American Boy Scouts retain atheist ban
The Boy Scouts of America will continue to exclude atheists – despite first lifting a ban on gay members and, earlier this year, on gay adult leaders.
According to this report, the organisation – which moved to change its policy after a warning that it could lead to costly legal action – has not shifted to allow non-believers into its ranks.
The BSA will continue to enforce rules that ban open atheists from serving – meaning you can be open about being attracted to men, but not about disbelieving in the existence of God.
All members of the Boy Scouts must sign a “Declaration of Religious Principles”, which states:
The Boy Scouts of America maintain that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his obligation to God.
Only persons willing to subscribe to this Declaration of Religious Principle and to the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of membership.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation, a secular lobbying group, hit out at:
A glaring omission by BSA to stop discriminating against nontheist boys and their families.
It added that while the ban on gay members has received national attention, the media has:
Largely failed to point out BSA’s continuing discrimination against boys from non-believing homes.
The group continued:
BSA should just lift its ban against non=religious boys and leaders in the same way it has lifted the gay ban.
Non-theist members haven’t even asked that BSA change its religious oath – just that BSA protect scouts’ freedom of conscience like the Girl Scouts of America’s policy adopted decades ago accommodating non-religious girls.
Hat tip: Angela K