Boy Scouts salute during a "camporee" in Sea Girt, N.J., in 2011. (Mel Evans/AP)

Regarding the Oct. 12 front-page article "Boy Scouts, in historic move, will accept girls":

I don’t understand why the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts don’t merge into one efficient and effective scouting organization. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America seems to be a successful organization and the logical model of an egalitarian, engaging and logical approach to youth programming in our changing world. I was a Cub Scout and my sister was a Girl Scout. We managed to play well together (even though she used to beat me up).

Glenn S. Easton, Chevy Chase

The Oct. 12 front-page article on the Boy Scouts described how the organization's dwindling membership inspired the Boy Scouts in recent years to admit gay and transgender members and now girls. Unfortunately, the media and Boy Scouts never mention who is still left out: atheists.

There is a requirement that scouts and leaders must agree with a principle that says, “The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God.” Many open atheists have been refused membership or been kicked out of the Boy Scouts when they stopped believing in any deities. Apparently, the BSA does not consider honesty a core value and would rather youngsters pretend to believe. This certainly would teach them a lesson on how best to prepare for political careers, because open atheists currently have little chance of being elected. On the other hand, the military allows atheists to serve openly and honorably. However, even atheists with an honorable military discharge are not deemed fit to serve as Boy Scout leaders.

Herb Silverman, Charleston, S.C.

The writer is founder of the Secular Coalition for America.