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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Are atheists a persecuted group?
Myrrh
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How did the US come to change the Constitution to this belief that God rules? Was it really endorsed by a groundswell of public opinion or did particular groups of Christians campaigning for it push it through without discussion?

quote:
It's an old shibboleth of those who want to inject religion into public life that they're honoring the spirit of the nation's founders. In fact, the founders opposed the institutionalization of religion. They kept the Constitution free of references to God. The document mentions religion only to guarantee that godly belief would never be used as a qualification for holding office—a departure from many existing state constitutions. That the founders made erecting a church-state wall their first priority when they added the Bill of Rights to the Constitution reveals the importance they placed on maintaining what Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore have called a "godless Constitution." When Benjamin Franklin proposed during the Constitutional Convention that the founders begin each day of their labors with a prayer to God for guidance, his suggestion was defeated.

(The Pledge of Allegiance Why we're not one nation "under God." By David Greenberg)

Caveat, I have no idea what the politics of this site are, I'm posting because I found the article of interest.

It seems to be strangely in 'limbo' at the moment, no judge can rule for it but it's still taken over as defining the nation - wouldn't the Atheists who feel themselves marginalised now be better served by raising objections to this change?

Devoted to God though I am I find it extremely jarring to hear Bush claiming God's support for a government's policy of invasion, torture and so on, not my kind of God, but what do Atheists think of this?

Myrrh

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benjdm
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quote:
Originally posted by Myrrh:
How did the US come to change the Constitution to this belief that God rules?

Was it really endorsed by a groundswell of public opinion or did particular groups of Christians campaigning for it push it through without discussion?

It was pushed through with discussion. Such votes are not at all divisive in Congress, since (until recently) 535 of 535 Congressmen self-identified as theists. 534 out of 535 is a slight improvement, but for now, only lawsuit-happy immoral atheists would complain about such things.

(lawsuit happy refers to people usually hearing about atheists in the news only when involved in a church-state separation lawsuit. Immoral refers to the American Heritage Dictionary, 2nd-4th editions, which all include 'immorality' in the definition of atheism.)

quote:
It seems to be strangely in 'limbo' at the moment, no judge can rule for it but it's still taken over as defining the nation - wouldn't the Atheists who feel themselves marginalised now be better served by raising objections to this change?
I have done, repeatedly. Most recently here . There was very little support for my side.

quote:
Devoted to God though I am I find it extremely jarring to hear Bush claiming God's support for a government's policy of invasion, torture and so on, not my kind of God, but what do Atheists think of this?
Umm. I'm going to bite my tongue on that one.
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Carys

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Reading this thread has certainly been an eyeopener. I'm still unclear about what disadvantages dogwonderer sees in being out as an atheist in the UK but I'm astounded by what posters have said about the situation in the US. Over here, there's a tendency to regard religious opinions as essentially private and thus they're not important in decisions about jobs (except specifically religious ones). From what people have said, it sounds like there is discrimation against atheists in some parts of the States at least, though I wouldn't go as far to say persecution (as I would say that tends to be more active and violent)

Though on the scouting issue, I've just looked at the official scouting website and found that whilst open to any religion they are not open to atheists. It doesn't seem to be about `being able to be a good citizen' but being about the fact that scouting is faith based and talks about duty to love God. Given that doing `duty to God and Queen' is part of the Scout promise, it's hard to see how an atheist could make it. (I'm less sure about republicans, one could take the line of working with the situation as it is now).

Carys

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Yorick

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quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
I've just looked at the official scouting website and found that whilst open to any religion they are not open to atheists

I promised myself I wouldn't contribute further to this thread, but this raises some interesting stuff.

Firstly, how is this sort of discrimination actually legal?

Also, why on earth should the Scout movement exclude atheists when even churches (the house of God) do not?

Finally, how can a child be an atheist? Being an atheist is a bit like being a theist- children are not capable of exercising the sort of authoritative discretion required to be either.

