Monday, August 01, 2005

A question of Scouts' beliefs

It has been a tough week or two for the Boy Scouts, what with the electrocution at the National Jamboree and the lightning strikes in Sequoia one would think that perhaps it's divine retribution. It really comes down a question of Scouts' beliefs. Scout’s discriminate against women, gays, and atheists, yet they receive federal funding for their activities. Federal funding should stop. Let the Scout’s fend for themselves.

Why am I anti Boy Scouts? I am an atheist and therefore cannot be a scout leader. My ten year old son is interested in joining; only I would have to lie to participate. I am not going to lie, so no scouts for my son. Since I don’t want to subject my son to potential child molesters or religious conversion, I will not let him go it alone. In thinking deeper on the subject, I find myself asking, why do I pay taxes to support this organization? It is excluding members based on not having faith, yet virtually every other religion on the planet is in the Scouts. It seems like a clear cut case of discrimination. The federal government should not fund bodies that discriminate against people based on their (lack of) religion. It is time to cut the Boy Scouts loose, let them find funding from churches and corporate America. Perhaps Congress can fund an organization that is open to all Americans. In the mean time, watch out for lightning.

p.s. I am a former Scout – I don’t remember religion playing a part in my experience. It feels like it has turned into a religious club.

16 comments:

Johnny Crow said...

I got kicked out of scouts because even at a young age I asked questions about there not being a god, or gay people. I was open about a lot of my thoughts even as a child and so no harm in it. It never dawned on me why I really got kicked out until years later. I too am anti-boy scouts because they teach discrimination. I think someone should start a new scouts program where everyone is welcome...

Mojoey said...

When I was young, scouts were an extension of school. Churches were not involved. We did not talk much about god, only reverence for ones beliefs. In fact, a heavy emphasis was place on Native American beliefs. Times change and we find Christian fudnies making the whole scouting experience religious. It is a bummer of the worst sort.

btw - I walked away from scouts myself. I got tired of the macho bullshit after getting thumped on in a pack meeting. I walked away and never even considered going back.


btw - I walked away from scouts myself. I got tired of the macho bullishit after getting thumped on in a pack meeting. I walked away and never even considered going back.

piabooks said...

I know what it feels like to be fired from a job, but I this happened in my adult years.
What does being kicked out feel like to a child? Any long term damage?
Thanks, Pia

Anonymous said...

I'm in scouts and I HATE IT!!! I'm only in it because my dad makes me... All that the BSA is is a bunch of hyperactive kids pretending to learn stuff about hiking (you never really have to because knowing what you were supposed to learn isn't important for rank advancment anymore...) and religion (I'm not Aethiest exactly... I just don't believe the bible.).

Chris said...

I'm an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor Member of the Order of the Arrow, and I'd like to put my two cents in.

First, I feel that "Duty to God" isn't "Duty to A God". In my opinion, as long as someone is trying to further themselves spiritually, it doesn't have to be through a religion. (Buddhists are technically atheists, but no one complains about them being in scouting...)

That being said, one of the purposes of a troop is to further the purpose of its charter organization. With all due respect, I have no problem if a troop chartered to an LDS church kicks a kid out because they find out he's an atheist. But, there's nothing stopping that kid and/or his parents from getting people together and forming a troop to participate in the program.

Second, I, along with a pretty hefty majority of the Scouting community, have no problem with gays being in Scouting. As long as they do not behave inappropriately, there should not be any problem. I see it the same way with female leaders.

Overall, the National Committee is a highly conservative body. 90% of the time, they don't speak for the rest of us on these policies. I'm just asking all of you to keep that in mind when you hound on Scouting.

Anonymous said...

The Scouts don't spend time talking about God or teaching a religion. They just teach that one has to look inside oneself to have a relationship with God a God whatever God or entity you think exists. You dont have to believe in the Christian God you can just believe that there is a higher power that created this world. They also teach you have a responsability with this being "God" to be morally straight to do the right thing. This group was organized to create model men. It was not designed for women. Girls have the girls scouts. If you dont believe in a God or higher being then you just dont fullfill the requirements to be part of the Boyscouts it doesnt mean you cant participate as a parent you just cant lead if you dont believe in the core values they are trying to instill. As far as gays, they are treated the same way a promiscuous or bad reputation person would be. Homosexuals are not morally straight. This is not the conduct you want to instill in kids or is it? Is this what we want for America? A Homosexual America? I as a parent of a Webelos Scout do not want a Homosexual Camping with my kid. Whether you liked or not this conduct is not right and even thought they need to be respected as individuals their actions cant be applauded. I dont go applauding promiscuous persons, i dont approve of one night stands and i want my kid to grow up to be a decent human being.

by the way the lightning bolt incident... you sounded mighty happy to hear of that accident. Dont wish bad things on folks what goes around comes around...

