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#31 of 46 Old 10-01-2010, 03:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post
Just a quick question, I emailed our local chapter? of boy scouts, it seems all the meetings (groups) are held at 'chruches'... Please forgive my ignorance... are the boy scouts tied to religion? Maybe I am handicapped on the website but it seems to be lacking tons of info. scouting.org whatever seems to have general info and tons of fluff but nothing specific to it.
BSA is not techinically Christian but most members are. The Scout Oath mentions god and is required. A few years ago a kid (who had done all the work) was not allowed to be an Eagle Scout because I was an aethists and didn't want to say god. Aethists and Agnostics are not welcome. A small amount of information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Sco..._controversies
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#32 of 46 Old 10-01-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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This was a topic I was struggling with, too.
I knew about the discrimination ban against adult leaders, but I didn't know they would kick out children that were gay or had families didn't adhere to the BSA "ethics" .
That makes the decision clear for me now. No way am I going to support an organization that would kick out (and thereby publicly humilate) children/teenagers because they are gay.

What about the YMCA's adventure guides?

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#33 of 46 Old 10-01-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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my dd just became a brownie and so far we are loving it. the boy scouts and girl scouts are quite different however. i completely understand the issue of discrimination and supporting organizations that practice this, even if it's not blatantly. with girl scouts, they say God in their oath but the girls are encouraged to put in any word they are comfortable with and religion never enters into it. if it was discriminating in any sense, then we would never let her join.

i think a pp said above to call your local troop or chapter leader and maybe discuss their views with their particular troop. i know it can be a rewarding experience for kids, but it's an individual choice as to whether you are comfortable enough with the overall organization.

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#34 of 46 Old 10-01-2010, 04:50 PM
 
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I'm torn. DH was in scouting as a kid and had a great experience. But their "official" stance on religion and LGBT issues is just not something I want to support.

It's so hard, because, at the younger ages and at the local level, the LGBT stuff is pretty much a non-issue. But the religion... day-to-day stuff often involves mention of a deity. But... scouts are FUN! And that's the hard thing. Spiral Scouts aren't an option where we live (and we live in TWO towns; they're not an option in either).

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
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#35 of 46 Old 10-01-2010, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm torn. DH was in scouting as a kid and had a great experience. But their "official" stance on religion and LGBT issues is just not something I want to support.

It's so hard, because, at the younger ages and at the local level, the LGBT stuff is pretty much a non-issue. But the religion... day-to-day stuff often involves mention of a deity. But... scouts are FUN! And that's the hard thing. Spiral Scouts aren't an option where we live (and we live in TWO towns; they're not an option in either).
OP here. Thanks so much for all of your opinions and thoughts on the subject. Their stance on LGBT is what I was (and am) struggling with. I didn't know anything about their stance on athiests/agnostics - but I find that troubling as well because we are an athiest (DH)/agnostic (me) family.

I quoted the above, because it is pretty much how I'm feeling....there is so many ways my DS would benefit from scouts, and yet, I do feel that it sends a poor message that is contradicts everything that we want to teach our kids. I know that in our community there are many den/pack leaders who are gay/lesbian, and for whatever reason, I'm holding onto that to make it better in my own mind (yeah, I know).

I've looked for alternatives to boy scouts in my area (south central Wisconsin - if you know of any PLEASE let me know!), and there are not ANY - the nearest group is 5 hours north.
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#36 of 46 Old 10-01-2010, 06:02 PM
 
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OP here. Thanks so much for all of your opinions and thoughts on the subject. Their stance on LGBT is what I was (and am) struggling with. I didn't know anything about their stance on athiests/agnostics - but I find that troubling as well because we are an athiest (DH)/agnostic (me) family.

I quoted the above, because it is pretty much how I'm feeling....there is so many ways my DS would benefit from scouts, and yet, I do feel that it sends a poor message that is contradicts everything that we want to teach our kids. I know that in our community there are many den/pack leaders who are gay/lesbian, and for whatever reason, I'm holding onto that to make it better in my own mind (yeah, I know).

I've looked for alternatives to boy scouts in my area (south central Wisconsin - if you know of any PLEASE let me know!), and there are not ANY - the nearest group is 5 hours north.
Ooh, where North? We live part of the year in Stevens Point.

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
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#37 of 46 Old 10-01-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momtoTnT View Post
OP here. Thanks so much for all of your opinions and thoughts on the subject. Their stance on LGBT is what I was (and am) struggling with. I didn't know anything about their stance on athiests/agnostics - but I find that troubling as well because we are an athiest (DH)/agnostic (me) family.

I quoted the above, because it is pretty much how I'm feeling....there is so many ways my DS would benefit from scouts, and yet, I do feel that it sends a poor message that is contradicts everything that we want to teach our kids. I know that in our community there are many den/pack leaders who are gay/lesbian, and for whatever reason, I'm holding onto that to make it better in my own mind (yeah, I know).

I've looked for alternatives to boy scouts in my area (south central Wisconsin - if you know of any PLEASE let me know!), and there are not ANY - the nearest group is 5 hours north.
If your family is atheist and agnostics, the scouts may make the decision for you. The official stance is that someone who doesn't believe in a God of some form cannot be morally straight and therefor cannot be a good scout.

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#38 of 46 Old 10-01-2010, 07:15 PM
 
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If your family is atheist and agnostics, the scouts may make the decision for you. The official stance is that someone who doesn't believe in a God of some form cannot be morally straight and therefor cannot be a good scout.
My son doesn't believe in God and has had no issues whatsoever in scouts. And another member in our den is in the same boat.

