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ItsBrian

New Requirement Question

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And a lot of boys in our troop (because of their reasons) are unchurched (untempled? unmosqued?). That's okay. I think main thrust of requiring this to be brought up at SMC's is to prevent a scout from being blind-sided by the question at the time of his EBoR. The goal is to ask how you work out your -- not my, nor his,  hers, nor anyone else's -- duty to God in everyday life.

 

I think that's right.

 

As for "untempled" etc., I usually just say I am "unaffiliated" but that only works if it is clear that I am speaking in a religious context.

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If this requirement causes one to be "concerned", then 1) they aren't living their faith or 2) they don't have a faith to live by in the first place.

 

Looking back over the previous discussion that qwasze linked to from two years ago, I think most of the "concern" over that requirement relates not to the words of the requirement itself, but that it will be misinterpreted by some Scouters. (Possibly including ItsBrian's SM, based on his post above.)  I see that another question (which to some may be a concern" is about singling out one specific part of the Scout Oath to be part of the Scout Spirit requirement for every rank.  For example, it doesn't require a Scout to tell how he has done his duty to his country for the Scout Spirit requirement for every rank - although there are citizenship requirements for at least First Class and Eagle.

 

Second of all, Stosh (since I see you "Lurking" there), I don't think it's your business to decide who does or doesn't have faith, or who is or isn't living by their faith.  

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I think that's right.

 

As for "untempled" etc., I usually just say I am "unaffiliated" but that only works if it is clear that I am speaking in a religious context.

I was playing on "unchurched" because is a term in Evangelifish (the language of Evangelicals) for people who affiliate with a religion/denomination but their involvement is so tenuous that their faith is necessarily built on other cultural influences. I have a funny feeling that the ItsBrian is, according to that definition, "churched", but I was referring to many scouts in our district who do fit that definition.

 

Should ItsBrian set some goals to better do his duty? Well, I should. So, what's good for the goose ...

 

But at the same time, I know my increased presence in a pew is not gonna help matters much. Setting up my hammock in a park and brewing espresso for some resident aliens, or walking through the wilderness with relatives whose faith is alien to me (or maybe that's the other way around), those are what I'd list if I had to give a report to my SM these days.

 

Some friends have come to the conclusion that their duty is making up for lost time with their family (one guy, due to his commitment to his profession, can't remember certain years of his kids' childhood ... he just wasn't home enough).

 

When my kids went out the door, I'd say "Have a nice time, talk to strangers."

Risky though that may be, Mrs. Q and I consider that very much to be part of our family's duty.

 

@@ItsBrian, from this side of the internet I have no way if knowing if you really "should do something." Your SM might be way off base, and there's a part of your life that you spend wrestling with the Almighty. In that case, you let him know what you are doing. Or he might be on to something. In that case let him know what one small thing you are starting to do.

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Second of all, Stosh (since I see you "Lurking" there), I don't think it's your business to decide who does or doesn't have faith, or who is or isn't living by their faith.  

 

Then that lets everyone off the hook for the requirement, doesn't it?  Obviously there has to be some sort of evaluation or judgment going on with this process or how in the world would anyone know whether or not the requirement was satisfied?  The reason I changed my profile name is because Lurking is becoming more and more the better option on this forum. 

 

And where did I say it was up to me to decide whether or not someone has faith.  I only pointed out a number of options one could consider that would satisfy the requirement.  Read what I wrote and take it at face value.  No need to look for some obscure meaning hidden in code.

 

There are many ways one may express their duty to God other than showing up for church.  Maybe it's just stepping in and protecting someone from a bully, or sitting quietly next to someone having a bad day, or thousands of other ways most people don't even think about.

 

Brian seemed to be kinda stuck on doing something "churchy" to get some sort of okay on the requirement.  One does not need to be doing churchy things to be faithful to one's calling in ministry. 

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Unfortunately, this discussion of a simple advancement question has now crossed the line into Issues and Politics, which is where it is about to be.  The only solace is that the actual advancement question asked by Brian (do the new requirements apply to me) has already been answered.

The discussion didn't cross any line. Maybe got a little silly, but it certainally didn't distract from the original context of the question.

 

And, a lot of folks don't venture in forums that aren't scout related. The question and answers are scout related and quite useful for anyone dealing with the same situation.

