Friday, March 30, 2012

Beaver boy

Beaver boy by PhylB
Beaver boy, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.

I happened upon this today and given my recent rant on such matters, it interested me a great deal.

My favourite quotes from the article are:

  • "Scouting has something to offer everyone, no matter your religion, ethnicity or belief"
  • "It's essential to continue to make scouting accessible to all."
  • "We welcome all communities and this initiative helps to ensure that no one misses out on the numerous benefits and adventure of scouting, because they feel it is 'not for them'."
  • "It doesn't matter who you are, what you are or what colour your skin is or what faith you are."

As usual I find it interesting that religious faiths fall into two categories. More and more is being done to be inclusive of all religions in our diverse multi-cultural society, but as usual not having a faith is somehow seen as a second-class option that does not need to be catered for or included. Who decided that atheists and their children are a 'faith-group' that need not be included? Two months on, and I am still asked on an almost weekly basis by my son why he had to pledge his love to a God he does not believe in in order to be allowed to take part in archery, baking and ball games with his friends. Why are children of atheists forced to hide their beliefs in order not to 'miss out on the numerous benefits' on offer, while all other faith-groups are catered for?

I often find it interesting to observe how religious believers treat those who believe in atheism. I don't think for one moment, if I was to tell people I was bringing my children up as strict Muslims, Jews or Catholics, that people would preach their religion openly to them with complete disregard for the upbringing they are receiving, but because I believe in nothing, and I believe it as whole-heartedly as my religious friends believe what they do, they feel it wholly acceptable to try to educate my children in a manner I disagree with. 

It is not that I am angry. I have faith enough in my parenting ability and the open-mindedness I am instilling in my children, but I wonder why we have been elected to be lesser beings than those with completely unsubstantiated faith?

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