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Discussing Obedience

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  • 5 months later...

For some of the above reasons, I much prefer the Scout Law of Scouts Australia, which has 10 "A Scout Is..." traits rather than 12. Instead of Obedient & Reverent, An Australian Scout is RESPECTFUL!

Respectful not only of authority, but also of people who are required to live under the rules, and of peers & even subordinates when one is S/PL.


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Her Who Must Be Obeyed, is an American.

She isn't a Catholic.

When we got married, we did so in the UK in my parish church.

The Priest who married us was a super nice fellow. His Mother was an American and he had converted from whatever he was to become a Catholic.

I think the Catholic Church in the UK is a little bit more laid back than it seems to be here in the USA.

We should have taken some classes before we got married but as she arrived ten days before the wedding this wasn't possible.

We had talked about what we planned to do.

Getting married in a Catholic church was very important to me. We agreed that when our four son's (That bit didn't happen!) came along they would be raised as Catholics.

When it came to discussing the wedding vows, she said that there was no way she was going to say Obey. She went on to say that she wasn't a dog and that dogs are taught to obey.

As it turned out "Obey" never came up.

We agreed to go with: "To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish until death do you part?"

With a list like that we really didn't need obey.


Obedience is or can be a strange thing.

We just went through Lent. OJ, isn't a a great lover of seafood, he moaned and complained every Friday. I honestly don't believe that the Big Guy is going to send anyone to Hell and damnation for eating a sausage on a Friday during Lent. I suppose with me thinking this way eating fish or not eating meat on Fridays during lent seems a little silly? Still I feel if I'm going to claim to be a Catholic, I have a duty to follow the rules of my church.

When I was a little fellow I used to give up things for Lent. I still have friends who give things up for lent. (I gave up sweets and candy they tend to give up more adult type things.) To ease my conscience, I used to send a bigger donation to a catholic charity at Easter. I don't do that anymore, in part because I feel it was me paying for my guilt for not giving something up.

When we teach Sea Scouts Safe Boating, one of the things we cover is that in order to avoid a collision that it's OK to break or not follow the rules.(... which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid immediate danger.)

Kinda strange to have a rule which states that it's sometimes OK to not follow the rule!

I think this makes a lot of sense.

I've had a lot of e-mails this week about the young man from Washington PA who is an Eagle Scout, who used his skills to save his life last Monday by tying a cord around his leg to stop the bleeding. I'm happy that he did and that he is still with us. It seems that a lot of us (Scouter's) are giving ourselves a pat on the back for teaching him First Aid? I can't remember teaching tourniquets in fact I tell our Scouts not to use them. Again in this case it seems to have worked and maybe he was lucky he didn't have me teach him First Aid!!

If we are looking at Obedience in a Scouting (BSA) context? I think maybe taking one point of the twelve and singling it out is not a good thing. It's a package deal.

We can all of course look at the rule book or the regulations and come up with scenarios that make it seem that the rule or rules are not right. (Sure Scouts shouldn't travel in the back of pick up trucks, but transporting an injured Scout in the back of the pick up truck might be the best way to go. Of course we don't ever go out of our way to get caught in a one on one with a Scout but it can happen.)How far we take that is up to the individual. Still when we throw in the eleven points of the Scout Law, it might take on a different meaning?

We know or find out a lot of the rules before or soon after we join. In most cases unless someone gets hurt or harmed the consequences for not following the rules or regulations don't exist. Still when we choose to ignore or not follow them are we being Trustworthy? Loyal? Brave? Helpful?

Sometimes what might seem to not be kind is the way to go. I know not taking a Scout who can't pass a swim test might upset the Scout and yes I feel bad for him or her and will do what I can to help him or her master the skill needed. I suppose I could think up 101 reasons why they don't need to have passed the swim test. But the rule says that they need to have met the requirements. The BSA is trusting me to follow the rule, the CO is trusting me, the kids parents are trusting me.

Seems that any thread on Uniforms will take up a lot of space. I can see and do understand why not all Scouts will be in full 100% uniform. I however think that the SM who informs the parents that in his Troop they don't wear full uniform is not being loyal and is abusing the trust placed in him.

We at the end of the day promise to do our best. I think this applies to obedience and playing the game by the rules.








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Your stories above remind me of the sign on the back wall of each school bus when I was in grade school, "A Safe School Bus Requires That:" with 10 rules following. #10 was, "There is no substitute for good judgment." Also in my 1 semester of law school, I read that the better judges in courts in the 1800s in the USA were guided by, "Where the reason stops, so does the rule."


Finally, in the USA a person who enforces rules unreasonably for their own sake is called an indecent P-word meaning "male private part." ;)



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I find myself in agreement with Beavah. And although Fgoodwin is correct in his assessment of the illegal downloads, it would be different if the downloader did so openly in front of police at, say, Sony headquarters. THAT would be civil disobedience, not merely a cowardly act of theft...and I think this is what John-in-KC was noting.


Calico, it is possible that the recent Supreme Court ruling has, in fact, established a prohibition and a limit to the liberties of the people, or at least approximately half of them. Would you agree?

In that case, civil disobedience will now involve women and their doctors exercising choice in violation of the law...a much larger issue, in my mind, than illegal music downloads.


Lisabob, it is possible that an administrator might institute a thoughtless new policy that adds paperwork, time, and effort to, for example, the ability to take field trips. (and you know the 'know-nothings' in the administration are famous for actions like this, right;)) It is possible that the faculty will object, tee hee.

Do you obey, or do you try to reason with them, or do you simply ignore the policy (assuming that you can)?

In my experience the reaction of the faculty greatly depends on whether or not they have tenure. ;)

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I'm not a lawyer. My little sister is, in fact she is both a solicitor and a barrister.

When she was around I would often borrow her books.

I really enjoyed Lord Denning. I enjoyed the way he worded some of his opening.

While I don't want to hijack the thread.

If you read Miller V.Jackson (Better known as The Cricket Case)he wrote:

In summertime village cricket is the delight of everyone. Nearly every village has its own cricket field where the young men play and the old men watch. In the village of Lintz in County Durham they have their own ground, where they have played these last 70 years. They tend it well. The wicket area is well rolled and mown. The outfield is kept short. It has a good club house for the players and seats for the onlookers. The village team play there on Saturdays and Sundays. They belong to a league, competing with the neighbouring villages. On other evenings after work they practise while the light lasts. Yet now after these 70 years a judge of the High Court has ordered that they must not play there any more. He has issued an injunction to stop them. He has done it at the instance of a newcomer who is no lover of cricket.


While I know at times I do sound like a book thumper. We do have to take care that we don't over regulate things to the extent that we can no longer play the game.

Leadership courses are fine and dandy, but zip lines and aerial runways are more fun. Even if there is and maybe because there is an element of risk?


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Packsaddle - there are plenty of prohibitions and limits to the liberties of the people in law - this latest SCOTUS ruling is just one of those many - but the key is its in the law - not the Constitution. There are no prohibitions and limits to the liberties of the people (except perhaps Presidential term limits which arguably prohibit us from re-electing a President for a third term) in the Consitution - only in the laws. The laws may be found to be Constitutional, but they aren't enshrined in the Constitution, and are thus easy to repeal or change.


Eamonn - I had to read about Miller vs. Jackson and read the rest of Lord Denning's verse after that little tease of yours. And here I thought NIMBYism (Not In My Backyard) was an American invention - looks like you Brits beat us to it.



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