I think this is bad.

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این نیز بگذرد

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Carys

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quote:
Originally posted by dogwonderer:
quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
I've just looked at the official scouting website and found that whilst open to any religion they are not open to atheists

I promised myself I wouldn't contribute further to this thread, but this raises some interesting stuff.

Firstly, how is this sort of discrimination actually legal?

Maybe this should have it's own thread. I'm not sure that there is a legal problem. To join this group you have to sign up to its principles, one of which is belief in God, if you don't belief in God don't join.

quote:

Also, why on earth should the Scout movement exclude atheists when even churches (the house of God) do not?

Depends what you mean by exclude. Sure, you can go to Church as an atheist, but if you want to be baptised but were still an atheist, I think the Church would be justified in asking various questions.

quote:

Finally, how can a child be an atheist? Being an atheist is a bit like being a theist- children are not capable of exercising the sort of authoritative discretion required to be either.

I think this is bad.

I disagree entirely on this point. I think you're doing children a disservice. I know someone who refused to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe aged about 7 because it was Christian propaganda. I was a Christian in my own mind from a young age. Yes, I've made decisions since to stick with that since, but that doesn't invalidate my early decisions.

Carys

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O Lord, you have searched me and know me
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Beeswax Altar
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You should start a rival scouting organization open to all people excluded by Boy Scouts. It could start small. Take the excluded children on a camping trip that included fishing and hiking.

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benjdm
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quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
Though on the scouting issue, I've just looked at the official scouting website and found that whilst open to any religion they are not open to atheists. It doesn't seem to be about `being able to be a good citizen' but being about the fact that scouting is faith based and talks about duty to love God.

quote:
Policies

● Youth and Adult Volunteers
Boy Scouts of America believes that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. Accordingly, youth members and adult volunteer leaders of Boy Scouts of America obligate themselves to do their duty to God and be reverent as embodied in the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. Leaders also must subscribe to the Declaration of Religious Principle. Because of its views concerning the duty to God, Boy Scouts of America believes that an atheist or agnostic is not an appropriate role model of the Scout Oath and Law for adolescent boys. Because of Scouting’s methods and beliefs, Scouting does not accept atheists and agnostics as members or adult volunteer leaders.

http://www.bsalegal.org/duty-to-god-cases-224.asp

According to them, you cannot be a good enough citizen if you don't recognize an obligation to God.

quote:
Given that doing `duty to God and Queen' is part of the Scout promise, it's hard to see how an atheist could make it. (I'm less sure about republicans, one could take the line of working with the situation as it is now).

Duty to God and Queen....UK scouts discriminate also ? You lost me. I only know about U.S. scouts.
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benjdm
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quote:
Originally posted by Matins:
You should start a rival scouting organization open to all people excluded by Boy Scouts. It could start small. Take the excluded children on a camping trip that included fishing and hiking.

Camp Fire Boys and Girls - already exists and is open to all. Very small organization.

Camp Quest was also started at least partially due to this problem/

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moron
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quote:
Originally posted by benjdm:
Boy Scouts of America believes that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God.

You learn something every day: I had no idea this kind of prejudice was that engrained in the BS of A.

And I keep trying to comprehend why many theists are apparently suspicious of atheists.

How about this: theists are theists because (whether nature or nurture) they believe the existence of God is patently self-evident therefore they can't help but believe atheists are being intellectually dishonest by asserting there is no God.

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Mad Geo

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It's worse than that.

They now ban gays, atheists, and agnostics. They have a right to free speech (go figure, on that one) apparently that includes keeping out whomever they desire. I guess that's fine, they'll never see another penny from a whole lot of people including the government.

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Yorick

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quote:
Originally posted by 206:
And I keep trying to comprehend why many theists are apparently suspicious of atheists.

It's because we eat babies.

[Disappointed]

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این نیز بگذرد

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moron
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quote:
Originally posted by dogwonderer:
It's because we eat babies.

