Action Alert

Boy Scouts STILL shun nontheists

Boyscout BadgetiltThe Boy Scouts of America has dismantled all of its barriers but one: its rule barring atheists and nonreligious members.

The Boy Scouts started to shed its Religious Right image when it repealed its prohibition against gay boys and recently announced it would accept transgender boys. Today, it announced yet another huge reform: It is inviting girls to join.

Whatever your views over this change, one thing is clear: Nonreligious boys (and now girls) and their families are still not welcome in the Boy Scouts. This attitude is not only ugly and discriminatory, but verges on head-in-the-sand regressive.

Please join us in demanding an end to this un-American and hypocritical exclusion of atheists and other nonreligious children!


Let our simple automated system contact the Boy Scouts of America for you with a built-in script. The wording in the automated comment section is editable. We encourage you to add your own thoughts to personalize the message text, subject heading or signature.

Click here to email the Boy Scouts of America.

Click here to call the Boy Scouts of America.

If you wish to also express your concerns to a Boy Scouts council in your community, click here for local council contact information.

Please also take action by utilizing social media such as Facebook and by tweeting to the Chief Scout Executive at @BSAchief, or to the Boy Scouts of America’s official Twitter account at @boyscouts.

If you have a Twitter account you might tweet a message such as:

@boyscouts After lifting LGBTQ bans and now accepting girls, it's time for BSA to repeal its bigoted policy to exclude the nonreligious.

Or, if you prefer to send a written letter to the Boy Scouts of America, use this address:

Michael B. Surbaugh
Chief Scout Executive
P.O. Box 152079,
Irving, TX 75015-2079


The official position of the Boy Scouts of America — “No member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his obligation to God” — turns secular boys into pariahs and second-class citizens, and defames nonbelief. Furthermore, Boy Scouts has a congressional charter as a fraternal (not a religious group), and the president serves as the honorary commander in chief, all additional reasons why its religiously discriminatory policy must go.

While many local troops undoubtedly look the other way, Boy Scouts officially pushes a Declaration of Religious Principles. Leaders have even turned away crying 6-year-olds from recruitment events held in public schools after advertising that “Any boy may join.”

The Girl Scouts scrapped its requirements long ago that girls, to join, must believe in a God. While the group did not drop religion from its oath, it announced an official position that girls need not be religious or recite that part of the oath in order to join. The Boy Scouts of America has nothing to lose in adopting a similar policy. Boy Scouts should be teaching harmony, not bigotry.

FFRF proudly offers nonreligious Boy Scouts a badge, by the way.

talking points

  • In the last year, you have lifted hurtful bans against gays, the transgendered community and now are allowing girls to join the Boy Scouts of America. I’m calling on the Boy Scouts to lift its policy shunning kids from nonreligious families.
  • Please stop stigmatizing the nearly one-quarter of Americans who are not religious. Any bigotry is ugly and socially unacceptable. Furthermore, with 38 percent of Millennials identifying as nonreligious, your policy against atheists and other freethinkers is regressive as well as unjust.
  • Your policy should be rewritten to say: No one can grow into the best kind of citizen who discriminates (period).

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

FFRF has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator

FFRF is a member of the Secular Coalition for America

FFRF privacy statement