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walk in the woods

And so it begins

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I think the level of religion in Scouting across the US varies a lot.  I've lived in various different locations on the US East Coast.  In all the Scouting units I've ever participated in, religion and faith has always had a very minor component.  All of these units have been attached to a religious institution.

In my current troop we are chartered to a very strong local church in a pretty religious part of the country.  We have a very active Chartered Organization Representative who is very active in the church.  In our troop, religion is really only manifested by the occasional prayer before meals and the offering of the religious emblems program by some interested adults.  The troop has members from all kinds of faiths around town.  We don't focus on the faith component, but do let prospective members know the BSA rules on faith.  The four packs that feed our troop all appear to operate much the same way. 

We've never consciously tried to tone down faith - it's just the way it's been.  I think it reflects more about our community than our troop.  Despite being in the US southeast where religion is an important part of life, people don't really seem to bring it to Scouting.

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6 hours ago, Pale Horse said:

It's possible to teach morals, values and duty to fellow man without believing in god.  I'd much rather teach my son to help others because it's the right thing to do instead of being good out of fear that an invisible sky man is going to smite him. 

Without god, smiting comes from the Scoutmaster.

Barry

6 hours ago, Pale Horse said:

It's possible to teach morals, values and duty to fellow man without believing in god.  I'd much rather teach my son to help others because it's the right thing to do instead of being good out of fear that an invisible sky man is going to smite him. 

Without god, smiting comes from the Scoutmaster.

Barry

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On 12/15/2018 at 9:50 PM, walk in the woods said:

WaPo article criticising BSA on the last G

 

It's an opinion piece. As we in the UK would say, tomorrow's chip paper. And arguments about god's place in scouting? That's nothing new. I mean, usenet used to have a ggg group, and a pretty unedifying place it was too.

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18 hours ago, SSScout said:

I suggest one look to the wonder of the human eye, and convince themselves that it was created totally by an accident.  Evolution directed by a "designer"?   Unthinkable.

It was evolution, no designer. It took all the time in the world.

Current science says earth is 4.51 Billion years old, and life first started about 3.8 BILLION years ago. The first fossils with eyes date from about 540 million years ago...so that's 3.3 billion years to evolve the eye...seems eminently feasible to me.

 

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On ‎12‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 12:32 AM, The Latin Scot said:

First of all, I think it strange and perhaps somewhat insensitive to group atheists and Jehovah's Witness together; they are as utterly different in their beliefs (or lack thereof) as any two groups can be. Secondly, Duty to God is an integral, inherent part of Scouting - if you remove that element of its composition, in my book, it will cease to be Scouting, regardless of what organization (even the BSA if it comes to that) may claim to be running it. The Scouting program and its methods, as created by Baden-Powell and build up by the likes of Seton, Beard and Hillcourt, is a religious program, yet at the same time absolutely non-denominational. That's one of the wonders of its foundation, and it has worked beautifully for generations. But remove that central core of duty to God, and ... well, in my book, it's no longer Scouting, and it's no longer going to work. That's not being judgemental - that's integrity. But upholding a standard of membership is not discourteous. If you are looking for a totally non-religious organization to take you camping and teach you life-skills, Scouting isn't for you - but there are many other good and supportive organizations who can help. Look for one that already suits you rather than change the one that suits somebody else.

We have a Jehovah Witness that joined our troop several months ago.  His grandmother informed us that he does not say the Pledge of Allegiance or salute the flag since in there Church they see it as Idol worship.  She has been told that in our Troop we will salute the flag while saying  the Pledge of Allegiance,  This is one point in the scouting program that we will not change as a unit.  Also as adult leaders of the unit we have informed the unit committee that as leaders of the unit  we will hold this youth to the same requirements for advancement  as the other scouts when it comes to the subject  of the Pledge of Allegiance and any Flag ceremony that the Troop takes part in.     

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1 hour ago, ValleyBoy said:

Also as adult leaders of the unit we have informed the unit committee that as leaders of the unit  we will hold this youth to the same requirements for advancement  as the other scouts when it comes to the subject  of the Pledge of Allegiance and any Flag ceremony that the Troop takes part in.     

