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Charlotte church refuses to allow Mormans to be leaders

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"Duty to God", as stated in your British scout oath is meant to be of a personal nature between the scout's own conscious and his own concept of a creator. It was never meant to be a requirement to be used for a boys suitability to become a scout. In the BSA scout law the 12th point, a scout is reverent, has been so twisted and warped out of its original context and purpose that it has become an object of religious superiority and intolerance in its application to the program. The LDS church uses this point to justify their twisting of the scouting program to prepare their boys for becoming missionaries over learning the scouting skills the program was originally set up to do. As a result many non LDS scouters have a real issue with the LDS scouting program, as seen in different threads in this forum. I have seen in many fundamentalist church sponsored troops a program that parallels the Royal Rangers more than it does the BSA focusing on church doctrine over scoutcraft.


Some may state that these church CO's have the right to control the content of their units program, which may be true, but the result is those units become nothing more than a propaganda tool for that particular church instead of being trained in the scoutcraft and leadership skills that the BSA program is supposed to be about. Like Kudu is always reminding us the scout program has been watered down over the last few decades for which he blames WoodBadge, IMHO it is evergrowing control of the BSA by the "Christian " churches that has resulted in a weaker program, large drops in numbers, and an evergrowing number of untrained and undertrained leaders. The idea of "religious tolerance" in the BSA is little more than a joke, just look at any of the past threads in here concerning the Scouts Own ecumenical services at camp or in the field and you will see this intolerance firsthand.



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That's because orthodoxy means different things to different people. It's no surprise that different churches can believe different things and that each church considers itself orthodox, completely in line with tradition. If that wasn't the case, there would only be one church in the entire world.


Take the Bible, for instance. There have been more different versions of the Bible than there are words in the Bible. Over the course of a few centuries, we can see where one scribe deleted a few verses that had appeared in an older version, then it was added back by someone else with a warning not to change the scriptures, then another scribe copied the 2nd version without the passage without knowing about the third version, then it was fixed again. And that's where it stayed for centuries until just a couple decades ago when an even older version was found in a monastery without those verses and it appears that the first scribe who "deleted" the verses was actually trying to correct the erroneous addition of those verses. The whole story of the woman who was about to be stoned, the famous "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" story is believed to be an addition to the Gospel of John by a later scribe, as the wording and sentence structure is completely different from the rest of the book, which usually means that someone else wrote it as even when someone tries to write in another voice their own writing style is usually apparent. Different churches even have different canonical versions of the Bible with more or less books.


Heck, people can't even agree on which are the 10 commandments. For instance: I am the Lord your God, You shall have no other gods before me, You shall not make for yourself an idol. Sometimes that's one commandment, sometimes the first two are combined into one commandment (for a total of two), sometimes the latter two are combined into one commandment (for a total of two) and the Anglican churches say that the first "I am the Lord your God" is a preface to the list of commandments and thus not a commandment at all and that the latter two are separate commandments. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, and You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor, are variously interpreted as one or two commandments.


Christian churches have, over the course of centuries, split over seemingly silly things, as whether you use two fingers or three fingers when a priest blesses a person. Does the Eucharist (for those who believe in a literal Eucharist instead of a figurative Sacrament) become the literal body of Christ at the moment the priest finishes the prayer or at the moment it touches a person's tongue?


Then there's Jesus. Is he the literal son of God and Mary or was that figurative? Is he a man who became a deity when he died? Was he half a deity from birth? Is he a separate and distinct being from God or is he the same being appearing in a different form? Was there a difference between the mortal and deific Jesus and was there possibly more than one soul in that body? Throughout history, churches have argued and split over these and each side was convinced that it was right for reasons that seemed good and logical to them at the time based on what they knew. And let's not get into the Light of Christ and the Spirit of Christ and all the similar things which may or may not be different to different churches.


Then, some churches believe that the heavens are closed, God no longer pays attention to people, that miracles and angles aren't around anymore, and some don't -- some believe that God speaks to man as he did in days of old, that miracles and angels are still around. And there are all different versions of those two ideologues that I just postulated -- churches are 100% the first and 0% on the second, some are 0% on the first and 100% on the second, some are 50%/50%, some are 75%/25%, or 25%/75%.


Some churches say that man is saved by faith, some by works, some say that the whole argument is nonsense and that those are really the same thing.


And this isn't just limited to Christian churches. When you start delving into religions, you see that all religious groups everywhere basically argue over the same things, for instance the Hindus argue over the way of the cat or the way of the monkey, which is basically a faith or works argument. Really, everyone, in any religion (not just Christian churches) is arguing over the same things. Some viewpoints have massive following, some have very limited following, and sometimes people of different viewpoints hang together under a larger umbrella for reasons unrelated to religion (political reasons, their friends are there, it has a great scout troop).


