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sparrows

atheist mom question.

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Hello, my son is not a scout, but he wants to be. But I have a few questions about what is okay and what is not okay in the scouting world.

 

I am an atheist, I am also a mother. My children are not atheists, my teen children were raised as Christians (as I used to be a Christian) and my youngest son (who wants to be a scout) has no religion at all. But I wouldn't tag him as an atheist, nor do I encourage him to do so. He would not have any issues with saying the oath to god. My husband is not an atheist, he is not religious either, but he believes in god. No particular religion fits him though. My husband was a scout, I believe he was an Eagle Scout and really enjoyed this time and his experiences.

 

My question is, if I am an atheist but my husband is a theist, can our son participate? (my son is not an atheist) Also, I've heard that people who are atheist or agnostic are banned from helping with the troop. Is this true? Does this mean I can not go to events or help at all (bake cookies, help with den meetings? etc) And last, if my husband does not consider himself part of a particular religion does that mean that he can not participate?

 

Thanks for reading this. :)

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Also sorry if others have already asked these questions. I didn't really search the boards too long. Thanks.

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I had several atheist parents who really liked the scouting program for their son and supported us where they could. Your son will have a great time.

 

Barry(This message has been edited by Eagledad)

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To answer your questions. There is nothing that you mentioned that would prevent your son from being a scout or your husband from being a registered adult volunteer. You could still do things, but you would not be able to be a registered adult. When your son finds a unit that he likes talk with the committee chair and find out if the unit has any restrictions.

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Thank you very much! This has been weighing on me, now I wished I would have asked sooner lol

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Yah, welcome to scouting and to the forums, sparrows!

 

By all means stick around or at least drop by occasionally and tell us about your son's scouting adventures.

 

Most scout units are very secular or ecumenical in their approach to things, so I think you should have no trouble finding him a scout pack (for elementary school) or troop (for middle/high school) that is a lot of fun for him and the family. The only restriction is that you personally can't become a registered, card-carrying member of the Boy Scouts, but you can still participate in outings and fund raisers and parent meetings and all the rest.

 

Beavah

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Sparrows-

What the other posters have said is true: your son can be a Scout and I'm glad you support him! Parental support is key to a Scout's success and it seems like he will have plenty of it. While you are unable to register as an adult leader, you are able to wear the "mother's pins" he receives as he advances. Welcome to Scouting!

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While what everyone has said is correct, the information you're looking for is from the Declaration of Religious Principles, which is included, in part, on the adult application:

 

"The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God and, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.

 

Only persons willing to subscribe to these precepts from the Declaration of Religious Principle and to the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of leadership."

 

Talk with the leaders of the unit you son is interested in joining. BSA provides that units affiliated with churches may require membership in their particular church or faith to be a member of the unit, although I believe most units maintain open membership policies. You may also find some individual unit leaders more accepting of you family's beliefs than other.

 

This doesn't mean you have to get into a long theological discussion with the leaders. I think all you need to say is something like, "We're not a particularly religious family and we're not members of any organized church. We've read the DRP and while my son and husband can agree to it, I cannot. My son wants to be a Scout and my husband may like to be a leader. I of course understand I would not be a leader."

 

Then listen to their answer.

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Thanks so much everyone!

 

Twocubdad, Thanks for giving a little guidance into how to have that conversation lol I was wondering how I was going to talk about it without going into detail about my own personal beliefs.

 

I know a few people who are part of this group and both belong to different churches (one mormon, one catholic) so I think it should be okay.

I really am excited for him. Hopefully he will make life long pals. :D

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u no

 

too, wait, is posting hear considered a Scout Activity sew know alcohol use is permitted? Perhaps if we could enforce that the whole tenor of the conversations would change

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Yah, I find dat da forums is best when I have a flask handy, eh?

 

OGE's gnu typwriten acent is even harder to reed then myne. ;)

 

B

 

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