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BSA discrimination policy :(
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Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Kick the can on 02/06/2013 18:19:41 MST Print View

Without commentary, here's a news link:

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Kick the can on 02/06/2013 19:29:56 MST Print View

So maybe in May?

Given today's coverage, I think the general consensus is "appalling". I don't think this will go away in 3 months.

Three months to rationalize a siege mentality, or to tear down walls that are already gone in most places.

We do live in interesting times.

tyler marlow

Locale: UTAH
Glad to see so much discussion! on 02/06/2013 22:50:15 MST Print View

Slowly but surely it seems that BSA may be opening up, lets just hope that Rick Perry and the lot dont come out on top.

I'd like to hear Ryan Jordan's view on all this, as a big proponent of BSA and someone very involved with it on many levels (leader, father, trainer, ect). It seems that many of us posting here are doing so from outside of BSA.

Lynn, as a atheist (Buddhist) you would NOT be allowed in scouting, they are quite adamant about the singular, male, human god - excludes a lot of us unfortunately.

As far as community decision making goes, it seems like such a policy wont make very much of an 'on the ground' impact, rather one of statement.

Still, its encouraging that the fight for rights continues!

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Glad to see so much discussion! on 02/07/2013 12:51:28 MST Print View

"Lynn, as a atheist (Buddhist) you would NOT be allowed in scouting, they are quite adamant about the singular, male, human god - excludes a lot of us unfortunately."

Oh, so no Hindus either :( Or Earth Goddess worshippers, or Baha'i...Are you kidding, or is that really a policy of the BSA?

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Glad to see so much discussion! on 02/07/2013 13:13:57 MST Print View


I remember in my Boy's Life magazine, 1970 to 1980, one page each month detailed one of the medals you could earn for, essentially, religious study and service within your faith. Even as a pre-teen, it struck me as an over-reaching claim of diversity to describe various Islamic and very small Christian sects when they surely were a tiny fraction of membership in that decade. But looking at BSA's description of the program currently:

there are programs for Bahai, Buddhist, and Hindu. Which doesn't square with my understanding of their insistence on a single, male-type deity. They've even got Meher Baba - who was at least a male and single (and quite recent b. 1894 d. 1969) incarnation of God.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Glad to see so much discussion! on 02/07/2013 13:25:22 MST Print View

Yeah, same here, I remember in the 1960s they had publications that had pictures of people with turbans so they included Muslims/Hindus

I don't remember anything about aetheists

And does the constitution include aetheism in the freedom of religion?

Some religious people freak out at the thought of aetheism - we are sinners and the only thing keeping us from going out of control is a god that will punish us if we mis-behave

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Glad to see so much discussion! on 02/07/2013 13:57:20 MST Print View

>"Some religious people freak out at the thought of atheism"

I think those who freak out tend to fixate on some of the odd, pathetic, and/or evil examples: Woody Allen, Kim Jong-il, Hugh Hefner, Che Guevara, Larry Flynt, Joseph Stalin rather than the ones who have made various contributions: Margaret Sanger, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Mark Twain, Helen Keller, Bill Nye, Vincent van Gogh, etc.

Just as they lack a good answer (if religions prevent people from behaving badly) for: Jim Jones, Pat Robertson, Obama bin Laden, David Koresh, Sun Myung Moon, the KKK, Ayatollah Khomeini, Adolph Hitler, etc, etc.

Although I'm pretty sure, on days that Windows crashes and takes down my document in progress, that Bill Gates IS the Anti-Christ.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Glad to see so much discussion! on 02/07/2013 14:08:54 MST Print View

Yes, the BSA already has all the groundwork and justification needed (if any) to permit atheists. I suspect "atheist" religions like Buddhism slipped in only because they looked like a religion and it appeared consistent with ecumenical harmony.

Still, they've already in effect acknowledged that a relationship with an Abrahamic deity is not necessary for good moral development. (This is not a particularly new idea, refer to the old Christian idea of "virtuous pagans".)

The problem for the BSA may simply be that until acknowledging atheism, they can still shy away from dealing with the contradictions between their "Declaration of Religious Principle" statement and the idea of a virtuous pagan. They want to be ecumenical, but only insofar as other beliefs can be interpreted within a Christian context. (I.e. "Those people may be pagans, but they still believe in God even if they call him the wrong/different name.")

