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KnoxDad

Atheist dad struggling with cub scouts

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I guess I still think the Oath would be best and easiest to follow the path that the Pledge of Allegence has.. It still has "under God" in it, because many would be upset with it being removed.. But an Athiest can remain silent during this line, and still be considered respectful of his country in his version of the Pledge.. I am sure an atheist group has done something to remove the silent pause, if doing the pledge within their own group.

 

Your way has a real mess at a District, Council or National event.. I just can't see everyone all at once "Doing their own thing.."..

 

By forced to remove everything dealing with God, I am talking about the current trend, where Atheists protest religious statues in public places, prayer in schools, the "under God" in the Pledge.. the reference to God on our money.. etc..

 

I would welcome the atheists who can live in a world where they can be considerate of others beliefs as long as those around them will respect theirs.. I would not welcome those atheists who must come in and obliterate God from every nook and crannie with in the Boy Scouts.. Those who need everything to cater to their anti-beliefs, because they can not abide anyone having beliefs that are different from theirs.

 

If they are reverant, they can stay in the campsite while others go to the inter-faith worship.. Take a walk, or stand in silence when Grace is said at a meal, and stand in silence when others say "duty to God" in the oath..

 

That would be a way they can show reverence without believing in God themselves, by respecting the beliefs of others within their groups.. Obviously if some Atheist parents can bring their children to scouts, they have already excepted the fact that "God" will be in the Scout Oath and the Pledge of Allegience, and said during the opening of the meeting..

 

Just with LDS units alone, the number of units who are religious based are not small.. I am pretty sure other church CO's who run a BSA even as a neighborhood open activity will have a say in not wanting their units to not reference God, though some will be open to a child who is respectfully quiet, and others will not..

 

This is an issue that is more so a very sore subject then the Gay issue.. The Gays are not asking for any changes from the program to accomidate them, just acceptance.. It's and unknown what and how much the Atheists will lobby for the BSA to change to accomidate them..

 

Accepting people in is one thing.. Changing a little to accomidate someone is one thing, but not as easy as just asking for acceptance.. Forcing everyone who is already in the program to change, because the new comers are going to demand everyone adapt to their way of doing things, will not happen..

 

The fear that the atheist if given an inch will demand and lobby and fight in court for the BSA to change everything to remove God in everything to accomidate them, is the fear that will keep them out of being accepted in the BSA way longer then the Gays will be kept out.. It is a shame, because I think 80% of the athiests can come in and be respectful of those who wish to keep their faith and their traditions about God within scouting alive..

 

You do not understand me.. Well I also do not understand you.. I do not understand, why you can not see forcing everyone who currently is in scouting to change deep seeded beliefs is not a slap in the face for them..

 

Look at the fights to keep God in the Pledge of Allegience.. Look at all the other fights with athiests as they want to overturn long held traditions to wipe the belief of God off the face of the earth.. If you don't think those beliefs are just as strong with people in scouting, you are blind.

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Hmmm... Maybe we could try this: We take references to God out of the Oath and the Pledge. But then, if you want to, you could quietly, respectfully say those parts anyway?

 

Forcing everyone who is already in the program to change, because the new comers are going to demand everyone adapt to their way of doing things, will not happen..

 

This irrational fear sounds frighteningly similar to other historic "arguments" against allowing "newcomers" into our neighborhoods, churches, beaches, business establishments and schools.

 

The fear that the atheist if given an inch will demand and lobby and fight in court for the BSA to change everything to remove God in everything to accomidate them, is the fear that will keep them out of being accepted in the BSA way longer then the Gays will be kept out.

 

So basically it's just a slippery slope argument? We're not going to rationally look at a reasonable idea since someone else might come along later with an unreasonable idea?

 

I do not understand, why you can not see forcing everyone who currently is in scouting to change deep seeded beliefs is not a slap in the face for them

 

And I still don't see who is asking (sorry, forcing) you to change your beliefs. Is your faith really so weak that it would be damaged if the BSA became a truly secular organization? Surely it's based on something more than 3 letters in the Scout Oath, right?

 

If you don't think those beliefs are just as strong with people in scouting, you are blind.

 

I see that there's strong beliefs. I just don't believe that there's a legitimate reason for the BSA to use these beliefs as a basis for it's program.

 

And that's really what I'm getting at. It's really not enough to "welcome" atheists as long as they know when to sit down, shut up, and not "disrespect" good Christians like ourselves. If we truly want to welcome atheists into our program, as I feel we should, then we can't use our Scout Oath, a central component of our program, as a source of division. The Scout Oath should apply equally strongly to ALL Scouts who we welcome into our program - without needing to individually add or remove phrases.

