By Pierre Dussol
I recently became a Beaver Scout leader to spend quality time with my son. I was a Cub Scout in 1977, and enjoyed the movement very much until I was forced to convert to a Jehovah’s Witness. I was no longer allowed to stand up for “Oh, Canada” or associate with “worldly” organizations such as the Scouting movement.
In 2006, I married a brilliant scientist with a doctorate in biology. Over the course of a few years, she had firmly changed my mind on the subject of evolution. In 2015, on the death of Leonard Nimoy (“Mr. Spock”), I finally came out of the closet to my mother. She was devastated, but kept me in her life until her death in 2017.
I have been determined to keep my son away from the evils of religion. He is 6 years old and still believes in Santa Claus but not in God. I am 50. We both have a place on our uniforms for a religion badge, and my son and I would like to place your badge there.
As you may know, Canada is extremely secular compared to the United States. I have never, in the few months that I’ve been a leader, seen anyone in Beavers, Cubs, Boy Scouts or Venturers wear a religion badge. Nevertheless, I would like to wear the atheist badge as a way to spark a conversation with someone who is interested, as well as in solidarity to your movement. It would be nice if, in the future, Scouts Canada would create an “Atheist” badge for its members. This could be the start.
I am very well versed in the keep-religion-out-of-schools debate, as well as the Intelligent Design failed attack on textbooks. I believe that the more people step out of the shadows to combat this rampant ignorance, the better.
Therefore, I would kindly request two Freethought badges for me and my son, Robbie.