Boy Scouts: Yes to gays, no to atheists

  • Article by: JEFFREY WEISS , Real Clear Religion
  • Updated: February 2, 2013 - 1:07 PM

Atheists and agnostics need not apply because part of the Boy Scout oath is: "to do my duty to God and my country..."

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whynotrightJan. 31, 1311:10 AM

The Boy Scouts of America should just board up its headquarters and call it quits. It no longer represents anything but a camping organization.

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zyxwvuJan. 31, 1311:33 AM

...until it means financial benefit or survival of the organization to accept atheists too...

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mamazogJan. 31, 1311:44 AM

I credit the BSA for much of my son's character development, but only if I ignore the national organization. He is an avowed agnostic with one gay parent, and the local leaders have always been wonderful to us. He's moved on now, but our experience was more positive than negative, by far. It's unfortunate that the BSA can't move forward and embrace all boys who could benefit from the positive lessons they espouse.

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sullyJan. 31, 1311:51 AM

The scouts are a great organization. Boys learn a lot of practical life skills and learn to form relationships outside of the videogame world. Since there is no one definition of god, and throughout history there have been thousands, "duty to God" can mean just about anything you want, so it's not a big deal. There's nothing wrong with "reverence" either, instilling an appreciation for the wonder of being alive and feeling some humility about that is something atheists can experience just as well.

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i01010101Jan. 31, 1311:59 AM

What a load of garbage. The boys scouts are nothing more than the ultimate experience in camping. When was the last time they were of relevance in this country? The 1980s? Until they get with the times I predict a hard fall for them. Excluding atheists and agnostics, yeah that's a smart move all right. Never mind that it is still persecution but hey, it's okay because this is America. The land of the free, so long as you believe that there is an invisible person living in the sky. Sounds like logical reasoning to me. what a joke.

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member23131Jan. 31, 1312:01 PM

The Boy Scouts of America is harmful to children because of their old fashioned bigotry. Spare the children the sloppy propaganda now rather than later. Check out the famous scene from Cabaret in which the young, singing beautifully, "Scout" ...brings out the patriotism of the local citizenry.

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pregobuggerJan. 31, 1312:07 PM

I am an agnostic Eagle Scout and have no problem with the BSA. Open your minds and realize that "God" has an infinite posibility of definitions for spirituality....not just the few alterantives that most of you think about.

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pregobuggerJan. 31, 1312:09 PM

Sprituality can take many twists and turns and does not neccesarily have to focus on the teachings of organized religeous institutions.

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darkelfJan. 31, 1312:18 PM

the BSA is a great organization locally, a total mess nationally. the less your troop pays attention to HQ, the better.

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ruphinaJan. 31, 1312:32 PM

From the article: "Strictly by the numbers, the Boy Scouts aren't exactly a juggernaut: about 2.5 million scouts and almost a million scout leaders. That's a big crowd in one place but not much more than rounding error in a nation of more than 300 million people." Wow! There lies, damned lies, and then the snarkiest of all: statistics. The reporter is pushing an agenda here- it is not 2.5 million out of 300+ million, it is 2.5 million out of 30 million boys age 5-19. Ten times more significant than the authors dismissal of BSA numbers. I would submit that any time you make up a stat that lies by a factor of ten, you have very little remaining credibility. It shows how truly easy it is to be biased in reporting without actually lying. Of course, it also ignores the tens of million of boys who are former Boy Scouts, as if once they got older they just disappeared. Just because you are not currently active, does not mean you are not a still a Boy Scout. Bill G.

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