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Trevorum

Religious Emblem approved for Unitarian Universalist youth!

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Fred,

I believe that they do refer to the bible-god.

When was the DRP written? Before the 1960's?

It was no doubt written by upper middle class white American protestant men who would have had little thought of Buddists, Hindus or even Muslims.Who never prbably heard of B'aha'ior Shinto or Jainism or Taoism or Zoroastrianism or Scientology.

So historically I think we can be fairly certain that when these men wrote the DRP they were referring to the Judeo-Christian bible-god.

To further confuse the matter, in other discussions it was mentioned that all a scout would have to do is acknowledge belief in a "higher-power" - but that is not what the DRP says.

The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary.

Deists believe in a single god, creator of all - but think of that god as uninvolved today and so is not a ruling power that bestows favors and blessings.

Of course all this can be twisted to meet ones interpretation. Such as a deists acknowledging god made a world we can live in fulfilling the favors and blessings requirement.

However a Buddist may have a more difficult time interpreting this, being as god is referred to as a personal being- however the buddist does not need to worry because the BSA has bestowed its blessing and favor upon that religion.

I also do not see how the BSA can accept an emblem (created by the UUSO)not approved by the denomination(UUA) when it is the denomination - not BSA that bestows theaward? Based on the passage below how can BSA deny a denomination to promote their religious emblem?

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.

pax,

ron

 

 

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The Heart Sutra would be regarded by many Buddhists as a sort of Nicene Creed. However, the only real principles that the Buddha taught as essential to enlightenment are:

 

The Four Noble Truths

 

Life means suffering

Attachment (desire) is the source of suffering

Cessation of suffering is attainable

The Path to cessation of suffering

 

The Eight Fold Path

 

Right view

Right intention

Right speech

Right action

Right livelihood

Right effort

Right concentration (meditation and mindfulness

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I can't get any response from either the UUSO web site contact form or the UU-Scouting list about when the Cub program will be available, so I have a question: if my Bear completes the Love and Help program I understand that he can't wear the Love and Help emblem itself. Can he or can he not wear the knot?

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Hi Zarah, welcome to the forum.

 

I'm sure Trevorum will have something more to say about the UUSO program, but here is an opinion from a UU member who is not involved in the UUSO.

 

While the idea of the UUSO emblem program for Boy Scouts is all well and good, you should be aware that the UUSO emblem program does not have the approval of the UUA. On the other hand, the UUA emblem program does not have the approval of the BSA.

 

While the difference is currently moot for Cubs, since the UUSO Cub program is still in development, it is something you might want to keep in mind.

 

As far as wearing the emblem and the knot, my personal feeling is, they are awards given by your religious organization, not the BSA. I think it is inappropriate for the BSA to dictate to you whether or not you can wear an emblem from your faith on your uniform, when other faith emblems are allowed to be worn.

 

When my son earns his Love and Help emblem next year as a Bear, he will wear it proudly on his uniform, I'm sure. But I'm in a unit where most of the leadership goes to my UU church. None of them are going to say he can't wear it. And any adult who *did* would get quite an earful from me.

 

As far as the official BSA policy on the knot, I've seen it presented both ways. All the knot represents is that he has gotten a religious emblem, and since it doesn't show *which* emblem, it can be worn even if the wearing of the emblem itself is frowned upon. But I've also heard opinions to the contrary, that if the emblem isn't approved by the BSA, the knot isn't either. I'm as interested as you to see if anyone can cite "official" policy on that.

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Dan, I asked my council guy and he says that the patch, if purchased from the official BSA supplier, can ALWAYS be worn on the uniform. There is no way for anyone to know which specific religious award it represents. However, BSA does not (and this is important) RECOGNIZE the official UU religious award. Therefore at ceremonial events, the medal may not be worn.

As you suggest, though, I would not confront a boy who wore it anyway. Call it my civil disobedience if you like...if BSA wants to punish children, let THEM do it themselves.

