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Poll results: Should the atheist eagle scout have to declare a belief in a "higher power"?

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Thread: Atheist Scout given a week to declare belief

  1. #1
          Downtown's avatar
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    Atheist Scout given a week to declare belief

    Atheist Scout given a week to declare belief
    Ok, time for a good controversy again. What do guys think about this? Should this kid be kicked out?



    I think this is such crap. If "higher power" is so all inclusive that it includes "Mother Nature", then doesn't it completely lose all meaning and relevance? As if enough people don't hate the Boy Scouts? I think it is a generally good organization that does a lot of really great things, but all this descension into sexual and religious preference is just so petty and I just can't understand at all. It almost sounds like the Spanish Inquisition. (ok - maybe a slight exaggeration - but nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! ) Oh, and it wasn't like he was refusing to do the scout or American pledge. It's just so bogus.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    I had been a strong supporter of Scouts all my life-heck earned the Girl Scout Gold Award *equal to the Eagle*. I loved it and becouse my girlscout leader was also a boy scout leader we went to boyscout camp *we were 'explorer scouts'* and rushed Alpha Phi Omega in college *a co ed contenuation of Boy Scouts.

    but like you said this has gotten petty. When the whole gay issue came out I wrote a letter both to the BSA and GSA expressing my thoughts on the Boy Scouts *note the girls dont require any of this BS* I turned in everything i had related to BSA and joined "Scouting for All"

    This making a young man who is by all acounts a model scout state something he does not belive in is wrong and from what i was taught not at all with keeping with scouting at all-you dont lie.

    if an organization wants my money/time/support of any type it better be INclusive

    i dont give to the BSA, Red Cross etc-my G*d teaches me to accept all for who they are-regardless.

    *steps off soap box*
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    It sucks.

    When I was a kid, if you weren;t in the scouts you were an outcast. The teachers even made it that way by sitting all us scouts together - like she was fashioning a social order.

    I think if these organizations want to be exclusive of diversity, they should NOT be supported, encouraged, and promoted in public schools.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    I'm with the BSA on this one.

    Kelly,
    I support the young man for sticking to his beliefs - it takes guts to go against the grain. And, I support the BSA for sticking to their beliefs. Sometime beliefs are incompatible.

    The problem in America is that we always have to stick it to those that donít have the belief system we do. You two want to stick it to the Boy Scouts because they don't meet your progressiveness requirements. They shouldn't have to. They serve their members.

    The facts are: The kid earned his Eagle Scout. He then decided he was an atheist and made a public proclamation of it knowing that the PRIVATE organization he was a member of held that a belief in a higher power is a membership requirement. Wether you think it is a silly requirment or not. I think the BSA is being generous in giving him time to think it over.

    Some day the BSA may allow gay scouts and athiest to join. It also may not, but as a private organization it has the right to determine its membership just as much as the Berekey Lesbian Food Co-op does.

    One of my favorite PC Liberal Tricks is when they publicly condem an organization they don't belong too. The Catholic Church and the Scouts are always on the receiving end of this. Other conservative group too. If you are not a member you don't have any business bitching about the group's internal policies. You have no right to seek to change their policies.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Re: I'm with the BSA on this one.

    Originally posted by El Guapo

    Some day the BSA may allow gay scouts and athiest to join. It also may not, but as a private organization it has the right to determine its membership just as much as the Berekey Lesbian Food Co-op does.
    EG, I don't disagree with anything you said, but I disagree with public school support of these private organizations. Something about separation of church and state should be applying here...

  6. #6
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Originally posted by bturk
    I think if these organizations want to be exclusive of diversity, they should NOT be supported, encouraged, and promoted in public schools.
    I agree. Public Schools should not support the scouts exclusively. Your teacher was wrong and you are owed some therapy by the State to help you heal. But when you let the doors open for any private group you have to open them to all private groups.

