Bob Nieland (rgn@MCS.NET)
Thu, 1 Aug 1996 22:14:21 -0500
BOY SCOUT ALERT FROM THE ACLU
Heard about the latest threat to American civil liberties? No, it's not that
millions of law-abiding citizens won't leave their homes after dark for fear
of being mugged. Or that our airports are being refitted as miniature police
states so terror-bombers won't blow our jetliners from the sky.
You might be worried about such things, but the American Civil Liberties
Union has other fish to fry. It has discovered that publicly funded
governments hereabouts are sponsoring Boy Scout troops.
Boy Scout troops! Right here in Chicagoland, under our very noses, certain
public schools, parks and fire stations have been aiding and abetting the
Boy Scouts of America, allowing them to hold troop meetings in their gyms,
warm up cocoa in their galleys and who knows what else.
Some might find no harm in this. Some might even claim that voluntary
organizations like the Boy Scouts, with their emphasis on family values and
community service, are exactly what this fractious nation of strangers needs
at this point in history.
Which shows how little some of us know about civil liberties. Especially
when compared to the legal eagles at the ACLU, who have served notice on the
Board of Education, Chicago Housing Authority and other agencies that
charter scout troops. They want this linkage severed forthwith because the
Scouts discriminate against atheists and homosexuals.
In fact, the Scout brass admit their members must pledge duty to God, and
that their troops may not enroll "avowed" homosexuals. (The Scouts don't ask
an applicant's sexual orientation, but neither do they allow members,
leaders or employees to openly profess homosexuality.)
The ACLU's Gay and Lesbian Rights Project has been unable to force a change
in that policy because the Scouts have invoked their right, as a private
organization, to exclude whomever they wish. So the rights group is going
after the public-sector link.
Once that dragon is slain, they may want to examine the blatant use of park
softball diamonds by church-sponsored teams.
Or they may, for credibility's sake, refocus on the things that matter.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City