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Old 10-31-2002, 11:33 AM   #1
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Boy Scouts

Atheist Scout given a week to declare belief

Scout executive: 'Mother Nature would be acceptable'

PORT ORCHARD, Washington (AP) --Eagle Scout Darrell Lambert has earned 37 merit badges, worked more than 1,000 hours of community service and helps lead a Boy Scout troop in his hometown.

But the 19-year-old has another distinction that may lead to his removal from the Boy Scouts: He's an atheist.

Last week, Lambert was given roughly a week by the Boy Scouts' regional executive to declare belief in a supreme being and comply with Boy Scout policy, or quit the Scouts.

The official and Lambert were to talk again this week regarding Lambert's answer.

"We've asked him to search his heart, to confer with family members, to give this great thought," Brad Farmer, the Scout executive of the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts, told The Sun of Bremerton.

"If he says he's an avowed atheist, he does not meet the standards of membership."

On membership applications, Boy Scouts and adult leaders must say they recognize some higher power, not necessarily religious. "Mother Nature would be acceptable," Farmer said.

As a private organization, the Boy Scouts are permitted to exclude certain people from membership. The organization bans gays and atheists.

Lambert, who has been a Scout since he was 9, said he won't profess a belief he doesn't feel, saying it amounts to a lie. "I wouldn't be a good Scout then, would I?"

The issue arose about three weeks ago when Lambert got into an argument with a Scout leader at a Boy Scout leadership training seminar over whether atheists should be expelled from the organization. Farmer's office soon contacted him to talk about his nonbelief.

Lambert disclosed his atheism to Scout leaders overseeing his Eagle Scout application last year, but still received the award.

The issue has surfaced before. In 1998, 16-year-old twins Michael and William Randall, who refused to take an oath to God, were awarded Eagle badges after a seven-year legal fight with the Orange County, California, council.

...

That's funny. They'll allow him to declare belief in "Mother Nature," but homosexuals aren't allowed, despite the fact that several Christian and non-Christian religions have no moral issue with it.

It is of my opinion that this organization is in some serious need to reorganize its priorities. When I was a Boy Scout, this was an organization where one goes camping...lol. Since when was this *ever* a religious organization? The idea of civic ethics that this group expounds certainly transcends theism.

Your thoughts?

Melon
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Old 10-31-2002, 01:23 PM   #2
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It is of my opinion that this organization is in some serious need to reorganize its priorities
Agreed.
Like the girl scouts they have one little line about god somewhere in the manual, but that's not what it was ever about.
Roast marshmellows, sing songs, tie a knot or two....these ppl are ridiculous.

(but so is being 19 and still being a Boy Scout
)
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Old 10-31-2002, 01:46 PM   #3
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I never joined because I do not like wearing uniforms.
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Old 10-31-2002, 01:53 PM   #4
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my boyfriend is a scout leader

Quote:
Originally posted by Sparkysgrrrl


(but so is being 19 and still being a Boy Scout
)
He's an eagle scout and that takes a lot of dedication. Scouts raises men with good priorities and morals, can't be knockin.



But the Boy Scouts DO have a lot of need for policy rearrangement. No gays, no atheists, no one different. Oops, I think I slid that last one in by myself.
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Old 10-31-2002, 01:59 PM   #5
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Hey, it's not ridiculous to be in scouts at 19! Some of my best Girl Scout years were in high school.

This whole issue is ridiculous. The Boy Scouts (and Girl Scouts, for that matter) are not so much about God and being straight as they are about learning skills, performing service, and socializing with your peers--and maybe some camping.

As a result of this crap, I've stopped supporting the Boy Scouts in any way I can. My co-workers son was selling popcorn, but I had to refuse to buy any. Whether her eight-year-old son understands it or not, his organizaiton promotes intolerance, and I'm not going to support it. Indeed, the scouts have their priorities out of whack. It sounds like they are operating their organization out of fear and prejudice more than service and compassion.
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Old 10-31-2002, 02:06 PM   #6
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Re: Boy Scouts

Quote:
Originally posted by melon
The issue has surfaced before. In 1998, 16-year-old twins Michael and William Randall, who refused to take an oath to God, were awarded Eagle badges after a seven-year legal fight with the Orange County, California, council.
I agree that the Scouts need to review their priorities, or at least have a coherent policy for membership requirements.

