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wider plane, between the believers of all confessions and the “engaged” atheists, on one side, and, on the other side those who do not really have any religious or spiritual dimension, even when they pay lip service to a duty to God which will always remain a dead or purely formal side of their life. B.-P himself, in spite of his attitude towards the atheists, seemed at one time to recognise the relevance of this distinction. In his speech to the Conference of Scout/Guide Commissioners of July 2, 1926, he refers to the passage of the Gospel on the Last Judgement, when Jesus separates the sheep from the goats and places the first (the just) on his right and the latter (the damned) on his left (Mt. 25, 32-33): and B.-P. agrees with the opinion that the two groups shall be formed, not by the believers and the non believers, but by the unselfish and the selfish. So B.-P. establishes a sort of equation between the terms of “God” and “religion”. But what does he mean by “religion”? B.P. gives two slightly different definitions of it. The first one can be found in Scouting for Boys (1908): Religion seems a very simple thing: 1st: love and serve God. 2nd: love and serve your neighbour. The second definition is more precise (did someone tell him that too much simplicity bordered on oversimplification?). The definition is found in Rovering to Success (1922), perhaps his most carefully written book: Religion very briefly stated means: – firstly, recognising who and what is God; – secondly, making the best of life that He has given one and doing what He wants of us. This is mainly doing something for other people. To these two well-known quotations we should add a third one, less known and taken from an article written in 1920: By religion I do not imply the formal Sunday respect paid to the Deity, but the higher realisation of God as perpetually within and around us, and the consequent higher plane of thought and action in His service. Here Baden-Powell poses the problem of “knowledge” and “realisation” of God. To this problem he also outlines the solution: As steps towards gaining these two points [recognising who and what is God - making the best of the life He gave you], there are two things I would recommend you to do: – one is to read that wonderful old book, the Bible, which, in addition to its Divine Revelation, you will find a wonderfully interesting story-book of history and poetry as

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CICS Interreligious Dialogue 2007  

International Catholic Conference on Scouting (ICCS) Interreligious Dialogue 2007 http://www.cics.org/?wpfb_dl=21

CICS Interreligious Dialogue 2007  

International Catholic Conference on Scouting (ICCS) Interreligious Dialogue 2007 http://www.cics.org/?wpfb_dl=21

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