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Austin Cline

Michigan: Eagle Scout Murders 62-year-old For Being Atheist

By November 1, 2004

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There are those who fiercely defend the fact that the Boy Scouts ban atheists from their ranks, arguing atheists lack the necessary qualities to be moral enough for the Scouts. I guess this difference in morality was demonstrated by the Eagle Scout who murdered a 62-year-old man simply for not believing in God.

The Free Press explains what happened based upon the police dispatcher's report:

A 49-year-old man said he'd just blasted a man with a revolver and a shotgun because the man said he didn't believe in God. The dispatcher said the alleged shooter told him he'd just shot "the devil himself" and was still armed and standing over the body of the 62-year-old victim "in case he moved."
"I want to make sure he's gone," the alleged shooter told the dispatcher. The dispatcher asked the suspect how many times he shot the victim. "Hopefully enough," was the suspect's chilling reply, according to the dispatcher.
On the way to the police station, the suspect told police "he did not want to deal with anyone that did not believe in God," according to the report. ... "How long would it take you to believe in God?" the suspect said he asked the victim. "Not until I hear Gabriel blow his horn," the victim allegedly replied, while tipping his hat.
That's when the suspect shot him. "I did it because he is evil; he was not a believer," the suspect told police.

Not until he got to the police station did it finally dawn on this "morally straight" Eagle Scout that perhaps God doesn't exist. It was too late, though, for the man he murdered. Then again, the man he murdered was just an atheist and according to the Boy Scouts of America, atheists aren't as good in terms of being citizens or moral human beings as are theists. So perhaps it doesn't matter if atheists are murdered, just so long as there are more theists around than atheists?

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Comments
November 5, 2007 at 6:25 pm
(1) will says:

first of all, the boy scouts of america does not ban atheists, and second, you cant take the actions of one, probably mentally unstable, man to be representative of the entire boy scouts of america.

November 5, 2007 at 6:45 pm
(2) Austin Cline says:

first of all, the boy scouts of america does not ban atheists

Yes, they do. Atheists are not allowed to join or serve as adult leaders. Anyone who admits to being an atheist is kicked out.

second, you cant take the actions of one, probably mentally unstable, man to be representative of the entire boy scouts of america.

Nobody has said that. What I will say, however, is that when respected institutions like the BSA teach that atheists are inferior, it’s not surprising that mentally unstable people will take that sort of bigotry seriously and act on it in some manner.

May 23, 2008 at 11:38 pm
(3) James Havard says:

It’s not so much that we’re banned, but, if we were allowed in, it would be the equivelent of a Satanist going to a Pentecostal church. They don’t let us in because they’re built around doing what God thinks is right. Please, don’t be offended. I’m dissagreeing with you, but I’m not saying your statement is not accurate, of course, according to your perspective it is.

Best regards,
-James Havard

June 10, 2008 at 2:21 pm
(4) Dan Walton says:

Everyone can see that this individual who murdered was out of their mind.

Why should this case of insanity be used to argue about if/not BSA has the right to refuse Atheists in it’s organization?

That would be like pointing out one of the thousands of atheists who have murdered Christians for instance and then using that as a point against atheists not likeing Christians. It makes no sense. This post is pretty foolish at the core if you ask me.

I believe beyond a shadow of any doubt that there is no true atheist, meaning, noone truly things there is no higher power in any sense of the word. I think that noone in their right mind with full mental capability, can sit alone at night, in front of the mirror, and say to themselves…. there really is no God, and mean it.

God is much too big, much too amazing, has created so many amazing things, for any human to honestly completely miss the fact that he exists. It’s humanly impossible.

March 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm
(5) Ron West says:

….you’re a moron.

March 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm
(6) D! says:

You’re right about one thing. No one in their right mind sits around alone at night talking to a mirror.

There are real atheists though. I’m one of them. God is not “much too big” for me to know that there’s no such thing. You can believe what you like, as long as you don’t mind that you’re wrong.

June 10, 2008 at 2:33 pm
(7) Dan Walton says:

About the question if/not BSA refusing Atheist is right….. well, there clearly IS not question on this matter:

1. A Wiccan organization would not accept membership from a Bible toting Christian who wishes to declare their faith and anti-pagan beliefs within the organization

2. The M.A.D.D. organization, would not accept membership, much less would not bestow the highest honors on a drunk, who proclaims his love for driving drunk, and who has a record of killing someone while drunk at the wheel, with no remorse.

3. The “Brownies”, would not accept into membership a 60 year old sex offender, or even a 90 year old man, because that’s not who they are.

4. Hooters would not hire an overweight, ugly, old, smelly, witchly looking lady because of how she looks, and because that’s not what they’re about.

The list goes ON and On and On and On…. there’s absolutely NO difference. I chanllenge anyone on this because this simple truth in irrefutable.

March 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm
(8) Ron West says:

1. Well, when you say “Wiccan organization,” I imagine you would mean a religious organization, one that is closely associated with the Wiccan religion. In that case, I don’t see why a bible-toting fundamentalist would want to join; that would be the same as a Wiccan teenager wanting to join a Catholic youth group. The BSA, on the other hand, is not a youth ministry or really a religious organization in any way except that it is founded on Catholic values. It is an organization that primarily serves the purpose of teaching boys survival, citizenship, first aid, and more or less how to be good, respectful citizens. Just as an atheist or someone of ANY religion could attend a Catholic private school for educational purposes, why should an atheist not be allowed to join the BSA?

2. Ok, but that is up to the discretion of people in the organization who decide who is allowed to join and who is not. They do not have to accept just /anybody/. The difference is that it is discrimination to bar someone from a non-religious organization based on one’s religious beliefs.

3. Why would anyone allow a 60-year-old sex offender to join their organization? Seriously.

4. Same as #2. It’s up to the discretion of the management. You’re not going to hire an unattractive old man at hooters because that just would not be good for business.

March 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm
(9) D! says:

Challenge accepted, Sir.
1) A Wiccan organization will never be afforded the same amount of respect as the BSA, because of the aforementioned bible-toters. Also, most Wiccans aren’t into indoctrinating children the way the BSA is.

2) An atheist and a drunk-driving vehicular-manslaughterer are not even remotely similar. To make this comparison shows that you believe, like our friend the Eagle Scout, that atheists are a lesser class of people. Bigot.

3) Atheists are also not universally sex offenders. See point #2.

4) First of all, Hooters is a private business, not a national organization. Secondly, Hooters would not hire an ugly woman, but that is because she would not be capable of doing the job as well as a pretty woman. Whereas, in opposition, an atheist can teach children about respect, loyalty, honor, etc., etc. just as well as any christian. To say otherwise again infers the same bigotry posited in point #2.

Funny how easy it is to refute “irrefutable” truths.

June 10, 2008 at 2:38 pm
(10) Dan Walton says:

AUSTIN! Take my mirror challenge. It won’t fail you.

June 10, 2008 at 3:01 pm
(11) Austin Cline says:

Why should this case of insanity be used to argue about if/not BSA has the right to refuse Atheists in it’s organization?

1. Because the BSA teaches the sort of bigoted views of atheists which make crimes like this possible.

2. Atheism is not a proper noun and, as such, atheism and atheists should not be capitalized in the middle of a sentence.

That would be like pointing out one of the thousands of atheists who have murdered Christians for instance and then using that as a point against atheists not likeing Christians. It makes no sense.

