Tell congressman Boy Scouts still discriminate
June 7, 2018
We, as a secular nation, must not tolerate ongoing discrimination by the Boy Scouts of America. And our leaders shouldn’t either.
Recently, Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., sent out an email praising the Boy Scouts of America (soon to be “Scouts BSA”) for welcoming girls into the organization. But the Boy Scouts of America have not dismantled all of its barriers. It still has a rule barring atheists and nonreligious members.
Please tell Cartwright that by stigmatizing the nearly one-quarter of Americans who are not religious, the Boy Scouts are weakening and dividing the community. Any bigotry is ugly and socially unacceptable.
The Boy Scouts may have started to shed its Religious Right image when it repealed its prohibition against gay boys, announced it would accept transgender boys, and inviting girls to join. But one thing is clear: Nonreligious boys (and now girls) and their families are still not welcome in the Boy Scouts. This attitude is not only ugly and discriminatory, but verges on head-in-the-sand regressive.
Ask Cartwright to demand an end to this un-American and hypocritical exclusion of atheists and other nonreligious children!
Please bombard Cartwright’s Facebook page, where he has requested stories about the Boy Scouts or other organizations to be posted, with comments demanding an end to the scouts divisive policy. Feel free to utilize the talking points we have included at the bottom of this email Action Alert.
You might also take further action by utilizing social media to contact Boy Scouts USA on its Facebook page and by tweeting to the Chief Scout Executive at @BSAchief, or to the Boy Scouts of America’s official Twitter account at @boyscouts.
If you have a Twitter account you might tweet a message such as:
@boyscouts After lifting LGBTQ bans and now accepting girls, it’s time for BSA to repeal its bigoted policy to exclude the nonreligious.
The official position of the Boy Scouts of America — “No member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his obligation to God” — turns secular boys into pariahs and second-class citizens, and defames nonbelief.
Furthermore, Boy Scouts has a congressional charter as a fraternal (not a religious group), and the president serves as the honorary commander in chief, all additional reasons why its religiously discriminatory policy must go.
While many local troops undoubtedly look the other way, Boy Scouts officially pushes a Declaration of Religious Principles. Leaders have even turned away crying 6-year-olds from recruitment events held in public schools after advertising that “Any boy may join.”
The Girl Scouts scrapped its requirements long ago that girls, to join, must believe in a God. While the group did not drop religion from its oath, it announced an official position that girls need not be religious or recite that part of the oath in order to join. The Boy Scouts of America has nothing to lose in adopting a similar policy. Boy Scouts should be teaching harmony, not bigotry.
FFRF proudly offers nonreligious Boy Scouts a badge, by the way.
- In the last year, the Boy Scouts of America has lifted its hurtful bans against gays, the transgendered community and now are allowing girls to join the organization. Please call on the Boy Scouts to lift its policy shunning kids from nonreligious families.
- The Boy Scouts must stop stigmatizing the nearly one-quarter of Americans who are not religious. This divides and weakens the community the organization seeks to serve. Any bigotry is ugly and socially unacceptable. Furthermore, with 38 percent of Millennials identifying as nonreligious, its policy against atheists and other freethinkers is regressive as well as unjust.
- The policy should be rewritten to say: No one can grow into the best kind of citizen who discriminates (period).