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Rick_in_CA

What does nonsectarian mean to you?

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Scouter99:

I wrote two letters to national and got no response. The official word is that I was not prevented for holding leadership positions, removed as a district trainer, and prevented from completing my ticket because I’m not Christian. I was removed because I refused to adhere to the principals taught at Wood Badge.

 

Basically, I didn’t wear the hat unless forced because in my religion your head is sacred and should not be covered. Then, by asking for religious accommodations I wasn’t following the patrol method because everyone in the patrol has to do the same thing, so I can’t go off on my own at any point for any reason AND I had to participate in all the Christian Religious ceremonies.

Well, it all depends on how much it matters to you and how much you want to push it, but when I want to be I'm the kind of guy that it wouldn't go away as easy as ignoring me. :D Would they try to require an Orthodox Jew to *un*cover his head?

 

King DD: I think to be a modern druid you just earn the Astronomy, Sustainability, Bird Study, Fish and Wildlife Management, Soil and Water Conservation, Mammal Study, Reptile Study, and Beekeeping MBs, plus the Leave no Trace Achievement Award, Paul Bunyan Woodsman award, and Hornaday Award. ;)

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Are non-Christian prayers acceptable at council or district events?

 

At my local council and district events, the opening prayer or invocation usually takes one of two forms: overtly Christian (“In Jesus’ name, amenâ€Â) or generic (“May the great Scout Master...â€Â). Almost never overtly Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, etc. Now I live in a diverse region, we have many churches and temples of different faiths in the area (there is even a Zoroastrian temple in town - I’ve been told one of the local troops has a pair of Zoroastrian scouts). In my own pack, most of the families are various flavors of Christian (mostly Catholic), but we have, or have had, Muslims, Jewish and Hindu families. So this topic came up for discussion with some scouters at a round table BBQ a while back.

 

One of the scouters said that his previous council (he has recently moved to our area) all the prayers were overtly Christian, and he had offered to give a Muslim prayer to open a round table (he is Muslim). He was told no because too many scouters would be offended so it wasn’t allowed (there is a story he was told to go along with that - I don’t want to derail the discussion, so I won’t repeat it here). I found this to be very surprising (and hope what he was told was incorrect). I have no reason to believe a similar rule exists in my local council or district.

 

So the question: would you be offended if an overtly Muslim, Hindu, Zoroastrian, or other non-Christian prayer was used to open a district or council event (unit events are a different issue)?

 

If yes, why? And if yes, are you also offended by overtly Christian prayers (and if no to that, why not)?

 

Does your local district or council have a rule against non-Christian prayers at district or council events?

At the National Councils meeting of the Religious Relationships Task Force last week in Grapevine, Texas, the opening prayer was given by a Muslim.

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Khaliela, welcome to the forums. We have several other members who follow pagan and naturalistic faith traditions here, so you're not alone. I am sorry for your unfair treatment at your Wood Badge course and I suspect it was due to one or several individuals at the local council level who have not fullly embraced the 'Inclusiveness' ideal. Your experience would have been different in other councils, including my own. As a voting member of the National Council's Religious Relationships Task Force, I can assure you that this is NOT a national policy. Most explicitly, ALL faith traditions are welcomed by BSA (though evidently not all all individuals). As you know, paganism is widely misunderstood and active discrimination is common. As a member of a minority faith myself, I simply try to open minds one at a time by example and through respectful dialogue. It has largely worked. Some Christan fundamentalists will never accept me, but they have learned a measure of tolerance within the Scouting community. I see that as success.

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Non-sectarian means that the BSA will respect and welcome our Pack conducting a Christian scout's own service that meets the needs of our Pack family members. It also means they will respect and welcome our decision not to offer a multi-faith or inter-faith service. Also, we will be respected and welcome if we choose not do one at all.
Your pack is welcome to hold a service that meets your needs and you need not make accomodations for, say, Zoroastrianism if there are no families of that faith in your pack. However, I would hope that you are welcoming to the new Hindu family and respectful of their beliefs, should they want to join Scouting!

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Why does religious expression have to occur as part of a herd? Why can't each person just do their own personal thing without requiring the presence of others? This is something I've never understood.

 

 

If I like something, I want to share it with others. Why wouldn't this apply to religion as well?

It does apply, in the 'outside world.'

 

But in a Scouting context, we accept others at face value and don't try to convince them that OUR religion, or politics, is better than theirs.

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Why does religious expression have to occur as part of a herd? Why can't each person just do their own personal thing without requiring the presence of others? This is something I've never understood.

 

 

If I like something, I want to share it with others. Why wouldn't this apply to religion as well?

IMO, Reverent ends at the point you try to tell me that your religion is better than mine.

