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(The Atlantic)   Boy Scouts of America: "Oh alright, the gays can join, as long as they're not godless heathens"   (theatlantic.com ) divider line
    More: Asinine, Boy Scouts of America, atheist groups, religious discrimination, atheists, gays, Human Rights Campaign  
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10348 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Feb 2013 at 6:29 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-01 08:46:06 PM  
When I was in Scouting there was certainly the influence of religion (weekly meetings were held in the education wing of a local church) on the effort to maturate us in to being well-rounded individuals.  However, the Council made great lengths at the time (ten to fifteen years ago) and still does today, to not discriminate as to what religion you were.  At all Council sponsored events they made sure not to ascribe to any major relgions' name to the 'Great Spirit' as it was often referred.  (And I'm sure some people thinks that racist or whatever but it wasn't and isn't)  I don't see any problem with people being atheist but something that was made evident to us in Scouting was that 'spirit' or faith is something that can drive you to overcome obstacles and do the best things.  As long as you made your choice to believe in something that made you do the best things, that's what was important.  I think this sentiment is reflected in the recent move by the BSA to allow charters to make a decision at the local level as to who can and cannot be a Scoutmaster in that locality.  What I hope this decision does is put emphasis on the values that everyone can agree on, which are of course part of an ongoing debate, and not on values that fail under the light of rational criticism.  The character of the individual chosen to lead a group of boys is what is important.  Sexual orientation is not an important factor.  Patience, reliability, even temper, pioneering skills, public speaking ability, and organizational ability are much more important factors.

/Yeah good luck
/Do a good turn daily.
 
2013-02-01 08:46:51 PM  

Gyrfalcon: MrEricSir: lostcat: So, wait...What if you are a Muslim or Scientologist? Or does it only matter that you have faith in some sort of unprovable, all-powerful entity's existance?

Or what about faith in something that actually exists?  For example, I personally believe in the phone company.

Yeah, but do you have FAITH in the phone company? The only faith I have in the phone company is that they'll f*ck up my bill in as many ways as possible.


At least its an ethos.
 
2013-02-01 08:49:00 PM  

Mike Chewbacca: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Mike Chewbacca: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Boo hoo, not every organization on earth is something we qualify to join.  Let's whine until they change their rules because our feelings are hurt!

There's a difference between qualifying and "we don't let your kind in." But you knew that already.

Not really, you subscribe to their way of life, or you don't.  If you don't like it, don't whine like a little biatch and start your own club instead.

So how does a black person subscribe to a white person's way of life?


Skin color isn't a way of life.  I'd say nice try, but it really wasn't.
 
2013-02-01 08:49:10 PM  

cptjeff: Lionel Mandrake: fusillade762: Boy scouting is a religion.

Don't be silly.  AA is a religion.  Amway is a religion.  Freemasonry is a religion.

The Boy Scouts are a cult.  Like $cientology.

You have to get a little further in for the cult stuff. 1st class at least and voted in by your fellow scouts.

\Actually, the OA is the BSA's take on a secret society.
\\Lotsa fun.


I was a Lodge Chief in the OA and an Eagle Scout.  I went to catholic school for most of my life and could not have been more agnostic.  It hasnt been til recently that i have heard much about religion playing such a role in boy scouts.  i was involved from tiger cubs to eagle scouts.  I loved my time there and was as involved as could be, not one time can i remember anything overtly religious taking place.  There were occasionally prayers offered if you felt like listening at some of the larger events i attended (1993, 1997 nat'l Jamboree, 1994, 1996, 1998 NOAC) but no one did anything to force feed you anything, and i dont recall being interrogated about your duty to god during any of my experiences.  maybe i had it better than everyone else.
 
2013-02-01 08:49:24 PM  
"But  not the Irish"
 
2013-02-01 08:49:52 PM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Boo hoo, not every organization on earth is something we qualify to join.  Let's whine until they change their rules because our feelings are hurt!


Would you be saying that if they were discriminating against blacks?
 
2013-02-01 08:51:13 PM  
Keizer_Ghidorah: Watch as they either tie themselves into knots with explanations of "free will" and "original sin", or dismiss you with "It's God's will/all part of God's plan".


This only happens in the imaginary conversations that you always manage to win in the shower. Otherwise, you generally STFU.
 
2013-02-01 08:52:59 PM  

Seamus_Mc: cptjeff: Lionel Mandrake: fusillade762: Boy scouting is a religion.

Don't be silly.  AA is a religion.  Amway is a religion.  Freemasonry is a religion.

The Boy Scouts are a cult.  Like $cientology.

You have to get a little further in for the cult stuff. 1st class at least and voted in by your fellow scouts.

\Actually, the OA is the BSA's take on a secret society.
\\Lotsa fun.

I was a Lodge Chief in the OA and an Eagle Scout.  I went to catholic school for most of my life and could not have been more agnostic.  It hasnt been til recently that i have heard much about religion playing such a role in boy scouts.  i was involved from tiger cubs to eagle scouts.  I loved my time there and was as involved as could be, not one time can i remember anything overtly religious taking place.  There were occasionally prayers offered if you felt like listening at some of the larger events i attended (1993, 1997 nat'l Jamboree, 1994, 1996, 1998 NOAC) but no one did anything to force feed you anything, and i dont recall being interrogated about your duty to god during any of my experiences.  maybe i had it better than everyone else.


