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DanKroh

"Rule of 25" and Religious Emblems

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Scout,

I would like a better idea who you are, age give or take 5 yr's? What region do you live in, south, Bible belt, etc.?

 

I don't want to come across sounding like I'm chastising anyone.

 

LH, I agree on the short history lesson. "Founded on Christian values", maybe, were intended, but actions speak louder then words. Once here it was back to the Euro-centric mindset of colonialism, "Let nothing stand in our way". Thus the NA conflicts.

 

Scout, "witches, or Wiccans, or whatever you wish to call them do not belong in Scouting."

I would have to dangerously assume that you are a religious conservative leaning way to the Right.

Why did you ancestors come to this country? One thing being, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! CORRECT? What use to be the CHRISTIAN take on other religions, customs, etc. that did not fit in with the doctrine of the time? "THEY ARE PAGANS, THEY ARE HEATHENS!"

Along came the Inquisition, the Crusades, and the Witch Hunts.

First in Europe, then in the U.S., with all (OK, I'll give, MOST of the charges being trumped up.) Why, because they refused to conform to the Judeo-Christian doctrine of the time and convert to the supposed TRUE FAITH.

Dan, you can help out here on the history of things.

 

Scout, if you haven't read the links that Dan has provided before jumping into the thread, please go back and read them. They are quite well worded, definitely fit with the Scouting program when it comes to outdoor philosophy. CoG is trying to teach their children the way of their religion: It's has been here longer then True Christianity: they are recognized by the US government, this is a country where religion can be freely practice.

Do you have a preconceived ideas that because they, the CoG are Wiccan/Witches, that they are Satan/Devil Worshipers?

 

As He said, "Love your fellow brother". Let's drop the uneducated bigotry toward eachother.

 

And by the way, I'm Catholic and I know a little about my religions history and atrocities, How about you?

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Sometimes, when people say things like, "We're 91% Christian" and from that they extrapolate that the majority ought to get their way and minorities will just have to suck it up, a little perspective is in order. For example, in our country right now, the US Census Bureau estimates that there are 301,541,563 people. (Check it out at http://www.census.gov/)

 

So for that 9% or so who self-identify as something other than Christian? That's about 9 MILLION people. Seems a little more serious when we talk about the basic rights of people rather than percentages.

 

 

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Friend LongHaul speaks much of my mind.

 

 

I do not choose to be a Jew. I do not choose to be a Baptist. I do not choose to be an athiest. But I could.

We have that choice and the results accordingly. But some folks, in their search for truth either 1) do not search, but accept what has been given them already by family, or school. or 2) settle in to a faith (yeah even atheism can be called a faith) that seems to suit them, a 'comfort zone' or 3) keep looking to find an explanation for how the world came to be, as it is or as it might be, or 4) to explain what comes after THIS life, or....

I am still reminded of Kipling's story of the several blind men trying to convince each other of their own perception of what an elephant is (or at least their portion of an elephant). Our elephant is, after all, far too immense for any one of us to fully understand or fully explain it to the rest of us.

 

I am not convinced that the nations leaders from our founding on were ever fully guided by principles that Jesus would acknowledge as his own. Like many others, they picked and chose those that suited them and found ways to ignore the others. Watching "Liberty's Kids" with my son, we were able to see many examples, even in this simplistic exposition, of many of our Founding Fathers jealousy, greed, lack of trust, lack of 'Christian Charity' and racial and religious bigotry. It is well known that much of the Articles of Confederation and later the Constitution were inspired by the governance of the Iroquoi Confederacy. Did Christianity contribute, Of course. Were many of our founders Diests? of a certainty. Some were Jewish. Maryland had a religious war(!) before the Catholic Lord Calvert allowed the toleration of the Quaker settlers. Pennsylvania was at peace with all it's native population until the majority of the colonial legislature ceased to be Quaker and then Pennsylvania had every bit as much war as the rest of the colonies. Even Ben Franklin was questionable.

As I think it was Winston Churchill who said that our system of government is far from perfect, but it is the best we've come up with.

We are not perfect, tho we may strive for it. The important thing is being honest in our admission. I have to do some laundry. Been nice talking to you!

