Hello, I'm an atheist in Minnesota, and I'm the midwest region director for Scouting For All, an organization that wants the Boy Scouts of America to stop their discriminatory membership policies against atheists and gays.

An issue I've tried to deal with for a couple of years now is the fact that the Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources sponsors Venture Crew 202, which has the same discriminatory membership requirements -- no atheists, no gays.

The BSA agreed four years ago to stop issuing charter agreements to government entities, after the ACLU threatened to sue.

My emails to the MD DNR and people involved with Crew 202 have gone unanswered, and the Crew still exists.

There is a simple solution -- change the Crew to an Explorer Post. Exploring was moved to a BSA subdivision that does not discriminate back in 1998, precisely because of the legal issues raised by e.g. police and fire departments which sponsored Explorer Posts. But BSA officials are only judged on how many members their discriminatory program has, so there is a built-in resistance to doing this.

Are there any Maryland atheists who could help? Best would be someone 20 or under who could attempt to join as a youth member, and then refuse the regular membership form (which has their Declaration of Religious Principle), and ask the MD DNR to allow you to join as an atheist.

Tags: boy, discrimination, scouts

Views: 35

Replies to This Discussion

I'll send your request to some local meetup groups.
My son, who just started college in N.C., was a Cub Scout, but he eventually decided to not pursue that path.
Personally,

I'm waiting for the day that we see Atheist Scouts or Humanist Scouts. Rather thank trying to change the rules let's just set the precedent. We are a strong force that Xians refuse to acknowledge but with each new generation we add thousands to the Atheist/Humanist Voice. Even now I'm seeing fifteen year old people in chat and this is inspiring to me. So, rather than change the rules, let's just start our own Scouts and show them we are strong and a powerful voice! Anyone?
This isn't about changing the rules of the Boy Scouts, it's about stopping discrimination against atheists by the Maryland DNR.

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