Penn and Teller's Bullshiat episode on the scouts discusses when religion started getting more important. I was in scouts in WV in the late 80s early 90s, I remember that we had meetings in church basements, but little specific religious intruction. YTMV, I guess is the lesson here.
 
2013-02-01 08:54:02 PM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Mike Chewbacca: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Mike Chewbacca: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Boo hoo, not every organization on earth is something we qualify to join.  Let's whine until they change their rules because our feelings are hurt!

There's a difference between qualifying and "we don't let your kind in." But you knew that already.

Not really, you subscribe to their way of life, or you don't.  If you don't like it, don't whine like a little biatch and start your own club instead.

So how does a black person subscribe to a white person's way of life?

Skin color isn't a way of life.  I'd say nice try, but it really wasn't.


Neither is being gay, but you already knew that. Maybe you can prove it's a choice and a lifestyle by declaring yourself to be gay tomorrow and change every aspect of your behavior and way of life. Make sure you record it as proof, including all the gay sex you have.
 
2013-02-01 08:54:43 PM  

Gyrfalcon: MrEricSir: lostcat: So, wait...What if you are a Muslim or Scientologist? Or does it only matter that you have faith in some sort of unprovable, all-powerful entity's existance?

Or what about faith in something that actually exists?  For example, I personally believe in the phone company.

Yeah, but do you have FAITH in the phone company? The only faith I have in the phone company is that they'll f*ck up my bill in as many ways as possible.


Well sure.  I guess I just have faith in them because otherwise I'm paying $80/month for nothing.
 
2013-02-01 08:56:27 PM  

Seamus_Mc: cptjeff: Lionel Mandrake: fusillade762: Boy scouting is a religion.

Don't be silly.  AA is a religion.  Amway is a religion.  Freemasonry is a religion.

The Boy Scouts are a cult.  Like $cientology.

You have to get a little further in for the cult stuff. 1st class at least and voted in by your fellow scouts.

\Actually, the OA is the BSA's take on a secret society.
\\Lotsa fun.

I was a Lodge Chief in the OA and an Eagle Scout.  I went to catholic school for most of my life and could not have been more agnostic.  It hasnt been til recently that i have heard much about religion playing such a role in boy scouts.  i was involved from tiger cubs to eagle scouts.  I loved my time there and was as involved as could be, not one time can i remember anything overtly religious taking place.  There were occasionally prayers offered if you felt like listening at some of the larger events i attended (1993, 1997 nat'l Jamboree, 1994, 1996, 1998 NOAC) but no one did anything to force feed you anything, and i dont recall being interrogated about your duty to god during any of my experiences.  maybe i had it better than everyone else.


Then you got off easy.  I agree with everything you said and have had a similar experience in Scouting (OA, Eagle Scout), but they must not have asked you anything about your faith during your Eagle Board of Review, and from my experience, that's rare.  And pretty much the only time they ask, but again, from my experience, they usually do.

Had a friend in my troop who was in it all the way to the end, but couldn't lie during his Eagle Board. So he didn't get it.
 
2013-02-01 08:59:33 PM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Mike Chewbacca: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Mike Chewbacca: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Boo hoo, not every organization on earth is something we qualify to join.  Let's whine until they change their rules because our feelings are hurt!

There's a difference between qualifying and "we don't let your kind in." But you knew that already.

Not really, you subscribe to their way of life, or you don't.  If you don't like it, don't whine like a little biatch and start your own club instead.

So how does a black person subscribe to a white person's way of life?

Skin color isn't a way of life.  I'd say nice try, but it really wasn't.


What "way of life" does a gay 10 year old have that's so different from a straight kid's life? He's just little kid who wants to join Scouts.
 
2013-02-01 09:02:19 PM  

EvilEgg: They only really ask that you fake it.


It goes against the whole "trustworthy" thing if you're lying about being reverent.
 
2013-02-01 09:02:47 PM  

Mike Chewbacca: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Mike Chewbacca: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Mike Chewbacca: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Boo hoo, not every organization on earth is something we qualify to join.  Let's whine until they change their rules because our feelings are hurt!

There's a difference between qualifying and "we don't let your kind in." But you knew that already.

Not really, you subscribe to their way of life, or you don't.  If you don't like it, don't whine like a little biatch and start your own club instead.

So how does a black person subscribe to a white person's way of life?

Skin color isn't a way of life.  I'd say nice try, but it really wasn't.

What "way of life" does a gay 10 year old have that's so different from a straight kid's life? He's just little kid who wants to join Scouts.


Hot pants, glitter, Liberace hairdo, sequined jackets, rolling around with hot, sweaty, perectly tanned and muscled men while taking the D
 
2013-02-01 09:04:13 PM  

neppyman: When I was a scout, my troop just didn't care about any kind of discrimination.  We had atheists, gays, and people from all walks of life in our ranks (this was the early 90s).  Many troops still don't - part of the problem is that extremely conservative members of a particular religious group basically seized control of the highest-ranking decision-making central bureaucracy, and handed these sorts of "commandments" down from that high place.

The Boy Scouts - when you strip away that bigotry - is a good organization, promoting good values.  Ask anyone who's actually gone all the way to Eagle (or beyond - yay palms!); they'll tell you that the discrimination and such is entirely meaningless in comparison to the humility and sense of responsibility that it instills in you.

