The BSA's Freedom
golden cliff (c60clg1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Thu, 3 Sep 1998 19:28:14 -0500
I have been involved in Scouting continuously since 1962. In that time
some program and procedural changes have been implemented, but the basic
ideals of Scouting have remained constant.
The United States Constitution guarantees the right of free association.
That means you can start a private organization and restrict membership
in any way you desire.
The Girl Scouts can allow only girls, the National Honor Society can allow
only academic acheivers, the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences can admit
only recipients of their award. Thus far in the USA, this freedom has
Scouting has been dragged through the courts for requiring in it's
membership policy a belief in the ideals of their organization.
Some disagree with the ideals of the BSA. That is their right.
The BSA isn't forcing anyone to change their beliefs, nor are they taking
anyone to court. They are just defending their right to have their
beliefs reflected in their membership policies.
I am proud the BSA is fighting to defend the ideals they believe in. In
that regard, nothing has changed since 1910. I don't necessarily believe
that our ideals should change with each new fashion.
For those who don't believe in Scouting's ideals, they can create their
own program based on their beliefs. After all, it's a free country.
Well, at least so far.
We should be respectful and sensitive to the beliefs of others, while
having the courage to defend our own. That is what the BSA teaches and
that is what the BSA is doing in these court cases.
What about the BSA's freedom?
YIS, Cliff Golden
Scoutmaster Troop 33; DeKalb, Illinois
Three Fires Council BSA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City