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WEBELOS Character Connection Faith – Atheist work around?

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Somebody once told me they weren't comfortable "with the whole God thing" and I suggested they take the bible and replace the word God with love, or a phrase like "what you know is right in your heart" and see if that helps. Sometimes you have to massage the words a bit to get them to fit but the meaning tracks well. Most of the bible is a story about a bunch of characters with all sorts of flaws and often the lesson is to be less selfish, which not surprisingly fits well with the boy scout message. It's great literature with a lot of lessons. Anyway, the prayers are a bit harder to transform but here's the start of one: Love is our god. Love is one. Blessed be love for ever and ever. You shall love with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.... It's something I should read before dealing with helicopter parents that I just want to throttle.

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Somebody once told me they weren't comfortable "with the whole God thing" and I suggested they take the bible and replace the word God with love' date=' or a phrase like "what you know is right in your heart" and see if that helps. Sometimes you have to massage the words a bit to get them to fit but the meaning tracks well. Most of the bible is a story about a bunch of characters with all sorts of flaws and often the lesson is to be less selfish, which not surprisingly fits well with the boy scout message. It's great literature with a lot of lessons. Anyway, the prayers are a bit harder to transform but here's the start of one: Love is our god. Love is one. Blessed be love for ever and ever. You shall love with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.... It's something I should read before dealing with helicopter parents that I just want to throttle.[/quote']

 

This is a tangent we should not explore as it does not help the original post.

 

Plus, I could never recommend that. It would be sacrilegious. Perhaps one atheist could tell another atheist that, but I find it hard that a Christian could say that. And it has no use in the current topic as posted.

 

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Just a preemptive strike that if this thread moves away from discussing the requirement and the situation from the OP it will be moved to Issues and Politics.

 

-Sentinel947

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<

 

 

If a Scout or adult leader got up and announced they were an atheist, I might have to take action on that.

 

 

I had a young Cub Scout do that once, and I ignored it.

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... "what you know is right in your heart" ...

 

My junior sociopaths would run to some very dark places with that one. wink.png Maybe we could try "what promotes the greatest survival advantage of the species", but that is very Homo-centric. ..."What is wholesome for all sentient beings?" A little more universal. "What's best for the biosphere?" But, why?

 

I'm all for pointing out inklings of "God-sense" in a friend, but I'm also not inclined to patronize someone who thinks it all to be bollocks. If they think we're all wasting precious time mucking about with religion (even the highly disorganized individualistic variety), then we have a fundamental difference over a hefty chunk of what scouting in the USA is supposed to be.

 

If an athiest doesn't want his/her son exposed to what they would chalk up to a bunch of gibberish, it's fair to warn them that cost of the bling includes acquiescing to said gibberish.

 

This is hardly any different than a conservative Jew or Christian who feels that his/her teen should not be exposed to inter-faith influences.

 

so you ignore that BSA National excludes Atheist's from being in the BSA?

 

Well, I ignored that photo of Wayne Perry in tan shirt and brown pants .... :eek: As far as I can tell, National hasn't asked me to be its henchman. My job. Get to know the parents. Let them know there's this rift that your scouters try to smooth over, but at a certain point, maybe when a boy reads his own membership application, definitely if a boy applies for Eagle, it may come up. How they want to prepare their son between now and then is entirely up to them (and eventually him).

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I had a parent ten years ago who told me he was an atheist and would not sign the BSA application. He served as the defactor Committee Chair all during the rtime his son was in Cub Scouts.

 

His son never entered Boy Scouts because the parent (and perhaps the boy?) felt that the atheist issue would likely come up in Boy Scouts and it was not an issue with which he wanted to be confronted.

 

Too bad --- nice parent. But perhaps that was for the best.

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His son never entered Boy Scouts because the parent (and perhaps the boy?) felt that the atheist issue would likely come up in Boy Scouts and it was not an issue with which he wanted to be confronted.

 

Sad. In my experience, scouting and beliefs is not an issue until someone (parent, scout or leader) makes it an issue. At that point, it's a show stopper and just destructive.

 

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That goes both ways Fred.

 

I have had Atheist parents spoiling for a fight make it an issue, Just as I have had Bible thumping parents try to make Atheism an issue.

 

 

But I caution, short cutting requirements as you are setting the stage for the future.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

 

So how can you complete the requirement that says you need to believe in a higher power of some sort when the definition is you dont believe in a higher power.

 

 

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<<#25 Yesterday, 09:18 PM

 

 

Originally posted by SeattlePioneerView Post

His son never entered Boy Scouts because the parent (and perhaps the boy?) felt that the atheist issue would likely come up in Boy Scouts and it was not an issue with which he wanted to be confronted.

 

 

 

Sad. In my experience, scouting and beliefs is not an issue until someone (parent, scout or leader) makes it an issue. At that point, it's a show stopper and just destructive. >>

 

 

It was sad.

 

The parent won the Eagle as a youth, and did an excellent job as the defactor Pack Committee Chair.

 

Perhaps he and his son made a wise decision though, avoiding conflict that might well have happened and causing the boy a lot of disappointment.

 

 

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T

 

So how can you complete the requirement that says you need to believe in a higher power of some sort when the definition is you dont believe in a higher power.

 

 

Easy. I told my cub from a non-religious family that his parents were then the higher power and his spiritual guides. Worked for me, and actually got his dad a little more involved in the pack.

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So how can you complete the requirement that says you need to believe in a higher power of some sort when the definition is you dont believe in a higher power.

 

 

Where does it say that? People commonly bring up this "belief in a higher power" stuff, but show me the BSA publication that it came from? All I can find is the BSA requires a "belief in God" but then leaves it to the scout or scouter to define what that means for them.

 

So, did I just not read the right document?

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That goes both ways Fred.

 

I have had Atheist parents spoiling for a fight make it an issue, Just as I have had Bible thumping parents try to make Atheism an issue.

 

 

But I caution, short cutting requirements as you are setting the stage for the future.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

 

So how can you complete the requirement that says you need to believe in a higher power of some sort when the definition is you dont believe in a higher power.

 

 

You complete it by focusing on the specific requirements. In the 2014 Webelos requirements, the focus is on the scout's faith and his religious beliefs. There is a path that allows for contemplation, reflection and service which is in itself is a spiritual practice. Specifically, the "know, commit and practice" can be a simple discussion according to his beliefs with his religious leader (aka his parents ... as that's how it starts with all kids). Likewise, the scout can do almost any of the 8E section as long as it's according to their religious beliefs.

 

Much of the issue is people at both ends of the spectrum wanting to pick a fight. By working the specific requirements, we remove the politics. But, if "the member" (not the leader ... the member) wants to make a platform of it, then scouting won't work for them. But if they can accept some level middle ground, then scouting is good to go.

 

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