The Boy Scouts of America: Anti-Homosexuality and Anti-Atheist

BSA Boycott: Buy Your Christmas Tree Elsewhere

Many of you may not recognize the picture the picture above.  It is of a paperweight that I received in 1992—when I became and Eagle Scout.  At the time, I was proud of this accomplishment.  It took a lot of hard work.  It was a project that I started when I was 11 and completed at age 17.  The hours I spent working on various skills to earn various badges was well worth my time.  I learned a great deal about myself, about how to be a good person, and about the outdoors.  These are all things that I still value today.  Though I had a positive experience as a Boy Scout, they are no longer an organization that I support.  In fact, I stand in opposition towards two of their policies.  They are vehemently anti-homosexual and anti-atheist.  The latter affects me personally, the former affects someone I know well.

Throughout my time as Boy Scout, I had a scout leader named Rick.  I cannot count the number of camping, hiking, biking, canoeing, and snowshoeing trips he took me and other kids on.  I would like to point out that these are all things that I do today—regularly.  I cannot count the ways in which he instilled a sense of patriotism in me—as a Boy Scout, at least at that time and place, becoming an Eagle Scout involved a great deal of “love of country”.  This too is something that is still very important to me.  In the 10 years that I was around Scouting and Rick—there were only positive and happy times, for me, and everyone else.  (I was involved in the Scouting Troop until I was 21).  Then something changed.  Rick came out of the closet as a homosexual.  I will skip the details, but the short version is that he was removed from having anything to do with the Boy Scouts.  I was 21 at the time and this shocked me on a few levels.  First, Rick was gay?  He was the first openly gay person that I knew (it naturally turns out that some of the people and friends I had in high school and college are gay—though I didn’t know that at that time).  This was the first time the “gay thing” had crossed my path.  I had to stop and think about it…for about 3 seconds.  I think that is all the time that I required to realize his removal from the Boy Scouts was preposterous.  He had never behaved in an inappropriate manner towards any child.  The only thing that Rick ever did was to teach us about ourselves and the world around us in a very positive way…and he got expelled?  That was the day I stopped supporting the Boy Scouts and started supporting both, my friend Rick and the homosexual rights cause.  Since that time, I have seen many stories where homosexual Scouts and Leaders have been expelled from the group.  It happens all the time.

The above story was occurring during my transition from Catholicism to atheism.  At the time of the “Rick Scandal”—and it was scandalous—many parents were upset about the possibility of pedophilia, which is absurd (as it would always be to equate homosexuality with pedophilia), I did not even know about the Boy Scouts’ anti-atheism stance.  I suppose I never thought about when saying or hearing the Scout Law, the last part being that a scout is always “reverent”.  I guess I never thought about it when saying or hearing the Scout Oath, which starts, “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God…”  Looking back on it, god is the first thing Scouts swear an oath towards.  Since I have left and opposed the Boy Scouts, I have seen numerous cases where atheist Scouts and Leaders have been expelled from the group.  It happens all the time.

We live in a time where this type of bigotry can no longer be tolerated.  It does not matter from where or which group it emanates.  Do the Boy Scouts do a lot of good?  Yes.  But the cost is too high.  This is an organization that is promoting discrimination against two groups of our fellow citizens.  I don’t really give a damn about the community service they do.  Why?  Because as they are working to build up one part of the community, they are simultaneously working  to destroy a sense of community acceptance for others.  Plus, there are many groups out there doing the same work, groups who would be just as just as eager to take your donation of either time or money.  There is no shortage of community service to be done.  It is the logical fallacy of the “false dilemma” to imply that this is about helping charity or not doing so.  We do NOT need to support the Boy Scouts to help Charity.  In fact, supporting the Boy Scouts is supporting the anti-homosexual and anti-atheist crusade that is rampant in parts of this country.  I was delighted to see that the United Parcel Service (UPS) pulled their sponsorship from the Boy Scouts just last month.  I am asking you to do to the same.  Every year, the Boy Scouts sell Christmas trees as a fundraiser.  I am asking you to consider buying your tree elsewhere.  Why support an organization that actively discriminates?  I am not alone in making this request.  Below, you will find a list of other secular bloggers who are doing the same today.  Please stop by their sites and leave a comment if you support this iniative.

A Voice of Reason: Al Stefanelli

Arizona Atheist

Atheist, Intermarried

Atheist Pig

Atheist Revolution

Avante-Garde

Barrels of Oranges

Bitchspot

Camels with Hammers

Dangerous Talk

Daylight Atheism

De-Avanzada

Debunking Christianity

Deep Thoughts

Deity Shmeity

Dispatches from the Culture Wars

Free Thought Blogs—Several Bloggers

Friendly Atheist

Hausdorff’s Bible Blog

Incongruent Elements

Incredulous

Kriss, the Sexy Atheist

Laughing in Purgatory

Left Hemispheres

Martin Pribble

Ramblings of Sheldon (posting on Dec 2)

Reason Being

Rippere, Always Evolving

Skeptically Left

 

Thanks for reading.  I look forward to your comments.

—-RB

If you have a blog please feel free to promote it on my “Promote Your Blog” page above.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter @logicalbeing

If you would like to share your story of how you became an atheist, please do that on my “Share your Atheism Story” forum.  Our stories may help to encourage others with similar feelings to know that life is more than just okay without god(s).

If you have not yet checked out Alltop.com’s Atheism Blogs….what are you waiting for?

54 thoughts on “The Boy Scouts of America: Anti-Homosexuality and Anti-Atheist

  1. Pingback: Scouts: Anti Gay, Anti Atheist (BSA Blog Carnival) | Martin S Pribble from San Antonio, TX, United States

  2. Seattle Pioneer from Seattle, WA, United States

    Unfortunately, it's usually the people most committed to DIVERSITY who wish to deny that to anyone who disagrees with them.

    Labeling the Boy Scouts of America as being "bigoted" displays a regrettable lack of understanding of the history of western thought an culture. The concept of natural law as a source of moral authority goes back to Thomas Aquinas and Augustine, back to Plato and Aristotle.

    The concept of natural law applied to sexuality is quite simple, really. There are certain obvious and objective purposes and uses for human genitalia, and that contemplates reproduction when they are used. Broadly speaking activities which will lead to human reproduction are deemed to be morally good, and those which would frustrate human reproduction are deemed to be morally wrong.