Unfortunately, it seems that the core, decision-making part of the organization is rotten.  It saddens me to think that it may not be salvageable, but I really don't see any way to do it, other than to wait for the bigots to die out (which is likely to take several more generations).

/ Eagle Scout.
// OA initiate, and yes, OA is a cult.


You had a bad experience.  It does not make you an expert on BSA cult issues.  OA is not a cult.  It's an extension of the BSA that affords some kids to take what the BSA offers to a different level.  Not everyone digs it.  Some take it for everything it's worth.  Yes, the BSA is, in concept, a good organization that allows kids to do things that most only dream of.  The OA is an extension of that.  Your bad experience only proves that your local lodge sucks, nothing more.  Just like everything else, it is what you make/allow it to be.

/Eagle, class of '88
//Vigil, class of '88
///Lodge chief for 3 years
///Not involved since '95
////slashies///
 
2013-02-01 09:04:54 PM  

Krieghund: EvilEgg: They only really ask that you fake it.

It goes against the whole "trustworthy" thing if you're lying about being reverent.


Not if your faith is a subterfuge-based one.  Otherwise known as "all of them".  :-)
 
2013-02-01 09:05:07 PM  

Ennuipoet: Any organization that needs me to profess belief in a higher power, whether it be scouts or Alcoholic Anonymous. is not something I want to be a part of any way.


Unless, they offer steep discounts at local bars, then I would be willing to lie about my disbelief, for a couple of rounds.


Do you believe in wholly spirits?
 
2013-02-01 09:06:19 PM  

coolschool_dropout: neppyman: When I was a scout, my troop just didn't care about any kind of discrimination.  We had atheists, gays, and people from all walks of life in our ranks (this was the early 90s).  Many troops still don't - part of the problem is that extremely conservative members of a particular religious group basically seized control of the highest-ranking decision-making central bureaucracy, and handed these sorts of "commandments" down from that high place.

The Boy Scouts - when you strip away that bigotry - is a good organization, promoting good values.  Ask anyone who's actually gone all the way to Eagle (or beyond - yay palms!); they'll tell you that the discrimination and such is entirely meaningless in comparison to the humility and sense of responsibility that it instills in you.

Unfortunately, it seems that the core, decision-making part of the organization is rotten.  It saddens me to think that it may not be salvageable, but I really don't see any way to do it, other than to wait for the bigots to die out (which is likely to take several more generations).

/ Eagle Scout.
// OA initiate, and yes, OA is a cult.

You had a bad experience.  It does not make you an expert on BSA cult issues.  OA is not a cult.  It's an extension of the BSA that affords some kids to take what the BSA offers to a different level.  Not everyone digs it.  Some take it for everything it's worth.  Yes, the BSA is, in concept, a good organization that allows kids to do things that most only dream of.  The OA is an extension of that.  Your bad experience only proves that your local lodge sucks, nothing more.  Just like everything else, it is what you make/allow it to be.

/Eagle, class of '88
//Vigil, class of '88
///Lodge chief for 3 years
///Not involved since '95
////slashies///


This this and this.

//Eagle, class of '96
//Vigil, class of '98
///Lodge Adviser
//slashies!!!!!//
 
2013-02-01 09:06:32 PM  

coeyagi: Then you got off easy. I agree with everything you said and have had a similar experience in Scouting (OA, Eagle Scout), but they must not have asked you anything about your faith during your Eagle Board of Review, and from my experience, that's rare. And pretty much the only time they ask, but again, from my experience, they usually do.

Had a friend in my troop who was in it all the way to the end, but couldn't lie during his Eagle Board. So he didn't get it.


What? I never got anything resembling that question. Especially not at my board of review.

I was in the scouts pretty recently, and never got asked about religion in any way. There was some preaching at us, but never any interrogation of my private belief.

Maybe you had a shiatty troop or council, or maybe mine was just really good about it, but I really doubt that your experience was typical.
 
2013-02-01 09:09:34 PM  

cptjeff: coeyagi: Then you got off easy. I agree with everything you said and have had a similar experience in Scouting (OA, Eagle Scout), but they must not have asked you anything about your faith during your Eagle Board of Review, and from my experience, that's rare. And pretty much the only time they ask, but again, from my experience, they usually do.

Had a friend in my troop who was in it all the way to the end, but couldn't lie during his Eagle Board. So he didn't get it.

What? I never got anything resembling that question. Especially not at my board of review.

I was in the scouts pretty recently, and never got asked about religion in any way. There was some preaching at us, but never any interrogation of my private belief.

Maybe you had a shiatty troop or council, or maybe mine was just really good about it, but I really doubt that your experience was typical.


Like I said, we only got asked at our Board of Review for Eagle, and it is within their bounds to ask "Do you believe in God?"  That's part of the program and not discriminatory towards any one belief.  To act within your charter is not what I consider being "shiatty" at either the council or troop level.

//not saying I agree with it, but again, it's within their right to ask
///and I don't agree with it
 
2013-02-01 09:10:14 PM  

cptjeff: I was in the scouts pretty recently, and never got asked about religion in any way. There was some preaching at us, but never any interrogation of my private belief.


One of the other boys told on me before I tried to join in Jr. High. I was denied for that.
 
2013-02-01 09:14:53 PM  
What about heretics and Pagans?
 
2013-02-01 09:15:13 PM  

coeyagi: cptjeff: Mrtraveler01: The Clean part of it really meant "morally clean" moreso than hygiene.

