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Major Change in Chartered Organization Relationship


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1 hour ago, FormerCubmaster said:

Yeah, that sounds accurate; but with the clarification that (at least when I was going through the program as a youth after the age of 12) there was basically no distinction, for practical purposes, between “weekly church night” and “weekly Scout meetings”.  Any suggestion that there was a quid pro quo,  “if you want to come to our Scouts meeting on Tuesday you must also come to our church youth group meeting on Wednesday”, doesn’t really capture the dynamic that was at play—the two were one and the same meeting.

  Thank you.  This is what i have been told by LDS neighbors in Scouting.  I would just say that if it is really an LDS Youth Meeting, it is NOT a Boy Scout Meeting and is deceptive in calling it that.

*****-For what it’ I suppose if a particular non-LDS kid were engaging in particularly disruptive behavior, then at some point we may have had to pull the plug; but I never saw anything like that happen.*****

I am a bit puzzled about your comment here above:    So are you saying that if an LDS Scout was engaging in particularly disruptive behavior they would NOT dismissed?

 

 

So FWIW—even as a Mormon myself, I have no idea why one would want to limit troop membership to adherents to the denomination of the chartering organization.  I’m a bit of a libertarian at heart, so I prefer to see the COs given the option—but I can’t imagine why they’d want to take it.                                                                 

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Wonder why something like this wasn't in the Churchill project? Also the old form used to require an annual sit down visit with the CO.    Never happened of course so the solution is  let's just

The answer to pretty much all of your questions is yes, the Church can do and decide all of those things if that is how they want to run their troop. The Chartering Organization, the Church in yo

For the most part, there was nothing unexpected. Some of my impressions: (1) The United Methodist Church remains very supportive of Boy Scouting and endorses the traditional chartered organizatio

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1 hour ago, GrammaScout said:

  [1]Thank you.  This is what i have been told by LDS neighbors in Scouting.  I would just say that if it is really an LDS Youth Meeting, it is NOT a Boy Scout Meeting and is deceptive in calling it that.

[2]*****-For what it’ I suppose if a particular non-LDS kid were engaging in particularly disruptive behavior, then at some point we may have had to pull the plug; but I never saw anything like that happen.*****

I am a bit puzzled about your comment here above:    So are you saying that if an LDS Scout was engaging in particularly disruptive behavior they would NOT dismissed?

                                         

1.  I suppose it depends on how carefully the distinction between the scouting unit and the CO is maintained.  The old LDS paradigm, of course, was that the chartering org (church congregation) sponsored the unit with the intent and expectation that the unit would *be* the church youth program for the sons of the families in that particular congregation.  Additional visitors who wanted to participate in that experience were welcome to join (just as they would be welcome to join Sunday worship services); but Scouting as a program was always subordinate the overall interests and needs and objectives of the church congregation.  In colloquial conversation amongst church members, there was rarely a reason to distinguish between the Boy Scout troop and the boys’ youth group.

2.  Because of the way LDS units were run, permanently expelling a boy from the pack/troop would be tantamount to expelling him from the church congregation itself.  Obviously you never want to do that, regardless of whether the boy is a “member” or merely a “visitor”; but per our theology “membership” implies enhanced mutual communitarian obligations to look out for and help one another.  If the family still wants the kid participating in church (or, when we were using the program, Scouts), then so long as the kid isn’t posing an actual safety risk to others we would (hopefully) bend over backwards to try to make things work out no matter how obnoxious the kid is being.  

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1 hour ago, GrammaScout said:

  Thank you.  This is what i have been told by LDS neighbors in Scouting.  I would just say that if it is really an LDS Youth Meeting, it is NOT a Boy Scout Meeting and is deceptive in calling it that.

*****-For what it’ I suppose if a particular non-LDS kid were engaging in particularly disruptive behavior, then at some point we may have had to pull the plug; but I never saw anything like that happen.*****

I am a bit puzzled about your comment here above:    So are you saying that if an LDS Scout was engaging in particularly disruptive behavior they would NOT dismissed?

 

 

So FWIW—even as a Mormon myself, I have no idea why one would want to limit troop membership to adherents to the denomination of the chartering organization.  I’m a bit of a libertarian at heart, so I prefer to see the COs given the option—but I can’t imagine why they’d want to take it.                                                                 

I have to admit I've been struggling to follow this discussion, but I think the point that is coming through is that since a CO owns the unit it can pretty much set membership however it wants. It might not be in its interest to do so, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it can't. There is history of COs establishing scouting units as a way to build membership in their particular church -- requiring church membership of anyone who is a member of the unit. That has undeniably happened. I don't think it's common -- most of the COs I deal with sponsor scout units as community service outreach much the same way they host AA meetings or what have you -- but it does happen. This discussion has been focused on religion but there are multiple units that have turned down girls or special needs scouts or scouts with severe allergies because they don't think they can accommodate them.

