Thursday, May 31, 2012

The BSA's Declaration of Religious Principle

The BSA has a very well defined statement that is on all of it's application forms and many other documents, that explains it's exact stance on religious principals.  

Declaration of Religious Principle
The Boy Scouts of America 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 a member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life. Only persons willing to subscribe to this Declaration of Religious Principle and to the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of membership.

As with anything on religion, There will be some that disagree with it. Some will argue that it is too inclusive, that they can't agree that all Religious faiths should be treated equally. There will be others that argue in the other direction, that by Excluding Atheists, the BSA is wrong.

But either way, it is a private organization, and this is the stance you sign on with when you register as a leader, or register your son as a scout. It doesn't mean you have to believe this outside of a scouting context. When I'm in church on Sunday, I'll definitely have my own opinions about what I believe, and I will say that the faith I follow is correct, and that others are incorrect. 

But as far as scouting goes, on Thursday evenings, that's not the place for me to be making that particular distinction.

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