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The way I sort this out is to acknowledge that the program - or the charter (bylaws, etc.) of an organization may write exclusionary language without explicitly vilifying a person or group. However, members of that organization may, as a result of their personal interpretation of the exclusionary language, vilify a person or group. I have personally witnessed scouters (both volunteers and professional) vilifying atheists and homosexuals. In the past I also witnessed them vilifying minorities and I continue to see remnants of this as well. From the perspective of the person or group being vilified, I understand the natural tendency not to make this distinction. And from the perspective of third parties in the public, the appearance is similar to that experienced by the vilified person or group. I have often been informed that from the PR perspective, appearance has the effect of reality. Problematic, I think.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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"Nope, no hatred of atheists from boy scouts here, nosiree... "

 

So? We don't speak for BSA, only for ourselves. Your statement was that BSA vilifies atheists, BSA doesn't.

 

Now go home, your husband is calling.

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Sure it does, Fathead Old Guy; the declaration of religious principle says that "The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God".

 

That means atheists can't be the best kinds of citizens; that's vilification.

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The best kind of citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs don't refer to others as "Moi-lin", Fathead, etc.

 

Come on boys, grow up!

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Sorry Cartoon kid, that statement is speaking of members of BSA. Since atheists can't be members of BSA, that statement doesn't apply to you.

 

Come back when you learn to read.

 

Hey Stapler Guy, go staple your tongue to your forehead.

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FOG says:

 

However, many members of BSA do see you for the godless destroyers that you are and we take comfort in the thought that when you die you will discover that there is a hell.

 

FOG, when you say things like this, I just have to laugh. I mean, Bible-thumping and fire and brimstone do not exactly match the "personality" that you have developed for yourself over hundreds of other posts.

 

I would not say this about just anybody. After all, when BobWhite says he does not allow atheists in his home, while I might have a momentary glimmer of amusement, I am absolutely certain that he is serious. In fact I have a strong compulsion to stay out of his home simply because I used to think I was an atheist. Even that sort of second-hand diluted atheism might make the sensors in Bob's doorway go off. And then there are Ed Mori and Rooster, who I do not doubt for a minute, actually do see their religious faith as being a matter of absolute, positive fact, truth and knowledge, backed up by evidence, rather than mere beliefs or opinions. When either of them thumps the Bible, whatever I might think of what they are saying, the sincerity is unmistakable. I can hear the "thump" right through my computer.

 

But you, FOG? Goodness gracious, "godless destroyers." It just doesn't ring true. The flames of hell do not leap off the computer screen. It just comes across as a joke.

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That is truly disgusting FOG. I take no comfort whatsoever in the idea that people are damned to hell for all eternity. It is that exact sort of mentality that made me leave the church a long time ago.

 

 

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All of the posters to this thread should be required to complete the Religious recognition award for adults for Zororastrianism- BSA approved!! When you all have completed the assignment, please come back to the thread with some humility and insight that you can share with us.

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I wrote:

the declaration of religious principle says that "The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God".

 

FOG writes:

Sorry Cartoon kid, that statement is speaking of members of BSA. Since atheists can't be members of BSA, that statement doesn't apply to you.

 

FOG, since atheists can't be members, that statement can't apply to ANYBODY, right? It's like a whites-only club saying only members who are white can be the best kinds of citizens.

 

But you're parsing it wrong, because the way you interpret it, it can't apply to anyone, ever, which makes it a meaningless statement. The only way to parse it that makes sense is as a deliberate slam against atheists in general as being incapable of being the best kinds of citizens.

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I don't get it. Why would an atheist want to belong to an organization that REQUIRES you to do your duty to God? I disagree with those who believe that atheists are immoral. They simply do not believe in God. They can be extremely honest, ethical and moral people. But BSA requires the extra step- duty to God. So... either you are a liar when you state the Scout Oath and Law, and therefore immoral; or as an honest, ethical, and moral atheist, you would refuse to belong to such an exclusionary organization such as the Boy Scouts of America. I don't get it.

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Gee Moi-Lin (aka Satan's Briquette), you got it all wrong as usual.

 

Not all those who know that there is a supreme being think that they have an obligation to God but they could still be members of BSA. The BSA wants them to see that they do have an obligation to God and, by understanding that, they will become better citizens. Hence the statement in question applies to BSA members and not to atheists.

 

 

 

 

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"All of the posters to this thread should be required to complete the Religious recognition award for adults for Zororastrianism"

 

Also sprach Zarathustra

 

Good thoughts, good words, good deeds.

 

Alas there is no adult recognition for Zoroastrianism :(

 

I also haven't known a Zoroastrian since my college days.

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boleta writes:

 

"I don't get it. Why would an atheist want to belong to an organization that REQUIRES you to do your duty to God?"

 

Maybe because that very same organization also teaches many other values and attributes desirable to a person, athiest or not. As I said earlier, the BSA is cutting a line between those with faith and those with none. My issue is not the same as Merlyn's, so please don't confuse them. I don't particularily have much interest in the constitutionality of the membership requirements. My issue is with what matters to me and real people, and that is exclusion from an organization of great opportunity. No other organization comes close. But would people who recognize a duty to God suffer in their Scouting practices by not requiring other members to recognize the same thing? If a person who doesn't recognize the presence of God could benefit from what Scouting offers, is that not worth more than keeping them out?

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What I don't understand is why those who don't like the BSA and its policies don't form their own group to teach the same things.

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