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On 3/23/2022 at 4:58 PM, GrammaScout said:

I understand that Troops are allowed very little in 'selective membership'.   Atheists are not allowed to join of course because the Policy is that the Scout must believe in a power higher than himself.  Although they lie and get in anyway.   Of course, if you are an atheist, you operate on different values anyway.  

I think this assertion about atheists does not serve you or the organization. Scouting encompasses a lot of views. We have medallions in Scouting for religious practices with many gods and with no gods.  Buddhism doesn’t reference a god for instance, but there are awards in Scouting  that recognize them.

I’ve known lying Christians and honest atheists. I think the kids in my unit are savvy enough to realize that the Scout Oath was written in the very early twentieth century. They take it in the spirit of Oath’s intention.  I don't see evidence that Atheists work on different values. I think they are welcomed and I’ll up my game.

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1 minute ago, clivusmultrum said:

 I don't see evidence that Atheists work on different values. I think they are welcomed and I’ll up my game.

They are not welcomed currently.

The application for membership excerpts the DRP...

"The BSA maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God and, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life. Only persons willing to subscribe to this Declaration of Religious Principle and to the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of membership."

How can one say the Scout Oath, and then then Scout Law, and then say he does not believe?  The contradiction is disqualifying.

Agree that BSA has a problem with the Buddhist exception...  

The way I accept them both is to adopt a mindset that they believe they are their own "god".  Insofar as you can define that...  That is, they are the author of their own moral and ethical standards...  Humanists, if you will...

https://www.theguardian.com/global/2021/jan/23/atheists-agnostics-non-believers-on-the-meaning-of-life

To be transparent, I also see many who profess a belief, but who then do not act accordingly.

It is a very difficult thing to act as if God exists.  And somewhat terrifying...  I struggle with this constantly.

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On 3/23/2022 at 5:58 PM, GrammaScout said:

...  Although they lie and get in anyway.   Of course, if you are an atheist, you operate on different values anyway.  ...

We are saddled with Modern thinking in a Post-Modern world.

1 hour ago, clivusmultrum said:

... I’ve known lying Christians and honest atheists. ...

There is nothing intrinsic to Christian principles that suggests its members are incapable of falsehood. In fact the opposite is true ... they are in a perpetual state of penance for a variety of sins, or they aren't Cristian.

1 hour ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

... How can one say the Scout Oath, and then then Scout Law, and then say he does not believe?  The contradiction is disqualifying.

Agree that BSA has a problem with the Buddhist exception...  

Fifty years ago, somebody looked at an atheist kid family who may have been having trouble with reverence and duty to God, equated them with Godless Muscovites, and made a federal case of it. They violated my rule #1 Don't ask someone for a rule, you'll regret it.

The answer, on the other hand, is built into the plain English of oath and law:

  • It's ".. duty to God and my country ..." Not "my God and country" ... Not "someone else's god and our country" ... Certainly not, "the Judeo-Christian God in a Theocracy" The more appropriate expansion of that phrase would be "God as I my persuasion understands and my fellow citizens' as their persuasion understands."
  • Reverent always had two parts: 1) giving honor to God as my family and I understand, and 2) defending others' giving honor to God as they and their family understand. Accomplishing those two necessitates the free sharing of each others' understanding. I would argue that the forming of philosophical gerrymanders around whose "in" and "out" religiously precisely undercuts what it means -- or how it is even possible -- to be reverent.

I don't see Buddhism as an exception that BSA has a problem with, but rather one of a number of solutions to BSA's problem in cutting atheists out of a narrowed definition of reverence.

Edited by qwazse
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      From InquisitiveScouter                     “They are not welcomed currently”

 At our unit level I can tell you that none are excluded for religion or lack. I can also say there is a disinterest in  what the Natl. Org. Is up to.   The young people in our unit came from one of two or three different Cup Packs.  I’m pretty sure that not a one of them has read any such thing. The Troop recharters, dues are collected and they keep on Scouting.

I think Scouts BSA will eventually land on the right note. It might be a few decades after everybody else. I was talking to some of our guys about what it is to be reverent and it quickly jumped over religious views and went to the reverence of old growth forests, sacred places where we honor those that have gone before, reverence in art museums….

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(There is nothing intrinsic to Christian principles that suggests its members are incapable of falsehood. In fact the opposite is true ... they are in a perpetual state of penance for a variety of sins, or they aren't Cristian.)

 

Thanks Quazse. I was raised with the concept of sin, repent cycle. My comment really didn't have anything to do with the Christian’s failed ideal. It was more about calling out the idea that atheists are liars because they have a different value system.   I see the statement as an unnecessary display of bigotry.

I see some fairly nuanced thinking in our Troop. Their fundamental assumptions span a range. For some I think recitation of the Oath is something of a mantra. Are they lying? I think for some it might be like professing a belief in Santa Claus to spare a believer’s feelings. For others I think they superimpose a more accessible concept.