[Disappointed]

That would explain it but I think my theory has some merit.

[Disappointed]

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Yorick

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quote:
Originally posted by 206:
That would explain it but I think my theory has some merit.

A great deal of merit, imo.

But I would also say theists are theists because (whether nature or nurture) they believe the existence of God is patently self-evident therefore they can't help but believe atheists are a threat to them by asserting there is no God.

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این نیز بگذرد

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Not at all. I think the existence of God is far from self-evident. I think it's more likely than not, and I have a measly handful of experiences and events which I can't put a more parsimonious explanation on, but that's it. I can quite see why people wouldn't believe in God.

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Petrified

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quote:
Originally posted by dogwonderer:
quote:
Originally posted by 206:
And I keep trying to comprehend why many theists are apparently suspicious of atheists.

It's because we eat babies.

[Disappointed]

Yes that's part of it but they are also worried you will try and convert them.

(is atheism contagious like girl cooties)

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Yorick

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Not at all. I think the existence of God is far from self-evident.

So, the question is, then, Karl: would you let atheist kids in the Scouts, or their atheist parents as Helpers, if you were in charge of the BSofA? If so, why do you suppose the people in charge don't?

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این نیز بگذرد

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moron
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quote:
Originally posted by dogwonderer:
But I would also say theists are theists because (whether nature or nurture) they believe the existence of God is patently self-evident therefore they can't help but believe atheists are a threat to them by asserting there is no God.

That, too.

I should have said 'some theists are theists...'

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Otter
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IIRC, the Boy Scouts of America are able to discriminate against gays, atheists, etc. on the basis that they are a private organization, not a public one. This has resulted in them losing access to schools and other public buildings for meeting spaces in many places. Mr. Otter doesn't keep up on Scouting news much any more - not happy with the way the current programs are set up, and also I suspect because of the decisionn to be discriminatory.

That said, I know of leaders that were willing to buck the official policy and welcome boys from atheist families (I say "were" because it's been a few years and I don't know if those leaders are active or not).

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benjdm
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quote:
Originally posted by Otter:
That said, I know of leaders that were willing to buck the official policy and welcome boys from atheist families (I say "were" because it's been a few years and I don't know if those leaders are active or not).

There are plenty. It is a bad solution but better than nothing, I guess. The scouts involved have to lie and hide their beliefs or risk ending up like Darrell Lambert.

http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/West/10/31/atheist.scout.ap/index.html
http://www.bsa-discrimination.org/html/lambert.html

One of my medium-term goals is to have my meetup group possibly partner with the local Unitarian Universalist group and / or the local Humanist group and sponsor a Camp Fire Boys and Girls group. I don't know if we'll every pull it off.

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Mad Geo

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Not at all. I think the existence of God is far from self-evident. I think it's more likely than not, and I have a measly handful of experiences and events which I can't put a more parsimonious explanation on, but that's it. I can quite see why people wouldn't believe in God.

Yes, but you're a liberal. [Biased]

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Beautiful Dreamer
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I wonder if anyone who has been given flack for their beliefs or lack thereof has ever considered that perhaps they might have put themselves in a position to be more open to that? Meaning, the only atheists (or Christians, for that matter) I have ever known who have had problems were the ones who were, for lack of a better word, obnoxious about their beliefs and insisted on pushing them in everyone else's face. I have known Christians who would not have had any problems if they had been appropriate in the workplace (in this particular case) and not made their faith an issue where it was not previously. I suppose this could apply to atheists too. People do not like being told they are only religious because they are less intelligent, but I know several atheists who believe this and make it very well known. Just like people do not like it when Christians push their faith and tell other people they are going to hell because they believe differently. The atheists or agnostics (or Christians, even) who do not make their beliefs an issue do not have any problems getting along with other people. It is not a case of anyone having to hide anything, it is an issue of not making a big issue of your beliefs.

