Madison, WI - AAI Affiliate Freedom From Religion Foundation is unveiling a freethought badge to reward young nonbelievers and challenge the Boy Scouts of America's discrimination against the nonreligious.
The badge, featuring a red "A" based on a symbol of atheism and agnosticism popularized by distinguished scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins, is being issued in collaboration with the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science. The Boy Scouts of America formally discriminates against nonreligious boys and their families, officially excluding atheists, agnostics and nonbelievers. Currently, the organization maintains "that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his obligation to God."
"The Freedom From Religion Foundation maintains instead that no one who discriminates against the nonreligious can grow into the best kind of citizen," says FFRF co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor, who is co-president of FFRF with her husband Dan Barker.
"It's what you do — not what you believe — that makes you a good person," adds Barker, a former evangelical minister who is also co-founder of The Clergy Project, a support group for ministers who lose their faith.
FFRF, at the urging of its member Richard Kirschman, has produced a badge similar to the Boy Scouts' merit badges, which are typically sewn on uniforms or sashes.
Scouts who wish to earn this badge are asked to help disprove the group's misguided claim that nonbelievers cannot be good citizens. The requirements, paralleling typical merit badge requirements, ask Scouts to learn about secularism and the rich history of dissent from religion.