The thread about changes to the relationships with COs does circle back into this. We are chartered by a Lutheran church. We have no members of our Troop that are members of the congregation. We turn out for Scout Sunday but that is our only contact. I think even the COR has little contact with the congregation. The parishioners are aging and their numbers declining.  That is what put me on to this thread.

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59 minutes ago, clivusmultrum said:

 

 At our unit level I can tell you that none are excluded for religion or lack. I can also say there is a disinterest in  what the Natl. Org. Is up to.   The young people in our unit came from one of two or three different Cup Packs.  I’m pretty sure that not a one of them has read any such thing. The Troop recharters, dues are collected and they keep on Scouting.

I think Scouts BSA will eventually land on the right note. It might be a few decades after everybody else. I was talking to some of our guys about what it is to be reverent and it quickly jumped over religious views and went to the reverence of old growth forests, sacred places where we honor those that have gone before, reverence in art museums….

That is why I used the passive voice in the statement...  That is to say, if you are following the principles you signed up to in the application (agreement) you made with the BSA, then you cannot welcome atheists, as the national organization does not.

BTW, I, too, disagree with BSA's position on this.  But that's not the point.

When any prospective member, and family, comes to us, I make sure to review the application with them, and discuss the DRP.  (Full faith in advertising.)

In all my years of Scouting, I have only had one family (adamant atheists) who would not agree with BSA's DRP, and chose not to find a rational way to accept the huge amount of wiggle room the DRP gives you.

The individual Scout gets to define what his own duty to God is and means.  If a Scout chooses to say I do not believe in anything like that (however he defines it), and rejects the opportunity to define his own duty to God, then that person can simply not be a Scout.

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3 hours ago, clivusmultrum said:

Thanks Quazse. I was raised with the concept of sin, repent cycle. My comment really didn't have anything to do with the Christian’s failed ideal. It was more about calling out the idea that atheists are liars because they have a different value system.   I see the statement as an unnecessary display of bigotry.

Yeah ... it's at best quirky to assert a group's failed ideals when at the same time labeling as bigotry when that other group is not comfortable with your group.   

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Huh? I’m not sure if I read you on this one Fred. I was specifically calling attention to ONE person that called out a group, in this case atheists (who are not actually a group) about language describing them as inherently unethical. That described a bigoted comment.  

You may have conflated that with my answer to Quazse was about having the comment misunderstood to assume I am unfamiliar with the concept of being in a perpetual state of penance.  Hence failed ideal.

If I did not word this in a way that you could unravel I certainly apologize. The guys who seemed to have been in on the discussion apparently had read the previous posts.

 

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13 minutes ago, clivusmultrum said:

Huh? I’m not sure if I read you on this one Fred. I was specifically calling attention to ONE person that called out a group, in this case atheists (who are not actually a group) about language describing them as inherently unethical. That described a bigoted comment.  

You may have conflated that with my answer to Quazse was about having the comment misunderstood to assume I am unfamiliar with the concept of being in a perpetual state of penance.  Hence failed ideal.

If I did not word this in a way that you could unravel I certainly apologize. The guys who seemed to have been in on the discussion apparently had read the previous posts.

Fair enough.  As everyone knows in these threads, I'm often off base.   :)  I appreciate the follow-up.  I hate broad brushes being applied either direction.  ...

My son and I were talking about this the other night.  We are of very different political views, but the one common ... and this is what I value ... we need to find ways to talk with each other.  Debate.  Discuss.  Understanding promotes common ground.  It's why I cringe at labels either direction.  

 

 

Edited by fred8033
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If you have time...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syP-OtdCIho

In a nutshell...all people act from a sense or construct of hierarchical needs or drives in their lives. 

Whatever exists at the top of that hierarchy serves as your "God."  It does exist, or you would not be able to function in the world.

So, what is your greatest good (or what is of greatest value to you)... and what is your duty to act towards imitating that good (or realizing that value)?  Worth-ship = worship (it's actually the origin of the word)

This ought to be BSA's new Declaration of Religious Principle...or change it to a Declaration of Moral Principle, since so many people get hung up on words they are unwilling to define or admit they live by...

Getting a young person thinking about this question, articulating their thoughts on it, and how to apply the meaning of it in their lives...this is what we are aiming at...

For Conan...it was something entirely different 😜

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo9buo9Mtos&ab_channel=lampbrain

 

 

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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1 hour ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

.

Getting a young person thinking about this question, articulating their thoughts on it, and how to apply the meaning of it in their lives...this is what we are aiming at...

 

 

This is where we need to be heading.

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10 hours ago, fred8033 said:

Fair enough.  As everyone knows in these threads, I'm often off base.

Well, @fred8033I think you do yourself a disservice. I have not always agreed with you but always thought that your positions were well reasoned.

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