When Chuck Norris Notices You, You Must Be Doing Something Right

Last month, the Secular Student Alliance was represented at a meeting of the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The topic was “Advancing Interfaith and Community Service on College and University Campuses” and the SSA’s Executive Director August Brunsman and Harvard’s Humanist Chaplain Greg Epstein were there on behalf of the non-theist community.

That pissed off a few people on the Religious Right. How dare the White House be inclusive of non-theists?!

But yesterday, we got someone special upset at us.

Chuck Norris.

He discusses the Boy Scouts of America and how President Obama hasn’t done much with them despite being the “honorary president.”

Wouldn’t you think with all of the cultural hot water the BSA are in, in our courts and in the public square, that the honorary president of the BSA might defend their First Amendment rights to assemble and believe as they have for 100 years?

On the other hand, it’s interesting to note that student atheist leaders from the Secular Student Alliance were recently bragging on their website that for the first time they were invited to the White House to participate in a June 7 meeting on interfaith service projects on college campuses sponsored by the Obama administration’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

And what about the BSA? Were they invited by their honorary president to participate as well?

Hasn’t America reached a particular low in its history when the White House distances itself from the Boy Scouts of America but invites groups like the Secular Student Alliance to participate in its faith and college missions?

Where to start…

The Boy Scouts have a right to assemble and believe as they wish. But if they’re going to discriminate, then they shouldn’t have access to federal money or public schools.

And you can bet we’re “bragging” about the invitation. This is a big deal. The White House is including the non-theistic community in some important conversations. We’re not getting special treatment at all — if anything, August and Greg were only two of 110 participants at that meeting — but we’re starting to get recognition as an important demographic in America.

I’d like to think there are good reasons for Obama not to tout his association with the Boy Scouts. If he is honestly distancing himself from that group, we’re moving the right direction.

The BSA kicks out scout leaders who are gay or atheist. The SSA welcomes people who are not atheists to our meetings. (We’ve had Christians present at our annual conference, too.)

The BSA has a very cozy relationship with the White House, regardless of how the current president may be acting. This is only the second time the SSA has even been invited for a meeting at the White House.

The President is the “honorary president” of the BSA. If we offered him that title for the SSA, Obama wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.

But hey, if Chuck Norris wants to think that we’re getting more attention than the Boy Scouts, I’m not about to stop him.

In the meantime, maybe we can get the new Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to support the SSA… she’s atheist and proud of it!

(via Miranda Celeste Hale)

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  • So, out of curiosity, would the President of the United States cease to be honorary president of the BSA if he turned out to be gay, atheist, or a woman?

    Would the honorary presidency pass to the Vice President and down the appropriate chain of succession as necessary? Would the office lie vacant? Or would Chuck Norris be appointed honorary president-in-exile?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

  • Crux Australis

    I thought this was going to be the start of a new Chuck Norris joke…”If Chuck Norris notices you, you’re already dead”.

  • Dan

    Julia Gillard is an atheist to be sure but she is a caretaker Prime Minister yet to face an election. That should happen in August. Her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, was tossed out of office by his own party after a series of bungled policy decisions left the government vulnerable and unpopular. She is yet to revile from any of these bungled policy decisions and will probably lose the election as a result. Her atheism, while contentious, probably wont have a bearing on her election defeat but I’ll just bet the religious will say it did. As for Chuck, he should have put as much energy into exercising his brain as he did his body.

  • If Chuck Norris opens his mouth…Crap spews out.

  • Jon Peterson

    I’ve never found old Chuck to be particularly astute about anything. That it was a full three weeks after the EVENT before he noticed the SSA’s invitation to the interfaith meeting is just support for my opinion.

    Not to mention that he tends to run his mouth about nonsense.

  • I don’t know why the xian morons…I mean right supports the BSA. Back when I was involved with it, I knew guys who smoked, masturbated, swore and there were even some on camping trips that were having sex with each other…

    In fact, one of my best friends from college had it written on his messenger bag “Everything I learned about being gay, I learned in the scouts”

  • Karen

    And what about the BSA? Were they invited by their honorary president to participate as well?

    I don’t understand why Chuck Norris thinks the president should have included the BSA in a meeting about interfaith service projects on college campuses.

