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Terasec

use of the word "Lord" in scouting?

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There ya go.   A non-topic Topic, if I ever saw one.

Personally, I need all the blessing I can get, I do not differentiate from whence they come. 😊

Some years ago, I  was moved to seek and was approved as a Scout Chaplain to the Nat Jam in 2005. The title stuck, and I have been trying to explain Scout religiosity ever since.

I find that if one does not come across as "my way is the only possible way", people can get along nicely.  Every faith I have come across has somewhere in it's precepts the idea that THIS is the best way to the godhead. And it seems to be true for those people.  As the carney barker says, ya pays yer money and ya takes yer cherce.   

Our faith is dependent on three things:  First,  Our upbringing, who our parents/family (if we had any to claim) were, what they taught and espoused and exampled ((I tell new parents it is their DUTY and RESPONSIBILTY to give their kids something to either claim as their own or reject outright)) .  After that, second, our own experience and search, should we do any....  and third, our revelationary experience, our "vision" or "voice" or metaphoric "tap on the shoulder".  By these three things , our faith is formed.  Duty to God?  If there is one.... or many?...

When I got hip high deep into Scouting, I offered my experience to the IOLS leader in our District. We are good friends now.  I soon realized, IOLS had NO discussion included about "Reverent", so I offered to do one, and have been for the last, (?) ten years.   Here is the outline I now hand out.  I have had good comments from my Christian, Jewish and Islamic Scouters.  

https://www.dropbox.com/s/76zk9ri7glgu9gt/ScoutsOwnDutytoGod.docx?dl=0 

Here we are in the best, possibly the most successful democracy humanity has created, and we pray about a "King of Kings". Is there any irony in that?  Lord?  lower case lord?  father?  Mother?   

See you on the trail. 

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As someone posted earlier - "Lord" is almost distinctly Christian (or maybe I should say has Christian connotations) and, of course, "father" assumes a male deity. 

I have translated the Philmont Grace into a few Northern New England native languages - replace "Lord" with "Creator" , get rid of the Judaeo-Christian "Amen" and replace it with "thus may it be" (yes, I know that's essentially the meaning of "Amen", but it's not religio-specific), and it becomes much more generic.

It's not a matter of trying to be PC, but rather trying not to be slanted toward a specific religious group/belief. On a related note, I have never seen a "non-denominational"  Scouts-Own service that is not geared specifically towards a Christian audience. Just for the heck of it, I had done one one time that used readings, lessons, etc. from some of the world's lesser known religions; absolutely no reference to Christianity, Judaism, or Islam at all. Kind of interesting.  

 

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7 hours ago, Terasec said:

as a catholic "Lord" has a very specific meaning referring to Jesus

curious as to how other religions view the term "Lord"

do other religions use the term "Lord" ? what does it mean to them?

In Judaism there are many terms for God (which is also not a proper name). Lord is just one of them. Father, King, Adonai, Elohim, Elohai, Adon Olam, Hashem, .....I don't know how many there are. Also, Adon is Hebrew for Lord, Adoni is my Lord, and Adonai is literally translated as my Lords. If you're getting confused as to why the plural of God is used then good for you. However, it's treated as God. There's a famous prayer/song that uses the words Avinu Malkeinu, which translates to Our Father, Our King. Two words, same God, but different views. Father is someone that looks out for their children while a King just makes decisions and, in this case, some people live and some don't. It's an intentional paradox.

But to get back to your intent, the use of Lord does not bother me at all because I use it all the time. However, since you asked, let me try to politely explain what does bother me. It's the phrase "in your/his name" at the end of a scout prayer. I only hear something similar at Christian services and my understanding is it's similar to saying amen. So, when I hear it at scouts it sounds as if someone wants to end their prayer as they usually do but figure if they just drop the word Jesus then it will sound right to everyone else. To me, it doesn't.

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On 12/11/2018 at 2:28 PM, MattR said:

It's the phrase "in your/his name" at the end of a scout prayer. I only hear something similar at Christian services and my understanding is it's similar to saying amen. So, when I hear it at scouts it sounds as if someone wants to end their prayer as they usually do but figure if they just drop the word Jesus then it will sound right to everyone else. To me, it doesn't.

