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click23

EBOR no belief in a higher power

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Parts of this discussion remind me of people who move in close to an existing airport, and then complain about how noisy it is when the planes fly over.

 

Boy Scouts has a religious component. It also has a patriotism component in which the Pledge of Allegiance is frequently recited and the US Flag is honored. If you don't like those things, don't join. Once you do join, don't try and change these things just because you don't like them.

 

We spend entirely too much time in this country catering to and trying to satisfy tiny groups of people who add nothing to our society and do almost nothing but complain.

 

 

So people who are without religion add nothing to our society? I find that rather myopic and, to be frank, a ridiculous statement. Tell that to 93% of the National Academy of Sciences. Surely they add something to our society? Or how about the 99.8% of our prison population which claim to be religious. Surely they are adding benefit to society.

 

I am not advocating this be overlooked. Policy is policy and if he blatantly states he's atheist then he doesn't meet the requirements. But scouting around the world, both boy and girl, is losing the religious requirements thereof. The global population is growing more secular. Just because something has been done for 105 years doesn't mean it is the best way to do it.

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... So people who are without religion add nothing to our society? ...

 

Add nothing? No. Just left without a prayer. :)

 

The policy needs to change. I hope they leave the pledge the same, but the policy needs to change.

 

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click23 ... I wish you the best. and ... I hope that you can find the wiggle room to let the scout receive the Eagle rank.

 

It's sad that something like this happens at the last moment when so much as been done and he is so far down the road.

 

There is no requirement to practice anything except what he believes his religion requires of him. So for many, that can be nothing even if they believe in God.

 

IMHO, it is so extremely unfair for him to be this far down the road and to not cross the finishing line. Heck, he received membership and five previous ranks without this being a stopping point.

 

To do it now is very sad and damaging for ALL involved.

 

If you can find the slightest slightest justification, pass him.

 

---------------------------------------------------------

 

And please note, I want BSA to keep the faith component. I just don't want it a membership criteria.

 

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Unfortunately Fred, the issue at this point has gone beyond the objective into the subjective mode. The SM and prior BOR's have done a great disservice to this young man by allowing him to progress through the ranks without catching this. We like to rely on don't ask, don't tell approach, but now the EBOR has asked and the cat is out of the bag. It probably is not just the boy's fault, others allowed it to happen.

 

Life is not fair and I wouldn't want to be on the EBOR that has to make the determination for this situation. The fuzzy logic that can be applied to this situation is abundantly clear and any suggestion that skirts the policy draws the EBOR members into the problem of honesty as well. I really hate getting sucked into situations like this and for this reason alone, I would never sit on a EBOR or any BOR for that matter. The SM should have been honest up front with this boy. He didn't and now the boy will need to answer for himself without any one there to help him.

 

It is unfortunate all the way around for everyone.

 

Stosh

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Stosh ... I can sympathize with your view. It's an honest and fair position. My view though is this is not about being honest at all. And, I don't see anyone trying to be dishonest in it.

 

This is about making a bad situation whole again. It's not about right and wrong. It's about fairness. Everyone involved shares some blame. Everyone. And everyone involved will be damaged by it.

 

If there is any way to pass this scout, he should be passed. it's the only way to make the best of a very bad situation.

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I had 3 three scenarios in my head going into this last night as possible out comes of the board

  1. ​He declared himself an atheist - we would have denied advancement
  2. He was still unsure of his beliefs - we would have postponed his board to give him more time to think
  3. He declared himself a faithful believer in some faith - we would have granted advancement

In the end, he was somewhere between 2 and 3. Still unsure, but has a Protestant Christian background and that is influencing his beliefs, or maybe "want to believe" would be a better fit. He expressed a belief a "God" but was unsure what that meant, and wants to find something to believe in, and is actively searching. In the end he was granted advancement to Eagle. He was very well prepared for the board and handled it quite well.

 

I truly believe he is going through a rough time in his faith, and just trying to figure things out.

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Good job Click. I'm glad it worked out. I honestly didn't see a good scenario here but you probably found the best one.

 

Relevant trivia: one definition of the word Israel is to struggle with God.

