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Is "Belief in a Supreme Being" an Actual Rule by Now?

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Since atheists have first amendment rights

 

Of course you and other atheists have the right to speak and criticize the Boy Scouts and I will defend that right. When I say “Leave us alone†I say to you, the parents of atheist children, the ACLU, NOW, Atheists United, and other liberal legal interest groups stop suing the Boy Scouts. School Districts, cities, states, and other government organizations stop the law suits! There have been law suits against the Boy scouts since the 1970’s over the issue concerning membership. And the law suits continue. We are a private orginazation and we have the right to decide who we want in our organization. We have the right to establish membership criteria. You and other atheist have no right to be in the Boy Scouts. When I say “Leave us alone†I say stop attempting to join the Boy Scouts using force via the courts. It is anti-freedom.

 

and since the BSA has been less than honest when excluding atheists, no.

 

We have been very honest. Since the founding of the Boy Scouts of America there has been a reference to God in the Boy Scout oath. Since the 1950’s when conducting a flag ceremony God has been referenced when Boy Scouts have recited the Pledge of Allegiance. And since the 1970’s the Boy Scouts have been very clear in press releases, statements made by officers of the Boy Scouts, briefs given in the courtroom, and arguments given to the US Supreme Court that if you are an atheist you cannot be a member. How clearer than that can we be.

We are a private orginazation and we have the right to decide who we want in our organization. We have the right to establish membership criteria.

Yes, BSA is and, yes, BSA does. And BSA has. The problem is that BSA refuses to follow its own rules and its own membership criteria.

 

The reason for the lawsuits is because of BSA's actions, as well as their draconian methods for mistreating their victims. Because BSA allows no recourse whatsoever. When James Randall's sons were summarily expelled, he met with the council's SE and tried to resolve the matter. The SE refused all attempts at a resolution, finally telling Randall to sue them. That was BSA ordering the parent of its victims to sue BSA. Which he did. And he won. It was overturned several years later by the state supreme court, but at least the boys were able to participate and advance to their Eagle Review (which is why the state Attorney General pushed the court to rule on the case). Their Scoutmaster praised them as model Scouts and wished more of his boys were like them. BTW, the state supreme court upheld that BSA discriminated, however the law didn't apply to them as a private organization.

 

And the lawsuits and other actions continue because of BSA continued actions.

 

You and other atheist have no right to be in the Boy Scouts.

Show me exactly where in officially published BSA policy that it says that.

 

Show me.

 

We have been very honest.

That is a total falsehood! Because of that gross lie about a rule requiring "belief in a Supreme Being" and because of the outright fraud BSA has practiced by lying to get money from donors and sponsors who have non-discrimination criteria for their recipients and because all the other lies they've been telling the public.

 

 

Since the 1950’s when conducting a flag ceremony God has been referenced when Boy Scouts have recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

I have also seen a film clip from WWII where a Boy Scout recited the Pledge of Allegiance without any reference to "God". Of course, that was because those two words weren't added until 1954.

 

But what makes this statement meaningless is because the word "God" in it has been reduced to meaningless mumbling as pointed out by US Supreme Court Justice Brennan. It's nothing now except "ceremonial deism", lacking any actual religious meaning.

 

Since the founding of the Boy Scouts of America there has been a reference to God in the Boy Scout oath.

More "ceremonial deism". And even BSA's own officially published policy does not identify it as a reference to your particular god, nor to any particular god (consider the Hindu scouts), nor even to any god at all (consider the Buddhist scouts).

 

And since the 1970’s the Boy Scouts have been very clear in press releases' date=' statements made by officers of the Boy Scouts, briefs given in the courtroom, and arguments given to the US Supreme Court that if you are an atheist you cannot be a member.[/quote']

All of which cite as the reason for expelling atheists that "belief in a Supreme Being" "rule" which does not even exist! So they're lying to the public and to the courts about that! Remember, Judge Frazee in the Randall trial directly ordered our SE to produce that "rule" and he finally had to admit to the judge that it does not exist!

 

Plus we have that "we're a religious organization and we always have been" lie which they started around 1991 on the advice of their lawyers. Since religious organizations have an easier time fighting discrimination litigation, BSA attorneys decided to have BSA claim that. Ironically, BSA had spent its first several decades fighting the notion that it was a religious organization like so many other youth organizations, in particular that it was Protestant, because they wanted to bring in boys of all different faiths.

 

At the exact same time that BSA was lying about being a religious organization (with a "secret religious agenda", no less), they also found themselves faced with litigation which was trying to bar them from recruiting in the public schools, just as no other religious organization is allowed to. So now they lied to the court that they aren't a religious organization and they never have been.

 

That kind of shenanigans may be normal among lawyers, but out here in the real world we have to ask both "so which is it already?" and "either way you're lying, so why?". Either way, BSA is most definitely not being honest!

