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Well, I guess this shows how desperately people ignore awkward rules. Rather than respect the kid's decision (which, oddly enough wouldn't even begin to be questioned if he believed in invisible superbeings), paternalistically assume he's a bit stupid, or he hasn't really thought about it, because obviously he'd come around to seeing the existence of invisible superbeings, or he's lying, or ANYTHING other than actually being an atheist. Because that would mean he'd get kicked out.

 

This is dumber than "Plan 9 From Outer Space."

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Last check, M., no rules ignored. Most atheists I know don't go to church with their families. (Unless we're talking about 2nd century Christians who were burned at the stake for their "athiesim".) So the boy's actions aren't aligning with his words, better to give him time work that out on his own.

 

On the bright side, this gives you leeway to assume that every boy who spouts off religious rhetoric before their "age of accountability" is just going through "a passing phase" on the road to cynicism.

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That's funny, qwazse, there are quite a few atheists who were forced to attend church when they were 10 years old, because they were 10 years old. Just google "atheist forced church" and you'll find lots of real-world examples. How many 10-year-old atheists do you know, anyway?

 

The BSA requirement isn't to attend church, it's a belief requirement, and assuming "this kid said absolutely and definitively that there was no God" is an accurate summary, it's just more of the same bizarre doubletalk to avoid having to enforce an idiotic BSA rule. Why not just admit you're ignoring the rule? Why insult the kid's intellectual integrity by trying to say he really isn't an atheist?

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Nah, it's not so much as ignoring a rule, but looking ta the person.

 

BSA also says you need to be honest, trustworthy, clean, and friendly ..among other things too.

 

But tell me you think all scouts around 10 years old are 100% honest all the time - never ever lie, decieve, or do less than honest things - are 100 % courteouis without fail - and never pick on or make fun of other kids....then you can expect a certified ands garanteed faith ( or lack of) .

 

BSA's stance is ( is the most simplest of laymens terms): UNtil they are 18 and of legal adult age...anything they say is not taken as an absolute final statement.

 

This would include their religous beliefs ( or lack of) their political views, their career aspirations, their total responcibility for their choices and much more.

 

Again, the very first thing to consider about any under 18 youth in BSA is this: They have not signed anything saying they are bound to do anything.

 

Why? Because it wouldn't be legal anyways. That's why mom, dad or a legal guardian has to sign a youth application.

 

Then you figure BSA wants a chance to mentor as many kids as they can. By not holding a final binding opinion of kids while they are under 18, they can have a chance to mentor them.UNtil they are adults, I bet BSA doesn't push hard on a child who supports communism or a rascist govermnet style either. They would'nt kick out a kid who says he lies alot. And they won't kick out a boy who says he doesn't believe in "God" ( but does that mean all gods by any other name).

 

Matter of fact, most of the kids who join scouting DO believe in Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy, THe Ester Bunny, Cupid, the boogy Man, The Tidy Bowl man, and a slew of others. THis is also a viloation of many religions, and probably against atheism too, but nody really cracks down on the kids for that do we?

 

Nah, cause they are just kids.

 

I honestly have no issue with a boy being athiest , myself. But I do not put any more concrete finalization in it any more than I put finalizatiuon in a youth who says he's going to be a cop one day, a train engineer the next or in the Army the day after that.

 

They think this today, think something entirely different tommorrow. Next week, they are not even on the radar compared to last week. Turns out he gets a job being s CPA, designing the ultimate car engine cooling systems, or something even less glamorous like designing ergonomic tooth brush handles.

 

 

They are just kids. That simple.

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Scoutfish - do I detect a double standard with respect to the religious / reverent requirements for this case (the they're just kids argument) to the bile that seems to be emitted from so many to boys who don't measure up the Eagle Scout?

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Nah, not a double standard, but a consideration of the youth and his mentality.