 

Barry

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The discussion didn't cross any line. Maybe got a little silly, but it certainally didn't distract from the original context of the question.

 

And, a lot of folks don't venture in forums that aren't scout related. The question and answers are scout related and quite useful for anyone dealing with the same situation.

 

Barry

Heavy handed moderators back at it again.

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Note... I am not saying I have no religion, is a atheist, etc.. I do have a religion, but I do not practice it often so to say.

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Note... I am not saying I have no religion, is a atheist, etc.. I do have a religion, but I do not practice it often so to say.

You're in good company. And from the posts above, I think you have some good examples of ways a boy like you might manage this.

 

So here's an example of what not to do:

 

Scout: I try to go to mass at X church whenever I can.

SM: So, how's father John? Still preaching?

Scout: Yep, just saw him the other week.

SM: Hmm, he sure bounced back from that pancreatic cancer!

 

Bottom line, in all of these conferences even when the conversation is on some other aspect of scouting (e.g., leadership, outdoor manners, participation, etc ..,,), focus on what you did ... Not on things you wish you'd done.

Edited by qwazse
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ItsBrian, I'm of the mind that judging someone's religious practice is problamatic at best for someone your age. Talking about it could be good or bad. Find someone you trust to talk. Just know that many people struggle with religion.

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Brian,

 

I think you just need to figure out what Duty to God means to you. 

 

I've had a lot of Scouts ask me this same question - what does it mean - and there is a presumption that it is easier for a Scout who goes to church on a regular basis to answer (Personally, I'm of the opinion that if the answer is "I attend church every Sunday", then this isn't really sufficient but I wouldn't hold a Scout back for it - too many people I think believe it's enough - now if they talk about volunteering with their church youth group, or working in the church food pantry, or served as an altar boy - or some thing a bit more active that sitting in a pew for an hour a week - that's an automatic win).

 

For my non-church going Scouts, I ask a bit about what does the Bible suggest man should be doing on earth - trying to get to things like serving their fellow man or being good stewards of the planet.  Those two alone are all you need to turn "I worked with the Nature Conservancy last weekend to remove buckthorn from one of their preserves" to fulfilling a duty to God by being a good steward on the land, or "I volunteer at a Soup Kitchen every Thursday night" to fulfilling a Duty to God by serving ones fellow man.

 

They key here though is to define what it means to you.  If it means sitting around on your butt all weekend playing HALO and you can somehow justify that in your mind, then as long as you believe it, that should be good enough for your Scoutmaster.

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They key here though is to define what it means to you.  If it means sitting around on your butt all weekend playing HALO and you can somehow justify that in your mind, then as long as you believe it, that should be good enough for your Scoutmaster.

Well, I think a SM hearing THAT response could conclude - not must conclude, but could conclude - that the Scout was not taking the question (and therefore the requirement) seriously.

 

Otherwise I agree with your post.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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I readily admit I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek with the Halo answer but I stand by the point behind it - that its up to each of us to decide what Duty to God means to us. 

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Back a few years, I served as a Chaplain at the 2005 Jamboree.  The Scouts could earn a "rocker" for their Jambo Patch by going to the Relationships Pavilion and talking to their faith's exhibit folks.  If they didn't have a "faith", they were supposed to speak to the "Chaplain on Duty"  at the front of the Pavilion. I did that duty more than once, and the stories I listened to were either very personal (" I'm not too sure about this God stuff") or were just matter of fact ("Are you the man I speak to for my rocker?" ).  They didn't have the same arrangement for the 2013 Jamboree, but I heard from my fellow Chaplains about some sit down and discuss sessions.

 

Duty to God?  Hey, what's God's duty to me? 

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Darn, not the answer I was hoping.

 

Thanks!

What's your problem? You are already a Life Scout. You don't need to re-earn your earlier ranks.  There are no changes in the Eagle Rank requirements. 

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First,

 

The hassle of having leaders sign off on the new requirements since you have to print them out. (I have the old book).

 

Second,

 

BSA is empathizing more on God and religion, but what about those who don’t go to church so often, etc. because of their reasons. (Please note I don’t mean to offend anyone)

You said that you were already a Life Scout.  You don't need to backfill your previous ranks.  There are only minor changes in the SMC.  

 

As a Scout, you've been promising to do your Duty to God.  This is just an extension of it.  If you don't go to church often, and you have valid reasons, share those with the SM.  

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