TBC...

 

 

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SSScout writes:

I do not choose to be a Jew. I do not choose to be a Baptist. I do not choose to be an athiest. But I could.

 

I disagree. You might be convinced to become an atheist. You could also pretend to be an atheist. But could you choose to be an atheist for, say, an hour? If not, then how is it a choice?

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Edit to my previous post: that would be 27 MILLION people.... (thanks Trev! I'll blame that one on the lack of coffee at work today)

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"Veeery Interesting. But Shtupid." =Artie Johnson=

 

MRL: Now you've got my attention. Except for those who accept the faith given them by their family and environs ( Friends use the term 'birthright'), one's expressed faith is a choice. And it is correct to use the term "convinced". Most Friends these days ARE "convinced". That is the term we use for those that come to worship with us and after a time CHOOSE (decide??) to declare themselves in agreement with Friend principles and testimonies. It is ultimately a CHOICE, even if it is a choice not to change. Evangelicals, of what ever persuasion, have as their mission to CONVINCE you of the rightness, the correctness, of their position/opinion/religion/faith.

And, yes, Athiesm is a religion. It is a belief in the non-existance of God. Look up any Ethical Society and you will find an organization with all the trappings of a church/temple/mosque except the name. Sermons (lectures), Study groups (discussions), Sunday school (youth groups), even hymn sings (musicales).

Choose for an hour? Naw, that's experimenting, not choosing. Choosing is declaring onesself, much as you have. Choosing is telling the world what you are. "Here I stand". That's the importance of water baptism for a Baptist. Pick a religion, and there is usually a way for the proponent to publicly declare themselves.

"Is you is or is you ain't my baby". Thank you Fats Waller.

 

YiS

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Lisabob, Aw heck! I tried and tried to get through to point that out and Trevorum's connection was working and mine wasn't.;)

SSScout, I think I understand what you are trying to say and while it does seem that faith is a mercurial concept for many who profess one flavor or another, I tend to share Melyn's view of atheism. THAT conclusion is one that logically cannot be attained through revelation or through any component of faith. And if one's logic and evidence has led to the conclusion that there is no god, then only better evidence and reasoning can shake it...logically.

 

However, I can see a situation where a person chooses to set reason aside for any number of causes, perhaps under some extreme emotional stress, and 'pretend' to regain faith in the supernatural. This pretense might actually give some psychological relief to them. But that original line of reason that led to the atheist conclusion would remain unchallenged. And I would argue that underneath the superficial veneer of pretended faith...would remain a rational person of atheist conviction.

 

ASM915, does it really matter who The Scout is, or his age, or any of those things...as opposed to the IDEA he seems to have about religious fundamentalism. I see his personal features as relevant only to explain how he attained the idea, perhaps to measure how strongly he holds it. But, given what I've read, I don't see this forum as a means of changing HIS mind, only to attack the idea if that is what you have in YOUR mind.:)

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ASM 915,

 

Believe it or not I am a 20 year old student from New York. I just earned my Eagle a couple of years ago.

 

I think must would agree that the BSA HAS to draw a line somewhere on religious emblems. Or should we allow any "religious" organization to have a BSA emblem. Should the BSA accept Devil Worshipers? What about someone who trys to bring back the Aztec religion and professes a need for human sacrafice? What if I decide to create a religion convinved of the divinity of my pet hamster? I would love to see the headline in the paper.

 

'Local Scout Presented with Eagle Scout Badge and Devil Worshiping Award"

 

That would look real good for the BSA, wouldn't it.

 

The point is a line MUST be drawn somewhere and I hope that everyone can recognize that. Either that or the BSA becomes a mockery.

 

We may disagree where that line should be drawn. On whether Wicca awards should be included or not. But I think we would all agree that under no circumstances should the Aztec human sacrafice religion be accepted.

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BSA has already drawn that line for you. It's called "The Declaration of Religious Principle" (DRP).

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Aztec human sacrefice... ummm...

 

Well, I guess we missed that one back in Abraham's time.

 

Here's a site to mess with your collective minds and stretch the idea of inclusiveness... it seems there are many, many "true faiths".

