What’s wrong with America? Well, if you’re the ACLU, it’s horrible things like public prayer, nativity scenes, defense of traditional marriage, keeping porn from kids, enforcement of immigration laws, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Boy Scouts. The ACLU has filed numerous lawsuits aimed at each of these.
I have to admit that as a Scouter for over three decades and an adult Scouter for over two, the ACLU’s 30-year fight to destroy the Boy Scouts of America gets me hot under the collar. Writing in the Weekly Standard, Scott Johnson details the latest salvo in the battle here.
For two decades the BSA has held its national jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia every 4-5 years. But it is likely that Scouts will have to hold Jamboree 2010 at a different location thanks to a recent ruling by Illinois federal district court Judge Blanche Manning in favor of the ACLU (Winkler v. Chicago). According to the suit, the BSA is akin to a religious institution. So allowing the Scouts to hold their jamboree at a military installation is akin to the government making a special accommodation to a religion.
This is the cloud in the silver lining of the 2000 Supreme Court ruling in Dale that allowed the BSA to prohibit homosexuals from being leaders in the organization. In various lawsuits, including Dale, the ACLU had argued that the BSA effectively had no moral rules and that it was illegal for the organization to exclude homosexuals. When SCOTUS ruled otherwise, the ACLU started filing suits from the other direction, arguing that the BSA had so many moral rules that it was a de facto religion.
The ACLU has had a lot of success in taking this tack. It has been able to get the Boy Scouts excluded from a variety of government sponsored venues across the nation, including parks, schools, libraries, town halls, etc. The ACLU seems to have an endless supply of support for filing lawsuit after lawsuit aimed at destroying the BSA.
When I was a kid, the Boy Scouts stood for everything that was good and upright in America. Guess what? It still does. Only now, it finds itself under relentless ferocious attacks by those that intend to either destroy it completely or remake it in their own image.
While the ACLU website is chock full of altruistic statements about how it is the “nation’s guardian of liberty,” etc., its actions present a much different and more clear message. The ACLU is out to destroy the Boy Scouts and just about anything else that is considered “virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy.” *
Where I grew up in Bountiful, the scouts and religion (LDS) were one and the same. Maybe that is a problem or maybe they were just being honest. When I have children, they won't be scouts.
Brendan, each Scout troop is an arm of its sponsoring institution. It follows BSA guidelines, but is even more closely aligned with its sponsoring institution. So, it was intended for your troop to seem like part of the church that sponsored it. However, many troops are sponsored by the PTA or by civic organizations such as Rotary and Kiwanis, so church sponsored troops are not the only option.
I'm sorry that you do not feel that your scouting experience provided the kind of ideals that you would like to pass on to your children, but one of the nice things about Scouts is that nobody is required to join. But that's not good enough for the ACLU. It wants to remake the BSA in its own image or else destroy it altogether.
The problem isn't with the scouting organization.
The problem is we have scout leaders who view scouting as nothing more than a series of camping trips sprinkled with lame attempts at passing off merit badges
BSA was created to teach important values to young men. This requires dedicated leaders. We have a terrible shortage of them.
It's more than camping. But sometimes people forget that.
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