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

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Let's try this again.

 

I need to

 

You need to get over it, or go to the local council and view the bylaws, or hire a lawyer and call the LA Times. Unlike the ban on homosexuals, the BSA's religious stance is right there on both the youth and adult application, it's in the oath, it's in the handbook, it's part of the program. If swearing as an atheist to do your duty to God didn't tip you off that you were going to intrinsically be in conflict with BSA, you either weren't paying attention, or you wanted that conflict. BSA didn't cause your suffering, you caused your suffering when you knowingly and willfully joined an organization which you knew was incompatible with your beliefs. You can camp without god in Campfire USA.

 

We've answered your question: Refer to the BSA Declaration of Religious Principle. There are already plenty of websites dedicated to tearing BSA down, I'm sure they can give you the ammo you're looking for.

If some other people want to help tear down BSA, then some other people should join Campfire USA, too.

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qwazse: The sad part about this is if a kid thinks a particular stone is his salvation and is not disparaging his buddy's devotion to Allah, I'd count it as reverent.

 

Why is that "sad"?

Who said boot him from scouting?

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You need to get over it' date=' or go to the local council and view the bylaws, or hire a lawyer and call the LA Times. Unlike the ban on homosexuals, the BSA's religious stance is right there on both the youth and adult application, it's in the oath, it's in the handbook, it's part of the program.[/quote']

 

Is it? This is what the BSA actually says about it (the current Guide to Advancement, page 33):

 

5.0.5.0 Religious Principles

From time to time, issues related to advancement call for an understanding of the position of the Boy Scouts of America on religious principles. In the appendix (section 11), see the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America (article IX), and clause 1, Declaration of Religious Principle, from article IX in the Charter and Bylaws of the BSA. The following interpretative statement may help to clarify this position:

 

The Boy Scouts of America does not define what constitutes belief in God or practice of religion. Neither does the BSA require membership in a religious organization or association for membership in the movement. If a Scout does not belong to a religious organization or association, then his parent(s) or guardian(s) will be considered responsible for his religious training. All that is required is the acknowledgment of belief in God as stated in the Scout Oath, and the ability to be reverent as stated in the Scout Law.

 

See the lovely circular logic? All that is required is a belief in God - the BSA refuses to define what constitutes belief in God. That is for the scout and his family to decide. As for A Scout is Reverent, I believe this is the current wording:

A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

 

This doesn't define what God is either. So if someone belongs to a religious faith that doesn't have a god (like many forms of Buddhism) or require a belief in a god (like Unitarianism), who believe they can do their "Duty to God" as their faith defines it, the BSA appears to say they can be members. Which is the situation the OP was in.

 

So to tell the OP: "stop whining, it's all their in black and white" is incorrect.

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You need to get over it' date=' or go to the local council and view the bylaws, or hire a lawyer and call the LA Times. Unlike the ban on homosexuals, the BSA's religious stance is right there on both the youth and adult application, it's in the oath, it's in the handbook, it's part of the program.[/quote']

 

Is it? This is what the BSA actually says about it (the current Guide to Advancement, page 33):

 

5.0.5.0 Religious Principles

From time to time, issues related to advancement call for an understanding of the position of the Boy Scouts of America on religious principles. In the appendix (section 11), see the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America (article IX), and clause 1, Declaration of Religious Principle, from article IX in the Charter and Bylaws of the BSA. The following interpretative statement may help to clarify this position:

 

The Boy Scouts of America does not define what constitutes belief in God or practice of religion. Neither does the BSA require membership in a religious organization or association for membership in the movement. If a Scout does not belong to a religious organization or association, then his parent(s) or guardian(s) will be considered responsible for his religious training. All that is required is the acknowledgment of belief in God as stated in the Scout Oath, and the ability to be reverent as stated in the Scout Law.

 

See the lovely circular logic? All that is required is a belief in God - the BSA refuses to define what constitutes belief in God. That is for the scout and his family to decide. As for A Scout is Reverent, I believe this is the current wording:

A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

 

This doesn't define what God is either. So if someone belongs to a religious faith that doesn't have a god (like many forms of Buddhism) or require a belief in a god (like Unitarianism), who believe they can do their "Duty to God" as their faith defines it, the BSA appears to say they can be members. Which is the situation the OP was in.

 

So to tell the OP: "stop whining, it's all their in black and white" is incorrect.