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benjdm
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Well, sure there are people who are jerks who then try and claim they get treated badly for reasons other than they are jerks. That's a given. Hopefully, we're trying to ignore those cases.
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Beautiful Dreamer
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I still maintain that there are certain places where discussing beliefs or religion isn't done, or isn't appropriate. Like the workplace. I have worked in places where people had religious items in their own cubicles, and this was fine. But it was considered an unofficial rule not to discuss the subject, particularly with customers. It is one thing if the customer brings the subject up with you (like asking if something you are selling is kosher or something like that), but we were not to bring it up with them. If you wanted to have a bible study group after work, for instance, that was fine, but it was to take place away from the office in your own time. That is just considered to be considerate to your customers and coworkers. In such places, you wouldn't know if someone was an atheist or not, or you wouldn't have anything beyond a basic, polite conversation about it. The mileage in your workplace may vary, however.

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Mad Geo

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Yes to what Benjdm said.

I think the core issue is that IF it is brought up in the workplace and IF the person wasn't obnoxious about it, THEN gets fired or mistreated because of a half baked belief that atheists are unethical or simply due to religious bigotry THEN that demonstrates a serious problem, persecution.

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Beautiful Dreamer
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If anyone is fired because of any belief, religious or otherwise, when they have not made a big issue of it and they are being fired because of bigotry, that is a problem. I think we can all agree on that. I simply don't know that it happens as often as some seem to think it does. I don't presume to know what goes into every hiring or firing decision. There are just so many variables.

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More where that came from
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Mad Geo

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I'm not sure if how often something has to be to run into the "persecution" definition. I guarantee that if it were myself fired for stating my beliefs in a conversation where it was initiated, my persecution would be the least of thier concerns when the ACLU and/or my attorney contacted them.

If large groups of people (1.8 million or 6% of the US population) have to stay in hiding about a belief they hold with regards to religion, then that is telling, especially when coupled with what happens to people that do get outed or speak up as shown earlier in this thread.

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Diax's Rake - "Never believe a thing simply because you want it to be true"

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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Geo:
If large groups of people (1.8 million or 6% of the US population) have to stay in hiding about a belief they hold with regards to religion, then that is telling, especially when coupled with what happens to people that do get outed or speak up as shown earlier in this thread.

But they don't. There are about 5 books on the bestseller list right now on this topic. There are plenty of atheists who make no secret of their atheism, something you can read about on their websites anytime day or night. Nobody in New York City, for instance, would think of "hiding" their atheism; nobody around here gives a damn. That was true in New England when I lived there; it was true on the West Coast when I lived there. It's true in most large cities, your "example" from 6 years ago notwithstanding.

And you haven't shown anything about "what happens to people" at all. You won't answer challenges to the examples you've given - you prefer to imagine it's somebody else's problem - but I'm afraid you haven't made your case at all.

Yes, people in small towns don't tend to like people unlike themselves. Is that supposed to be news?

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Mad Geo

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Hmmm.

Polls provided. Check.
(6% of 7% estimated atheists do not self-report.)

Examples of cases where persecution happened provided. Check.

A whopping six ahteists of the 1% atheists out themselves and write a book: Check

Anecdotal arm waving evidence from selected naysayers (not all mind you): Check

Ingnoring frothing people that are going to cherry pick out the bad cases and ignore the good cases: Priceless.

There are some things that money can't buy. For everything else there's Mad Geo.

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Diax's Rake - "Never believe a thing simply because you want it to be true"

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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Geo:
Hmmm.

Polls provided. Check.
(6% of 7% estimated atheists do not self-report.)

Examples of cases where persecution happened provided. Check.

A whopping six ahteists of the 1% atheists out themselves and write a book: Check

Anecdotal arm waving evidence from selected naysayers (not all mind you): Check

Ingnoring frothing people that are going to cherry pick out the bad cases and ignore the good cases: Priceless.

There are some things that money can't buy. For everything else there's Mad Geo.

