Two boys kicked out of Boy Scouts because they’re Wiccan.

Ah, the Boy Scouts. Teaching all American values such as bigotry and intolerance. It’s bad enough that they kick atheists out for not believing in God, but they like to claim that they’ll accept anyone who believes in some form of supreme being no matter what their religion… unless it happens to be Wiccan it seems:

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 church sponsors the boys’ chapter, Troop 71. Pastor Doug Lewellyn was out of town at the time of the meeting.

“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.

Apparently you can have too many Gods as the boys believed in several, but that’s not the best part. The best part is, keep in mind this troop is sponsored by a Christian church, the best part is this:

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.

OK, got that? A Boy Scout troop sponsored by a Christian church told the parents of these boys that they should have LIED ABOUT THEIR FAITH and it wouldn’t have been a problem. What happened to the Boy Scout ideal that they be TRUSTWORTHY—“A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct.”—or the Christian Commandment against BEARING FALSE WITNESS? Fuck that, lie if you have to if you want to be a Scout!

“The boys had been in that troop for over a year, and it wasn’t exactly a secret,” said Aileen Buchheim, the boys’ mother. The boys became a part of the troop when the family lived in Anacoco, but wanted to continue on after they moved to Fort Polk in August 2005.

“No child should have to be told in 2006 that they can’t take part in a group because of their religion,” Aileen Buchheim said.

Welcome to the club, lady. Get you and your Wiccan kids to the back of the line with the rest of us atheists and gay ex-Scouting members. It’s 2006 and the Boy Scouts have a Supreme Court blessing to be bigoted assholes. Oh wait, it looks like they had second thoughts about it after they tried to blame the decision on the higher ups in the Boy Scouts who turned around and pointed the finger right back at the Church sponsors.

After almost a month of noncommittal answers on the boys’ status, Aileen Buchheim said she received an apologetic call from Lewellyn to invite the boys to the next meeting, which occurred April 25.

Lewellyn attended the scout meeting to talk to the parents and Scouts about why they all were welcome and how doctrine was not a Boy Scout topic.

Numbers were sparse, and two mothers allegedly came back to pick their boys up 10 minutes after Capt. Buchheim brought in his sons.

“This (the controversy) has weakened the group,” Doherty said. “I will probably lose some parent support and some good boys over this no matter how it turns out.”

Well, he’s losing the two brothers at least. They’ve decided to quit the troop:

Cody and Justin decided not to remain with Troop 71 after the ordeal.

“This was devastating,” Aileen Buchheim said. “My husband puts on a uniform to fight for ours and other nations’ rights every day, and yet this happens in our own backyard. We just wanted to make sure it was straightened out so no one has to go through this again.”

I’ve said before that I feel the Boy Scouts is a good organization overall, but their insistence on being religious homophobic bigots ensures I won’t support them anytime soon. Instead my money will go to the Girl Scouts who don’t have such idiotic policies and welcome ALL girls of ALL backgrounds without discrimination.

12 thoughts on “Two boys kicked out of Boy Scouts because they’re Wiccan.

  1. Why doesn’t the BSA just rewrite its rules to only include nominally Christian boys? It’s certainly moving in that direction.

  2. No organization benefits from ADMITTING that it’s a homophobic religious-persecution machine, not even the Republicans. Next thing you know they’ll say that this move was made to “protect” the children from all the pedophile heathens out there in the world, who probably stalk young boys after they marry homosexuals together each day. Personally I think BSA can (and should) go suck itself.

  3. They can’t openly state that they support only one religion. They would loose most or all of their federal benefits. Meetings and recruiting could not be held in public schools (especially during operating hours) which would have a HUGE impact in their operations.

  4. They can’t openly state that they support only one religion.

    No, but it’s increasingly evident that they do. Not that they’re alone in that regard. As Mook pointed out, look at a sizable segment of the GOP.  confused

  5. Propably even Hitler Jugends didn’t declare openly that they were training youngs to be “good citizens” for following (mis)leaders blindly. (+ready to accept genocide)

  6. Instead my money will go to the Girl Scouts who don’t have such idiotic policies and welcome ALL girls of ALL backgrounds without discrimination.

    Plus they have those really tasty cookies wink

  7. I fully support the right of the BSA to set ideological or doctrinal limits on their membership.

    I also fully support the right (and obligation) of agencies, public and private, to decide if they can or should support such an organization.

    Certainly, were I in a position to do so, I’d be reluctant to.  Fortunately, I only have a daughter, and I already know she’s not allowed in Boy Scouts.  (And the girls seem to have more fun, anyway.)

  8. If the BSA didn’t recieve federal money, or didn’t get to use federal property without having to pay the same fees as other groups, then I’d have no problem with them choosing their own membership.

