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ItsBrian

New Requirement Question

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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.

 

  

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.

 

It’s the hassle of carrying around a new piece of paper that can easily get misplaced, ruined, etc. Not only worrying about me, but what about others as well?

 

I’m ressponsible for my age, but doesn’t accidents don’t happen.

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It’s the hassle of carrying around a new piece of paper that can easily get misplaced, ruined, etc. Not only worrying about me, but what about others as well?

 

I’m ressponsible for my age, but doesn’t accidents don’t happen.

What does it really matter?  You only have one page, and the change in requirement is only in description, not the absolute requirement. It's the same number of requrirements as before.  There is no real need for you to have the extra piece of paper.  Get a copy of your Eagle Application for that.  The decision to change requirements was made in 2015.  2016 was the transition year, and 2017 required you to do the new requirements.

 

In term of the younger scouts, the best thing, IMHO, is to get a book like this:

http://www.scoutstuff.org/book-bs-requirements-2017.html#.We_Ag1WnFOg

 

IIRC, it has pages like the Scout Handbook.  

 

 

My real question for you is about your Duty to God.  What are you doing for your Duty to God?  

Edited by perdidochas

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What does it really matter?  You only have one page, and the change in requirement is only in description, not the absolute requirement. It's the same number of requrirements as before.  There is no real need for you to have the extra piece of paper.  Get a copy of your Eagle Application for that.  The decision to change requirements was made in 2015.  2016 was the transition year, and 2017 required you to do the new requirements.

 

In term of the younger scouts, the best thing, IMHO, is to get a book like this:

http://www.scoutstuff.org/book-bs-requirements-2017.html#.We_Ag1WnFOg

 

IIRC, it has pages like the Scout Handbook.  

 

 

My real question for you is about your Duty to God.  What are you doing for your Duty to God?  

 

I am assuming councils want the updated paper, as the words are reworded a little.

 

I do not have a duty to God, I respect God, I put my head down during a quick benediction after each meeting, but I simply don't practice a religion. But, I was born as as a Christian. 

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I am assuming councils want the updated paper, as the words are reworded a little.

 

I do not have a duty to God, I respect God, I put my head down during a quick benediction after each meeting, but I simply don't practice a religion. But, I was born as as a Christian. 

No offense, but you need to resign Boy Scouts today.

 

You've been making the promise below since you started BSA, which is at least 2 years ago if you are a Life Scout.

 

On my honor I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my country

And to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong,

mentally awake, and morally straight.

 

Now, I realize why the new requirements make you nervous.  

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Whoa, can we please NOT be telling a Scout that he needs to quit Scouting?  Especially when it is based on one comment that the Scout makes.

 

Brian, I would suggest to you that your definition of "duty to God" does not seem to be the same as the BSA's definition, and that based on your posts in this forum, under the BSA's definition you most likely ARE doing your "duty to God" even though you may think otherwise.  You seem to believe that in order to do one's "duty to God", one must actively practice a religion and attend worship services.  That is not the case.  I am not going to ask you what you believe or how you live your life, but I will suggest this:  If a person believes in any higher power, AND believes that people are morally obligated to treat other people, as well as nature (which all add up to "God's creation"), with respect, AND does their best to do so, and to live up to the ideals of the Scout Law, and overall is a "good person" who does not intentionally cause harm to others, then by the BSA's standards, they are doing their "duty to God" even if they never see the inside of a house of worship or affiliate with any particular religious organization.  If this describes you, then you can honestly recite the Scout Oath with its pledge to do your "duty to God."  I would also suggest that the above description, if it is true of you, SHOULD be enough for your Scoutmaster - in your own words, of course.  The advancement requirement is that you "Tell how you have done your duty to God."  I have just told you how some people have done their "duty to God" to the satisfaction of the BSA, without fulfilling the traditional definition of being "religious."  I hope it helps.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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@@ItsBrian, remember what I told you earlier about avoiding listing what you don't do? Focus on what you do. ;)

 

I will try not to be as harsh as @@perdidochas, but also go a little bit beyond the "BSA line" that NJ lays out.

 

You do need to ask yourself if you're choice do be a nominal Christian is really how you want to reckon with your maker.

 

Lots of scouts at this age are trying to decide if they want to commit themselves to their parent's religion. For some of those, duty to God might be to stop "going through the motions" for others it might be to attend service is out of respect for your family, but let them know they aren't sure that God is really being honored here. We try to be supportive of both types of scout, but we also want to challenge them a little.