I did OA Trail Crew up at Northern Tier. Two sets of clothes, one wet for paddling and working (busting up rocks with a sledgehammer, that sort of thing), one for wearing in camp. Two weeks. Hygiene was not high on the priority list, but when you all smell equally awful...

Still, showers were nice at the end.

Then you must be thrilled by the new Jamboree facilities.  Sigh.


Are you on staff?  My dad is on the national staff this year again.
 
2013-02-01 09:15:16 PM  

El_Frijole_Blanco: When I was a scout we had a retired army sergeant as our troop leader and we skipped the religious stuff, also we where in the ghetto part of town so we also skipped uniforms, he got the local national guard to donate equipment for camp outs and we all had a camo field jacket as our uniform. Yes the other scouts did fear us


Bahaha. Nice.

/GS. The Church refuses to sponsor it because Planned Parenthood does, but the troop I wound up joining was a bit wimpy. Nice people, just very little activity and more hanging out and bsing.
 
2013-02-01 09:18:34 PM  

MrBentor: What about heretics and Pagans?


I've often wondered how the OA can exist in a slightly paradoxical mode that it is - it's part of the BSA, which has faith in its program, most of whose members are Christians, who called Native-Americans heathens or pagans, but yet the OA celebrates Native-American heritage though it falls short of celebrating its faith.

No one usually brings this up, but it's slightly quirky in that regard.
 
2013-02-01 09:19:10 PM  

Seamus_Mc: coeyagi: cptjeff: Mrtraveler01: The Clean part of it really meant "morally clean" moreso than hygiene.

I did OA Trail Crew up at Northern Tier. Two sets of clothes, one wet for paddling and working (busting up rocks with a sledgehammer, that sort of thing), one for wearing in camp. Two weeks. Hygiene was not high on the priority list, but when you all smell equally awful...

Still, showers were nice at the end.

Then you must be thrilled by the new Jamboree facilities.  Sigh.

Are you on staff?  My dad is on the national staff this year again.


Yes.  On staff.
 
2013-02-01 09:19:19 PM  
man, I had pretty much forgotten about my OA induction. Good to see lots of others out there.

I'm not sure where the crazy fundie stuff for bsa's leadership comes in, but we never saw it at the troop level in my day. Always had very cool, very down to earth (and thank god, very not-pervy) leaders for the troops i was in growing up.

In my teens scouts was a way to learn stuff when your dad was too lazy to teach you. Was a decent semi-supervised environment where we had just enough slack to sneak off and smoke cigs and drink those 3 Genesse light cans you stole from your parents... but enough structure that we learned skills that carried through life (there is a good reason an eagle gets to enlist as an e-3 in the military. A good scout is miles ahead of your average green soldier)

I had Ernest Hemmingway's nephew as my scout master in Michigan. Looked just like his uncle (old guy, big snowy beard). Name was Ernest Mainland... was in his troop for over a year before I found out his middle name was Hemmingway... suddenly explaining why most of our winter camping escapades were done on Hemmingway properties. (He wasn't keen on people making the connection.) I learned more survival skills in the Klondike Derbies than I did in all my military training combined.

Then I came to PA and had a native American for a troop master. Cool guy, knew every trick the woods had to offer and was down to earth with us kids. He sold me and my 14y/o friends a crap motorcycle for $50 as long as we stayed off the main roads... would show us how to roll a cigarette then tell you not to smoke (wink wink).

Lots of csb.
I'd hit a character limit if i csb'd about all the badass trips we took. The scout Olympics, young eagles (pilot training for kids, yes you get to fly, even open cockpit)... and then if you are a kid AND have money you can do insanely awesome stuff like Philmont (though the jamborees can be a bit more pomp and pain-in-the-ass than they are worth)

When I read articles about BSA going fundie crazy or troop leaders being pervy I feel terrible for the kids that get robbed out of what could have been one of their greatest life experiences.
 
2013-02-01 09:21:55 PM  

coeyagi: cptjeff: coeyagi: Then you got off easy. I agree with everything you said and have had a similar experience in Scouting (OA, Eagle Scout), but they must not have asked you anything about your faith during your Eagle Board of Review, and from my experience, that's rare. And pretty much the only time they ask, but again, from my experience, they usually do.

Had a friend in my troop who was in it all the way to the end, but couldn't lie during his Eagle Board. So he didn't get it.

What? I never got anything resembling that question. Especially not at my board of review.

I was in the scouts pretty recently, and never got asked about religion in any way. There was some preaching at us, but never any interrogation of my private belief.

Maybe you had a shiatty troop or council, or maybe mine was just really good about it, but I really doubt that your experience was typical.

Like I said, we only got asked at our Board of Review for Eagle, and it is within their bounds to ask "Do you believe in God?"  That's part of the program and not discriminatory towards any one belief.  To act within your charter is not what I consider being "shiatty" at either the council or troop level.

//not saying I agree with it, but again, it's within their right to ask
///and I don't agree with it


I'm not saying it's not within their right- I am saying that it's a shiatty thing to judge on, regardless of what the rules say.

IMO, your council was shiatty if they asked. There are plenty of councils that don't ask, and don't really care, even if somebody turns you in. If anyone gets barred from an Eagle because of claims about religion, the people who run your council and the eagle board are shiatty examples of humanity.

