Re: What is 3G?
Susan Ganther (susan@EMAIL.UNC.EDU)
Thu, 4 Apr 1996 22:08:57 -0500
> Again, you're reading too much into what I wrote. I think the BSA's
> position is that atheistic youth can't be Scouts. Please correct me if I'm
You are wrong, this is the reason that I have a problem with the
misconceptions about the lawsuits and their outcomes being posted without
responses to the contrary, it furthers the impression people have that
atheists or their children are not allowed in BSA.
The only people who are refused membership are those who refuse to
sign the DRP. They are not turned away for their beliefs, only for
refusing to cooperate with the BSA policy of encouraging spiritual
development thru encouraging active participation in religion by its
members. Encouraging is not the same as requiring. People who say they
cannot go along with the BSA policy of encouraging religious
participation are not turned away because they themselves do not actively
participate in religious activities. They are turned away because they
refuse to accept a policy which encourages people to do so.
This is similar to firing someone for encouraging others to drink
alcohol in spite of a policy that says that members are expected to
discourage drinking. They are fired for their effect on others, not for
having had a drink. The misconceptions about the lawsuits are similar to
people saying that the person fired had been fired for drinking.
BSA has decided that the aims and purposes of Scouting should
include the premise that youths should be encouraged to participate in
religious activites and discouraged from using alcohol, tobacco, drugs.
BSA has rules against consumption of alcoholic beverages during Scout
outings, but there is no rule that says that an adult who drinks alcohol
when they are not Scouting is not allowed to be a leader.
This is directly analagous to the BSA policy toward religion.
The individuals who have been excluded have been excluded not because
they were atheists, but because they made clear their inability to
further the aims and purposes of Scouting by refusing to sign the DRP or
by refusing to go along with the rules and policies of BSA.
BTW, I didn't mean to sound like a scold. It is a very common
misconception. I am concerned about leaders who are mistaken about
eligibility turning away kids who are in fact eligible because of the
misconception. Most of us would not turn a boy away, some of us have boys
who are atheists in our units and probably believe that we are bending
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City