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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

At some point unbelief will push its way into taking god out of the program completely and debating values into nonexistence. Freedom of speech also means owning a stand on values and principles.

Ah the old belief that only those who believe in a god can have values.  Pray tell, which values are exclusive to theists? And among theists is there universal agreement about these values?

That was rhetorical; the answers are None and No.

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1 hour ago, Pale Horse said:

Pray tell, which values are exclusive to theists? 

Reverent.

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4 minutes ago, David CO said:

Reverent.

Disagree.

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I don't need to believe in a god to be respectful to others.

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1 minute ago, Pale Horse said:

Disagree.

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I don't need to believe in a god to be respectful to others.

Poor definition.  

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1 minute ago, David CO said:

Poor definition.  

You might want to let Google know, since it's the first listing when you type "Reverent".  I don't think we get to define the points of the Law for other people though.

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This is an excerpt from the Scouts for Equality webpage, describing their position on reverence. I feel it is well reasoned and well argued. 

 

Quote

The Scout Law: “A Scout is Reverent” 

Reverence is a deeply-held, constantly evolving set of beliefs and ethics. For some, it is embodied by organized religion. For others, reverence is represented by a respect for others and the world around us. Reverence is as much about respect for one another’s beliefs—or lack thereof—as it is about a Scout’s own beliefs.

The Boy Scouts have said as much in their own teaching about reverence.

From the BSA’s charter and bylaws:

“The activities of the members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be carried on under conditions which show respect to the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion, as required by the twelfth point of the Scout Law, reading, “Reverent. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.” (emphasis added)

Consistent with the BSA’s policy, Scouts for Equality believes that showing respect towards the beliefs of others is consistent with the Scout Oath and Law. We expect all of our members to show reverence and respect for all religious beliefs and philosophical positions.

We believe Scouting is a force more powerful than one person or one religion. By welcoming people from all religious beliefs and philosophical positions, including non-theistic ones in Buddhist, Unitarian, and other traditions, Scouting can better fulfill its vision of preparing youth in America to become responsible, participating citizens and leaders.

It is our position that regardless of where you are in your search for truth and meaning, Scouting has a lot to offer to every young person. We feel the BSA would be wise to follow the lead of the GS-USA by dropping the explicitly theistic requirement without fundamentally changing the religious nature of the organization.

 
 

 

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If god isn’t given responsibility for values, then responsibility goes to the human with the biggest stick. Human values change from moment to moment depending on their mood and emotion. God never changes, which give scouts a consistent source. 

Barry

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3 hours ago, Liz said:

This is an excerpt from the Scouts for Equality webpage, describing their position on reverence. I feel it is well reasoned and well argued. 

 

It says, "We believe Scouting is a force more powerful than one person or one religion."  I find this statement to be both arrogant and offensive.  Scouting is not a more powerful force than my religion.  

I think this quote just goes to prove Barry's point.

 

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Being reverant does not pertain to a specific religion even if you are part of the majority.  That must be nice.  Scouting recognizes and respects believe in the religion of your choice which is bigger than a single religion.  It is not arrogance, scouting does not pick which religion to follow and welcomes all.  A religion is more powerful to those that follow it,  I don't know or care what religion you are.  I guarantee that people from another religion would disagree with your beliefs as the one true force.  

Today I attended the service at our Charter Org to show them respect and the sermon went on to call out how Jews in not a great light.  Being Jewish, I stayed silent during the service but several other leaders came up to me afterwards to apologize for something they had nothing to do with.  Just because someone is ordained, doesn't mean they understand that we are an interfaith program, including leaders like me that are not the same religion.  I dedicate my many hours a week to the youth in the program not the charter org or their beliefs. 

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21 minutes ago, David CO said:

It says, "We believe Scouting is a force more powerful than one person or one religion."  I find this statement to be both arrogant and offensive.  Scouting is not a more powerful force than my religion.  

I think this quote just goes to prove Barry's point.

 

Well, we'll just have to disagree here I guess. I don't consider my religion, or yours (I don't even know what yours is, but it doesn't matter) to be more powerful than a youth development movement that teaches skills, values, and citizenship. My religion is not my god. It is just one possible expression of my reverence for my god. I have a hard time even comprehending how that statement could be either arrogant or offensive. 

I could write an entire essay on how I have seen people fall into idolatry of religion or religious symbols; but it would drag us too far off the topic at hand, so I won't. 

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3 hours ago, David CO said:

It says, "We believe Scouting is a force more powerful than one person or one religion."  I find this statement to be both arrogant and offensive.  Scouting is not a more powerful force than my religion.  

I think this quote just goes to prove Barry's point.

 

I have to agree with @David CO here. 

I'm giving these Scouting for Equality folks the benefit of the doubt and hoping that they simply chose some ridiculous wording.  The rest of the paragraph is fine and makes sense.  