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Why does religious expression have to occur as part of a herd? Why can't each person just do their own personal thing without requiring the presence of others? This is something I've never understood.

 

 

If I like something, I want to share it with others. Why wouldn't this apply to religion as well?

The problem with almost all religions is they "know" they are right and everyone else has it "wrong". They are superior because they believe in the one "true" religion.

 

If you are one that believes only people who subscribe to your religious viewpoints and dogma will go to Heaven, I hope you are right because I really don't want to be there with you for eternity.

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I wonder with many zealots abandoning ship....If the quality of the program will improve........Close minded christian only views of scouting stepping away from the table.

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The BSA’s bylaws state that the BSA is “completely nonsectarianâ€Â. The question is: “What does nonsectarian mean to you in a BSA contextâ€Â?

I think that official BSA publications describe very well what that means and how to implement it. I just found a post I had written for rec.scouting in 1996 that somebody else has quoted in full: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/rec.scouting/adi4Dl5TlZY In it I quoted those officially published BSA policies and then described how BSA was (and undoubtedly still is) willfully violating each and every one of them.

 

Every member is to following his own faith, not somebody else's, and put it into practice. Every member is to be judged by the standards of his own religious tradition, not by anybody else's. BSA is specifically and explicitly prohibited from defining "God", "Duty to God", or the practice of religion. BSA is specifically and explicitly prohibited from determining whether a member performs his own "Duty to God"; that duty is assigned explicitly to the member's own religious leaders.

 

Instead, BSA violates its own rules by defining "God" as a "Supreme Being" and "Duty to God" as requiring "belief in a Supreme Being." Furthermore, BSA persistently lied (and undoubtedly still does) about having a rule that requires belief in a "Supreme Being", when such a rule in fact did not exist (if that has changed, then please inform me; that is what those aborted attempts to create a new topic were about). Indeed, during the Randall Trial the judge ordered our Council Exec to produce that "Supreme Being" rule and our CE had to admit in court that it does not exist.

 

I do not have a problem with a private organization setting standards and rules for membership in that organization. I do have a problem when that organization then violates all those rules and then lies outrageously about it.

 

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Non-sectarian means that the BSA will respect and welcome our Pack conducting a Christian scout's own service that meets the needs of our Pack family members. It also means they will respect and welcome our decision not to offer a multi-faith or inter-faith service. Also, we will be respected and welcome if we choose not do one at all.
Yep. We welcome all faiths and no-faith. All people are God's creation and must be honored with respect and dignity. Attendance at our Scout's Own services are optional and we only do them maybe twice a year. When we do them, they reflect the values and beliefs of our Church Charter Organization.

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Are non-Christian prayers acceptable at council or district events? At my local council and district events' date=' the opening prayer or invocation usually takes one of two forms: overtly Christian (“In Jesus’ name, amenâ€Â) or generic (“May the great Scout Master...â€Â). Almost never overtly Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, etc. Now I live in a diverse region, we have many churches and temples of different faiths in the area (there is even a Zoroastrian temple in town - I’ve been told one of the local troops has a pair of Zoroastrian scouts). In my own pack, most of the families are various flavors of Christian (mostly Catholic), but we have, or have had, Muslims, Jewish and Hindu families. So this topic came up for discussion with some scouters at a round table BBQ a while back. One of the scouters said that his previous council (he has recently moved to our area) all the prayers were overtly Christian, and he had offered to give a Muslim prayer to open a round table (he is Muslim). He was told no because too many scouters would be offended so it wasn’t allowed (there is a story he was told to go along with that - I don’t want to derail the discussion, so I won’t repeat it here). I found this to be very surprising (and hope what he was told was incorrect). I have no reason to believe a similar rule exists in my local council or district. So the question: would you be offended if an overtly Muslim, Hindu, Zoroastrian, or other non-Christian prayer was used to open a district or council event (unit events are a different issue)? If yes, why? And if yes, are you also offended by overtly Christian prayers (and if no to that, why not)? Does your local district or council have a rule against non-Christian prayers at district or council events?[/quote']

 

 

Our council pretty much keeps it generic. I would have no problem with Muslim or Jewish or Buddhist or any other prayer (with the exception of Satanic) at a Scout event, provided that it was done by a Scout or Scouter of whatever faith.

I have no problem with satanists.

