Boy Scouts’ latest move leaves atheists scratching their heads

Oct 24, 2017

By Rob Tornoe

In 2012, I mailed my Eagle Scout badge back to Boy Scout headquarters.

Despite the fact I consider the time I spent as a Boy Scout among the most influential and positive experiences of my life, I couldn’t stand behind an organization that banned gay Scouts and scoutmasters from serving. Since I severed my ties with the Scouts, the organization has come around to public sentiment regarding gay and transgender kids and adults, and on Wednesday announced another step forward: Girls will be allowed to join.

The organization itself admits that the move to allow girls isn’t because of some progressive awakening; it’s due to the fact that it’s easier for busy parents to have all their kids in one group rather than dividing them (and their time) along gender lines. It’s no secret the Boy Scouts have seen membership numbers decline as society changed around them, so allowing girls in is a transparent attempt to bolster their sagging numbers.

But if the Boy Scouts want to increase membership and/or be truly inclusive, there is another change to be made. One group still remains ostracized from benefiting from all the leadership skills the Boy Scouts have to offer: atheists and agnostics.

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