Town Talk (via Wrightwing) reports on an incident in Anacoco, Louisiana, when a Scouting leader started a meeting on the “God and Country” merit badge by asking about the religious diversity in the room:
By a showing of hands, he asks who belongs to the Baptist Church, the Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, continuing on until two boys are left who have not raised their hands. One of the brothers ... called out to tell the group what church he attends. He replies, “I’m Wiccan.”
Apparently, “religious diversity” is only a good thing when limited to various denominations of Christianity, because 12-year-old Cody Brown subsequently suffered for his honest admission:
Within 48 hours of Cody’s confession, the troop committee of Holly Grove United Methodist Church in Anacoco was meeting to discuss the implications. ... “The number one scout law is to do your duty to God and your country,” Troop 71 Scout Master Gene Doherty said. “They met to discuss whether or not the boys could live up to that because of their religion.”
The conclusion was that they could not.
Defenders of the bigotry endemic to the Boy Scouts of America insist that only atheists are excluded by the religion clause in the scout laws — they insist that the duty to “God” can be interpreted broadly. This case demonstrates that this disingenuous defense isn’t really true.
Or did the group instead (or also) decide that Wiccan beliefs are incompatible with doing one’s duty to America?
[Troop 71 Scout Master Gene] Doherty called Army Cpt. Todd Buchheim, the boys’ father and a former Eagle Scout stationed at Fort Polk, to inform him that the boys no longer were welcome in the troop. The Buchheims said Doherty told them that if Cody had lied about his faith, the boys could have remained with no problem.
“I was trying to give them a head’s up so that they wouldn’t come to the next meeting and not be prepared for what was going on,” Doherty said. “They’ve been so supportive of our troop, and they’re good people.”
Doherty admits that the Buchheim’s are good people and have been supportive of the scout troop — but because they don’t believe in the same god as Doherty and the Methodists, they can’t be part of the Boy Scouts. If the Buchheim brothers had lied, however, they would have been welcome.
Thus, honest Wiccans who are good people are not welcome, but liars who only pretend to believe the same things as Christians are welcome. It’s not religious diversity which Doherty and the other scouts want, but submission to Christian dominance in the Boy Scouts of America — and perhaps in America generally.
Fortunately, the district United Methodist Church committee overturned this bigoted decision. Methodist leaders, it seems, are willing to accept genuine religious diversity over dishonesty. Unfortunately, there was no requirement that the Methodists reject bigotry:
“Boy Scouts own the program but does not control the unit,” said Legare Clement, executive director of the Boy Scouts for southwestern Louisiana. “We partner with community organizations and churches as sponsors to present the program, which is actually a youth outreach for them. They approve leaders by our standards, but they have a right to choose members,” Clement said.
So, it wouldn’t be contrary to the rules of the Boy Scouts of America for a troop to exclude Wiccans for being honest about following a religion other than Christianity while accepting dishonest children who lie about being Christian in order to fit in. That’s precisely what some parents in Troop 71 want: they would prefer that Wiccans be excluded because they are afraid that their children will be “preached to” by the two brothers.
Excuse me, but when was the last time you saw Wiccans proselytizing? When was the last time you saw Wiccans going door-to-door to invite people to a meeting of the local coven? When was the last time you saw or heard Wiccans preaching on television and radio? It’s not Wiccans who are preaching to people and trying to convert everyone to their religion, but Christians — Christians are the ones who cause problems in work and clubs by trying to convert others, not Wiccans.
Talk about “projection.”
Sadly, the controversy has caused the Buchheim brothers to drop out of the Boy Scouts troop. The religious bigotry fostered by the Boy Scouts of America and some Christian churches doesn’t just lead to the exclusion of gays and atheists, but also others who follow minority religions in America. It doesn’t matter that Capt. Buchheim serves in the military and is willing to fight to defend liberty in America — all that matters is that he and his family don’t submit to the Christian god and Christian attempts to dominate America.
Quick Poll: Is it OK for the Boy Scouts to discriminate against Wiccans?
- Yes, because such pagan beliefs are Satanic and unAmerican.
- It's legal, but it's wrong and another reason for others, especially government, to disassociate themselves from Scouting.
- I don't know.
- I don't care.
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