Friday, February 01, 2008

Oh Grow Up!

Never afraid of making complete arses of themselves, the National Secular Society and the British Humanist Association have targeted the Scouting oath for a legal action. Let us be clear about this - the only boys likely to be put off joining the Scouts by the wording of this oath are the thoroughly indoctrinated offspring of militant atheist prigs (and who wants them in the Scouts?). If God has no existence or validity, what's the problem, guys? This is just the usual anti-religious grandstanding, and one more splashy drip in the relentless drip drip drip of secularisation. Anyway, the whole thing misses the obvious point - the ones being discriminated against here are republicans, who might well balk at swearing to do their duty by the Queen.


  1. 'They are furious that the Scout Association is refusing to scrap the pledge required of every new member, which they said was excluding "a growing number of children without belief".'

    i'd like to meet these furious wretches, and defile them.

    i think i'll write a letter to these atheist dregs tonight if i can get hold of an address. i have slumbered long, permitting these filthy brutes to swagger about with their PC jive and their secularist stupidities.

    It is time for some hard words, since, alas, hard punches to the face are (strangely) not legal.

  2. They'd need to be loudly "furious" too, as the National Secular Society only has about 200 members.

    What is annoying is their professed desire for secularism is nothing of the kind. Secularism should mean that the state is not biased in favour of any one competing religious or anti-religious grouping, and there can be a lot to say for it, it is, after all, part of the founding philosophy of the USA.

    But the NSS and all the other currently vociferous secularists are not lobbying for the state to be disinterested. They are demanding that religion be banished from the public square and made a purely 'private' matter, leaving their ideology as the only one allowed to be publicly professed.

    They are disingenuous to put it generously.

  3. Yes...although isn't it even more ridiculous to get furious about the fury of the National Secular Society?

    Mind you, fury is quite good fun.

  4. Disgusting interfering creeps.
    I'd like to 'prick an atheist' as the Great Doctor said and see if there's a 'believer underneath'.
    What about a jihad against the NSS? Unless of course it's unlawful in our multi-cultural society.


  6. Hi Nige,

    There is this paragraph in the article:

    They also criticised it for claiming on its website that it was "inclusive", and called on it to make ambiguously clear that it was a religious organisation. Scouting leaders said that they had no intention of changing the oath drawn up by Lord Baden-Powell, a "muscular Christian" who believed that faith was an essential element in the development of young people.

    If this is so, then the call is for the Scouting Association to proclaim themselves religious, as if the "secularists" and "humanists" believe the Scout website was designed to fool people into thinking otherwise, as if they want the dirty little faith secret on page 1. But how does the kid go home and practice the oath without saying the God part, a part integral to the complaint in the first place?

    Back to this paragraph:

    They are furious that the Scout Association is refusing to scrap the pledge required of every new member, which they said was excluding "a growing number of children without belief".

    I was a scout, a senior patrol leader of Troupe 29 in Lowell MA. We never would exclude anyone. As much as the troup leaders and scouts could, we all worked together with anyone who wanted to join.

    We are playing a terrible lawyer's game of semantics here. The Scouting Association is, in fact, inclusive. However, if parent want to exclude their children from joining, that's them being exclusive.

    Another semantic ploy they have is that they want "religion" tattooed onto the organization's forehead--again, if the article well-represents the case--so that all atheists can beware and know who their enemies clearly are. To be a religion, however, is not part of the vision of the Scouts, but a label convenient to the opposing atheists.

    Furthermore, if the Scouts are legally made to do this, then it should be law for all organizations with ties to faith, God, or religions, to tag themselves on page 1, with "Warning: Religious Organization Practicing Exclusion of Good Atheist Citizens." The witch hunt is on.

    This is how these "secularists" and "humanists" act out the fury they have, in this case aimed at the Scouting Association, for not relenting, becoming good citizens as defined by the new atheistic order, and giving up the faith part of the pledge.


  7. he thoroughly indoctrinated offspring of militant atheist prigs (and who wants them in the Scouts?)

    C S Lewis nailed these kinds of kids firmly and hilariously to the wall in one of the Narnia books, but I can't find the reference.

  8. The unpleasant and even violent reactions of the posters of this site are very alarming, given that they are claiming to be religious.

    Mr Appleyard himself hardlyt seems to live up to his own principles with his crudity.

    You need to listen to the founder of your religion and calm down a bit.

  9. The NSS/BHA case is quite simple.

    The Scouts get public money, for example 1.5m UKP for a recent jamboree, on the basis that they are an inclusive organisation seeking mutual understanding.

    Secularists obviously don't think that sectarian organisations should get public money.

    The scouts are merely being asked to state clearly where they stand. Either they are an explicitly religious organisation which atheists cannot join, or they are an inclusive organisation which anyone can join. If the latter, they should change the promise. If the former, they should be honest about it.

    This seems perfectly reasonable to me.


