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View Diary: This response ends the debate on gay Scouts. (176 comments)

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  •  No atheists or agnostics allowed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tecampbell, lotlizard

    per their religious doctrine (all emphasis is mine):

    The Boy Scouts of America's official position is that atheists and agnostics cannot participate as Scouts or adult Scout Leaders in its traditional Scouting programs.

    "The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, ‘On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.’ The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members."

    The BSA believes that atheists and agnostics are not appropriate role models of the Scout Oath and Law for boys, and thus will not accept such persons as members or adult leaders. The Bylaws of the BSA contain a non-sectarian Declaration of Religious Principle which all Scouts are required to subscribe to as part of the membership application process.

    Basically, godless heathens are, by their definition, immoral. Personally, I think this stance makes them immoral.

    This version of the oath represents the stance adopted by the BSA; the oath taken in some other countries is less strident about "god."

    The recent review of the policy regarding gays hasn't changed their bigoted stance against atheists - yet:

    The potential policy shift raises a question about another group shut out of Scouting: atheists, who decline to say the Boy Scout Oath because it begins: "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law."

    David Silverman, president of American Atheists, said Monday, "If they are considering lifting the ban on gays, that's a good thing, that's progress. If they lift that bigotry from their requirements, I would hope they remove the rest of the bigotry and admit atheists as well."

    Refusing to admit atheists who decline the oath, Silverman said, "tells boys that atheists are immoral. If local groups want to behave in an ethical way, I'm confident they will make Boy Scouts about Scouting, not about bigotry."

    I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

    by 1BQ on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 12:47:16 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  that's the impression I had (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tecampbell

      Yeah, there's been nothing in the current discussion about the ban on atheists.  (The two bans got linked a lot because of some high-profile arguments between the BSA and other groups.)  

      The change in the Girl Scout oath to allow substitutions came in 1992 -- I was 12 and active in scouting at the time, and was told to keep my mouth shut about being an atheist, but if I wanted to substitute something vague (like "Goodness" or "Love") I could.  I would bet my local council is still about that atheist-friendly, given where I grew up, but they're not nearly as hostile about it as the Boy Scouts.

    •  My older son was in cub scouts for 2-3 years... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      1BQ

      but I'm an agnostic and felt dishonest agreeing to their BS.  I was happy when he decided not to continue and when my second son was old enough, we never brought it up.  

      I was a cub scout myself back in the '60s and we met at an Episcopal church, but I don't recall any religious indoctrination, other than the oath.  My guess is that most members of our pack had a Protestant or Catholic background, though our community also was significantly Jewish as well.

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