I completely agree with you, Rick, and I've posted to that effect in regards to Khaliela's issues with BSA over her Druidism. But DWise refers to himself as an "atheist" which is understood to preclude belief in God. Trevorum is a Unitarian, he's a volunteer on the National religious group, so it looks like that's not DWise's issue. Clearly, there's something specific to DWise that makes him different, he says himself that he knew there were going to be problems. BSA has magnanimously and reasonably taken a stance that allows for the widest interpretation of "duty to god" to the inclusion even of philosophical belief systems that don't have a god, like Buddhism; it's bad form to turn that around on BSA and try to use it against them.

DWise does need to move on: we're talking about 25-15 years ago and a situation which he precipitated with what sounds like (from his own description) activist atheism. It stinks that he got kicked out, it stinks that anyone gets kicked out. It also stinks that people knowingly join a private club whose core principles they don't share, but consider themselves special and not subject to the rules then turn bitter when reality catches up to them.

If part of this forum's mission is to aid non-members in their crusades, sure, consider me apologetic in dismissing DWise, but I expect an essay from one of you Greenbar fanboys on how Greenbar was gung-ho for changing BSA's core values one lawsuit at a time.

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You need to get over it' date=' or go to the local council and view the bylaws, or hire a lawyer and call the LA Times. Unlike the ban on homosexuals, the BSA's religious stance is right there on both the youth and adult application, it's in the oath, it's in the handbook, it's part of the program.[/quote']

 

Is it? This is what the BSA actually says about it (the current Guide to Advancement, page 33):

 

5.0.5.0 Religious Principles

From time to time, issues related to advancement call for an understanding of the position of the Boy Scouts of America on religious principles. In the appendix (section 11), see the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America (article IX), and clause 1, Declaration of Religious Principle, from article IX in the Charter and Bylaws of the BSA. The following interpretative statement may help to clarify this position:

 

The Boy Scouts of America does not define what constitutes belief in God or practice of religion. Neither does the BSA require membership in a religious organization or association for membership in the movement. If a Scout does not belong to a religious organization or association, then his parent(s) or guardian(s) will be considered responsible for his religious training. All that is required is the acknowledgment of belief in God as stated in the Scout Oath, and the ability to be reverent as stated in the Scout Law.

 

See the lovely circular logic? All that is required is a belief in God - the BSA refuses to define what constitutes belief in God. That is for the scout and his family to decide. As for A Scout is Reverent, I believe this is the current wording:

A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

 

This doesn't define what God is either. So if someone belongs to a religious faith that doesn't have a god (like many forms of Buddhism) or require a belief in a god (like Unitarianism), who believe they can do their "Duty to God" as their faith defines it, the BSA appears to say they can be members. Which is the situation the OP was in.

 

So to tell the OP: "stop whining, it's all their in black and white" is incorrect.

OK, call me ignorant. What or who is Greenbar?

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You need to get over it' date=' or go to the local council and view the bylaws, or hire a lawyer and call the LA Times. Unlike the ban on homosexuals, the BSA's religious stance is right there on both the youth and adult application, it's in the oath, it's in the handbook, it's part of the program.[/quote']

 

Is it? This is what the BSA actually says about it (the current Guide to Advancement, page 33):

 

5.0.5.0 Religious Principles

From time to time, issues related to advancement call for an understanding of the position of the Boy Scouts of America on religious principles. In the appendix (section 11), see the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America (article IX), and clause 1, Declaration of Religious Principle, from article IX in the Charter and Bylaws of the BSA. The following interpretative statement may help to clarify this position:

 

The Boy Scouts of America does not define what constitutes belief in God or practice of religion. Neither does the BSA require membership in a religious organization or association for membership in the movement. If a Scout does not belong to a religious organization or association, then his parent(s) or guardian(s) will be considered responsible for his religious training. All that is required is the acknowledgment of belief in God as stated in the Scout Oath, and the ability to be reverent as stated in the Scout Law.

 

See the lovely circular logic? All that is required is a belief in God - the BSA refuses to define what constitutes belief in God. That is for the scout and his family to decide. As for A Scout is Reverent, I believe this is the current wording:

A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

 

This doesn't define what God is either. So if someone belongs to a religious faith that doesn't have a god (like many forms of Buddhism) or require a belief in a god (like Unitarianism), who believe they can do their "Duty to God" as their faith defines it, the BSA appears to say they can be members. Which is the situation the OP was in.

 

So to tell the OP: "stop whining, it's all their in black and white" is incorrect.