That last statement may seem troubling to non-Christian BSA supporters, but as evidence I'd point out the interplay between the BSA and Wiccan churches. Different is OK, so long as it doesn't hit too close to home (Wiccans) or contradict core fundamentalist positions (Unitarians on homosexuality).

In some respects the Old Norse "theory of courage" might even be regarded as ethically superior to the Classical if not to the Christian world-view, in that it demanded commitment to virtue without any offer of lasting reward.... - Tom Shippey, writing on Tolkien

Edited by requiem on 02/07/2013 14:17:38 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Glad to see so much discussion! on 02/07/2013 14:09:11 MST Print View

"Obama bin Laden"

I hate it when I juxtapose Osama and Obama : )

Actually I just laugh because the names are so close

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Re: Kick the can on 02/07/2013 16:07:56 MST Print View

Yes, a delay to May and a deference to a larger voting body. My perception is that the folks in the meeting were trepidatious over any decision and were also inundated with lobbying calls and contacts. Some of this perception comes from having received emails containing contact points at BSA National, from folks on both sides of the issue, designed for broadcast and soliciting folks to make such calls.

So, I reckon folks were quick to justify kicking that can down the road, with assurance that --the bell having been rung-- they'll receive plenty of feedback in the coming months. Cry Havoc! Let slip the lobbyists of yore!

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Glad to see so much discussion! on 02/07/2013 16:35:15 MST Print View

The irony is the Christians were thrown to the lions for being atheist ( denying the existence of all other Gods)as well for illegally and immorally practicing cannibalistic rituals (the Eucharist).
Now they they have the gall to do it to others.
But its sill mindblowing to me that the BSA can't decide if wants to be a hate group or not. There are already a few well know groups that discriminate against non-Christians and gays if the BSA wants to be in the same category as them I will continue to treat BSA members as I would any bigot, this is the BSA chance to join civilization.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Amalgamated Flying Saucer Clubs of America? on 02/07/2013 18:06:41 MST Print View

Many scholars consider the AFSCA to be part of the "New Religious Movement" (NRM), which also includes Scientology.

As a member of AFSCA, would I be eligible for membership in the BSA?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Amalgamated Flying Saucer Clubs of America? on 02/07/2013 18:42:15 MST Print View

It's the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster for me...


I certainly Expect to be eligible!

Edited by greg23 on 02/07/2013 18:42:47 MST.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Amalgamated Flying Saucer Clubs of America? on 02/07/2013 19:21:19 MST Print View

Wow, I just had a look at some pretty funny religions...I wonder if the BSA would allow them in?

Creativity Movement

The Creativity Movement (formerly known as World Church Of The Creator), is a white separatist organization that advocates the whites-only religion, Creativity. It was also a descriptive phrase used by Ben Klassen, that included all adherents of the religion. The use of the term creator does not refer to a deity, but rather to themselves (white people). Despite the former use of the word Church in its name, the movement is atheistic. Creativity is a White Separatist religion that was founded by Ben Klassen in early 1973 under the name Church of the Creator. After Klassen’s death in 1993, Creativity almost died out as a religion until the New Church of the Creator was established three years later by Matthew F. Hale as its Pontifex Maximus (high priest), until his incarceration in January 2003 for plotting with the movement’s head of security, Anthony Evola (an FBI informant), to murder a federal judge.

Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth

Obviously spelling is not a fundamental part of this religion! Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth (TOPY) was founded in 1981 by members of Psychic TV, Coil, Current 93, and a number of other individuals. The ever-evolving network is a loosely federated group of people operating as a unique blend of artistic collective, and practitioners of magic. TOPY is dedicated to the manifestation of magical concepts lacking mysticism or the worship of gods. The group focuses on the psychic and magical aspects of the human brain linked with “guiltless sexuality”. Throughout its existence, TOPY has been an influential group in the underground Chaos magic scene and in the wider western occult tradition. TOPY’s research has covered both Left-hand path and Right-hand path magick, various elements of psychology, art, music, and a variety of other media. Some of the influences on the network have been Aleister Crowley, Austin Osman Spare, and Brion Gysin.

