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EagleScout441

A Rant

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A quote from the "Why not girls or atheists?" thread.

 

One of the things I have found is that education teaches tolerance.

 

Tolerance. Political correctness.

So many people are spending so much time trying to "tolerate" and to not "offend" anyone on the face of the planet, or be "politically correct," that they are insulting both themselves, and the people around them.

 

Take this for example:

http://www.ctyankee.org/fs/page/0016...tscoutsown.pdf

 

The above "Scout's Own" takes Psalm 23 and "revises" it. If you want to use the 23rd Psalm, be my guest, but don't change it, revise it, modernize it, corrupt it. I take offense to that.

 

If we said "don't lie" or "don't murder," liars and murderers in the room would be insulted.

No matter what we say or do, somebody is going to disagree and somebody is going to be offended. People beat themselves up over little things, and it runs over everything they do. It makes them compromise on their strongest beliefs and issues.

 

We're told to "be yourself," but, at the same time, we're told to tolerate anything different.

We can't have both.

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The Meeting had a tradition of presenting the rising third graders in First Day School with a Bible. An Elder of the Meeting was asked his thought about this, and which Bible did he favor? . He replied , "absolutely. Give them the King James Bible, if it's good enough for Jesus , it ought to be good enough for them!"

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As anyone who knows me will attest, I'm about as 'anything goes' as there is when it comes to discussions. At the same time, I'd have to admit that a dose of tolerance might be good for everyone if applied, say, to the Taliban, maybe a few others?

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Hi, 441. There seems to be a lot wrapped up in there. Not sure I'm willing to let myself get to worked up over a paraphrase/adaptation of a Psalm. Once I worked at a Borders and tried to show a long-time customer a copy of "The Message," a modern language version of the New Testament. He went ballistic. Look, not everyone reads NT Greek or even Hebrew these days. So if we can allow the Bible to be interpreted in such a way that the Scouts can appreciate it I'm really not that worked up about it. If we can give the Gospels to the Scouts in such a way that they can see the compassion of Jesus I'm certainly happy with that. Jesus accepted people for who they were. He didn't have to worry about tolerance or political correcctness because he accepted others anyway. I don't know if you were going for tolerance of Bible translations here or it you had bigger fish in mind. (I'd put a smiley face here to show you I'm a nice guy and just looking for further explanation but my iPad won't let me.)

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E441, the example you cite is not an example of political correctness, but rather contextualization - a common practice among Christian missionaries. Why do this? Well, what would a native American hunter-gatherer know of the life of a Semetic warlord? Taken literally, we have King David declaring himself to be a dumb sheep ... an analogy that works quite nicely in a culture where animal husbandry is central to the economy. For a brave who has no knowledge of animals that are entirely dependent on a human for their survival, the analogy falls flat. Another example? Well, nobody had lived through a Roman census for centuries, so the notion of the desperation engendered by having to cooperate with an occupying army to accomplish such an endeavor was lost. So how does one communicate the context of the incarnation? Choose the bleakest time of year when the average pagan is waiting for days to lighten, and have the event venerated around then. It worked! Europeans throughout a fractured empire came to associate winter days with pondering the Christmas message over all other narratives. The trade-off: the modern Christmas is rife with "politically correct" nods to pagan ceremony ... and more recently capitalism' narrative of the importance to "jump start" a consumer economy. So, maybe your "scouts own" service isn't that extreme after all. ;)

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LeCastor, for a smiley emoticon from your ipad, type: space colon right-parenthesis. My wink above was space semi-colon right-parenthesis. XD

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~~

the example you cite is not an example of political correctness' date=' but rather contextualization [/quote']

 

 

I thought of that a little while after posting it.

 

 

I don't know if you were going for tolerance of Bible translations here or it you had bigger fish in mind. (I'd put a smiley face here to show you I'm a nice guy and just looking for further explanation but my iPad won't let me.)

 

Now that I'm thinking a little more sensibly, I'll add some context to this.

 

For the most part, my opinion of the translations varies from chapter to chapter. Sometimes the intended meaning is changed, sometimes not. No single translation is perfect on all accounts.

 

The origin of this rant actually came from my planning and writing a service. I looked through many scripted services before giving up on them and writing one from scratch with the help of my youth pastor.

 

The above Psalm 23 example was a poor choice.

 

There was kind of a second point to the rant.

The second point was regarding the frequent use of Indian texts, quotes, prayers, etc.. Now, I understand that Indian heritage and culture plays a fairly large role in the BSA. The OA is probably the biggest example. But I think some of them take it a little too far. Many of these services use Indian prayers and other things that reference their pagan tendencies, like, appealing to the "great spirit of the wind."