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> I have a question: if my Bear completes the Love and Help program I

> understand that he can't wear the Love and Help emblem itself.

 

The UUA recommends that Scouts earn their religious emblem and wear it proudly.

 

The ban on wearing the Love and Help emblem is pure religious discrimination because at no time did the BSA ever object to any of the content in this award. They discriminate against Unitarian-Universalist Cub Scouts only because of the religion to which they belong.

 

This is the inevitable result when the government establishes religion with a monopoly on Scouting, and is the reason for the separation of church and state. The UUA has never addressed this central issue.

 

The UUA did send the following reply to the BSA:

 

We will not acquiesce in such discrimination. We will not stop distributing a Religion and Life manual that reflects our religious principles. We will not stop providing Religion and Life awards and Love and Help emblems to Scouts and Scout leaders. If you and the BSA honestly believe that it will promote or defend Scouting to refuse our awards or to have Scout officials tear them off the uniforms of boys I think that you are sadly mistaken. Most Americans will see such actions for what they are: blatant discrimination against children on the basis of their religion.

 

> Can he or can he not wear the knot?

 

You can find the official answer in the BSA's Insignia Guide. Basically it says that the religious knot may be worn by a Scout who earns his church's religious award. It does not require that the award be recognized by the BSA.

 

Kudu

 

 

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Welcome to the forums, Zarah! It's nice to see another UU. There are more of us in Scouting than some folks would want to admit. I hope you'll stick around and join the discussions in other threads also!

 

Hello also to Dan, packsaddle, and Kudu. They've given some good advice and perspective. If I were the parent of a Cub, I'd encourage my son to complete the UUA Love and Help and wear the knot proudly.

 

I'm aware that a UUSO committee is currently developing a Cub Scout curriculum, but I'm not sure what the timetable is. It's a slow process. The first award took four years to develop and get approved. I suspect that it will be presented for approval at the January or May meetings of the Relligious Relationships committeee, but that's just my guess. In the meantime, encourage your Cub Scout to learn about his faith through the UUA program.

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"Dan, I asked my council guy and he says that the patch, if purchased from the official BSA supplier, can ALWAYS be worn on the uniform. There is no way for anyone to know which specific religious award it represents. However, BSA does not (and this is important) RECOGNIZE the official UU religious award. Therefore at ceremonial events, the medal may not be worn."

 

Ok, not to hijack this thread away from the UU award, but this has brought up another question in my mind that is related. If my son completes the curriculum for the Over the Moon or the Hart and Crescent emblems offered by the Covenant of the Goddess for pagan children, can they wear the knot? Obviously the medals would also not be kosher since the BSA doesn't recognize those awards either. Furthermore, would the Over the Moon fulfill the Bear (or later, Webelos) requirement to earn the religious emblem of your faith?

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Dan, excellent question and very much apropo to the thread. I know that some good Scouters will give you an unequivocal "no". However, I'd prefer to see the forest for the trees. If a family in my unit asked me this question, I would strongly encourage the Scout to earn the Hart and Crescent and to wear the knot. The whole point of the emblems program is to encourage Scouts to learn about their faith. If that Scout were to show up at a CoH wearing the H&C medal, I would merely smile.

 

Of course, y'all know that my "axe to grind" is getting BSA to do a better job of reaching out to the families of minority faiths. In my opinion we do a very poor job of that.

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Dan, If you read the last part of my most recent response to you in this thread, "...I would not confront a boy who wore it (his unrecognized religious medal) anyway. Call it my civil disobedience if you like...if BSA wants to punish children, let THEM do it themselves.", you will see that I agree with Trevorum on this. I know the policy. Trevorum smiles. I wink. The effect is the same and I know of no scout who has been turned away from some event because he was wearing an unrecognized religious medal.

