I tried googling this and couldn't find a definition. Just repeats of article VI of the US Constitution.

Do you have to submit to a religious test in order to Join Boy Scouts?

Here is a copy of the Boy Scouts' oath, which you must recite in order to join:


On my honor I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep my self physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight





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"'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."[6]

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.[6]

The BSA does not require adherence to any particular religious beliefs or ethos beyond this. Buddhists, followers of Native American religions, Muslims, Jews, Christians of all denominations, Wiccans, and many others can be and are members of the BSA. The BSA officially recognizes religious emblems for over 38 faith groups including Baha'i, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and many varieties of Christianity. Boy Scouts of America approved religious emblems exist for all these except for Wicca and Native American religions. The former exists but has not been approved due to less than 25 chartered Wiccan units.[citation needed] The BSA recognizes religious awards for over 38 faith groups including Baha'i, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Hinduism, and 28 varieties of Christianity."'

You think that's bad, you should check out their position on homosexuals. I don't personally support the boyscouts, they've made it perfectly clear that they consider atheists and gays lesser people. If you have kids, I would encourage you to find a secular group, there are plenty out there who are just as good as the BSA and don't discriminate.

Campfire USA is a good one: http://www.campfireusa.org/
Oh, I'm not interested in joining up my son. We went through this with him and let him join even though he was an avowed atheist. I guess he just parroted the oaths knowing full well that he didn't mean it about the God part; he quit after a while because he got tired of the charade.
I'm just curious about the meaning of the term "religious test."
Some examples from state constitutions here in the US:

Arkansas State Constitution, Article 19 Section 1 ("Miscellaneous Provisions")
No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court.

North Carolina's State Constitution, Article 6 Section 8
"Disqualifications of office. The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God."

Texas' State Constitution, Article 1 Section 4
"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being."

[above from here: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/StateConstitutions.htm ]
What else would you expect from the south?
Is a religious test the requirement that you recite an oath of devotion to God?
I've been over the dogma of BS several times, and am told that the oath is not a religious test.
I think it is, and can't find any published definition.
I can't find any official definition, but my best guess would be anything used to confirm that a person believes in God. Like if you're auditioning/trying out/ campaigning for a position and someone asks you directly what your religious beliefs are or requires you to do/ say something that affirms religious belief. I think the BSA oath is definately a religious test, because it forces members to acknowledge that they are believers (or at least pretending to be believers), which is required for membership.
It really annoys me that I can't find a definition. Kinda weird.
Thanks Susan - I saw this and wondered if it applied to the Boy Scouts oath.
I guess that there are now other modern examples of a religious test.
The people with whom I was arguing think that a religious test is a test of knowledge, not devotion.
So would a religious test be described as an oath that you recite to declare your adherence to a particular religious belief? I'm still not seeing a formal definition.
So would a religious test be described as an oath that you recite to declare your adherence to a particular religious belief?

They can require whatever they want since they are a private group, i have no problem with that; my problem with BS is that they meet and recruit at my son's public school.




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