War on the Boy Scouts

War on the Boy Scouts

(The first of four blog entries that originally appeared on Beliefnet when I was guest-blogging for Charlotte Hays.)

Last week, the Pentagon agreed not to sponsor Boy Scout troops on military bases after the ACLU sued the government. The ACLU’s suit ridiculously claimed that “the government not be administering religious oaths or discriminating based on religious beliefs.” This is stretching believability.

For one thing, the oath involved here is not an oath of loyalty to government, but an oath provided by the Boy Scouts organization. And for another thing, the Boy Scout Oath only mentions God once and not in a way tied to a specific religion. But then, the ACLU and its liberal anti-religion allies have successfully lobbied the courts over the years to declare that antipathy toward religion is a religion and that the First Amendment requires an absence of religion in the public square.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
3 comments
  • As an active adult Scout volunteer, one who has met recently with his fellows on this very matter, I can tell you (speaking strictly for myself and not for the BSA) that the Dept of Defense was merely clarifying and enforcing an already-stated policy regarding the use of military facilities for outside groups. Active duty personnel are still free to volunteer for Scout units, and can still meet off-base on their own time.

    And the National Jamboree will still be held at Fort A P Hill in Virginia.

    As to belief in God as a matter of the Scout Oath and Law, the BSA has never tried to define for a boy who or what “God” is. As with AA, it has always been “God as we understand him.”

    The program of religious awards for Scouts is managed not by the BSA, but by the youth committees of the various religious bodies. Buddhists have had a BSA religious award for over half a century, and I don’t believe they subscribe to a belief in a specific Supreme Being, as do Jews or Christians or Muslims. There is even an award for followers of Maher Baba, an Eastern spiritual guru.

    For more information on the BSA policy, and other legal matters concerning them, go to the following website…

    http://www.bsalegal.org/

    …which is set up by BSA especially for this purpose.

    DLA

  • “Meher Baba” famous as Pete Townshends guru.

    I know when I was a catholic Boy Scout that DeMolay society stuff was really spooky, we had to stay away coz’ it was evil…;-)

  • I should have mentionded that I was a Scout. Made it all the way to First Class and Senior Patrol Leader before the troop folded because lack of leaders. I was also DeMolay. Or was it Parvuli Dei? I can’t remember now. Wasn’t DeMolay the Masonic thing?

    Anyway, while the Jamboree is still scheduled for AP Hill as of right now, the ACLU is considering filing a lawsuit because of the 2 million dollars the Pentagon spends every four years to prepare the site. That’s what they’re upset about.

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