The reason why it makes no sense is because atheism isn’t a belief system or club which teaches that Christians are inferior, cannot be as moral as theists, and cannot be good citizens.

If there were such an atheist group, and then an atheist member murdered a Christian, that would be a fair basis for criticizing the group.

I believe beyond a shadow of any doubt that there is no true atheist, meaning, noone truly things there is no higher power in any sense of the word.

Do you have any basis for this belief, or do you simply find it too difficult to believe that anyone might not share your own beliefs?

I think that noone in their right mind with full mental capability, can sit alone at night, in front of the mirror, and say to themselves…. there really is no God, and mean it.

Actually, it’s quite easy.

God is much too big, much too amazing, has created so many amazing things, for any human to honestly completely miss the fact that he exists.

Well, I’ve missed it. I haven’t found any more evidence for gods than for elves, fairies, or Bigfoot.

It’s humanly impossible.

No, it’s just seems that this belief is so important for you that you can’t understand how others could disagree. It’s a bit like have such a strong preference for chocolate that you deny how anyone could not love chocolate as much as you.

A Wiccan organization would not accept membership from a Bible toting Christian who wishes to declare their faith and anti-pagan beliefs within the organization …The list goes ON and On and On and On…. there’s absolutely NO difference.

True, but that’s not quite the same as teaching that Christians are inferior and cannot be good citizens. Moreover, would you want such a Wiccan organization to receive government support, financing, and promotion? So you see, there are a lot of differences that you didn’t think of.

June 11, 2008 at 11:18 am
(12) Dan Walton says:

Austin,

Your arguments don’t really hold together. You need to really slow down and listen to yourself. There’s contradictions and holes all in your arguments.

BSA, is simply an exclusive club which has certain requirements to be a member. Just like a golf club, a swingers club, a country club, a “Bear” club (big gay men), the list goes on forever. For you to single out BSA to say it can’t be exclusive by not accepting atheists, or gays, is in itself bigoted. My friend, you are the one being prejudice! Seriously, it’s irrefutable.

Inferior – You continually refer to BSA or Christians as teaching atheists are inferior. This is not true and completely unfounded, and it sounds to me light you’ve suffered some personal hurt from an individual who’s put you down. This is not, and can not be proven to be BSA or Christians in general. Jesus himself, when he was his, only had harsh words for the religious people of the day. The “atheists”, he had compassion and desired for them to believe, but he didn’t shun them or Lord it over them. Jesus is our example and who we’re following. If a so-called Christian chooses to judge and put down, that’s certainly not Christianity and there’s nothing that I or anyone else can do about that.

The basis for my beleif about that noone is really truly, honestly an atheist, is the fact that you yourself are very uncomfortable with this subject. You are not at peace, this troubles you, and there is a spark deep inside of you which sees a glimmer of the truth of the existance of God. The proof, it within you. No matter what you say, I know by the Spirit of God, that you are not fully convinced there is no God.

Evidence – It is a mystery how the creator of the heavens and earth chooses to be unseen. I beleive he is too magnificent for us to take it in, and that when we see what he’s made, we’re seeing his heart, his creation, his work, and are knowing him. It’s like getting to know an artist by his art… it’s more intimate. I have proof myself, hundreds of answered prayers, hundreds of unexplainable blessings, hundreds of acquantances who have peace in their lives because of Jesus, hundreds I’ve seen their lives re-directed, put back together, and living their lives now for others instead of themselves.

Govt. Support – That’s a difficult subject. The Govt. was founded by Christians, so I believe we should be a Christian nation. However, that’s not necessarily where we’re headed. I would have no problem for the Govt. to not support Scouts like it does. As far as BSA teaching Atheists are inferior… I’ve been a leader for years on end and have NO idea what you’re talking about.

INITIAL POST – In you initial post, You commented that the guy realized there is no god when he got to the station… what are you talking about here? Also, you assume this guys a Christian. Why? There are thousands of so-called “Gods” in this world.

Please think and slow down before responding, I see you have a good education.. Use it my friend.

June 11, 2008 at 12:00 pm
(13) Austin Cline says:

BSA, is simply an exclusive club which has certain requirements to be a member.

Yes, I know. This does not make them immune from criticism and it does not justify their receiving any official government support.

For you to single out BSA to say it can’t be exclusive by not accepting atheists, or gays, is in itself bigoted.

Where did i write that?

My friend, you are the one being prejudice! Seriously, it’s irrefutable.

It’s only “irrefutable” if your claim is correct.

Inferior – You continually refer to BSA or Christians as teaching atheists are inferior. This is not true and completely unfounded

On the contrary, it’s the basis for excluding atheists: “The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God.”

The basis for my beleif about that noone is really truly, honestly an atheist, is the fact that you yourself are very uncomfortable with this subject.

I’m quite comfortable with being an atheist. What I dislike are anti-atheist bigots — including those who try to deny that atheists exist.

No matter what you say, I know by the Spirit of God, that you are not fully convinced there is no God.

In other words, you don’t believe that it is possible for you to be wrong. You have declared yourself infallible on this subject.

Govt. Support – That’s a difficult subject. The Govt. was founded by Christians, so I believe we should be a Christian nation.

Many were deists who, for example, denied that supernatural miracle occur.

INITIAL POST – In you initial post, You commented that the guy realized there is no god when he got to the station… what are you talking about here?

In the original article, it stated that after getting to the police station he started to consider the possibility that the person he murdered might not be wrong after all. In that respect, he’s actually better than you because he was humble enough to consider the possibility of being wrong — late, it is true, but it’s still better than arrogantly denying the possibility at all.

Also, you assume this guys a Christian. Why?

It’s clear from the reported conversation.

So, when are you going to point to all the “contradictions” and “holes” in my position?

June 11, 2008 at 2:45 pm
(14) Dan Walton says:

Yes, I know

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Yes, I know. This does not make them immune from
criticism and it does not justify their receiving any official government
support.

 

Finally, I see you are coming around Austin. 
Before your argument was all about how BSA and Christians condescend, are
bigoted, and create environments to promote killing.  Now you’re down to simple disagreement of
where they stand (criticism) and about the govt. funding question.   We agree now that you’ve changed your
stance.  Cool.

 

For you to single out BSA to say it can’t be exclusive by
not accepting atheists, or gays, is in itself bigoted.

 

Where did i write that?

 

Gimme a break Austin,
read your posts on this site, you know exactly what I’m talking about it.

 

My friend, you are the one being prejudice! Seriously, it’s
irrefutable.

 

It’s only “irrefutable” if your claim is correct.

 

Inferior – You continually refer to BSA or Christians as
teaching atheists are inferior. This is not true and completely unfounded

 

On the contrary, it’s the basis
for excluding atheists: “The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can
grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God.”

 

Austin,  learn the facts pal.  The oath “On my honor, I will do my best, to
do my duty to God and my Country, to help other people at all times, to keep
myself physically strong, mentally awake 
and morally straight”.  A scout is
Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful,
thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.  If
a scout rejects ANY of these from the promise/law, he cannot be a scout leader,
or receive the highest rank Eagle.   How
ridiculous to even think one could pick and choose.  So, you, as an Atheist (and it is a religion
so I capitalized), decide which of the promise and law elements of an
organization you know nothing about is okay to refuse, and reject?   Wow, that’s laughable Austin. 
Seriously, I’m not at all trying to bother you, but honestly, that is
completely laughable and your embarrassing yourself
man.

