scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Re: Dale Decision
Bill Nelson (bnelson45@HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 31 2000 - 11:37:50 CDT
FORWARDED ON REQUEST
From: Ryan Keil <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Dale Decision
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 1910 08:28:11 -0700 (MST)
Because our server keeps undergoing little changes, I still can't post to
the list, but feel free to pass this along.
The problem I see here is very much like what you've pointed out:
government meddling in the private affairs of a private (albeit, very
large and publicly visible) organization. My view is a little different.
Government -- especially our government -- was instituted to do the
absolute minimum to serve the general interests of the general population,
yet, here we have government endeavoring to advance the private (by Kant's
reference) opinion and enforce it upon another private entity. It is not
the role of the US government (at any level) to form and attempt to
enforce public opinion. The USSC specifically addressed this in the Dale
decision by stating it had no opinion -- nor could it, in keeping with the
Constitution -- form an opinion regarding the specific tenet BSA chose as
a part of expressive association.
Now we see small-minded individuals who are in a position of authority
attempting to do exactly that. Such persons have a personal opinion, an
opinion which may be very valid, but they are using their positions to
make that opinion a public (governmental) policy. The reason this is
"small-minded" (and, yes, that may be a poorly chosen word) is that these
individuals are focusing too narrowly on a matter of private interest,
and not maintaining the perspective that is demanded of those who obligate
themselves to uphold the Constitution.
My point has nothing to do with the BSA's policy, nor with whether or not
the BSA should consider changing. It has to do with people, in general,
keeping government in it place as serving the public interest, rather than
the private interests of a few elected (or appointed) individuals.