Rick, take a look at the top of this page. You'll see an old guy in a campaign hat named Bill. That's him. Bill Hillcourt. He was called 'Greenbar Bill' because of the two green bars he wore on his uniform. He's also the center of a lot of discussion regarding the structure of not only the program but also of many other aspects of BSA as well. But regardless of which 'side' you end up on, nearly everyone recognizes that he was a monumental figure for BSA. Well, not everyone...because he was evidently left out of the historical representation (read about this in another thread on Scouting History, I don't want this to hijack this topic).

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You need to get over it' date=' or go to the local council and view the bylaws, or hire a lawyer and call the LA Times. Unlike the ban on homosexuals, the BSA's religious stance is right there on both the youth and adult application, it's in the oath, it's in the handbook, it's part of the program.[/quote']

 

Is it? This is what the BSA actually says about it (the current Guide to Advancement, page 33):

 

5.0.5.0 Religious Principles

From time to time, issues related to advancement call for an understanding of the position of the Boy Scouts of America on religious principles. In the appendix (section 11), see the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America (article IX), and clause 1, Declaration of Religious Principle, from article IX in the Charter and Bylaws of the BSA. The following interpretative statement may help to clarify this position:

 

The Boy Scouts of America does not define what constitutes belief in God or practice of religion. Neither does the BSA require membership in a religious organization or association for membership in the movement. If a Scout does not belong to a religious organization or association, then his parent(s) or guardian(s) will be considered responsible for his religious training. All that is required is the acknowledgment of belief in God as stated in the Scout Oath, and the ability to be reverent as stated in the Scout Law.

 

See the lovely circular logic? All that is required is a belief in God - the BSA refuses to define what constitutes belief in God. That is for the scout and his family to decide. As for A Scout is Reverent, I believe this is the current wording:

A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

 

This doesn't define what God is either. So if someone belongs to a religious faith that doesn't have a god (like many forms of Buddhism) or require a belief in a god (like Unitarianism), who believe they can do their "Duty to God" as their faith defines it, the BSA appears to say they can be members. Which is the situation the OP was in.

 

So to tell the OP: "stop whining, it's all their in black and white" is incorrect.

@Scouter99,

 

I noted the derisive tone you employed in your use of the phrase 'you Greenbar fanboys'. Could you elaborate on what your intent was in that? Was it intended to imply that 'you Greenbar fanboys' are hypocritical for some reason? Please explain.

 

It isn't clear from your comment what the relevance is for your mention that Trevorum is a member of the UUA. What's that all about?

 

 

 

Also, why it is bad form to note the fact that BSA accepts the Buddhist faith, in which many of its members are explicitly atheist? The element of hypocrisy seems obvious. So why is THAT bad form?

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... DWise refers to himself as an "atheist" which is understood to preclude belief in God. ... BSA has magnanimously and reasonably taken a stance that allows for the widest interpretation of "duty to god" to the inclusion even of philosophical belief systems that don't have a god, like Buddhism; it's bad form to turn that around on BSA and try to use it against them.

 

Sorry, the above makes no sense at all. If a Buddhist or a Unitarian or a Wiccan or a Jew can be an atheist and a member of the BSA, then a god isn't needed, and an atheist who just calls himself as an atheist should be able to join, unless the "duty to god" requirement is so shallow that a label makes all the difference. But that's just stupid.

 

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You need to get over it' date=' or go to the local council and view the bylaws, or hire a lawyer and call the LA Times. Unlike the ban on homosexuals, the BSA's religious stance is right there on both the youth and adult application, it's in the oath, it's in the handbook, it's part of the program.[/quote']

 

Is it? This is what the BSA actually says about it (the current Guide to Advancement, page 33):

 

5.0.5.0 Religious Principles

From time to time, issues related to advancement call for an understanding of the position of the Boy Scouts of America on religious principles. In the appendix (section 11), see the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America (article IX), and clause 1, Declaration of Religious Principle, from article IX in the Charter and Bylaws of the BSA. The following interpretative statement may help to clarify this position:

 

The Boy Scouts of America does not define what constitutes belief in God or practice of religion. Neither does the BSA require membership in a religious organization or association for membership in the movement. If a Scout does not belong to a religious organization or association, then his parent(s) or guardian(s) will be considered responsible for his religious training. All that is required is the acknowledgment of belief in God as stated in the Scout Oath, and the ability to be reverent as stated in the Scout Law.