 

 

The basis for my beleif about that
noone is really truly, honestly an atheist, is the
fact that you yourself are very uncomfortable with this subject.

 

I’m quite comfortable with being
an atheist. What I dislike are anti-atheist bigots — including those who try to
deny that atheists exist.

Me?   You mean
me?  Why I’m offended
J

 

No matter what you say, I know by the Spirit of God, that
you are not fully convinced there is no God.

 

In other words, you don’t
believe that it is possible for you to be wrong. You have declared yourself
infallible on this subject.

 

I could never disprove to you that you have a mother, and
who she is ‘cause you know her, you’ve seen her, you can see her in you,
etc.  Same goes for God and his Children
(all of us… you included). 

 

Govt. Support – That’s a difficult subject. The Govt. was
founded by Christians, so I believe we should be a Christian nation.

 

Many were deists who, for
example, denied that supernatural miracle occur.

 

That’s right.

 

INITIAL POST – In you initial post, You
commented that the guy realized there is no god when he got to the station…
what are you talking about here?

 

In the original article, it
stated that after getting to the police station he started to consider the
possibility that the person he murdered might not be wrong after all. In that
respect, he’s actually better than you because he was humble enough to consider
the possibility of being wrong — late, it is true, but it’s still better than
arrogantly denying the possibility at all.

 

Wow, that’s a sad case isn’t it?

 

Also, you assume this guys a
Christian. Why?

 

It’s clear from the reported
conversation.

 

Hmm… I doubt that, I don’t see it.  It seems to me it’s because Atheists never
have issues with Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, just Christians.  Which is why you made this
forum in the 1st place.

 

So, when are you going to point to all the “contradictions”
and “holes” in my position?

 

Read above, read all of the posts from everyone,
search your life, search your heart, you’ll see and feel the holes.

 

 

June 11, 2008 at 2:48 pm
(15) Dan Walton says:

Wow, that stinks. I should have read… only CERTAIN HTML is allowed. I’ll RE-POST (aren’t you so glad?)

June 11, 2008 at 2:51 pm
(16) Dan Walton says:

Yes, I know. This does not make them immune from criticism and it does not justify their receiving any official government support.

Finally, I see you are coming around Austin. Before your argument was all about how BSA and Christians condescend, are bigoted, and create environments to promote killing. Now you’re down to simple disagreement of where they stand (criticism) and about the govt. funding question. We agree now that you’ve changed your stance. Cool.

For you to single out BSA to say it can’t be exclusive by not accepting atheists, or gays, is in itself bigoted.

Where did i write that?

Gimme a break Austin, read your posts on this site, you know exactly what I’m talking about it.

My friend, you are the one being prejudice! Seriously, it’s irrefutable.

It’s only “irrefutable” if your claim is correct.

Inferior – You continually refer to BSA or Christians as teaching atheists are inferior. This is not true and completely unfounded

On the contrary, it’s the basis for excluding atheists: “The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God.”

Austin, learn the facts pal. The oath “On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my Country, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight”. A scout is Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. If a scout rejects ANY of these from the promise/law, he cannot be a scout leader, or receive the highest rank Eagle. How ridiculous to even think one could pick and choose. So, you, as an Atheist (and it is a religion so I capitalized), decide which of the promise and law elements of an organization you know nothing about is okay to refuse, and reject? Wow, that’s laughable Austin. Seriously, I’m not at all trying to bother you, but honestly, that is completely laughable and your embarrassing yourself man.

The basis for my beleif about that noone is really truly, honestly an atheist, is the fact that you yourself are very uncomfortable with this subject.

I’m quite comfortable with being an atheist. What I dislike are anti-atheist bigots — including those who try to deny that atheists exist.

Me? You mean me? Why I’m offended… not

No matter what you say, I know by the Spirit of God, that you are not fully convinced there is no God.

In other words, you don’t believe that it is possible for you to be wrong. You have declared yourself infallible on this subject.

I could never disprove to you that you have a mother, and who she is ‘cause you know her, you’ve seen her, you can see her in you, etc. Same goes for God and his Children (all of us… you included).

Govt. Support – That’s a difficult subject. The Govt. was founded by Christians, so I believe we should be a Christian nation.

Many were deists who, for example, denied that supernatural miracle occur.

That’s right.

INITIAL POST – In you initial post, You commented that the guy realized there is no god when he got to the station… what are you talking about here?

In the original article, it stated that after getting to the police station he started to consider the possibility that the person he murdered might not be wrong after all. In that respect, he’s actually better than you because he was humble enough to consider the possibility of being wrong — late, it is true, but it’s still better than arrogantly denying the possibility at all.

Wow, that’s a sad case isn’t it?

Also, you assume this guys a Christian. Why?

It’s clear from the reported conversation.

Hmm… I doubt that, I don’t see it. It seems to me it’s because Atheists never have issues with Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, just Christians. Which is why you made this forum in the 1st place.

So, when are you going to point to all the “contradictions” and “holes” in my position?

Read above, read all of the posts from everyone, search your life, search your heart, you’ll see and feel the holes.

June 11, 2008 at 4:36 pm
(17) Austin Cline says:

Finally, I see you are coming around Austin. 

The comment you are responding to says nothing that I haven’t been saying for years.

Before your argument was all about how BSA and Christians condescend, arebigoted, and create environments to promote killing. 

That hasn’t changed, except I never said that anyone was creating environments to promote killing. What I have said is that the promotion of bigotry helps make such crimes possible.

Now you’re down to simple disagreement ofwhere they stand (criticism) and about the govt. funding question.

That’s always been the case as well.

read your posts on this site, you know exactly what I’m talking about it

No, I don’t. Please quote me or retract the claim.

How ridiculous to even think one could pick and choose. 

I didn’t claim the contrary. I merely quoted the statement which expresses the inferiority of atheists. According to the BSA, atheists cannot grow into the best kind of citizens while theists can. That’s no less bigoted than saying that only Christians or only whites can grow into the best kind of citizens.

So, you, as an Atheist (and it is a religion so I capitalized),

You are mistaken. Atheism is no more a religion than theism.

It seems to me it’s because Atheists never have issues with Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, just Christians. 

I’ve written criticism here of Muslims, Buddhists, and Jews.

Which is why you made this forum in the 1st place.

Curious that you seem to think you know me so well. Please, do explain what you know of my motivations and how.

June 12, 2008 at 10:22 am
(18) Dan Walton says:

Here’s my original statement:
“For or you to single out BSA to say it can’t be exclusive by not accepting atheists, or gays, is in itself bigoted.”
You asked for proof where you wrote this?
You never said that it “CAN’T” be exclusive, you just said that in being exclusive, it was bigoted, and claiming inferiority of Atheists…. Which was my whole point, and you know that.
The point is, you’re saying if the Scouts are exclusive, that makes them condescending bigots. I’m saying this makes you, yourself the worst bigot of all.

Funny Austin, after reading your responses to everything. I don’t see any substance in anything you’re saying. In your arguing you’ve washed everything out to where you’re not really saying anything. I guess when the basis of your beleifs is to beleive nothing, it makes sense. Seriously man, there’s clear position you have on anything, everything you say has been white-washed into one big compromise. It’s getting old, ’cause I can’t get any tangible answers from you.

