Fight over who merits a Boy Scout uniform an ongoing battle

Aug 16, 2015

Photo courtesy of Richard W. Rodriguez, AP

By Williams Cummings

The vote by the Boy Scouts of America’s board to lift the organization’s ban on gay scout leaders is just the latest chapter in a long history of controversy over who merits the right to wear the scout uniform.

Even as it shifts its policy on homosexual scout leaders, there are still millions of Americans today who do not meet one of the basic requirements to become scouts. Namely, those who does not hold religious beliefs.

Religion has always been at the center of the Boy Scouts, whose oath includes a pledge “To do my duty to God and my country.” And although the Boy Scouts of America is closely tied to the Protestant-based YMCA, the organization describes itself as “absolutely nonsectarian” and welcomes all faiths.

Those with no faith are a different matter.


Read the full article by clicking the name of the source below.

6 comments on “Fight over who merits a Boy Scout uniform an ongoing battle

  • This must be an American scout thing? I was in a troop as a kid in NZ
    (One of the first girls too) The leader was an Atheist. and not once did we ever pray. everyones religion was just that – something not discussed or promoted.

    I’m an atheist too – but with very fond memories of my time in scouts, rigging abseil pitches, building rope bridges and learning some pretty cool survival stuff. American scouts don’t mix the girls and boys (may has changed?) to me is pretty dumb – A perfect time to get kids to work together without all the dumb adult hangups.



    Report abuse

  • 2
    fadeordraw says:

    In Canada, one Scout value is: “Duty to God: Defined as, The responsibility to adhere to spiritual principles, and thus to the religion that expresses them, and to accept the duties therefrom”. I’ve asked is that excludes atheists from participating.



    Report abuse

  • 4
    fadeordraw says:

    Scouts Canada very promptly answered my inquiry:

    “We do have some information in our FAQ regarding this subject which may be of value to you:

    “Do You Have to Believe in God to Join Scouts Canada? Is Scouting a Christian Organization?
    No, but you must have a basic spiritual belief. Spirituality has been one of the three main principles of Scouting around the world since its inception more than 100 years ago. Scouts Canada is proud of its commitment to diversity and welcomes members of many different faiths and denominations.
    You need not belong to an organized religion, but all members must take the Scout Promise in good faith and leaders may include some form of spirituality in their program for the youth. “God” represents spirituality and for some may represent an actual deity, but it may also mean an expression of your personal spirituality.
    Some more secular groups choose to express their spirituality through belief in a world community or a connection with nature and may still define themselves as atheists”.

    “In short, yes they (atheists) are absolutely welcome, however the Scout Promise will still need to be taken in good faith”.

    Scout promise: “On my honour, I promise that I will do my best, to do my duty to God and the Queen, to help other people at all times, and to carry out the spirit of the Scout Law”.

    So in Canada, atheists are welcome to participate in Scouts Canada as long as they promise in good faith to…do their duty to God and, apparently, express some sort of spirituality. Interesting eh!



    Report abuse

  • fadeordraw
    Aug 19, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    So in Canada, atheists are welcome to participate in Scouts Canada as long as they promise in good faith to…do their duty to God and, apparently, express some sort of spirituality. Interesting eh!

    It seems atheists are welcome if they “honestly” participate in theistic cognitive dissonance, the vagueness of theistic double-talk thinking, and the delusions of “spirituality”!



    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.