Boy Scouts of America Ban Gays and Atheists

March 23, 2006 at 1:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I just read another article about The Boy Scouts of America banning gays and atheists. This is something I try not to think about too much. I always hoped that if I had a son Boy Scouts would be something we could do together as me and my father did.

I was involved in the Boy Scouts starting at 7 years old. At that time I joined the Cub Scouts, then at the age of 11 I crossed the bridge into Boy Scouts. I was a member of this organization until I was 18. Some of the greatest memories of my childhood involve camping, going to scout meetings and other stuff with my troop. At one time I was in two troops at the same time. I couldn’t get enough. At the age of 14 I earned the rank of Eagle Scout. I have been an atheist all my life. I didn’t use the word "atheist" when I was younger because I thought it was a "dirty" word. In the two troops I was a member of, I never remember praying or anything of the sort. Well, I did promise to "do my duty to God and my country." At that innocent time of my life I could just ignore that part of the Scout Oath. The Scout Law, which I repeated many times, says that a scout is "reverent," among 11 other qualities. No one ever told me I had to believe in god. I was never coerced or even asked what I believed. The leaders in the troops I was in were great role models for me. I don’t even know what most of those men believed or if they went to church.

I don’t think I will want my son to be a member of a group that might teach him to discriminate against me or him if he is an atheist. I would also hope I could help out his troop, just as my dad did. I guess I have some time to figure this out. I don’t have any children yet. When my wife and I decide to have children I hope they won’t discriminate against anybody. I hope our children will understand that it doesn’t matter what race, religion, nationality, or sexual orientation you are. We are all human beings and that’s all I need to know. I am proud of the time I spent in The Boy Scouts of America. I am not proud of the organization and their policies.

Ashley Decker

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