Secular Coalition for America founder says Boy Scouts of America are condoning prejudice.
2015 saw the Boy Scouts of America ending their blanket ban on openly gay leaders and employees. However, the organization still denies membership to atheists and agnostics, based on its principle, “Duty to God.” The only exception is that an atheist could apply for membership through a local Unitarian Church, and it would be considered by the BSA.
According to Reverend Peter Morales, the president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the only possible way to join the Boy Scouts of America without a God requirement is through a local Unitarian Church.
The fact is that only a few atheists are associated with the Unitarian Church.
A Unitarian church is a religious group which follows Free Christianity, Unitarian Universalism, Unitarianism or any movement with “Unitarian” in its name. Historically, Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement. The Unitarian theological belief is that God exists in one person, not three (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).
In 1998, UUA disaffiliated from the BSA because of its discrimination against atheists and gays. In 2015, when BSA ended its ban on gays, the Association re-affiliated itself back to BSA, even though BSA did not lift its ban on Atheists. This decision has been perplexing to many because the Church has atheist members all over the country.
As an explanation for the Church's decision to associate itself with the BSA, Morales said that the best way to change the BSA policy is from the inside, rather than from the outside. When asked whether he would have supported the decision if BSA had excluded African-Americans, Muslims, Jews or any other minority but humanists and atheists, Morales skirted the question away without saying yes or no.
It is the stand of BSA that none of its members would be able to grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God.
— Sean Murray (@seanbmurray) June 21, 2016
According to Herb Silverman, the founder and the president of the Secular Coalition for America, BSA has kicked out a number of honest and courageous atheists for rejecting God beliefs. The organization apparently does not consider honesty a core value in becoming the best kind of citizen.
Silverman says that he was disappointed when he heard the real reason why BSA lifted the ban on gays. Robert Gates, the former president of BSA, said that the ban was lifted so that the courts would not force them to radically modify their positions. He did not want the court to overturn the BSA policy of banning atheist scouts and troop leaders. According to Silverman, Gates wanted BSA to maintain its right to promote religious bigotry.
What this teaches American boys is that prejudice is okay, says Silverman.
- The Friendly Atheist
- The Atheist Voice
- Huffington Post
- World Religion News
- Secular Coalition for America