[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.
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.