    So it's not just homosexuality that is wrong under natural law, but masturbation, contraception abortion and other such things.

    Natural law morality is derived by reason from the world as it is. It isn't a religious doctrine per se, although many religions around the world subscribe to natural law morality.

    Rather often atheist sneer at religion, saying "WHICH" deity should I prey to? The argument is that there is no consistency between religions, so they must be fake.

    That line of argument fails with natural law, since it unites so many religions around the world.

    So I would urge you to drop the "bigoted" comments, which only reveal you own lack of knowledge and prejudice.

    The simple fact is that there is a disagreement on what is morally good and proper between advocates of natural law and advocates of sexual liberation.

    That discussion should be carried on in a respectful way by advocates on both sides of the issue.

    Reply
      1. Seattle Pioneer from Seattle, WA, United States

        Hello Cephus,

        You are wrong. Natural law is a product of pure reason and has no need for deities whatsoever.

        And if human reason has any reality, natural law is real.

        Too bad you need something religious to hate and call names.

        Reply
        1. Cephus from Redlands, CA, United States

          Sorry, while you are right, natural law has nothing to do with deities, it also has nothing to do with reality. It's one of those ideas that libertarians wave around as the only means they have of supporting their philosophy. Unfortunately, they have nothing whatsoever to support it's actual existence. Like the existence of gods, natural law needs evidence to be taken seriously.

          Too bad it has none.

          Reply
          1. Seattle Pioneer from Seattle, WA, United States

            Well Cephus,

            Natural law is a branch of philosophy and was created by human reason.

            Science is no different. It is based on philosophical concepts of how things can be known.

            But if you want to throw out all of philosophy because it "has nothing to do with reality," help yourself.

            I suppose that's one way to dismiss arguments your find inconvenient to answer on their merits.

            Keep in mind that natural law has far broader applications than just sexual morality. Theft, murder, war, gluttony, and many other moral concepts commonly derive from natural law, and most of these concepts are still accepted by liberals. So in most areas, liberals support natural law morality.

            Where they don't — those tend to be the frontiers of the culture wars. Sexual morality, education, family and such. There is competition and dispute over some elements of morality. I again suggest that those on both sides should recognize that reasonable people can differ on such issues and should aim for a respectful debate of the issues.

            Actually, there are reasonable objections to natural law as a moral guide with respect to sexuality. It's kind of amusing that you guys have no idea what they are.

          2. Cephus from Redlands, CA, United States

            I'll make this short and sweet. "Natural law" is the libertarian version of "God did it!" It applies when they want it to, when they cannot support their position with evidence, they call on this silly concept which has no support, no logic and spotty application, as a means for saying "See? I'm right!"

            Nobody buys it but you.

    1. @BarrelOfOranges from Traverse City, MI, United States

      Natural Law is a nice theory. However, natural law ignores two very simple anthropological truths. 1. Humans are evolved sexual beings who need sex, just as we need food, shelter, oxygen, and community. We are social creatures. We are sexual creatures. This holds true across time and space. 2. One cannot remove any *theory* from its cultural underlay. These philosophers were influenced (like we all are), by their culture. A culture of puritanism. A culture of chastity. The earth was not yet populated. Anti-biotics, modern amenities, technology, access to information, blending of cultures (save arguably ancient Rome), did not exist. So their ethnocentrism must be married to discussions about "natural law" and the abhorrence, oppression, and restriction of sexuality.

      Further, natural law places the human being in a place of depravity. Sexual desire, which is part of our evolution as a promiscuous species, is suppressed and repressed, and this repression and abstinence, this denial of a carnal and physical need, is deemed virtuous. This denial of sexual release is likely to make one go as mad as denying a person a good night's sleep will. Chastity is not healthy sexual behaviour for *most* human beings. (there are obviously outliers)

      As a humanist, I prefer to consider what is best for humanity as a whole, when dealing with issues of morality, and also ethics. Is terminating a pregnancy and ethical problem? Absolutely. But it's one each person in that position must grapple with herself. It's not our right or prerogative to make that decision for any other person. This basic principle of autonomy must be especially protected as it comes to reproductive justice.

      As a global world, we need to be making conscious decisions to ensure life on this planet continues. We must also accept we live a flawed existence. So we take the flawed existence, and we foreground our responsibility as world citizens with ethics, dignity, and respect.

      Unfortunately, BSA and Salvation Army use their positions of privilege and power to deny access to equality and civil rights. Their right to discriminate is met with our right to dissent.

      Reply
      1. Seattle Pioneer from Seattle, WA, United States

        Hello Barrel,

        Human beings have a variety of needs and desires, sexual lust is just one of them. Hunger, thirst, breathing, anger, envy, hate the desire for wealth or power, all are drives for human beings. All are governed by various moral rules.

        Morality channels and encourages certain behaviors and discourages others. It's very common for human beings to engage in behavior deemed to be immoral. Just because society deemed homosexuality to be immoral didn't mean homosexual behavior disappeared. But often it was confined, limited, hidden and sometimes punished.

        BSA has a 1st amendment constitutional right to promote it's own choice of moral behavior. You are welcome to disagree with that morality. I hope you will respect the moral choices that others may make even when you disagree with them.

        BSA does not force it's morality on you, after all. Not unless you voluntarily choose membership in that organization.

        Reply
    2. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      Thank you for stopping by. I am going to briefly respond to your comments. You begin your entire statement with, "Unfortunately, it's usually the people most committed to DIVERSITY who wish to deny that to anyone who disagrees with them. " This is a ridiculous and offensive statement and cannot be made without verification, and I believe cannot be verified without cherry picking….so you are off to a bad start.

      Your second paragraph implies that I do not know what I am talking about, and have, "a regrettable lack of understanding of the history of western thought an culture. The concept of natural law as a source of moral authority goes back to Thomas Aquinas and Augustine, back to Plato and Aristotle." You make this statement having no idea what my background is or what I am aware of. Let me just say this, I have advanced degrees in the required fields for this conversation. Further, your basic starting point is, in sum, that I am an uneducated bigot. My skin is thick, and this does not bother me, but it does not bode well for your argument, and it will affect the tone of my response.

