Skip to comments.ACLU threat causes Boy Scouts to drop public school ties; churches urged to fill void
Posted on 03/10/2005 9:23:17 PM PST by Coleus
ACLU threat causes Boy Scouts to drop public school ties; churches urged to fill void
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--The Boy Scouts of America is removing the charters of thousands of scouting units from public schools after an American Civil Liberties Union threat to sue taxpayer-funded institutions that charter BSA units.
The ACLU sent a letter to the Boy Scouts of America in February threatening legal action against public schools and other governmental agencies that charter Boy Scout groups on grounds that their sponsorship amounts to religious discrimination and violates the separation of church and state.
Boy Scouts open their meetings by holding three fingers aloft and repeating an oath in which members vow their allegiance to God and country, resolve to help others and commit to keeping themselves morally straight. Central to the BSA's stated mission is character development and values-based leadership training.
ACLU leaders view these conservative emphases as warrant for legal action, according to documents on the ACLU website.
While BSA is continuing to assess the number of Boy Scout and Cub Scout units that will be affected, BSA national spokesman Gregg Shields said units whose charters will be pulled from public schools would number in the thousands. BSA is America's largest youth organization that includes thousands of units and 1.3 million adult volunteers.
Defending against a wave of ACLU lawsuits would cost schools untold thousands of dollars, Shields said. Instead of risking financially draining litigation, the BSA is pulling scout units from schools as a matter of stewardship, he said.
"We obviously don't want that [expensive lawsuits against schools] to happen," Shields said. "Instead, the Boy Scouts have tried to protect the resources of our education partners by moving our charter from public schools to other community-based organizations such as parent-teacher organizations or Salvation Army units or nearby religious organizations."
Shields said the Boy Scouts of America is counting on community organizations such as churches to take up the charters of scouting units that have been removed from public schools and other governmental organizations.
Removal of a scouting unit's charter from a school will not necessarily remove its presence from the school, Shields said, noting that groups will still have access to public school facilities; they just won't be chartered by the schools.
"Boy Scout troops will still have the same rights as any other community-based group to meet in school buildings, but the charter will not be held by the school administration," he said.
"We hope to make this a seamless transition that won't even be noticed by the youth and barely noticed by our 1.3 million generous volunteers who give their time to help American youth," Shields said.
Shields said community groups already have begun to fill the void left by the shift from public school charters. While many churches already sponsor Cub Scout packs, Shields urges many others to get involved in all levels of scouting, an institution whose core values can fit well within the standards of most conservative evangelical congregations.
Churches can help in two ways, he said: by seeking to pick up a scout unit charter from a local school or by starting a new scout troop. He pointed out that charters involve very little money and merely provide individual units with an official place to meet and organize their activities.
"[Chartering a scouting unit] is not a complicated process," Shields said. "Many churches find scouting so in line with the mission of the church that they'll use Boy Scouting as an auxiliary to their youth program.... The values of the Boy Scouts certainly fit well with my church and I think they would most others."
The ACLU's threat also precludes other government organizations such as police, fire and recreation departments from holding charters for scouting units. BSA will seek groups such as fire and police department auxiliaries to pick up these charters, Shields said. But far more scout units are chartered by public schools than other governmental agencies, he said.
The latest threat of litigation is the latest chapter in a 25-year assault the ACLU has waged against the Boy Scouts. The ACLU has sued BSA 14 times over the past 25 years using similar accusations, Shields said.
The most widely publicized case involved a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2000 upholding a New Jersey troop's removal of an assistant scoutmaster after it became known that the man was an avowed homosexual. Despite the legal victory, the ACLU and other scouting opponents have continued their efforts across the country.
Last fall, the ACLU threatened to sue the U.S. Department of Defense for chartering BSA units, causing the Pentagon to drop its BSA sponsorships.
By attempting to remove Boy Scouts from public schools, the ACLU is attempting to undermine an organization that has exerted an overwhelmingly positive influence on millions of school-aged children, Shields said.
"For decades, many, many school administrators, teachers and parents have recognized the benefits of having a scouting program in their institutions," he said. "Those involved in scouting have become better citizens and students because of the opportunity.
"However, the ACLU has ignored the schools' and the parents' rights to choose to participate or not in Boy Scouts. No one is forced to join Boy Scouts. Let's say a child has parents who are atheists. Nobody will force that child to join the Boy Scouts. Most Americans and the vast majority of parents value their freedom to choose [to participate in] the Boy Scouts and [support] the values they stand for."
this stuff burns my ass
There is no doubt in my mind that the ACLU is a subversive group and a danger to the United States. I am with Savage on this one, they ought to be broken up under RICO statutes.
Sent out to my email list.
while I was not a particularly good Boy Scout [don't think I made it past second class, or whatever they called it] I still remember lessons I learned or should have learned at the time. it has been 40 years.
the Boy Scouts are a fine organization that should be supported. I continue to do so to this day.
long live Scouting.
Savage is right.
People should never forget that the Democrats booed the Scouts at their convention two presidential elections ago. It's the kind of people they are.
