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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

ACLU suit alarming

The American Civil Liberties Union has crossed the line once again. This time, it is suing the city of San Diego over the Boy Scouts’ use of the city’s property. Continuing its quest to completely secularize American society, the ACLU is using a liberal interpretation of the First Amendment to justify its argument. The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The ACLU’s case asserts that because the Boy Scouts is a religious organization, its association with San Diego is in violation of the Constitution.
The history of legal battles between the two groups goes back almost a decade. The battle centers around the Boy Scouts’ policy toward spirituality and sexual orientation. The Scouts maintain that it may be selective with its membership in requiring members to believe in God and not allowing openly homosexual members. Many in this politically correct age disagree and will go to great lengths to stop the selectivity.
The most alarming issue in the debate is the classification of the Boy Scouts as a religious organization. The Scouts’ Web site claims that its mission is to “train young people in citizenship, service and leadership,” and “offer young people responsible fun and adventure.”
Anyone who has been a part of the Boy Scouts organization knows that it is a far cry from a religious worship service.
In an interview with Fox News, Boy Scouts lawyer George Davidson expressed the sentiment that the Scouts are open to all faiths and have Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and even pantheistic members. Given the great diversity of the group, it hardly seems plausible that the Scouts pose any threat of establishing a national religion, as prohibited in the Constitution.
The Boy Scouts has been an excellent tenant of San Diego’s property throughout its 90 years there. During its tenure at Balboa Park, the Boy Scouts has spent millions of its own dollars developing the area, said Eagle Scout Hans Zeiger in his column on www.americasvoices.org. Improvements include a 600-seat amphitheater, a swimming pool and campgrounds for up to 300.
In addition, the Scouts has provided the city a great service by helping to maintain undeveloped portions of the park at no cost to the city. Zieger calls this “classic public-private partnership.” While the “Church,” if you classify the Scouts as such, and “state” remain separate entities, there is no Constitutional reason that the two cannot work together for mutually beneficial endeavors.
The current debate hits close to home, as the decision made in California will set the precedent for what course of action will be taken all over the country against the Boy Scouts and similar organizations.
Furthermore, the attack on the Boy Scouts represents an attack on traditional American culture and values that have guided our nation from its beginning. This case is only one example of the dangerous power that courts have to interpret the law according to current public opinion. It is scary to see how much freedom the courts have been given to set precedents, and subsequently strayed away from the simplicity laid down in the Constitution for governing the United States. It seems hard to believe that the same founding fathers who wrote the First Amendment could have foreseen it being used to attack the Boy Scouts, an organization that admittedly promotes traditional American values and morals.
The majority of Americans support the efforts of the Boy Scouts to raise a conscientious generation of future American leaders, and it is time that the “silent majority” take a stand against the direction that a vocal minority group is attempting to lead our nation.

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