      You see, I am well aware of Natural Law and did not include it, because it is irrelevant to this conversation. Further, I would argue that all of the points you made, other than the ones defining natural law, are incorrect. You may know what it is, but have no idea how to apply it. Further, as Cephus points out, there is some serious doubt if you should apply it at all, and lastly, you are using and corrupting natural law to further your own religious ends…which is nothing new with this theory. The reason I find it irrelevant is that, if it existed, it would be silent on both atheism and homosexuality.

      You are correct, we have genitalia for a reason. However, to imply that using that genitalia for a reason other than procreation or voiding waste would be immoral is preposterous. This is you trying to fit an unproven concept that sounds good (natural law) into your religion. Maria does a great job refuting this below. You made a half-hearted attempt to rebuke her, failed, and I think you realize you failed which is why you went with the whole First Amendment track…typical apologetics…I am losing here….better throw something else at the wall and hope it sticks. Your First Amendment comment is also foolish. No one, in any of the over 30 posts above called for the destruction of the Boy Scouts or their limit to speech. We asked people not to give them money because their speech is bigoted. They can say whatever they wish….except that they really can't so long as they are funded in large part by the government…as Ed Brayton's article points out, their National Jamboree alone costs the US Taxpayer $8million. So they really can't say whatever they want on our dime…but I digress.

      Back to natural law. Your bias becomes evident when you also include masturbation, contraception, and abortion in your argument. You are simply attempting to use an unproven theory and co-opt it to fit your beliefs. This is preposterous. Hitler could have made similar arguments for his Aryan Race, through social Darwinism, and in fact he did and other have done so as well. The problem with natural law, in the way you are using it, is that, like the bible, can be used to justify almost anything. For you to invoke it here, requires a tremendous leap of faith, stating that the basic human behaviors of sexual desires and reason/critical thinking about god, are somehow immoral. You have failed to demonstrate this.

      In closing, I will most certainly not remove my "bigoted" label from the Boy Scouts so long as they are anti-homosexual and anti-atheist. You see, if natural law exists, there is one part of it that would be almost crystal clear, that idea would universal respect or all humans. We are all on this planet together. We will succeed or fail together, as a community. Religion, through your use of natural law, which has been used to justify slavery, witch trials, heresy trials, the subjugation of women, and almost every other social nightmare, causing the suffering and pain to untold millions, seems to get that part wrong. Religion has been on the losing side of almost all of the humanism issues our species has had to face—and they cite the bible and natural law as the reasons…since Aquinas and Augustine, as you point out. So no. I won't remove the bigoted label from the Boy Scouts. I will take that label and apply it your perversion of natural law (if it even exists) as well.

      Reply
      1. Seattle Pioneer from Seattle, WA, United States

        Hello Reason,

        Advocates for homosexuality made determined efforts to apply anti discrimination law to the Boy Scouts and to other private organizations to compel them to accept homosexuals as members and the sexual liberation arguments as their policies.

        That failed with the Boy Scouts only because of the intervention of the Supreme Court. So the aggressive nature of the sexual liberation crowd is obvious from their history. Had you been able to use legal force to compel the Boy Scouts to adopt your values, you would have done so.

        Frankly, I don't expect to persuade you to adopt the values and perspective of natural law.

        You are entitled to your values. We simply disagree.

        What I argue for is recognition by you are your fellow supporters that there are reasonable arguments opposing your values that you should respect, if not agree with. Doing so would lend some support to your claim that humanists support "diversity."

        All too often, humanists support diversity only as long as everyone agrees with them. Unfortunately, that appears to be your position as well.

        Reply
  3. Seattle Pioneer from Seattle, WA, United States

    Actually, natural law morality has prevailed in most human cultures for hundreds or thousands of years, because it promotes human welfare.

    The morality of sexual liberation has been tried repeatedly through history, but has usually crashed and burned because disease, pregnancy, chil rearing and such caused social disasters when it was tried.

    That's been true for the sexual liberation movement of recent decades too, except that science has repeatedly come to the rescue of sexual liberation whenever it was on the ropes. I need do no more than mention sexually transmitted diseases as examples of this kind of failure partially mitigated by the most strenuous uses of science to try to prevent it from failing.

    But long term sexual liberation morality is still failing. Crashing population will cause sexual liberation to either be abandoned or to disappear as more prolific ethnic groups take over Western Europe, the United States, Japan and such.

    Reply
  4. ProfessorBob from East Lansing, MI, United States

    I’m sorry to hear that you have opted to abandon your Catholic and Scouting heritage. One of the things that’s necessary for some young people is to reject their background in order to establish their independence. That can be a fine psychological step toward maturity, but it’s only a step.

    If the simplistic positions which you attribute to Scouting (and I presume Catholicism) were in fact the case, then you would of course be right in rejecting them. Just as it is proper to reject the 5th grader’s understanding of science or of history, as a step toward developing a more nuanced and deep understanding of those fields.

    Unfortunately, what you present above is a 5th grader’s understanding of the position of Scouting, and you reject it in the way a teenager would. The next step is to re-examine your own traditions with a deeper, more mature and honest adult lens. The Scouting position on atheism and homosexuality is in fact highly nuanced, and has never risen to the level of bigotry you ascribe. Scouting has never attempted to use the state to suppress other views; never encouraged or celebrated cutting funds to LGBT groups or any youth education program; never accused others of immorality. The Scout Oath and Law are aspirational, positive goals.

    I wish you the best in your continued quest to become a deeper, more rational and open-minded thinker.

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      I have always been civil to people leaving comments on my blog, particularly those who have a differing viewpoint. That said, you have really tried my patience. Who the hell do you think you are to dismiss me in the way you did? You have no idea who I am, how old I am, how much thought goes into what I do and think—and you want to dismiss me "as a 5th grader" because you disagree? Let's take apart your comment shall we…

      You write, "One of the things that's necessary for some young people is to reject their background in order to establish their independence. That can be a fine psychological step toward maturity, but it's only a step." Who the hell do you think you are? You think I am just an atheist because I want independence? I had independence when I left my parents house 25 years ago…prior to my atheism. So you are wrong there. Second, you want to discuss maturity? Here is a tip for you, don't come on other people's blog assuming you have them all figured out and leave a derogatory and unresearched comment—that more less says nothing of substance. You basically repeat the mantra that I am young, confused, in need of maturity and wrong—but offer no argument. You provide no evidence for your claims. That is what 5th graders do on Facebook. It won't fly here.