In my council, the biggest focus was on getting your project past them. They'd been known to turn people down for skimping on the project, so you actually had to do something significant enough, and justify it as "worthy of an Eagle Scout" or whatever the wording on that was. A few questions about the general scouting experience too, but nowhere near as high pressure. I suppose they might flunk you if you said you hated it, but the only thing they really seemed to care about was the project.
 
2013-02-01 09:22:19 PM  

MurphyMurphy: man, I had pretty much forgotten about my OA induction. Good to see lots of others out there.

I'm not sure where the crazy fundie stuff for bsa's leadership comes in, but we never saw it at the troop level in my day. Always had very cool, very down to earth (and thank god, very not-pervy) leaders for the troops i was in growing up.

In my teens scouts was a way to learn stuff when your dad was too lazy to teach you. Was a decent semi-supervised environment where we had just enough slack to sneak off and smoke cigs and drink those 3 Genesse light cans you stole from your parents... but enough structure that we learned skills that carried through life (there is a good reason an eagle gets to enlist as an e-3 in the military. A good scout is miles ahead of your average green soldier)

I had Ernest Hemmingway's nephew as my scout master in Michigan. Looked just like his uncle (old guy, big snowy beard). Name was Ernest Mainland... was in his troop for over a year before I found out his middle name was Hemmingway... suddenly explaining why most of our winter camping escapades were done on Hemmingway properties. (He wasn't keen on people making the connection.) I learned more survival skills in the Klondike Derbies than I did in all my military training combined.

Then I came to PA and had a native American for a troop master. Cool guy, knew every trick the woods had to offer and was down to earth with us kids. He sold me and my 14y/o friends a crap motorcycle for $50 as long as we stayed off the main roads... would show us how to roll a cigarette then tell you not to smoke (wink wink).

Lots of csb.
I'd hit a character limit if i csb'd about all the badass trips we took. The scout Olympics, young eagles (pilot training for kids, yes you get to fly, even open cockpit)... and then if you are a kid AND have money you can do insanely awesome stuff like Philmont (though the jamborees can be a bit more pomp and pain-in-the-ass than they are worth)

When I read articles about ...


This this and this.  Same deal here.  Father was Scoutmaster, the program was: fun first, learn stuff along the way.  Now I am a leader in the organization. It's great to see the organization becoming more inclusive - I had 3 friends who have been waiting to rejoin as an adult once they were welcome again.
 
2013-02-01 09:26:19 PM  

cptjeff: coeyagi: cptjeff: coeyagi: Then you got off easy. I agree with everything you said and have had a similar experience in Scouting (OA, Eagle Scout), but they must not have asked you anything about your faith during your Eagle Board of Review, and from my experience, that's rare. And pretty much the only time they ask, but again, from my experience, they usually do.

Had a friend in my troop who was in it all the way to the end, but couldn't lie during his Eagle Board. So he didn't get it.

What? I never got anything resembling that question. Especially not at my board of review.

I was in the scouts pretty recently, and never got asked about religion in any way. There was some preaching at us, but never any interrogation of my private belief.

Maybe you had a shiatty troop or council, or maybe mine was just really good about it, but I really doubt that your experience was typical.

Like I said, we only got asked at our Board of Review for Eagle, and it is within their bounds to ask "Do you believe in God?"  That's part of the program and not discriminatory towards any one belief.  To act within your charter is not what I consider being "shiatty" at either the council or troop level.

//not saying I agree with it, but again, it's within their right to ask
///and I don't agree with it

I'm not saying it's not within their right- I am saying that it's a shiatty thing to judge on, regardless of what the rules say.

IMO, your council was shiatty if they asked. There are plenty of councils that don't ask, and don't really care, even if somebody turns you in. If anyone gets barred from an Eagle because of claims about religion, the people who run your council and the eagle board are shiatty examples of humanity.

In my council, the biggest focus was on getting your project past them. They'd been known to turn people down for skimping on the project, so you actually had to do something significant enough, and justify it as "worthy of an Eagle Scout" or whatever the wording o ...


You make it sound as if the faith question was the emphasis.  It wasn't.  Leadership, service and the project were  the emphasis. Trust me, I am far from being religious, but I guess it's just your perspective that it's shiatty. And for that, well, you're welcome to it.
 
2013-02-01 09:29:09 PM  

coeyagi: You make it sound as if the faith question was the emphasis. It wasn't. Leadership, service and the project were the emphasis. Trust me, I am far from being religious, but I guess it's just your perspective that it's shiatty. And for that, well, you're welcome to it.


If they flunk somebody just on that, that's more than enough importance placed on the question for it to make a judgement as to the character of the people on that panel, isn't it?
 
2013-02-01 09:29:31 PM  
Seamus_Mc: I was a Lodge Chief in the OA and an Eagle Scout. I went to catholic school for most of my life and could not have been more agnostic. It hasnt been til recently that i have heard much about religion playing such a role in boy scouts. i was involved from tiger cubs to eagle scouts. I loved my time there and was as involved as could be, not one time can i remember anything overtly religious taking place. There were occasionally prayers offered if you felt like listening at some of the larger events i attended (1993, 1997 nat'l Jamboree, 1994, 1996, 1998 NOAC) but no one did anything to force feed you anything, and i dont recall being interrogated about your duty to god during any of my experiences. maybe i had it better than everyone else.

coeyagi Then you got off easy. I agree with everything you said and have had a similar experience in Scouting (OA, Eagle Scout), but they must not have asked you anything about your faith during your Eagle Board of Review, and from my experience, that's rare. And pretty much the only time they ask, but again, from my experience, they usually do.