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"He expressed a belief a "God" but was unsure what that meant, and wants to find something to believe in, and is actively searching"

Heck, that describes me most days, and I am on the far side of 60. I think the board made the right decision.

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So people who are without religion add nothing to our society?

 

I will say that's a fascinating - and revealing - mis-reading of what I wrote. Sort of typical of what one reads on the internet.

 

In case you've forgotten your High School English, a new paragraph does not necessarily refer directly to every aspect of previous paragraphs.

 

And while I respect what people around the world may be doing - and believe they can do whatever they want - the fact that they aren't here does not necessarily mean they are doing anything "better." The vast majority of Americans still identify themselves as religious. If a person doesn't want a program with any religion in it, there are plenty of choices other than Scouting. Change for change's sake is rarely a good idea.

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Click, me too! In case you encounter this in the future, a few years back (it might have been a week ago for all I know) there was a forum member who was Buddhist and openly atheist. There was not a single member of the forums who objected when he stated his personal belief in "the higher power of reason." And that one was as perfect a response as I could imagine.

 

As for:

Sort of typical of what one reads on the internet.

I say....helloooo....that computer you're staring at ain't connected to chopped liver..I hope.

(sorry I've been thinking about Prometheus lately)

 

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Several years ago the district chair questioned me about my religious beliefs:

 

Q Are you a church member?

 

A No.

 

Q Do you believe in God?

 

A Yes

 

Q Would you like to join my church?

 

A No.

 

 

 

'Nuff said, I'd say.

 

 

<>

 

 

Personally, I don;t think someone needs to declare that they are a "faithful" believer in some faith. Perhaps they have a variety of doubts about their faith. Seems like they are entitled to that.

 

I've heard Catholic's say that the Pope is entitled to have his doubts about God.

 

That seems honest and reasonable.

 

About the only thing likely to cause me to reject a Scout based on religion would be a boy who confidently declared that he was an atheist.

 

I'd avoid asking the question, myself.

 

I don;t see Scouting as a good place to re enact the Spanish Inquisition....

 

 

 

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Personally, I don;t think someone needs to declare that they are a "faithful" believer in some faith. Perhaps they have a variety of doubts about their faith. Seems like they are entitled to that.

 

I've heard Catholic's say that the Pope is entitled to have his doubts about God.

 

 

 

Blessed Mother Teresa struggled with doubt of her faith. I think from time to time we all question our own closely held beliefs about religion, politics, and other important topics. That's a healthy and normal thing for anybody. Pope or non- Pope.

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Qwaze---

 

Excellent point:

 

 

<< ~~That said, here are some things we ask in scoutmaster conferences, and maybe you want to be sure someone goes over with your scout this month ...

What is morality?

Where do your sense of morals come from?

Why would you want an award that affirms your "Duty to God"?

What to you think of other scouts' pursuit of religion?

How important is it to ensure another person's practice of religion as he/she sees fit?

Do you ever look at everything around you as some kind of miracle?

How important is it to you that the best explanation for all things excludes intervention from a higher power?

>>

 

 

 

This is an issue that should be discussed as part of Scouting over a period of years, not as a last exit "gotcha" question.

 

Helping boys think through the WIDE variety of things a "duty to God" might mean and the WIDE way such an idea can be satisfied in Scouting should help boys come up with a personally satisfying answer to such a question and issue.

 

Personally, I tended to avoid that kind of issue, but perhaps that was a mistake. Talking about it in no threatening ways and exploring the WIDE range of how that issue can be satisfied by BSA is something perhaps we should be more proactive in dealing with.

 

 

I will again repeat how I dealt with the issue when I was questioned about this issue by the District Chairman:

 

Q: Do you believe in God?

 

A Yes

 

Q Are you a church member?

 

A No.

 

Q Would you like to join my church?

 

A No.

 

 

Remember: "Be Prepared" is our motto for a reason!

 

Scouts should be prepared to discuss that issue in honest and reasonable ways. If they aren't they might make spontaneous comments that are poorly thought out and might cause them trouble.

 

So I suggest that as Scout Leaders perhaps we have a duty to help boys think through the issue of "Duty To God" so that they will be prepared to discuss it in a suitable way should they be asked about it.

 

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