 

I don't know - my faith in God is strong enough that I don't feel I need to mention it at the weekly meetings of an outdoors-oriented youth group. And I don't feel threatened by those who haven't come to the same religious or philosophical conclusions that I have. I don't see how Scouting would be a weaker program by secularizing.

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"I guess I still think the Oath would be best and easiest to follow the path that the Pledge of Allegence has.. It still has "under God" in it, because many would be upset with it being removed.. But an Athiest can remain silent during this line, and still be considered respectful of his country in his version of the Pledge.. I am sure an atheist group has done something to remove the silent pause, if doing the pledge within their own group."

 

As someone who grew up atheist while attending Catholic school for most of the time until I was 18, and is now over 40, I've never worried to much about saying "under God" or the like. Its not like I worry it will do something bad to say it, that it will "turn me religious", nor do I worry about its affect on my son.

 

I think thats where many atheists loose the plot. As long as your life isn't being directly repressed by religion somehow, I see no reason to attack its public displays.

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Well I would agree with you that it was an unfounded fear, if the atheists have not had a history of going to court to remove God from everything that is public, stating that the offending item is against their constitutional rights..

 

Granted this is a small portion of Atheists making a bad name for the rest of the Atheists.. As stated the majority of them are like Fishman.. Those are the ones I would welcome.. The others may be a small section, but they are loud, demanding, self-centered and obnoxious..

 

http://atheismexposed.tripod.com/atheist_successes.htm

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/25/us/atheist-presents-case-for-taking-god-from-pledge.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

 

http://www.free2pray.info/2schoolprayerrulings.html

 

http://atheism.about.com/od/tencommandmentsnews/Ten_Commandments_News_Information_Court_Cases.htm

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/7426824/Atheist-in-battle-to-remove-In-God-We-Trust-from-US-currency.html

 

 

 

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Moosetracker, I remind you that after Bellamy wrote "The Pledge" it wasn't adopted by Congress for 50 years until 1942. And then it was modified four times before the last addition of the "under God" words in 1954. And THAT was mostly in response to the 'red menace' by those "Godless communists". This isn't some kind of sacred thing that has been around for millennia. It's a political statement as much as anything.

 

The way I read Merlyn is that it isn't the 'God' thing in the oath that he objects to...rather it's the exclusion of atheists by BSA from membership, based on the idea that an atheist cannot become "the best kind of citizen."

Merlyn can probably say it better than I can though.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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"Now all of that might have gone in one ear and out the other but I did explain to them what scouting was about and left the final choice to them."

 

LOL! Spoken like a true parent!

 

High five! :)

 

 

Okay. I may have a totally different view on what the original poster is asking:

 

AS a parent, I want my son to grow up as a strong person, who is smart enough to see and understand life. I want him to be his owm man though.

 

This includes his ability and right to make his own decisions and choices.

 

Maybe he becomes a democrat or a republican. Maybe he ends up being independant.

 

He might go top cololege for 10 years and graduate with 12 PHD's or he may do like his father and choose to work outside closer to nature and with his hands( I always hated the idea of working behind a desk - though I do see the advantages in my older age.

 

I will allow him to play the sprt of his choice if he so chooses. I'm not gonna relive my sporting youth through him.

 

Basically, I want him to be his own person who makes his choiced because HE MAKES THEM ON HIS OWN OF HIS OWN FREE WILL.

 

SoMaybe he comes home one day to tell me he converted to buddism or Islam. Maybe he goes with Judaeism. Maybe he comes home and tells me he is now a Pagan or Wican.

I will support him in his choice even though it may not be my own choice.

 

Now, I am not saying that I want him do sometrhing radical or wild, but I am saying I want him to make his own choiced because they are HIS choices and not maine.

 

I will guide him and I will encourage him and offer support.

 

So, anyways, what I was getting at as far as the original poster was concerned is this: JUst because you are athiest and have an issue with the duty to god thing...well, is your son an athiest too?

 

Or to be more exact, is he an athiest because he is an athiest or is he an athiest because you are?

 

Kinda like the old "Chevy is the best because my daddy and his daddy and his daddy before him always had a Chevy!"

 

Really? So why exactly do you like Chevy or have you never had an original thought or feeling on your own?

 

Okay, that was more of a NASCAR thing I run into all the time, but maybe you get my point?

 

I myself have never been big on people who decide an entire lifestyle for other people.

