Can you be good without God? Boy Scouts face the question

In 2013: The Boy Scouts end their ban on gay members.

In 2015: The Boy Scouts allow gay members to become scout leaders.

In 2017: The Boy Scouts end their ban on trans members.

All of this progress is encouraging but, unfortunately, atheists are still prohibited from joining the Boy Scouts of America. The Sacremento Bee reports on the Boy Scout’s policy of discriminating against nontheists:

Alex Simmons, an atheist and humanist, said she remembers calling a scout master when her two sons were in middle school in another state. They, too, had learned about scouts in school and wanted to join.

She remembers the scout master telling her that he was sorry, but he couldn’t allow them in after she asked if they would be welcome even though their mother didn’t believe in God. “The whole Boy Scout policy now just proves how excluded we still are and how disliked we still are,” Simmons said. “To say that atheists have no morality, that’s, ah, that makes me see red.”

This discriminatory policy is based on the notion that belief in God is a prerequisite for good citizenship and good character.  This stigma against nontheists is demonstrably untrue and disproved every day by the tens of millions of nonreligious Americans who are good without God.

It’s time for the Boy Scouts of America (an organization that receives millions of dollars in special tax breaks) to end their ban against atheists.


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