As a Christian, I completely agree with this. "In Your Name" or "In His Name" are common ways Christians end prayers and it means exactly the same thing as "In Jesus' Name." IMO, it is a Christian prayer ending. If anybody else ever uses it, I have never run across it. It is specifically a reference to part of the New Testament aka Christian Bible and as far as I know definitely doesn't fit with the non-sectarian aim of a group Scouting prayer. 

In our Pack we have Christians, Jews, and a "reverent agnostic" for lack of a better way to describe it. I would shy away from using phrases coined by any organized religion, including this one. 

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13 hours ago, Liz said:

In our Pack we have Christians, Jews, and a "reverent agnostic" for lack of a better way to describe it. I would shy away from using phrases coined by any organized religion, including this one. 

I think you are missing a wonderful opportunity.  Rather than sanitizing all Grace's why not let your Scouts offer their own prayers, in their own ways, then use the opportunity to discuss differences and similarities?  We do the scouts a disservice by using vanilla prayers in an attempt not to offend rather than allowing scouts to express themselves and teach actual diversity.

 

 

 

Edited by walk in the woods
Changed Scots to scouts, not that they couldn't be Scots

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2 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

I think you are missing a wonderful opportunity.  Rather than sanitizing all Grace's why not let your Scouts offer their own prayers, in their own ways, then use the opportunity to discuss differences and similarities?  We do the scouts a disservice by using vanilla prayers in an attempt not to offend rather than allowing scouts to express themselves and teach actual diversity.

 

 

 

This is our policy, which has worked very well. It goes along with qwazse’s suggestion.

Barry.

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10 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

I think you are missing a wonderful opportunity.  Rather than sanitizing all Grace's why not let your Scouts offer their own prayers, in their own ways, then use the opportunity to discuss differences and similarities?  We do the scouts a disservice by using vanilla prayers in an attempt not to offend rather than allowing scouts to express themselves and teach actual diversity.

 

 

 

I think that's entirely different when the Scouts are offering their own prayers. I would encourage them to do it in their own way. I was assuming this was talking about adult leaders facilitating a group prayer. 

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I think it's PRECISELY when you are facilitating a group prayer that each boy's personal faith tradition should be acknowledged and encouraged. By exposing them to different forms of prayer when they are young, and in a safe setting like Den or Pack Meeting, you are helping to breed in them a positive outlook towards the beliefs of others, and helping nurture a tolerance that they won't always find in everywhere else in their futures. The most desirable thing you could do is encourage every Scout to pray in the very manner to which he is accustomed, as taught by his family and faith leaders. What a wonderful opportunity to share something so deeply intimate as faith and spirituality! If you do it when they are young and sincere, and protect them from "watered-down," generic orations that only shelter them from the diversity around them, you will find you have helped raise up a generation of respectful, compassionate citizens who are tolerant and supportive of others' faiths and beliefs.

Norman Rockwell freedom of religion.jpg

Edited by The Latin Scot

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I see what you mean. I think in our Pack we have an overwhelming majority of Christian leadership, even though among the youth membership there's a great deal of diversity. That makes me more likely to err on the side of leadership being careful to be non-sectarian in their approach and encouraging the boys and girls to express their own faith traditions and be respectful of each others'. This dynamic may be different in different groups. 

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I use "Master of all Scouts" when doing prayers. Nobody has ever said anything one way or the other about it. I think everyone gets the gist.

 

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54 minutes ago, numbersnerd said:

I use "Master of all Scouts" when doing prayers. Nobody has ever said anything one way or the other about it. I think everyone gets the gist.

Our troop uses that often. Maybe a little too much ...

Scout (approaching me on a trail at camp): Mr. Q, I just thought of something.

Me: Yes, Scout?

Scout: Mr. C (our oldest ASM) might be the great master of all scouts.

Me (knowing the scout is Catholic): Well, Scout, his initials are "J.C."

Scout (stopped in his tracks): Woah!

:ph34r:

Son #1 has since told me that that one circulated for years well beyond that scout's tenure.

Edited by qwazse
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