I really don't know what you think you're trying to prove here. You're the only one on this thread that claims "persecution." Other atheists don't.

And I can't even understand what you're saying in this post. 6-7% of atheists don't self-report? That's just a bit above the margin of error, I'd think - and so what? 6-7% of people, generally, are weird in some way. And is that what you base your claim of "persecution" on? Laughable, really.

FYI, I haven't seen much in the way of "good cases," either, I must say. Most of the links you gave are serious reaches.

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Littlelady
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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Geo:
It's worse than that.
They now ban gays, atheists, and agnostics. They have a right to free speech (go figure, on that one) apparently that includes keeping out whomever they desire. I guess that's fine, they'll never see another penny from a whole lot of people including the government.

This is an interesting take on the Scouts. Being as I am from the land where it all began, what I've seen of the movement has been a liberalisation of it rather than a restriction (but if people keep suing then I suppose lines are going to be drawn in the sand all over the place). In my adult lifetime the Scouts incorporated many different expressions of God: when my sibs were Scouts (in the 1970s) only the Christian God was recognised, mainly because any other God was hardly represented. I don't know where the movement in England is up to with regard to gay leaders. Perhaps someone more in the know will be able to update on that.

Here in England the Scout movement was traditionally bound up with the Anglican church in particular: as a child I remember parade Sundays when the Scouts and Boys Brigade would take out their respective flags and walk up the aisle with them and place them in holder thingies at the altar end of the church. Historically the Scouts have been tied to faith, albeit not as strongly as the likes of the Boys Brigade, and to discipline and serving King/Queen and country (in a non-combatant role) - that's how it was all set up in the first place, which was very appropriate to the culture of the day.

Although I'm not at all in favour of discrimination against atheists, I'm struggling to see why atheist parents would want their child to swear to God or why the Scouts should stop swearing to God just because atheist parents don't want their child to do that? Shouldn't volunteer organisations be able to stand by their own group ethos? All interest groups are bound to exclude someone. I can't join men's groups coz I'm not a bloke. Should all men's groups be forced to accept women because I'm excluded and thus undermine the male ethos of their group? I wouldn't say they should.

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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by Littlelady:
Although I'm not at all in favour of discrimination against atheists, I'm struggling to see why atheist parents would want their child to swear to God or why the Scouts should stop swearing to God just because atheist parents don't want their child to do that? Shouldn't volunteer organisations be able to stand by their own group ethos? All interest groups are bound to exclude someone. I can't join men's groups coz I'm not a bloke. Should all men's groups be forced to accept women because I'm excluded and thus undermine the male ethos of their group? I wouldn't say they should.

The Scouts has been a quasi-public institution for a long time; they're sort of a civic institution in many ways, even when they don't get public moneys. Every kid used to belong.

So it does sort of make sense to argue that discrimination against any child is wrong. But I agree with you that since God is part of their "charter," so to speak, it's a bit strange that atheists would object. Perhaps they want a similar organization without any reference to God - and perhaps somebody should start one.

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benjdm
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quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
But I agree with you that since God is part of their "charter," so to speak, it's a bit strange that atheists would object. Perhaps they want a similar organization without any reference to God - and perhaps somebody should start one.

The Girl Scouts have no problems with practicing a non-discrimination policy. In my area, there are no Camp Fire Boys and Girls nor Camp Quest. There is a YMCA - they have become non-discriminatory even though they have the Christian God as part of their 'charter.'

The Boy Scouts still get a whole lot of public preferential treatment and are (in most areas) the only program of their type.

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Dinghy Sailor

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However, if one argues that the scouts should liberalise and give up their focus on God* because they're a quasi-public institution, then one's penalising them for their success.


*I can't say I particularly noticed it outside of parade days when I was a member, but hey.

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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by benjdm:
The Girl Scouts have no problems with practicing a non-discrimination policy. In my area, there are no Camp Fire Boys and Girls nor Camp Quest. There is a YMCA - they have become non-discriminatory even though they have the Christian God as part of their 'charter.'