 

However, logically, since the official UU medal is unrecognized by BSA, and since I was told that the knot patch could always be worn, it is reasonable that the same applies to all other religious awards that are not currently recognized by BSA. No problem.

 

I think it is important to remember, here, that BSA took this action not in order to punish or harm children - that is merely the outcome. BSA did this to please a particular constituency...it was a political decision as much as anything. The UUA is a minority faith and BSA chose a path that cost it the least in numbers and funding. Like Rush says, "...it's all about money".

 

When Kudu and Trevorum spar over these awards they and I remember that the real enemy is prejudice, as well as the various hurtful or hateful political and social policies that are spawned from prejudice.

BSA may have optimized their funding but they took a real morality hit, in my book, by doing so.

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Thanks, pack and Trev for you responses.

 

Since I think the answer to the second part of my question (Can a non-BSA approved religous emblem fulfill Bear and Webelos rank advancement requirements?) is a yes, that brings up another question as well.

 

In the Webelos requirements (this is #8, btw), it says "if you earned your faith's religious emblem earlier in Cub Scouting, and your faith does not have a Webelos religious emblem, you must complete requirement 8e.

 

Can a boy complete a *different* religious emblem for the Webelos requirement if he already earned one for Bear? In the case of my son, if he earns Love & Help (UU) for Bear, can he earn Over the Moon (Pagan) for the Webelos requirement? My gut says yes, but I would like to hear other opinions.

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This former cubmaster would have no problem with your suggestion but, then, I don't see myself as a member of the faith police. I see no reason why 'Over the Moon' should not qualify for the Webelos requirement. I see nothing in the written requirements that would disallow it.

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Religious Awards...

 

Met a Scout at a formal occasion. He had an Eagle award on his pocket.. and, on closer inspection, I discerned THREE religious awards. When I asked him about this wonderful display, he told me he earned the God and Country from the Methodist church that sponsored his Troop, the Alte Dei (I hope I said that right) from the Catholic church his FATHER attended and the Jewish award (which title I forget) from the synagogue his MOTHER attended. Over the pocket, he had ONE purple and silver knot and THREE buttons ("devices") on it.

 

Waddya make of DAT??

 

We did not have the time to discuss his belief(s), unfortunately. After being a Chaplain at the Nat Jambo, I've had occasion to talk religion with many other Chaplain type Scouters and with many Scouts. One could almost feel the other fellows pain from the tongue biting, from the more "fundamentalist" types,who could not say "yeah, but MY religion is REALLY the right one".I did hear alot of good religiousy jokes, tho...

 

Did you hear about the agnostic dyslexic insomniac? Poor fellow, lay awake all night, wondering if there is a dog.

 

Kudos, Kudu and Trev...

 

It's still worth it...

 

YiS

 

 

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I am revisiting this thread because of comments made in another thread referencing the UUA or UUSC having a religious award that is recognized by the BSA.

 

I can find where some posters say it exists, but what I cannot find is where PRAY or the BSA says it exists.

 

Neither the UUA or the UUSC says one exists. The closest I can find is on the UUSC site where they say their goal is to have it recognized by the BSA.

 

Can anyone provide any evidence from the BSA that says it recognizes this award? According to the BSA's current list it does not.

http://old.scouting.org/awards/religious/awards/index.html(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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BW,

 

This has been an annoyance since 2005 when the award was approved by the Religious Relationships subcommittee. (I was there, so I know it was approved!) We had a booth at the 2005 jamboree in the relationships tent and formally announced the awards program at that time. Since then, many youths have earned the new award (I don't have the numbers); manufacturing the medal got delayed for several reasons but it is now available through the UUSO website. (please note: the organization is the UUSO, not UUSC.)

 

The most recent information I have is that David Richardson, the Assistant Director for Religious Relationships at the National BSA Headquarters, has told us that the UUSO Awards will be listed in the next printing of the BSA Pamphlet on religious awards. We're still trying to get the online documents updated.

 

-Trevorum

 

 

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