      Your second paragraph is an entirely unsubstantiated bit of nonsense. You see, the BSA has an anti-homosexual and anti-atheist policy. Here is their official policy on atheists:

      "The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, ‘On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.’ The recognition of 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 and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members."

      Here is there official policy on homosexuality:

      "The BSA policy is: “While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals…."

      So let me get this straight…you find my objection to what is blatant discrimination and bullshit—to be the equivalent of a 5th graders understanding of the subject matter? How about the fact that this bigoted organization has no right to imply that because of my atheism that I am any less of a citizen than anyone else? That the government of this country is not a religious organization and that being religious does not equate to citizenship, let alone good citizenship. Further, this is a group that simply rejects anyone it learns is homosexual…we have a word for that….its bigotry.

      Continuing on…do you really want to get into a discussion of whether or not your god exists? If so, by all means bring it on and we can see who really has a 5th grader’s belief and intellect.

      You want to talk about a 5th graders understanding of the world and argument…try this. You came here, left a comment that said nothing of substance and hurled accusations. You want me to examine my views through an adult lens? That is just laughable, from a person who believes in sky fairies. Further, the Boy Scouts position is not nuanced at all. It is quite clear, and I just quoted it for you.

      Your final statement is simply moronic as I never stated that the Boy Scouts used state money to suppress others views, or encouraged cutting funds to LGBT groups, etc. You have created a straw man.

      So here's my wish for you….I wish that you learn how to think before opening your mouth. I wish that you actually learn something about the person you are talking to. I wish that you realize that bigotry is bigotry. Lastly, if you really want to challenge my 5th grade intellect, think twice, because from what I have seen from your comment. You wouldn't stand a chance.

      Reply
      1. ProfessorBob from East Lansing, MI, United States

        My word, such an interesting response! And such a delightful proof of my point.

        It is just fascinating to me when people resort to fundamentalist approaches like quoting scripture, believing that by doing so they are justified in their self-righteousness, and that’s all there is to it. I have quoted BSA scripture, and therefore I must be right! No need to understand the actual structure of the organization, no desire to appreciate different authors writing in different voices to different audiences. No imperative to be thoughtful or rational. Pity.

        Of course the point about the BSA never lobbying to cut off other groups’ funds and such was because those have been the exact things that have been done to the BSA on account of their beliefs. Unlike their detractors, the scouts are willing to let others have their own beliefs without trying to force them to change. That’s a more mature, rational approach in a pluralistic society, at least to my way of thinking.

        Reply
        1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

          Bob–my response was hardly all that interesting and does nothing to prove your point. You came here and made an ignorant and asinine comment–and was called out on it. I invite you to read back through the almost 200 posts on this blog. You will find that I try to respond to almost everyone who comments here–and certainly do for all first time commenters. You will also find that you are one of a very few (less than 5 for sure) commenters who have received a response in the tone I used for you. I am all about rational and civil discourse…you brought neither to the table. Instead you brought thinly veiled derision and condescension. Yet despite this fact, you wish to be treated fairly. You wish for me to ignore your ignorant and offensive comment as if it should not matter. That is not going to happen, you haven't earned my respect or my time.

          Your response to my comment was no more intelligent than your first. Painting me as a fundamentalist is a continuation of your ignorance. There is a great conversation to be had about the National organization and local chapters. However, it will not be discussed between you and I. Had you come here and said something reasonable, then I would have been glad to engage…it is what I do. It is the purpose of this blog. You have yet to demonstrate that you are capable of such a discussion. Perhaps someone else will comment here and a fruitful discussion can commence. Quite frankly, you are not worth my time or effort.

          I invite you to comment here as often as you wish. I do not moderate comments and as long as you follow my comment policy (stated above) you will be allowed to state your views.

          Reply
          1. ProfessorBob from East Lansing, MI, United States

            Fundamentalism is an epistemological position that is not limited to theology. It’s a belief that text alone is sufficient for complete and authoritative understanding. What you presented above with respect to the BSA was a fundamentalist argument, centered on an implied claim that isolated snippets of text from various BSA documents should be considered a complete and authoritative understanding. Indeed, an understanding so complete as to justify relatively severe claims made about millions of scouting volunteers.

            That was hardly a tour de force of mature, enlightened scholarship, any more than a blog post ascribing bigotry and other mean intent to millions of kind and generous youth volunteers supports claims about rational and civil discourse.

    2. AndrewHall from Bridgewater, MA, United States

      "I'm sorry to hear that you have opted to abandon your Catholic and Scouting heritage." Look, Reason Being, tradition is a great thing. Catholic history is full of anti-Semitism, a rich history of child abuse and the the systematic repression of free thinkers. Give it a chance.

      "Just as it is proper to reject the 5th grader's understanding of science or of history, as a step toward developing a more nuanced and deep understanding of those fields." See, if you don't agree with non-evidence based nonsense you have to have a 5th grade understanding of the subject. This is typical Papist patter — then inability to take ownership of their own behavior and attack others. It's a sign of a bankrupt way of faith-based thinking.

      Reply
      1. ProfessorBob from East Lansing, MI, United States

        “Catholic history is full of anti-Semitism, a rich history of child abuse and the the systematic repression of free thinkers.”

        Ah, yes, that would be a carefully considered, thoughtful, balanced, and well documented set of claims to you? I presume playground slurs like “Papist” also pass for intellectualism?

        Yes, and sadly, the history of Catholicism has included anti-Semitism by some, along with a fairly ordinary history of child abuse and the occasional blundering foolishness like the Galileo affair. We humans are a sorry and sinful lot. At the same time, Copernicus, Bacon, Kepler and so many others, all inspired by and supported by the Church. Orphanages and schools opened around the world, the foundations of the modern university so deeply rooted in Catholic origins that even now graduates still wear monks’ robes. Hospitals and clinics that to this day form the backbone of much of the health care for the poor, even in the U.S. Support for art and music – Michelangelo and Da Vinci and so many others. Support for social justice, from Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker movement to the Jesuits and Liberation Theology to the American Bishop’s letter on the economy which should be mandatory reading on Wall Street.

        My point is that intellectual maturity means eventually abandoning the simplistic notions that justify amusing tirades. Groups are complex interactions of individuals who are very human. Intellectual honesty demands acknowledging the good with the ill, and recognizing that people don’t always live up to their own aspirations or values, nor do they always fail.

