boy scouts don't allow atheist or gays

Rosie - posted on 08/09/2011 ( 38 moms have responded )

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i just found out that the boys scouts will not allow atheists as troop members and they will not have homosexual troop leaders as well. many of these individual charters of troops are funded by federal money. as an atheist mother of 3 boys, i am rather irritated that my children cannot join this group (not that i want them too now that i know this). how on earth can this be legal? http://www.scoutingforall.org/data/layer...

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Danielle - posted on 08/12/2011

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Sorry it took so long before I get started I want to say that I mean no offense to anyone, esp w/my wording, I am very tired so my thinking is kinda fuzzy. Also, it's true, but please let me explain... My dad said he was not allowed to give a statement on behalf of the BSA but he did point me in the direction of where to look and...First off, They do not recieve Federal or even State money, all of their money is from donations-usually from groups such as a Lions Club. 2nd, ALL of their troups are chartered in churches (including Muslim & Buhdist "churches" (idk the right phrase for their churches sorry))-they are allowed to recruit and school but are NOT chartered in schools. 3rd It is part of the BSA oath "God & Country" and they value the truth so by saying this and it not being true, you are lieing and therefore breaking 2 of their ideals. 4th Faith is a cornerstone of the BSA, it is something that will not very quickly be changed. Also, it's not that they mind homosexuals, it's that most parents do not feel comfortable...some people are very...closed minded...and view this in the same light as having a pedophile. 5th: The Eagle Scout who "came out of the closet" was not stripped of his Eagle Scout Rank; it can't be stripped from you, that's part of the BSA-you EARN everything you get. He was simply asked to leave. He is still an Eagle Scout. Also, just an interesting note, the Boy Scouts is not just an American thing, there are BS troups in China, Japan etc-do again you don't necessarily have to believe in "God" as most American's see him, just have a religion...ok, I'm not going to sit here and argue/debate even though this is a debating forum...I just wanted to clear some things up. If you don't like what I found and have said I am sorry, have a nice day.

Krista - posted on 08/10/2011

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It really depends, Nikki.

Do they pay a fee for using the public space? Or is it donated?

If that organization accepts ANY monetary or in-kind donations from public (i.e. tax-funded) organizations, then no, they should not be allowed to discriminate.

If they do not receive any support from any public sources, then yeah...I guess they have the right to do what they want.

Like I always say, though: just because you have the right to do something, that doesn't make you right.

Amber - posted on 08/09/2011

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@Layce~ It seems that Girl Scouts are much more progressive than this. I read a few articles and this was the general consensus of them:

"The Girl Scouts also made headlines in recent years after it refused to adopt what it called "a discrimination policy" against homosexual leaders."

This whole article talks about how a conservative woman quit being a troop leader due to their "New Age" religious following (aka girls aren't forced to say God), lesbian and feminist role models, and their "moral relative" movement in letting girls set their own ethical standards instead of following religious teachings....

I was an assistant troop leader for a year and it wasn't anything about religious values or teachings. We had a book of goals about learning about the world's different cultures, nature, friendship, etc.

http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=97977

Now, if the Boy Scouts would only follow suit...

Jane - posted on 08/13/2011

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We joined Scouts anyway. We figured if don't ask don't tell is good enough for the military, it's good enough for the paramilitary. Besides, Philmont is worth it.

I have taught my kids not to lie, but I have also taught them that there are times when simply not saying anything is appropriate. With all the other valuable experiences you can gain from Scouting, I didn't want my kids to be left out if they didn't want to be.

BTW my husband was a Scout when he was a boy in a troop that was chartered in the local Buddhist temple, and was a very active Scout leader in Japan as well as in the US. And my Girl Scout troop included girls from 7 different nations, 3 major religions, and several races and ethnicities. We also were the only vegetarian troop in our area.

Sometimes the answer is just to keep one's mouth shut.

Mrs. - posted on 08/13/2011

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You're right Nikki, if a country club allows everyone but Jews...they should just forget it cause if they don't agree with Jesus then they don't have to be a part of it, simple as that.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/22/2012

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*****Old thread, locking it. Feel free to start a new debate*****



~DM MoD Little Miss~

[deleted account]

Teresa, I completely agree with you. They are private and should be able to do what they wish. There's just one tiny problem. They get funding from the Federal Government which means my atheist/feminist tax dollars are being used to support an organization I find morally opposite to what I believe in..+

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ETA: I do support however the GSA because they do not block membership based upon religion, etc.