  10. Hi Dan,

    How have the scouts not been perfectly honest? The answer is, of course, that they have always been perfectly honest, and if they are like the Boy Scouts of America, inclusive. No one may not join, no matter what religious organization the family belongs to, no matter what faith the family practices whenever it might be practiced, no matter if the child is being raised as an atheist, or if the child is being raised to choose for themselves what to believe or what to doubt. All are welcome to be a scouts.

    Because the Scouting Association has always been perfectly honest, they are above the charges of the these "secularists" and "humanists", who have an agenda that seems less than open and up front. (See my comment above.)

    If atheist parents or parents who would like to raise their children in some religion that precludes the inclusiveness of the scouts--if any parents choose to exclude their children from the scouting opportunity, whether those parents are of an opposing faith or of an atheistic approach to the world, whether these views come from being extremist, intolerant, or simply from being firmly entrenched in a belief that sees itself as diametrical to anything or something the scouts do, the Scouting Association surely will keep the door open regardless.


  11. Neither the SA or the BSA are inclusive; both exclude atheists. It's like saying Restricted clubs didn't exclude Jews, it's that Jews somehow excluded themselves. It's dishonest wordplay.

    The BSA isn't honest, either. For decades, public schools chartered cub scout packs, yet the BSA insisted that atheists can't join, even a pack run by a public school. They continued to charter packs to public schools for years after the Dale decision, and didn't stop until the ACLU threatened to start suing public schools that chartered packs that excluded atheists.

  12. I'm an atheist and I agree wholeheartedly that the National Secular Society and the British Humanist Association are wrong to do what they have done.

    However, I am disturbed by some of the comments left in response to the blog entry.
    elbery said "i'd like to meet these furious wretches, and defile them."

    A disturbing remark.

    elberry also said "It is time for some hard words, since, alas, hard punches to the face are (strangely) not legal."
    This is very disturbing language, suggesting that elberry has anger problems, making me wonder if elberry wants to punch random strangers in the face.

    I have no wish to indulge the adolescent narcissism of the National Secular Society or the British Humanist Association, but the undertone of violence in elberry's comments is quite disturbing.

  13. Surely the point is that if the Scouts really are inclusive then they wouldn't mind dropping the bit where the child has to swear to God. They're perfectly willing to let children swear on other gods - Allah etc - so why not allow kids without belief just omit that part? They're clearly not fussed which god you swear your oath to, as long as you swear it to one of them. The BHA and NSS are simply trying to make it so that children are not forced to swear to something they don't believe in.

    No one's suggesting that that'd be a terrible awful thing for the child - it probably wouldn't bother them - but since one of the principle points of scouting is honesty, having a kid lie as their first act in the movement seems ridiculous.

    The BHA and the NSS are aware that there's probably no discrimination in the way children are treated once in the Scouts, but it's the stubborn refusal of the Scout Movement to even *consider* adding an extra variant of the oath - and I'll repeat, they already have several for all the different religions - so that children can sign up in good faith (no pun intended). Is that really too much to ask? That the wording of a single speech be changed to make everyone feel welcome in Scouts without having to lie through their teeth?

    Some people here really need to calm down. Both organisations *are* lobbying for the state to be disinterested in religion. You do all realise that secularism, as a political issue, isn't tied to any belief system? The idea that it's a religious ideology that sneaky atheists are trying to force on the religious is ridiculous. There are plenty of religious secularists too who agree that public services and organisations are for EVERYONE - religious and nonreligious - and consequently for them to provide a fair and honesst service for EVERYONE they need to be religiously neutral. Sounds like a pretty good concept to me

  14. It is fun to watch these little fights from the sidelines. This one is not as entertaining as the atheist bus. That's more like World Wrestling Foundation only slower. WWF meets Chess?

    When I was a scout I, like many scouts, just mumbled the god bit and promptly ignored it. I didn't complete any of the religious faith bits of the scout badge scheme.

  15. Try being a Scout leader who has finally realized in my late 30's that "faith" is worthless and hollow and then getting kids to utter their promise with sincerity. The youngsters can join up and be "encouraged" to find beliefs, but leaders must believe in something. So that's it for me then. Apparently I am written off as an amoral heathen. As for the bile-spitting funde*mental*ists with their apoplectic rage - This is the 21st century, isn't it?

  16. I was in the scouts and I think the scouting movement has a great deal to fill some of the gaps in our society & should be promoted more. However the god & queen bit was always something I was very uncomfortable with. To be put in front of friends and peers and be expected to publicly say things you don't believe in, effectively endorses dishonesty.

    As an adult I have a lot of skills and experience I would like to put back into the scouting movement as a volunteer scout leader. But to be required to participate in and enforce the God & Queen stuff would for me undermine the honesty and integrity required for that role, which seems a waste.

    The current situation in the scouts discourages atheists from being involved, whereas if religious expression was limited to optional activities rather than being embedded in the core ceremonies then that would open up scouting to a much wider audience and stop it from becoming increasngly marginalised.

    It seems to me that there are ample forums in which young people can explore and express religious beliefs if they so choose, so to impose this on non-believers is unnecesary.
    This begs the question, what are believers so afraid of? are religious belief systems so fragile, that we must all be reminded of them at every opportunity, lest some believers lose their faith?