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Get Ready For New Requirements In Faith

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BSA has a list of accepted religions?

 

My wording was unfortunate.

 

The BSA publishes a "Calendar of Religious Dates."  You can see it here: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Media/Relationships/ReligiousCalendar.aspx

 

It includes holidays of religions, including atheistic and polytheistic religions, who are allowed to register Scouting units and whose religious awards are recognized by BSA.

 

There is a National Buddhist Committee on Scouting

 

The function of the National Buddhist Committee on Scouting is fulfilled for Jains by The Federation of Jain Associations.... http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.jaina.org/resource/resmgr/scouting/jaina_fact_sheet.pdf

 

"Official Approval for the Jain Religion Emblem Awards Program given verbally by Sub-Committee Chair Mr. Wray Johaninning on July 25th, 2011 with a double check pending from Mr. Chip Turner,Chair."):

 

The Jain Scout Gold Medal: This award recognizes a Jain individual who has given an exceptional service in the use and promotion of local Scouting programs. Three years of service is minimum requirement.

The Jain Scout Samaritan Medal: This award recognizes, children, youth, and young adults who serve others through outreach and humanitarian assistance. Recipients must be between the ages of 6-30.
 
The Jain Center Recognition Medal: This medal honor Jain centers or Jain societies that provide outstanding promotion and support to their local communities.
 
Boy's Life said: "One of the most recent programs to receive official BSA approval is the Jain Community of North America. Jainism is an Indian religion that focuses on healthy living through practices such as vegetarianism, yoga, meditation and environmentalism."
 

Here  http://www. scouting.org/filestore/membership/pdf/522-109.pdf  are steps to organize a Jain unit in BSA.

 

 

Here  is the BSA giving contact information for religions, including atheistic religions.  http://www.scouting.org/Home/Membership/Charter_Orgs/Religious.aspx

 

 

There was a lengthy thread at Bryan's place that was characterized by individuals assuming the right to speak for the BSA and by persons taking BSA statements out of context by ignoring contradictory statements and contradictory behavior. 

 

 

Again, I am waiting to see what really happens, not what is published on occasion without reference to the contradictory statements and behavior.  

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Well, I just posted the above entry, tried to add something, and I get the message "you do not have permission for this action".   

Here goes....

I wanted to note that the religious awards are from the faith, not the BSA. 

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@@TAHAWK, so do you think that BSA -- in their religious statement in their bylaws -- by saying "God" is including polytheist religions? To me that's their way of making the point that there's one God; the one followed by Judeo-Christians and Muslims. Unless, of course, BSA defines "God" elsewhere.

 

It would be so unlike BSA to leave things vague and complicated. ;)

Edited by Mozartbrau

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I'm thinking that BSA leaves the issue vague and undefined because of the diversity of religious traditions.  Defining God/god is a thinking/thought process, whereas faith is a non-logical issue of the "heart".  Kinda hard to mix the two with any kind of continuity. What we therefore see in this world is only the thinking/though processes acted out in tradition which are only a reflection of what one actually believes.  Everyone has a belief system, out of that there are those who have religious traditions they adhere to and others who refuse to have traditions.

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BSA has a list of accepted religions?

 

By definition having a religious belief is "a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny;"   and has nothing to do with considering yourself a member of an organized religion.. But, that is where I think some well meaning Scouters will trip up..  You can have a very personal religious belief where your superior being conforms to no beliefs of an organized religion.. Religion of Moosetracker, party of one...   The religion of the rock, the religion of the tree, the religion of the streetlamp..  Seriously my sons belief which mixes Greek mythology and nature, the religion of Moose (son of Moosetracker)..

 

You will never get a religious award for your personally crafted religion, but your beliefs are acceptable to BSA..

 

How many Scouters will get this wrong?  How many parents will look at the cubscouts rank requirements and think they don't fit in because they do not believe in or belong to an organized religion.. They may even ask for advice, and get the wrong answer from a Scouter who erroneously believes you have to have to choose your religious beliefs from the belief system of some established religion (or it has to be from a Christian religion, or at least a religion who has a physical God)..

 

 

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. 

 

Here is someone who is having a hard time expanding their concept of what is acceptable religious belief..

 

I believe Mozart's fear of this change is not only a fear of other Scouters abusing scouts with these changes, but his own confusion about what BSA will consider acceptable..

 

Sure I can come up with stories of definite abuses.. Someone who was a well known forum member here, got booted out of scouting by members in his district for not being Christian even though he did have a belief, (I think it might have been Wiccan).. I think he went further up the chain and all sided with his district..  This has happened before the change, and will continue to happen.. I don't know if this change will increase this type of abuse or not..

 

More, I see a lot of people being confused by what would be considered an acceptable religious belief..  How many would consider my son's valid?.. How many will accept the religion of the rock.. When I stated I was looking for a statement that said BSA would be fine with the religion of the rock even NJScouter found it difficult to believe anyone in BSA would say something like that.

I am pretty certain that the statement you are looking for has never been made in any official BSA publication or document. The statement you are talking about was made by a BSA spokesman, either in an interview with a newspaper reporter that was published in a newspaper article (in which case, who knows whether it was accurately quoted), or in a press release.

 

 

Ok, I will not call us abby-normal, but I do think those on the forum having spent a lot of time discussion to the nth degree lots of stuff, I would say we are more informed then most scouters.. Here are six pages of post that say how confused we are about this subject.. Imagine the less informed scouter broaching this subject.. (Hopefully I have stated this in a way that is acceptable to Eagledad, in proving confusion there will be confusion of the masses, and not the one dark horse example..