    I don’t normally associate the BSA with college functions…


  • It’s frustrating that people think secularists and/or atheists getting even a little bit of attention is special treatment while religious groups getting actual special treatment is considered perfectly fine.

    Chuck Norris jokes always annoyed me. It seems that his writing is infinitely more annoying than the jokes about him. After reading parts 1 and 2 of the piece you linked to, Norris seems to be obsessed with the Boy Scouts getting lots of attention from the government. He’s treating this as though it’s some kind of national emergency. It’s not as though people are trying to ban the Scouts; secular groups are just demanding that they should not get tax payer money if the discriminate. It’s the Boy Scouts various religious organizations that are getting special treatment, and it’s hilariously sad that Norris is trying to turn it around to claim that the Boy Scouts are being treated unfairly. I love how Norris ends part two by mentioning Pilate; he’s not even trying to hide his bias.

    The Boy Scouts, just like any other organization, should not get respect just by the fact that they exist; their actions have to prove that they deserve respect.

    Thanks for posting, and I hope the SSA is able to be heard in the future as well!

  • daniel

    To me this is actually good news. Why? Well as much as I dislike Chuck Norris and his dreadful movies, he has some clout. This clout will eventually make others take notice. In turn, there will be at least one, two or more people who have been questioning their faith and god that may soon open their eyes to reality.

  • Judith Bandsma

    Maybe the botox froze his brain cells as well as his face.

  • littlejohn

    Be careful. Norris doesn’t have a chin behind that beard. He has a third fist.

  • Iason Ouabache

    Chuck Norris: Against government handouts… unless it goes to a religious organization.

  • Richard Wade

    Wouldn’t you think with all of the cultural hot water the BSA are in, in our courts and in the public square, that the honorary president of the BSA might defend their First Amendment rights to assemble and believe as they have for 100 years?

    No I wouldn’t, Chuck. I’d think if they were in all that hot water, trouble of their own making, THAT THEY COULD CLEAN UP THEIR ACT, GET RID OF THEIR BIGOTED ATTITUDES, AND START BEHAVING AS IF THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY INSTEAD OF 100 YEARS AGO!

    (ahem) Please excuse my shouting.

    Wouldn’t you think that if Chuck Norris smelled really, really bad, that he’d go take a shower instead of whining that people are “distancing” themselves from him?

  • Is it so crazy to respect both the Boy Scouts AND the secular student alliance?

    Ahh, to be an atheist conservative, one of the few.

    A related question about the Boy Scouts and gays:

    Assuming gays don’t have a predilection towards pedophilia, allowing gay scout leaders would be equivalent to allowing male scout leaders for Girl scouts? Would you be fine with straight adult males going camping with a group of prepubescent girls?

    (This is a serious question, not some veiled attempt to start an argument.)

  • He can’t think, write or fight.
    Fuck Chuck.
    ’nuff said.

  • Thanks for the link, Hemant 🙂 Norris’s column is so incredibly stupid and hilarious. It’s like “OH NOES, ATHEISTS IN THE WHITE HOUSE!! HIDE THE WIMMINZ AND CHILDREN! AMERICA IS DOOMED!”

  • I’m with TGM; Chuck Norris is an ass. He actively supports the teaching of the bible and official prayer in public schools, spoke openly in support of Prop 8, and believes in intelligent design. And that’s info from 30 seconds of scanning his Wikipedia entry. He also REALLY REALLY REALLY wants Mike Huckabee to be president. With such an intense love for the Huckster and such a seemingly intense hatred of the gay community, Chuck doth protest too much, methinks. Also, he once cut my wife off in traffic. Seriously. Screw that guy.

  • Rich Wilson

    Would you be fine with straight adult males going camping with a group of prepubescent girls?

    Of course I would. As I would adult female scout leaders. Most adults aren’t pedophiles. And there are better ways to weed those that are out than to ban an entire sex of adult mentor.

  • Neon Genesis

    Even if the SSA was bragging about being invited to the White House, can someone explain to me why that’s a bad thing anyway? You know good and well that if the BSA were invited to the White House, Chuck Norris would be the first to brag about how God loves them the best and how America is the best Christian nation in the world or whatever.

  • CatBallou

    Dan, what does “She is yet to revile from any of these bungled policy decisions” mean?

    I can usually tell what people intend to say when they make a typo, but I can’t figure this one out. And I’m honestly curious.