Teresa - posted on 11/17/2012

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BSA is based on the belief and honor to God and country. I don't join organizations that differ in my belief system, nor should anyone else. We should be true to ourselves.

Teresa - posted on 11/17/2012

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Nickie ... thank you so much for your comments! There are organizations EVERYWHERE that people can join that support their morals and beliefs. BSA and GSA are no different. Shame on anyone who would try to deny anyone's membership in any organization that supports their beliefs whether it be BSA or any other organization. I am so tired of people showing disrepect for each other's beliefs. I don't pass judgement on the gay or atheists, but I have differing beliefs and should be able to choose membership without judgement. I agree ... start your OWN organization that supports your beliefs and leave everyone else alone to choose theirs. BSA and GSA are amazing organizations that have taught my son to be respectful, honor God and country (among many other good character traits) that I want my son to learn. I am not a bad person just because I choose to believe in God or because I am heterosexual, I DON'T judge unlike some people who judge my belief system!

Allison - posted on 02/25/2012

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Its because its a private organization. and as of yet none of the discrimination laws protect the homosexual community.

Michelle - posted on 08/14/2011

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btw. please look at www.bsa.org or www.scouting.org or .net hubby cant remember ...

Michelle - posted on 08/14/2011

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according to my husband who is an Eagle Scout, atheist's are allowed in. At least that's the way it was 10 years ago.

Christina - posted on 08/14/2011

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Aren't most boy scout troops set up through churches? If that is the case, then I can understand them not allowing atheist or homosexual members because they feel it is a sin. Doesn't mean I agree, just can understand.
HOWEVER, as a Christian, the best thing I feel they should do is allow atheist and gays to show compassion as Christ teaches. As Christians, we are suppose to show unconditional love to all, not just to those we feel are righteous.

Kellie - posted on 08/13/2011

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Well you learn something new everyday. Up until now I thought being Gay just meant you were Gay, never realised Gay equals Pedophile. *Rolls Eyes* How fucking Ridiculous.

Nikki - posted on 08/13/2011

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Nothing is a silly example. No one says that you have to join boy scouts it is a choice. so if you don't agree with them. Don't join. I don't see why Christian based groups can be labeled as "discriminatory" because they follow their beliefs, but no other. It sounds like discrimination against Crhristians to me. That is the point I was making.

That being said. This discussion is a moot point because if you don't agree you shouldn't watn to be part of it.

[deleted account]

I've known this for years. It's the reason my son was not allowed to join scouts. We're an atheist family that supports gay rights. I won't put my son in a position like that. It really grinds my gears that they receive any government money at all but it's one of those emotional things for the public. "What! Those atheists are trying to take money from the Boy Scouts of America!" its' all downhill from there as every graybeard writes to their paper and local congressman about their wonderful youth in the scouts and OH if ONLY more boys were in scouts,we'd have fewer problems in America, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

So we're stuck with it much to my distaste. I do not support the scouts, for example I do not buy anything from them during fundraising time and when I have the opportunity, I'll tell them why. (opportunity meaning when only the parents are around, not the kids).

Karla - posted on 08/11/2011

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I understand why it's legal that they are a Christian organization, but I don't know why it's legal that they don't allow gays and atheist to join.

A lot of organizations started out as Christian organizations, such as the YMCA and the YWCA, but I believe their goal today is to help anyone who needs it regardless of religious beliefs or sexual orientation.

I find it disconcerting that the boy scouts are holding onto these stipulations. It may be fed by fear on their part since they have had controversial abuses from pedophile Scout Leaders. They now have very strict rules about having groups of 3 or more when using the restroom etc. to insure accountability. It would make more sense to have a no pedophile rule rather than no gays and no atheist.

When my son was 10 he wanted to join Cub Scouts, and I had no idea about these rules at the time. Their programs are good and he learned a lot, but I know my husband and I had raised eyebrows when reading their material. I didn’t talk about it with my son because I decided the positives out-weighted the negatives at that time.

He was only in Cub Scouts for a year, and then he moved up to Boy Scouts. At that time he did not want to continue because he likes to build things, but he isn’t real fond of camping, and their emphasis was camping. Also, there were some very annoying kids in his troop, and he just didn’t enjoy their company. Our Cub Scout leaders were good guys, but I saw others that I didn’t feel were as open minded. In the one Boy Scout meeting I attended, I had the feeling of religious and perhaps even a military type of indoctrination, more so there than in Cub Scouts.

My husband rarely took my son to the meetings; he was uncomfortable with the whole organization.