    However, since they are (in part) government sponsored, they should not be given this freedom. Sadly, they have a long history of it. I’ve written about this article and detailed the history of the religious persecution of the BSA in my blog.

  9. Wow, fucking wow.

    I used to be in BSA, and courtesy of this, and realizing how deeply seated the BSA is in both government and religion presently, I see just how either vulnerable or discrete these guys can be.

    However, the families of these two kids should sue the BSA without mercy, to punch a hole in their wallet and hope them come around.

  10. This is pretty old so it might not be worth responding to, but…Everybody needs to do some investigating to avoid spouting off the same tired, ignorant crap that keeps getting repeated.

    BSA has a vast religious emblem program that recognizes most faiths, not just Christian. Although unfortunately, it currently does not recognize Wiccans, though I have read of an invitation to Wiccans on behalf of one council who welcomed a Wiccan initiative to develop and present ideas for a Wiccan religious emblem. I believe that’s as far as the Wiccan parties took it.

    As for religion in Scouting, ALL the material I have viewed and been instructed on states that it is for the Scout’s Family to handle NOT Leadership at meetings (including the emblem program). In 6 years of Leadership it has ALWAYS been a private home issue, WE DO NOT QUESTION, DISCUSS OR INSTRUCT THE SCOUTS ABOUT RELIGION and that’s how it should be. Scouts DOES NOT SUPPORT ONE RELIGION.

    Atheists? They’re welcome in my Troop. Since we don’t discuss religion and are pro-tolerance I should never know if a family is or isn’t. Ain’t my business what they believe. I will shut down a talk about atheism as quickly as I will any religious discussion IF it isn’t for simple appropriate educational purposes ,i.e., learning about another culture.

    Gays? What business is it of mine or anyone else? Why should I know? The only way I would know a person’s preference is if that member was openly discussing sexual orientation with the Scouts at meetings and then that person necessarily needs to go, straight or gay. No adult has any good reason to discuss sex with children at a Scout meeting, right?

    Concerning girls in Boy Scouts, actually they are welcome. Within the Boy Scouts of America there is a coed program called Venture Crew. It is for youth 14 – 21. They do some pretty intense outdoor adventuring, much more than I can do with my Troop.

    There’s a lot of crap floating around about Scouts, it really needs to get flushed. There are a lot of people that give Scouting their own spin based on their own prejudice. It’s unfortunate because Scouting depends on volunteers and there aren’t many people willing to commit. That’s why so many religious organizations are involved, they offer meeting places and volunteer support. Piss them off and Scouting dwindles. If people of our communities would think for themselves, stop recycling rumors and total BS AND get off their asses and volunteer for leadership in youth programs we could create better programs for kids.
    Eh, I guess it’s less stressful to sit at home at a computer and just bitch, gripe and perpetuate stereotypes…To each, his own.

  11. Victor, this is one of several entries of this sort I’ve written about the BSA over the years. I’ve kept up with them over the years and I’m well aware of what the official policies are.

    It’s great that you’re willing to overlook issues of religion (or lack thereof) and sexual orientation in your group, but that doesn’t mean the organization as a whole will do the same. In fact you could be risking your position by admitting in public that you overlook those issues with your troop. After all, it wasn’t the troop itself that ended up kicking Eagle Scout Darrell Lambert out of the program for being an atheist, but the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts.

    So congrats on being progressive in your approach to your troop, but don’t come in here and accuse us of promoting stereotypes when the facts are available for anyone who wants to take the time to look them up.

  12. Actually, according to their Declaration of Religious Principles (http://www.bsa-discrimination.org/html/bsa-drp.html) and the Reaffirmation Statement of 1985 (http://www.bsa-discrimination.org/html/duty_to_god_task.html), they do include those who believe in a “Supreme Being”.  They state that it is not their position to define God or religious beliefs.  Just that you believe and actively practice your beliefs is enough for BSA.  However, people also need to recognize that just because BSA’s policy states that only the belief is necessary, not everyone will share that sentiment.

    Getting a pent tattooed on your forehead is a sure-fire way of putting yourself in the middle of a controversy no matter where you go.  However, just being a good person—and, oh, by the way, I’m a Witch—is the best way to show them that we really aren’t so different from them.  Don’t shout your religion from the highest tower and it’s less likely to be an issue.

    Duty to God—whatever you may believe the definition of that word—is one of the four main elements of Scouting.  An Atheist is one who does not believe in a higher power, so therefore could not fulfill that aspect of Scouting.  It’s like being a secretary and saying “oh, I don’t believe in filing.”

    Bottom line is:  choose your Pack or Troop wisely.  You are always allowed to shop around, and it is only $1 to transfer from one unit to another if you are a registered scout.

    (Sadly, they do still maintain a ban on homosexual leaders and scouts, but that is a different topic from the religious one.)

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