  • TheLoneIguana

    Ol’ Chuck’s been kicked in the head a few too many times.

    And needs to be kicked a little lower.

  • Hitch

    Chuck Norris? If he wants to be the face and the voice of an intolerant bigoted culture, he can have it.

  • EM

    “Would you be fine with straight adult males going camping with a group of prepubescent girls?”

    I must say I find the question perplexing. I was a member of the Swedish Guide and Scout Association (Sweden’s main scout organisation) from age 7 to 16 and in that association scouts and leaders of both genders are mixed. If anything, teaching boys and girls to work alongside with one another as equals is considered one of the main functions of scouting. I guess it might have to do with cultural diffedrences, but no one ever questioned this and I think most Swedish scouts and leaders would find the insinuation that this arrangement is somehow questionable to be both weird and rather insulting.

  • fiddler

    @oneSTDV First you say:
    “Assuming gays don’t have a predilection towards pedophilia…”

    And then you follow with an assumption that adult scout leaders would in fact be inclined to pursue the boys… can you spot your own error? There is no good reason that responsible ADULTS cannot be around children and teach them various skills while having fun without you and others assuming sexual activity is occurring.

  • Anonyman

    @catballou: Presumably, “yet to recover from…” is what was intended.

  • OneSTDV said:
    “Is it so crazy to respect both the Boy Scouts AND the secular student alliance?”

    In principle I think the BSA and SSA could both take part in meetings together at the White House. The issue here, as pointed out in the second sentence of the original post, is that the topic had nothing to do with the BSA, and so why would the BSA be invited on this occasion?

  • Mriana

    Chuck Norris has lost his mind. I don’t see how the BSA’s values are better than atheist values, esp when they discriminate so much.

  • weas


    Dude, you got to give her a chance to fix things up first. Contrary to expectation, PM’s cannot get things done at a snap of a finger – there’s lots of paper work and convincing other members of the labour group.

    and do remember, her competition is the crazy preacher and his budgie smugglers who is against a national broadband – and in favour of that stupid filter.

  • Jen

    Bragging is a terrible, terrible thing. So, of course, is having a website dedicated to yourself with your photo constantly scrawling across the top, or a mission statement that your site is to “inspire” your fans. Gag.

  • Judith Bandsma

    @OneSTDV: Males over the age of 18 have been allowed to be Girl Scout leaders for over 25 years. Yes, they go camping with the girls, they teach them skills and we very seldom hear of any improprieties.

    In the same way, Girl Scouts do not care if you are gay, lesbian or transgendered. It will not impact on your ability to be a leader.

    Some councils have reservations about atheists but national policy is non-discrimination and has been for a long time.

    This is coming to you from an over 20 year veteran of Girl Scout leadership with girls from 12 to 18 and all levels of adult training. I also hold the Thanks badge…the highest award for an adult in Girl Scouting.

  • Erp

    Straight male co-leaders can already go on camping trips with girl scouts in the US. The Girl Scouts do discriminate in they require that there must also be a female adult leader and apparently that on overnight trips that two adult females also be present.

    For that matter straight female leaders can go on camping trips with boy scouts (no requirement for a male leader also but I believe they always require two adults). However lesbian leaders in the Boy Scouts aren’t allowed.

  • Dan W

    I used to like those silly Chuck Norris “facts”. Then I saw Chuck Norris in a campaign ad for Mike Huckabee, in 2008. I then realized Chuck Norris is just another fundie moron, and I no longer care for those jokes about him. If someone like Chuck Norris is criticizing how Obama appears to be distancing himself from the BSA while being more friendly to secular groups, I’d say that’s a good thing. It’s like how whenever I hear that Sarah Palin or Pat Robertson is upset about something politicians are doing, I automatically think that’s a sign of things getting better in the U.S.

  • JD

    Jen: huh? Is that sarcasm?

    Is that really worse than the good portion of religious ministries that are named after the founder and not the supposed deity of the ministry’s worship? With web sites, books, magazines or fliers that prominently feature the person’s name and picture?

  • JD

    Sorry, I probably misunderstood, I thought Jen was describing this site. Chuck’s is much tackier, motion text and voice! How can you possibly lose with that?

  • “…she’s atheist and proud of it!”