Ironically, my son has just recently told me he is atheist. When he was 11 I wouldn’t have dreamed of asking him to define his spiritual or religious beliefs.

[deleted account]

Honestly, my brother had no interest in boy scouts and I had no interest in girl scout, so we did Y Indian Guides with our dad :) Way more fun (my sister did girl scouts, so we had something to compare to). We alwyas had great times and all our friends were in it as well, so it as like an extension of our community, but with activities and campouts and stuff (plus hockey and basketball games at the nearest college - we got season passes for free every year as a promotional thing for our group). I loved it and I wish we had a troop near my house now because my daughters would be in it.

Lacye - posted on 08/11/2011

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The principle of the whole thing is that it is completely wrong. It would be like saying you can't do this because you are a woman. You can't do this because you have brown hair (or blond or whatever). It's discriminating gays over something they don't have control over. They didn't choose to be gay. And why should other religions be discriminated against, or lack of religion at that matter. It's still not right no matter how you look at it.

Rosie - posted on 08/11/2011

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defensive much nikki? geez...

see, i somewhat agree that those particular incidences or clubs shouldn't be allowed. and actually a school in michigan actually made it so they can't have those based on discrimination. http://legalclips.nsba.org/?p=48

to me there is a difference though. for me to be part of an african american club, or latino club or something, would mean that i would have to be those races right? i can't be white and black at the same time (well unless i'm mixed, but you get what i'm saying here) so for me to join the group would be pointless. people CAN be atheists or gay and be a boy scout though. as for the band thing, that's a silly example. there's no law in the nation that makes it discriminatory to not be a band member... but yeah, i do understand what you are saying nikki, and agree to an extent with it. you also do have to remember that they (boys scouts)are getting money from the schools as well. that is not allowed under the equal access act.
as for what you think about this violating their rights too, whose rights are more important? how do you determine that? shouldn't EVERYBODY have the right to assembly on public grounds?

Nikki - posted on 08/11/2011

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So then Krista, the Spanish ( Latin American) student cleb can't meet. Because it is only for LA students.

The CSA (Christian Student athletes) can't meet.

Band can't meet because it is only for band members.

African American Student groups can't meet because the are only for AA student.

We could do this all dy long, the long and short of it is that students have a right to assemble in their schools for clu meetings and that includes clubs not sponsered by the school. School is supposed to be a safe gathering place for all students and YOU would deny students who are involved in a group and trying to better themselves a place to meet. That is a 1st amendment violation too..

POT meet KETTLE

Johnny - posted on 08/10/2011

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Happily this is not the case here in Canada. Discrimination is simply not allowed for non- religious institutions (only churches/synagogues/temples/mosques may discriminate). Our Scouts (boys & girls together) can join regardless of religious belief or sexuality (or even gender). As a child, I was a Girl Guide and even back then us atheists were welcome and also allowed not to partake in any religious practices or prayer.

Rosie - posted on 08/10/2011

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if growing up means to discriminate openly then i don't want to "grow up". i'd rather live in a society where people are treated equally, and my government doesn't pay certain groups to discriminate. :B

Nikki - posted on 08/10/2011

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They are privately run. And as they are PUBLIC buildings they have just as much right to use them as any other "asshats" do. GROW UP PEOPLE!!

Rosie - posted on 08/10/2011

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there are many articles about this, it is true. the problem lies with whether or not a private organization can do this or not. i think they're asshats but have every right to be bigoted asshats as long as they are COMPLETELY private. they aren't. they use public land, schools, buildings all of the time. they get money as well from schools. until they are completely private i will continue to bitch about this. i dont' understand how private organizations are allowed to discriminate against religion anyway. homosexuals-there's nothing specific in some states laws, but religion is in everyones laws. gah, and i'm questioned about why i don't openly project my atheism in my real life? well duh?

Mabel - posted on 08/10/2011

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It is called ignorance.The sheer stupidity of a group of people who think they know what is the right and wrong for everyone and actually take it upon themselves to put themselves above others to show how correct their religion is at the same time putting others beliefs and human rights down.They are supposed to be teaching our children how to be good upstanding people who help their neighbors and work to better their communities not spout hatred and be blinded by what they are told.I am glad to know this about the scouts and I will not be putting my son in with these whacks.

Nikki - posted on 08/10/2011

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Also, many troops meet at schools because that is where all of the members are. This does not mean the school is sposoring it, just allowing them space to meet. They have just as much right to meet as any other group.

