__ ARTICLE IX. POLICIES AND DEFINITIONS (POLICIES) - CHARTER
AND BYLAWS __
Declaration of Religious Principle
Clause 1. The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can
grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation
to God [sic]. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the
member declares, "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to
God [sic] and my country and to obey the Scout Law." The recognition
of God [sic] as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the
grateful acknowledgment of His [sic] favors and blessings are necessary
to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the
education of the growing members. No matter what the religious
faith of the members may be, this fundamental need [sic] of good
citizenship should be kept before them. The Boy Scouts of America,
therefore, recognizes [sic] 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 the organ-
ization or group with which the member is connected shall give
definite attention to religious life.
Clause 2. The activities of the members of the Boy Scouts of America
shall be carried on under conditions which show respect to the
convictions of others in matters of custom and religion, as required
by the 12th point of the Scout Law, reading, "Reverent. A Scout is
reverent toward God [sic]. He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others."
Clause 3. In no case where a unit is connected with a church or
other distinctively religious organization shall members of other
denominations or faith be required, because of their membership in
the unit, to take part in or to observe a religious ceremony
distinctly peculiar to that organization or church.
Clause 4. Only persons willing to subscribe to these declarations of
principles shall be entitled to certificates of leadership in carrying
out the Scouting program.
From Advancement Guidelines Council and District Functions, 1991
printing, 1989 edition, Copyright 1989, Boy Scouts of America, pg. 5
R E L I G I O U S P R I N C I P L E S
The Boy Scouts of America has a definite statement on religious
principles. The following interpretative statement may help clarify
some of the points. The Boy Scouts of America:
1. Does not define what constitutes belief in God [sic] or the
practice of religion.
2. Does not require membership in a religious organization or
association for enrollment in the movement but does prefer, and
strongly encourages, membership and participation in the religious
programs and activities of a church, synagogue or other religious
3. Respects the convictions of those who exercise their
constitutional freedom to practice religion as individuals without
formal membership in organized religious organizations. In a few
cases, there are those who, by conviction, do not feel it necessary
to formally belong to an organized form of religion and seek to
practice religion in accordance with their own personal convictions.
Every effort should be made to counsel with the boy and his parents
to determine the true story of the religious convictions and practices
as related to advancement in Scouting. Religious organizations have
commended the Boy Scouts of America for encouraging youth to
participate in organized religious activities. However, these same
organizations reject any form of compulsion to enforce conformity to
the established religious practices.
4. If a boy says he is a member of a religious body, the standards
by which he should be evaluated are those of that group. This is
why an advancement committee usually requests a reference from his
religious leader to indicate whether he has lived up to their
Throughout life, Scouts are associated with people of different
faiths. Scouts believe in religious freedom, respecting others
whose religion may differ from theirs. Scouting believes in the
right of all to worship God [sic] in their own way.
From American Heritage Dictionary, copyright 1969, 70, 71, 73,
75, pg. 25 & 83
agnostic n. A thinker who disclaims any knowledge of God [sic].
agnosticism n. 1. Philosophy. The doctrines of the agnostics,
holding that certainty, first or absolute truths, are unattainable,
and that only perceptual phenomena are objets of exact knowledge.
2. Theology. A theory that does not deny [sic] God [sic] but
denies [sic] the possibility of knowing Him.
atheism n. 1. Disbelief in or denial [sic] of the existence of
God. 2. Godlessness.
atheist n. 1. One who denies [sic] the existence of God.
"And that, my liege, is how we know the earth to be banana shaped."