The ACLU is becoming a greater threat to this country than any foriegn terrorists group and since Anthony Romero became the "first openly gay" Executive Director they have gone hot and heavy against the traditional values of this country and launched a venomous attack against the religious institutions of this country. If Christians and traditionalists do not act against them soon, foreign terrorist will be the least of their worries.
The ACLU, Democrats, and the French...They try to look tough by picking on children. The Dim-o-rats boo the Boy scouts at their `Rat convention, the French pick on little girls wearing scarves in school, I guess because they ain`t got the guts to confront terrorism, they try to fool people by picking on children.
Be sure to vote with your wallets, too. Instead of United Way or Combined Federal Campaign, I send it VFR direct to the Scouts.
I can't think of much that boils my stomach more than this type of crap. The ACLU is a cancer to traditional American values and needs to be lanced!
As long as the ACLU remains a faceless entity it's power will be unchallenged.
Names and faces of the ACLU. They should be known to all.
I sincerely believe that many people do not realize the long communist history of the ACLU and of the homosexual groups (Mattacine Society, Radical Faeries, etc..)and how in 2001 these powers combined to launch an all out assault on the biggest enemies of the acceptance of communism and homosexuality in this country - morality and religion. Know your enemy folks, or they surely will defeat you.
Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director
Anthony D. Romero took the helm of the American Civil Liberties Union in September 2001, a week before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The air in lower Manhattan, where the nation's preeminent civil-liberties organization is headquartered, was still thick with smoke when the administration began pressuring Congress to remove checks and balances on law-enforcement.
It was not the first time that Americans were asked to trade away freedoms for increased security, and it would not be the last-but the ACLU stood its ground under Romero's leadership, steadfastly maintaining that it is possible to be both safe and free.
Romero, an attorney with a history of public-interest activism, also presided over the most successful membership drive in the ACLU's 82-year history. In his first year, 75,000 individuals became card-carrying members of the organization for the first time.
He is the ACLU's sixth executive director, and he is the first Latino and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. He came to the organization from the Ford Foundation's Human Rights and International Cooperation Program, which he led through a period of extraordinary growth, transforming it into Ford's largest and most dynamic grant-making unit. As director of that program, he channeled approximately $90 million in grants to civil-rights, human rights and peace projects in 2000, and launched groundbreaking initiatives in affirmative action, voting rights and redistricting, immigrants' rights, women's rights, reproductive freedom and lesbian/gay rights.
Romero also served for nearly five years as a Ford Foundation Program Officer for Civil Rights and Racial Justice; and for two years at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he led a foundation review that helped to determine future directions in civil-rights advocacy.
Born in New York City to immigrant parents from Puerto Rico, Romero was the first in his family to graduate from high school. A graduate of Stanford University Law School and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs, he was a Dinkelspiel Scholar at Stanford, a Cane Scholar at Princeton, and a National Hispanic Scholar at both institutions.
He sits on several not-for-profit boards and is a member of the New York State Bar Association.
Was thinking the same thing. Had one living in my old building. He also had a Dean sticker in his window. Big surprise. NOT
The answer is simple. Quit supporting public schools and support the BSA.
When the funding dies, the cows will starve and the crows will die.
(My Dan Ratherism for the day!)
Homosexual Agenda Ping. Please note comment #14 about the ACLU and their new "gay" director. Their hateful war against the Boy Scouts of America is actually a badge of honor for the BSA. Everyone who can help support the BSA should do so; be it large or small, time or money.
The ACLU is truly evil, and driven the way a mad dog is driven. It is mind boggling how driven and rabid the leaders of the "gay" movement are, as well as the leaders of other associated destructive elements. It is important to note that the ACLU and its ilk are avowed enemies of God and all natural law, and they feel a deep kinship with Islamic terrorists.
It is true that Moslem jihadis are not the only terrorists, nor the only enemies.
Let me and DirtyHarryY2K know if anyone wants on/off this pinglist.
Note: Freepmail me if you want (back) on the Moral Absolutes Ping list which I will be re-starting soon.
The Truth about the ACLU.
Are Your Children Safe?
How many lawsuits can one organization file? The ACLU appears to be nothing more than a money making machine that constantly ties up the legal system to further it's promotion of anti-American views. If the issue at hand is cutting edge liberal or outrageous, you will find the ACLU supporting the cause. How could anyone justify the validity of a group that supports an international pedophile organization known as NAMBLA?
Recently, this organization has come out against nativity scenes for the Christmas season. They are also threatening to sue a Colorado elementary school for hosting a Christmas Concert. This group has now found the Boy Scouts of America as a target. Nothing is off limits for this group. They are anti-Christmas and pro child molestation. This defies all logic.
The ACLU filed a lawsuit in Michigan to protest for a students right to wear a t-shirt that depicted our President, George Bush as an international terrorist. Would they take the same measures if the shirt implied that President Bush was a hero? NO, they would not!
It is time for all Americans to tell this organization, and others like it, that their presence is no longer necessary. We have the right to do so. It is very important to embrace a long term strategy that eliminates this shameful behavior. If we do nothing, groups like the ACLU will continue to reshape our country's culture and future. This will push our country further into a meaningless chaos.