Nation of Yahweh

The Nation of Yahweh is a predominantly African-American religious group that is the most controversial offshoot of the Black Hebrew Israelites line of thought. They were founded in 1979 in Miami by Hulon Mitchell, Jr., who went by the name Yahweh ben Yahweh. Their goal is to return African Americans, whom they see as the original Israelites, to Israel. The group departs from mainstream Christianity and Judaism by accepting Yahweh ben Yahweh as the Son of God. In this way, their beliefs are unique and distinct from that of other known Black Hebrew Israelite groups. The group has engendered controversy due to legal issues of its founder and has also faced accusations of being a black supremacist cult by the Southern Poverty Law Center and The Miami Herald. The SPLC has criticized the beliefs of the Nation of Yahweh as racist, stating that the group believed blacks are “the true Jews” and that whites were “white devils.” They also claim the group believed Yahweh ben Yahweh had a Messianic mission to vanquish whites and that they held views similar to the Christian Identity movement.

Church of All Worlds

The Church of All Worlds is a neo-pagan religion founded in 1962 by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and his wife Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart. The religion evolved from a group of friends and lovers who were in part inspired by a fictional religion of the same name in the science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein; the church’s mythology includes science fiction to this day. They recognize “Gaea,” the Earth Mother Goddess and the Father God, as well as the realm of Faeries and the deities of many other pantheons. Many of their ritual celebrations are centered on the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece. Following the tradition of using fiction as a basis for his ideas, Zell-Ravenheart recently founded The Grey School of Wizardry inspired in part by Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the school in the Harry Potter novels.

Universe People

Universe people or Cosmic people of light powers (Czech: Vesmírní lidé sil sv?tla) is a Czech religious movement centered around Ivo A. Benda. Its belief system is based upon the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations communicating with Benda and other “contacters” since October 1997 telepathically and later even by direct personal contact. According to Benda those civilizations operate a fleet of spaceships, led by Ashtar Sheran, orbiting the Earth. They closely watch and help the good and are waiting to transport their followers into another dimension. The Universe People’s teachings incorporate various elements from ufology (some foreign “contacters” are credited, though often also renounced after a time as misguided or deceptive), Christianity (Jesus was a “fine-vibrations” being) and conspiracy theories (forces of evil are supposed to plan compulsory chipping of the population).

Church of the SubGenius

The Church of the SubGenius is a parody religion that promotes slack, while in a meta-commentarial way, satirizes religion, conspiracy theories, UFOs, and popular culture. The church claims to have been founded in the 1950s by the “world’s greatest salesman” J. R. “Bob” Dobbs. “Bob” Dobbs is depicted as a cartoon of a Ward Cleaver-like man smoking a pipe. The church really started with the publication of SubGenius Pamphlet #1 in 1979. It found acceptance in underground pop-culture circles and has been embraced on college campuses, in the underground music scene, and on the Internet. An important SubGenius event occurred on July 5, 1998: X-Day. The Church had been predicting that on this day the world would be destroyed by invading alien armies known as the X-ists (which is short for “Men from Planet X”). When the event didn’t come to pass, the church administrator who predicted it was tarred and feathered – but allowed to continue on as administrator. Paul Reubens (Pee-wee Herman) is a SubGenius minister. Patrick Volkerding, the founder and maintainer of Slackware Linux, is also a SubGenius affiliate, and he has confirmed the Church and “Bob” inspired the name for Slackware.

Prince Philip Movement

The Prince Philip Movement is a cargo cult of the Yaohnanen tribe on the southern island of Tanna in Vanuatu. The Yaohnanen believe that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the consort to Queen Elizabeth II, is a divine being, the pale-skinned son of a mountain spirit and brother of John Frum. According to ancient tales the son travelled over the seas to a distant land, married a powerful lady and would in time return. The villagers had observed the respect accorded to Queen Elizabeth II by colonial officials and came to the conclusion that her husband, Prince Philip, must be the son from their legends. When the cult formed is unclear, but it is likely that it was sometime in the 1950s or 1960s. Their beliefs were strengthened by the royal couple’s official visit to Vanuatu in 1974 when a few villagers had the opportunity to observe the prince from afar. Prince Philip was made aware of the religion and has exchanged gifts with its leaders and even visited them.

