speak in a thoughtful and reasoning manner. I know that your position is as important to you as my position is to me. I know how hard it is to be restrained in one's approach when you disagree with others. Truly, I respect your right to believe your position and to express your beliefs, even when I disagree with them.


Hooray for Scouting! Hooray for liberty and freedom of speech!!


May God bless Scouting and all of you. (Oh my, there I did it...)

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I will say this before Merlyn does in response to something Evmori said.


The BSA does indeed discriminate they make no bones about it. But according to the Supreme Court of the United States it is legal discrimination. Keep in mind that discrimination means to determine the difference between items. A good wine versus a bad wine. A stylish tie over a tacky tie. Good values versus bad values. Are all forms of discrimination. There are some forms of discrimination, in certain circumstances, that are illegal, and others that are not.


The form used by the BSA has been judged as legal.


Merlyn may feel they are illegal, but Merlyn's opinion carries no legal weight. He may feel it is immoral and he is welcome to his opinion. However if he is a member of the BSA and intends to reain one he canhave his membership revoked if he speaks out publicly against the BSA. Not that he doesn't have the right to free speech , he does. But the BSA has the right as a private organization to determine its own members, I realize Merlyn doesn't like that the BSA has rights, but then that is between him and the U.S, Constitution and the Supreme Court and I don't think either are about to change.


Bob White



The BSA has a Congressional Charter not a federal one.(This message has been edited by Bob White)(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Darrell Lambert was a guest on Riley's "The Factor" this evening. He was reasonably articulate. Also uniformed in full regalia. If I heard him correctly he also believes that exclusion of homosexuals from membership is wrong.

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Who said, "Most troop leaders care more about the letter of the law and care nothing for the boys."?


What a statement. Sure hasn't been my experience.

That's A LOT of baggage there, buddy.

My other point. I'm so weary of the ACLU and moral relativism and the "nothing is wrong, everything is OK and if you don't agree with this view, you are discriminating." junk. Enough.

One of the reasons I've left the Left is the hypocrisy.

Why is it that the ACLU protects every possible point of view except traditional American values? They hate traditional American values. But the loathing is dressed up in a pretense of moral superiority.

And to compare Scout values to antiSemitism is silly.

Leslie, who is sorry for being so mad and who really does like a good debate.

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Many posters have wondered how someone could have slipped through so many BORs, SM conferences, etc., without this "issue" coming to a head.


Look at the original article again, and it appears that his mom was his Scoutmaster for at least part of his time as a Scout. If you read it the same way I do, that can explain a lot of this. I wonder if anyone in a position to do so is considering revoking her membership...after all, she gave him a pass on Scout Spirit, right?



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bob white:



>There are some forms of discrimination, in certain circumstances, that are illegal, and others that are not.

>The form used by the BSA has been judged as legal.


Only for the BSA as a private organization; the government can't practice religious discrimination, and the BSA decision didn't change this.


>Merlyn may feel they are illegal, but Merlyn's opinion carries no legal weight.


Neither does yours. The KKK legally has a whites-only organization, but it isn't legal for the government to run branches of the KKK, either.


That's why Chicago dropped all its BSA charters rather than try and defend it in court.

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