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God?

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Since I'm in the South, I can only confirm BadenP's comment. I know that Eagle candidates HAVE been grilled on this. The last occurrence I know of was even BEFORE the boy was 18 for that matter. He was grilled by the District advancement guy when the District advancement guy realized the boy attended a church that the District advancement guy considers to be less-than-qualified for this aspect of Eagle advancement.

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Well, I'll grant you that St. Louis is sometimes called the furthest north southern city but no matter what you call us, we are not deep South. That said, the 12th point is addressed in Eagle boards I've heard of as well as every BOR for rank that I've sat on over the last several years. This is in both of the aforementioned evangelical Lutheran and secular troops I've served.

 

Anecdotal evidence only, obviously.

Vicki

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No, Vicki, it doesn't.

 

An atehist holds that nothing exists.

 

You can have faith without believing that God (proper noun) exists. You can have a faith that doesn't have any sort of "god figure" at all. As has already been said, Buddhism, which rejects the metaphysical, is a PERFECT example. While some people consider Buddists to be atheists because of this, the BSA (as an organization) welcomes Buddhist scouts.

 

The blanket statement that "one must believe in God in order to not be considered an atheist, and thus, be able to be a scout" directly flies in the face of the BSA's stated policy.

 

Imagine for a moment if District/Council downchecked a Buddhist scout for Eagle because someone considered Buddhism insufficient to fullfill the Scout Oath. What do you suppose the response from national would be?

 

 

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Vicki

 

I was talking about EBOR's mainly because they are supposedly done on a district level with impartial, unaffiliated with your church, members and not at a church troop meeting.

 

I bet even in St. Louis it is rare to hear DRP being brought up at a EBOR.

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Although 60 miles north of the Mason-Dixon line, our troops' EBORs

are always hosted at our CO (a church)

are moderated by a council volunteer representative (the district advancement chair or his assignee).

are open to troop committee members, the COR, and possibly the crew committee members. Representatives of the CO are in the minority.

are closed to SM's, ASM's, or crew advisors -- except for a brief moment when they introduce the candidate.

include a hand-out of suggested open-ended questions, one of which is "how do you apply the 12th point to your daily life?"

 

That question is ALWAYS asked. Therefore in SMC's we always ask it of the boys so that they are prepared to give an answer that represents their beliefs. We've spared committees a lot of ear-tickling because boys are really tempted to say what they think their audience wants to hear.

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Oh, and when I was a committee member, I recall one or two boys bringing up the DRP as one of the things they liked about scouting.

 

As ASM, I recall one SMC where a boy linked his rank advancement to his spiritual walk. (We encouraged him to tone it down a little for the EBOR. Religious though MC's may be, mid-week sermons can put them in an ill mood!)

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BadenP, you misunderstand what Im saying. Im talking application of the policy to a scout, a minor, by assumption. Eighteen-year-olds doing Eagle BOR, is another topic, but is the exception, not the rule. Im not at cross purposes with you, and largely agree with your point of view, but for the time being, things are what they are. I to do Eagle Boards, both on the unit, and district levels, and agree, this does not come up.

 

In as far as the scouts beliefs counting, they can, but you have to look at how I worded things. If the scout is not reverent, thats a big issue. If the scout refuses to take the oath, and says he is not living by the oath, that is a problem. A scout saying he does not believe in god, is no issue at all.

 

In the case on point, our scouts parents attested his beliefs, and are clearly continuing his education in that area. Our scout is attending worship, and going through the practice of the faith of his family. There has been no mention of disrespect of god, or toward others beliefs, or his parents. This combination meets current policy expectations, in as far as no action is possible.

 

Dont get me wrong, this scout could be manipulated into a misstep with ease, but is that what should be done? Hes walking a razors edge, and may, or may not, know it. In this situation the clear choice is help this young man, or more to the point, let his family know he needs help. This can be done with clear conscience, as nothing inappropriate has happened here.

