***The following was written by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy***


General Robert Baden-Powell, who is considered the founder of the Boy Scouts in 1906 and author of the first book and the most widely read book on Scouting in the Twentieth Century (150 million copies), Scouting for Boys (1908), said he had seen enough of war and that “…the boys should be kept away from the idea that they are being trained so that some day they might fight for their country. It is not war-Scouting that is needed now, but peace-Scouting.” The early editions of the American Boy Scout Handbook emphasized this so strongly that it was accused of being ”propaganda for pacifism.”

Indeed in the 1980s at a retreat I directed on Gospel Nonviolence at the Catholic Church in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, I met a man who was a life long pacifist and a World War II conscientious objector, who told me that he was converted to pacifism when he was a youngster in the Boy Scouts. There was no problem with Christian Churches sponsoring Boy Scout Troops then, but what about now? Are the Scouts picture below or in the slide show below have their little, undeveloped  brain nurtured in the values of Jesus? Is it the mind of Christ that today’s Boy Scouts of America are helping them “put on?” Is it not a radical form of child abuse for a Christian Church to sponsor or to allow its facilities to be used to so corrupt young Christians’ minds? If not, why not? If your parish is engaged in this or is engaged in finessing Christian children into engaging in this, what is the responsibility before Jesus Christ of an adult who belongs to such a parish?

Explorers Train to Fight Terrorists, and More, The New York Times

Photo credit: Todd Krainin for The New York Times

Photo credit: Todd Krainin for The New York Times

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