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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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September 10, 1996


Letter to Principal and School Board

Ladies and Gentlemen:

 On behalf of the freethought community I am writing to voice our concern with the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) recruiting program. The freethought community is requesting your assistance in protecting freethinking families from becoming victims of religious discrimination at the hands of the BSA. The freethought community is comprised of Agnostics, Atheists, and Secular Humanists. We choose to follow the example set by Thomas Paine who said, "My country is the world and my religion is to do good."

 The BSA will soon be using your public school to distribute BSA membership information. The BSA commonly request that teachers distribute its literature inside the classroom. The literature seems innocent enough in that the flyer (see enclosed) advertises that "You can be a Cub Scout." In truth, only the religious can be Cub Scouts. A religious test will be given to interested children that attend the open house listed on the flyer.

 The Boy Scouts of America is unyielding with the required oath to God and compliance to their Declaration of Religious Principles (DRP). The DRP (see enclosed) describes God as "...the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship..." The DRP further states that, "...this fundamental need of good citizenship should be kept ..." The implication is that a nonbeliever is not a good citizen. The nonbelieving community is highly insulted by this insinuation.

 The DRP also claims that the BSA is "nonsectarian." If this were true then a religious test would not be necessary. The BSA has determined that there are certain acceptable religious beliefs. Life stances that do not include a belief in a deity are unacceptable. The BSA may be multi-sectarian; they are hardly nonsectarian.
 The BSA religious test is teaching believers to dislike, separate from and mistreat nonbelievers. Identification in order to separate children from each other based on a philosophical question is highly unethical and must be stopped.

Page 2 of FSGP Letter to Public Schools

 A public school teacher would surely agree that children should not be taught prejudice. After all, America is a melting pot of all cultures. When teachers promote, endorse, and solicit on behalf of the BSA they become party to religious intolerance. They become involved in a witch hunt that will injure an innocent child and his family. The BSA's message is that you must embrace a religious belief or suffer the consequence of being a social outcast.


 

 

 

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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