Today in Philadelphia the boy scouts won the right to continue renting land from the city at the dirt cheap rate of $1 a year. The city was trying to kick them off their land (or start charging them real rent) because the Boy Scouts' policy on not accepting homosexuals violates municipal anti-discrimination laws. The jury decided this was an infringement on freedom of speech. I think the city has a right to rent or not rent to anyone they want, that they should have the right to not rent their land to private companies that violate their anti-discrimination laws, and I hope they appeal this decision.
But that's not really the point of this post. The point is, I think everyone knows that boy scouts don't let gay people in at this point. But in one of the article comments, someone mentioned that atheists and agnostics can't join the group either. That I hadn't previously known about. So I went over to wikipedia to check it out and found this:
The Boy Scouts of America's position is that atheists and agnostics cannot participate as Scouts (youth members) or Scouters (adult leaders) in its traditional Scouting programs. According to the Bylaws of the BSA, Declaration of Religious Principle:
"The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, ‘On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.’ The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members."
During the membership application process and as a requirement to obtain membership, youths and adults are required to subscribe to the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle and to agree to abide by the Scout Oath and Law, which include the words, "do my duty to God" and "reverent". Youths are also required to repeat the Scout Oath and Law periodically after being accepted as Scouts. The BSA believes that atheists and agnostics are not appropriate role models of the Scout Oath and Law for boys, and thus will not accept such adults as leaders
So the rule is that gay people can't be LEADERS in the boy scouts. But apparently, atheists and agnostics can't be leaders OR scouts. So that seems even worse! But no one gives a crap about that part of the rules apparently, because people don't think about atheists as a discriminated-against group that merits protection?
I'm sure there are other examples things that you can't do if you're an atheist (that you can do when you're jewish). One example I can think of offhand is that one of the steps of alcoholics anonymous is that you have to accept a higher power (AKA god)- so atheists can't really take part in alcoholics anonymous (or they can, but not to the same extent- and I would be super uncomfortable joining that kind of program, presuming I needed that kind of help). I checked the internet, and apparently there are a few non-god-centric alcoholic support groups/programs, but they are extremely rare and it's hard to find meetings for them.
So two services that are not available to atheists: your kids can't join the boy scouts and it's harder to get help if you're an alcoholic. What other examples can you think of? FFTA in the comments.