Nikki - posted on 08/10/2011

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I can understand people being upset about this. But in the end it comes down to this: BSA and GSUSA were established as private non-profits. On the whole the organizations do not receive federal funding. Individual charters are sought out by the troop leaders, sometimes public officials do charter groups. What some of you may not realize is that charter is $80. Is that really enough to cause a stink over. If people don't like it, they can start their own organization. Boy scouts and Girl Scouts have chacter priciples and they also both have mottos and creeds that talk about duty to God. So, being of a different mind, why would someone who doesn't believe in those things want to join.

I was a Girl Scout for 11 years, I got my Gold Award ( equivalent to Eagle Scout). And I was Cub Scout Leader for 2 years before we moved. I just don't see this as a issue.

I know some of you do, but I don't think that either organization has hidden the fact that they hold Judeo-Christian values. They both have acheivements and badges based on faith and religion.

Joanna - posted on 08/09/2011

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My dad was a troop leader for years (at least 10). He is very religious, but also a kind and extremely tolerant man. I doubt he'd have been a leader if he was made to deny anyone because of sex/religious preference. I'll ask him about it.

Jurnee - posted on 08/09/2011

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My son just recently joined the cub scouts. I like the ideas they represent, but I wasnt aware about the no atheists or gays before he joined. He wanted to join because his friends were in it and you get to shoot arrows, go camping and do lots of boy stuff. I like alot of the values they instill, responsiblity, character etc. but I'm not happy about the Atheist/Gay rule. I dont want to take him out because he loves it and hes young, and isnt aware of those rules yet. Im just going to go day by day and see what happens.

Danielle - posted on 08/09/2011

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Hmmm my dad works with the Boy Scouts and has never mentioned this to me. I will email him and ask. He probably will not answer until tomorrow or possibly the next day if he has to research it himself. I'm sure this is either a mis-understanding or they have a good explanation, :) TTYL

Lacye - posted on 08/09/2011

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That's terrible. Do Girl Scouts do the same thing? Probably so. I wouldn't think it would be legal considering it is partly a federally funded program. It shouldn't matter if the parents are athiest because that doesn't necessarily mean the children will be too. It should matter if the person is gay because it's not something that they can help.

Mrs. - posted on 08/09/2011

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It is one of the under the radar Christian groups. It is a non-profit organization so funding will come from government agencies, along with individual donors.

It is not unlike charities like ChildFund, which used to be Christians Child Fund...where sometimes the ideals behind it seem nice enough, but you find out later that there is a Christian bent to it. Seems a lot of these organizations feel the need to hide the Christian angle lately. I wonder why?

That is not to say the ideals are bad, the tenants of Christianity tend to be pretty good general rules. You know like, being kind, generous and loving thy neighbour...However, when your neighbour happens to be gay and then gets kicked out or not included, that is an issue. A human rights issue, in my belief.

It is flat out messed. If the US military is repealing their policies, it seems the Boy Scouts should be held to the same standards.

I'm not thrilled that they will not allow atheists either. Does that mean no non-Christians too? If they do allow non-Christians, it makes no sense at all to not allow someone who is a non-believer.

[deleted account]

The Boy Scouts are known as a "closet-Christian" group and what I mean is that while the spirit and tennants of the Boy Scouts as leaders, survivalists, outdoorsmen, skills, morality, etc are embedded into their group, they also sneak 'God' in there as well with morals, values, and judgements. I am sure that some scout groups are way more accepting of people than other scout groups. Just depends on the region. My dad was a scout leader when my brother was in elementary school, and there was a small Jewish population, and who the hell knows if there were any gays. But then again, I grew up in a tolerant area in New Jersey. I doubt a boy scout troop in the Bible Belt will be as willing and tolerant of gays. I won't be pushing for my son to join By Scouts, however if he shows his own interest, I'd be OK wit hhim learning about outdoor survival stuff and community projects.

[deleted account]

I don't think it should be legal either. I went to high school with a guy who was gay, but didn't come out of the closet until after he was 20 years old. He had spent his whole childhood in Boy Scouts and even had his Eagle ranking, but when he came out he was stripped (publicly) of all his badges and ranks and made to feel ashamed of himself. He ended up moving away (I'm not sure where he is now) and as far as I know he hasn't contacted anyone from our town in the last 4 years (we're all 25). He was a wonderful person and I thought it was horrible how the scouts treated him (he was an assistant leader for a local troop). Because of that, my dad has refused to have anything to do with the scouts since (he's a pastor and was often asked to help with scout events and such).

I think it's sick and wrong and if I ever have a son he will not be in Boy Scouts.

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