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Charlotte church refuses to allow Mormans to be leaders

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TNScoutTroop, what you write is correct with regard to the dogmas. However, I was there in my Presbyterian church during that time. Racial integration was THE concern for my church. Probably for others as well, as you mention. It ripped the congregation apart and left a lot of deep wounds in the community. Lasting wounds.

It was my observation that those individuals in my church, who were the most 'fundamentalist' with regard to dogma, were also the same individuals who vowed to resist integration "no matter what". The dogma was never mentioned. Rather it was about miscegenation and all sorts of imagined racial things (which they claimed were rooted in the scripture).

It is good to hear that things have turned around in your church. The elements are still around, however. Just this week a guy turned up at a protest in SC with a sign that refers to Obama as "President Negro". I remember vividly, and not long ago, signs at the edges of towns which read, "(Nfillinblank), don't let the sun set on you in (nameoftown)".

I admit, I was strongly affected by all that I observed...I observed some really, really bad things. Sometimes the 'darkness' is almost overwhelming. [text deleted] But eventually, I'll be gone too. And PCA won't have me pointing at them anymore.


Sherminator, I seem to have the feeling that it did start in I/P and miraculously moved here. Oh well.

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You wrote, "a member of the Presbyterian Church of America which separated from PCUSA in opposition to what PCA viewed as liberalization of PCUSA (read - support of civil rights)".


It is likely some individual congregations like yours separated from the PCUS for racist reasons. Racism may have become a motivation for leaving the PCUS in later years (or the PCUSA even later).


But in the years just before and just after the formation of the PCA race simply was not part of the discussion. During that period the "liberalism" being discussed never had a racial component: it was ALWAYS theological or philosophical.


This is not to say that the the PCA didn't contain racists: it did. But virtually every white person in the South during that era (mid-60's) was racist. Racism simply was not a distinguishing factor between PCA and PCUS.


During the era when the PCA was formed, even the most liberal bureaucrat in the PCUS wouldn't have touched that issue. Many 'good Southern Presbyterians' might not have gotten upset over the 'minute' theological issues like whether Christ was God, or merely a man with religious feelings. And some might even have allowed that Martin Luther King was not actually the devil incarnate. But they would have been in a total uproar if someone suggested that they -- personally and actually -- had to worship with blacks. If the hierarcy of the PCUS had attempted to impose that in 1965, either those men would have all lost their positions, or the PCUS would simple have ceased to exist.


To suppose that racism could have been a distinguishing issue between PCA and PCUS during that era is simply to betray an ignorance of those times. The fact that your individual congregation was split over this issue, perhaps years later, is certainly tragic. But that does not make your original statement true.


TN Scout Troop(This message has been edited by tnscouttroop)

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You're both talking of huge denominations. Perhaps, in different areas of the country, or even in the same parts, both statements are true? Sometimes different people have different discussions or have different issues pressing foremost on their mind. Sometimes people hew strictly to the guidelines set out by church leaders, sometimes they don't. Sometimes church leaders are representative of their congregations, sometimes they aren't.


I do know that not everyone was racist back then. Some of my ancestors were, some weren't. I'm a Son of Confederate Veterans (www.scv.org/) and a Son of Union Veterans of the Civil War (www.suvcw.org/) and I have the family history from both sides. Some people really cared about equality, some didn't. Abolitionism and slavery both have quite ancient roots going back centuries and people have been fighting and dieing over those issues for a long time. True, the Civil War in America (for example) wasn't necessarily "just" a war to free the slaves at first, but that doesn't mean that to some people that issue wasn't foremost in their thoughts during the Civil War and hadn't (and hasn't) been foremost in their thoughts since when indentured servitude and slavery and racism first started in this country.

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This story sort of makes me wonder, what would happen if little-old me showed up down there in Charlotte, adult leader application in hand, with my Jewish-sounding name and somewhat Jewish-looking face. After all, I am from a religion that (unlike the LDS) does not even profess to believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Would they keep me out too? Or would they accept me as part of our One Big Happy Judeo-Christian Family?


I'll never get why we all have to divide ourselves up like this, but I guess it's a longstanding tradition, sort of like my troop's two-member Boards of Review... oops, wrong thread.(This message has been edited by njcubscouter)

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It is threads like this one that convinces me the BSA would be much better off to take the religious part out of scouting completely. Religious intolerance is as strong today as it was 100 years ago, put the units charters back under the schools, PTA's and service clubs, etc. where they belong. It is time that the scouting program stopped being used as a conversion and propaganda tool for any denomination and back to its original purpose and mission. The BSA is not and should not ever be used as a vehicle to promote religious intolerance, and I say this as a long time scout leader and an ordained minister.

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Looking at the top 25 sponsoring organizations (from http://www.praypub.org/pdf_docs/BSA_Membership_Report_2007.pdf as of 2007), out of 2,428,898 youth 1,539,397 of them are sponsored by some group with the word church in their name: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, United Methodist Church, Roman Catholic Church, Baptist churches, Lutheran churches, Presbyterian churches, United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). That's roughly 63.3% of Boy Scouts (again, only considering the top 25 sponsoring organizations). I don't think churches are going to be banned from starting scout troops any time soon.