 

Ive been in, or involved with, scouting since 1974, and have seen many different attitudes on this topic. Ive also seen many different CO/unit policies. In the end, we must ask what is best for this scout, looking at things from his point of view, and be there for him. Do I think scouting is changing in its attitudes, yes. Do I think BSA would love to lob this ball into the COs court, and be done with it, oh yea.

 

What do I think needs done? A shift away from scouting looking at practice of religion; replacing this with a focus on spiritual growth. BSA needs to paint with broad flexible, strokes, instilling timeless values, solid morals, respect for all people, and building solid leaders, from all backgrounds, to lead us into the future.

 

This is my opinion, and Im sure there are many other valid opinions of where we should go in the future, please take it as what it is.

 

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"Do I think BSA would love to lob this ball into the COs court, and be done with it, oh yea."

Old Ox, why then, do you suppose they don't?

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Lots of folks here are talking about the BSA DRP. When you talk about the DRP, keep the following in mind:

 

 

 

The DRP does not require nor forbid a belief in a Supreme Being.

The DRP does not talk about being a 1st class or 2nd class citizen, it talks about the quality of citizenship a member can obtain.

The BSA does not define what constitutes belief in God or the practice of religion.*

The BSA does not require membership in a religious organization or association for enrollment in the movement but does prefer, and strongly encourages, membership and participation in the religious programs and activities of a church, synagogue, or other religious association.*

The BSA respects the convictions of those who exercise their constitutional freedom to practice religion as individuals without formal membership in organized religious organizations. Scouting believes in the right of all to worship God in their own way.*

Throughout life Scouts are associated with people of different faiths. Scouts believe in religious freedom, respecting others whose religion may differ from theirs.*

(*indicates this is taken from further notes on the DRP in the BSA Advancement Policies and Procedures Committee Guide)

 

 

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Paddlesack, they realize they have to have control of the program the market it, and in handing that type of control over some crazy could go off the ranch. Constant temptation, tempered by fear of what the image of BSA could become.

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It seems to me that I remember during my training as a DE at National, and then as a SM that it was made pretty clear that all EBOR's are the purview of the DAC who decides when and where and who will serve on that committee. They are NOT allowed to be organized by any of the unit leaders or held at the CO of that unit, as usually there are 3-4 or more candidates from different troops scheduled on the same day and location, and obviously at different times. This was to insure that there was impartiality, consistency, and fairness in the way they were conducted.

 

To bring it back to topic, this was also to insure the reverent part of the law, the DRP, and the belief in "GOD" was determined accurately and fairly according to the policies of the BSA and not an individuals interpretation of those policies.

 

It is clear from what I am seeing here that this is not being done consistently on a nationwide basis which I believe is the root cause of all the problems that keep cropping up in this particular area.

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Baden, I know what an EBOR is and I know the conditions under which they are held. I have served in two districts in our council. If, when you say DRP you mean the 12th point, which is what I have been talking about, you would lose that bet.

 

Jrush, you need to study Buddhism a bit more thoroughly. Buddhists do not believe in a creator god. However, the Buddha is venerated as the embodiment of the supreme essence come to earth in at least one, if not more, strains of Buddhism. Not the Christian understanding, nor theist, per se, but definitely recognizing something beyond oneself.

 

As to defining atheism, I'll defer to my dictionaries for that one.

 

Vicki

 

Vicki(This message has been edited by Vicki)(This message has been edited by Vicki)

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OGE, the Des Peres is still within its banks, as are most of the rivers right around here. Although i feel sorry for it, it is more a huge drainage ditch. Big plans afoot to reclaim it if the money ever comes available. Just a little south, not so much.

 

Vicki

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So, I moved from Evansville, Indiana to the St Louis Area in the late 1980's. I was working at a hospital and someone said that so&so's family (a fellow worker) had a big hoosier in it to which I replied, thats a good school , what year did he graduate?

 

It was a few days before anyone could look at me and not laugh,

ah, the versatility of the English language

 

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