You know Austin, if I was an Atheist, and I thought that my life was relegated to the few years I spend on earth before I die, and then everything is done, I think I’d live my life like this:

- I would not care about the environment because as long as it holds out while I’m here, what the hell do I care about people in the future. They just live… and die too… and what does that matter to me?

- I wouldn’t give a crap about any other human, even my own mother, father, or other family members, except in that it benefits me. If it makes me happy to have a relationship with them, I would, if not, well screw ‘em because it’s not my problem, why do I owe them anything. I can treat any of my family any way I want because it doesn’t really matter, as long as it makes me happy.

Starving, hurting, lonely, abused children? They, like all other humans are just lumps of flesh put together for 80 or less years on this earth, with no higher motive/reason for living. If they die early, they won’t know, if they suffer, they won’t be here eternally to remember. As long as what happens to them doesn’t upset me, why do I care, that’s their problem.

Killing – If someone makes me unhappy, and I want to kill them, as long as I can get away with it, I might as well do it. I don’t owe anyone any favors. I don’t beleive in Karma, judgement from a higher power, or anything. Killing someone, as long as it’s good for me would be fine.

Decency – Might as well enjoy sex as much as possible, even at the expense of others, because again, they, like me are just existing here, not created, no real purpose but to live here, sortof an elevated state of being a rock, but possibly a bit better. When they’re gone, they’re gone. Why not for fun screw all the chicks I can, and ruin their lives. If they get pregnant, who cares, it’s their problem, as long as it doesn’t make me feel bad. If I have AIDS, and they get it, well who cares.

Austin, if you have no higher power to be accountable to, if you have no purpose in life but to live, have pleasure, and die, then why do you exhibit any moral character at all? What is the reason? Why be, as you are, a decent individual? Is it just to make you happy, because it would be foolish to do it for anyone else, how could they possibly matter in your world?

The proof that you don’t really believe what you’re saying is in the way you live Austin. If you were a person who cared NOTHING about others, even Atheists, and seved only yourself in life, didn’t care about the welfare of any other human, even kids, I’d believe you are an Atheists. But sorry man, I’ve read your stuff. You care about others, which disagrees with the very core of your alleged beleifs.

June 12, 2008 at 10:23 am
(19) Dan Walton - Final Words says:

By the way, Austin, thank you for taking the time to respond to my comments. Your time and attention is appreciated.

June 12, 2008 at 11:00 am
(20) Austin Cline says:

you just said that in being exclusive, it was bigoted, and claiming inferiority of Atheists…

No, it is bigoted for teaching that atheists are inferior. Merely having restrictions on membership is not bigoted; the key issue is why the restrictions exist.

I don’t see any substance in anything you’re saying.

That may be due to paying less attention to what I have actually written and too much attention to your own prejudices and assumptions about atheists.

You know Austin, if I was an Atheist, and I thought that my life was relegated to the few years I spend on earth before I die, and then everything is done, I think I’d live my life like this:

None of those things speak very well of your basic character. Apparenlty, you only don’t kill and harm others because you are told not to, not because you actually care about anyone.

Austin, if you have no higher power to be accountable to, if you have no purpose in life but to live, have pleasure, and die, then why do you exhibit any moral character at all?

Your mistake is in assuming that there can’t be any purpose in live unless there is a “higher power.” In reality, no one else can impose a purpose on your life — it’s something you have to develop yourself. I exhibit moral character because I actually have moral character; I don’t have to have someone giving me orders.

The proof that you don’t really believe what you’re saying is in the way you live Austin.

Once again, you’re simply assuming that I would conform to your personal prejudices about atheists. If I don’t behave the way you would behave, then I can’t really hold the position I say — but this is incredibly arrogant and egotistical. Not everyone is like you.

You care about others, which disagrees with the very core of your alleged beleifs.

No, it disagrees with your prejudiced and arrogant assumptions about atheists. But, instead of doing the right thing and reconsidering your prejudices, you simply up the ante on your arrogance and presume to tell others that they can’t really think what they say they think.

Your time and attention is appreciated.

To be honest, arrogant prejudice and bigotry are not appreciated. They are sadly common among Christians, but the frequency with which they appear does not make them any more acceptable — or any less of an indictment of how Christianity can undermine basic human and moral decency.

June 13, 2008 at 9:45 pm
(21) Tom Edgar says:

Evidently the BSA doesn’t allow Atheists to join their ranks but does allow the mentally deranged. I can’t argue with that.

Mr Walton. I am an octogenarian. When I married at age 25 after serving in WW11, both my 28 year old wife and I had no previous sexual experience. I don’t drink alcohol,nor use tobacco or any other addictive substance, foul language I do not use, I’ve never been into a casino nor a night club, my closest friend was a Fundamentalist Minister, another a Muslim Imam.

I don’t claim the above as qualifications for “Sainthood” But will match my lifestyle, from my PERSONAL choice, against the majority of “Believers”. I have also mixed with, and been friends of, adherents in most of the various religious sects from Christians to Sikhs. None showed the bigotry evidenced buy your writings. None, from my memory, showed such a lack of understanding of the beliefs of others, nor such an arrogant stance of not accepting that other people have come to a position not to your liking.

My sympathy to you, and may you grow wiser when older.

tomedgar@halenet.com.au

June 13, 2008 at 10:12 pm
(22) Tom Edgar says:

Pleas indulge me. I hadn’t read the last post of Mr Walton…

I take great exception to the claims that Atheists “DON’T CARE”. We care but don’t need the fear of a God or deprivation of an afterlife to give motivation

Hurting children?? Tell that to the Catholic Priest violators, or the “Fallen” Evangelists.

Environment?? Apart from being in the Australian Bush and a long time
organic grower, with the largest part of my property left for the wildlife.
I would point out that your President is not only a “Born Again Christian.” But has the worst record ever on environmental issues. Couple that with the millions he has had others kill for him in Iraq, many of those children. I think that moral character
is more lacking, and hypocrisy more evident,there than of any Atheist.

You went on about how YOU would behave IF you were an Atheist. I detect here some latent ambitions and desires. If this is how you would behave if you didn’t have the fears before mentioned then you had better stay as a Christian we certainly wouldn’t want you to elevate your status to the ranks of the Atheists and Skeptics, it would lower our perception of ourselves.

tomedgar@halenet.com.au

June 16, 2008 at 2:05 pm
(23) Dan Walton says:

Austin,

God desires to have a personal relationship with you. That empty, unseasy feeling inside can only be satisfied by Him. Not by arguing with jerks like me, or doing any good things for others, or living a moral life.

When you’re at the end of your life, none of this will matter… but only who your creater is, and if you know him or not… that will matter.

I know that God is pulling on your heart. It’s not going to be some Bible thumper, or a religion, that will pull you to Him, but it will be his Spirit. And in good time, it’s my hope you’ll come to know Him, because he’s really incredible, awesome, and amazing and his love (unlike any of ours) is perfect and is everlasting.

– Dan

June 16, 2008 at 2:18 pm
(24) Dan Walton says:

Tom,

The motivations of everything I have written to Austin, have been to argue the point with him that I don’t beleive that anyone truly in their hearts doesn’t beleive in a creator. The fact that you translate that to arrogant, or bigotry, is unfortunate.