Had a friend in my troop who was in it all the way to the end, but couldn't lie during his Eagle Board. So he didn't get it.


Y'all are about twenty years younger than I am and from what I'm reading on this thread scouting evidently changed quite a bit in those years. At my Eagle Boards they asked nothing about religion at all, except in passing that I had an Ad Altare Dei badge. My scout troop was about 1/3 Jewish, and early on in my time in scouting somebody razzed one of them for not being able to eat ham and bacon at one meeting, so after that any mention of religion was off limits. I mean we mentioned it to each other, that some of them wore a star of David instead of crucifixes or that some of the parents and grandparents had those purple number tattoos, but it was really no big deal to any of us. We had several people who were not religious at all and went around openly saying stuff like "God is dead" or "Religion is the opiate of the masses" but nobody gave a damn about that either.

And nobody talked about gays at all, unless you count games of smear the queer.
 
2013-02-01 09:31:05 PM  

sabreWulf07: cptjeff: You have to get a little further in for the cult stuff. 1st class at least and voted in by your fellow scouts.

\Actually, the OA is the BSA's take on a secret society.
\\Lotsa fun.

Shhhh!  Remember if anyone asks, WWW stands for "Wine, Whiskey & Women".


At least I can pronounce that.
 
2013-02-01 09:33:47 PM  

varmitydog: My scout troop was about 1/3 Jewish, and early on in my time in scouting somebody razzed one of them for not being able to eat ham and bacon at one meeting, so after that any mention of religion was off limits.


I served as an Assistant Scoutmaster for a jewish troop on a trip once (run by an old friend of my Dad's, and they were doing the Boundary Waters without going through Northern Tier, and wanted somebody who'd been there before). There were meat nights and cheese nights, which was great for me and one of the scouts who didn't keep kosher, since we could get into the beef jerky on the cheese nights with no one able to do anything about it.
 
2013-02-01 09:37:55 PM  

cptjeff: coeyagi: You make it sound as if the faith question was the emphasis. It wasn't. Leadership, service and the project were the emphasis. Trust me, I am far from being religious, but I guess it's just your perspective that it's shiatty. And for that, well, you're welcome to it.

If they flunk somebody just on that, that's more than enough importance placed on the question for it to make a judgement as to the character of the people on that panel, isn't it?


You can judge them one way, I choose not to.  If the program says you have to be reverent, and then you are revealed not to be, how can I judge the people asking the question or "flunking" the candidate for it?  Let's flip it - can't you just say "Wow they totally looked the other way, reverence must not actually mean anything."  So, then the question becomes, don't bother asking, right?  Well, then what's the point of having reverence in the program?  And trust me, my council is far from unique.  Just google how many scouts were denied Eagle at their board.  Tons.

I respect your perspective, but I am not going to condemn the folks asking the question.  However, am I in favor of them reevaluating the faith aspect of the program? ABSOLUTELY.  Until then, just ignoring an aspect of the program begs the question "what the hell is it there for then?"
 
2013-02-01 09:38:01 PM  
GF named my left testicle thundercles:
Ii1172.photobucket.com 

I like your pic but was wondering when Jesus promised to end all wicked people.
 
2013-02-01 09:44:54 PM  

madgonad: Actually, the Bible allows toleration for other faiths - however sinful behavior (they would stick homosexuality here) was always punished.


Hmm, Christ never said that. He always felt that "Love thy Neighbor" thing as very important.
The Bible, book of many books with many chapters, attempt to read it in context to get the best understanding.
 
2013-02-01 09:46:00 PM  
I wonder if Buddhist churches sponsor Boy Scout troops? Or develop Eagle Scouts?

(and if you believe Buddhists need to believe in a supreme being, I suggest you investigate more)
 
2013-02-01 09:55:12 PM  
To all the haters, of which there are many: The BSA is not and has never been perfect. It will not make your snowflake into Jeremiah Johnson.
It will not make your boy homophobic.  It will not cause your son to question his sexuality: that happens because he has thoughts of his own, external of your control and desires.
It WILL afford him the  opportunity to make his own decisions about how he will conduct his life.
It gives, to those who decide to take advantage of, the chance to learn more about the outdoors than the average American will learn in their entire lifetime.  It can, with proper guidance, afford the education of leadership and self reliance that can be difficult to ascertain in our "modern world".

I don't like the gay/athiest policies.  I was deeply involved for many years and took advantage of as many opportunities as I could.  I see fault with the organization and it pains me to be replused by arcane views.  My experience was not hateful, or negative.  To the contrary, it was very positive and inclusive.  Two fellow Eagle Scouts from my troop late came out as gay.  We KNEW they were gay back in the day and didn't care!  All we cared about was keeping up with everyone else!  No one gave a shiat if you were "gay".  We only cared if you could handle camping in the freezing/dark/no water/"what's that crazy sound" shiat.  If you can't handle camping in the woods and taking care of yourself, we'll help you learn, but you better learn quick!

And this was in NC- not exactly the bed of tolerance in the "adult" world.

Given the right circumstances, the BSA and OA can be fantastic experiences for kids.  But, like anything else, it can also suck.