        Reply
        1. AndrewHall from Bridgewater, MA, United States

          I like your argument that your so-called divinely inspired institution is just as flawed as any other human organization and so that makes it's crimesl OK. It's the same old argument that eggs will have to be broken to make an omelette. It's funny how other charitable organizations can go about their business without supporting and protecting child rapists.

          Reply
          1. ProfessorBob from East Lansing, MI, United States

            Ah, other charitable organizations like Jerry Sandusky’s youth program, or Penn State University? Here again we fail in rational discourse, where if one is to make a claim (that Catholicism has a higher incidence of child molestation than the general population), one must provide evidence and reasoning rather than trite nonsense about omelets. You should go back and read more from Francis Bacon.

            No one, certainly not I, would excuse the crimes of any individual. What I would encourage you to grow past is the juvenile, tribalist notion that crimes are committed by groups. “We cannot excuse the crimes of the Catholics!” is no different than “We cannot excuse the crimes of the Jews!” or any other group. It’s a statement about tribalism rather than about justice. My tribe good. Your tribe child-rapers. Surely you can do better.

          2. ProfessorBob from East Lansing, MI, United States

            I believe the word you wanted was “perpetrates”.

            Again, I think a more rational position is that individual people commit crimes (or cover them up), rather than groups. Attributing the crimes of individuals to groups – religious, ethnic, philosophical – is just a form of bigotry and intolerance. Societies punish crimes, so a statement that a whole group of people committed crimes is an argument that the whole group should be punished. Discriminated against, rounded up, beaten, shunned, killed.

            It simply is not a rational position to hold, and is generally used to justify the worst sort of wickedness.

    3. Sentinel947 from Cincinnati, OH, United States

      I don't think ReasonBeing has denied his Scouting Heritage in actuality, perhaps just in Words. A Scout is told to be Brave. ReasonBeing is being Brave. He is standing up for his belief's regardless if they are popular or not. That is something we want all Scouts, and former Scouts to do.

      Just some food for thought perhaps,
      Sentinel947

      Reply
      1. ProfessorBob from East Lansing, MI, United States

        Worthy food for thought.

        Do you believe that it really demonstrates bravery to snipe from the sidelines? That strikes me as being too easy, don’t you think?

        I might ascribe true bravery to him if he admitted to his anti-atheist employer that he is an atheist, rather than quietly going along for personal benefit.

        Bravery of course is only one point of the Scout Law. It must be tempered by loyalty and kindness and reverence in respecting and honoring the beliefs of others. Perhaps even by a certain amount of economic pragmatism.

        Still, I expect that you’re right, and that there are worthy elements of the former scout in him still.

        Reply
        1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

          Bob, at this point, you are basically a spammer. You have yet to contribute anything worthwhile to the discussion. You have misrepresented and disrespected me more times than I count. I referred you to my Comment Policy above earlier, this is the only warning you will ever get before you are banned from future comments here. If the next comment you make is a continuation of misrepresenting my views or thinly veiled attacks on my intelligence/character (ironic coming from the guy who has violated 9 of the 12 points of the Scout Law and has yet to make a coherent argument not riddled with logical fallacies) you will be banned. And no, I will not explain those fallacies for you, you are not worth my time, as I have previously stated. Work it out on your own or ask someone else to help you. Whether or not you become the first banned person on this blog (which is stunning seeing the sensitive nature of topics discussed and heated discussions had) is entirely up to you at this point.

          Reply
          1. Hausdorff from Oak Park, MI, United States

            "You wrote a blog post which openly attacked the character of millions of people as bigots"

            Do you really have such a hard time telling the difference between attacking the policies of an organization and attacking every single individual member of said organization? No one is saying every boy scout is a bigot.

          2. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

            You were warned twice prior to this Bob, that if you continue to insult me and add nothing else to the conversation you would be banned. So not it was not quick…Congrats on being the only banned commenter in the history of this blog…which is stunning when I think about the heated conversations that have happened here. In the future, I recommend thinking before you speak and having an argument that is actually coherent, without logical fallacies, and are not continuously insulting. Your behavior is an embarrassment to both your Troop and the Boy Scouts. You sir, are exactly what is wrong with the BSA.

  5. Seattle Pioneer from Seattle, WA, United States

    Well Reason,

    Now you are really acting like a 19 year old.

    For someone who claims to always be civil, you have put on quite a display of incivility in your last post.

    Professor Bob posted nothing that was abusive.

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      Bob is the first one to have earned that in a year of blogging, and if you did not find his post offensive, or your just above you are confused. You see guys, this is big kid land—start backing up your claims or buzz off. The unsubstantiated nonsense you two are slinging around is embarrassing. At this site, you need to back up what you say and not just sling insults to get respect. Go through the over 200 posts on here and you will not find many other comments from me with that tone—and I comment on almost everyone who opines here. You are upset that your organization was called out. Fine. But attempting to discredit me and my intellect will only earn you contempt. Back up your claims with some substance and not dismissive insults, and then you can have respect. It is earned.

      Reply
  6. merlynleroy from Shakopee, MN, United States

    Sorry about the mess, reasonbeing, I posted about the BSA blog carnival in the scouter.com forum on Issues & Politics, and SeattlePioneer is one of the worst defenders of the BSA on that forum. He felt he had to come here and display his pomposity for everyone as to the moral superiority of the 'murcian BSA.

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      Haha…no problem Merlyn…when you write an atheist blog as I do, you eventually write some posts that catch some "heat". I will say this, the younger Kid…Sentinel, could teach some of the older scout guys at thing or two about disagreeing respectfully. Sorry your comment didn't show up right away, it somehow landed in the spam folder. Problem fixed, as you can see.

      Reply
  7. Sentinel947 from Cincinnati, OH, United States

    I will put my disclaimer here. I am a 19 year old, Eagle Scout and current BSA volunteer.

    I'd like to respectfully take you to task on one of your points RB.

    " I don’t really give a damn about the community service they do. Why? Because as they are working to build up one part of the community, they are simultaneously working to destroy a sense of community acceptance for others."

    Since the Boys do Community service, you don't care about the community service they do correct? So your next statement says that these Boys doing community service are working to destroy a sense of community.