 

See the lovely circular logic? All that is required is a belief in God - the BSA refuses to define what constitutes belief in God. That is for the scout and his family to decide. As for A Scout is Reverent, I believe this is the current wording:

A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

 

This doesn't define what God is either. So if someone belongs to a religious faith that doesn't have a god (like many forms of Buddhism) or require a belief in a god (like Unitarianism), who believe they can do their "Duty to God" as their faith defines it, the BSA appears to say they can be members. Which is the situation the OP was in.

 

So to tell the OP: "stop whining, it's all their in black and white" is incorrect.

packsaddle commented

 

I noted the derisive tone you employed in your use of the phrase 'you Greenbar fanboys'. Could you elaborate on what your intent was in that? Was it intended to imply that 'you Greenbar fanboys' are hypocritical for some reason? Please explain.

 

Presumably because a belief in "leadership skills" constitutes belief in supernatural forces!

 

Yours at 300 feet,

 

Kudu

http://inquiry.net/ideals/beads.htm

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You need to get over it' date=' or go to the local council and view the bylaws, or hire a lawyer and call the LA Times. Unlike the ban on homosexuals, the BSA's religious stance is right there on both the youth and adult application, it's in the oath, it's in the handbook, it's part of the program.[/quote']

 

Is it? This is what the BSA actually says about it (the current Guide to Advancement, page 33):

 

5.0.5.0 Religious Principles

From time to time, issues related to advancement call for an understanding of the position of the Boy Scouts of America on religious principles. In the appendix (section 11), see the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America (article IX), and clause 1, Declaration of Religious Principle, from article IX in the Charter and Bylaws of the BSA. The following interpretative statement may help to clarify this position:

 

The Boy Scouts of America does not define what constitutes belief in God or practice of religion. Neither does the BSA require membership in a religious organization or association for membership in the movement. If a Scout does not belong to a religious organization or association, then his parent(s) or guardian(s) will be considered responsible for his religious training. All that is required is the acknowledgment of belief in God as stated in the Scout Oath, and the ability to be reverent as stated in the Scout Law.

 

See the lovely circular logic? All that is required is a belief in God - the BSA refuses to define what constitutes belief in God. That is for the scout and his family to decide. As for A Scout is Reverent, I believe this is the current wording:

A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

 

This doesn't define what God is either. So if someone belongs to a religious faith that doesn't have a god (like many forms of Buddhism) or require a belief in a god (like Unitarianism), who believe they can do their "Duty to God" as their faith defines it, the BSA appears to say they can be members. Which is the situation the OP was in.

 

So to tell the OP: "stop whining, it's all their in black and white" is incorrect.

Oh, Greenbar Bill. I didn't get the reference as I never heard him referred to just as Greenbar. It has always been Bill Hillcourt, or Greenbar Bill. When I was a young boy scout I actually got to meet him. A very nice man.

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Sorry, the above makes no sense at all. If a Buddhist or a Unitarian or a Wiccan or a Jew can be an atheist and a member of the BSA, then a god isn't needed, and an atheist who just calls himself as an atheist should be able to join, unless the "duty to god" requirement is so shallow that a label makes all the difference. But that's just stupid.

 

I had a discussion with someone from regional a few months ago, and he said that according to national, the only thing that matters is the label. If someone self identifies as an Atheist, they are not eligible. If someone with identical beliefs calls themselves something else, they are good. He says it's because so many people get hung up on the word "Atheist". So yes, it is stupid.

 

And people do get hung up on the word. To many people, it is a very negative word and they have a strong emotional reaction to it. When they here the word "Atheist", they think of "those Atheists" that don't believe in anything, think anyone with religion is a fool or idiot, that will take any opportunity to be obnoxious about it, etc. (While I have met in passing a couple of Atheists that can be obnoxious about it, I don't think I have ever met one that fits the "doesn't believe anything" description). So they assume that anyone that self identifies as an "Atheist" is claiming all the listeners baggage too. That's why you get all the: "I don't consider those people atheists..." kind of discussions when Duty to God is discussed (see the above WOSM link).

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Let's try this again.

 

I need to

 

You need to get over it, or go to the local council and view the bylaws, or hire a lawyer and call the LA Times. Unlike the ban on homosexuals, the BSA's religious stance is right there on both the youth and adult application, it's in the oath, it's in the handbook, it's part of the program. If swearing as an atheist to do your duty to God didn't tip you off that you were going to intrinsically be in conflict with BSA, you either weren't paying attention, or you wanted that conflict. BSA didn't cause your suffering, you caused your suffering when you knowingly and willfully joined an organization which you knew was incompatible with your beliefs. You can camp without god in Campfire USA.