Many of my gay friends had their first "gay" experiences in a BSA event.  Surprise!  That won't change.  Many of the fears from BSA adults are about pedophilia; what they fail to realize or admit is the fact that the majority of pedophiles consider themselves to be heterosexual.  For being such fastidious individuals that take things very factual, many BSA leaders tend to ignore facts that are contradictory to their preconceived notions.  This is disappointing.  People can be so smart yet so dumb.

I'm really happy the BSA is considering dropping the blanket policy of banning gays.  I don't think it will really change much in the real world, since the policy will leave the decisions to the local councils and units.  But it's a step in the right direction.  It does give me hope to someday return to the organization that once gave me hope in mankind when I had none.  But until I find a local unit that accepts people on the sole merit of being "good" and not because they are not "gay", I will continue my lonely watch from the sidelines.

Hating on the BSA is quite fashionable.  I always hated "fashion" and all it portends.

/Eagle
//Vigil
//Lodge and Section Chief
///Summer camp for 9 seasons
//more slashies//soapboxes///
 
2013-02-01 09:57:02 PM  

letrole: Not collecting sporting stamps is a religious hobby for balding homosexuals.


There you are! Took your damn time, didn't you.
 
2013-02-01 09:59:51 PM  

coeyagi: cptjeff: coeyagi: You make it sound as if the faith question was the emphasis. It wasn't. Leadership, service and the project were the emphasis. Trust me, I am far from being religious, but I guess it's just your perspective that it's shiatty. And for that, well, you're welcome to it.

If they flunk somebody just on that, that's more than enough importance placed on the question for it to make a judgement as to the character of the people on that panel, isn't it?

You can judge them one way, I choose not to.  If the program says you have to be reverent, and then you are revealed not to be, how can I judge the people asking the question or "flunking" the candidate for it?  Let's flip it - can't you just say "Wow they totally looked the other way, reverence must not actually mean anything."  So, then the question becomes, don't bother asking, right?  Well, then what's the point of having reverence in the program?  And trust me, my council is far from unique.  Just google how many scouts were denied Eagle at their board.  Tons.

I respect your perspective, but I am not going to condemn the folks asking the question.  However, am I in favor of them reevaluating the faith aspect of the program? ABSOLUTELY.  Until then, just ignoring an aspect of the program begs the question "what the hell is it there for then?"


Why does "reverent" have to imply faith in a diety? The word has a much broader meaning than that. I might have reverence for nature, for example. The definition is just "showing a deep and solemn respect". It is about being humbled by your smallness and lack of importance next to the power and vastness of the universe. One can be the most ardent atheist on the planet and have that appreciation.

I choose to judge people when they make a choice to be dicks about their faith. In my book, active enforcement of an unjust rule when it's just as simple to not even bother is just as large an evil as the creation of the rule in the first place. In looking at Jim Crow, I choose to judge those local elections officials who enforced the discriminatory rules just as much as I judge those who put them on the books in the first place. We all make choices, and those people on the board made the choice to act in a way that I consider to be morally corrupt.

Let me put it this way: If you were sitting on that panel, would you choose to ask that question? Because not asking it is certainly an option for the folks on the other side o the desk. I wasn't asked it, and never heard of anyone getting that question, and I knew a couple atheist scouts. Maybe they lied, but I suspect I would have at least heard some griping about it. So I'm asking you- if you're faced with that choice, do you ask that question?
 
2013-02-01 10:02:26 PM  

cptjeff: coeyagi: cptjeff: coeyagi: You make it sound as if the faith question was the emphasis. It wasn't. Leadership, service and the project were the emphasis. Trust me, I am far from being religious, but I guess it's just your perspective that it's shiatty. And for that, well, you're welcome to it.

If they flunk somebody just on that, that's more than enough importance placed on the question for it to make a judgement as to the character of the people on that panel, isn't it?

You can judge them one way, I choose not to.  If the program says you have to be reverent, and then you are revealed not to be, how can I judge the people asking the question or "flunking" the candidate for it?  Let's flip it - can't you just say "Wow they totally looked the other way, reverence must not actually mean anything."  So, then the question becomes, don't bother asking, right?  Well, then what's the point of having reverence in the program?  And trust me, my council is far from unique.  Just google how many scouts were denied Eagle at their board.  Tons.

I respect your perspective, but I am not going to condemn the folks asking the question.  However, am I in favor of them reevaluating the faith aspect of the program? ABSOLUTELY.  Until then, just ignoring an aspect of the program begs the question "what the hell is it there for then?"

Why does "reverent" have to imply faith in a diety? The word has a much broader meaning than that. I might have reverence for nature, for example. The definition is just "showing a deep and solemn respect". It is about being humbled by your smallness and lack of importance next to the power and vastness of the universe. One can be the most ardent atheist on the planet and have that appreciation.

I choose to judge people when they make a choice to be dicks about their faith. In my book, active enforcement of an unjust rule when it's just as simple to not even bother is just as large an evil as the creation of the rule in the first place. In looking at J ...


No, I don't ask the question.  But I don't judge those who do.  But again, you're framing this argument from the standpoint that my council is the aberration.  It is not. Just google it.
 
2013-02-01 10:05:31 PM  

MurphyMurphy: and then if you are a kid AND have money you can do insanely awesome stuff like Philmont


Went in 88.

Every summer we did standard Summer camp, and High Adventure.  Usually a week backpacking in the Rockies.
 
