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fgoodwin

Religious people make better citizens, study says

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First of all I think it is always dangerous to classify anyone as a "better" citizen due to religious affiliation based on a report from a religious news service. The bias should be obvious to any reader Christian or not. I know many people who call themselves devout Christians and yet only go to church on Christmas and Easter and their love of this country and participation in politics is no different than the every Sunday church goer, so yes Fred I think this report is not only erroneous but promotes false stereotypes, and is not worth the paper it is written on. This was the same mentality that other countries have used to surpress minorities in their own cultures, look at Iraq, the treatment of Native Americans, the Jews in Germany, and so on infinitum. The bottom line is that NONE of the claims in the report can be substantiated in any major way.

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BadenP: are you a registered BSA volunteer?

 

If so, you must've signed an adult application in which you agreed to "subscribe to the precepts of the DRP." So if you are a BSA volunteer, do you agree with the precepts of the DRP? Because if you don't, one wonders why you would want to affiliate with an organization that requires that you "subscribe to the precepts" of something to which you don't actually agree?

 

OTOH, if you are not a BSA volunteer, then my question is moot.

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Fred, when you had a public school official sign your cub scout charter, did you make it clear that you would not admit atheists?

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Fred

I have been a scouter for over 25 years. Next the DRP and this biased report have virtually nothing to do with each other since this articles research was based on Christians only even though the writer used "religious people" to cover that fact up, email the guy if you don't believe me. The DRP applies only with my scouting activities, the majority of my friends are not scouters and neither is my professional life, and I bet the same is true in your life as well.. They see the DRP as "an out of date policy that does not mirror the reality of our society today", their words not mine, but they are more right than wrong. So be careful Fred if you want to argue go for it but beware of the feedback you will certainly receive.

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BadenP: I understand that you keep your "real" life separate from your Scouting life. So you "subscribe" to the DRP for Scouting purposes, but you repudiate it in "real" life?

 

I don't want to put words in your mouth, so if I got that wrong, please feel free to clarify.

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I'm not Fred, Merlyn, but if the public school official read the charter agreement they would know the conditions of membership.

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BrentAllen wrote:

> "I wonder why he left Mother Teresa off the list - maybe because

> she was devoutly Christian and pro-life? Sorry, but I know

> Christian bashing when I see it..."

 

Ironically Mother Teresa seems to have hade serious questions about her own religious beliefs, even as she continued to perform all the good works for which she is so well known. I believe reports giving insight into her loss of faith were published around the time of her passing.

 

If we keep telling ourselves that we are "preparing young men to make moral and ethical decisions. . ." etc., I wonder why we so adamantly reject the very boys who, by our own admission, need exposure to exactly what we offer?

 

Are we afraid?

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Because they teach children that atheists are second-class citizens

 

Yah, I've been in scoutin' a lot of years, in a fair number of places, seen lots of things.

 

Can't say I've ever seen this.

 

What, Merylyn, do yeh just make this stuff up?

 

The DRP says nothing about what or how we teach children, eh? It's a statement of philosophy of da organization, acknowledged by the adult membership.

 

Of course by feedin' da troll, this is sure to become another Merlyn's agenda thread. :p

 

I reckon both fgoodwin's and le Voyageur's articles have da ring of truth, eh? I think communities of faith and common mission are powerful things, and they definitely do influence da civic behavior of individuals. That's why "organized" religion is important, eh? We need that mutual reinforcement and challenge.

 

At da same time, some religions (and some secular pseudo-religions like Mao-ism and National Socialism and State Communism) can become too strongly tied to one tribe or culture or political power and lose their way, eh? God is subtle and nuanced and plays by His own rules. True contact with God is a terrifying thing, full of challenge to ourselves and our beliefs. It's far more comfortable to just align with da secular political culture of our own group and feel self-righteous.

 

American Christendom fell into that trap because of da abortion mess, and started confusin' support for a political party with its proper moral place to stand outside of power and politics. So some fell into da notion that torture and extraordinary rendition and such were acceptable if proposed by "our" pro-life politicians. What would be anathema to Christ becomes acceptable.

 

Just da sad story of humanity, eh? Our sinful weakness. I don't consider those "unaffiliated" folks in le Voyageur's article any different. Their position was just supportin' their political persuasion too. Even a stopped clock is right occasionally ;). True morality is when yeh tell your friends and allies and family and self that what they're doin', what you want to do, can't be allowed, and take da consequences.

 

Put da two together, and we see that faith communities have an advantage over da unaffiliated, because we share a common touchstone that we can be called back to when we wander astray. And we get a warnin' most Sundays about da follies of personal pride ;). By livin' in such communities, we're challenged and supported by each other to grow. But God also makes use of the "unaffiliated" - da hermits and the prophets - to shake up and challenge faith communities when they've become proudful or complacent.

