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Question on BSA and religion.

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Although Christians oppose the practice of homosexuality, we should never reject a Homosexual in our church. We are taught that you can hate the sin, but should still love the sinner. Besides, it doesn't make sense to turn away those who don't live up to the Christian ideals. After all, what is church for? It is to allow a fellowship with each other and with God, in order that we can HELP each other grow spiritually.


In general, I agree. No one is qualified to be in the church if one must be without sin. However, I think there is a line to be drawn that is biblical. If someone comes into your church proclaiming that their sin is not sin; then you have a problem. You have someone who is not repentant. If hes not claiming to be a believer, this should not be surprising or give reason to be alarmed. But it does tell us as believers, that we are dealing with someone who may not be ready to come to Christ. If this person claims to be a believer and is rebelling against the teachings of the church, then you have a different set of problems. Of most concern to me, you have someone whos willing to spread his ideas which are contrary to Gods Word, within the body of believers. This is very dangerous and not tolerated by most conservative churches.




Of the 10,000 or so religious sects, denominations and organized belief systems, every one of them thinks they are right and not only are the other 9,999 wrong, but are they are on the fast lane to Hell.


This is a huge generalization and does not attempt to look at the differences in a reasonable manner. Most Protestant churches do not believe that their denomination is an exclusive path to Heaven and all others shall perish. There are a set of core beliefs, which most churches would acknowledge as being truth the Holy Trinity, Jesus atoning sacrifice on the cross, mans sinful nature, our need for repentance, salvation through our heartfelt acceptance of Christ, the bible being Gods truth, etc.


Are there some churches that do not believe these things? Of course, that is true. And I further agree that disagreement in these core beliefs separate many churches. However, it is a gross overstatement and misleading to say all Christian denominations see themselves as having an exclusive path to God's kingdom. In fact, as every believer knows, God looks at individuals not denominations. However, as individuals, Gods word calls us to believe and act in a specific way.


"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. Matthew 7:13-15


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Fishsqueezer writes:


The history of scouting has nothing to do with trademark protection - it is a legal question.


Well, at least we agree that it is a legal question:


"27. The core of the dispute is around the BSA's effort to claim rights in terms that are in fact generic and unprotectable as a matter of public policy. The terms 'SCOUTS' and 'SCOUTING' are generic words for scouting programs, i.e. youth-based organizations modeled after the ideas of Robert Baden-Powell and the scouting movement at the turn of the twentieth century. 28. It is unreasonable and unduly burdensome to expect scouting organizations to develop, manage, and promote a scouting organization without using the generic and unprotectable terms 'SCOUTS' and 'SCOUTING'."




The above document also presents a number of puzzling technical arguments including the fact that when the BSA uses the terms "Scouts" and "Scouting" generically it does not mark the words with "TM" as is customary with trademarks; and apparently since 1982, the BSA has explicitly disclaimed exclusive rights to use the term "SCOUTS" apart from its compound trademarks and designs on a number of occasions in formal legal documents filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.


Additional documents can be found at:




Including "Youthscout's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings," which is apparently updated with great regularity.


Common usage is established after the brand trademark as you stated in your post. Boy Scouts of American was trademarked - the other scout names were not. A first dibs kind of thing. The BSA has the legal right to the name and the related common usage - that is the law.


By the same logic, the Boy Scouts of America has exclusive rights to the two other generic words in their trademark: "Boy" and "America" :-)


At any rate, that is what the YouthScouts case will look at for the first time since 1918.




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What do you mean by "timeline"?


Youthscouts appears to have filed a for a trademark on October 17, 2002 (Gregory Wrenn is also a trademark attorney).


This application was published in the United States Official Gazette on July 1, 2003.


The BSA's Notice of Opposition seems to have been filed July 2003, but shows a time stamp of August 11, 2003.


Youthscouts "Answer and Counterclaims" was filed September 5, 2003.


The file "Youthscout's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings" shows a "Prosecution History" beginning 07/17/2003 with activity as recently as last week, 02/23/2006.



