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November 29, 2004

The ACLU War Against the Boy Scouts

The WSJ has a story on the continued attacks by the ACLU on the Boy Scouts. Interesting, isn't it, that attacking the Boy Scouts is so popular with liberals? (And that other evil, the Salvation Army?) The Boy Scouts are against homosexuality (in the mild sense of not wanting homosexuals to go camping with boys) and for religion. Those "bads" trump the good the organization does-- yet another example of how liberals, despite their protestations, really don't value children (a provocative statement, I know, but how many liberals like large families? How many bother to homeschool? How many think it is nobler for a woman to be a mother than an office worker?)
Ever since the Supreme Court upheld the Scouts' First Amendment right to bar Scoutmasters who are openly gay, the ACLU has looked for softer targets. The suit against the military is one of a series aimed at getting communities to deny access to public facilities. The original lawsuit also challenged the city of Chicago's sponsorship of troops in public schools, another venue where sponsors aren't always easy to find. The city settled.

In Connecticut the ACLU has succeeded in getting the state to remove the Scouts from the list of charitable institutions to which public employees may make voluntary contributions. And earlier this year it settled a suit against the city of San Diego, which agreed to evict the Scouts from a public park they have been using since 1918. The Scouts countersued, lost, and the case is now on appeal before the Ninth Circuit.

The question no one seems to be asking is, who's better off as a result of these lawsuits? Surely not the 3.2 million Boy Scouts, whose venerable organization is part of the web of voluntary associations once considered the bedrock of American life. If anything, the purpose of the ACLU attacks is to paint Scouts as religious bigots. Other losers are communities themselves, which are forced to sever ties to an organization that helps to build character in young men.

It's been 20 years since the ACLU brought its first suit against the Scouts. If there's one thing we've learned by now, it's that the ACLU offensive says more about the degraded status of the civil liberties group than it does about the Boy Scouts.

Posted by erasmuse at November 29, 2004 09:43 AM

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