2013-02-01 10:08:00 PM  

Mike Chewbacca: It's funny that the Girl Scouts don't have this same issue. They let in everyone, because they want ALL girls to grow to be strong women, not just the "right" girls. Of course, that might be because the Mormons haven't taken over GSUSA, likely because Mormons don't want strong women.


That is why Girl Scouts is awesome and why I always support Girl Scout fundraisers and not Boy Scouts.

That said, it sounds like a lot of you guys had really great Boy Scout experiences and as long as the leader wasn't a wacko/hater I would definitely let my kids join if they wanted.
 
2013-02-01 10:08:30 PM  
cptjeff: In my council, the biggest focus was on getting your project past them. They'd been known to turn people down for skimping on the project, so you actually had to do something significant enough, and justify it as "worthy of an Eagle Scout" or whatever the wording on that was. A few questions about the general scouting experience too, but nowhere near as high pressure. I suppose they might flunk you if you said you hated it, but the only thing they really seemed to care about was the project.

That was my experience, too. Go over your awards, a couple of questions about what you learned about leadership being a patrol leader, tie three knots, decipher some morse code and then the other 90% of the time was making sure you actually did the work on your Eagle project.

I served as an Assistant Scoutmaster for a jewish troop on a trip once (run by an old friend of my Dad's, and they were doing the Boundary Waters without going through Northern Tier, and wanted somebody who'd been there before). There were meat nights and cheese nights, which was great for me and one of the scouts who didn't keep kosher, since we could get into the beef jerky on the cheese nights with no one able to do anything about it.

We had potluck suppers for our honor courts, with all the Jewish ladies attempting to outdo each other with their Jewish dishes. We also had a lot of Italian ladies doing the same thing. I always looked forward to those nights. They were all VERY serious about their food.
 
2013-02-01 10:11:24 PM  

spidermilk: Mike Chewbacca: It's funny that the Girl Scouts don't have this same issue. They let in everyone, because they want ALL girls to grow to be strong women, not just the "right" girls. Of course, that might be because the Mormons haven't taken over GSUSA, likely because Mormons don't want strong women.

That is why Girl Scouts is awesome and why I always support Girl Scout fundraisers and not Boy Scouts.

That said, it sounds like a lot of you guys had really great Boy Scout experiences and as long as the leader wasn't a wacko/hater I would definitely let my kids join if they wanted.


You'd better keep supporting the Girls Scouts, they're bleeding numbers faster than the Boy Scouts (because despite their awesome inclusivity, their program and red tape sucks in comparison.  So many leaders won't do anything for the Girls Scouts because of the hoops they gotta jump through to do anything, which feeds into the crappiness of the program).

But I vote we take a page out of the World's book and merge the organizations. There are I think 2 Scouting organizations in the world that aren't coed - the U.S. and the Saudi Arabia.  Yes, Saudi Arabia.
 
2013-02-01 10:13:03 PM  
coolschool_dropout:
You had a bad experience.  It does not make you an expert on BSA cult issues.  OA is not a cult.  It's an extension of the BSA that affords some kids to take what the BSA offers to a different level.  Not everyone digs it.  Some take it for everything it's worth.  Yes, the BSA is, in concept, a good organization that allows kids to do things that most only dream of.  The OA is an extension of that.  Your bad experience only proves that your local lodge sucks, nothing more.  Just like everything else, it is what you make/allow it to be.

I'm really not sure where you get that I had a "bad experience from", because I honestly loved my time in the Scouts. I was being a little silly about the OA, because the initiation is, honestly, a bit silly (is this where I claim Poe's Law?).  I never did much with the OA lodge because I didn't have the time, not because they were bad - my own troop activities, plus high school sports, kept me plenty busy.

I also had the distinct pleasure of working at Philmont for two summers ('99 and '00) while I was in college.

I (like many other Scouts in this thread) have been saddened at the direction that the "management" has taken lately.  But I have very fond memories of my own experiences, and hope that I can find a troop for my own children that pushes aside bigotry and prejudice and focuses on the core of what it means to actually be a Scout.
 
2013-02-01 10:13:13 PM  
wtf boy scouts?  why can't you be more like the girl scouts?  i was a godless heathen and the only girl in our troop that didn't come out 100% lesbian.  there were no questions asked regarding the many awkward "first experiences" in the tents and satanic rites during camp outs.

/currently rocking a boy scout shirt
 
2013-02-01 10:13:38 PM  

coeyagi: No, I don't ask the question. But I don't judge those who do. But again, you're framing this argument from the standpoint that my council is the aberration. It is not. Just google it.


I did make that presumption, but it's ancillary to the argument. One can be morally bankrupt and also be in the majority.

Also, your sample is rather biased. People are going to scream about it when something does happen, but you won't hear anything when something doesn't happen. When things go as planned, they don't make the news. You might have half a million eagle boards and they only ask they question in 10, but you won't hear about the 499,990, you'll hear about the 10.

So yes, you may find other examples, but without any information on how often it occurs as a percentage of overall eagle boards, the number is utterly meaningless. A .1% incident rate would still give you a bunch of anecdotes to draw from, it's a big country and a big organization.
 
2013-02-01 10:14:24 PM  

VibroCount: I wonder if Buddhist churches sponsor Boy Scout troops? Or develop Eagle Scouts?

(and if you believe Buddhists need to believe in a supreme being, I suggest you investigate more)


I know that there is a Buddhist badge
 
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