It's too bad that other sponsoring organization doesn't want an additional volunteer, but that's their choice. I don't agree with the choice made, but I do support their right to make that choice.

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It sounds harsh, but a CO has the final approval on who can be scout leaders as long as they make their decision within the parameters of BSA policy. The only limits a CO has is when they approve someone that is clearly not allowed to a member of BSA.


I know one church CO that requires scout leaders to be in agreement with the CO's articles of faith. They do not have to be members of the CO, just like-minded faith of the CO. This is a rare situation but it is allowed by the BSA.


I think any responsible adult of good moral character that agrees with the Scout Oath and Scout Law is an eligible candidate to serve as a SM, ASM, or Committee Member regardless of their religious affiliation (or lack of relgious affiliation). Some would like to keep "religions" out of Scouting, but that is impossible because the The Scout Oath and Law are belief statements that often complement the values of many church organizations. This is why Scouting has always been attractive to Churches.

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I can't speak for the other churches but mine would not have allowed someone from another church to be a leader even if they were Presbyterian - forget it for other faiths. In order to be accepted you would probably have to undergo some kind of weird conversion (I really don't want to go any further with this thought).


Nevertheless, Charlotte has a large and thriving Jewish presence. One of my favorite memories was when one of my friends, Jerry Lieberman, told me his definition of a Gentile was a person who goes into a retail store...and buys something. Yeah, I know now that was an old joke but I always laughed a lot when he was around. If anything, I think Jewish wit and humor are the most distinctive characteristics.

When I was growing up a guy named Harry Golden was publishing a popular paper called the Carolina Israelite. He was, of course, not popular with the racists and homophobes, but he had a great sense of humor:



But I'm curious. What is a "somewhat Jewish-looking face"? ;)

Do these qualify?



Or do all of 'you people' look like Golda Meir? :)

If so, Mario Cuomo should probably reassess his background. Actually most of my wife's family as well (and she's even beginning to look...nope better leave that one alone). But then, all the Mediterranean types tend to look alike to me. It's almost as if...they've been mingling their populations for many thousands of years or something.

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Do you, then advocate, that BSA go away from the Scout Oath that is pretty universal among WOSM?


There is no way to obey the Scout Oath honestly, without recognition of God.


Here is what the WOSM has for Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law:

All members of the Scout Movement are required to adhere to a Scout Promise and a Law reflecting, in language appropriate to the culture and civilization of each National Scout Organization and approved by the World Organization, the principles of Duty to God, Duty to others and Duty to self, and inspired by the Promise and Law conceived by the Founder of the Scout Movement in the following terms:


The Scout Promise


On my honour I promise that I will do my best

To do my duty to God and the King (or to God and my Country);

To help other people at all times;

To obey the Scout Law.

The Scout Law


1. A Scouts honour is to be trusted.

2. A Scout is loyal.

3. A Scouts duty is to be useful and to help others.

4. A Scout is a friend to all and a brother to every other Scout.

5. A Scout is courteous.

6. A Scout is a friend to animals.

7. A Scout obeys orders of his parents, Patrol Leader or Scoutmaster without question.

8. A Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties.

9. A Scout is thrifty.

10. A Scout is clean in thought, word and deed.









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I think there are two reasons this became a news story:

1. They had their leadership revoked after having it first approved. That somehow seems more noteworthy than just denying them in the first place.

2. They denied them essentially by saying that Mormons are not Christians.


Jeffrey H says "The only limits a CO has is when they approve someone that is clearly not allowed to a member of BSA."


Is this really, literally true? Could a CO discriminate on the basis of race in the choice of its leaders? I think the answer would be no.

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Mr_Boyce wrote . . .

". . wow, it's really amazing to be that a divinity school AND an ostensibly Christian denomination would deny the divinity of Christ!"


Not sure if you are being sarcastic or not, so we'll take what you wrote at face value.


It's actually very common for accepted and approved students and professors in denominational divinity schools to deny most of the articles of faith found in the Christian ecumenical creeds. It is common to doubt or even deny doctrines such as the Incarnation or the Resurrection. Of course, this denial is often couched in terms like "I interpret that to be a statement of Paul's personal faith" (= he believed it, but we don't). This is true of schools operated by the UMC, the PCUSA, the Episcopal Church in the US, and more. And of course denominations like Unitarian/Universalists and Christian Science NEVER accepted those doctrines.


A pastor who recently moved to the EPC, after 30 years in the PCUSA, commented to one of us that he finds it disorienting to go to denominational meetings where most of the clergy present actually believe the Apostle's Creed to be true!


Now, we're speaking of ideas, not behavior here. Many who accept orthodox theology nevertheless live despicable lives. But that's a distinguishable issue.


TN Scout Troop

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