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My comment was intentionally general to emphasis that what we believe to be true is the truth (at least to us), if you don't believe what I believe, you are wrong.


I never brought up protestants but if you really want to get specific, I can. Pat Robertson saying that anyone outside his faith is doomed to hell is one case. He is protestant. Protestants claim that the only way to heaven is to accept Jesus as your saviour. All others will parish. Catholics, Jews, Muslims and yes even us Deists. Its part of the protestant faith. Its part of the protestant faith that I think is flawed. You may believe as you will, but you have damned me to hell.

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And, boy, won't we all be surprised when we find out that the one truth faith was actually formed on a planet circling Alpha Centauri and unfortunately it hasn't found its way to the little backwater solar systems that include places like Earth. :)


You know, I just have this feeling that in the end, whoever or whatever the higher being or beings end up being, they're going to pay us a visit and say "nice try, but man, did you guys ever get it wrong. Where did you guys come up with all this "my religion is better stuff", and whoever said it was ok to kill in my/our name, huh?".

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You may believe as you will, but you have damned me to hell.


No one chooses a faith so they can have the satisfaction of saying to someone else, you are damned to hell. My heart, mind, and soul, tells me that the bible is true. I read it, and God speaks to me. Whether I am the only one or billions believe as I do matters not to me. I know who Christ is, what he has done for us, and I understand why we should all be on our knees accepting his gift. With that said, I did not write the Gospels I just believe them. So if the Gospels speak to you and the news does not appear to be good then understand it is Gods Word with which you take issue, not I. I am simply, and happily, one of his sons disciples. I have no knowledge of, much less control over anyones salvation, and never have I claimed otherwise.


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Rooster 7: You bring up a good point about someone intentionally trying to lead others in the church astray. I still believe, however, that we owe it to the sinning person to pray for him, rather than to just turn him away.


If someone is rude and disruptive during church services, then it would be unfair to the rest of the congregation to allow that person to stay. I would hope, however, that the pastor would make the effort to arrange an individual meeting with this person.


Gern: Anyone can SAY they are damning you to Hell, but no human can actually DO that to someone else. Only YOU can do that to yourself. Since we Christians believe that a person must accept Jesus Christ as their personal saviour in order to go to Heaven, of course we would try to teach others in order to save them. Unfortunately, many "Christians" do this in an offensive way.

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Our church newsletter has a poem by Maya Angelou in it this month and it is appropriate to this thread:


When I say... "I am a Christian", I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'." I'm whispering "I was lost, now I'm found and forgiven."


When I say... "I am a Christian" I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide."


When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.


When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.


When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect, my flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.


When I say... "I am a Christian" I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches so I call upon His name.


When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not holier than thou; I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace somehow!

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Funscout, you are a rational and reasonable Christian. One who I would enjoy camping with.

I do not understand why some Christian churches shun those who don't accept the entire package. To me it is an opportunity to convert the misguided. Unfortunately, many (not all) view their church like an exclusive club. Some Christian churches even require an interview with elders before being accepted into the congregation. What would be the purpose of that except to restrict membership.


Many years ago, I investigated a private Christian school to send my children too. It was highly regarded and just down the street from me. On the application form, it had a requirement for me and my wife to define my commitment to my belief in Jesus as my personal saviour. Since I could not, I was unable to complete the application. My children were denied access. What a wonderful opportunity they missed to correct my mistakes (in their mind) with my children and show them their path to salvation.


BSA is really no different. Although you do not need to be a Christian (yet), you do need to accept a higher being. Allowing atheists and agnostics into BSA would not remove religion from BSA, but allow BSA to expose those scouts to the virtues of being Reverent. I guess I just don't understand why BSA would want to turn anyone away (save criminal or disruptive behavior).

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Gern, with respect, I disagree with your stance on allowing atheists and agnostics to join BSA so that they may be exposed to the idea of "reverance." To me, this sounds as though you would be encouraging proselytizing as a regular part of the BSA, rather than opening the doors and accepting/respecting the beliefs (or lack thereof) of atheists and agnostics.