    If the Pagan Purple People Eaters use the public schools after hours then the little Aryan Youth should have equal access. I don't get the liberal cry for diversity and equal rights: but just make sure that diversity is the "PC kind of diversity"

    I truly believe that this argument and rabid hatred of the scouts is an attempt to destroy that with which you don't agree with. They are simply boys learning things that you consider old fashioned and out of touch with modern society. When I look at society today I and I look at the Scouts. I choose the Scouts.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Rabid hatred of the scouts?

    Where'd that come from?!

    I save rabid hated for a select few and a draft choice to be named later...

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    yes if the BSA and other groups want to be exclusive then no more public money. no support from the united way, the school sytem etc.

    yup im in a sorority but we dont ask for and dont get any public money-we only allow women-ALL women but only women.

    The issue is you cant play both sides of the coin.

    I dont hate the Scouts-i think its one of the best things that ever happend to me and still support the GirlScouts like crazy. i wish the scouts would serve ALL kids-thats who we are talking about, teaching them not to hate/discriminate.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Does the BSA interpretation of higher power mean "God".

    Could this guy simply say that he believes in the BSA and all it stands for, and therefore, that is his higher power?

    My interpretation of "Higher Power" is simply something greater than you. The BSA is greater than one scout.

    Am I barking up the wrong tree with this one?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    I should also mention I am an Eagle Scout, the father of a Scout, the son of a Scout, and an Adult leader in a Troop.

    If we had one or two gay or athiest scouts in our troop we would treat them just the same and we wouldn't minister to them, we wouldn't expose them, we wouldn't question them. Why? Because they are Boys. They have yet to go out into the world and are still forming themselves and their opinions. As an adult leader my job is to act as a role model and example thrugh my actions, deeds and words. I'll answer a Scouts questions and I'll give them my best answers. But if a Scout asked me if about his own homosexuality or athiesim I would ask that he consult with his parent first. If he still needed answers I'd try to get him to as many resources as I could without trying to impose my beliefs. But if he asked me what mine were I'd tell him without reservation. I'd also caution the child about the consequences of "coming out." I think that is what the Scouts have done for the young man in question.

    That is how it should be.

    Originally posted by bturk
    Where'd that come from?!

    I save rabid hated for a select few and a draft choice to be named later...
    Sorry - bad wording. Not you. But there are some Scout haters out there. Sorry Brian.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 21 Nov 2006 at 1:45 PM.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    I like how you think Mike

    I dont think that is what they want or what he is willing to say though.

    i gotta hand it to him-this kid has guts and perhaps a smart mind
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  12. #12
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Originally posted by PlannerGirl
    i wish the scouts would serve ALL kids-thats who we are talking about, teaching them not to hate/discriminate.
    Nowhere do the Scouts teach hate/discrimination! Quite the opposite.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Guap we are of the same mind on this-i admire your thoughs and actions as a leader. You are doing all we can ask of anyone.

    However, I think IMHO, by making public that gays are not part of Boy Scouting *read in my mind as not welcome* as teaching discrimination/hate.

    but i know this is just my opionion and we all have our own.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  14. #14
          Downtown's avatar
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    EG - you made me do research for this posting!

    From the Boy Scouts website, on What is Boyscouting?:
    "Specifically, the BSA endeavors to develop American citizens who are physically, mentally, and emotionally fit; have a high degree of self-reliance as evidenced in such qualities as initiative, courage, and resourcefulness; have personal values based on religious concepts; have the desire and skills to help others; understand the principles of the American social, economic, and governmental systems; are knowledgeable about and take pride in their American heritage and understand our nation's role in the world; have a keen respect for the basic rights of all people; and are prepared to participate in and give leadership to American society."