About Atheists not caring, I threw out a hypothetical to stimulate thinking about important questions with Austin, if you re-read it in that vein, I think you’ll see thyat.

You addressed environment, hurting children, etc. Again, I was not trying to say that non-atheists do any of that, I was asking Austin the question, why would you as an atheist do any of that. You unfortunately mis-understood the point.

That was funny, your point about I should stay a Christian. You’re probably right. If I thought I was just a collection of atoms, with a 90 year lifespan, on my road to certain and eternal death, and that once I’m gone, and everyone else around me is gone, we all won’t be there to remember anything… I probably would be a horrible person and do anything to anyone I felt like with no regard, because people wouldn’t have eternal souls or spirits, they’d just be objects, slightly more developed then a lounge chair. Ha.

By the way, some of your writings imply that I think there’s value it doing “good things”, as ones you mentioned about yourself. On the contrary, I think any good things we do mean absolutely nothing as to the status of our relationship with God. And have NOTHING to do with our state of being in the afterlife either. All of that’s gravy, what matters is just knowing God.

With all due repect Tom, in your twilight hours, you need to consider looking towards your creator. He’s been patiently waiting for you.

– Dan

P.S. Yes, I do need to grow wiser as I grow older… always.

June 16, 2008 at 2:54 pm
(25) Austin Cline says:

God desires to have a personal relationship with you.

That you believe so is less important than whether you can show that there is any good reason to believe that your god exists. So long as you can’t and/or won’t do the latter, then repeating the former is pointless.

That empty, unseasy feeling inside can only be satisfied by Him.

The only empty feeling I’ve had today was satisfied by a donut.

I know that God is pulling on your heart.

Just like I know that Odin is pulling on yours.

It’s not going to be some Bible thumper, or a religion, that will pull you to Him, but it will be his Spirit.

Which explains why you keep preaching and making arrogant assumptions.

The motivations of everything I have written to Austin, have been to argue the point with him that I don’t beleive that anyone truly in their hearts doesn’t beleive in a creator. The fact that you translate that to arrogant, or bigotry, is unfortunate.

It’s not the least bit “unfortunate.” It is completely accurate to observe that it is arrogant for a person to presume to know such a thing about a person they don’t know and have never met. You’re simply imposing your own assumptions on others — you can’t imagine not believing in any gods, so you conclude that it’s not possible for others to do so. You fail to imagine that others can be different from you in matters that you consider most important.

About Atheists not caring, I threw out a hypothetical to stimulate thinking about important questions with Austin

And your “hypothetical” was based on bigoted assumptions about atheists. Where atheists are concerned, you’re arrogant and you’re a bigot. If there weren’t already plenty of good reasons not to believe in any gods, your attitude would be effective because it provide a negative example of what people should avoid.

If I thought I was just a collection of atoms, with a 90 year lifespan, on my road to certain and eternal death, and that once I’m gone, and everyone else around me is gone, we all won’t be there to remember anything… I probably would be a horrible person

If the only reason you treat others well is because of a god that orders you to, and not because you care about their feelings and suffering, then you already are a horrible person — you are just prevented from acting horribly out of a desire for reward or fear of punishment. There is simply no way around the fact that in order not to be a horrible person, you have to care at least a little bit about others feelings, experiences, and suffering.

June 16, 2008 at 7:25 pm
(26) Dom says:

By the way, some of your writings imply that I think there’s value it doing “good things”, as ones you mentioned about yourself. On the contrary, I think any good things we do mean absolutely nothing as to the status of our relationship with God. And have NOTHING to do with our state of being in the afterlife either. All of that’s gravy, what matters is just knowing God.

So doing good deeds is unimportant, just as long as you believe in God?

Morality comes from reason. We reason things and why they’re beneficial to the world and we have morality. For instance, we have reasoned that the reason why we should not kill people is because we wouldn’t want to be killed ourselves and because if we kill someone, other people who have bonds to those people may want to kill you, too. (Or, in non-barbaric societies like we live in, they might just want to put you in jail.)

Since many atheists (or really anyone who isn’t you) typically use reason, they can establish morality.

You just claimed that a true atheist is completely immoral in every sense of the world and that we care nothing of other human beings, but you also just said yourself that doing good things was “gravy.” As long as you believe in God, you are still a moral person. YOU can kill people, YOU can abuse your family members, and YOU can rape as many women as you want — so long as you believe in God. You can still consider yourself moral.

And if you do good things and try to help society, so what? It doesn’t mean you’re going to Heaven any quicker. After all, YOU believe in God.
[Notice how selfish this is, quite the opposite of morality.]

We can’t. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I were to do such things. I am here to aid society for those people who I have bonds with, and also, because I can. It would be less purposeful to end my life than to go through with it. I can give my life purpose, but never my death.

Because we reason, we can be moral. Because we care about others and can reason, we /are/ moral.

June 17, 2008 at 5:10 pm
(27) Dan Walton says:

Austin,

Proof of God Existing – (please re-read my former posts regarding knowing because of my personal relationship with him… I don’t want to repeat… again) – Also, the proof of a higher power in regards to creation is unquestionable if you look at it scientifically. The chances of random atoms by chance, trial and error, survival of the fittest to evolve to where we’re at – gimme a break man! Really now.

Arrogance of knowing what’s in your heart – I know you are a human, I know you eat and crap, and sleep. I also know that you know there is a creator, because just like the rest it’s born into you. If you want to think of me as arrogant for knowing that you eat and crap too, well I really don’t have much I can say about that, now do I?

Horrible Person – I agree with your last statement that if my only motivation was to do good to others because of judgement…. That’s not what I was saying. I was saying that if there was no rhyme, or reason in life, and that our existance is merely limited to a few years and then we and noone else remember anything… what’s the point? We’re just animals then! But no, we’re not, we’re eternal beings, and I care for others, not because if I don’t I get judged, or because it betters me, but because I was created by a loving, caring God, who has set the example of the right way to exist. I’d like to know the heart-reason you practice any kind of morality, because frankly Austin, withoug God in the picture, any reason you come up with will be poppycock! Try it dude!

– Dan

June 17, 2008 at 5:28 pm
(28) Dan Walton says:

Dom,

So doing good deeds is unimportant, just as long as you believe in God?

Good question. I think doing good is great, and sure makes others happy. But do I think it has a bearing on how I stand with God? No.

Morality comes from reason. We reason things and why they’re beneficial to the world and we have morality. For instance, we have reasoned that the reason why we should not kill people is because we wouldn’t want to be killed ourselves and because if we kill someone, other people who have bonds to those people may want to kill you, too. (Or, in non-barbaric societies like we live in, they might just want to put you in jail.)

This is EXACTLY what I was saying before. Without God, the only reason to “do good” or to be “moral” is ultimately for your own good. If that motivation was not there, there would be no reason. What youre basically saying is a dog knows not to piss where it sleeps. Which is how I see morality which exists without the understanding of God.

Since many atheists (or really anyone who isn’t you) typically use reason, they can establish morality.

Yes, I agree, anyone can establish morality. But I’m saying it’s silly to do so, without God, except for how it benefits you personally.

You just claimed that a true atheist is completely immoral in every sense of the world and that we care nothing of other human beings, but you also just said yourself that doing good things was “gravy.” As long as you believe in God, you are still a moral person. YOU can kill people, YOU can abuse your family members, and YOU can rape as many women as you want — so long as you believe in God. You can still consider yourself moral.