 

 

When I started out, I saw the requirement that they be "absolutely nonsectarian" in their attitude towards religion. And as I researched further into officially published BSA policy, I saw that it was a very enlighted policy that could very well implement an "absolutely nonsectarian" program. But then news of the Randall twins' expulsion hit the news and realized that there was something very wrong happening. I realized that BSA was violating its own rules.

 

Now, our United Way, like most other United Ways, had a non-discrimination requirement for all recipients. So BSA would bring in their officially published policies to show United Way that they didn't discriminate and United Way would give them their money. And then BSA would not only discriminate at will, but proclaim in court and even in some public statements that they discriminate and they are proud to discriminate. But in all their dealings with United Way and with all other charities and donors and sponsors they would trot out their official rules and lie to them that they don't discriminate. I feel that that kind of dishonesty for monetary gain borders on outright fraud. At the very least, it most certainly is not being honest.

 

Far worse is the situation with their chartering organizations (CO) that have non-discrimination policies. BSA will trot out its officially published policies to show that they do not discriminate and then when the CO has units BSA will arbitrarily discriminate against one of the units' members completely against the will of the CO. Without warning, those COs suddenly become accomplices in discrimination and are completely helpless to do anything about it. So because of BSA's dishonesty, those COs are subject to whatever penalties they face for violating their own non-discrimination policies, all though no fault of their own except that they were foolish enough to trust BSA.

 

But wait, there's more! In court, BSA has argued that since they are a private "religious" organization, the plaintiffs cannot sue them, so the plaintiffs should instead sue the CO for discrimination. That's right! First BSA creates the situation, forcing discrimination on the CO completely against their will (and ignoring all attempts by the CO to make it stop), and then BSA throws the CO under the bus.

 

How many points of the "Scout Law" do we see being violated there? At the very least "Trustworthy", "Loyal", "Helpful", "Friendly", "Courteous", "Kind", "Obediant" (eg, violating court orders to not interfere with the Randall twins' participation while appeals were pending), "Cheerful" (more like sneering and gloating), "Thrifty" (wasting literally millions of dollars on unnecesary court cases that they themselves created; our council went to the units begging for donations citing legal costs of $5 million and I think they said it was just for the Randall trial), "Brave" (they kept snivelling in court that the Mormons were making them expel their victims). And don't forget "Reverent", since they show zero respect for the beliefs of others.

 

We have been very honest.

Sorry, Joe. Not even close. The extreme opposite, actually.

 

So now the situation is still the same, only how the donors and the charities have learned through the lawsuits that BSA does indeed discriminate. So BSA has been losing money from those donors who do not allow discrimination. Why do you think that they voted gay youth in? Because they had suddenly seen the error of their ways? No, because they've been losing money. BSA wants to be able to claim that they don't discriminate anymore, but everyone can plainly see that they still do.

 

Government agencies (including public schools) can no longer charter units, nor directly support BSA. BSA is losing use of public lands. And that is all right and proper for an organization that wants the benefits of being private and "religious". That is BSA's choice. And in all that BSA is losing and will lose, it is all because of what BSA has done and continues to do. They can still turn themselves around and start to actually follow their own rules, but I doubt that they will. You cannot say that anybody is excluding BSA, but rather that BSA is excluding itself*.

 

So what has to be done is to inform all potential COs of what BSA has done and will do, so that they do not get suckered in by BSA's lies and become yet another of its victims.

 

 

{ * FOOTNOTE: Another of BSA's lies that it would tell the public was "We're not excluding atheists and gays; they're excluding themselves." }

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I just saw this and thought it might be relevant to this thread:

http://www.repubblica.it/cultura/201...0/?ref=HRER3-1

 

In case you don't read Italian here's a synopsis:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...n-8810062.html

 

Headline: "Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven"

Edit: Oops, here's the English version:

http://www.repubblica.it/cultura/2013/09/11/news/the_pope_s_letter-66336961/

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I just saw this and thought it might be relevant to this thread:

http://www.repubblica.it/cultura/201...0/?ref=HRER3-1

 

In case you don't read Italian here's a synopsis:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...n-8810062.html

 

Headline: "Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven"

Edit: Oops, here's the English version:

http://www.repubblica.it/cultura/2013/09/11/news/the_pope_s_letter-66336961/

Wow. A large segment of the flock is not going to like that. I just read the synopsis, but it seems he is saying as long as in your conscious something is not a sin, God is cool with that. That is sure going to make the Cafeteria Catholics happy.

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Let me give this thread a lil spin:

BSA has a very basic rule like Free Masons - it doesnt matter what religion, as long as you tick one.

In other countries scouts are totally split into different organisations that DONT interact much based on

the kids being catholic/protestant whatever. I strongly dislike that.

There is nothing better than having christians, jews and muslims and hindus and buddhists and and

go out and play together, and go thrue the scouting program TOGETHER.