 

I'd like my son to grow up sharing my beliefs, but I want him to really believe them, not just follow them because I told him to.

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Scoutfish, which OP are you talking about? The real OP was a couple of years ago. Fishman OTOH is only a couple of pages back and I can't find a question in his OP. As a matter of fact, because he has tried to be religion-neutral, he seems to have done a pretty good job of letting his son do what you say you want your son to do.

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The original (KnoxDad) OP. Pretty sure he isn't around anymore, but still felt the need to post my thoughts! :)

 

I agree that Fishman is doing a great thing and has a great attitude about it all.

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Ok so we went to the meeting and it looks like things will be alright.

 

The charter is through what is basically the school PTA. The religious aspects don't seem to be stressed and it looks like a pretty good group. I appreciate the input I received here.

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KC9, I'm not taking any "liberties" with that part of the Oath...that's the second half of how the BSA defines "Duty to God"...the first half being "live up to the religious teachings of your parents, religious institution, etc".

 

Next, you are correct. Many religions do not respect the religious beliefs of others as a matter of principle, and many followers of some religions do not respect the beliefs of others, regardless of what their religion actually teaches.

 

If you think the Earth is the higher power, well that could make you a follower of any sort of nature-centric/worshipping religion, and thus, not an atheist. I have no issue with that, and neither should any scouter.

 

The problem with the BSA's definition of "Duty to God" isn't that it needs to be changed, but that it simply needs to be followed. It's actually quite liberal and welcoming.

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Fishman - Glad you will feel welcomed in this Scouting unit.. I hope you and your son enjoy your scouting years.

 

packsaddle - I realize "under God" in the pledge was added in the 1950's (did not know why though).. Still does not change the fact that people feel strongly it should not be removed. Nor does it change the fact that that is not the only thing the militant athiests want removed.. That basically they want God removed from everything that is a public place.. (Any place that they may wander into)

 

Also "Duty to God" in the scout oath was not added recently it has always been in the scout oath, and the BSA have a very strong background in religion, so that history and relationship should not be removed in order to accept in a minority group we have so far kept out..

 

So, why is the fact that "under God" being recently added to the Pledge have anything to do with your logic that "duty to God" needs to be wiped out of our Oath in order to accept Atheists in..

 

Now had you said "under God" has always been in the Pledge, but "duty to God" is a recent addition to the Oath, you might have had a point for an arguement as to why "duty to God" should be removed.

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Moosetracker, I'm not making that connection. YOU made that connection. "I still think the Oath would be best and easiest to follow the path that the Pledge of Allegence has."

If you can find a place where I actually made the logical argument that you just attributed to me, I'd like to read it. I merely would not object to having 'duty to God' removed from the oath.

 

I do understand how a person might find the idea that they cannot be the "best kind of citizen" if they don't have a certain religious belief to be prejudicial. It IS.

 

FWIW, I'm not an atheist and I support removal of the 'God' reference from both oath and pledge. I consider religious faith to be a personal matter and I object to having it shoved in my face by other people (although I tolerate it dozens of times every day) and as a result I find that kind of 'in your face' projection of what ought to be personal to be rude, perhaps offensive. I also realize that I'm in a minority opinion so I just shrug and get on with life.

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>>The charter is through what is basically the school PTA. The religious aspects don't seem to be stressed and it looks like a pretty good group. I appreciate the input I received here.

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Huh?? In that last post, you just said that you agreed with my idea that like the Pledge it should just respect the wishes of the atheist to stay silent at the "God" section.. And that you never made a reference that you wanted it removed..

 

Then on the same post, you state you want it removed for the Oath & Pledge as it is personal, and you feel the inclusion of it is in your face..

 

Before that post, I was just going to link back that a page back you stated you were in agreement with KC9DDI, and I was just going to state, I did not see where you had retracted that to agree with me.. So the comment about the Pledge not having "God" in it had me considering you were agueing still in support of KC9DDI...

 

But, with this post, I don't have to.. As you state you want "God" removed from both Pledge & Oath.. (While at the same time keeping it in, and allowing those who choose to remain quiet)..

 

So now I am confused at where you stand on the issue..

 

Bottom line is, if anyone demands that much of a change from the BSA in order for them to be allowed to join, when they are not chomping at the teeth to include these people.. Ain't a-gonna happen. At least not for a Long, Long time.. The Gays will be allowed to join first..

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I would like to thank the scouter forums and Merlyn in particular for inspiring me to take on the Troop Chaplain position (assuming I get approved). :)

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