Argh. No, that’s not what I was saying at all. Sorry for not being clear. I was trying to say that if someone really had no inner beleif in God, that there would be no reason for them to not do all that horrible stuff… why not, as long as it’s good for them? Why do they owe me or anyone else anything. Ultimately, they’re not accountable because when they die, they won’t have to be accountable, they’ll just cease to exist, right? About a non-atheist. I beleive in regards to ones eternal standing with God, that you can be a person who seems to be the most moral person alive, or you could be a Hitler, but if you throw yourself on the Mercy of God, that all of that is put aside, because his forgiveness and love can overcome any kind of wrongness. That said, I beleive very much that there are natural consequences, eartly punishments, and Godly punishments for those who do immorral wrongs if they are beleivers in God or not. However, I do not beleive it has anything to do with their eternal status with God. That has to do with if they have turned to God for Mercy or not.

And if you do good things and try to help society, so what? It doesn’t mean you’re going to Heaven any quicker. After all, YOU believe in God.
[Notice how selfish this is, quite the opposite of morality.]

Another great point and question. I beleive anyone who willingly, intentionally, and persistantly acts immorrally against their fellow human, could not possibly know God. God is so pure, is made of nothing but love, and mercy for others, and is so right in every way, that just knowing him, continually conficts you when you’re doing things wrong, and guides you in the right way. If someone were to really do what they say, I’d personally wonder if they really know God as they claimed. On the other hand, someone who is a seemingly perfect “do righter”, if they think they can somehow “earn their way” into the presence of God Eternally, well, talk about arrogant.. know what I mean?

Thank you for your comments.

– Dan

June 17, 2008 at 5:34 pm
(29) Austin Cline says:

Also, the proof of a higher power in regards to creation is unquestionable if you look at it scientifically.

Feel free to provide any scientific evidence you think you have.

I also know that you know there is a creator, because just like the rest it’s born into you.

And what is your basis for “knowing” this?

Horrible Person – I agree with your last statement that if my only motivation was to do good to others because of judgement…. That’s not what I was saying. I was saying that if there was no rhyme, or reason in life, and that our existance is merely limited to a few years and then we and noone else remember anything… what’s the point?

You don’t see the contradiction in your position. You are asking “what’s the point” of being good if our existence is limited to this life — if there is no reward in heaven or punishment in hell. That’s precisely what I described as being the position of a horrible person.

If you agree with me that what’s important is not reward or punishment, but rather things like whether we are harming others, then it doesn’t matter if our existence is limited to this life. If you actually care about the suffering of another human being, then you’ll care if you believe you’ll live forever in heaven and you’ll care if you believe that death is the end. If you only care about the suffering of others if there is an afterlife, then you don’t really care about that suffering. If their suffering only matters if you have a chance at going to heaven, then it’s all about you.

We’re just animals then! But no, we’re not, we’re eternal beings, and I care for others, not because if I don’t I get judged, or because it betters me, but because I was created by a loving, caring God, who has set the example of the right way to exist.

In other words, their actual suffering is irrelevant — their suffering only matters if you and they were created by god. What matters is what your god wants you to do, whether it’s through example or explicit orders. Otherwise, their suffering wouldn’t move you. Their cries of pain would fall on deaf ears. Their pain would be greeted with indifference.

That’s being a horrible person. If you can only care about others because you think that a god wants you to, then you don’t really care about them at all.

I’d like to know the heart-reason you practice any kind of morality

Because I care about suffering regardless of whether we were created by a god or not. I am capable of reason, empathy, and combing them with experience to reach some understanding of how to treat others so that they suffer less and are happy more. Being created by a god, an elf, or a fairy is irrelevant in such evaluations.

June 17, 2008 at 5:38 pm
(30) Austin Cline says:

I was trying to say that if someone really had no inner beleif in God, that there would be no reason for them to not do all that horrible stuff…

Prove it. Don’t give us hand-waving about how it seems “pointless” to you to do good if there isn’t punishment for evil in an afterlife. I don’t care about the narrow boundaries of your imagination — your imagination doesn’t create any limitation on others’ lives. You have made what is essentially a very bigoted and hateful statement, that atheists have no reason not to rape, kill, and do all sorts of awful things. This is the basis for the extensive antiatheist bigotry in the USA and is morally equivalent to saying that blacks have no reason not to obey the law or Jews have no reason to be honest. It’s a serious accusation and deserves serious support if you want to continue posting here.

So you need to provide clear, unambiguous evidence that sincere disbelief in your god eliminates any possible reason not to do evil.

June 19, 2008 at 10:37 pm
(31) Mike1071 says:

Dan, it’s your argument that holds no water.

Simply substitute “Allah”, or “Brahma”, or “The Flying Spaghetti Monster” whenever you use the word “God” and see if you still think you’re right.

Atheism is not a religion, because there is no worshiping of anything.

I challenge you try your own suggestion, but from a different point of view: Sit in front of a mirror and ask yourself about all the OTHER religions that exist and have existed over the thousands of years humans have been around. Consider the fact that they ALL believe(d) in THEIR religion just as fervently as you do. They can’t all be right, but they can certainly all be wrong. Ask yourself, “Am I so arrogant and closed-minded that I cannot even entertain the idea that others may not think exactly like I do?”

June 23, 2008 at 1:50 pm
(32) Dan Walton says:

Austin & Mike,

Sorry, I took 40 boys to Summer Camp, and just returned, I’ll respond when I catch up here at work.

– Dan

July 5, 2008 at 4:37 am
(33) DK says:

In order to participate I had to live a lie (at least while I was at boy scouts). I have always been atheist and before I received my Eagle Scout award, they asked if I believed in a superior being. They also asked about my attendance in church. I had to stretch the truth about church attendance and completely lie about believing in a superior being.

July 22, 2008 at 3:55 pm
(34) Dan says:

Austin,

Hey man, I missed you. Out of town. Not much arguing on here… you must be bored!

Question for you. It’s become evident to me by re-reading stuff you’ve posted that you’re basically damaged goods. Seems some Christian somewhere has cut you down and made you feel inferior, and you haven’t healed from that yet.

Now Austin… tell me about it. I’m all hears?

– Dan

July 22, 2008 at 3:59 pm
(35) Dan says:

DK -

That’s really too bad dude. You didn’t have to lie or stretch the truth. Why would you do that?

If you truly don’t believe in a superior being, why would you say you did? To get an award which represents you as being a young man of skill, character, with a commitment to his Country and God? Why would you want that award if you don’t beleive in God?

To me, that would be no different then a hard-core terrorist who hails “death to America”, lying and saying he loves America in order to get his Eagle. It makes no sense.

Seriously — Dan

July 22, 2008 at 4:02 pm
(36) Dan says:

Mike1071 – I took on your challenge. When I looked in the mirror, and asked myself that question, I was filled with assurance in the existance of my friend, my creator, my father in heaven, and I was suddenly filled with concern and compassion for you. I asked the Lord to pull on your heart when you take my challenge, and asked him to please give you the same assurance in your heart.

I have the same prayer for Austin.

– Dan

July 22, 2008 at 4:13 pm
(37) Dan says:

Austin,

You said “If I was to continue posting here”… are you of all people threatening to censor. Oh MAN that’s a blast. Look at you dude! Woa. you muffed up that one.