The Church of Euthanasia

The Church of Euthanasia (CoE), is a political organization started by the Reverend Chris Korda (pictured above) in the Boston, Massachusetts area of the United States. According to the church’s website, it is “a non-profit educational foundation devoted to restoring balance between Humans and the remaining species on Earth.” The CoE uses sermons, music, culture jamming, publicity stunts and direct action combined with an underlying sense of satire and black humor to highlight Earth’s unsustainable population. The CoE is notorious for its conflicts with Pro-life Christian activists. According to the church’s website, the one commandment is “Thou shalt not procreate”. The CoE further asserts four principal pillars: suicide, abortion, cannibalism (“strictly limited to consumption of the already dead”), and sodomy (“any sexual act not intended for procreation”). Slogans employed by the group include “Save the Planet, Kill Yourself”, “Six Billion Humans Can’t Be Wrong”, and “Eat a Queer Fetus for Jesus”, all of which are intended to mix inflammatory issues to unnerve those who oppose abortion and homosexuality.

And my favourite, Nuwaubianism

Nuwaubianism is an umbrella term used to refer to the doctrines and teachings of the followers of Dwight York. The Nuwaubians originated as a Black Muslim group in New York in the 1970s, and have gone through many changes since. Eventually, the group established a headquarters in Putnam County, Georgia in 1993, which they have since abandoned. York is now in prison after having been convicted on money laundering and child molestation charges, but Nuwaubianism endures. York developed Nuwaubianism by drawing on a wide range of sources which include Theosophy-derived New Age movements such as Astara as well as the Rosicrucians, Freemasonry, the Shriners, the Moorish Science Temple of America, the revisionist Christianity & Islam and the Qadiani cult of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the numerology of Rashad Khalifa, and the ancient astronaut theories of Zecharia Sitchin. White people are said in one Nuwaubian myth to have been originally created as a race of killers to serve blacks as a slave army, but this plan went awry. Here is a list of some of the more unusual Nuwaubian beliefs:

1. It is important to bury the afterbirth so that Satan does not use it to make a duplicate of the recently-born child
2. Furthermore, some aborted fetuses survive their abortion to live in the sewers, where they are being gathered and organized to take over the world
3. People were once perfectly symmetrical and ambidextrous, but then a meteorite struck Earth and tilted its axis causing handedness and shifting the heart off-center in the chest
4. Each of us has seven clones living in different parts of the world
5. Women existed for many generations before they invented men through genetic manipulation
6. Homo sapiens is the result of cloning experiments that were done on Mars using Homo erectus
7. Nikola Tesla came from the planet Venus
8. The Illuminati have nurtured a child, Satan’s son, who was born on 6 June 1966 at the Dakota House on 72nd Street in New York to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis of the Rothschild/Kennedy families. The Pope was present at the birth and performed necromantic ceremonies. The child was raised by former U.S. president Richard Nixon and now lives in Belgium, where it is hooked up bodily to a computer called “The Beast 3M” or “3666.”

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Amalgamated Flying Saucer Clubs of America? on 02/07/2013 19:44:17 MST Print View

>"7. Nikola Tesla came from the planet Venus"

Well, duh!

Kevin Buggie
(kbuggie) - M

Locale: NW New Mexico
can BPL just delete all CHAFF? on 02/07/2013 20:07:07 MST Print View

All chaff distracts from BPL!

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: can BPL just delete all CHAFF? on 02/07/2013 20:11:05 MST Print View

"All chaff distracts from BPL!"

It only subjugates those lacking the willpower to ignore it.

For the rest of us it is the social glue that makes the gram counting tolerable.

Have you consider joining a Church?

Edited by greg23 on 02/07/2013 20:11:41 MST.

Kevin Buggie
(kbuggie) - M

Locale: NW New Mexico
amen on 02/07/2013 20:25:22 MST Print View

Put that on BPL's tombstone; many of don't want to scroll through endless personal baggage at the cost of content

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: can BPL just delete all CHAFF? on 02/07/2013 20:43:18 MST Print View

"All chaff distracts from BPL!"

Uh oh, someone over in MYOG just ran out of Cuben.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: can BPL just delete all CHAFF? on 02/07/2013 21:08:51 MST Print View

It's that time of year again...