If you’re gay, you can now join the Boy Scouts of America.
… but only until you turn 18. If you’re a gay adult, you’re banned from the organization. Even if you were a proud scout growing up, you won’t be allowed to become a leader.
And if you’re an atheist of any age, the Scouts don’t want anything to do with you.
Sally Quinn of the Washington Post knows these policies make absolutely no sense and hammers it home in her latest column:
[Fictional scout] Johnny has a problem. If he says he is an atheist, he will have to quit and never be able to have anything to do with Scouting again. So, he pretends to believe in God. When he says the oath, he mumbles the part about duty to God and just says country. He lives a lie.
The good news is that after Johnny turns 18, he will be able to come out of the closet as a gay man and an atheist and finally live a life of truth. The bad news is that the Boy Scouts have turned Johnny into a liar, denied him his life ambition, kept him from fulfilling his potential, taught him that he is not a valued member of society and, worst of all, deprived the Boy Scouts of one of the best leaders the organization could have.
The Boy Scouts may be missing out, but groups that are not prejudiced at the core don’t have to. Unless the BSA revises its policies (again), there’s no good reason parents who are atheist or gay should support this organization, nor should public schools allow the BSA to freely advertise their religious group to students.
(Thanks to Ubi Dubium for the link)