 

www.religioustolerance.org

 

Is there a Scout movement in Haiti? do they have a Voodoo religious award?

 

 

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TheScout,

 

Ah, now I understand that you have no idea what Wicca is about, and have listened to the propaganda about us spread by those who wish to label us something we are not.

 

I would suggest you educate yourself about our beliefs before you go labeling us "Devil Worshipers" and compare us to religions that engaged in human (or any living thing) sacrifice. For the record, we do neither.

 

Here is a link to get you started:

http://www.ecauldron.com/newpagan.php

 

You will find information about many pagan religions there (none of which worship the devil, btw, not even Satanism). It also contains links to information about specific pagan religions, including Wicca. The Covenant of the Goddess site where the links at the beginning of this thread reference also has good information.

 

Google is also your friend, although for unbiased information, you might want to stay away from sites where people who don't actually practice paganism nevertheless try to tell you what paganism is all about. I'm by no means trying to convert you, but please know what you are talking about before making prejudiced statements based in ignorance.

 

Ignorance is a sad state. And willful ignorance is an ugly thing.

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SSScout, I still disagree on calling religious belief a "choice". I don't "choose" to believe the earth is round, I'm convinced of it; I couldn't choose to believe it's flat without evidence -- convincing evidence.

 

And atheism is not a religion, just as theism is not a religion. Yes, Ethical societies are religions, but I'm not a member. Atheists who are members are atheists who also have a religion. But atheism per se is not a religion, it is merely the absence of the creed "god(s) exist".

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"Here's a site to mess with your collective minds and stretch the idea of inclusiveness... it seems there are many, many "true faiths".

 

www.religioustolerance.org"

 

Thank you, SSScout, I forgot that one. Excellent site! Lots of information presented in an educational, unbiased fashion. Their section on Paganism is excellent.

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The Scout, Ahem, this weekend is a religious observance based on a human sacrifice for some of us. And what, I may ask, does the doctrine of 'transubstantiation' mean in your mind? As I understand it, when you drink that wine and eat that wafer, it literally DOES change to the human blood and flesh of Jesus, not symbolically, not metaphorically, really.

 

But Ooooooooo devil worship! Now THAT's interesting! Unless you're not really talking 'bout the big guy, you know...the head honcho of fallen angels. If you're just talking minor demons, then it's still interesting but not any moreso than, say, Loki or some other mythological character.

There are many people I have spoken with in this area that KNOW a place at a nearby lake, where devil worship takes place. I've been there and I've seen the evidence. My students are always impressed when I take them there. It is a stone circle, originally constructed by the CCC (proof enough, in itself, of devil worship, I suppose ;)). But scattered all around the fire pit are remnants of animal sacrifices, bones mostly, chicken - it looks like. And we've even found photos of the leader lying around. He's old, with glasses, moustache, and a white devilish goatee. I think he was a colonel or something.:)

But like I said, people in this area, some of them at least, really BELIEVE this stuff. They KNOW from no evidence whatsoever, that devil worship happens there. How? Because someone told them. They are so susceptible to superstition and fable, and they want so badly to know something absolutely, that on faith alone, they will get angry and want to fight if I suggest they may be mistaken. And we wonder at the Taliban, the explanation is right in front of us.

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Trevorum,

 

It is true, the BSA does have the DRP. But how obviously they do not place all faiths on the same level Such is why certain can get religious emblems approved and others do not.

 

DanKroh,

 

I did not call Wicca devil worshippers. If you took that from my remarks, accept my apology. I was merely comparing it to other beliefs that I would presume the BSA would consider less than desirable.

 

 

To play devil's advocate . . . pardon any pun. For those who are seeming to suggest we take religious tolerance. to the extreme, are there any religous emblems you think the BSA should not approve?

 

Wicca?

Satanism?

Followers of a hypothetical revived Aztec human sacrafice faith?

Devil Worshipers? (I am sure there are some out there)

Or what about the People's Temple? (the movement Rev. Jim Jones started which led to the mass suicide/murder by the kool aid in Guyana in the 1970s)

 

I would presume that few of you think the BSA should allow emblems for any of the above or hypothetical groups.

 

Happy Good Friday!

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