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EmberMike

Any news on gay scouts denied Eagle ranks being reinstated?

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Ryan had all of the requirements done. Isn't there something in the rules about the Board of Review being possible after the 18th birthday if all of the other reqs are already completed prior to turning 18?
BSA can waive just about any requirement to right a wrong. I have seen a couple of articles about Eagles being awarded to elderly former scouts. In one case a scout had completed all the requirements but the paperwork was lost or overlooked in the days after Pearl Harbor. The scout enlisted and never received his award. He confessed to a nursing home worker that he always regretted not receiving his Eagle. The employee contacted the council and records were found or reconstructed and the veteran received his Eagle.

 

The other story involved a former scout who had completed all the requirements except for Swimming Merit Badge. He had not been able to earn the MB because there were no pools for blacks in DC when he was a scout. BSA decided he had done everything he could and awarded this octogenarian his Eagle award.

 

Point is, if BSA wants to award Ryan Andersen the Eagle award they can--irrespective of age or time limits.

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Regarding Ryan Andresen I think I can clear some things up. Some of you will recall that I wrote posts when that whole thing blew up a year and a half ago. I met Ryan and his father in August 2012 when I reviewed and approved his project on behalf of the district. He completed his project and it was late in September when a former trooop committee member blew the whistle on Ryan which led to the national office removing Ryan from BSA altogether prior to Ryan's 18th birthday which fell in October of 2012. Subsequently a great many people, self included, suggested that Ryan should at least get his BOR even without the unit signatures on his eagle application. This was done and his eagle was approved at the council level and the paperwork forwarded to national, all within the 90 day window following his 18th birthday. This at least had the effect of putting the local council on the right side of fair treatment of Ryan regardless of the membership decision made at the national level.

 

As far as I know Ryan's beliefs regarding god were never an issue.

 

To me it was a simple matter of fairness. Ryan had done everything required of him in good faith and kicking him out days before his 18th birthday never made sense.

 

I think the current membership policy is wise and fair. It is all about the youth, not the attitudes of some adult, gay or straight.

 

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I don't have a problem with a scout's sexual orientation, but I would have a problem with misleading everyone as to what their religious beliefs are when they are in direct conflict with the Scout Law and Oath. Doesn't reflect well on one's honor to pledge anything.

 

Stosh

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I don't have a problem with a scout's sexual orientation, but I would have a problem with misleading everyone as to what their religious beliefs are when they are in direct conflict with the Scout Law and Oath. Doesn't reflect well on one's honor to pledge anything.

 

Stosh

And what, exactly, did he do to mislead anyone? As part of that, what religious beliefs are required? Can a scout ever voice any doubt about his own beliefs? If so, how much and for how long?

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I don't have a problem with a scout's sexual orientation, but I would have a problem with misleading everyone as to what their religious beliefs are when they are in direct conflict with the Scout Law and Oath. Doesn't reflect well on one's honor to pledge anything.

 

Stosh

Doubt is not the opposite of belief, disbelief is. Your argument is apples and oranges.

 

Stosh

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I have over-heard the boys discuss this issue. I heard a agnostic/atheist say he would never admit it because he wants his Eagle. When I talk to the boys I always urge them to work their faith in everyday life and keeping searching. Leads to some good discussion which is the point.
"Reverence to God and reverence for one's neighbour and reverence for oneself as a servant of God, is the basis of every form of religion. The method of expression of reverence to God varies with every sect and denomination. What sect or denomination a boy belongs to depends, as a rule, on his parents' wishes. It is they who decide. It is our business to respect their wishes and to second their efforts to inculcate reverence, whatever form of religion the boy professes."

=Robert Baden-Powell, “Aids to Scoutmastershipâ€Â

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I don't have a problem with a scout's sexual orientation, but I would have a problem with misleading everyone as to what their religious beliefs are when they are in direct conflict with the Scout Law and Oath. Doesn't reflect well on one's honor to pledge anything.

 

Stosh

Your statement is a non-sequitur. The BSA has stated that agnostics can't be members, for example.

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I have always been curious about the notion that not believing in God is automatically a violation of the Oath and Law. I'm an attorney, iin our legal system one of the general rules regarding duty is that you cannot breach a duty if you don't have the duty to begin with. So a scout who doesn't believe in God can promise to do his duty to God believing that if God doesn't exist then no Duty to God can be breached. And Reverent is about practicing your own beliefs while being respectful of others. So how is being an Atheist in and of itself de facto a breach of the Oath and Law?

