Tag Archives: religion

A Scout’s Required Belief in God

SunriseHere’s the bottom line: If the Scout participates in any type of religious organization, whether it speaks of God or not, there’s no problem.

If the Scout perceives some power, essence, being, or motive force in the universe that could deserve to be called ‘God,’ there should be no problem.

On the other hand, if the Scout or Scout’s family’s personal beliefs forbid referring to any entity as ‘God’ then the Scout could have trouble participating in BSA’s Scouting programs.

Here’s how it works.

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Tech-choking Image of History

Excerpt of Adams SynchronologyThere’s something charming about Adam’s Synchronological Chart or Map of History, even if I am a secular scientific type. It shows the history of the world following (more or less) Ussher’s chronology which famously begins everything at 4004 BC. Adam’s chart begins in biblical times, and tracks the “flow of history” mostly in terms of prominent European rulers. The first edition ended in 1871. There are claimed to be editions updated through the 21st century.

I haven’t seen a version displaying dinosaurs.

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Does God scare kids from Scouting?

God commandsRecently, I spoke to a young adult who avoided attending a funeral. To quote, “The religious stuff creeped me out.”

This is a common reaction from people who haven’t confronted choices of faith, or haven’t resolved them.

Most religious institutions aren’t trying to creep people out. Shouldn’t we minimize or prevent such feelings?

Boy Scouts practically excludes youth brought up outside of religious groups. I don’t think the founders of Scouting wanted to exclude any boys from Boy Scouts. I think we can fix it.

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Social Traditions versus Religious Traditions

I’ve been reading  Of Virgins and Martyrs which more-or-less explores the role of women in world culture. David Jacobson, the author, frames the discussion around religious traditions, which themselves generally arose in patriarchal societies. Religious conservatives world-wide often oppose expansions of womens’ rights. I think this often arises because many religious conservatives like to conflate social traditions with religious obligations. Neither Jesus nor Mohammed explicitly relegated women to a second class status (never mind what St. Paul had to say). 

However, both savior and prophet arose in a patriarchal society. It’s easy to portray both as patriarchal or even misogynistic by over-interpreting their social interactions.

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