LeRoy said...

I was an Eagle Scout and I was molested for many summers but a man that the rocky mountain council knew was a child molester. A man that got kicked out of the school district for charges of harming children, yet the boy scouts took him freely. I've since learned (in the middle of a law suit) that the boy scouts have this huge secret file of known child molester.. worst then the Church I feel. Sending your boy to camp is just as bad a sending him into a den of rapest.

Anonymous said...

"look out for lightining"

Have you no shame? Someone died there, a kid. I am an atheist and happen to love scouts. I lie my way through but i respect others. I am glad they don't allow gays because of the abuse issue. if you don't want your son abused scouts is the best place for him. There are no gays to worry about.

Anonymous said...

should the boy scout protect the boy in the troop. What if they are only interested in protecting the kids? What about Girls Scouts? How come no boys in there? Should they be sued to? Should this have died with Supreme Court ruling in the BSA vs. Dale? BOY SCOUTS CAN ACCEPT AND DENIAL PEOPLE.

Anonymous said...

So because you cant join your going to prevent your son? That doesn't sound like a good decision, or good parenting. I was not athletic as a child. If my son wants to join a basketball team, I would support him. So what if Im not the coach, Im still supporting my son and thats what parenting is about.

Dave said...

Yeah boy scouts is bull and I am a boy scout but I plan to quit as soon as I can.

Anonymous said...

In regards to the "there's no gays around" comment, this is the most close minded example of bigotry that I have ever seen.
You are automatically making the assumption that if there is a homosexual around, your child will be molested. Just because someone is interested in the same sex DOES NOT mean that they are a pedophile. Assuming you are a "straight" male, are you interested sexually in young girls?
I'm sure you would be OUTRAGED if someone made that assumption about you. It's been proven that heterosexual people are more likely to be pedophiles then homosexual people.
By not allowing atheist, or homosexuals into scouts they are doing nothing more than teaching children how to discriminate. It's no different then segregating blacks from whites. The children that are growing up in these troops are learning that if someone does not fit the norm or their group, and is dismissed, that they automatically need to disregard anyone that's not like them.

Anonymous said...

people do not understand what boy scouts have had an impact on in this nations history. i am proud too be a boy scout its just peole like athiests do not understand anything too enjoy in life or being gay and having an open relation ship the boy scouts being called the boy scouts for BOYS and not WOMEN or GIRLS and that could also mean that the girl scouts are discriminating againsed boys. but being the self centered libral ignorant people you are cant see what too realize.

Mojoey said...

Anon - I see Boy Scouts did not teach you to write.

Anonymous said...

boy scout is bullshit. i was once a scout and decided to walk away because of social discrimination they impose. i am a victim of it because i'm an atheist too. and i feel pity for some of my scout mates who are also being discriminated because of their large size, color, etc. i respect everyone as long as they don't harm anyone or destroy one's image. and i think boy scouts don't have that respect.

i went to music ensemble after that, together with some of my former scout mates who also resigned. now i am a music conductor of the ensemble, 3 years and counting...

panicazimuth said...

Wow! I see a lot of hurt feelings here. Sounds like many of you had a bad experience and there might be some PTSD that needs to be delt with. Fortunately for the rest of us who like Scouting well enough to put the work in to make Eagle, and then spend 30 more years helping other boys do the same we all have had a different experience. From my days in the Los Angeles Area Council to my current experience as a dad in North Carolina, I have seldom seen the ridiculous and harmful situations you all describe here. The worst I have seen is parents focusing on supporting the Troop as long as it means there son advances, but that just tends to be human nature. For the most part, I have seen hard working parents trying to get some help from Scouting in the wholesome development of their sons. So, while a few of you posting to this website are wallowing in your bitter morass of self pity, the rest of us are having a great time growing and learning together. If you feel yourself getting a bit irritated about now, or even enraged, you are always welcome to come in from the cold and let all that bad vibe go.