The Boy Scouts still get a whole lot of public preferential treatment and are (in most areas) the only program of their type.

The Boy Scouts, though, do have the oath which does contain reference to God.

But the situation is the same for the gay thing, actually; the Girl Scouts have no issues with lesbians being involved, either as girls or as leaders.

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benjdm
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quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
The Boy Scouts, though, do have the oath which does contain reference to God.

So does the U.S. in the Pledge of Allegiance and the National motto...

The girl scouts include God in their oath:

quote:
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God* and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

* The word "God" can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on one's spiritual beliefs. When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, it is okay to replace the word "God" with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate.

which they just make flexible. The Boy Scouts are without excuse.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scout_Promise


quote:
But the situation is the same for the gay thing, actually; the Girl Scouts have no issues with lesbians being involved, either as girls or as leaders.
Nor do they have a problem with non-theists.
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TubaMirum
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I don't know why somebody couldn't argue that, in fact: that conceptions of "God" vary even among theists, and therefore no one particular view can be required.

When I was a Girl Scout - for about 20 minutes or so - the oath was this:

(Put up first 3 fingers of right hand, holding pinky to palm with thumb)
On my honor
I will try
To do my duty
To God and my country
To help other people at all times
Especially those at home.


How about that "at home" part? That's from when a woman's place was in the kitchen....

Actually, I think atheists are getting caught up in the "gay" fallout on this one; probably if that hadn't happened, the whole "God" thing could have been negotiated.

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benjdm
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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
However, if one argues that the scouts should liberalise and give up their focus on God* because they're a quasi-public institution, then one's penalising them for their success.

I argue that they should liberalise and give up their focus on discrimination because it's the right thing to do. Legally, they should stop accepting public support, but they refuse to even do that (see the Boy Scout Jamboree.)


The Boy Scouts are so focused on discriminating they won't even accept UU programs for religious merit badges.

quote:
The Boy Scouts of America's stance on homosexuality and atheism has brought it into conflict with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) — a "theologically liberal" religion that lists "affirming the inherent worth and dignity of every person" as one of its central tenets. In 1998, the BSA removed recognition of the UUA emblem programs for Cub and Boy Scouts, feeling the UUA program "contains several statements which are inconsistent with Scouting’s values". Most of these statements expressed the UUA's disapproval of BSA's membership policies on gays and atheists.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Scouts_of_America_membership_controversies#Religious_emblems_programs

Yes, the UU dogma of "The inherent worth and dignity of every person" is inconsistent with scouting's values. If you want your religious merit badge, your religion has to be OK with considering gays and non-believers to be of lesser inherent worth and/or dignity.

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Mad Geo

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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
However, if one argues that the scouts should liberalise and give up their focus on God because they're a quasi-public institution, then one's penalising them for their success.

Who says that them giving up their focus on gods is a form of "penalization" anyway? I say that them giving up their focus on gods is correcting their own bigotry.

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Dinghy Sailor

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Leaving aside anyone's views on the non/existence and non/bigotry of God for a moment, why should people who formed arounda common interest* be made to give up that common interest, just because there are a lot of them? I find the concept of 'educating' people out of their supposed bigotry (according to the state) to be a far scarier and more intolerant prospect than having a club formed by and for theists, keep their focus by restricting the membership to theists.


*Don't talk about forming round a common interest of murdering gays, please. That's both a red herring and a straw man.

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Mad Geo

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Because I don't think the Boy Scouts formed around a common interest in preserving theism. They formed around a common interest of promoting social welfare, but that does not require a belief in gods. Some might say a belief in gods hampers that, but i digress.

The front page of their website doesn't even mention anything about gods or religion whatsoever.

