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__ ARTICLE IX. POLICIES AND DEFINITIONS (POLICIES) - CHARTER AND BYLAWS __ Section 1 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. Activities 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." Freedom 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. Leaders 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 association. 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 expectations. 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."


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