Thursday, December 09, 2004

Boy Scouts and the Pentagon

The Pentagon has had to back off from supporting Boy Scout Troops because of the BSA's practice of religious discrimination and their insistence on taking an oath of duty to God.

American Civil Liberties Union

" In response to a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, the Defense Department today agreed to end direct sponsorship of hundreds of Boy Scout units, which require members to swear religious oaths, on military facilities across the United States and overseas.

"If our Constitution's promise of religious liberty is to be a reality, the government should not be administering religious oaths or discriminating based upon religious beliefs," said Adam Schwartz of the ACLU of Illinois. "This agreement removes the Pentagon from direct sponsorship of Scout troops that engage in religious discrimination."


"The settlement... does not prohibit off-duty government employees from sponsoring Boy Scout troops on their own time. The Boy Scouts will still also have access to any military facilities that are currently made available to other non-governmental organizations."

I think it is a shame that the BSA does not allow athiests and agnostics to be members of troops. I think it would go a long way to teaching tolerance and mutual respect to those who have a faith, and to those that do not.

Scouting for All is attempting to make Scouting more inclusive and diverse.