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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

 

Well this is scouts so it's not about me and my son isn't sure what to believe now so it hasn't been a problem for him, I've asked. It doesn't really offend me, honestly I'm not sure how I feel about it. I was raised around here and grew up Southern Baptist so nothing they are doing is new to me. Also being we are in Boy Scouts, I would never say something to a scout that would make him feel uncomfortable about his religion, at least I wouldn't do it on purpose. 

 

The only time I was offended about it was at a summer camp closing where the program was designed such that it felt like they were requiring attendance at a Scout's Own.

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To me, it's simple.  The words are duty to God; not duty to a higher power. 

 

What does that mean exactly?

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Moose,  You are partially correct i that more well defined religious traditions seem to get preference by the rank and file Scouters.  But that is not what BSA is working towards and that's the fault of the Scouters, not the BSA.  "Organized Religion" (certain code of religious traditions) is not the ultimate goal of one's faith life.  I know for certain that every one who calls themselves a certain religion does not support the traditions of that organization 100%.  I think when it comes to scouting people feel they need to associate with some of the more well known traditional forms.

 

So, who's left holding the bag with this whole process?  Scouters! and who's the least qualified to do that?  Scouters!  Do we see a train wreck coming down the tracks?

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What does that mean exactly?

 

It means that the word God and Supreme Being are not the same, even though the universal definition of Supreme Being is God.  :)

 

Unlike some religious traditions the three main traditions do not have a name for God, (Christian, Judaism, and Islam).  Some like the pantheons of Greece, Rome and the Scandinavian countries actually had names for their gods)  Just different traditions.  The traditions need to be consistently pointed out to make sure everyone's religious traditions remain different.

 

After all these are traditions, it's the way we have always done things and just because we can't remember what the traditions is meant to do is totally irrelevant.

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I'm thinking that BSA leaves the issue vague and undefined because of the diversity of religious traditions.  Defining God/god is a thinking/thought process, whereas faith is a non-logical issue of the "heart".  Kinda hard to mix the two with any kind of continuity. What we therefore see in this world is only the thinking/though processes acted out in tradition which are only a reflection of what one actually believes.  Everyone has a belief system, out of that there are those who have religious traditions they adhere to and others who refuse to have traditions.

Agreed. But using the word "God" is pretty specific. They did not say "higher power". They did not say "belief system". God was used for a reason.

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By the way, I don't get all that worked up about the different traditions, because after all that's all they are: different traditions.

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n.
1. God
a. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.
b. The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.
2. A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality.
3. An image of a supernatural being; an idol.
4. One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed: Money was their god.
[Middle English, from Old English; see gheu(É™)- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.   

 

I find it difficult to separate a word from its meaning and continue to make sense out of it.

 

I am a pilot.  Okay is that a pilot of an airplane or a pilot of a river boat?  Without definition or context the word is useless.  Using God out of context of its definition is just as useless.  Every time a person uses a word, the listener's mental reaction is to put it into definition and context so as to understand.  Not everyone jumps to the same conclusions and/or definitions.  When that happens all we have left to contend with is the confusion that results.

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Well as I said at the beginning, these proposed requirements is just a numbers thing for National to shore up their conservative base.

 

Self-serving leaders who push their personal beliefs on scouts are going to do it anyways, this requirement isn't going to change that fear very much. I live in a very conservative and religious part of the country and most of the scouters here take respecting a scouts personal religion experience very seriously. If you know of a situation of an adult behaving badly, that is anomaly to the general trend of scouters. 

 

I don't understand the attempt to pigean hole National in to committing themselves to the Judeo-Christian God, that is a leap. While I think National is trying to hold support with the conservative, it would be silly and really bad business to burn all the other bridges. They are not that shallow minded.

 

However, for those who want to go on that rabbit trail, I'm curious to what you are going to do about it.

 

Barry

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n.
1. God
a. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.
b. The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.
2. A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality.
3. An image of a supernatural being; an idol.
4. One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed: Money was their god.
[Middle English, from Old English; see gheu(É™)- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.   

 

 

Most of this is for little "g" god and not big "G" God. We all know that BSA assumes the latter. Do we really think BSA means something other than the Judeo-Christian-Muslim definition?

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"Most of this is for little "g" god and not big "G" God. We all know that BSA assumes the latter. Do we really think BSA means something other than the Judeo-Christian-Muslim definition?"  

 

Yes, I actually do, if we are speaking of the group, rather than specific individuals.  Making brash assumptions is rarely a good thing.  While every scouter and scout will attach their own idea as to what this all means, it is the large G, but defined by the family and individual.  Getting bogged down with narrow definitions and personal experiences that are/were uncomfortable deflects the more general and purposely vague intent.

 

The basic fine print after Reverent is pretty simple; He is reverent towards God, and respects the religious convictions of others."  Putting our own "G" idea is the likely basic intent of this, while respecting others' personal perspectives is the standard of expectation.  The real trouble is that when it comes to personal belief systems, too many of us cannot get past the suspicion generated by our own lack of understanding and/or standards within our own "greater" dogma and its tenets.  It surely is harder when part of that core faith may direct you to "save" others.  

 

So, the challenge is and will continue to be getting beyond ourselves and simply encouraging the scout in the SMC to explore "his" familiar beliefs and possibly  reach beyond in a personal quest for clarity and comfort with his spiritual self.  Part of that challenge is going to be how to fabricate this discussion while "respecting the convictions of others".  My own approach is to nudge them very generally and only go as far as that nudge leads, following their response.  Deeper discussion is never part of a SMC, but rather something generated by the scout or scouts, or even scouters and parents in some other setting, often a campfire or on a rock looking at a vista.

 

We also need to be observant of interactions within the unit that may suggest bullying or coerciveness by other leaders or scouts that may arise, and be willing to address it should it happen.  Listen and watch; learn to temper our responses; guide; allow the scouts to grow in their own framework.   

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