 

Beavah

 

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I can't speak for Merlyn. I do remember vividly, a 'speech' by our DE given to the families at our Blue and Gold. The stuff that he spewed was hateful toward gays and atheists and that was obvious enough to families that several left BSA permanently. It may not have anything to do with the DRP. But it existed then and I suspect it exists now.

I KNOW he didn't collect much for FOS.

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Beavah, I've explained before how the DRP says only theist members can be the best kinds of citizens, so atheists must be second-class (or worse), and how it's not just adult leaders, but youth members who must subscribe to the DRP.

 

Your own attitude is similar, as you've often advocated that public schools ought to be able to violate the civil rights of atheist students.

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packsaddle, its unfortunate your DE gave such a speech.

 

I hope you took him aside afterward and told him in no uncertain terms that it was unacceptable -- that's what I would've done, but I'm not aware of any DE I know who would ever do such a thing in the first place.

 

OTOH, if we had a chance to ask your DE about it, I wonder if he might have different take on what happened?

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I also find such studies of little use.

 

The ability to predict the "goodness" of a citizen by knowing their religious affiliation is very questionable. It would depend on ones view of the correctness or appropriateness of the religion in question. Merely asserting a membership or agreement with a particular religion would never predict the "goodness" of a person's citizenship. No need to produce3 examples here, we can all find examples of less than exemplery examples of Catholicism or Jewishism or such. Likewise, we can produce examples of lifes lived with wonderful loyalty to the religious founders teachings. But for any particular defined faith, who is the example to cite? Dietrich Bonhoeffer? George Fox? Gautama Buddha? Mahatma Gandhi? Bin Laden? Some will example charity, some forgiveness, some vengefulness. Some will vote and participate in "government, some not.

If one declares themselves a "Christian" for instance, this implies a certain agreement with the teachings and example of Jesus. But how many hypocrites do you need to discredit the faith of all other "Christians"? The teachings of some Christian clergy can not be the brush to paint the rest of His followers.

It is indeed true that you can judge the tree by it's fruit, and by little else for certain. And it depends on who is doing the judging. The "good citizen" in Vermont may not be seen as a "good citizen" in Natal or Abu Dhabi.

I think it was Gandhi who observed that the most Christian people he knew were not Christian. Still, we must try to example the best our faith requires of us and be ready to accept the consequences of our actions from the rest of the world.

In my case, WWJD?

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Beavah, I've explained before how the DRP says only theist members can be the best kinds of citizens, so atheists must be second-class (or worse), and how it's not just adult leaders, but youth members who must subscribe to the DRP.

 

Yah, you're sorta like one of those guys who reads a book about Tamil culture in India and then goes and tells a bunch of Tamils what it is that they believe. Dat's humorous, but I reckon it would be best to ask 'em what they really believe, eh?

 

Da DRP actually says "The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God." No member. That says nuthin' about non-members.

 

You've already heard from dozens of Tamils, I mean scouters, that nobody who understands da DRP or Scouting treats atheists as second-class citizens. But dat's OK, eh? You think yeh know more about da Tamils than they do. They're all dirty rotten scoundrels.

 

What do we call that? Oh, yah... prejudice.

 

And of course it's only our adult application, not da youth application, that even mentions the DRP. But don't let da facts disturb your prejudice.

 

Your own attitude is similar, as you've often advocated that public schools ought to be able to violate the civil rights of atheist students.

 

Liar, liar pants on fire! Makin' stuff up again, eh? :) I reckon we tend to criticize in others da things we tend to do ourselves. Yeh project into others the things yeh really find in yourself. From misrepresentin' arguments to treatin' folks with different belief as second class citizens.

 

All I've argued that public schools ought to be able to serve all of their students with programs dat meet each of their interests and needs.

 

You know, like da rest of da free world.

 

Beavah(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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You've already heard from dozens of Tamils, I mean scouters, that nobody who understands da DRP or Scouting treats atheists as second-class citizens

 

Beavah, you, Fred, Ed, and lots of others have repeatedly made statements where atheists should or ought to be discriminated against by their own government and be treated as second-class citizens. Your excuses don't wash.

 

And of course it's only our adult application, not da youth application, that even mentions the DRP. But don't let da facts disturb your prejudice.

 

Don't let "facts" disturb your prejudice either:

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/28-406.pdf

Boy Scouts of America Youth Application

...

Information for Parents

...

Excerpt from the Declaration of Religious Principle

The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God and, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life. Only persons willing to subscribe to these precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle and to the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of membership.

 

Your own attitude is similar, as you've often advocated that public schools ought to be able to violate the civil rights of atheist students.

 

Liar, liar pants on fire! Makin' stuff up again, eh?

 

Nope. You've advocated that public schools ought to be able to violate the civil rights of atheist students.

 

All I've argued that public schools ought to be able to serve all of their students with programs dat meet each of their interests and needs.

 

By permitting public schools to discriminate against atheists. Like I said, you've advocated that public schools ought to be able to violate the civil rights of atheist students.

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