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I don't have a problem with a scout's sexual orientation, but I would have a problem with misleading everyone as to what their religious beliefs are when they are in direct conflict with the Scout Law and Oath. Doesn't reflect well on one's honor to pledge anything.

 

Stosh

Once again, apples and oranges. Faith resides in the heart, knowledge in the head. An agnostic operates out of the mind, believer operates out of the heart. As a matter of fact, an atheist has more faith than an agnostic because he believes there is no God, just like others believe there is.

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I don't have a problem with a scout's sexual orientation, but I would have a problem with misleading everyone as to what their religious beliefs are when they are in direct conflict with the Scout Law and Oath. Doesn't reflect well on one's honor to pledge anything.

 

Stosh

jBlake, you clearly don't know what the word "agnostic" means. There are multiple religions that are agnostic in nature. Does that mean that an agnostic style Hindu has no faith? What a great way to show respect for other religions.

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I don't have a problem with a scout's sexual orientation, but I would have a problem with misleading everyone as to what their religious beliefs are when they are in direct conflict with the Scout Law and Oath. Doesn't reflect well on one's honor to pledge anything.

 

Stosh

What agnostic means to you, is up to you. I just use the standard definition. Agnostic is a knowledge based understanding of God. Basically has very little if anything to do with faith. Maybe they just "know" they have no "belief" in God. It has nothing to do with showing respect or judgment of a religion, it's just the way they define themselves. Nice to know that the discussion has now turned to attacking the person rather than discussing the topic.

 

Most of these discussions that can't be debated clearly end up that way.

And what does this discussion have to do with sexual orientation?

 

Stosh

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I have always been curious about the notion that not believing in God is automatically a violation of the Oath and Law. I'm an attorney, iin our legal system one of the general rules regarding duty is that you cannot breach a duty if you don't have the duty to begin with. So a scout who doesn't believe in God can promise to do his duty to God believing that if God doesn't exist then no Duty to God can be breached. And Reverent is about practicing your own beliefs while being respectful of others. So how is being an Atheist in and of itself de facto a breach of the Oath and Law?
and lawyers wonder why they get a bad rap. Rolling my eyes..

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I don't have a problem with a scout's sexual orientation, but I would have a problem with misleading everyone as to what their religious beliefs are when they are in direct conflict with the Scout Law and Oath. Doesn't reflect well on one's honor to pledge anything.

 

Stosh

Ryan has said that he believes in God. Where is the confusion over his religious beliefs? He stated his belief, he fulfilled the requirement in as far as the BSA rules are concerned.

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I have always been curious about the notion that not believing in God is automatically a violation of the Oath and Law. I'm an attorney, iin our legal system one of the general rules regarding duty is that you cannot breach a duty if you don't have the duty to begin with. So a scout who doesn't believe in God can promise to do his duty to God believing that if God doesn't exist then no Duty to God can be breached. And Reverent is about practicing your own beliefs while being respectful of others. So how is being an Atheist in and of itself de facto a breach of the Oath and Law?
Belief in God in terms of BSA rules is a pretty loose term, so you're right, not believing in God isn't automatically a deal-breaker. But it's not because no duty is being breached, at least not in my opinion. I think it has more to do with the fact that you can fulfill the religious/spiritual requirements of BSA membership without believing in any particular God or any god at all. Buddhism, for example, doesn't recognize a god per se (Buddha is known as and regarded as being a mortal man, not at all a god-like being) but is an acceptable belief system as far as the BSA is concerned. Duty to God is really just a duty to a belief in something greater than ourselves, and can be interpreted in many ways. That greater thing can take the form of God, man, nature, etc.

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I have always been curious about the notion that not believing in God is automatically a violation of the Oath and Law. I'm an attorney, iin our legal system one of the general rules regarding duty is that you cannot breach a duty if you don't have the duty to begin with. So a scout who doesn't believe in God can promise to do his duty to God believing that if God doesn't exist then no Duty to God can be breached. And Reverent is about practicing your own beliefs while being respectful of others. So how is being an Atheist in and of itself de facto a breach of the Oath and Law?
From a fellow attorney: Well said!

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