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Are non-Christian prayers acceptable at council or district events? At my local council and district events' date=' the opening prayer or invocation usually takes one of two forms: overtly Christian (“In Jesus’ name, amenâ€Â) or generic (“May the great Scout Master...â€Â). Almost never overtly Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, etc. Now I live in a diverse region, we have many churches and temples of different faiths in the area (there is even a Zoroastrian temple in town - I’ve been told one of the local troops has a pair of Zoroastrian scouts). In my own pack, most of the families are various flavors of Christian (mostly Catholic), but we have, or have had, Muslims, Jewish and Hindu families. So this topic came up for discussion with some scouters at a round table BBQ a while back. One of the scouters said that his previous council (he has recently moved to our area) all the prayers were overtly Christian, and he had offered to give a Muslim prayer to open a round table (he is Muslim). He was told no because too many scouters would be offended so it wasn’t allowed (there is a story he was told to go along with that - I don’t want to derail the discussion, so I won’t repeat it here). I found this to be very surprising (and hope what he was told was incorrect). I have no reason to believe a similar rule exists in my local council or district. So the question: would you be offended if an overtly Muslim, Hindu, Zoroastrian, or other non-Christian prayer was used to open a district or council event (unit events are a different issue)? If yes, why? And if yes, are you also offended by overtly Christian prayers (and if no to that, why not)? Does your local district or council have a rule against non-Christian prayers at district or council events?[/quote']

 

 

Our council pretty much keeps it generic. I would have no problem with Muslim or Jewish or Buddhist or any other prayer (with the exception of Satanic) at a Scout event, provided that it was done by a Scout or Scouter of whatever faith.

Or belief in Trolls for that matter, lol. I'd chime in with something to the effect that Satan is a myth but I used to get yelled at for doing that...so I won't.

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Are non-Christian prayers acceptable at council or district events? At my local council and district events' date=' the opening prayer or invocation usually takes one of two forms: overtly Christian (“In Jesus’ name, amenâ€Â) or generic (“May the great Scout Master...â€Â). Almost never overtly Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, etc. Now I live in a diverse region, we have many churches and temples of different faiths in the area (there is even a Zoroastrian temple in town - I’ve been told one of the local troops has a pair of Zoroastrian scouts). In my own pack, most of the families are various flavors of Christian (mostly Catholic), but we have, or have had, Muslims, Jewish and Hindu families. So this topic came up for discussion with some scouters at a round table BBQ a while back. One of the scouters said that his previous council (he has recently moved to our area) all the prayers were overtly Christian, and he had offered to give a Muslim prayer to open a round table (he is Muslim). He was told no because too many scouters would be offended so it wasn’t allowed (there is a story he was told to go along with that - I don’t want to derail the discussion, so I won’t repeat it here). I found this to be very surprising (and hope what he was told was incorrect). I have no reason to believe a similar rule exists in my local council or district. So the question: would you be offended if an overtly Muslim, Hindu, Zoroastrian, or other non-Christian prayer was used to open a district or council event (unit events are a different issue)? If yes, why? And if yes, are you also offended by overtly Christian prayers (and if no to that, why not)? Does your local district or council have a rule against non-Christian prayers at district or council events?[/quote']

 

 

Our council pretty much keeps it generic. I would have no problem with Muslim or Jewish or Buddhist or any other prayer (with the exception of Satanic) at a Scout event, provided that it was done by a Scout or Scouter of whatever faith.

Lol, I have talked to a couple satanists over the internet, and while I don't subscribe to their beliefs the ones I talked to were normal people.

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Are non-Christian prayers acceptable at council or district events? At my local council and district events' date=' the opening prayer or invocation usually takes one of two forms: overtly Christian (“In Jesus’ name, amenâ€Â) or generic (“May the great Scout Master...â€Â). Almost never overtly Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, etc. Now I live in a diverse region, we have many churches and temples of different faiths in the area (there is even a Zoroastrian temple in town - I’ve been told one of the local troops has a pair of Zoroastrian scouts). In my own pack, most of the families are various flavors of Christian (mostly Catholic), but we have, or have had, Muslims, Jewish and Hindu families. So this topic came up for discussion with some scouters at a round table BBQ a while back. One of the scouters said that his previous council (he has recently moved to our area) all the prayers were overtly Christian, and he had offered to give a Muslim prayer to open a round table (he is Muslim). He was told no because too many scouters would be offended so it wasn’t allowed (there is a story he was told to go along with that - I don’t want to derail the discussion, so I won’t repeat it here). I found this to be very surprising (and hope what he was told was incorrect). I have no reason to believe a similar rule exists in my local council or district. So the question: would you be offended if an overtly Muslim, Hindu, Zoroastrian, or other non-Christian prayer was used to open a district or council event (unit events are a different issue)? If yes, why? And if yes, are you also offended by overtly Christian prayers (and if no to that, why not)? Does your local district or council have a rule against non-Christian prayers at district or council events?[/quote']

 

 

Our council pretty much keeps it generic. I would have no problem with Muslim or Jewish or Buddhist or any other prayer (with the exception of Satanic) at a Scout event, provided that it was done by a Scout or Scouter of whatever faith.

No one on the Internet is normal.

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