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Declaration of Religious Principle (DRP)

The BSA … policy is that the home and organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.

Charter, Bylaws and Rules - Primary Source

Charter, Bylaws and Rules - History

US congressional charter

  • US congressional charter, 36 USC Ch. 309: BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, June 15th, 2016, as revised, as published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the United States House of Representatives. – Does not include BSA DRP.

BSA Mission Statement

The mission of the BSA is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law

Membership Policy

Related Scouting magazine blog articles

Related Scouting forums articles

Version

Version 2021-10-07-A Revision DRAFT

Declaration of Religious Principle & Related Quotes

DRP in Adult Applications

Adult Application, Form 524-501, 2018 Printing, SKU 649246:

Excerpt From the Declaration of Religious Principle

The BSA 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 the Bylaws of the BSA shall be entitled to register.

SOLICITUD PARA ADULTOS, Form 524-502, 2018 Printing, SKU 649248

Fragmento de la Declaración del principio religioso

BSA sostiene que ningún miembro puede llegar a ser el mejor ciudadano sin reconocer una obligación ante Dios. Por consiguiente, reconoce el elemento religioso en la capacitación de sus miembros, sin ser en absoluto sectario en su actitud hacia esa formación religiosa. Su política es que el hogar y la organización o grupo con el que el miembro está conectado le dará la atención precisa a su vida religiosa. Solo las personas dispuestas a subscribir esta Declaración de principio religioso y los reglamentos de Boy Scouts of America tendrán derecho a #certificarse como miembros.

DRP in Guide to Advancement

Guide to Advancement, 33088, ISBN 978-0-8395-3088-6, ©2019 Boy Scouts of America, 2019 Printing, “Special Considerations”, p. 38

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Declaration of Religious Principle (2019)

CHARTER AND BYLAWS OF THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, 100-491, ©2019 Boy Scouts of America, June 2019 revision, 2019 printing, p. 19

BYLAWS—ARTICLE IX, POLICIES, Section 1

Declaration of Religious Principle

Clause 1. The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath the member declares, “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.” The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members. No matter what the religious faith of the members may be, this fundamental need of good citizenship should be kept before them. The Boy Scouts of America, 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 the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.

Activities

Clause 2. The activities of the Boy Scouts of America shall be carried on under conditions which show respect to the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion, as required by the twelfth point of the Scout Law, reading, “Reverent. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.”

Freedom

Clause 3. In no case where a unit is connected with a church or other distinctively religious organization shall members of other denominations or faiths be required, because of their membership in the unit, to take part in or observe a religious ceremony distinctly unique to that organization or church. However, no church or religious organization holding a valid charter shall be required to accept as an adult leader any person whose espoused personal beliefs are in conflict with the chartered organization’s religious principles.

Leaders

Clause 4. Only persons willing to subscribe to these declarations of principles shall be entitled to certificates of leadership in carrying out the Scouting program.

Clause 5. Rules and Regulations approved by the Executive Board or Executive Committee shall be considered no less important to the Corporation merely because they are not specifically set forth in the Bylaws.

DRP in Webelos “Duty to God and You” Adventure (2018)

The DRP is reprinted in the Webelos Den Leader Guide, 37003, Copyright 2018 Boy Scouts of America, 2018 printing, SKU 646724, p.48

Do please define god without using attributes or a related book of faith. We should realize that there are religious awards presented by groups that do not have a deity.

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@Stephen_Hornak, you know that the phrasing of the DRP comes from nationals. @Bill_W is just posting the excerpt to make it more immediately visible to folks hunting for it. Many people only see it when they’re filling out the applications, and I’d be surprised if most people actually read it at that time.

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@CharleyHamilton- yes indeed and most likely the least read part of the app. As a scouter who is unacceptable by this I really want to find real inclusion.

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I’m not arguing about the opinion, just the venue. I’ve made the same argument myself. Nationals hasn’t listened to me yet. :wink:

@CharleyHamilton - I appreciate you arguing for the point. Applying logic to the DRP then the “religious awards” really exposes the duplicity and shunning of those who do not conform. And yes I really take this to heart and will work to my dying day to see the DRP and DtG removed.

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BSA Rules & Regulations (2018)

National Charter (36 USC 309)

Thank you Charley for finding the June 2019 revision to BSA Charter and Bylaws document.

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@Stephen_Hornak, which groups present religious awards that don’t have a deity?

Buddhism, as I’ve seen it practiced, doesn’t require belief in a deity, although I don’t believe that it prohibits such a belief.

@aakoch - the jainism organization and the Unitarian universalist. I can certainly dig deeper but the plausible deniability is very apparent.

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Buddhism as well, I think.

Hello! This is my first post here. I’m a new Committee Chair/Cub Scout Pack leader. Also a Zen Buddhist. I found this page while digging for information for some prospective scouts who are considering the religious requirement. I can confirm that Buddhism is a non-deist religion/practice, but it does not prohibit/preclude a belief in God/s; some Buddhists practice while also remaining affiliated with other religions. My son will soon begin work towards the Cub Scout Metta Award.

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Buddhist
Per religious emblem program document, 512-879, 2018 Printing
https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-879_WB.pdf, the award programs for Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA do not appear to be the same. Questions can apparently be sent to:

Buddhist
National Buddhist Committee on Scouting, 1710 Octavia St.,
San Francisco, CA 94109-4341;
email: bcascoutinginfo@gmail.com; website: www.bcascouting.org

Hi, @MelanieCase. My daughter eaned the Metta Award in the spring. If you do not already know (and for the benefit of anyone else reading this), they have two separate sets of requirements: one for Theravāda Buddhists and another for everyone else.

It isn’t widely known, but a Scout does not have to be Buddhist to earn the Metta Award. My daughter and I practice Deism, a faith wich does not have a religious emblem. She very much enjoyed learning about Buddhism. She made her own obutsudan and meditated every day in front of it holding her mala, which she also made. Best of luck to your son on his journey.

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