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Marcheck

Organizations that won't charter units

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VAordeal,

 

BSA does NOT have a "rgid standard" that defines "God" as the Judeo-Christian-Islamic deity known as Yahweh, Jehovah, or Allah.

 

"BSA does not define what constitutes belief in God or the practice of religion" (BSA Position Statement).

 

The Zoroastrian Ahura Mazda is a perfectly acceptable deity, and in fact was worshipped long, long before the Hebrew deity became popular.

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"Zoroastrianism is a small religion with about 140,000 members worldwide. Yet it is one of the oldest religions still in existence and may have been the first monotheistic religion. Zoroastrian theology had a profound impact on the early development of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

 

"Zoroastrianism is a small religion with about 140,000 members worldwide. Yet it is one of the oldest religions still in existence and may have been the first monotheistic religion. Zoroastrian theology had a profound impact on the early development of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

 

"The religion was founded by Zarathushtra (Zoroaster in Greek). Zarathushtra lived in Persia (modern Iran) sometime between 1,500 and 1,000 BCE. He preached monotheism at a time when polytheistic religions prevailed. He was attacked for this teaching, but Zoroastrianism finally became the state religion of the Persian empire. When Islamic Arabs conquered Persia in 650 CE, Zoroastrians fled to India where most are concentrated today. Those who remained behind have survived centuries of persecution

 

"Zoroastrians believe in a single supreme god, Ahura Mazda. Zoroastrians were the first monotheistic religion to develop the idea of a savior, born of a virgin, who will raise the dead and judge everyone in a final judgment.

 

"A basic belief is the cosmic dualism between all powerful Ahura Mazda and an evil spirit of violence and death, Angra Mainyu. This cosmic conflict requires humans to choose which to follow. At the end of time, Evil will be completely destroyed and Goodness will be in all. After death, souls are allowed three days to meditate on his/her past life. The soul is then judged and if the good thoughts, words and deeds outweigh the bad, then the soul is taken into heaven. Otherwise, the soul is led to hell."

 

http://www.inquiry.net/ideals/faiths/zoroastrianism.htm

 

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(sorry, I didn't mean to hijack the thread, I just had to reply. Now, back on topic ...)

 

There is a large and very popular evangelical Christian church in our neighborhood. For several years our district membership committee has tried unsuccessfully to convince them to sponsor a Cub Pack. It turns out they see Scouting as a direct competitor with their in-house youth program. They won't sponsor a unit, but they have finally given us permission to send home flyers.

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I just have to pipe in about Southern Baptists. I was raised Baptist. My Troop met at a Baptist Church....as did the other 3 troops in my county. We were never in competition with the RA's. Probably because we were free and the church really has to SUPPORT an RA group (but I digress). After I got my Eagle I was invited to speak to a youth group at another Baptist church about helping them start their own troop. In my area it was not a problem, Of course it was the majority of the population there as well. I think that Southern Baptist churches not sponsoring troops might be a regional thing.

 

Sylvar

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Sylvar,

 

Could be, I don't know. What I do know is that you can't swing a dead cat in Oklahoma without hitting a Baptist church. A Baptist church sponsoring a unit isn't totally unheard of, but it is a rare thing around here. I did however know many many men in the Baptist church who were scouters. When we were trying to find a CO for our new troop, I went to the phone book and started looking at the Methodist churchs in our district. Every single one of them had a troop.

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I'm Episcopalian -- and while our national office does not actively discourage parishes from sponsoring Scout units, they certainly don't encourage them to, either!

 

I think the Unitarians take a similar stance, as does the United Church of Christ.

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While there may well be Assembly of God churches that sponsor BSA troops, I have never seen one. I attended a private school run by an Assembly of God church, and although my parents weren't members, all of my classmates' families were. They did not allow their boys to go to scouts, and started up "Royal Rangers." They have rank advancement and merit badges similar to the offerings of BSA. They start as young as Kindergarten.

royalrangers.ag.org

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Heh, heh!

 

Actually, I kind of like the idea of approaching ACLU chapters with the ideas of chartering Scout units.

 

Some elementary school principals around here refuse to permit Scouts in their schools ---other are warmly receptive. This is in the same school district.

 

If I had the time, I'd make it a project to find what it takes to reverse that kind of negative policy by principals, too.

 

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

Hard head

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Seattle Pioneer, I'm from just north of you. While schools can not be a CO of BSA unit, they must under both Federal Court Rulings and Washington State Law provide space on the same basis as they do to other organizations. (same fees, same rules, etc.). Though they are fickle, many of our units have problems with being bounced for school sponsored activities - parent teacher nights, concerts etc.

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I can't reveal how, but I have had an opportunity to examine many dozens of public schools in this region. I have observed that principals make a huge difference in the overall quality of the school. All of them have nearly absolute discretion over use of the facilities. This may be similar to your area.

Some of the principals are imaginative and smart and the schools reflect this in the quality of instruction and the overall program. Other principals are, ahem, not. This variation could explain the differences you see in policies on after-hour access. Just a thought.

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I'm sure your observations on the importance of principals is well taken, Packsaddle.

 

The Cub Pack for which I'm Unit Commissioner is chartered by the PTA. I've joined the PTA and fairly regularly attend the PTA meetings, in uniform.

 

The principal in this elementary school is warmly supportive of the Cub Pack, and has permitted me to distribute flyers to families using the school distribution system and hand out stickers and invitations to Scout nights at lunch.

 

After collapsing at the beginning of the year, the Pack is now thriving, with 35 odd boys and growing. The Principal and PTA will now get to benefit from their support of Scouting.

 

Next year, the Pack will be running a spaghetti dinner conducted the night of the open house. We'll have the Scouts and a few adults there in uniform, and should have ample Scout parents there to help conduct this event. I'm expecting we will have a table for joining Cub Scouts, too.

 

Last year, this event was nearly cancelled for lack of volunteers.

 

The Principal invites the Cub Scouts to do a flag ceremony for their Veterans Day assembly.

 

And I'll be soliciting ideas from the principal and PTA on service projects the Pack can do during the upcoming school year.

 

In my imagination, I see the elementary school principals sitting around having coffee, and complaining about the lack of student and parent help to the school.. The principal of the school I'm involved with then says, "Well, have you been supporting your Cub Scout Pack? Not only are those boys a cut or two above average themselves, but they and their parents are a big help around the school."

 

Perhaps this is more involvement by a UC than is strictly recommended --- but I attend all the Pack Committee meetings and get permission for the things I do.

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

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