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What is your opinen about Boy scouting and God?

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Perhaps this is a topic better posted in the "Issues and Politics" section of this forum. If you scroll down through those topics, I'm sure you'll find plenty of opinions that can help with your paper.


Just to put in my two cents, I hate to turn away any boy with a good heart and lots of enthusiasm. Scouting is a wonderful program that I feel should be open to any boy who wants to participate and won't cause trouble. But I also respect BSA's ability to place certain membership restrictions even if I don't agree with them. Here are some interesting sub-topics/ hypotheticals that may be useful to you:


Churches can restrict membership by religion so why can't scouts?


Where do agnostics fit in?


What if a boy, raised without faith, is searching for a religion and is therefore open to God. However, if he is genuinely searching, he won't immediately accept God. Is he forbidden from scouts during this transitional period?


Can't private organizations impose moral requirements for membership? (ie. criminal records make some people ineligible for certain groups)


Would Boy Scouts better serve their function if they could provide a strong moral and faith-filled foundation for boys who may not have such models?


These are just some parts of the huge debate that you inquired about. I kind of mixed the pros and cons together. Good luck.

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Lord Baden Powell said "that without faith you cannot become a good citizen." That is a qute that is used by the International Scouting Movment in a report on their webiste about religion in scouting. The basis of religion in scouting has been there from the beginning and is an intregal part of the scout movement. I believe that if a boy is searchingfor God I will not turn him away from thetroop just he is huntig for God. On the otherhand if a Boy stands up in a meeting ad declares that he cannot deal with the promise because of the Duty To God or part or the last point of the law Reverent then I would seriously ask him to consider what the point means to him.


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Your quote descibes a belief in god. Don't you mean in a god? If we cannot tell another that their faith is wrong then there are in fact quite an array of gods. Not sure what the Islamic people say but generally a belief in god (in western countries ie USA, Oz, UK etc) that means a christian god. So as long as a Scout has spiritual beliefs they are quite welcome.

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I'm just a college age venture kid, so perhaps I'm not qualified to contribute. Here are a few ideas anyway.


Using the same quote "without faith you cannot become a good citizen," you could branch into some other questions on the nature of faith. Lord Powell surely meant faith in God, but what about faith in humanity, or in the golden rule, or some other moral code? If you really want to take it all the way, you could say BP meant faith in the Judeo-Christian God, not those of other religions (I'm not sure about this, though - somebody correct me if I'm wrong), yet scouts accept those who have belief in a god, not necessarily the Christian God.

All depends on how controversial you want to make the paper. Good luck with it.



On the point of Reverence: One could argue that as long as a scout displays respect for the religious beliefs of others as well as the mandates of the BSA, he could fulfill the Reverence aspect. It is still possible to get something meaningful out of religious and spiritual activities, even if you do not share all the beliefs.(This message has been edited by SamEagle)

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Hi jamiemauro,

In response to your original inquiry, "I really would like to know your opinen about someone not beliving in God but still wants to be a good boy scout."


My opinion is they are welcome to their belief and to their wants. But that one does not entitle you to the other. You are free to choose whether or not you want to swim. But you cannot chhose to not swim and then want to be a lifeguard and expect it to happen.


In scouting, you cannot choose to forgo your "duty to God" and also expect to be a member of the Boy Scouts. We believe that a acceptance and responsibility to a supreme power is required in order to form a complete oral foundation.


I realize that some people do not accept the exisense of God by whatever name you choose to use. I understand a boy wanting to be in scouting. But they need to realize that scouting is more than wearing a uniform and going camping, hiking canoeing etc. It is an education system based on character, citizenship and fitness, and that character includes an active duty to God.


Hope this helps you to explain why atheism and scouting have mutually excluding goals. A good question for you to pursue in your paper is why would an atheist want to be a member of a faith based organization, when as atheists they have chosen to reject the possibility of the existense of God? You don't see them wanting to join other religious based organizations.


Bob White

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If you have no faith in any higher power than yourself, how can you belive that the spirt of man has no higher calling than that of an animal? Right and wrong is replaced by the rule of the jungle. With morality reduced to just a set of human written laws, the rule would be whatever you could get away with is OK. Our society has gone far enough in this direction. Just think about it. Why have scout spirt and what would an oath mean?

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