The Boy Scouts will now welcome girls, but will continue to ban atheists, agnostics and other freethinkers.
The good news: The Boy Scouts of America will now allow girls to join the organization, according to an announcement released Wednesday:
Today, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout…
The news was welcomed by many as a long overdue and progressive step towards gender equality. For example, Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), was quick to applaud the change on Twitter:
— Chellie Pingree (@chelliepingree) October 11, 2017
And while the move is a step in the right direction, the organization continues to ban atheists, agnostics, and other freethinkers from joining because they require members to recognize an “obligation to God.”
For in order to join the Boy Scouts, boys, and now girls, and their families, must pass a religious litmus test, and must sign a “Declaration of Religious Principles.” The declaration states, in part:
The Boy Scouts of America maintain that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his obligation to God.
More about the Boy Scouts “Declaration of Religious Principles“
Article IX. Policies And Definitions (Policies)—Charter And Bylaws
Clause 1. The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, ‘‘On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.’’ The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members…
Bottom line: The move to allow girls into the program is great, but the continued discrimination against atheists, agnostics, and other freethinkers is deplorable, and immoral.