D uring the 2000 Democratic National Convention in which then - Vice President Al Gore received his party’s nomination as its presidential candidate, something unusual took place. If you did not see it you would not believe such a thing could actually happen, especially in the United States. On the opening day of the convention, the Boy Scouts of America were to serve as the honor guard bearing the American flag. They would appear on the podium at Staples Center in Los Angeles and present the “colors” before the convention delegates. It is a great honor to be selected for such a duty and the Boy Scouts seemed like such a logical choice. However, something went wrong – horribly wrong. As these young teenagers entered the convention center a low din of boos could be heard. At first you thought something must be happening somewhere else on the convention floor. Perhaps it was a protester or even an infiltrator from the other party. Sadly it was neither. The delegates were directing their displeasure at the young Americans carrying the Stars and Stripes.
This had to be a first for these young men. Furthermore, they must have been puzzled as to why such a gesture would be directed at them. After all, they were the Boy Scouts! Who doesn’t like the Boy Scouts? This institution is as American as baseball, apple pie, Sunday picnics and porch swings. What was happening here? And why was it happening to them? The answer to this query is sad, but even more than sad, it is very telling. What these young Americans were learning at this moment was that not everyone loved them or the nation they came to honor.
Sadly, the Boy Scouts are just another casualty of a great cultural war that rages on in our country. This institution, which had once been regarded as a builder of character in millions of American boys is now labeled in the secular world as a “hate group” because of their position on homosexuality. A position that dares to say “there are some things in this world that are wrong.”
Even the Boy Scout oath is viewed as blatantly offensive by such organizations as the ACLU and People for the American Way. They see the oath as an infringement on our freedom. This argument is advanced because the oath states that scouts have a duty to God. It even has the audacity to require scouts to be “morally straight.” Therefore, because of its reference to God and morality, it must be deemed unconstitutional and as such a threat to our liberties.
What kind of nonsense is this? And who honestly believes the framers of the constitution would ever agree with such a conclusion? Yet the argument persists. And it is becoming more bold and even hostile against what most Americans would consider “traditional values.” The argument by the ACLU and their allies is that they are only interested in protecting freedom. But is this really true?
Despite what they may claim, these constitutional revisionists aren’t the slightest bit interested in freedom. Their cause is tyranny. And nothing expresses that view more clearly than their current war against The Boy Scouts.
The Boy Scout Oath
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
For years, the ACLU has fought to eliminate the Boy Scouts as a fixture in American life. Their arguments in opposition to them are driven by the contention that the BSA is guilty of religious discrimination, sexual intolerance, and moral bigotry. To see how discriminatory, bigoted and intolerant this organization really is, let us examine the scout law. This will serve to illustrate just how dangerous “hate groups” Like the scouts really are. The Scout Law identifies qualities it believes all its members should strive to attain. As you examine them, see if they inspire the same level of fear in you as they do in the ACLU.
The Scout Law
TRUSTWORTHY. A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him.
LOYAL. A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.
HELPFUL. A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.
FRIENDLY. A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
COURTEOUS. A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
KIND. A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
OBEDIENT. A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
CHEERFUL. A Scout looks for the bright side of things. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
THRIFTY. A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
BRAVE. A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
CLEAN. A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.
REVERENT. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.
In addition to the Scout Law, there is also a “scout slogan.” It is simple, but reflects the whole mindset of scouting. “Do a Good Turn Today.” Tragically, these are the ideals of an organization that a growing number in the secular world now believe to be a “hate group.” Furthermore, these secular extremists actually believe that government has a duty to protect American citizens from such organizations.
So passionate is the ACLU’s contempt for scouting in its current form that it has engaged the courts in an attempt to prohibit them from using public parks for organized activities such as civic projects and day camps. According to Susan Jones, the morning editor for CNSNews.com, “liberals offended by the Boy Scouts' moral code are now using ‘religious discrimination’ as a tool to bludgeon the organization.”
So aggressive is the ACLU’s assault on the BSA that they have even sought to enjoin the military from having any connection with them. Tragically, their cultural “jihad” is beginning to bear fruit. In response to a lawsuit filed in 1999 by the ACLU of Illinois, the Pentagon has recently agreed to inform U.S. military bases worldwide that they may no longer sponsor Boy Scout troops. The reason? Because the Boy Scouts require a belief in God. Imagine how the framers of the constitution would have reacted to such a thing.
The real surprise here is that the Pentagon is actually caving in to this secular fanaticism. Furthermore, this act of “standing down” to the ACLU is so shocking that it has stunned organizations such as the American Legion. In a strongly worded letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, American Legion National Commander Thomas P. Cadmus wrote, "The idea that sponsorship of Scouting by American military units is 'unconstitutional' goes beyond the absurd, even well past the point of stupidity. How is it the government can fund chapels on military bases, and Chaplains in the military, but not accommodate Scouting?"
This is a very good question—one that is routinely ignored by the courts. But why? Is it possible that this silence is driven by a hidden agenda? Is it possible that liberal courts have set their eyes on still another target? The logical path in this crusade against God and morality is to remove them from the public square altogether. This being the case, it is reasonable to believe that all references to faith by the military may very well be their next target. If this is the case, chapels and chaplains may have to fall on their swords in yet another bid to prove to secularists that the United States is not becoming a theocracy.
But Commander Cadmus was not finished posing his questions. He would go on to pursue his defense of the Boy Scouts in a series of queries that quite frankly should put any soldier, let alone those at the highest level, to shame. "Why is it that the rank of Eagle Scout is an attribute highly sought in candidates for military academies, but will soon become unwelcome on military bases? How is it the Congress can sanction Scouting by issuing them a federal charter, but the courts can declare them 'outlaws?'
"Is there no one in Washington, D.C., at the highest levels of government that will stand up for Scouts, for scouting and support this movement that has long been an institution of the highest reputation in America? Where's the President? Where's his Cabinet? Where's the Congress? What are the courts doing? Where is the outrage?"
Cadmus then appealed to the Pentagon to "hold the line of assault on the Scouts.” He emplored them to "Stand up to the ACLU. Find a way to give those who serve our nation the chance to serve their children.” Based on what has taken place in recent years, it is hard to believe he will prevail in his appeal.
The Boy Scouts welcomes young people of all religious backgrounds, but it excludes homosexuals -- and the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld its right as a private organization to set its own membership rules.