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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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An Atheist civil rights group is calling for an apology from the NBC television network over remarks made by "Today Show" host Katie Couric in a segment aired on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 that included the statement: "There are no Atheists in foxholes."

The remarks came in an introduction to Lester Holt's piece on "God, America & War," which profiled the role of religious faith in times of military conflict. Couric said: "Perhaps you have heard the expression, 'There are no Atheists in foxholes,' and the men who have occupied the oval office have also turned to a higher power." The program included mention of a book ("American Gospel : God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation" by Jon Meacham) detailing the role of religion in American history. There was NO mention, however, of the secular tradition in the United States, nor was there any critical examination of the claim that "There are no Atheists in Foxholes."

On Veterans' Day, 2005, Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists and other nonbelievers from across the country were in Washington, DC for the first "Atheists in Foxholes" rally (see:

"We are asking for Katie Couric and NBC to issue a statement recognizing that there ARE and have been 'Atheists in Foxholes' serving this nation and upholding our secular Constitution," said Ellen Johnson, President of American Atheists. "It would be unfair and discriminatory to claim, for instance, 'There are no blacks' or 'There are no gays' in foxholes.' We want to educate the public and our media, about this serious misconception."

Dave Silverman, Communications Director for American Atheists, said that NBC needs to recognize that there are over 30 million people in the United States who profess "no religion" (American Religion Identification Survey).

"It's wrong to single out a whole segment of Americans by using an inaccurate and disparaging cliché," said Silverman. "Many citizens have served our country with honor, and this includes Atheists," said Mr. Silverman.

AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for Atheists, works for the total separation of church and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.

American Atheists, Inc.
P. O. Box 5733
Parsippany, NJ 07054-6733
Tel.: (908) 276-7300
Fax: (908) 276-7402




Scouting For All is not an alternative scouting program.
We are an education and advocacy organization reaching out to gay and nontheist youth and adults in our effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to rescind its exlusionary policy.

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