 

We've answered your question: Refer to the BSA Declaration of Religious Principle. There are already plenty of websites dedicated to tearing BSA down, I'm sure they can give you the ammo you're looking for.

The last person to ask and get an honest truthful answer is a BSA professional. I asked them during the time period I describe (1990's) and they insisted that that "rule" did absolutely exist and that it was forcing them to act against anyone who didn't believe in a "Supreme Being" (curiously while ignoring Buddhists). They even spent a lot of advertising dollars to tell the public about this "rule" and paid lawyers to insist in the court cases that they had created that that "rule" did actually exist. Even our council's SE did the same; he was the one who told me that that "rule" did indeed exist and he promised to send me a copy of the rule, one of many promises that he broke. But then a judge in one of those court cases order our council's SE to show him that "rule", to which our SE finally had to admit in court that that "rule" does not exist.

 

The 1990's taught us three sad facts: BSA lies. BSA refuses to honor its promises. BSA violates its own rules. I truly wish that were not so, but we cannot escape reality.

 

I have read and studied the DRP along with the Rules&Regs, Bylaws, and the Advancement Guidelines. I did so when asked to sign on as Cubmaster, so I did give the matter very serious thought. Despite your own narrow interpretation, officially published BSA religious policy does not require "Duty to God" to involve YHWH nor does BSA even allow itself to define or interpret what "Duty to God" must mean nor does BSA allow itself to determine whether anyone does his "Duty to God". Rather, one is to perform one's "Duty to God" in accordance with the teachings of his own religious tradition and the determination of performance of one's "Duty to God" can only be made by each individual's religious leaders.

 

Scouting is not incompatible with my beliefs. Officially published BSA religious policy is not incompatible with my beliefs. Religious bigotry is incompatible with my beliefs.

 

You should try to familiarize yourself with the actual rules. I also offer a working document I had started in the late 1990's and have recently revisited. It's a text file that I just now posted at http://dwise1.net/scouting/timeline.txt . I also recently found a reposting of a message I had posted in rec.scouting around that same time and which delves into these questions much more deeply. It's at https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/rec.scouting/adi4Dl5TlZY .

 

If some people appear to want to tear down BSA, it is because BSA is destroying Scouting. BSA is not Scouting. It is Scouting that matters!

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So maybe atheist need different denominations, so that the respectful considerate atheists can separate themselves away from the obnoxious, disrespectful activist atheists.. I guess you get some of that if you can be a UU atheist and be accepted.. You just need one that collectively defines you without having to go to any group meeting about it.. But, I know my districts Eagle board will ask if the scout believes in a higher power, so that would probably trip up a UU atheist..

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I would like to clarify here that while self-identified atheists are sometimes members of the UUA, and they are welcomed and respected for their individual beliefs, the UU faith is not inherently atheist (popular and erroneous opinions to the contrary notwithstanding). There are also Buddhist, Jewish, Wiccan, and Pagan individual members of the UUs. But the historical foundation of the UUs goes back to the Council of Nicea whereupon their ancestors in faith rejected the Trinity.

 

 

 

When I ask a group of UUs today, what is the best way to characterize the UUs, I get as many different opinions as there are UUs in the group. I give them a lot of credit, every last one of them, for making well-reasoned and thoughtful statements about their faith. They really do know something about what they believe.

 

 

 

On the other hand, if someone wants to argue that UUs are space aliens........

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... DWise refers to himself as an "atheist" which is understood to preclude belief in God. ... BSA has magnanimously and reasonably taken a stance that allows for the widest interpretation of "duty to god" to the inclusion even of philosophical belief systems that don't have a god, like Buddhism; it's bad form to turn that around on BSA and try to use it against them.

 

Sorry, the above makes no sense at all. If a Buddhist or a Unitarian or a Wiccan or a Jew can be an atheist and a member of the BSA, then a god isn't needed, and an atheist who just calls himself as an atheist should be able to join, unless the "duty to god" requirement is so shallow that a label makes all the difference. But that's just stupid.

Jews have a God; Wiccans have both a God and Goddess. Jews are theist not atheist; Wiccans are polytheist not atheist.

I'm not sure where you are getting your information.

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