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Lisabob, I'm not advocating proselytizing in BSA, not that that does not occur in some units. Open enrollement would allow BSA to demonstrate the virtues of religion along with the rest of its program. By excluding those potential scouts, they lose that opportunity.

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Some Christian churches even require an interview with elders before being accepted into the congregation. What would be the purpose of that except to restrict membership?


Yes that is the point, to restrict the membership at least this is the rationale for many Presbyterian churches. However, that does not mean one cannot attend their church services, participate in fellowship, or join a bible study. So why would a church stop someone from becoming a member? Two things happen when one becomes a member:


1) The church publicly recognizes that person as a believer someone who believes the same things that you do about Christ, Gods love, Gods righteousness, salvation, and a myriad of other doctrinal issues. Members of that congregation will trust that individual, as someone who takes Gods Word seriously someone who is attempting to follow Christ in every way.


2) In Presbyterian churches and many other churches, that person is now able to vote at congregational meetings. He helps make decisions in directing the path of the church decisions, which as a believer, need to be biblically based.


The elders are merely protecting the local church and its body of believers. It is not meant to alienate the non-believer, but it is necessary. If non-believers are allowed to become members of a church, they have the potential to cause great harm.


I imagine that the BSA has a similar philosophy. If youre a baseball team, and you keep allowing football players to join who really rather play football, eventually your team will fail or become a football team. The BSA feels strongly that their values are paramount to their success. If they allow others to join who do not agree with their values, then eventually, they will either fail to achieve their goals or the organization will change into something else. You may not feel that to be a bad thing since youre not enamored with the BSAs stated values (or how they interpret those stated values either way) but Im certain it matters to them. Just like conservative churches highly treasure the bible, the doctrine that it teaches, and the body of believers under their care - the BSA wants to protect the Scouts, their families, and the values that they have rallied around. While it is admirable and desirable to bring others into the family care keepers of organizations such as the BSA (or a church), need to ensure that the principles that they embrace, are not sacrificed for the sake of growth.


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I read through the complaint and the opposition case really is the stronger one. The BSA demonstrated its rights more than did "youthscouts".


If you noted, in all the definitions the word scout, when used as a verb, always meant the action of seeking as in scout out the enemy position. When used as a noun it only had two definitions - that of a scout ship that does the action of scouting and, low and behold, a Boy Scout or Girl Scout. So if all those dictionaries say the common noun usage of scout is Boy Scout and Girl Scout then that fairly well establishes the fact. We shall see, won't we.


If "Boy" and "America" were the common usage to recognize the Boy Scouts of American then you would probably be correct. However, they are not used that way. Only Scouts and Scouting are used that way therefore they are the common usage. Your reasoning concerning common usage is quite the stretch.


Why do all these groups wish to use scout in their name when there are many other options available? Why wouldn't pioneer, pathfinder, woodswalker, campers, trackers, hikers, seekers or mountaineers work? The reason is name recognition. Where does that name recognition come from? Common usage would say Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. So, instead of trying to establish their own reputation, they try to leverage their name using the Boy Scout name that is more commonly recognized. That is why it is trademark infringement.


As far as not having TM next to the words, why are Boy Scouts of American held to a different standard than any other business? I popped onto a number of commercial web sites and none had TM next to their name or abbreviation of their name. They had ® next to their logos as part of the logo on some but not all. I have magazines and printed materials from a number of companies in my office and none of them have TM next to their name. Apparently it is not as customary as some would have us believe.


I also noted something else in the legal papers. You have been wont to mention that "special act of congress" concerning the Boy Scouts of America. Your implication is that it was just for the boy scouts. You fail to mention that it also deals with the Red Cross, DAR, American Historical Society, DAV, Marine Corps League, Civil Air Patrol, and many more - even the Military Chaplains Association (egad a religious organization). Why the implication that this was "special legislation"? Ulterior motive?


I'm still not sure why you have so much concern for us and our choices here when you already have so much choice in England. It is heartening to know that the Continent still cares (or at least a part of it) for the opportunities our children have. Perhaps we will one day have the opportunity to return your concern and provide guidance to one of your scouting organizations.



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