 

In the OP, the boy is question just crossed over witha few others into trhe troop. So, the scout is at youngest, 10 1/2 or at his oldest , around 11, 11 1/2 ( depnding on his age as compared to the scouting year)

 

Ate 10 or 11 years old, I do not expect any kid to have a 100% definant mindset on anything.

 

But that's the whole thing about scouting and geting your Eagle: It's not a case of you are Eagle Material or not when you join the troop. It's a case of growing and maturing and learning towards that point.

 

WE do not judge a brand new scout about wether he is Eagle material or not. We do not expect a brand new scout to be Eagle ready the first day he joins a troop no more than we expect a Tiger to be Arrow Of Light ready when he joins cub scouts.

 

But we do know it's a learning experience.

 

We trezach Tiger cubs the oath, law and motto. Wer don't expect then to already know it. WE then mentor them to become the kind of kids who not know, but live the scouting ideals.

 

Same for Eagle. If we depended on boys to already know their stuff when they join a troop, to have the mindset and qualities of Eagle...how many would we have. 20 or 30 Eagles nationwide?

 

Same for a boys expectation and his firm beliefs ...wethet over religion or what is wright or wrong..Ask a 10 old boy what is more important : Being loyal to a freind or family, or the right thing to do if it goes against that loyalty. Truth is, adults still strauggle with trhat one. But hopefully, they will at least know what to do wether they really do it or not.

 

As for religion, a boy of ten will probably have no more belief that what his parents put in him. But by the time he is working on his EBOR and eagle projects..he ought to have a pretty good idea of what he thinks and believes.

 

 

I'm just saying, at 10 1/2 or 11 ( whichever the boys is) I do not put a ton of weight on his beliefs , nor will I hold him to those beliefs as they may change 100 times before he is 18.

 

He may become the next leader of American Athiests, but he might also be the next pope for all we know.

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>>I'm just saying, at 10 1/2 or 11 ( whichever the boys is) I do not put a ton of weight on his beliefs , nor will I hold him to those beliefs as they may change 100 times before he is 18.

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scoutfish writes:

BSA's stance is ( is the most simplest of laymens terms): UNtil they are 18 and of legal adult age...anything they say is not taken as an absolute final statement.

 

No, that's not the BSA's stance; it might be your stance.

 

The BSA's stance, taken from what their representatives have said under oath, is that six-year-olds who are atheists can't join.

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Merlyn, I agree with you but our 6 year old athiest is about as rare as our 6 year old homosexual.

 

In pratical terms, most kids follow their parents lead wrt religious upbringing at a young age, may or may not like it from the ages of 2 - 11. Start to rebel or sink deeply into it from the ages of 12 - 18. May become ambivalent from the ages of 19 - 30 and then when they have children of their own make decisions for the next generation - atheism, catholicism, hinduism, etc.

 

The BSA has a stance on duty to God & the declaration of religous principle. Don't rock the boat and no witch hunts occur. As a Scoutmaster and den leader, I didn't feel it was my job to weed out the infidels. :)

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Merlyn states:

 

"No, that's not the BSA's stance; it might be your stance.

 

The BSA's stance, taken from what their representatives have said under oath, is that six-year-olds who are atheists can't join. "

 

Merlyn, did they actually say that under oath. Just like that? Are you quoting, or are those your terms?

 

And as a registered member of the BSA in good standing.....am I not also a representative of BSA?

 

 

And heres the kicker, what is the legality of anything a kid says. Is any operson under the age of 18 bound to anythiung they say, and if a 6 year old claims to be superman or batman, do we assume he is senile, psychologocally impaied or that he has personality issues?

 

If he sates he believes in Santa Claus, do we take that as an absolute lifetime commitment and therefor consider him a Clausite?

 

I always assumed you probably had kids. Sure, I could be wrong, but maybe you don't.

 

Thing is, if you do have kids, you know thay can say and be committed to something with all their heart...for either 5 minutes or until something else piques their interest, then the thing before...ummm..whatever it was...is ummm...forgotten like it never existed to begin with.

 

Me? My 10 1/2 year old changes his mind more than the clock changes time. From likes, dislikes, and even his beliefs.

