New California Legislation Would Remove Tax Breaks from the Boy Scouts for Discriminating Against Atheists

The Boy Scouts of America are still considering letting in gay members and leaders — but even if their rules change, they would still forbid atheists from joining their organization. Katherine Stewart said as much in a recent article:

… the questionnaire, like much of the coverage surrounding it, is silent about the role of religion in shaping the Boy Scout’s discriminatory policies in another area, one that is distinct from and yet intimately connected with its bigotry toward gay people.

Adult leaders in the Boy Scouts must sign a Declaration of Religious Principles, and Scouts must take an oath “to do my duty to God”. Both adults and children can and have been excluded from the organization for lack of belief in a supreme being (or beings).

Now, California lawmakers may punish any group that discriminates against LGBT individuals or atheists. Sen. Ricardo Lara recently introduced Senate Bill 323 and it’ll have its first committee hearing tomorrow:

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It’s About Damn Time: ‘Progressive’ Christian Jim Wallis Finally Voices Support for Marriage Equality

Jim Wallis is one of the best-known “progressive” Christians and the founder of Sojourners (“Christians for Justice and Peace”).

Despite being a registered Democrat and a frequent critic of the Religious Right, he has never really been a champion of LGBT rights.

This is Wallis in 2008:

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An Atheist Mission Trip… Without the Proselytizing

There are a lot of reasons I love what Foundation Beyond Belief is doing right now, but supporting The Pathfinders Project is currently at the top of the list. We spend a lot of time talking about how to improve the world and occasionally donating to causes that make the world a better place… but this project actually sends atheists overseas to do hands-on work.

This is what Humanism in action looks like:

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There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Soul Mate’

Relationship blogger Jess Downey has come to a conclusion not so new to our community. but downright blasphemous in the online dating advice world: There’s no such thing as a “soul mate.”

I love her explanation, too — a series of questions whose answers make less and less sense the more you think about it:

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Without Addressing Religious Discrimination with Taxpayer Money, President Obama Extends Life of Faith-Based Advisory Council

On Friday, President Obama did something the media paid little attention to — with gun control and gay rights still making headlines, it’s hard to blame them — but we shouldn’t let this go unnoticed.

He issued an Executive Order to continue the “President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships” for another two years… without addressing the biggest problems with the office.

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