Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
CA_Scouter

Agnostic Scout?

Recommended Posts

So if we are going to allow Agnostic Scouts, how should we re-word the Scout Oath?

 

How about "I promise do my best"? All "agnostic" means is open minded.

 

WWJD?

 

That is the whole point, isn't it? If we can't turn our other cheek to an "open minded" teenager, what good is our religion?

 

Kudu

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WN,

 

Yes, I am sure. In fact, there are several other popes that may have been Jewish as well, such as Evaristus (100-109), Zosimus (417-418) and Anacletus II (1130, an antipope).

 

btw, Peter actually hooked up with Davy, Micky and Mike...I'm a Believer!

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There have been persistent legends circulated in the Jewish world over the centuries about the fact that certain Jews who either posed as Christian converts or were actually converted, rose to become pope. There was an excellent book written about the subject a number of decades ago entitled Three Jewish Popes. Alas, all of the legends have never been authenticated. There is one favorite legend about the son of a tenth century rabbi and scholar, a member of the school that eventually gave rise to Rashi and to the Tosafists of France and Germany, who was kidnapped, baptized and eventually became pope. His father somehow managed to contact him and even visit him (in a version of the legend he played chess with him) and this pope escaped from his Christian world and returned to the bosom of Judaism. This legend has had remarkable staying power in the Jewish world and is recounted in many books. Yet, there never has been any evidence that would substantiate its veracity. It may be that these legends arose as a form of Jewish revenge against an institution that persecuted the Jewish people horribly for millennia. Whatever the reason, Jews seemed to find some perverse pleasure in believing that one of them had actually become a pope. It is the feeling of triumph that a weak and persecuted minority has when it feels that somehow it has outwitted its stronger and more powerful adversary. So the legends about Jewish popes live on until our day.

 

The origin of the legend about a Jewish pope seems to have arisen in the story of Rabbi Shimon ben Elchanan HaGadol (the Great) of tenth century Mainz, Germany. Rabbi Shimons son, Elchanan was captured and kidnapped as a child by Christians and baptized and raised as a Christian. Rabbi Shimon, distraught and heartbroken, never gave up hope of finding his son and restoring him to Judaism. Rabbi Shimon is the author of a piyut (prayer poem) that has found a permanent place in the recitation of the Ashkenazic liturgy for the shacharit/morning prayer service of Rosh Hashana. In this prayer there is an acrostic that begs God, my son, Elchanan, live into the eternal world. This is apparently a reference to the boys kidnapping and forced conversion to Christianity. Legend has it that Rabbi Shimon somehow gained an audience with the pope to plead for the relaxation of Catholic decrees against the Jews and in that meeting both the pope and Rabbi Shimon realized that they were father and son. The chess game between the two was a later embellishment of the original legend. That Rabbi Shimons son was kidnapped and baptized is a fact. What happened to him afterwards is open to legend and conjecture.

 

Of course, the original pope, Peter, was Jewish. Jewish legend here also plays a role. There arose legends in the Jewish world regarding Peter that he returned to Judaism and deserted the cause of Christianity before his death. There is even a legend that when he returned to Judaism he somehow authored the anonymous but exalted piyut prayer, nishmat kol chai, which is recited in the shacharit services of Shabat and the holidays. Though many scholars have refuted this idea, it is still held to be true in some Jewish circles until today. Among the cardinals of the Church today there is a converted Jew, Cardinal Lustiger, the archbishop of Paris. He was converted to Christianity when he was barely a teenager, after his family was deported to Auschwitz and he was entrusted to Christians to be saved from a similar fate. He has risen in the hierarchy of the Church. He has visited Israel and, as could be foreseen, received a very mixed reception here. Jewish apostates obtain very short shrift in the Jewish world, even if they become cardinals. Nevertheless there have been numerous articles about him in the Jewish press over the years and all have somehow raised the possibility that he someday could be pope. The debate on the matter always ends with the classical Jewish question about all world events Is it good for the Jews or not? I am hopeful that the more positive turn in relations with the Jews that the last pope inaugurated will continue and that the ancient hatreds and tensions will diminish and perhaps even eventually disappear. We do not need Jewish popes. We need popes who will treat Jews fairly and with compassion.

 

Berel Wein,Jerusalem Post

Eamonn.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now we have completely digressed!