 

 

Now, you can make a lifetime judgement about what a kid says to you when they are 6 years old, but you'd be misunderstanding and holding a skewered view of that person as they grow up and as they live their life.

 

 

Besides, go find a youth application ans find the part where that youth signs his name to the part that says he completely understands the scope and consequences of the form and that he agrees to completely and entirely commit to requiremenst of the form.

 

Oh yeah...there is no place for a youth to sign.

 

Only their parents.

 

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How many 10 year olds even know what an atheist is? I doubt if many do! At this age, they are so influenced by their peers and they change their mind all the time!

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Scoutfish writes:

Merlyn, did they actually say that under oath. Just like that? Are you quoting, or are those your terms?

 

In the Powell case, BSA representatives testified under oath that 6-year-old Remington Powell would not be allowed to join because he was an atheist. This is from the finding of fact in Powell v. Bunn:

Because the Scout Oath and general scouting principles require a belief in God, persons who do not have that belief, such as atheists, are not eligible for membership. Although a belief in God is necessary for membership, the organization is otherwise nondenominational.

And as a registered member of the BSA in good standing.....am I not also a representative of BSA?

 

You don't set membership requirements.

 

You CAN, of course, ignore rules you don't like. I just prefer people to state they are ignoring rules rather than come up with ridiculous justifications so they can pretend they really aren't ignoring rules, when they clearly are.

 

If, for example, someone was insisting they aren't breaking the "no atheists" rule by using very contorted arguments to justify allowing a kid who has very clearly stated he's an atheist, I'm not going to be very reassured if I ask him how stringently he observes, say, water safety rules or youth protection -- for all I know, he bends these rules beyond recognition, too. I'd feel a lot better if he admits up front that he's ignoring the "no atheists" rule, instead of demonstrating how "creatively" he can interpret it.

 

How clear can the BSA make their policy, anyway? National's response to lawsuits on behalf of atheist minors has always been that atheists can't join. They fight in court to either remove atheist youth members (the Randall twins) or to prevent them from joining (the Powell case). They lost thousands of public schools as chartering organizations rather than allow atheists. What would it take for you to be convinced?

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"If, for example, someone was insisting they aren't breaking the "no atheists" rule by using very contorted arguments to justify allowing a kid who has very clearly stated he's an atheist, I'm not going to be very reassured if I ask him how stringently he observes, say, water safety rules or youth protection -- for all I know, he bends these rules beyond recognition, too. I'd feel a lot better if he admits up front that he's ignoring the "no atheists" rule, instead of demonstrating how "creatively" he can interpret it."

 

Merlyn's point is a good one. But from what I have seen over the years is that various troops DO practice 'local' interpretations of the other rules as well or else in some cases simply ignore them. And...some units do admit lax application of the membership policies...quietly and not publicly. I guess they risk repercussions when perhaps someday The Empire Strikes Back.

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"The BSA's stance, taken from what their representatives have said under oath, is that six-year-olds who are atheists can't join."

 

Is that an exact qoute or did you put it in your terms Merlyn?

 

Don't run from the question.

 

And....

 

"If, for example, someone was insisting they aren't breaking the "no atheists" rule by using very contorted arguments to justify allowing a kid who has very clearly stated he's an atheist..."

 

What? How do you figure? When and where did the boy "CLEARLY " say he was an athiest?

 

Where did you get that Info?

 

Not bthe OP who said ( and I quote) :

 

" this kid said absolutely and definitively that there was no God."

 

But you know, a person who truely believs in Quetzalcoatl, Shiva, and Lakshmi do not believe in "God" either. They will tell you that our god does not exist.

 

Because to them, our "God" is not any god at all, just a false prophet or just a case of senility on our poart.

 

So a boy can very definantly say there is no God, but be the furthesat thing from an athiest there is.

 

 

And that's where BSA's policy on being non secular does in fact welcome that boy completely!

 

 

 

(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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