You said: So you need to provide clear, unambiguous evidence that sincere disbelief in your god eliminates any possible reason not to do evil.

It’s simple logic. Listen to these words, and please try to shun your emotions, your anger, your pre-judgemental views, your stereotyping, and your so-called foreknowledge:

1. Austin subscribes to the Atheist religion. (just teasing)
2. Austin does not beleive in a creator.
3. Austin beleives that when you die you die. That’s it. No afterlife.
4. Austin has declared that he and anyone he knows, including Dan are a mere collection of molecules which will stay together for some period of time.

Here’s the crazy part:

5. Austin thinks that his collection of flesh and bones, somehow owes some kind of moral debt to other random collections of flesh and bones while his collection of flesh and bones (and electrical signals in the brain), walk around here on this planet.

Wow, Austin, really, do you see how crazy that sounds. Yet, it what you’re saying.

My friend, in your quest for wisdom, you have become a fool.

– Dan

Let me answer your question with a question: If there is no life after death, then what do you, as a collection of molecules which will possibly stay

September 16, 2008 at 11:46 pm
(38) Jake says:

I am both an Eagle Scout and an Atheist. I am 18 years old. I have been in scouting since I was 9 years old, have been agnostic since I was 15 and when I was 17, after much soul-searching, officially proclaimed myself atheist. While I never made any attempt to lie to or hide my beliefs from the BSA, I also never told them outright and, I believe, if they had found out they would not have awarded me the rank of Eagle Scout. This being said, aside from the discrimination of atheists and homosexuals, I love every aspect of scouting and have enjoyed the program very much for almost a decade. I garner no ill will toward the organization what so ever.

September 17, 2008 at 7:30 am
(39) Austin Cline says:

This being said, aside from the discrimination of atheists and homosexuals, I love every aspect of scouting and have enjoyed the program very much for almost a decade. I garner no ill will toward the organization what so ever.

So, you have no ill will towards a bigoted organization that believes promoting anti-atheist and homophobic bigotry is a central aspect of its mission?

Would you feel the same if the BSA were bigoted towards and discriminated against gays? Catholics? Latinos?

Why or why not?

September 23, 2008 at 6:48 pm
(40) Tom Edgar says:

I find it a little perplexing that Austin would continue to respond in his highly educated and respectful academic way to a person , judging by his writing, to be neither on the same educational nor intellectual level. Austin’s politeness is always there, but how?

That rudeness and insults from religionists are so often given without them realising they are being rude and insulting is something that happens so often.

Not once has Austin responded to your statements that WE MUST be closet believers &
we CAN’T be atheists, with statements refuting your inalienable right to have and hold religious beliefs because you are secretly a closet atheist. I will presume, for arguments sake, that you are of a particular faith, say Methodist. Would you deny that the Catholic or the Muslim or the Hindu COULDN’T be one?

Your arrogance sir is really beyond belief.
In WW2 I saw many praying believers die, alongside their non believing companions.
Strangely none keen to go. I would have thought the “Believers” would have been happily anticipating the glories to come. No, most would have been, as was I,in one fleeting moment when I thought death was near me. Thinking and calling. Oh! OH! Mum. I was lucky. All over this world the dying have called on their Gods.Jehovah, Allah, Kali, Vishnu, Ra. Might have eased the going, but when you are gone. You’re gone.

I’ve met both dumb and intelligent “Believers”,of all faiths, I have never met a dumb atheist.

tomedgar@halenet.com.au

September 24, 2008 at 1:16 pm
(41) K. Anonymous says:

‘I’ve met both dumb and intelligent “Believers”,of all faiths, I have never met a dumb atheist.’

There are plenty out there sadly. I’ve met many. (Just to be clear I’m an athiest myself). Here’s a couple of the farcical things that such people believe.

1. People are only bad because of religion/belief in a god. When I countered with the case of Stalin and atheistic communist Russia, said athiest changed their mind, agreeing that athiests can be bad if they’re under the influence of communism.

2. People’s abilities, both physical and mental, are results entirely of one’s surroundings and decisions, nothing to do with genetics at all. When I say nothing I mean absolutely nothing. For example they believe (indeed this is a point they clarified upon my raising of it) that a four foot six tall person could be an olympic sprinter.

3. Racism doesn’t exist any more (well expect maybe amongst immigrants, but you don’t get any racist white people).

I could go on for a while, but I’d say these examples alone give a good indication of the level of perception of the athiests in question.

September 24, 2008 at 7:22 pm
(42) Tom Edgar says:

K anon.

are you really an ath e ist? As you, on more than one occasion, misspelled the word, I do
question.

I didn’t say there were no dumb atheists, just that I have never met them. Difficult to meet any in this area.

As for the example of Stalin, once again commonly used by believers, I respectfully point out that none of his atrocities were committed in the name of “Atheism.” Furthermore his formative years were served as a seminarian (until 21 yrs), of the Russian Orthodox Church, which still flourished during his regime. Much of his antipathy towards religion was in that he had to break the stranglehold that the “Official” Church had on Russian life and especially the Government.
This Church influence is once more being actively pursued.

Additionally you will find his body buried in consecrated ground back in his birthplace where it received all the rites of the Church on internment. So don’t tell me he was one of the brotherhood.

Yes there are bigots who are unbelievers, about the same proportion as believers.
I probably mix with a different category.

As for the other , to my mind irrelevancies,
there is nothing wrong with a 4’6″ Olympic sprinter, can’t imagine one actually winning an event.

As for an atheist imagining that racism doesn’t exist I think this is one of the things that would be in direct proportion to non atheists. I have experienced racism during my eighty plus years by every conceivable race. It is not confined to people of Caucasian heritage. The Chinese always considered “Others” barbarians, probably with justification, the Apache weren’t exactly tolerant human beings towards their own race but different tribe. In modern times you don’t have to go past the Congo, and to an outsider you couldn’t SEE the difference.
One could go on without ending on this subject
but it is not confined to atheists of lower than average mentality.

To my mind being an atheist is not just someone who doesn’t have some form of religious affiliation. It is a person who actively and intelligently investigated and
decided that religion was wrong and atheism is the correct ideology. It only makes him right in his own mind, he could still be wrong. Unlikely though.

tomedgar@halenet.com.au

September 30, 2008 at 1:29 am
(43) Dan says:

Tom,

In your “wisdom”, you have become a fool.

You defined your own belief system incorrectly. Atheism has NOTHING to do with the belief or dis-belief of religion. It has to do with the belief of dis-belief of a Creator.. aka God.

Might want to bone up on what an Atheist is, before you aspire to be one.

– Dan

February 22, 2009 at 9:12 pm
(44) Ken says:

Show me somewhere, anywhere, in the Scout Handbook or Scoutmaster Handbook where the BSA says atheists are inferior, or even not allowed to join? I have been a Scout and a leader and have never seen it. You’ll have to show me chapter and verse.

Another pathetic attempt to knock the Scouts…

February 22, 2009 at 9:29 pm
(45) Austin Cline says:

Show me somewhere, anywhere, in the Scout Handbook or Scoutmaster Handbook where the BSA says atheists are inferior, or even not allowed to join?  I have been a Scout and a leader and have never seen it. 

The BSA denies entry to atheists by requiring them to promise to do their duty to God. The BSA teaches that atheists are inferior through it’s Declaration of Religious Principles, which states that “no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God.”