However, [Killing me] on a second page there is subdivisions related to specific church groups (a small part of the list) and lo and behold I AM IN! Buddhist nonthiests apparently CAN be a boy scout. What an opportunity. Oh but darn, I am afraid that my interest in Gays not being murdered prevents me from joining such an organization.

(Sorry I couldn't resist a nice herring).

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benjdm
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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
Leaving aside anyone's views on the non/existence and non/bigotry of God for a moment, why should people who formed arounda common interest* be made to give up that common interest, just because there are a lot of them?

Do you see any of us complaining about the Knights of Columbus ? No. That is an organization for Catholic men, claimed as such. The BSA is no such thing. The BSA claims "The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law." In their policies they make it explicitly clear that they do not consider non-theists or homosexuals capable of making ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes.
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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by benjdm:
Do you see any of us complaining about the Knights of Columbus ? No. That is an organization for Catholic men, claimed as such. The BSA is no such thing. The BSA claims "The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law." In their policies they make it explicitly clear that they do not consider non-theists or homosexuals capable of making ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes.

No, they make it explicitly clear that the people in charge are idiots. So scwew 'em.
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Yorick

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quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
Actually, I think atheists are getting caught up in the "gay" fallout on this one; probably if that hadn't happened, the whole "God" thing could have been negotiated.

Yes- that sounds reasonable and fair. That atheists should be discriminated against because of their obvious association with that diabolic abomination of homosexuality makes perfect sense. It's a good thing humans have become so enlightened by the teachings of Jesus Christ- without great Christian ideals like charity and forgiveness, and loving our neighbours, this world would surely be in a terrible mess.

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این نیز بگذرد

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Dinghy Sailor

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quote:
Originally posted by benjdm:
The BSA is no such thing. The BSA claims "The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law."

Do we really have to go round in circles here? The scout oath includes doing one's duty to God and one's country.

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benjdm
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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
quote:
Originally posted by benjdm:
The BSA is no such thing. The BSA claims "The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law."

Do we really have to go round in circles here? The scout oath includes doing one's duty to God and one's country.
So does the Girl Scout's oath. You just make that part of the oath optional. The military oath of enlistment includes an optional 'so help me God.' It wouldn't be like they had to reinvent the wheel.

I must be misunderstanding what you're saying.

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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by dogwonderer:
Yes- that sounds reasonable and fair. That atheists should be discriminated against because of their obvious association with that diabolic abomination of homosexuality makes perfect sense. It's a good thing humans have become so enlightened by the teachings of Jesus Christ- without great Christian ideals like charity and forgiveness, and loving our neighbours, this world would surely be in a terrible mess.

No, you're misunderstanding me, dogwonderer.

In the U.S., a gay man from New Jersey sued the Boy Scouts because once they found out he was gay, they refused to let him be part of the organization any longer. (He had been a Scout all his life and wanted, like others, to continue to participate as a Scoutmaster or whatever it's called.)

This ultimately went to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the BSA was a private organization and could determine its own membership rules.

My point is that after that, they had to be consistent or get sued again; they had argued in the court cases that their charter (or whatever it's called) contained certain provisions that made them unable to admit gay people. To be consistent, they'd have to exclude atheists on the basis of certain other provisions.

The gay issue casts a long shadow here; it's moved the "religious" right much further right than it would otherwise have gone. It's the line in the sand, just like it is right now in the Anglican Communion.

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TubaMirum
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(Anyway, private organizations can discriminate, if they want. It's their loss, though, and in this case will ultimately make the Boy Scouts something that many people don't want to be part of.)
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Mad Geo

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WOW, sarcasm is lost....

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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Geo:
WOW, sarcasm is lost....

Well, you know the old saying: sarcasm is the weapon of the weak.

IOW, I simply assume that dogwonderer would be more straightforward and forthright than that. Obviously you don't....

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Mad Geo

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Nice.

That's funny, the quote I heard was

"Sarcasm, intellect on the offensive"

--------------------
Diax's Rake - "Never believe a thing simply because you want it to be true"

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