 

Let's take a look at the original post. It states the Scout is forced to come by dad. It is possible this is the Scouts idea of a way to get kicked out of the Troop. If the SM doesn't have a sit down with this Scout & decides to just kick him out he is doing the Scout and the Troop a great disservice. I would bet if you asked this Scout what it means to be an agnostic, he wouldn't even be able to spell the word let alone know what it means.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that most teenagers go through a "questioning" phase where faith is concerned. I also think that most of them who -say- they don't believe in a higher being etc. actual do believe more than they THINK (or will admit that) they do. I also wonder the same thing that Ed does..had he just found this as an easy "button to push" as a way to get out of doing something that he really has no interest in doing in his heart.

 

Perhaps a discussion could be approached during the SM conference in the way of "what examples of showing Duty to God can you tell me about?".

 

Sue M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Perhaps a discussion could be approached during the SM conference in the way of "what examples of showing Duty to God can you tell me about?".

I feel almost certain that every member of the forum would do what they could to help this Lad.

But, asking what what examples of showing duty to God, if he is going to say that he isn't sure that there is a God?

We are aware that teenagers do question things, do want to experiment with new things and at times rebel against almost everything.

Still how we we deal with a Lad who said that helping other people was just dumb?

That said he hated the USA?

Thought that being physically fit and mentally awake was a waste of time?

Said that being morally straight was plain silly?

Eamonn.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But, asking what what examples of showing duty to God, if he is going to say that he isn't sure that there is a God?

 

If I were an agnostic scout, here's what I'd say:

"Right now, I'm in a period in which I'm not sure there is a God. I think my duty, then, is to give serious attention to the question: I intend to talk to my parents and to spiritual leaders, to read books, both pro and con, and to think about what it means to live in a world with no God, and in a world where there is a God. If there is a God, I think one of the main ways to show duty to God is to treat others with kindness--and my commitment to that hasn't changed."

If a boy said that, wouldn't you want to wait and see how his quest turned out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't matter what I want.

We have the rules of the Organization which are based on values. If the Lad gave me that answer I would have no alternative but to ask him to leave and come back when he was able to take the Scout Oath. Something as an agnostic he is unable to do.

Eamonn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then you would have given up on a youth. I would not be willing to do that in this case. This boy is looking for answers. Maybe you are the one who has them.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ed,

I if the Lad really is an agnostic?

I don't know if he really is?

What brought him to this realization ?

But if he is steadfast in this, I'm not the guy to try and change him!

I don't see the local Priest or Pastor writing him a diet -That's my job.

A few years back OJ thought he wanted to become a Methodist. Now I have nothing against Methodists but I come from a long line of Roman Catholics and it came as a bit of a shock.

When I asked him why he was considering becoming a Methodist? He said that he liked the fact that they didn't have to kneel down as much as the Catholics.

I said he was welcome to attend Methodist services. But when he found out that they didn't offer services on Saturday night he decided against it!

So, sure I understand that kids can see things in a very strange light. But if OJ had stood firm in wanting to become a Methodist, I would have supported him and while I might not have liked him becoming a Methodist, the choice would have been his.

Isn't it the same with this Lad?

We deliver the program to Boys who accept the Scout Law and Oath, if they can't accept it or understand it they need help which most of us are not trained to give.

Eamonn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An agnostic isn't an atheist! They are not the same. And an agnostic could be able to recite the Oath & Law truthfully. I, for one, would allow this Scout to stay with the unit while he works through this. If he would come to me and state he doesn't believe in God, then I would revoke his membership.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But if OJ had stood firm in wanting to become a Methodist, I would have supported him and while I might not have liked him becoming a Methodist, the choice would have been his. Isn't it the same with this Lad?

 

Yes, exactly the same. Obviously you missed a great opportunity to run your home like your Scout Troop and kick him out of the family because of his developing beliefs. You could have inspired him to become a life-long Methodist!

 

We deliver the program to Boys who accept the Scout Law and Oath, if they can't accept it or understand it they need help which most of us are not trained to give.

 

It only seems difficult when you replace the indirect methods of Scouting with fundamentalism. If the personal example of the Scoutmaster is religious intolerance, then he teaches that religion is intolerance.

 

B-P had a five-fold approach for such situations:

 

(a) Personal example of the Scoutmaster.

(b) Nature study.

© Good turns.

(d) Missioner service [care of the sick].

(e) Retention of the older boy.

 

See:

 

http://www.inquiry.net/traditional/b-p/scoutmastership/service.htm#no_religion

 

Kudu

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was an unkind and un-Scoutlike slam against Eamonn. What would Baden-Powell have to say about that?

 

Rather than linking us to your personal website with every post, how about supporting your comments about Scouting with a links to BSA resources instead??

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×