One could easily argue the Scouting and it's principles are broader than any one religion.  But saying that Scouting is a force more powerful than any one religion is simply a ridiculous statement.  Scouting has a profound impact on many, many people.  Similarly, to many, the impact of Scouting on their individual lives is probably bigger than their faith - of that I have no doubt.  But, if one looks at the impact of religion on the world and of Scouting on the world, clearly religion has a bigger, more powerful impact.  I say this to in no way negatively characterize Scouting - Scouting is an amazing program.  But, this is an absurd comparison.

Edited by ParkMan
typos
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You're conflating "faith," "religion," and "any one religion" together though. Faith and religion are not the same thing, and one religion is not the same as "religion" as a whole. 

I suppose it might be a tough competition if you pitted the world Scouting movement against, say, the Roman Catholic Church, but at that point you'd be splitting hairs and missing the point of what they're trying to say. 

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6 minutes ago, Liz said:

You're conflating "faith," "religion," and "any one religion" together though. Faith and religion are not the same thing, and one religion is not the same as "religion" as a whole. 

I suppose it might be a tough competition if you pitted the world Scouting movement against, say, the Roman Catholic Church, but at that point you'd be splitting hairs and missing the point of what they're trying to say. 

Respectfully, I wasn't.  I was thinking specifically of just about any single individual religion in making that statement.  

It isn't even remotely close whether the Catholic Church or Scouting has a bigger impact on the world.  If I run down the list of major religions - Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc...  Whole cultures are built around these faiths.  People's lives, belief systems.  I love Scouting, but it's just a whole different kind of thing altogether.

I do agree with your last statement. I think they were really trying to make a different point.  Scouting has principles that apply to more than just one faith.  That much is certainly true. 

This is where the Scouting for Equality people have to be very deliberate.  What they seek is a end of membership requirements that require a belief in a higher power.  Picking fights with religious people is not the way to go about it.  They most certainly should not turn their movement into one which advocates for a removal of faith from Scouting. 

Scouting is an organization that promotes values.  If one community believes that good values can be taught without faith, then let them start a unit that does that.  But, do not in any way prevent the religious institution down the street from having a unit that believes in a faith component.  Further, when at a multi-unit event, allow for the fact that many units will look for things like saying grace before meals or a Sunday worship service.  America's the great melting pot - let's celebrate that.

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58 minutes ago, Liz said:

You're conflating "faith," "religion," and "any one religion" together though. Faith and religion are not the same thing, and one religion is not the same as "religion" as a whole. 

I suppose it might be a tough competition if you pitted the world Scouting movement against, say, the Roman Catholic Church, but at that point you'd be splitting hairs and missing the point of what they're trying to say. 

I’m going to agree with David, your posts support the point that without god, humans can only feel good about themselves by beating each other up. Did you purposely leave god out of the discussion because god, not religion, was the original reference?

You seem to be doubling down on the man vs man of religion. Ok, man has a problem with pride, that’s given. The point that was presented is that man is fickle and a unperfect, god is perfect and unchanging. So where should a scout go to define values? Please don’t throw the religion analogy at the question again, this is about who a scout should trust more, God or yourself?

And you don’t need to answer, its a thought provoking question.

Barry

 

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Years ago, not long after I became SM of our troop, we were at summer camp.  It was late, and the scouts were mostly in their bags and quiet.  Two of my senior scouts, both leaders, came up to me and asked to talk.  I was fairly new, and I had been dealing with a few issues due to my change in SM direction when  I took over not too long before camp.  So, I sort of prepped for a challenge.  I got one, but not as I feared.

I had been standing staring at the night sky, a stellar explosion looming out of the dark void, as the moon was not yet trespassing on the night.  They stood there a moment, then one asked me how I could believe in God, noting some of the common misunderstandings seekers have about the evil in the world and why it happens if God is in control.  So, I asked them what then they would attribute that immensity above us to.  I broached the subject of free choice and how we all make the wrong ones.  Ultimately, I suggested they simply sleep under the sky that night and consider that seemingly impossible blackness that stretched beyond our imaginations and how we were just a speck in comparison, yet we wanted to understand.  I do not know for sure what I might have said that  mattered, but the next morning they both told me that they knew there was something, but still did not know.  

It seemed to me that was enough.  They had turned within for a moment, and for me, that looking inward is looking for that speck of God from which each of us is created, the momentary peace that something greater exists, even within ourself.  Both of those young people had talked of dropping out.  But they did not, and they became Eagles and fine young people that now have grown children.  I blessed to still be in occasional contact, and while they have no scouts in their immediate families, as their children are girls from before the new era, they still support our ideals.

For me, the early scripture in Exodus 3:14......"I AM WHO I AM.".  This was the voice from the burning bush to Moses.  It has said to me for a long time that God, whatever he/she/it is, just is.  This personal thing did not come to me as a youth, but after many years of searching for answers.  We all hopefully take that journey and arrive with our "own" understanding eventually.   

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