    Not enough to support the equal human rights of gays.

  • Aaron

    You know, I got into the martial arts because of Chuck Norris’ movies in the 80’s (I wanted to be able to head kick 5 Arabs at once, like all good American boys), but he is an ass.

  • fritzy

    Wow, that is just…ridiculous. Norris has managed to compared two groups that really have nothing in common, has accused the POTUS of “distancing” himself from the BSA because he didn’t invite them to a meeting they would have no reason to attend (hint hint Chuck–the BSA isn’t a college organization) and hints that atheists have no place in the White House.

    Cheese and crust on a cracker–this guy’s reasoning skills are on par with his acting ability.

  • fritzy


    “Assuming gays don’t have a predilection towards pedophilia, allowing gay scout leaders would be equivalent to allowing male scout leaders for Girl scouts? Would you be fine with straight adult males going camping with a group of prepubescent girls?”

    Congrats–you have managed to demonstrate that being an atheist does not equal being a rational, skeptical thinker. There is no reason to “assume” that gays don’t have a predilection towards pedophillia–every study done on the subject supports the fact that gays are no more likely to be pedophiles than straights. Likewise, since most responsible, moral, healthy adults don’t (excuse me for being blunt) fuck children, there is no reason a responsible adult of any gender or sexual orientation should not be able and allowed to escort a group of young campers of any gender. Really, grow up.

  • Tak

    OneSTDV: Your message sounds like something coming from a fundie posing as an atheist. I think you’ve been appropriately pwned by other commenters but I just wanted to add my two cents.

    Also, as an atheist…exactly WHY would you respect the BSA? I don’t understand the reasoning. You respect them for their discriminatory policies? You respect them for their ability to get public funding and special treatment when they deserve neither? Could you please elaborate on why anyone in their right mind should respect the BSA?

  • qwertyuiop

    Julia Gillard is just another homophobe.


    She deserves no more respect from anyone.

  • Silent Service

    As a former scout (yes I bet they love me now, why do you ask?), I respect the individual scouts. Most of them are pretty decent people. The organization can go fuck itself. Better yet, it can go camping with Chuck Norris.

  • JT

    I’m a little disappointed that this thread didn’t descend into a string of Chuck Norris jokes.

    I’ll start us off:

    Did you know that Chuck Norris once ran faster than the speed of light…but no one cared because he’s a culturally irrelevant fuck-weasel who thinks his recognition as an actor in terrible movies makes his opinions on policy worth anything?

  • muggle

    Has Obama even accepted the honorary presidency of the Boy Scouts are is this just something they declared him to be. (I honestly don’t know so if it’s a dumb question, please, just enlighten me so I won’t be so dumb next time.)

    But, even arguing that he does accept that role, as others have said, why would the Boy Scouts even be invited to this thing and even if they would, there are how many freaking faith groups out there? I don’t think every one of them can have a representative at every freaking summit.

    Wouldn’t you think that if Chuck Norris smelled really, really bad, that he’d go take a shower instead of whining that people are “distancing” themselves from him?

    LOL, Richard. Loved that one!

    Would you be fine with straight adult males going camping with a group of prepubescent girls?

    Why the hell not? Frankly, I think it’s sexist as hell to have Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts and the only reason I’m not for combining them into something less sexist labeled Child Scouts or something is because the Girl Scouts aren’t so bigoted and I don’t want them to be infected with the Boy Scouts’ bigotry.

    And just to underline Judith’s information, I thought both groups were secular and signed my daughter up for the Girl Scouts at the Daisy stage (pre-Brownie, she lost interest in it before even reaching the Brownie stage) and when confronted with an oath that said something about a belief in God (I forget the exact wording), half a line out of the whole thing, I asked the troop leader, “Does she have to say this? We’re Atheist.” Not only did the troop leader, say cheerfully, “No. Just feel free to skip that part,” when one of the other mothers signing her little darling up huffed, “If you don’t believe in God, you don’t belong here,” she rather pointedly look at the woman and added firmly, “We don’t discriminate here.”

  • Andrew

    On the whole Boy Scouts is a great organization that is pretty accepting of people of all backgrounds. The reason for official BSA stance with gays may be because the Mormon church has very close ties with national leadership. And Mormons don’t have a great attitude on gay people so it kind of makes sense that the BSA would be that way.