    Are you really saying that 11-17 year old boys are working to destroy gays and atheists? I think that is a fundamentally flawed worldview.

    You are free to attack whomever you desire on your blog, however attacking the integrity of boys who have no idea about the gay ban is very unfair. Then again the ban on gays and atheist youth is equally unfair.

    I'm glad to see you have strong convictions and follow them. I hope all Scouts follow their convictions like you do.

    Respectfully yours,
    Sentinel947

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it. Let me first state that I was unaware that my statement would be taken in the way you took it. Let me state that I think that there are many fine young men in the Boy Scouts who are not actively “working” to destroy a sense of community acceptance for others (homosexuals and atheists).

      But…

      You have made a mistake in your logic. The key is in your use of the word “working” and your omission of my word “acceptance”. While many scouts may not be actively working to destroy community acceptance for others, they are passively facilitating just that.
      Ignorance is not now, nor has it ever been an excuse. If someone is going to join a group, or stay a member of a group, it is incumbent upon that person to know what the group is and what it stands for. So perhaps an 11 year old has no idea what we are even talking about. Fine, but he will as he gets older. If a 17 year old scout is unaware of the BSA’s stances on homosexuals and atheists that is not an excuse. He should be. Just because someone is ignorant of something does not imply that they are guilty of something. We need more to this story.
      I assume that you are aware of the social pressures that occur on high school age people. There is tremendous pressure to fit in, and if not to “fit in”, to at least find a sense of normalcy or acceptance among others or even with oneself. I want to ask you a bunch of questions, and I mean them honestly and not in a snarky manner….Did you know that the highest level of teen suicides occur among homosexual males? Are you aware of stories like this: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/one-tow…? Did you know that there are adults who are gay or atheist who have trouble fitting in with their communities? Did you know that millions of both homosexuals and atheists stay “in the closet” because the social and life pressures of “coming out” are so difficult. Are you aware of the many kids who are thrown out of their houses for being gay or atheist? Are you aware of the many adults who are gay or atheist and keep it to themselves out fear that they will lose friends, family members, and even their jobs? And here’s my disclaimer, I am out atheist among my friends and family, my name is John Richards. However, if my employer, who is very Catholic and very anti-atheist found out I was atheist would find a reason to fire me in a heartbeat. I don’t live in a major city where I can just go out and find a new job at a different place. It is this or move. What would happen to my family if that happened? I also run my own business (yes I have two jobs). My business relies on clients coming through the door and trusting me. That’s it…trust. Did you know that recent polls show atheists as just above serial killers and just BELOW rapists on how they are viewed “trustwise” among most Americans. At your age, have you stopped to think about any of the real life consequences of being a homosexual or atheist? Have you stopped to realize how hard it can be for some people?

      Perhaps your answer to all of those questions is yes, you were aware of it. I think that would be great. I mean it. But here is the problem with the Boy Scouts. Every time a scout puts on that uniform and goes out in public they are reminding someone or perhaps a few people of all of those questions that I just asked above—as well as many more I omitted. While scouts are out, in their uniform, selling trees or popcorn, some gay or homosexual person is walking past them, and all those questions I just brought up get pushed to the forefront of their mind. They immediately think, “this is a group that thinks there is something wrong with me. That group is not a place for me. I am not welcome there, and they won’t have me”.

      This brings us to the point that Prof Bob fails to grasp below. He wants to separate the local from the national scouts. That cannot be done. As Andy Hall said on a different blog, your local Troop is like a franchise and the National BSA is the brand. If I support your franchise, I am supporting the brand. And let me break this to you, now that you are aware of these policies, if you stay in the franchise, you too are supporting the brand. You see, you don’t have to be out actively working against homosexuals and gays to be part of the problem…all you have to do is support organizations that discriminate against them. By supporting a local Troop, you are in effect endorsing the larger brand. So it really doesn’t matter if your Troop is tolerant of homosexuals and atheist or not—the brand isn’t. People recognize the brand, not the franchise.

      Whenever a homosexual or atheist walks by scouts selling trees, they lose a sense of community, they feel like an outcast, they look at a group who will not accept them. One doesn’t have to “work at destroying that sense of community” to use your word, it just happens when people see that uniform in public. I do not see how you can say that is not damaging “the sense of community acceptance for others” that I was talking about. So no, I don't as you say think that, "11-17 year old boys are working to destroy gays and atheists" but whether they are working on that or not, whether they are aware of it or not, they are part of a group that is destroying a sense of community acceptance for some people (homosexuals and atheists)….
      I want to thank you for being polite, it would seem that some of the older scout leaders that have commented here could learn from your example.

      Reply
      1. ProfessorBob from East Lansing, MI, United States

        “This brings us to the point that Prof Bob fails to grasp below. He wants to separate the local from the national scouts. That cannot be done.”

        Well, let’s try a thought experiment.

        You work for a Catholic organization, and I’m sure we’re all aware that the official position of Catholic organizations at least closely resembles the BSA position. Yet you do not quit your job. Unlike that young scout with his Christmas tree, your work goes more directly to support an organization with a different viewpoint then your own. You want to chastise and boycott that young boy because he’s willing to be a part of the BSA brand because it gives him a chance to go camping and learn things, yet you don’t have a problem with working for a Catholic organization because it offers you benefits.

        Do you think it’s possible for us to separate your views from those of the Catholic organization where you are employed? To respond to you as an individual, rather than an inseparable member of a group that only occupies a part of your time?

        I think that answer is self-evident. All that is required to make those distinctions is a willingness to view people as people, to engage with and know the individual person or subgroup without prejudice. I think you should agree that such an approach is preferable to lumping them into an inseparable tribe that you have created in your own mind, so as to justify a broad campaign against millions.

        I think a moment’s reflection in a similar fashion will allow you to realize that you’re also overstating the case with respect to “people walking by”. Do you think it’s really true that when I, as a Christian, walk by a synagogue that I feel like an outcast? When I see a Buddhist monk in a uniform of saffron robes, does it damage my sense of community as a non-Buddhist? As a non-alcoholic, am I hurt that I cannot be a participant in AA? Of course not. True respect for diversity recognizes that there should be places for others to gather where I may not be welcome, and uniforms that others choose to wear which I choose not to, or am not entitled to. My sense of community can embrace that diversity, without needing to change them to be more like me, or at very least without resorting to economic or governmental force to try to compel them to be more like me.

