Saturday, December 1, 2012

Boycott the Boy Scouts of America

One of my many memes I've cranked out.

I brought my kids, Ali and Will (ages 8 and 10), to see me vote at our town hall on November 6th. I didn't need to. We had childcare set up later that day, and I could have done voted on my way to work. However, just as I try to teach the kids to be  responsible in their personal life, I make a "good faith" effort for them to learn what it means to learn to be responsible civically. There wasn't a line for my particular precinct. In and out -- the whole process took five minutes, if that.

We left the building and I felt pretty good. Job well done I thought.

"Dad, can we go over there?" Will asked.

Over there was a table where the local troop of Boy Scouts had set up. They were selling something. I couldn't tell you what, because we didn't get close enough to see.

"No, we have to get home," I replied.

Even though we had discussed why he doesn't do Boy Scouts, Will is ten and doesn't really understand that some organizations are, well, let's say misguided.

Misguided is a pleasant way of saying dead wrong. Wrong about homosexuality. Wrong about atheists.

This is what the organization thinks of the godless.

Section 1.Declaration of Religious Principle, 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.

the best kind of citizen  Have I mentioned that I work with men who have brain injuries? That I've volunteered at a substance abuse helpline? That the local atheist group I belong to donates food to our local food pantry?

the best kind of citizen In their eyes, because I'm an atheist I can not officially be part of their august organization. Neither can my son. He doesn't believe in unicorns, Zeus or Yahweh.

the best kind of citizen The Boy Scouts is the same organization that has kept what they themselves call Perversion Files -- secret records of sexual abuse done to children by adults employed by the Scouts. 

Over two decades, the Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and often hid the allegations from parents and the public.
A Los Angeles Times review of 1,600 confidential files dating from 1970 to 1991 has found that Scouting officials frequently urged admitted offenders to quietly resign — and helped many cover their tracks.
Volunteers and employees suspected of abuse were allowed to leave citing bogus reasons such as business demands, "chronic brain dysfunction" and duties at a Shakespeare festival.
The details are contained in the organization's confidential "perversion files," a blacklist of alleged molesters, that the Scouts have used internally since 1919. Scouts' lawyers around the country have been fighting in court to keep the files from public view.
As The Times reported in August, the blacklist often didn't work: Men expelled for alleged abuses slipped back into the program, only to be accused of molesting again. Now, a more extensive review has shown that Scouts sometimes abetted molesters by keeping allegations under wrap.
I make memes to deal with the absurdity of the irony.

It helps me.

While a vast majority of Americans understand that the Boy Scouts discriminate against homosexuals even while the organization gets the government's blessing (thank you President Obama)  and the government's support, many people are unaware of the discrimination atheists face.

A group of atheist bloggers have agreed to write about the Scouts today, December 1st. I want to add my voice to theirs and say that no moral person should be buying a holiday tree, wreath or popcorn from the Boy Scouts of America until their policy changes.

Here is a partial list of bloggers involved in the effort.

A Voice of Reason: Al Stefanelli

Arizona Atheist

Atheist, Intermarried

Atheist Pig

Atheist Revolution


Barrels of Oranges


Camels with Hammers

Dangerous Talk

Daylight Atheism


Debunking Christianity

Deep Thoughts

Deity Shmeity

Dispatches from the Culture Wars

Emily Has Books

Friendly Atheist

Hausdorff’s Bible Blog

Incongruent Elements


Kriss the Sexy Atheist

Laughing in Purgatory

Left Hemispheres

Martin Pribble

My Humorous Agenda

Ramblings of Sheldon (posting on Dec 2)

Reason Being

Rippere, Always Evolving

Skeptically Left

I want to say for the record that John from the blog Reason Being has done a lot of work organizing this.

Two last things...

Don't be this person...


this is Purgatory.


  1. Oh shit, I should write too. I was a member of troops 42 Pawtucket, RI and 13 Providence, RI.

    This was just at the same time where I knew it was all so much made up crap, but could parrot when I needed to do so.

  2. I use to be a member, until I found this out.

    Legio Aurei

  3. I came across a couple other blogs talking about the boy scouts outside of the list above. Seems like your boycott boy scout initiative did well for itself.

    1. My goal was to start a fight I knew we could win. Let's see what happens on Monday, and see if it hits the news.

  4. Hey, Andrew, did you get any BSA supporters trying to comment back to you?

    I had two come after me, probably following links from other participating blogs.
    I have an open comment policy on my blog, I don't even require the CAPTCHA to comment (I hate those verification passwords), so two of them felt free to make some hit and run comments.

    1. There are a few trolls going about and wringing their hands. If you look at the Reason Being blog and Martin Pribble's you'll see the same people (probably). I swing over at yours later on today.

      BTW, you know you're doing a good job when bigots troll you.

    2. I saw the Reason Being blog, one of them sounds like the same person.

      "BTW, you know you're doing a good job when bigots troll you."

      Yep, that means they see me as a threat. One of them kept coming back, I told him after some debating that I will no longer comment on that post, but he is welcome to stick around my blog, maybe I'll give him a bit of an education.... ;)

    3. Yeah, I mmixed it up with Professor Tom on a number of sites, and this guy is a true believer in bigotry and superstition. He attempted to do his shtick here and I deleted his comment.


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