    Ok, now here's what I think - yes, the boyscouts and all private associations do have the right to determine who should and shouldn't be a part of their organization, regardless of how inclusive their policies are. I one hundred percent admire and respect the goals of the Boyscouts. But the point I'm trying to make is that the head scout guy has said that all this kid has to do is pronounce a belief in a "higher power" which he admitted could include "some higher power - not necessarily religious" (even though the boyscouts are trying to instill "personal values based on religious concepts"). Well, what is the point of making him state that, when it is obvious he'd by lying? Yes, the Scouts have the right to be arbitrary and capricious, however, I still think that sucks, and would like for them to reconsider their stance so that someday I would allow my (future) boys to participate in this organization which for except their inclusivity issues, I think is a great organization to be involved with.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    And on a personal note: Life is rough enough on gay and athiest youths and If my opinion is ever asked by the senior leadership I shall tell them that I believe they should be allowed in.

    And yes, elsewhere in the forum I have stated I am very much against open or practicing Gays in the Military. Different reasoning - different issue.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian El Feo's avatar
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    What part of "Freedom of Association" don't people understand?

    Funny to me how the media screams bloody murder when their first amendment rights are being "abridged" (even when they're not, really), but hell with yours when it happens to you and they'll pile on with the rest.

    And not to pick at nits, but the United Way is not a public organization, at least in the constitutional sense. Nobody forces anyone to give. They're free to spread their wealth to the Boy Scouts or not, as they wish. We're free to give or not, as we wish. Just like the Boy Scouts themselves.

    This kid may have a smart mind - who knows from this story - but guts? Not in my book. "Guts" is having the ability, will, and fortitude to make difficult, sometimes unpopular decisions, and live with all the messy consequences. Sounds like he wants his cake (to be in the Boy Scouts) and to eat it too (picking and choosing which of the organization's requirements he's willing to live with). That's the exact opposite of guts. Guts would have required his immediate resignation from the scouts when he realized he held these beliefs. Sorry if that's harsh, but hey, it's just my opinion, right?
    "The fanatical Muslims despise America because it's all lapdancing and gay porn; the secular Europeans despise America because it's all born-again Christians hung up on abortion; the anti-Semites despise America because it's controlled by Jews. Too Jewish, too Christian, too Godless, America is also too isolationist, except when it's too imperialist." -- Mark Steyn

  17. #17
          Downtown's avatar
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    Feo- but if this kid loves and believes in scouting, don't you think he should be attempting to activate change in the organization, if that is what he believes in, instead of sitting by? I know Scouting isn't a democracy, but still, if you disagree with the policies, you should have the right to try to institute change. Organizations, be they government, church, or the boyscouts, are not static - rules change, but only when enough people (most effectively those actively involved in the organization) stand up and ask for change.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Weeeeee!

    This is a fun thread - thanks for raising h*ll Kel!

  19. #19
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Re: Weeeeee!

    Originally posted by bturk
    This is a fun thread - thanks for raising h*ll Kel!
    Off-topic:
    OMG...the "Weeeeee!" subject just flashed me back to the dancing squirrel.....

    Thanks for the unintended laughter Brian!
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  20. #20
          Downtown's avatar
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    Re: Weeeeee!

    Originally posted by bturk
    This is a fun thread - thanks for raising h*ll Kel!
    Well, it had been quiet recently, I was checking out CNN and inspiration struck! We haven't had a good friendly FAC debate in while.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian El Feo's avatar
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    Originally posted by KMateja
    Feo- but if this kid loves and believes in scouting, don't you think he should be attempting to activate change in the organization, if that is what he believes in, instead of sitting by? I know Scouting isn't a democracy, but still, if you disagree with the policies, you should have the right to try to institute change. Organizations, be they government, church, or the boyscouts, are not static - rules change, but only when enough people (most effectively those actively involved in the organization) stand up and ask for change.
    Absolutely - from the outside. I think you and your husband will be demonstrating far more virtue by holding your kids out of scouts if you disagree with the policies, than he does by his actions at this point.