I could go on, but I think it's really evident to someone who starts looking at churches. Different churches have different beliefs and different viewpoints and each one is convinced that they are right, that they know the truth and that the other churches are wrong (if this wasn't the case, then the different churches wouldn't exist and would just be one church).


Am I saddened that this happened? Sure. Am I surprised? Not in the least. Do I find it strange that different divinity schools teach different things? Not even a little bit. Sorry about the wall of text, by the way.

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Gern - I am guessing that non-discrimination on the basis of race is the order of the day.


Here are a few supporting pieces of evidence:

"The BSA Foundation is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from, or denied the benefits of, our services on the basis of race, color, or national origin." (http://www.scouting.org/filestore/bsafoundation/nondiscrimination.pdf)


"Membership in Scouting, advancement, and achievement of leadership in Scouting units are open to all youth without regard to race or ethnic background and are based entirely upon individual merit." Youth Application


I did not find a direct statement that adult leader positions are to be selected without regard to race, but I believe it to be true. I would expect that any unit that announced it would discriminate on the basis of race would find its charter revoked.

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Yah, can we move this thread over to da Issues & Politics forum? How 'bout it, moderators? Much as I'll occasionally dabble over in I&P, leavin' this here will only detract from the real Scouting-related discussions.




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This thread probably does belong elsewhere.


But having just read the original AP article here:


it's hard to miss several striking ironies.


Contrary to several posters in this thread, the LDS church has been involved in the BSA from the very beginning. It is simply ignorance to refer to the LDS church as 'corrupting' the BSA -- they were there, shaping it's development from the very beginning.


But, they've always been exclusive -- in the ways the BSA allowed from the beginning. It would be an unusual LDS congregation that would allow non-LDS leaders in its Scout program. The LDS Scouters we know are nice guys, but are rather clear that a central purpose of Scouting is to prepare young men for the "mission". This simply not a task they could delegate to non-Mormons.


The Mormon father is quoted as saying, ""I can't believe they had the audacity to say, 'You can't be leaders but we want your boys'". That sounds suspicious. The idea that a church would exclude non-Mormon leaders would hardly seem audacious or even surprising to most Mormons, but rather pretty normal.


Like Mormons, evangelicals would tend to be interested in 'converting' the boys. The parents in this case would either have to be pretty naive, or else pretty inactive as Mormons to be surprised by this.


One has to wonder what was really going on there.



TN Scout Troop


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"This thread probably does belong elsewhere."


The topic is about chartered organizations and how they select adult leaders for their troop. If we can keep to that topic there is no need to relegate a good discussion to the junk heap.


If you all want to talk about the Bible, religious intolerance, homosexuality, or racial discrimination, use the "spin off new thread" button and start a new discussion.


Yes please?

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But that is the whole point, the BSA has allowed certain groups to corrupt the scout program and exclude others, we are talking about boys who just want to go camping, earn patches, and have fun and THAT is what scouting is all about. The religious control of the organization is what is bringing it down as they are now the dominant number of charter organizations since scouting was forced out of schools and public/govt. agencies.

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The topic is about chartered organizations and how they select adult leaders for their troop. If we can keep to that topic there is no need to relegate a good discussion to the junk heap.


This topic is about a church not allowing a Mormon to be a registered leader in the unit they charter. It doesn't belong in this forum but it appears a competent moderator was unable to move it to a more appropriate forum so we are stuck with it here.

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It seems that it is mostly a result of how the chartering church views the program. IF they view it as a BSA program on their grounds, they tend not to care. If they view it as a ministry outreach, they tend to have faith based requirements. Our CO for instance does not require church membership except for the CC, CM, SM. This year, they have started required signed statements of faith from leaders. The change? It is that this year they decided to start viewing it as a ministry.


On a side note, I noticed some errors in the article. Easily made by non-scouters, but subtly changes the meaning of some things. For one thing, I noticed it calls the volunteer leaders at the church "Scouting officials."

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I'm not sure that a racial nondiscrimination statement is permitted by Dale. My understanding was that a group can override state interests when the group has a basic core belief that speaks to the choice. That's why Scouting declared that it was a religious organization.


The Jaycees, though, were not able to exclude women, because there was nothing about what they did that was exclusive to women.


So while the KKK can presumably voluntarily select racially based leaders (and I would presume, so could the NAACP), other groups that do not mention race in their mission statement are probably prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, because the state has a compelling interest in ending discrimination.


As always, IANAL.


Also, several places referred to a 1974 agreement with the NAACP and the BSA involving the LDS court case. Depending on what that agreement says, I could imagine there being some legal standing to it.

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