The UU Humanist Association today pressed the Unitarian Universalist Association for stronger public statements of support for atheist scouts and scout leaders, even as the humanist organization expressed its commitment to work with the UUA as it resumes a relationship with the Boy Scouts of America after an eighteen-year break.
The Boy Scouts stopped recognizing the UUA’s Religion in Life curriculum and award in 1998 over the UUA’s opposition to the scouting organization’s ban on gay scouts and atheists. When the BSA ended its ban on gay scouts and scout leaders last year, the UUA reopened conversation with the BSA about the UU award.
A post on the UU Humanists’ website by the Rev. Amanda Poppei, a member of the organization’s board, describes conversations with UUA leaders about the memorandum of understanding the UUA signed with the Boy Scouts of America in March. It acknowledges that “the BSA had taken significant steps toward inclusion of gay scouts and leaders,” but expresses disappointment with BSA’s language about belief in God. “The Board of the UU Humanist Association (UUHA) is disappointed that a strong and immediate refutation of the BSA’s belief requirement by the UUA doesn’t seem to be in order,” Poppei writes.
The post quotes UUA President Peter Morales’s correspondence with the humanist leaders: “Our faith affirms the worth of every person and affirms many ways to live a good and moral life. We cherish and respect the humanists, agnostics, and atheists among us. They are our ministers, our Sunday school teachers, our parishioners, leaders within the UUA and wider movement—and we look forward to their being scouts and scout troop leaders.”