    I'm not saying I agree with the policy, by the way - it's just that my notion of principled protest and agitation for change is admittedly about 100 years out of date.
    "The fanatical Muslims despise America because it's all lapdancing and gay porn; the secular Europeans despise America because it's all born-again Christians hung up on abortion; the anti-Semites despise America because it's controlled by Jews. Too Jewish, too Christian, too Godless, America is also too isolationist, except when it's too imperialist." -- Mark Steyn

  22. #22
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Scouting is a bulkward against a rapidly changing society (read scarry). It is where parents all over the world place their children to learn leadership, self reliance, self confidence, traditional values and gain a sense of respect for institutions, values, and responsibility. It is not the Junior DNC or the Rainbow Coalition Young Jesses (think about that one).

    Parents trust the scouts with their kids because they know they won't get any surprises out of them. As a parent I feel it is my duty to impart my value set to my child as he grows. Scouting helps me to do that. He gets enough negative influences from society. Scouting is a good influence. He can deal with adult issues like homosexuality when he becomes an adult.

    The Scout leadership probably feels that fighting the battle against a PC membership code is what the parents (who pay the bills) want.

    Originally posted by KMateja
    We haven't had a good friendly FAC debate in while.
    And friendly it shall stay.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 21 Nov 2006 at 1:45 PM.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    El Guapo, You Ignorant Slut!

    Originally posted by El Guapo
    Parents trust the scouts with their kids because they know they won't get any surprises out of them.
    Just like the Catholic Church, huh?

    Originally posted by El Guapo
    As a parent i feel it is my duty to impart my value set to my child as he grows. Scouting helps me to do that. He gets enough negative influences from society. Scouting is a good influence. He can deal with adult issues like homosexuality when he becomes an adult.
    Just like the Catholic Church, huh?

    Originally posted by El Guapo
    The Scout leadership probably feels that fighting the battle against a PC membership code is what the parents (who pay the bills) want. [/B]
    Just like the Catholic Church, huh?


    PS - And as a Catholic - and Scout - per your terms in prior posts I can say these things.

    PPS - I'm teasing - I know you're not ignorant!

  24. #24
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    bTurk: You filthy Whore!

    I knew you couldnd't resist a shot at the Holy Roman Empire.

    The Church &^%*($#@ up. I gave them a fair chance in my mind to address the problem. They played games with their victims and acted dishonorably.. When the Pope didn't shitcan Cardinal Law it was over for me forever. Thus, I stood up and left during a mass where the priest was being an appologist for them and I haven't been back since. It took me a while to realize that I needed to leave the church. I didn't send a bomb in the mail or rough up a priest - like you and Prudence do when you go bar hopping. I just quit writting checks. That message they heard.

    If the Scouts allow pedophillia to spread rampantly and knowingly like my church did I'll yank my son out so fast it will hurt.

    For outsiders: Bturk and I are on very friendly terms and are just having fun quoting old SNL lines and refering to inside jokes.

  25. #25
          Downtown's avatar
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    Re: Re: Re: Weeeeee!

    Originally posted by El Guapo


    And friendly it shall stay.
    Agreed!

    I just have a question about Scouts, and Guapo, you probably know the answer. Can/Does an individual scout troop decide that they'll keep an atheist? Example - if this kid was at a meeting and they were talking and he came out with that he was an atheist, could the leader just leave it alone, as long as everyone else in the troop is ok with it, or is the leader obligated to report him? It really does seem like the Scouts want to give this kid any opportunity to retract, even though it is too late for that.

    "He can deal with adult issues like homosexuality when he becomes an adult."

    I agree that sexuality issues really aren't appropriate for younger kids - however, the boys that do make it through to the high school, eagle scout level of BSA, if a kid is gay, I just hate that he has to be kicked out of an organization that provides a positive peer group and good role models at one of the most difficult times in his life, when he needs his friends to support him, not reject him. I'm trying really hard not to be too sensitive here - my brother didn't come out until college, but still had a really miserable high school experience. Sometimes I think some young men have it a lot rougher in adolescence than girls do.

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