From: Sarah Vaughan on
Banty wrote:

> If you'd deny an energetic six year old boy with a Mom who clearly is a bit at
> wit's end, and needs some direction for her boy as well as herself, based on
> your ideas of activism, that's not a good thing IMO. And no - no camping YMCA
> program comes close to the well-rounded long established program that Cub
> Scouts offers.

In fairness, I didn't see that Rich was trying to tell this woman that
she shouldn't take her son to Scouts. He was warning her of a possible
problem based on his own experience, and suggesting an alternative
should this situation arise.


All the best,

Sarah
--
http://www.goodenoughmummy.typepad.com

"That which can be destroyed by the truth, should be" - P. C. Hodgell

From: Sarah Vaughan on
user wrote:

> Probably the most succinct position statement you'll find about the
> official policy is the BSA board statement from June 12, 1991, found here:
>
> http://usscouts.org/aboutbsa/rpa1991.asp
>
> The statement:
>
> "While not intending to define what constitutes belief in God, the Boy
> Scouts of America is proud to reaffirm the Scout Oath and its declaration of duty to God."
>
> is probably the clearest one you'll find that they intend the
> requirements to include personal belief.

If that's as clear as it gets, I can definitely live with that. ;-) I
don't see anything in there about making individual belief a requirement
for membership. Of course, clearly some troops have interpreted it that
way, given the boys who've been kicked out for their atheism, and that
concerns me. (I wouldn't actually stop my son from joining just on
those grounds, though - I'm betting there are a lot of other troops
letting atheists stay and not kicking up a fuss about it, who aren't
hitting the headlines. I wouldn't stop my son from joining an
organisation he'd enjoy just on the basis that they *might* make his
life difficult or let him down further along the line.)


[...]
> If nothing else, the personal religious component comes straight to
> the forefront with the requirements for the Bear badge, one of the
> first he'll receive. From http://www.boyscouttrail.com/cub-scouts/bear-scouts.asp :
>
> ------------
> BEAR SCOUT ACHIEVEMENTS
> GOD (Do ONE of the following)
>
>
> 1. WAYS WE WORSHIP
> Complete both requirements.
> 1. Complete the Character Connection for Faith
> * Know. Name some people in history who have shown great faith. Discuss with an adult how faith has been important at a particular point in his or her life.
> * Commit. Discuss with an adult how having faith and hope will help you in your life, and also discuss some ways that you can strengthen your faith.

I'd be OK with both of those. Neither of them specifies that it's
*religious* faith that has to be discussed, and, while I know it's clear
from the context that that's what they meant, they haven't specified it
(and, yes, I'm a pedant ;-) ). I do think my son ought to grow up
having faith in something, whether it's faith in human nature or even
just faith in himself and the people he knows - without some kind of
faith in something or someone, he'd be set for a very empty and
suspicious life. If nothing else, this requirement could lead to a
useful discussion about just what faith is and its many possible
meanings/manifestations, which is a good concept to be learning more about.


> * Practice. Practice your faith as you are taught in your home, church, synagogue, mosque, or religious fellowship.
> 2. Make a list of things you can do this week to practice your religion as you are taught in your home, church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious community. Check them off your list as you complete them.

So for my son, the first of these would involve doing nothing and the
second would involve making a list that says 'Nothing'. That's a pretty
easy way to earn a badge. ;-)


> 2. EMBLEMS OF FAITH
> Complete the requirement.
> Earn the Religious Emblem of your faith.

Do they specify elsewhere what they mean by this? I've never heard of a
faith having a way to 'earn' their religious emblem, so I'm guessing
this is a requirement set up by the Scouts themselves. Without knowing
what 'the requirement' is, I can't really comment on whether or not we
can do it.

> So if don't personally practice the religious requirement, you can't get
> one of the badges required for further advancement.

Only if the leader happens to be a real jobsworth. ;-) I suspect there
are probably a lot more out there who are OK with interpreting it in the
more ambiguous ways that I have (in fact, at least one person - I think
it was Banty - did post in this thread with personal experience of this
being done).


All the best,

Sarah
--
http://www.goodenoughmummy.typepad.com

"That which can be destroyed by the truth, should be" - P. C. Hodgell

From: Ericka Kammerer on
Sarah Vaughan wrote:

>> 2. EMBLEMS OF FAITH
>> Complete the requirement.
>> Earn the Religious Emblem of your faith.
>
> Do they specify elsewhere what they mean by this? I've never heard of a
> faith having a way to 'earn' their religious emblem, so I'm guessing
> this is a requirement set up by the Scouts themselves. Without knowing
> what 'the requirement' is, I can't really comment on whether or not we
> can do it.

Religious organizations set up what it takes to earn
their badge. I gather there is some oversight of this process
by BSA, but it is the religious organizations themselves who
set up the requirements. So, if someone wanted to ear the
religious emblem from our church, they would go through the
process developed by our church, who would then certify to
BSA that the applicant had successfully completed the process
and earned the emblem.

Best wishes,
Ericka
From: Banty on
In article <yYmdncLcusLX1L7anZ2dnUVZ_rqlnZ2d(a)comcast.com>, Ericka Kammerer
says...
>
>Sarah Vaughan wrote:
>
>>> 2. EMBLEMS OF FAITH
>>> Complete the requirement.
>>> Earn the Religious Emblem of your faith.
>>
>> Do they specify elsewhere what they mean by this? I've never heard of a
>> faith having a way to 'earn' their religious emblem, so I'm guessing
>> this is a requirement set up by the Scouts themselves. Without knowing
>> what 'the requirement' is, I can't really comment on whether or not we
>> can do it.
>
> Religious organizations set up what it takes to earn
>their badge. I gather there is some oversight of this process
>by BSA, but it is the religious organizations themselves who
>set up the requirements. So, if someone wanted to ear the
>religious emblem from our church, they would go through the
>process developed by our church, who would then certify to
>BSA that the applicant had successfully completed the process
>and earned the emblem.

http://www.scouting.org/nav/enter.jsp?s=by

.... then "Awards and Advancement", then "Religious Emblems".

Banty

From: user on
On Sat, 27 Oct 2007 06:10:24 GMT, toto <scarecrow(a)wicked.witch> wrote:
> On 24 Oct 2007 12:22:01 GMT, user <Rich(a)iwantnospam.com> wrote:
>
>>There's no possible way to interpret that as anything other
>>than "I believe in god", unless you contend that you can have an obligation to
>>god without actually believing in it. ;-)
>
> Maybe they can profess belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster
>
> http://www.venganza.org/
>
> or the Invisible Pink Unicorn
>
> http://www.geocities.com/ipu_temple/
>

Said in jest, I know - but they probably could, without a problem. :-)

- Rich


--
Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.