Yes, the oath says "God" in it but so does the pledge of allegience. I just explain to my sons that many people believe in God and he is not to disrespect others beliefs, but that he can believe whatever he wants.

I think it is great for him to learn about what others believe in and for him, it has taught him tolerance and that just because he believes something, doesn't make him right and everyone else wrong.

And gay/lesbian has never even come up in our pack.
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#39 of 46 Old 10-01-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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If your family is atheist and agnostics, the scouts may make the decision for you. The official stance is that someone who doesn't believe in a God of some form cannot be morally straight and therefor cannot be a good scout.
This is true, though at the functional level many of these decisions are made by local leaders (who are generally just parent volunteers) who just choose to ignore or not ignore stuff. So yeah, people might not have issues at a local level, but I still feel weird supporting such practices.

And it's sad, cuz they do such cool stuff.

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
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#40 of 46 Old 10-01-2010, 10:42 PM
 
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It makes me very very sad, because I always wanted my boys to join scouts. But we have made a family decision that we will never join an organization that would not welcome members of our chosen family who are gay and would discriminate against them and their children.
Wow, do they really discriminate in the US? I am only familiar with Scouts Canada, and not only are we co-ed, but anyone willing to subscribe to the scout promise is welcome. There is no discrimination. The Scout promise does include "duty to God", but God is not used in the sense of a Christian God, more as you do have to believe in a "higher power", we have members of all different kinds of religions here. Maybe if you are atheist you might have an issue with that, I can see that.
Our group does meet at a Church, mainly because they are considered "our sponsor", they don't make us pay for using the meeting space, some groups meet at schools or community halls, we are not "affiliated" with the church we meet at, though we do have a spiritual component to the program (but not a specifically Christian component).
I volunteer as a Cub Scouts leader this year, and was a beaver leader the past three years. I absolutely love the program.
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#41 of 46 Old 10-02-2010, 02:42 AM
 
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Now he's interested again, but we're looking at Spiral Scouts which is supportive of anyone regardless of religion, or who their partner is.
I have not been in scouts myself and my DH was a cub scout and boy scout. We are a Pagan family and did not want to support BoyScouts due to the discrimination. We have a young son and think scouting is a great activity!

We have been involved with SpiralScouts and think it's a great organization! Our Circle had been active for almost 5 years but recently the leaders decided step down and the group disolved. Some of us are doing our thing now, especially to keep yearly campouts!

But who knows we might get a new group started sometime. Definitely worth checking out if you like scouting that has both outdoor skills, multicultural, multibelief, environmentalism, peace teaching, community service and co-gender.

Our group had Pagans, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Atheists, gays and straights in it. All waving the flag for Mother Earth LOL

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#42 of 46 Old 10-02-2010, 06:06 AM
 
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Wow, do they really discriminate in the US? I am only familiar with Scouts Canada, and not only are we co-ed, but anyone willing to subscribe to the scout promise is welcome. There is no discrimination. The Scout promise does include "duty to God", but God is not used in the sense of a Christian God, more as you do have to believe in a "higher power", we have members of all different kinds of religions here. Maybe if you are atheist you might have an issue with that, I can see that.
Our group does meet at a Church, mainly because they are considered "our sponsor", they don't make us pay for using the meeting space, some groups meet at schools or community halls, we are not "affiliated" with the church we meet at, though we do have a spiritual component to the program (but not a specifically Christian component).
I volunteer as a Cub Scouts leader this year, and was a beaver leader the past three years. I absolutely love the program.
Actually you don't have to even say "duty to god". My friend was a scout and they had no problem with her omitting it.

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#43 of 46 Old 10-02-2010, 09:20 AM
 
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Wow! I guess I am out of the loop. I posted near the beginning of this thread about how much my DS loves scouts.

I had no idea about the possibility of him not being able to rise in the "ranks" if he is atheist or G,B or T. I had never heard about how discriminatory they were. My DH is atheist and just leaves out the god part in the pledge, as he does in public school. Several others do too. It does really bother him that they say it at all.

I don't want to support this group but I am sooo torn beacuse my son loves it and it has been so good for him. He was having severe behavioral and emotional issues a few years ago. I was wondering if he had oppositional defiance disorder. He started Scouts and Karate about the same time (first grade) and he has made a remarkable transformation and seems so much happier and confident (and easier to parent). It may or may not be the scouts, but I feel it is a big part of what helped him feel accomplishment and confidence and helped him.

I hate to tell him now, 1 1 /2 later, that he can't do scouts. I guess our family has a lot to think about.
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#44 of 46 Old 10-06-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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Actually you don't have to even say "duty to god". My friend was a scout and they had no problem with her omitting it.
Um, they do, according to scout regulations. It is required. Yes, some troops ignore the regulations but it is worth mentioning that things involving a larger group, like an Eagle scout meeting or camping it would be required and children *have been kicked out at the last minute* for not saying so.

Canadian scouts is totally different and has none of the same policies.
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#45 of 46 Old 10-06-2010, 04:58 PM
 
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Um, they do, according to scout regulations. It is required. Yes, some troops ignore the regulations but it is worth mentioning that things involving a larger group, like an Eagle scout meeting or camping it would be required and children *have been kicked out at the last minute* for not saying so.

Canadian scouts is totally different and has none of the same policies.
I was talking about Canadian scouts...

I've all ready mentioned my issues with US scouts in an earlier post, including their exclusion of Atheists and Agnostics.

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#46 of 46 Old 10-06-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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I filled out the request to get more info on Spiral Scouts - there isn't one close enough to us here, but one of ds's friends mommy's is going to help me organize a circle! So ds will get to do Spiral Scouts!

And its really nice that they start at 3yrs old and include everyone.
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