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Scouting Forums

Recruiting New Members and School Relationships

No, you read too much into my statement. I adjusted our program for him to fit his lack of supernatural religious beliefs in keeping with BSA’s policy of inclusion. Didn’t you sit through the training that said we needed to be tolerant and accepting of beliefs that don’t match our own? It all comes down to how you define “God!” He considers “humanity” and the study of science to be all the “God” he is willing to recognize. I didn’t change any requirements, just redefined things for him that made them such that he had no problem with the requirements to abide by the scout oath and scout law.

In the Cub Scout program the guide to advancement says otherwise

“ When a Cub Scout has done this—their best effort possible—then regardless of the requirements for any rank or award, it is enough; accomplishment is noted.”

They can advance, regardless of the requirements.

The prior comment about changing requirements was specifically about an athiest Scout in a Troop. While the requirement for Cubs is “do your best”, that’s not the requirement for Scouts BSA. The GTA is explicit that you cannot change the requirements as they are written, such as changing “duty to God” to “duty to Humanity”.

While BSA does “require” all Scouts to believe in a God or comparable higher power, the organization does currently admit Scouts who are non-theistic Buddhists and Jains, and Hindus from non-theistic sectarian groups - not only that, but the religious awards for all three faiths are recognized by Scouts BSA. That opens up huge loopholes in the concept of “Duty to God.”

God is not defined by BSA - and that’s intentional on their part to be inclusive and respectful of different faiths (Yay BSA!!!). Therefore the previous poster “changing” the requirement (or the scout’s perception of the requirement) from “duty to God” to “duty to Humanity” is not actually a change of the requirement, but a change of the scouter’s perspective, understanding, and level of respect for people with different beliefs.

By not defining God, Scouts BSA is allowing scouts to apply their own definition to the word - and therefore if one does not believe in a conventional higher power - as in the BSA recognized, non-theistic Buddhism - one can still perform a duty to something they believe is greater than the self. That could be a duty to nature, to society, to community, to humanity as a whole.

Once the door was opened to non-Christian views of God - and then religions/belief systems/philosophies that don’t worship a higher power - then the definition of God became open to just about any interpretation - and the requirement “Duty to God” is not changed by having a different understanding of God (or comparable hight power).

Would you mind sharing your outline of bullet points that you shared with the school administrators? Either publicly or to my email at rphil34231@aol.com.


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