 

Our duty to God, ultimately, is to center ourselves where we think he is. If you think He* is more in your circle of scouts during that benediction, your duty is to figure out if that's the only place that you should be giving respect, or if you need to start a few steps on a very long spiritual journey. From a scouting perspective, it's okay to say you're trying to honor the almighty where you think due reverence is being given, and that's it. It's not okay to say you will from here on out make zero effort to know the unfathomable.

 

I was recently on the road to camp with a muslim friend early in the morning. He asked me to pull over for sunrise prayer. So, I pulled over in a decent location, got a blanket out of the car, lined it up and knelt beside him while he did his requisite movements. I prayed in one way, he prayed another, we figured it out. It would have been simply insulting if I tried to imitate him for his sake, but it would have been foolish of me to miss an opportunity to perform my own devotions as I was taught.

 

So, you feel like you're in an odd spot because we are in a culture that likes to sweep this stuff under the rug. This is reinforced by our system of public education. In contrast we as scouters prefer to let iron sharpen iron and talk about this stuff with one another.

 

Later that day, my buddy and I were hiking with a scout dad who you might relate to. The guy finds God in nature. In religion, not so much. The three of us talked through each of our perspectives, and discussed how from our respective backgrounds we could relate to one another.

 

We're scouts. This is what we do.

 

*I use male pronouns out of convention. There are some who worry about that being politically incorrect. I'm pretty sure any deity worth their salt would be just as offended by feeble attempts to fiddle with language to delude ourselves into thinking we've risen above ancient cultural biases and now properly understand divine identity.

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I suggest you talk to your SM or a trusted adult and perhaps a religious priest/minister/rabbi (whatever applies in your family tradition) as you sort out your feelings. I have had many of these discussions in scouting myself...it is a personal matter that is more complicated for some folks than others.

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I do not have a duty to God, I respect God, I put my head down during a quick benediction after each meeting, but I simply don't practice a religion.

I would have said nearly the same thing as you did when I was your age. My guess is that's the same sentiment as most people today. Once upon a time I had family members and religious leaders judge me by that type of comment and they did a mighty good job of pushing me further from their point of view. It took me a long time to get back to something I was comfortable with. So I'm not here to judge you. More like play a game.

 

What does God mean to you? If all you can come up with is the all powerful guy with a beard, in a robe then let's try something different. First of all, God is not a name. A god is an all powerful, immortal something or other and God is just the one god Western religions talk about. There's a point in the Bible where Moses asks God what He should be called and his response was a riddle. It might seem odd but long ago names were very important. Your name defined who you were and what you'd be. I'm not sure but maybe figuring out the riddle was to help one figure out what God means to them. If you're interested in the riddle just ask.

 

But rather than figure out the riddle, let's play a game. In your statement above there are four ideas. Duty toward, respect of, prayer for, and practice centered around - God. Just for fun, let's replace God with different things and see what happens. First of all, how about a lump of gold (and you're welcome to shape it like a calf if, but nothing changes). Then, your comment would be: I do not have a duty to gold, I respect gold, I put my head down during a quick benediction after each meeting, but I simply don't practice a religion. Or, you have no duty towards gold, you do respect it and pray for it, but no practice of making it a religion. Praying for gold would be considered very shallow so the fact this doesn't really work is fine. :)

 

Okay, let's try something a bit deeper. Religion has a lot to do with community so how about replace God with "my community." I do not have a duty to my community, I respect my community, I put my head down during a quick benediction after each meeting, but I simply don't practice a religion. You respect your community (that's good) but you don't have a duty to your community (not so good). You will pray for your community. You will not make your community part of your religion. This is a big step up from gold. Still, no duty to your community is a problem. Maybe not making a religion out of your community is a good thing.

 

let's go bigger. Instead of community how about replacing God with mankind? I do not have a duty to mankind, I respect mankind, I put my head down during a quick benediction after each meeting, but I simply don't practice a religion. You respect mankind but you have no duty towards it? Sounds odd. You pray for mankind but see no point in making it into a religion. Another contradiction.

 

Certainly it's a silly game but maybe it's not a bad place to start.

 

Good luck.

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First:  The Boy Scouts of America does NOT define what "Duty to God" actually means.  They leave that up to each individual Scout.  The BSA only states that in order to advance, you must believe in God (or any other higher power) and that you are Reverent.

 

Brian - I guess you missed my earlier post.  Maybe I need to be clearer.  NO ONE CAN DEFINE WHAT DUTY TO GO MEANS TO YOU.  I'm going to tell you a secret - it's really not a secret but no one wants to tell folks this.  God doesn't care if you go to church or not.  In fact, it was God, speaking through Jesus, as told by Matthew (6:6) who said that when you pray, go in to your room and shut the door to pray to him in private. 

