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John-in-KC

Get Ready For New Requirements In Faith

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So why don't you like the Shinto scout?? To be honest, I never heard of Shinto and so had to look it up and BSA's view to it from all I see, BSA is OK with it, so why aren't you?

 

 

My point is BSA through their religious declaration is saying that anyone who does not believe in "God". Shinto is the belief in a natural power but not specifically God. Ergo, any religion that does not specifically believe in God is arguably in violation of BSA's stated policy.

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I also bet a large number of people also don't realize that the DRP they are agreeing to subscribe too isn't even printed on the form (an excerpt is).

 

Rick, as I mentioned earlier, the new adult apps have the DRP and a special place where you have to initial as a way to express your understanding and acceptance of it.

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Nah...  I think God is not as concrete to BSA as you are thinking it is.. Take this in the Q & A I pulled from this link : http://www.bsa-discrimination.org/html/bsa-god_policy.html

 

 

Q. How does the BSA define religion?

The BSA does not interpret God or religion. That is the role of the Scout's family and religious leaders.

Q. What religions are involved with Scouting?

Virtually every religion is represented in the BSA.

Q. Some people maintain that God is a tree, a rock or a stream. Would a person believing such be eligible to be a member of Scouting?

The BSA does not seek to interpret God or religion. The Scout Oath states a requirement for a Scout to observe a duty to God, and the Scout Law requires a Scout to be reverent. Again, interpretation is the responsibility of the Scout, his parents and religious leaders.

 

 

If a tree, a rock or a stream can be interpreted by people to be God, then why not natural power..?  From what I see BSA has no problem with Shinto..

 

I know this was not the exact quote I was looking for earlier in which someone said a person could state that they believed a rock to be their idea of a higher power.. But, put differently this is also stating that BSA is fine if you want to say that a rock is what you consider to be a higher power.. And it is not from a newspaper article, I am sure the quote I was looking for was something official also..

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Rick, as I mentioned earlier, the new adult apps have the DRP and a special place where you have to initial as a way to express your understanding and acceptance of it.

 

Yuck, that will be messy... How many times have I taken an Adult App and then later had to chase down the person because I forgot to check if they signed the place that was on the back of one of the pages rather then on the front... Oh, about half the amount of times I have taken Adult apps... This will be another thing I will forget and have to chase down people for..

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All good points, thank you. Still I am curious, would you please ask you friend his opinion of god in scouting and if he has ever referenced the subject to a scout. 

 

Around here religion is part of life and not a scary thing. Not even to atheist parents, of which we have had several. I have worked with scouts of many religions including Wicca, but again it wasn't a problem because it is personal to the scout and his family. We only need to mention that spirituality is part of the oath and law and let them figure it out.

 

Barry

 

I'm curious are you Christian? Just because someone doesn't articulate they have an issue doesn't mean they don't.

 

I am not Christian, my son has no idea what he is yet, I have yet to attend a Scouts Own or any other Scouting event with a religious component where I live that was not Christian. Christian as in "Dear GOD...In Jesus name we pray amen" Now I could make a stink about it but to what purpose as the most likely outcome is me and my son being treated "differently" in some way.

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If a tree, a rock or a stream can be interpreted by people to be God, then why not natural power..?  From what I see BSA has no problem with Shinto..

 

 

Then any adult seeking to ambush a kid with the "Do you believe in God" question is a pratt UNLESS they eliminate the word "God" and substitute it with "higher power" or something. If they didn't mean "God" they wouldn't use the word, would they? But like much with BSA, the right hand has no clue what the left is doing. Hence why I said I would be in any BOR if I thought I had an adult waiting to ambush a Scout with such a silly question.

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As for Shinto, the Source Of All Knowledge (most of it correct) describes Shinto as involving the worship of multiple "kami", which translates into English as "gods", "spirits" or "essences".  

 

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinto   

 

Sounds to me like Shinto checks the box.

 

On a broader note, we have had many discussions in this forum as to whether various religions (usually Buddhism) qualify as a "belief in God."  Whatever the theological implications, as far as the BSA is concerned, belief in any of these religions (or philosophies or whatever one chooses to call them) seems to qualify as a belief in God.  (And some of the BSA's pronouncements refer to "God or a higher power", or maybe it's "or a Supreme Being:, or maybe it's different at different times.)  

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I'm curious are you Christian? Just because someone doesn't articulate they have an issue doesn't mean they don't.

 

Agreed, that is why scouts should be pointed to their parent's for guidance. And if the parents don't have a direction, the scout should be asked to be open minded during his experiences in scouts. 

 

Yes, I am a Christian.

 

Barry

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I am not Christian, my son has no idea what he is yet, I have yet to attend a Scouts Own or any other Scouting event with a religious component where I live that was not Christian. Christian as in "Dear GOD...In Jesus name we pray amen" Now I could make a stink about it but to what purpose as the most likely outcome is me and my son being treated "differently" in some way.

A Jewish mother approached me during my first year as a Cub master and told me her family felt left out of our the unit prayers because they typically ended with In Jesus Name We Pray. So to be respectful we asked the persons saying the prayer leave that part out. 

 

When I was SM, the Scouts did all the praying and I reminded them of that experience, so they also tried to be respectful. But from experience, it is hard to change a habit, so it slips out now and then. 

 

It is up to you, but who knows, maybe the response will be what you would consider reverent.

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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"Tell me are you a Christian, child?

And I said, 'ma'am I am...tonight.

Walking in Memphis..."

 

Marc Cohn

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Mozart - perhaps why our board just asks the scout to explain the 12th point of the law which is "Reverent", not "God"...  I think the head of our board more often uses "Higher power" himself whenever I have heard him speak of it, and it probably would be a good thing for Scout Leaders to try to adapt to.

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To me, it's simple.  The words are duty to God; not duty to a higher power.  I won't have any problems in a BOR.  That's simple, too.  I'll do my best.  I won't spend my time worrying about what somebody else somewhere might do when they sit on a BOR. 

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We had Shinto kids in my troop when I was a Scout - five or six. Sons of Marines.  Moms ruled in matters religious.  They have multiple gods, including Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess and Goddess of the Universe, also direct lineal ancestor of the God Emperor.

 

The Buddhists explained to me, as I have related here, that they did not join in "non-denominational" prayers because "There is no one to pray to."  They were respectful since that was the Buddhist way.

 

We had two Jains at NYLT last summer. Ditto,  No god to pray to.  The Universe was not created.  It has always been and will always be.

 

Three years ago, we had a Hindu at NYLT whose branch of Hinduism does not believe in a creator deity or any other gods.

 

All BSA-accepted religions.

 

Why worry about what this all means when BSA has made no clear statement on the subject without contradictory statements or actions?  This is a matter for very local behavior until I actually see otherwise.  Our Advancement Committee has told us that nothing has changed.  If the BSA Inquisition shows up in NE Ohio, I will worry.

Edited by TAHAWK

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All BSA-accepted religions.

 

BSA has a list of accepted religions?

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More than once, in my role as a Chaplain, or Commisher, or Trainer, I have had to disbuse a willing Scouter of the idea that the BSA is a quote Christian organization unquote. 

That is where this new "requirement" will get into trouble, with the implication that the SM , in his Conference, needs to "pass" the Scout in his Faith.   As I wrote waaay earlier,  this requirement ONLY can be to LISTEN to the Scout explain how he does or doesn't do it (Duty to God). 

Like the previous writer espoused,  we only need to worry if the BSA inquisition shows up.

 

And , yes, the BSA does have a list of "recognized" faiths. Not "official" religions.  These are the ones that have a religious award the Scout may earn.

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