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Boy Scouts and Belief in God

October 29, 1985

Cal Thomas' criticism (Editorial Pages, Oct. 21) of the Boy Scouts of America's executive board is demagogic. His essential charge is that the Boy Scout organization compromised its principles by deleting a belief in God as a prerequisite for membership. He then equated this so-called compromise with hypothetically allowing the Scouts to litter. This is pure theological double talk.

If someone believes that charity is a good then that belief can be translated into action in many different ways: fund-raising drives, relief work, advertising, etc. If someone believes in environmentalism then that belief can be manifested by anti-litter drives, demonstrations, clean-up work, legal action, etc.

On the other hand, a belief in God has no necessitating commensurate action arising out of that belief. The mere act of believing in a god does not require the believer to do a thing. The act of believing in a god is based purely on faith, except if someone has a one-in-a-million chance of experiencing a direct revelation. Otherwise, believing in a god is like believing that Pluto is inhabited by talking polka-dot leaves. No compromise of principles is made by getting rid of this belief requirement.

Many religions in the world do not profess that a belief in a god is even necessary for their salvation, happiness, reincarnation, samadhi, or what-have-you. Believing in a god requires action only after one has defined what the god is and what pleases or displeases it.

ANDREW R. SERRANO

Los Angeles

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