Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor
From Fox News:
Activist groups, including Scouting for All, urge President Obama not to accept the honorary Presidency of the Boy Scouts of America until they stop discriminating.
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S4A Receives A Caution For Supporting The Atheist / Nontheist Community
Dear Scouting for All,
May 22, 2006
I am so proud of what you and your son do and have done! Thank you! I'm J. G. I support SFA! We met at a small
rally in Dallas last year. As I said then, I was in Scouting one way or another from about 1963 to 1986. In '86
I began to understand more about myself. The issue that I was possibly gay, lead me away from Scouting do to rumblings
that I was aware of in that council. I was afraid to be who I was. My last experience as a troop leader truly
showed me how important organizations for kids like Scouting are. Across all spectrums of society and economics,
kids are kids and need to know they are ok the way they are! I think you agree.
I am aware of your therapeutic background. I am from a marketing and sales background -- with major personal therapeutic
experience. And I feel like I am stepping out on a limb, but I'm here so I might as well speak.
The issue with BSA as I see it is discrimination and non-inclusiveness. Certainly gay-dom is a special and controversial
issue. Combining gay-dom and atheism. That seems to me to be stacking chips very high against SFA. Maybe this
is a repressed spiritual bigotry leaking out of me, I don't know. But if there was a way to combine those ideas
-- I guess without saying them both in one sentence, I feel SFA's cause might be further ahead and easier to 'sell'
and garner support.
What do you think?
My best regards!
Scouting for All's Response
May 22, 2006
Discrimination is Discrimination. When two human beings are being discriminated against should we choose not to
reach out to one because it may hurtourmission to reach out to the other? I think not.Martin Luther King also
had the samemoral decision to make during the civil rights movement. I afraid Martin made a decision that I'm
sure regretted. I forget the name of the person. He was a gay gentlemen who Martin let go out of fear that if it
got outhis gay colleague activist was found out to be gay it would hurt the civil rights movement.
Scouting for All went through a similar moral dilemma. When Steven first took his stand for fir his gay friends
he was not aware that atheist were also being discriminated against. An atheist brought it to the attention of
Scouting for All a year or so after Steven had taken his stand that Scouting for All has excluded Atheists / nontheists.
It wasa pretty easy decision for Steven, myselfand a few board members to make that we should not exclude the
atheist community. Although it turned out to be an inner fight among the Scouting for All team at the time. Most
wanted to exclude atheists because they said as you say thatit would hurt our cause standing for and with the
LGBT community. I received emails fromboth gay and straight who opposed us including atheists.Some evenstopped
supporting Scouting for All and dropped their membership as wellno longer helped our effort in any way.
Well, that is the price we pay when we stand against social injustice. We lost members and maybe even some team
members. But we stood for the greater good and maintained our own integrity as well as the integrity ofScouting
for All as an organization not to bow to the pressure and turn our backs ontheatheist/ Nontheist community.
For if we had none that Scouting for All would have been as bigoted as those we arecurrently standing against.
In fact we must continue to remind ourselves not to become those you oppose by professingour belief is the only
belief and exclude those we oppose. We don't do that. If you read our S4A Resolution posted on our web site, you'll
see that we include those at the "table" who have the beliefs in opposition. They have every right to
belief what they believe. Scouting for All draws the line when those beliefs impose on the rights of others. In
this case the BSA National leadership has a belief that gays and atheists are immoral and should not be allowed
in scouting. This is were we draw the line. We can't accept that. Because they've taken their belief too far. They
should keep it within their own religious community. You see the BSA is supposed to be nonsectarian, not driven
by any particular religion. This is not the case today. We see that religious fundamentalists such as the Mormons
are dictating policy. They have threatened to leave the BSA is the BSA rescinded its discriminatory policy. The
BSA would lose millions in income if the Mormons pulled out. The BSA national leadership does not have the integrity
to act according to both the Scout Oath and Law and let the Mormons and any other group leave, to leave the doors
open for all youth. We also must not that there are also many religious fundamentalists that make up the current
leadershipat the national level in Irving, Texas.
So we maintain our integrity and will never turn our backs onperson or community that is being discriminated against
even if we have to pay a priceof loss of support.
Scott Cozza, Pres.
Scouting for All