If you have ever been a scout or a scout leader then you are familiar with both the oath and the DRP, which means that you should already know very well the basis on which the BSA denies entry to atheists as inferior people. So at best, you’re simply in denial about the reality of BSA: it’s a bigoted organization that teaches bigotry to every succeeding generation of boys.

Another pathetic attempt to knock the Scouts…

The only thing that’s pathetic is the idea that the BSA can remain a moral organization while promoting and defending such rank bigotry.

July 2, 2009 at 11:26 pm
(46) J.J. says:

“there’s absolutely NO difference. I chanllenge anyone on this because this simple truth in irrefutable.”

Dan.. the difference is that BSA is not a religious organization. Its purpose is not to preach Christianity or general theism, therefore atheists as well as theists from all religions should be welcome, because they are not in direct opposition to the purpose of the group, like all of the examples you gave.

May 3, 2010 at 9:29 pm
(47) Keith says:

My Son is a Eagle Scout and let me say he is a very good young man, no drugs does not drink and will help anyone that is need. If more children belonged to the Boy Scouts the Children would not be on Drugs and stealing and walking the streets with nothing to do. Only a idiot would dislike the Bot Scouts.

May 7, 2010 at 3:28 pm
(48) Todd says:

Keith,

What’s with the thread necromancy?

There are kids that are like that who were never in scouts, and kids who were in scouts who do all those things. Scouting or not is not the determining factor.

Oh, wait… BOT scouts! i see what you mean now. Yes, everyone should be in Bot Scouts. Keep them frackin’ toasters in line!

May 7, 2010 at 4:13 pm
(49) rick says:

Only an Idiot can misspell Boy Scout

May 8, 2010 at 12:36 am
(50) Zack says:

Only a idiot would dislike the Bot Scouts. — Keith on May 3, 2010 at 9:29 pm

I am an atheist, and my son is in the Boy Scouts. Frankly, I was opposed to his joining, because of the organization’s unrepentant bigotry against atheists and homosexuals, and because of its record of sheltering pedophiles that is second only to that of the Catholic Church.

However, his heart was set on it, and he rarely asks me for anything, and in the end I agreed to let him join. He has been in it for years now, and he has adored every minute of it. It has mostly been a good experience for him. He enjoys the camaraderie with his peers, and the outdoorsy activities and all the rest. He has participated in many service projects that have been of real value to his community. He has learned a valuable skill set in terms of first aid, wilderness survival, and many other things.

Having said that, I must also say that I have personally witnessed adult leadership that is wildly uneven in terms of basic competence and character. It is an organization that relies almost entirely on volunteers to function, and screening is spotty.

I was present at the Eagle ceremony for one young man where the troop leader making the presentation publicly described Iraqis as “rag heads.” And he was talking about the Iraqis on our side!

I do not see why we ought to accept bigotry from the Boy Scouts because they provide value in other areas. We can admire the organization for the good it does while still refusing to condone the genuine evil it does.

It seems obvious to me that te Scouts, the boys in it, and our nation are all far better served if we continue to vigorously challenge the Scouts to live up to the ideals of fairness and equality that they espouse.

May 13, 2010 at 6:38 pm
(51) JimC says:

When I was a kid, I was in the Boy Scouts. Back then, at least with my troop, religion was not a hot topic. I don’t remember any emphasis on church services or prayer or any other sort of religious activity. We just went on a lot of campouts, which I enjoyed.

Thirty something years later, my son entered the cub scouts and I was “volunteered” to be a “den dad”. By this time, I had converted from Catholicism to being an agnostic. I use the word agnostic because there is no way to prove a negative, which is what atheism is. However, believe me, I am only an agnostic in the strictest sense of the word…in reality, I am 99% atheist.

Anyway, what I had found from both cub scouts, and eventually boy scouts, is that the religious right had taken over the organization to promote religion and discriminate against those scary homosexuals. I still loved the camping, and I felt that my son could learn a lot by living with nature on backpacking trips, so I tolerated the bullsh t. My son, who is also agnostic/atheist, eventually received his Eagle merit badge. He too, had to be a “closet atheist” because he would have been expelled otherwise. It is a shame because there is a lot of good things about Boy Scouts, and these side issues prevent the organization from reaching it’s full potential. In the end, neither of us really mind that we had to be closet atheists, because now we laugh at how easy it was to fool the Christians. Of course, that’s what kind of makes them Christians in the first place, right?

October 27, 2010 at 10:33 pm
(52) Monica says:

JimC,

My daughter is a Brownie in Girl Scouts. I did not want her to join, but her adult sister thought it would be a good experience for her and it has been, but I cringe when she has to say the oath at the meetings. I am a atheist and I’m raising her and I raised her sister without religion. A lot of my daughters’ friends are Christians, but I try to counter any religious talk by teaching her reason and logic and just telling her the truth. She started as a Daisy, so she hasn’t been on any outdoor activities yet. But she is looking forward it it. I think most of the moms know that I don’t believe. Many of them if not all are Facebook friends and see my atheist posts so I assume they know. I don’t make it an issue and so far they haven’t. They don’t treat us differently. They have been very loving and warm. It’s funny that most of the religious talk has been from other girls that are not GSs.
With the GS, when I met with the membership director, and told her we were atheists, she said it would not be a problem and that there were many girls that were atheists. That made me feel better.
It is a pity that the BSA has been taken over by fundies. That needs to be changed. Their intolerance of atheists denies boys who have non believing parents opportunities of great outdoor experiences. It’s a shame.

I am glad my daughter is a Girl scout, but I wish she didn’t have to recite the oath. I tell her to skip the God part in the oath as well as in the pledge. I teach her the original pledge.

I chuckled when I read your last sentences. It is true!

January 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm
(53) Debbie says:

I stumbled upon this thread and was totally shocked. I believe that people have the right to believe whatever it is they want to or not to believe in. Just don’t cram it down anyone elses throat! With that said I am the proud mother of 2 Boy Scouts and one of it’s leaders. They love it and I love that. There has never, and I say NEVER, ever been any time that they have been taught to hate Athiests. The Boy Scouts, where we live, do not teach this at all. You say you know that they teach it, but I say that they don’t. And it is true that boys in scouts become better people, and without scouts as well. Just the same as there are nut jobs out of scouts, and in it just the same.
I know this is an old thread, but I just had to step in and say something. Because saying that the Boy Scouts teach the boys to hate Athiests is just so incorrect.

January 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm
(54) Austin Cline says:

There has never, and I say NEVER, ever been any time that they have been taught to hate Athiests.

Except for being taught that atheists can’t join because they aren’t patriotic or moral enough.

The Boy Scouts, where we live, do not teach this at all. You say you know that they teach it, but I say that they don’t.

When the BSA teaches that atheists can’t join because they aren’t patriotic or moral enough, that’s precisely what’s being taught: hate.

March 21, 2012 at 10:22 pm
(55) Jake says:

Austin you’re the man

July 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm
(56) Patrick says:

I realize that I’m joining this conversation late in the game but I want to point out one thing. I firmly believe that a private organization should have the right to exclude anyone they want, for any reason they want, no matter ho biggoted their reasons are. However, the BOA uses public buildings (ie Schools) to hold their meetings in, and therefore are using public tax dollars for their biggotry. This is what I have a complaint about.

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