"A scouts own" can be different for every single scout. It should never be about

converting your peers but sharing, caring and respecting the other beliefs.

Excluding anyone is wrong IMHO, even if BSA is a private organisation,

"scouting" is more of an idea, a spirit.

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I just saw this and thought it might be relevant to this thread:

http://www.repubblica.it/cultura/201...0/?ref=HRER3-1

 

In case you don't read Italian here's a synopsis:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...n-8810062.html

 

Headline: "Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven"

Edit: Oops, here's the English version:

http://www.repubblica.it/cultura/2013/09/11/news/the_pope_s_letter-66336961/

The headline writer for the Independent seems to pour more into what the Pope is saying than what he is really saying.

 

“You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.

Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.â€Â

 

He seems to saying what the Bible says in that our conscience is the light of God within each person. That God holds people accountable for how they have responded to conscience even if they have not heard, understood, or sought out the Gospel of Jesus. He speaks of God's mercy but has included the condition of seeking that mercy with a humble and contrite heart.

 

Most Atheists, as opposed to those who have not heard or sought the Gospel, are quite different. They REJECT the claims of church or scripture. They maintain that God cannot and does not exist and therefore would never seek him with a humble and contrite heart. Why would they even be concerned about a Heaven they are certain does not exist?

 

The Pope knows the difference between those who have doubts, fears, and lack of knowledge as opposed to those who despise and revile the very mention of God.

Nothing in his entire letter gives a free pass to atheists. He speaks of the primacy of faith in the crucified and risen Christ and the believers obligation to represent Him in the world with humility and respect to others so that those see and hear our words and actions of faith will respond with a willing heart that seeks Him.

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Let me give this thread a lil spin:

BSA has a very basic rule like Free Masons - it doesnt matter what religion, as long as you tick one.

In other countries scouts are totally split into different organisations that DONT interact much based on

the kids being catholic/protestant whatever. I strongly dislike that.

There is nothing better than having christians, jews and muslims and hindus and buddhists and and

go out and play together, and go thrue the scouting program TOGETHER.

"A scouts own" can be different for every single scout. It should never be about

converting your peers but sharing, caring and respecting the other beliefs.

Excluding anyone is wrong IMHO, even if BSA is a private organisation,

"scouting" is more of an idea, a spirit.

May his noodly appendages touch you.

RAmen

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Let me give this thread a lil spin:

BSA has a very basic rule like Free Masons - it doesnt matter what religion, as long as you tick one.

In other countries scouts are totally split into different organisations that DONT interact much based on

the kids being catholic/protestant whatever. I strongly dislike that.

There is nothing better than having christians, jews and muslims and hindus and buddhists and and

go out and play together, and go thrue the scouting program TOGETHER.

"A scouts own" can be different for every single scout. It should never be about

converting your peers but sharing, caring and respecting the other beliefs.

Excluding anyone is wrong IMHO, even if BSA is a private organisation,

"scouting" is more of an idea, a spirit.

KDD, I am just SO glad I didn't have a mouthful of coffee or something when I just read your comment.....

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Isn't there a place where old threads can go to die????

 

With Trail Life taking the "Fundies" won't this become a non-issue now?

No. You don't have to be Fundi for the "word" to drive you to do hateful things to children.

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Isn't there a place where old threads can go to die????

 

With Trail Life taking the "Fundies" won't this become a non-issue now?

No, absolutely not!

 

BSA has proposed outside of its actual rules, regulations, bylaws, etc, the existence of a rule that requires "belief in a Supreme Being". Such a rule has so far not been determined to actually exist. For that matter, in court in the case of Randall v. Orange County Council the judge did directly order BSA Orange County Council to produce such a rule and said Council Exec, Kent Gibbs, did directly inform the judge that no such rule in fact actually exists. Boy Scouts America, Inc, admitted in court that there is no such rule requiring "belief in a Supreme Being."

 

Do you have any problem with that?

 

The point of this entire thread is that as of the 1990's, there was in deed no BSA rule that actually required "belief in a Supreme Being". There was no such actual rule in the mid-1980's during the Paul Trout debacle and, in deed, BSA very explicitly stated that any "belief in a Supreme Being" "rule" was a complete "mistake". There was still no such rule in the early 1990's when Chief Scout Exec Ben Love, the exact same CSE who had reassured everybody during the Paul Trout debacle, was again enforcing the "belief in a Supreme Being" "rule" that in the Paul Trout debacle he himself had labelled a "mistake".

 

My question in this entire thread from the very start was whether anything had changed since the late 1990's. Going into the late 1990'a, any "belief in a Supreme Being" rule in BSA did not exist. I am asking whether any official rule has been enacted since then. So far, all indications are completely negative.

 

That is what I have been asking all along: What has officially changed since the late 1990's?

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