        Reply
        1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

          Sentinel—pay close attention so you can see why people like Bob here have such a tough time on this blog, why he has been the subject of my ire, why he is dishonest, and why he is banished to the category of “not worth my time”…He writes, blah blah blah, ” You work for a Catholic organization,” blah blah, “you do not quit your job”. This is what we call a logical fallacy, a straw man if you will. I never said that I work for a Catholic organization. I stated that an employer of mine is a devout Catholic. Those are very different things, which Bob has lumped in together to create a bogus argument. My job has absolutely nothing to do with “supporting an organization with a different viewpoint than m own”. I also pointed out exactly why I can’t “quit my job”. I didn’t finish reading his comment from there, as he is a) not worth my time and b) wrong already.

          Sentinel, if you avoid the type of dishonesty that Bob here continuously displays, seriously Bob, I am getting worried about you being around kids at this point, your values are a mess and other than reverent and perhaps clean and thrifty, you have violated all the other points of the Scout Law…I digress, if you avoid this type of stuff, Sentinel, your comments will be treated with the respect they deserve here. I really am open to everyone (who is honest and not rude) and love good intelligent debate…Cheers.

          Reply
          1. ProfessorBob from East Lansing, MI, United States

            Ah, my apologies if I misinterpreted the nature of your employer.

            Sentinel I expect is a bright young sophomore who is able to discern that the argument still applies. Perhaps he has even learned the real definition of a straw man argument.

            You choose to work for an employer who is anti-atheist – even worse, who is apparently someone who would find a way to illegally terminate you for being an atheist. Your labor goes to support and enrich that person and his enterprise.

            That’s OK, but a boy who sells Christmas trees where his labor does not support the BSA national organization is promoting bigotry? Even though that same BSA national organization would not act illegally with respect to workplace discrimination?

            Are you really proposing that as a rational argument?

            What I’m sure Sentinel also sees in the “blah blah blah”, accusations of dishonesty, oblique comments about lack of fitness to be around children and all the rest is the same sort of ad hominem, juvenile response that has thus far typified your replies, and confirmed my initial assessment. Surely you can do better.

  8. Sentinel947 from Cincinnati, OH, United States

    First I would like to thank you for your equally polite response, and I hope you and I can continue to have this positive discourse.

    I would say I'm marginally aware of those statistics. Not all of them mind you, because Atheists and Homosexuals issues isn't something I devote a large amount of time into researching. You are vastly more qualified on the subject than I am.

    Society at large seems to pay lip service to equality, but I still hear the word gay thrown around as an insult by people at college. It's quite sad really. I think it comes down to people distrust those who are different from them, whether it be religion, race, sexual orientation or political party. I had my atheist and homosexual friends in high school, and while I don't go to college with them, I do try to keep in contact with them. I noticed that social pressure on my homosexual friends took a great toll on them. I can't say the same for my friends who were atheists, but they could have for all I know. I'm sure I had a few friends in high school who were too afraid to be who they really were in fear of being persecuted.

    But does the BSA just stand for the gay ban? or does it stand for more than that? Certainly we all belong to groups in which we sometimes disagree with some of it's positions. I considered leaving the BSA after I earned my Eagle, and looking back on my decision, I'm very happy with my decision to continue with the program. I receive flak from friends, neighbors and coworkers sometimes for continuing to work with the BSA, but again, I am proud of the work I do in the organization and the young men we are helping grow. I look at Eagles like yourself, ones who refuse to support the BSA with great respect. I would hope anyone who spent years in their youth promising on their honor to be Brave would make the choice you have based on your morals.

    In my Eagle Board of Review, I was asked what I would add to the Scout Law. I replied "Tolerant". They asked why, and I told them because everyone should be able to be a Scout. I passed.

    I feel as if I owe the Boy Scouts something. I would not be the man I am today, with the opportunities I have today, if it wasn't for the Boy Scouts. With my parents being rather distant, struggling to raise my handicaped brother, the Boy Scouts was a place for me to grow up, with friends and role models who cared about me and I will always be indebted to the father figures I learned from during my time as a Scout.

    For a disclaimer, I am also a Catholic. My parents attempted to raise me Catholic, and I didn't want to be, so for most of my elementary school years I was a self described atheist. When I entered Scouting, I guess one could say I found my religion.

    Ever since I learned about the BSA's ban, I've been in favor of overturning it. I'll be blunt is stating there isn't really anything you are going to say to me that is going to change my mind on the Boy Scouts of America. I love the organization even with its faulty membership policy, and my hope is that it changes it's policy. I think the most potent force of change for the BSA is for it's members to call for the change, not some outside forces that are perceived to be hostile. New faces are appearing on the National Board in 2014, I hope that will be the year the ban is struck down.

    Now I have an equally serious question for you. What does the BSA do if it overturns the ban and loses it's support from the Baptists, Catholics, and Mormons, who make up most of it's charter organizations? Many of us who are anti ban but pro BSA look at this issue with fear. We want to the BSA to change, but we'd like it to survive as an institution and be stronger. In other words, we want our cake and to eat it too.

    Certainly I look at this blog, and with the terms papist being thrown around a slur, I know my time here is probably limited. I apologize for not being able to argue the core thrust of your argument, which is "Why would you support a discriminatory organization?"

    I support it because the BSA has helped me greatly in my development and has given me skills and lifelong friends I wouldn't have had otherwise. It's a great organization with one really big flaw, one that hopefully will be fixed without bringing the organization down. I guess in effect I am endorsing the brand, mostly because I believe it can be changed, it can be saved, and it's worth doing that.

    I know this issue bites hard, it's very personal to everyone involved. Gays and Atheists have a sense of belonging and feelings of second class citizenry involved. Traditional Religious groups view their power on the wane and feel under attack by a changing society. The Boy Scouts is caught in the middle, and will be under attack regardless of what decision it makes.

    I hope I've been somewhat illuminating and not merely rambling on like I think I have. I look forward to your reply.

    With all due respect,
    Sentinel947

    Reply
  9. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

    You are a fine young man Mr. Sentinel. I do agree with you, if the Boy Scouts are going to change, it is going to take some effort from people on the inside…though I would not discount the effects of outside pressure both to change and to stay the same. I am glad to see that people like you will be around to help facilitate that in any way you can.