The other incident you site is interesting as the father of the twins, who was an atheist, was the one who forced the issue. As much as the Scout's policies rub me the wrong way, I also get tired of those who want to stamp references to God out of public life.
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Old 10-31-2002, 02:11 PM   #7
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I only meant that comment in jest...I'm well into my 20's and play with Star Wars figures given the chance

If the Scouts want to really really become a more religious oriented organization, I think they need to make the perfectly clear...well in the last few years it's seems they are trying to do that I suppose...but I think it would be great if another org. was started that didn't have that connection, and was accepting and it wasn't even an issue. I mean we're talking for the most part about little kids and they have no interest in whether or not someone's gay, atheist or whatever, they just want to have a little group where they can have fun.

Unfortunetly since the Scouts have such a long history etc. It would be hard for another group to be established.
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Old 10-31-2002, 02:13 PM   #8
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If I'm not mistaken, Campfire Girls and Boys is an alternative organization that many people are supporting instead of the Boy Scouts. I could be wrong about that. Can anyone verify?
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Old 10-31-2002, 02:22 PM   #9
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Oh, thank you!
*goes off to explore the world of campfire children
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Old 10-31-2002, 02:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by HeartlandGirl


As a result of this crap, I've stopped supporting the Boy Scouts in any way I can. My co-workers son was selling popcorn, but I had to refuse to buy any. Whether her eight-year-old son understands it or not, his organizaiton promotes intolerance, and I'm not going to support it. Indeed, the scouts have their priorities out of whack. It sounds like they are operating their organization out of fear and prejudice more than service and compassion.

I agree. It's really a shame they are teaching these young boys, who haven't yet the experience/insight to build their world views, intolerance. The boys are there to learn about life, teamwork, their own selves, the world around them, but the organization separates them and marks certain people as "wrong" or "inferior."

On the religion issue, I agree with Melon that they really have to sit down and clearly state what the creed for the Boy Scouts is ASAP, rather than making up things as they go.. I mean, I don't agree with them but at least the boys aren't lying about how they feel.

I also agree with nbcrusader about being fed up w/ some people trying to stamp out all mention of God at all in this world.

And finally.. Campfire is different than Boy/Girl Scouts. I volunteered through Campfire at an after-school program for under privalaged children. Definitely not the boy/girl scouts.. these kids came from very broken families. We would go to a hall in their neighborhood to be with them, and had to leave before dark.
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Old 10-31-2002, 08:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sparkysgrrrl
I only meant that comment in jest...I'm well into my 20's and play with Star Wars figures given the chance
Where were you when I was twenty?

HEHE

Ouch...my wife just hit me off the head!!!!

Dang...I think I am a Democrat now!
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Old 10-31-2002, 08:47 PM   #12
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sorry ppl..
i dont agree.
I was a Boy Scout at one time
Yes lil ol me..

The Boy Scouts Of America is a private institution..
Part of the oath u take is to believe in God..
If u dont like it.. dont take the oath and
dont join

It seems this person is trying to start up controversy is all..



Start up a new godless BSA.. if u wish, its a free country

Out-
-diamond-
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Old 10-31-2002, 09:04 PM   #13
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it pains me to say
i think diamond has a pt

BS is private ~ they can sorta do what they want.


so long as there's a non-secular alternative.








____
though i still think they should be more open.
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Old 10-31-2002, 09:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
The Boy Scouts Of America is a private institution..
Part of the oath u take is to believe in God..
If u dont like it.. dont take the oath and
dont join
I disagree with this sentiment, sheerly because of the fact that it partially receives government money and support. The idea that this is a wholly private institution is a fallacy.

Melon
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Old 10-31-2002, 09:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


I disagree with this sentiment, sheerly because of the fact that it partially receives government money and support. The idea that this is a wholly private institution is a fallacy.

Melon
I was always told it was..proportionately Melon how much govt money vs private money is funded to the BSA?
Just curious thats all.

See what happens here is that you open up a "slippery-slope"..
Pretty soon-The Moose Lodge will have to merge w The Elk Lodge cuz some of "The Elks " got their feelings hurt.. ect ect ect..
Where does it stop..?
I think our country is DRUNK on civil rights and DRUNK on the demand of civil liberties..jimminy christmas

Jayus enough already..

Get my point?
thanks-
diamond
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