Boy Scouts Urged to Lift Ban on Atheists

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A top atheist wants the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on atheists as well as gays. The BSA is already considering replacing its current ban on gays with a policy that would let troops make their own decisions.

American Atheists President David Silverman said scouting should also welcome boys who don't believe in God.

But BSA spokesman Deron Smith said the Boy Scouts are not considering a new policy toward atheists and that the organization continues to view "duty to God" as one of its core principles.

The executive board of the Boy Scouts could lift the ban on gays as early as next week. 

Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's executive committee, said he is concerned about the possible move. SBC churches sponsor hundreds of Scout units.

"We understand that we are now a minority, that it is not popular to have biblical values, not popular to take stands that seem intolerant," he said. "This is going to lead to a disintegration of faith-based values."

The Assemblies of God denomination also said it was "saddened and disappointed" by the proposed change.

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