Tonawanda News

Opinion

February 8, 2013

ADAMCZYK:

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Personally, I can accept Scouting without gay Scouts — it’s their organization, to be run by their rules, and if they choose to fade into irrelevance, so be it. I prefer their acceptance of the world in which they reside and working to improve it, and that means including the young and gay, and leaders who are gay. 

It is my understanding, though, that troops will choose their own policy, deciding whether to remain exclusionary or to offer the advantages of Scouting to all, something like the wrenching decisions affecting many of those churches with which they align themselves.

So, some will stay the course, others will determine their policies according to external and local factors. A noble, if small and grossly overdue, step. 

There is no talk, though, of opening up the joys and advantages of Scouting to the irreligious. Scouts pledge to uphold their “duty to God,” and proclaim pursuit of 12 virtues in their oath (“A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, friendly, courteous ...”), the last being “reverent.” The non-reverent, meaning atheist or agnostic or otherwise not dead solid strong in their relationship with God, are as unwelcome as the gay.

“The Boy Scouts of America does not define what constitutes belief in God or the practice of religion. Membership in a religious organization is not required.” That’s straight off the Scouting website. It nonetheless demands a thoughtful connection between the prospective Scout, or Scout leader, and God.

And if that connection does not exist? Find another organization, kid.

Among the honored groups in America that do not require evidence of an applicant’s bond with God are the United States Army, nearly every sports organization and the voting registries. The non-believer is welcome there, but not at the Boy Scouts of America. 

We live in changing times, fortunately, and ours has seen a diminishing relationship between faith and morality. Prevailing issues of trust, capability and honor are linked less and less to religion, the way race and perceived disability count less than other characteristics of a person’s character. We can go a lifetime not caring of, or even knowing, a neighbor’s religious preference, but we know if he or she is a good neighbor.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo