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California IN BRIEF : TUSTIN : Atheist Scout Leader Is Ousted

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

An atheist troop leader, who testified on behalf of an 8-year-old barred from joining the Boy Scouts because the Chicago youth did not believe in God, was himself ousted from the organization. David Wise, who led a Tustin Boy Scout troop for two years, was kicked out Aug. 8 after he took the stand in Chicago in a federal court case. “I had never felt before that there was a Boy Scout Gestapo out there checking up on us, but this makes me feel that there is,” said Wise, 39, a computer programmer. Boy Scout officials said Wise is unfit to be a leader because he is an atheist. Wise said he is angered by his firing. “I am not bitter about this, but there is a certain amount of indignity and outrage,” Wise said. “I am just hoping that whatever fallout there is from this, it doesn’t hurt my troop.”


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