 

Heck, if a Scout answered that question from me with "Matthew 6:6 clearly states that worship should be done in private and what God and I discuss is none of your concern, I'd accept it in a heartbeat.

 

But as I said in my earlier post - don't limit yourself to church going or church activities.  Think about the things you do everyday.  I dare say that if you follow the Scout Law in your everyday life - if you are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent then guess what - you're doing you Duty to God - because those are the things that God values.

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First:  The Boy Scouts of America does NOT define what "Duty to God" actually means.  They leave that up to each individual Scout.  The BSA only states that in order to advance, you must believe in God (or any other higher power) and that you are Reverent.

 

Brian - I guess you missed my earlier post.  Maybe I need to be clearer.  NO ONE CAN DEFINE WHAT DUTY TO GO MEANS TO YOU.  I'm going to tell you a secret - it's really not a secret but no one wants to tell folks this.  God doesn't care if you go to church or not.  In fact, it was God, speaking through Jesus, as told by Matthew (6:6) who said that when you pray, go in to your room and shut the door to pray to him in private. 

 

Heck, if a Scout answered that question from me with "Matthew 6:6 clearly states that worship should be done in private and what God and I discuss is none of your concern, I'd accept it in a heartbeat.

 

But as I said in my earlier post - don't limit yourself to church going or church activities.  Think about the things you do everyday.  I dare say that if you follow the Scout Law in your everyday life - if you are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent then guess what - you're doing you Duty to God - because those are the things that God values.

I appreciate everything you have said - I plan on using "follow the Scout Law in your everyday life - if you are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean - you're doing your Duty to God"... 

 

Thanks to all posts above, but I won't be having a outcome anytime soon... my SM wants me to complete my last 2 merit badges before we discuss it again.

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I do not have a duty to God, I respect God, I put my head down during a quick benediction after each meeting, but I simply don't practice a religion. But, I was born as as a Christian.

I remember a conversation I had with a minister some years ago about the phrase "duty to God" (it was not in a scouting context). A Duty is a "commitment or obligation to someone or something". This minister explained that he didn't owe any obligation or commitment to God, just one to himself and his fellow man. God gives us a moral direction, but the obligation to follow that moral direction is to ourselves and our fellow man, not to him.

 

Now not every minister or faith would agree with him, but it is one way of looking at things. And how does that relate to the line "To do my duty to God and my country"? Well if you really believe that you do not owe a "duty" to your God, then there isn't anything you need to do to fulfill that duty.

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I remember a conversation I had with a minister some years ago about the phrase "duty to God" (it was not in a scouting context). A Duty is a "commitment or obligation to someone or something". This minister explained that he didn't owe any obligation or commitment to God, just one to himself and his fellow man. God gives us a moral direction, but the obligation to follow that moral direction is to ourselves and our fellow man, not to him.

 

Now not every minister or faith would agree with him, but it is one way of looking at things. And how does that relate to the line "To do my duty to God and my country"? Well if you really believe that you do not owe a "duty" to your God, then there isn't anything you need to do to fulfill that duty.

I never said I don't believe owe a "duty" to my God, I just don't practice it. My whole entire family has a religion (myself included), but we just do not go to church weekly, pray as much as we should, etc, read bible, etc. 

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I never said I don't believe owe a "duty" to my God, I just don't practice it. My whole entire family has a religion (myself included), but we just do not go to church weekly, pray as much as we should, etc, read bible, etc.

 

... again with the "do not do's" ... I was once taught to think of it this way:

There was this guy beat up and naked on the side of the road. Plenty of folks with lots of religious practice passed the guy by on the way to temple. Then along comes this other guy who may or may not have done much in terms of religion, and if he did, it was on the wrong mountain. He does first aid on the guy, covers him in his own Armani jacket, takes him to the ER, and -- not willing to trifle with figuring insurance for this John Doe -- gives the hospital his black AmEx card to cover all expenses and promising he'll be back to make sure the guy got top-noch health care.

So who fulfilled their duty to God?

 

Sometimes what people tell you about what you should do has little to do with what God says you must do.

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I never said I don't believe owe a "duty" to my God, I just don't practice it. My whole entire family has a religion (myself included), but we just do not go to church weekly, pray as much as we should, etc, read bible, etc. 

Actually, that's exactly what you wrote: "I do not have a duty to God, "

 

So, what are you going to do to make yourself a better Scout and start doing your "duty to God" as you've been promising for years.  

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