An Open Letter to the Unitarian Universalist Association on Renewed Relations with the Boy Scouts of America

[Editor's Note: the UU Humanists have been in dialog with our UUA leadership about the renewed ties between the UUA and the Boy Scouts of America in spite of the BSA's explicit rejection of non-theist boys and adults. You can read more background here and here. We are currently gathering signatures to the following letter to send to UUA president Peter Morales and to UUA chief operating officer Harlan Limpert who represents the UUA on the BSA's Religious Relationships Committee.]

We applaud the progress made by the BSA toward inclusiveness around sexual orientation, but the BSA requirement that all boys and volunteers sign the following:

“The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship"

[from the BSA Bylaws, Declaration of Religious Principle]

is discriminatory and counter to the UU principles and sources.

As an organization of nontheistic lay-members and clergy, UU Humanists are disappointed that the UUA has made no public mention of this exclusion.

The BSA has denied membership and advancement to those who will not sign.  Our UUA leadership can work for change from within, but we need a commitment to engage on this issue. Hoping that UU-sponsored packs and troops will be able to ignore the religious requirement invites hypocrisy, and ignores Non-theists in non-UU units.

We, the undersigned, call on the UUA to:

1. Make a public statement disagreeing with the BSA’s Declaration of Religious Principle, and with its policy requiring all members to sign it.

2. Pledge to work with the BSA to get that bylaw changed, adopt local non-discrimination policies, and to report on those efforts.

3. Work with other organizations like Scouts for Equality to remove this discrimination.

Good moral character and citizenship come from non-theistic as well as theistic groundings;  we call on the UUA to stand up for all Non-theists and to proudly proclaim its support for Non-theist UUs.

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Here is a printable version of this letter on UU Humanist Association letterhead that individuals are encouraged to print and bring to their congregation, for instance at coffee hour. The second document is a page for gathering signatures.

 BSALetter.pdf

 BSASignaturePage.pdf

If you are currently a member of a congregation. You can write "former", or "considering" here, or some other response if you are not a member of a UU congregation.
For example: Boston, MA

Announcing Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd, Religious Humanists of the Year, 2016

The UU Humanist Association is proud to announce

Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd

as the recipients of our

Religious Humanists of the Year Award, 2016

 

Please join us

Friday, June 24, 6:00 pm

at the Columbus, OH, Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly

Hilton Columbus Downtown, Edna Boise Hopkins Room

Following the award ceremony will be their talk on Read more about Announcing Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd, Religious Humanists of the Year, 2016 »

UU Humanists Engage UUA on New Boy Scouts Memorandum of Understanding

The Unitarian Universalist Association recently signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) a move toward reconciliation after years of separation. This MOU was pursued at the direction of the 1999 General Assembly, which passed an Action of Immediate Witness calling upon the UUA to, as President Peter Morales writes, “seek reinstatement of the curriculum and emblem and to encourage UUs to join scouting to work for change within that organization.” The MOU also came after the BSA had taken significant steps toward inclusion of gay scouts and leaders. Read more about UU Humanists Engage UUA on New Boy Scouts Memorandum of Understanding »

Freethinker Friendly Program Updates

We are very pleased with the interest in and engagement with the new Freethinker Friendly program. The purpose of the program is to increase the inclusiveness of UU congregations so that all theological perspectives, including non-theistic ones, are seen as valued and respected. In response to the feedback we've been getting, we've modified the first requirement about Welcome Statements somewhat and we've added two pages with more detail: Read more about Freethinker Friendly Program Updates »

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