    Your question for me…that is a tough one, and you recognize that. As you said, many "want their cake…" That is a choice that the BSA will have to make. I am quite clearly biased on the issue…and recognize that. I have a saying that I use on this blog often, "religious bigotry is still bigotry"—it matters not to me if the bigotry comes from Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, etc….bigotry is bigotry. Shaming gay people and atheists, for whatever reason is wrong in my opinion. I know what side of that battle I would want to be on.

    You brought up tolerance as needed for the Boy Scouts. That is a funny word. It is a word that some of the fellow scout supporters who left comments here really do not seem to grasp. Is tolerance always a good thing? The answer is no. Should we tolerate racism, or speak up when hear/see it? I think that all people, regardless of their race, creed, gender, nationality, ethnicity, and even religion deserve to be treated with respect and without discrimination. I will tolerate no less….does that make me intolerant? I suppose it does, but is that such a bad thing? I have some serious problems with organized religion, I won't bother you with that now, you can read past blog posts if you like….I advocate for treating people fairly, but we do not have to treat or tolerate all ideas equally. You mentioned Andy's use of the word "papist" as a slur. I think you will find that most atheists are not fans of Pope Benedict or much of what constitutes Catholic dogma and doctrine (as well as that of other Christian groups). It has been and still is used to promote tremendous suffering in the world, which is a topic for a different time, but don't be too quick to dismiss it as a simple slur, someone may not like it, but that doesn't mean it is inaccurate either…

    Lastly, you mentioned your time here is limited…why? Comment as often as you wish. You will find that most commenters here are quite polite, even with people who disagree with them or are religious. They lose their patience a bit with people who are dishonest, rude, or endlessly proselytizing. The rude comments, including by me, were directed largely at ProfBob, who was dishonest in his rudeness…implying his initial comment was "not rude or offensive" was dishonest. Avoid that trap and people won't bother you much.

    Reply
    1. Sentinel947 from Cincinnati, OH, United States

      My comment about my time being limited is tied to the Papist comment. I have very limited desire to remain on a website where I will be looked down upon for my beliefs. Like you said about Gays and Atheists in the Boy Scouts where they cannot belong, I cannot belong to this community. Even if at one point I shared the views you now have. I am different, and probably not an acceptable type of different for the company on this site. I refuse to lurk on it and become an annoyance. That was never my intention when I first posted here.

      Obviously atheists will not be fans of Pope Benedict or the Roman Catholic church, but again like all groups, there are good things that come from the church along with the bad, and in the end whether or not you accept the institution is based on whether the good outweighs the bad or not.

      I did not appear here by random chance, I was linked to this website by a mutual contact, I'm not sure if he goes by the same screen name here or not.

      I will admit this is the first time I've had a serious discussion with an atheist without getting bashed for my beliefs. It certainly was a refreshing change of the norm, and I'm glad we had this discussion.

      Sincerely yours,
      Sentinel947

      Reply
    2. ProfessorBob from East Lansing, MI, United States

      Heavens, I seem to have come up again.

      Not to put too fine a point on it, but a careful re-read would discover that at no point did I imply that my comments were “not rude or offensive”. I believe that was another poster. I can say that my comments were not intended to be either rude or offensive, but in the end the judgment on such things lies with the reader who chooses to take offense or not, and I would not debate the inner workings of their own psyche.

      “I think that all people, regardless of their race, creed, gender, nationality, ethnicity, and even religion deserve to be treated with respect and without discrimination” is a delightful sentiment, until it is followed by “don’t be too quick to dismiss [Papist] as a simple slur, someone may not like it, but that doesn’t mean it is inaccurate either…” I wonder if you’re ever thoughtful about that sort of contradiction or hypocrisy?

      What I’m suggesting to you is that this sort of shallow and contradictory self-righteousness is characteristically juvenile. It seeks always to find the errors and sins of others, without honest self-examination. You can work for a Catholic organization and it’s OK, but a boy can’t be a member of a Scout troop without promoting bigotry. All people should be treated with respect, but we should use economic force to coerce others to agree with our position. The purpose is to encourage rational discourse, as demonstrated by launching into long paragraphs of invective.

      I very much doubt that’s who you really are or want to be.

      I have a challenge for you. Before any blog post here which makes broad claims about another group’s beliefs promoting “tremendous suffering in the world” or something similar, do some actual research into the makeup of the group, its history and practices. In particular, identify and write about many of the good things that group has done before addressing the inevitable negatives. Take their side, walk in their shoes.

      That would be intellectual maturity, seeing others as fellow human beings instead of monolithic groups. Recognize them as imperfect men and women who are also engaged in meaning making and striving for understanding, and who merit respect and dignity.

      In the end you might decide that buying a Christmas tree to help a kid go camping is nothing more than that. An act of kindness which helps bring people together.

      Reply
  10. Seattle Pioneer from Seattle, WA, United States

    I see that homosexuals will be getting higher pay for equal work in Seattle.

    <<Seattle officials want to provide a small, monthly payment to employees in same-sex marriages because they will pay higher federal income tax than married heterosexual couples on medical benefits.

    The city estimates the tax differential to be about $90 per employee per month. The 2013 budget approved by the City Council in November includes $185,000 to address the inequity created because the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) bars recognition of gay marriage.>>

    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019829726

    Reply
  11. FrankP from Wilmington, MA, United States

    BSA membership is a privilege, not a right. Those who disagree can work to change the decision of the Supreme Court, or start their own all-inclusive organization. Whiners go elsewhere.

    Reply
  12. Michael J from Delray Beach, FL, United States

    I'm 68 now, but I was a Boy Scout From 1955 till 1962. I Never made Eagle, but I did make it to Life….. I have a friend now who my age, who is a Boy Scout leader and we talk about our experiences all the time…. We even went to the same Boy Scout Camp, Ten Mile River. However as I matured and realized to emptiness of belief in imaginary Ghods, I bacame an Atheist. My friend tells me now, however, that I would no longer be welcomed by the Boy Scouts. I'm the same person I've always been, I've always loved camping, and I've maintained the skills with the outdoors that I learned as a Scout, as you have. I'm still prepared for just about everything, except believing in Ghods I now believe do not exist….. This does not make me a bad person.

    Reply

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