Scout Oath Debate Questions Faith in God, First Amendment

As a minister and a longtime Scout and Scoutmaster, I say hurrah for Cub Scouts William and Michael Randall and their suit.

Anyone who thinks that anybody's God is omnipresent at scouting events has not been around scouting very long. The proper focus of scouting is moral and physical development in a healthy outdoor environment. Having adults judge the theological opinions of 9-year-olds only serves to demonstrate that adults have silly ideas.

The very word God is but a symbol for an ultimate reality. Any group of adult Scout leaders around a campfire will have wildly varying ideas of God, and some of them probably would agree with the twins.

I have discussed with Orange County Council officials bringing scouting into our newly organized congregation. Maybe I should look elsewhere, for we place too great a value on the conscience and sanctity of belief of the individual to require adherence to any doctrine, even the existence of God. I would rather have two thoughtful and honest 9-year-olds than a dozen adults who mindlessly accept whatever they hear from the pulpit.

William is correct. The way most adults talk, God does sound like a make-believe character.

THE REV. DON NORTHCUTT, San Juan Capistrano

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