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Partnership Opportunities Between BSA and AHG

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Pere......catholic schools are typically the best educational oppurunities in most communities....It is a case of people of means doing the best for their kids.


I don't think scouting of any kind falls in that class.


I could see how some parents might be disillusioned with the GSUSA and choosing the AHG even though they don't think it's ideal ... similarly, I think there are people who choose Catholic schools over public schools for the same reason.

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BSA has thousands of Christian only organizations as chartered partners.


Lots of additional chartered partners are Jewish only, Muslim only or whatever.


People seem to forget that freedom of religion is one of the cornerstones of liberty in the United States.



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Let us be clear. Freedom of religion, as typically referred to in the US context, is about the 1st amendment. The 1st amendment prohibits GOVERNMENT from infringing upon religious freedoms in various ways (although there are some very broadly construed limits - no ritual sacrifice of babies, for example).


A "problem" with the BSA (post-Dale in 2000) and with AHG is that these groups are private, religiously-based, organizations. While the BSA says it is open to pretty much all religions, it still officially has religious expectations of members. Thus, government institutions like public schools cannot sponsor BSA units (or AHG units).


As private organizations, both the BSA and AHG have the right to set religious requirements on membership, and/or to have religious components of their programs.


That doesn't mean, however, that the general public (us!) have to agree with or like the membership expectations of the two groups. And I think that's what some folks here are saying about partnerships between the BSA and AHG. Since BSA is much more inclusive in terms of its religious membership & program expectations than the AHG is, it seems ike it might be a poor fit for many BSA units to team up with an AHG unit. That's not the same as saying the BSA or AHG can't have their particular religious elements, though. In fact, I see nobody here arguing that either group's religious freedoms should be, or have been, curtailed.




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Yes, Lisabob, you are part of the coalition of secularists who want to narrow the places and ways that religion can be practiced or expressed in the public square.


Generally speaking, secularists prefer that religion not extend outside homes and churches if they have their way.


And as these discussions illustrate, secularists would like to extend their values right into churches themselves where Scouting is concerned.


The most powerful methods used by secularists to enforce their cultural values are the courts, and they generally oppose having the political branches make such decisions.


But even if they can't get the courts to enforce their values, they will act themselves and through political and cultural groups to enforce such policies on religious groups that dare to operate in the public square.


For a better discussion of these issues, I recommend "The Naked Public Square" by Richard Neuhaus.



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~rolls eyes~


Can I be part of a coalition I've never heard of, don't believe exists, and haven't chosen to join?


Can you really be so arrogant as to believe you can read my mind and know without doubt what I do and don't think?


Not my fault, if you don't understand or perhaps didn't read what I actually wrote about how both the BSA and AHG have every right, as private organizations, to have religious restrictions on membership and/or to have religious components to their programs.


But just go on ahead with the labeling, I'm sure that's going to help you understand things better.



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I would say this is an expression of American secularist values. You don't appear to want BSA and AHG units to provide common programs because AHG has a clear bias towards Christianity.


My reaction as a non secularist is, "So what?" I see no reason why a Cub Pack and AHG unit shouldn't combine or cooperate in presenting a joint program.


You are certainly entitled to your preferences, and I'm entitled to start a joint Cub Pack and AHG chartered program.



We simply disagree.

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First of all your beligerance towards Lisabob is really uncalled for and without any foundation.

You yourself belong to a particular denomination that explicitly states that they are "The Only True Church" and the "only true path to Heaven" and all the others are basically "invalid as are their ordinations and sacraments" quoting Pope Benedict XVI (2005).


I hate to tell you fella but the AHG doctrines conflicts with your owns faiths beliefs so why are the AHG so desperate to be accepted by the BSA and RC Church? The answer is simple its called Survival. They have been unable to gain any real numbers in units or membership so they are desperately trying to appear as a nice neutral all encompassing Christian girl youth group when in fact many of the mainstream Christian denominations have already rejected them for being inconsistent with their own beliefs. To be blunt the Catholic Church is the only and last refuge they have left, but even many of the Catholic Church clergy are beginning to see the true beliefs of the AHG firsthand and are not happy,as I have witnessed in the diocese in my own area.


So SP you keep up your one man quest tilting at windmills and dreaming the impossible dream of AHG and BSA united as one, even though the whole thing has a long way to go and is already coming unraveled at the seams.

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Hello Baden P,


Well, I'm not a Catholic for openers.


I haven't been belligerent to Lisabob, either.


You are welcome to your opinions about AHG. I've considered them and found them unpersuasive.


It appears to be the best way for my Cub Pack to add a Scouting type program for girls, but I will be investigating the organization further as part of the decision making process.



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why are the AHG so desperate to be accepted by the BSA and RC Church? The answer is simple its called Survival. They have been unable to gain any real numbers in units or membership


They have what, 19,000 members? That's pretty impressive for an organization that started in 1995, especially considering that it is drawing from the same pool of young girls who might otherwise be involved with the GSUSA or CampFire.


I don't see anything in the AHG beliefs that conflict with Catholic teaching. Some Christian organizations, for example, include something about believing the Bible to be the sole Word of God in their "Statement of Faith" or whatever -- something which definitely does conflict with Catholic teaching. But I can't see such a statement on the AHG web site.


If Catholic clergy are critical of the AHG, they must be keeping it tightly under wraps because I can't find anything on the web about it.

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You know what gets my goat about this discussion? We have completely digressed from the topic at hand to discuss the sectarian politics of youth organizations! Personally, I'm completely against kids getting dragged into politics of any kind, those I agree with as well as those I don't. I would like to raise children who will be well-equipped to make their own decisions on their political leanings, not to simply parrot mine.


My family chose AHG over GSUSA, not because of its politics, but because based on what I know of GSUSA through my own experience as a youth member of that organization and what I know of AHG through my experience as an adult member of that organization, I believe the AHG program to be superior.


It's a shame that people with no experience whatsoever with AHG profess to be such experts about the organization.


You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming...

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Then why don't YOU follow your own advice and let your daughter experience GSUSA as well as the AHG and decide for herself what she likes best. Or are you always making all of your daughters decisions for her. Just because as a kid you did not like the GSUSA doesn't mean your daughter will have the same experience.

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I'm glad that AHGnBSAMom has found a program that works for her family.


I don't find that the AHG program would be an appropriate fit for many BSA units I'm familiar with, though, because in those BSA units, there are people of many faiths. For those units, a close partnering with an overtly Christian girls' group could be a problem because only some of the families would feel welcome in the "partner" unit. I think very few non-Christian families are going to want to put their daughters into an evangelical Christian ministry youth program. If the degree of partnership is very high, some families might also have justifiable concerns about the resources they put into their child's (BSA) youth program being used to support a different youth program with which they disagree. It might eventually cause hard feelings and new divisions within the initial BSA unit, and I can't see that leading to something positive. Better to just have separate groups, in that case.


But as Seattle may have overlooked, I've actually said in one of the many threads that maybe this makes some sense for the specific cub unit Seattle is affiliated with (since, as I recall, that cub pack is chartered via a Catholic Church and he's noted elsewhere that most of the cub pack members are also from that Church).



But hey, Seattle, keep right on assuming you know what I think. That's easier than reading what I've actually said, apparently.


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