Does that mean he is required to salute the flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance even though his religion tells him not to?

Just out of curiosity, does he wear the American Flag patch on his uniform?

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4 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

I'm not sure what that means.

It means, without god, all judgment is by man. Since man often disagrees with their neighbor, there is no objective guidance for behavior.

Barry

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9 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

It means, without god, all judgment is by man. Since man often disagrees with their neighbor, there is no objective guidance for behavior.

Barry

We have had this exact same discussion several times, it probably is not necessary to have it again right now.

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8 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

It means, without god, all judgment is by man. Since man often disagrees with their neighbor, there is no objective guidance for behavior.

Barry

Even among Christians, all professed to believe in the same God, there is extreme subjectivity in what is constitutes appropriate thoughts, attitudes, and behaviour.

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16 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I think the level of religion in Scouting across the US varies a lot.  In all the Scouting units I've ever participated in, religion and faith has always had a very minor component.  All of these units have been attached to a religious institution.

We don't focus on the faith component, but do let prospective members know the BSA rules on faith.  The four packs that feed our troop all appear to operate much the same way. 

We've never consciously tried to tone down faith - it's just the way it's been.  I think it reflects more about our community than our troop.  Despite being in the US southeast where religion is an important part of life, people don't really seem to bring it to Scouting.

I concur with Parkman's thoughts.  The troop my son joined had no chaplain aide, said no prayer before meals and had no sunday services.  Our CO has never had any interest in being involved with the scouts either, the church is just a place to meet.  Religion was never emphasized in my son's pack or troop (or when I was a cub 30+ years ago).  It has only been in the past year that one vocal parent has gotten the troop to say grace and if a scout wants to be a CA, he is welcome to do so.  IMO I think the troop leadership just felt that duty to god was best dealt with at home.  I was surprised to see how much religion was emphasized by some scouters when I first joined these forums.

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3 minutes ago, Pale Horse said:

Even among Christians, all professed to believe in the same God, there is extreme subjectivity in what is constitutes appropriate thoughts, attitudes, and behaviour.

That's mans failure, not god, or God. 

 

5 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

We have had this exact same discussion several times, it probably is not necessary to have it again right now.

LOL, I know. But you did ask. 

Barry

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2 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

LOL, I know. But you did ask.

I did.  I then changed my mind about whether I wanted to discuss it again.   :)

 

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1 hour ago, ValleyBoy said:

She has been told that in our Troop we will salute the flag while saying  the Pledge of Allegiance,  This is one point in the scouting program that we will not change as a unit.  Also as adult leaders of the unit we have informed the unit committee that as leaders of the unit  we will hold this youth to the same requirements for advancement  as the other scouts when it comes to the subject  of the Pledge of Allegiance and any Flag ceremony that the Troop takes part in.

How do you handle the case of boys that are not U.S. citizens?    Hardly seems appropiate to compel them to pledge allegience to the U.S.  

(The scout oath in BSA is no problem since the wording is "my country".   I found @Cambridgeskip's link interesting about the alternative Scout Promise in the UK for kids who are not British subjects are don't have a duty to the Queen)

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7 minutes ago, thrifty said:

I concur with Parkman's thoughts.  The troop my son joined had no chaplain aide, said no prayer before meals and had no sunday services.  Our CO has never had any interest in being involved with the scouts either, the church is just a place to meet.  Religion was never emphasized in my son's pack or troop (or when I was a cub 30+ years ago).  It has only been in the past year that one vocal parent has gotten the troop to say grace and if a scout wants to be a CA, he is welcome to do so.  IMO I think the troop leadership just felt that duty to god was best dealt with at home.  I was surprised to see how much religion was emphasized by some scouters when I first joined these forums.

I think you would find the programs those of us who emphasize religion more in these discussion are about the same as those who emphasize it less. But the discussion is about the premise of the scouting program. Religion is the bases for the foundation of Scout Law and Oath, which are the values for preparing young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime. As long as the values reflect back to god, then the scout leader can refer and balance his judgement to the family. And the scout can balance Scoutmaster's judgment with his god. God is single point quality assurance.

Barry 

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