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This is one reason I do not favor group services, especially those led/conducted by adults. IMO, A real Scouts Own, would be time set aside by the patrol for scouts to plan/run their own. Individuals may choose to meditate, a few might choose to find a relaxing spot in the woods to contemplate. Tentmates may choose to go somewhere and sing. Etc... Of course when this is suggested, many adults will immediately proclaim that the scouts wont do anything spiritual. My question is then, so what? If we truly value boy led and the patrol method, why do we not allow it here?

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Not all Bibles are translations, they are paraphrases. There's a big difference. No one is going to buy a word-for-word translation of the Bible in English, but there are such translations out there. Considering that the original writings of the Scripture didn't have punctuation, a comma here or there can change the meaning of the words considerably. The American Standard Bible of 1901 is probably the closest translation in English to the original manuscripts, but finding one at Barnes and Nobel is going to be kinda hard. Modern interpretations of what people think is written is one of the greatest real problems we have today. It gets to be quite interesting after a while especially those that pick a bit here and there and then put them together as some sort of disjointed jigsaw puzzle and then declare it's the Word of God! "Judas hung himself.... Go, ye, therefore and do likewise.... Whatever thou doest, doest quickly." Meditate on that one as your verse for the day.

 

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~~

 

Now, I understand that Indian heritage and culture plays a fairly large role in the BSA. The OA is probably the biggest example. But I think some of them take it a little too far. Many of these services use Indian prayers and other things that reference their pagan tendencies, like, appealing to the "great spirit of the wind."

 

Since Scouts Own is not a Christian service, why would including the phrase "great spirit of the wind" be an issue. I would love to see a non Christian service for Scouts own but unless I happen to get involved with a Troop chartered by a Synagogue or a Buddhist temple, etc I don't really see it happening.

 

Not that Christian services offend me (even though I'm not Christian) but I would probably faint if I ever attended a Scouts own that wasn't a blatant Christian service.

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<< a dose of tolerance might be good for everyone if applied, say, to the Taliban, maybe a few others? >>

 

 

 

Actually, I have no objections to the religious beliefs of the Taliban.

 

Personally, I think they should reconsider the methods they use to carry out their religious beliefs. But even mass murder has been a common theme in the history of many religious and political movements.

 

Of course, that works both ways. When confronted with the methods of the Taliban, I have no objection to using defensive tactics that might include, say, tracking e-mails around the world or water boarding Taliban leaders to get needed information.

 

As a practical matter, wishing that they were different isn't going to get you anywhere. You need effective strategies to deal with such political and military facts of life.

 

 

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Scout religious services can be (or end up being) one of five kinds: 1) If the unit is of one faith, then they can do whatever it is they do. Catholic, LDS, Jew, Methodist, Hindu, whatever. 2) If they are mostly of one "type", ie, Christian, Jew, etc. but some are not, the service can proceed with that understanding. No one need be "forced" to participate, but encouraged to find their own place for worship. The other Scouts can be respectful of that. 3)Often, folks try to be ecumenical, with mixed results. Be forgiving of the"joint prayer service" that disappoints many and pleases few, be glad they tried. 4) It can be what I call Spiritually Suggestive, mentioning those things that unite us; the Golden Rule, Nature , creation, love, humanity, etc. 5) Or, you can suggest the Scout(s) use a given time for "contemplation", "meditation", "prayer", or whatever. Or, you can declare that your unit admits that , as BP once declared, "~~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.â€Ââ€Â.

 

When it comes to "Scout's Own " services, the dictum of "Boy Led" really is best, I have found more often than not, the youth services are by far more sensitive to the predilections of their fellows than the adults.

 

Now if Tyndale had only been more PC.....

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2) If they are mostly of one "type"' date=' ie, Christian, Jew, etc. but some are not, the service can proceed with that understanding. No one need be "forced" to participate, but encouraged to find their own place for worship. The other Scouts can be respectful of that. [/quote']

The problem with this, is that it isn't "showing respect" to the minority. It's basically telling them "you aren't a full member of the unit, go somewhere else while we worship". The most of us are X, so we are only going to cater to X and the rest can hang, is not respecting non-X faiths. A friend of mine (he is an eagle scout) is Jewish, and remembers being constantly made to feel like an outsider (and proselytized at), in his unit whenever it held a scouts own.

 

3)Often' date=' folks try to be ecumenical, with mixed results. Be forgiving of the"joint prayer service" that disappoints many and pleases few, be glad they tried.[/quote']

Doing a non-sectarian joint service is hard. As someone once put it: "how do you do a real non-sectarian worship service? You can't." Most attempts end up being generic Judeo-Christian which leave out a lot of faiths.

 

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There's nothing in the Scout Oath or Law that even hints that corporate religious observances are even necessary.

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