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."
Any way to sue* the ACLU for being s*#t heads?
* stamp on their faces while pouring acid up their pant legs.
Please find the double-speak in this "FAQ" from ACLU's homepage:
Why does the ACLU want to remove crosses from federal cemeteries?
The ACLU is not pursuing, nor has it ever pursued, the removal of religious symbols from personal gravestones. Personal gravestones are the choice of the family members, not the choice of the government. The ACLU celebrates this freedom to choose the religious symbol of your choice. Read more about the ACLU's stance on religious freedom.
And I can't find names, offices, or even a headquarters listing. You're right, they even organize like a terrorist organization. The SS of the Forth Reich for the socialist movement (DNC)
Freedom of expression or freedom by suppression?
We should all feel so much better now that our schools are free from the influence of the Boy Scouts.
This article makes me physically ill.
The ACLU must be destroyed.
The ACLU is on its way to becoming a de facto court, making the law instead of representing it.
I just found where they keep names of XDs.
Check out the "your local ACLU" in the bottom left of the main page. Find your state, and write your letters of dissent.
Why not write a law that exempts them from such suits.
Much as I love you guys, this is the sort of thing that makes me happy I live in Australia. The Boy Scouts movement was founded by Baden Powell, a Brit, an icon, a hero, every aussie would go ape if this organisation was attacked over here.
Hit after hit after hit. I was a Scout and a Scoutmaster for quite a number of years. We have a great divide in this country I don't care what anyone says. We have a fine president and a few good leaders and yet we constantly lose ground to the God-haters, Socialists/Marxists all. Our traditions are being stripped away as we watch having been turned into eunuchs by the judicial system and their ACLU lap dogs. H**l, even the DOD caved in to them, what's that!?
What am I missing here, does it take a revolution in the streets to combat this nonsense? The courts make "law" out of whole cloth, the Constitution is not a factor, or have any of you noticed that? So, tell me, what IS the answer? All I know is that whatever "we" are doing sure hasn't worked yet.
I write letters, make phone calls like many of you and yet nothing really happens, there are no victories, at least I haven't seen any. Victories I say? Sheesh, all I want is for the damned courts to FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION for a change making good solid interpretations based on that document and the many, many cases that have preceded the very ones we are fighting now.
Besides churches, the Scouts could approach: Jaycees, Lions, Eagles, Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, etc. In fact, most volunteer fraternal organizations would love the publicity of sponsoring a troop.
Agree.....My close friend is a school commissioner so I'll ask her if they are getting this heat here also.
Eagle Scout, March 1970.......Stay safe !
ACLU is a hate organization. We must demand that the US federal government stop subsidizing these hate organizations. Congress must repeal laws that award hate organizations like the ACLU legal fees for harassing our schools.
There is no excuse why Congress can't step in and do something. First protect the schools from these lawsuits. Second, stop awarding organizations like the ACLU legal fees. It's not like the Boy Scouts don't have the support of the majority of Americans. Many Democrats would have to cross the line and Support the Boy Scouts, especially those few left in Red States.
The ACLU is truly a tool of Satan.
Pardon me for beating a dead horse, but this is really about the judges. The ACLU is actively workign to destroy the Judeo-Christian principles and foundation upon which our precious country was founded. If we had five conservative, God fearing judges on the SCOTUS, we could neuter this trash organization. And others as well.
In case people forgot...
DEMOCRATIC DELEGATES BOO THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
August 18, 2000
LOS ANGELES -- When Gloria Johnson learned that a group of
Eagle Scouts was about to take the stage at the Democratic
National Convention, she immediately went into action.
She and other California delegates grabbed poster board and
markers and made signs that read, "We Support Gay Boy
Scouts." As the uniformed Scouts took part in the opening
ceremony, the delegates, seated in the front of the hall,
waved their signs and booed.
Under normal circumstances, jeering at children is the sort
of behavior that might get a delegate sanctioned, if not
booted from the convention altogether. But anyone who
expected the Democratic leadership to scold the Boy Scouts
of America bashers is attending the wrong convention.
Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) - http://www.alliancedefensefund.org
Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) - http://www.thomasmore.org
American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) - http://www.aclj.org
The Rutherford Institute - http://www.rutherford.org/
Stop the ACLU Coalition (GREATLY ORGANIZED ACTIVIST SITE..PLEASE JOIN) - http://www.stoptheaclu.org
Here are a few examples of how two of those organizations are fighting back:
Thomas More Law Center: Town of Palm Beach Pays $50,000 In Attorney Fees Apologizes To Women In Nativity Lawsuit
"I seek social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and sole control of those who produced the wealth: communism is the goal." - Roger Baldwin, ACLU founder, Harvard Reunion Book, 1935
"The establishment of an American Soviet government will involve the confiscation of large landed estates in town and country, and also, the whole body to forests, mineral deposits, lakes, rivers and so on." - William Z. Foster, ACLU co-founder and former chairman, Communist Party USA.
Let me know if you would like to join my ACLU ping list
These three words are synonymous!
Public educations today means schools run by leftist, homosexual-sycophant lunatics who follow the edicts of the fat, useless HEW.
The ACLU is an un-American, family (traditional) hating, God despising gaggle of communists which needs disbanding and labeled "Subversive" quickly.
Go to this website to find out what we all need to know about the ACLU, which is in effect, one of the (il)legal 'wrecking balls' being used by the communist left to destroy America from 'within"
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