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PostMemories of a Boy Scout in San Diego (Clyde McMorrow, USA, 03/13/18 4:05 am)
I was a Boy Scout, Eagle, Order of the Arrow, in San Diego which, at the time, was very Republican and very anti-religious. The God & Country merit badge (I think it was required) was an eye-opener for me. I remember being fascinated by the number of religious sects and the quaint beliefs they espoused. Of course, the merit badge only covered the Protestant sects. I can remember my parents telling me that St. Rita's School was just the next step toward juvenile hall. I could see that.
There were a lot of merit badges that related to farm animals--I think I did rabbit and chicken raising--quite a few that involved map reading and compasses, and some that were an introduction to modern technology like radio. I made a pretty neat crystal set based on a toilet paper tube.
In those olden days, San Diego Republicans saw themselves as the educated elite with a strong tendency toward free-thinking. For those who felt they needed ritual, we had Madame Tingley's Theosophical Institute and its many feel-good offshoots but religion was generally seen as the opiate of the masses, at least by the Brahmins of Encanto who also didn't think much of Los Angeles.
JE comments: Clyde, I never knew that San Diego had such a Brahmin culture. Did the San Diego elites see themselves as a West Coast offshoot of their Bostonian counterparts? The Bostonians often espoused Deist and Unitarian beliefs. (And for that matter, what ever happened to the free-thinking, "liberal" Republican?)