A-Scout-is-Reverent-2-247x300“A Scout is Reverent.
A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.”
Excerpted from page 47-54, Boy Scout Handbook, 11th Edition, (#33105), copyright 1998 by BSA, ISBN 0-8395-3105-2

I like this type of religion.  It’s my style.  There isn’t any falling down in the aisle, no “jacked-up for Jesus hair” or in your face guy thumping a book telling you your going to hell if you do this or don’t do that.

I once told my Parents when asked as we were filling out a form so I could go to a private school in Minnesota that I was an Atheist.  Holy Crap.  That wasn’t the thing to say.   Yeah, don’t be calling the Council Exec on me so fast.  I am not coming out of any closet.  Unless I fell in trying to find something lost deep inside.

I believe in God.  I just don’t believe in Religion.  Yes, there are those who need Religion, those who find comfort with others in a pew listening to someone spout their gospel to them.  There are great traditions within many of the religions of the world.  Not Cults mind you.  That’s totally different.   I don’t get them.  But, the followers can just go on their merry way.

The one great thing that I love about Scouting, besides everything else I tell you that I love about Scouting, is this: A Scout’s Own.  Within a Scout Troop there can be any number of Scouts from many religious backgrounds.  I find, the more diverse the better.   This is something that I got from Baden-Powell that helps explain it more: ” For an open Troop, or for Troops in camp, I think the Scouts’ Own should be open to all denominations, and carried on in such a way as to offend none. There should not be any special form, but it should abound in the right spirit, and should be conducted not from any ecclesiastical point of view, but from that of the boy.”  That was written by BP on the starting of the Scout’s Own in 1928.

To this day, that is how it is.  Non-dominational.  At both National and World Jamborees, there are services for each domination.  I was amazed to see the photos from the 2010 National Jamboree’s Religious services.

Several years earlier in 1917, Baden-Powell wrote about Messenger’s of Peace: ““The roots of Scouting have grown among young people of all civilised countries and are developing more each day. It might be thought that if in years to come, a considerable proportion of the future citizens of each nation forms part of this brotherhood, they will be joined by a bond of personal friendship and mutual understanding such as has never existed before, which will help to find a solution to terrible international conflicts.” 

If you couple Baden-Powell’s comments from 1917 and 1928, they are consistent and in line with what Reverent is to be interpreted.  A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

You might not see me in church, a synagogue at Mass or in a sweat lodge trying to get closer to God, or become ONE with him.  But, I communicate and I believe.

If you don’t, that is just fine with me.  That’s your belief and I respect that.  My belief is that, we all should respect one another and find ways to get along with each other.  You can be reverent.  Just think if we all got along with each other.

Luke 6:31 said “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”  It is just that simple.

About Adam R. Cox

Current Skyloo District Commissioner Current Skyloo District & Council Trainer Current Council Member at Large (Cascade Pacific Council) Former Tiger DL & CM of P221 in Pioneer District Former Skyloo District CS Roundtable Commissioner. Former Ast Council Commissioner for Commissioner Tools and Communication Former Pioneer District Training Chair WE1-492-09 Beaver W1-492-11 Bobwhite TG ASM Logistic W1-492-17-2
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2 Responses to Religion

  1. Stephen Cerruti says:

    Certainly an open Troop should abide by the nondenominational guide, however, in my opinion, it has been taken too far.

    Many religions require attendance at a Sunday service, this is a component of their duty to God. When I was a young lad we would often have priests show up on Sunday to hold Mass for us. This was immensely preferable to having to drive downtown for a Sunday evening service upon arriving home. There was also something very unique and special about celebrating outside in the company of Scouts.

    Unfortunately many well meaning scouters have misinterpreted the statements you quote above and attempted to remove religion from Scout units chartered by religious organizations. While those units must never force any Scout to attend or participate in a religious ceremony, they are actually charged under the BSA Declaration of Religious Principle to promote the religious views of their charter organization. “Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.”

    I can only speak for Catholics, but if we are lucky enough to have a priest to say mass or get permission to hold a communion service, all are welcome. Please don’t feel offended if we are choosing to celebrate in the form of our faith rather than attend a nondenominational service, it is one element of our duty to God.

    I guess what I am saying is that I appreciate your respect. I also respect others’ rights to whatever type of worship they choose. But I get bothered when people of my own faith ask me to tone it down, in a unit chartered by my church, out of respect for other’s faith. I don’t think that’s how the BSA intended for it to work.


    • scouteradam says:

      Nope no offense whatsoever. I think it’s great to experience other faiths and traditions.

      At National Jamboree each faith has their own area that people can go.

      If your religion requires certain things I am more than happy to make arrangements as needed.



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