Article On Scouting
Is Terribly Researched
John Bonner

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "K and B"
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section
Date: Sunday, March 25, 2001 7:13 AM

Your slander of me and my article is typical of the lies that have come from the pro-Scouting camps during the course of my involvement with this issue (if indeed it was my article you read: you clicked the link from the Letters section, not the Articles section or my section). Scouting's supporters appear to get their information about Scouting's policies by reading each others' Letters to the Editor in the local paper rather than by checking with Headquarters.

Please read the manuals and guidelines, instead: The leniency practiced by a handful of troops is not the stated policy of the organization as a whole and is not the policy that the organization and her most vocal supporters are spending hundreds of thousands to defend court.

I followed closely Nancy Powell's suit to stop the Portland Public Schools from allowing recruiters to come to the schools and pitch Scouting to the kids during class time. Actually, I couldn't have avoided the case if I'd wanted to, because at the time I received visits from either Nancy or her father at least twice a week, often more.

The fact that the Schools prevailed in this lawsuit -- setting a precedent to allow this activity to continue unopposed throughout the nation -- speaks volumes about the depths to which Scouting's supporters will stoop. And the fact that most Letters to the Editor, most editorial columns, most broadcast monologues, and most calls to the talk shows misrepresented her suit as seeking to prevent the Scouts from using the building after hours shows only how thoroughly institutionalized support for the Scouts has become, in that the press couldn't even pull off making the public aware of what the case was even about, but misrepresented it up until the day of the hearing.

No. I will not sit still while a bigoted religious organization is allowed to pitch its hate-filled venom to seven- and eight-year-olds as a captive audience in our public schools.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "K and B"
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section
Date: Sunday, March 25, 2001 6:21 PM
 

If you will read my article, I clearly state that I am against Government support of a group that discriminates against atheist kids, teaching them that they cannot be good citizens unless they assent to the fictions of theism. I don't care if any rival organization takes its place, I just don't want to be part of a movement that discriminates against atheists, and by their insisting on the right to pitch Scouting in the schools, I become part of that movement. So, I am exercizing my rights as a citizen by objecting very vocally.

The amusing part is that hardly anybody who is pro-Scouting has bothered even to understand what my real position is: Scouting has the right to exist in it's current form as a private organization, but I will fight tooth and nail against any move to fund it or support it through Public means -- including recruitment of kids in the Public Schools during class time. The sad part is the pure slander that I've received for voicing my opinion -- particularly the seemingly deliberate misunderstanding of my true position, but also the popular move of not only misrepresenting what Scouting's position is, but then insisting that I am either mistaken or lying when I try to correct them on this misrepresentation.

And if you'll re-read my letter to you, you will see that I never called you "pro-Scouting," I only compared your rhetoric with that coming from the pro-Scouting camps -- but you want me to respect your critique of my other writings?

You've done a slick job of painting me with a broad brush, that's for sure. I'll bet you get lots of letters published in your local paper.
 

Ay! A Twelve Stepper, too?

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "K and B"
Cc: <abuse@stargate.net>
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section
Date: Sunday, March 25, 2001 6:25 PM

If you don't want me to write back to you, then please PLEASE stop writing to our domain!

We did not initiate this dialogue, you did.

The greatest thing about the country of which I am a citizen is that the "majority" is, by law, not allowed to exploit the government for the purpose of inflicting its religious views upon minorities. If the big guys feel that they just have to be heard one more time, then they must, by law, resort private means -- they cannot expect public schools and the like to give them a free ride.

Or have you not read the United States Constitution?

It is this aspect of Religious Liberty -- nowadays all but abolished by busybody fundamentalist Christians -- for which my country was once renowned.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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