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The ACLU's Thirty Years War

 
 
rayban1
 
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 11:09 am
Republicans and Conservatives in general have come to view the aggressive actions of the ACLU, especially against the Boy Scouts, as being motivated by a desire to cause divisiveness among Americans. They hide behind a cloak of being the great guardians of free speech while all the while causing dissention, bitterness and creating the perception that they will do and say anything to destroy many traditions and values that conservatives hold dear.

Many of us have come to view the ACLU as a very dangerous organization.

After you read the article.......what say you?

The ACLU's 30 Years War
Will the Boy Scouts ever hold their Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill again?
by Scott Johnson
08/08/2005 12:00:00 AM


A WEEK AGO YESTERDAY President Bush spoke before the more than 30,000 Boy Scouts attending the 16th National Scout Jamboree. The tragic deaths by electrocution of four adult Scout leaders on July 25 dominated news of the Jamboree, and the coverage of Bush's speech was perfunctory at best. Like many of President Bush's formal speeches, however, his remarks are worth reading in their entirety. They are eloquent, funny, personal, and moving.

Bush first noted that the "Scouts have set a high standard of service and duty to God and country." He observed that "through the generations, Scouts have made America a stronger and better country." After identifying the prominent former Scouts who serve in his administration, Bush paid tribute to the principles underlying the Scout movement and provided some striking advice regarding the enemies of those principles:

When you join a Scout troop and put on the Boy Scout uniform you make a statement. Your uniform is a sign that you're a certain kind of citizen--trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. These are the values of scouting, and they're important values for America. By working to live up to them, you're bringing great credit to yourselves and to our nation . . .

[A]lways remember where you come from and what you believe. At times, you may come across people who say that moral truth is relative, or call a religious faith a comforting illusion . . . But remember, lives of purpose are

constructed on the conviction that there is right and there is wrong, and we can know the difference.

In the years ahead you will find that indifferent or cynical people accomplish little that makes them proud. You'll find that confronting injustice and evil requires a vision of goodness and truth. You'll find that many in your community, especially those younger than you, look to you as an example. For your sake, and for the sake of our country, I hope you'll always strive to be men of conviction and character.

The Jamboree took place at Fort A.P. Hill in Caroline County, Virginia--its permanent home since 1981. Yet most coverage of the president's speech failed to note that the 2005 Jamboree may be the Scouts' last at the site. On June 22, Illinois federal district court Judge Blanche Manning prohibited the Defense Department from allowing the Scouts to use the site for future Jamborees.

WHY? Well, for the past 25 years the American Civil Liberties Union has conducted a legal war on the Boy Scouts. In 1980, the ACLU filed its first lawsuit seeking to remold the Scouts into an organization more to its liking. Claiming that the Scouts constituted a "public accommodation" for the purpose of state and local civil rights laws, the ACLU brought a discrimination suit against the Scouts on behalf of a troop leader excluded from membership after he took a male date to his senior prom. According to the ACLU throughout years of litigation, the Scouts didn't believe in anything in particular, so that its associational rights were not infringed by subjugation to the imperatives of state and local discrimination law.



That lawsuit was the first salvo in the ACLU's war on the Scouts; the ACLU subsequently brought similar lawsuits on behalf of homosexual Boy Scout leaders including James Dale. In the Supreme Court's 2000 decision in the Dale case, the Court rejected the ACLU's argument and held that the Scouts had a First Amendment right to determine their membership.

The Dale case represented only one of many fronts in the ACLU's war, though. In 1999, while the Dale case was working its way through the courts, the ACLU opened a second front in Winkler v. Chicago School Reform Board of Trustees. In Winkler, the ACLU contended that the Scouts are--contrary to the argument the ACLU pressed in Dale--a religious organization. Whereas the ACLU argued in Dale that the Scouts believed too little to qualify for First Amendment protection from governmental intrusion, in Winkler they argued that the Scouts believe too much, so to speak, to allow for governmental support. The ACLU attacked governmental support of Scouting programs as violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Judge Manning has dismissed certain of the ACLU claims on technical grounds, but has found that the federal statute authorizing the Defense Department to provide services and supplies in connection with Boy Scout Jamborees is unconstitutional. On June 22, Manning entered an order enjoining the Defense Department from providing aid under federal law for future Boy Scout Jamborees. Unless Judge Manning's order is reversed--a big "if" in light of the tortured condition of the Supreme Court's

Establishment Clause jurisprudence--the Boy Scouts' 2005 Jamboree will be its last at Fort A.P. Hill.

In his speech at the Jamboree, President Bush warned the Scouts that in the future they would confront indifferent or cynical people who accomplish little that makes them proud. With slight modification, this description seems to fit the forces of the ACLU with which the Scouts have now been contending for more than a generation. These forces have accomplished much, and although they should be ashamed, they are undoubtedly proud.

Scott Johnson is a contributing writer to THE DAILY STANDARD and a contributor to the blog Power Line.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,919 • Replies: 47
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 11:12 am
Yes, people who preach about noble principles and uniting while actually polarizing and dividing... very distasteful and dangerous. I agree.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 11:20 am
I happen to be an Eagle scout; and I agree with the ACLU. There was a whole lot of religious talk when I was in the Scouts and frankly I thought it was all a bunch of BS and hated it. Most of my fellow scouts were the same. Of course, there were always one or two goody-goody kids blathering on about god every second and how devout we should be, but we mostly just ignored them or dropped their tents when they got really annoying.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 11:36 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
I happen to be an Eagle scout; and I agree with the ACLU. There was a whole lot of religious talk when I was in the Scouts and frankly I thought it was all a bunch of BS and hated it. Most of my fellow scouts were the same. Of course, there were always one or two goody-goody kids blathering on about god every second and how devout we should be, but we mostly just ignored them or dropped their tents when they got really annoying.

Cycloptichorn


While there is undoubtedly too much "God talk" in the scouts, would you agree that the fundamental experience of being a scout and the principles they teach were a positive influence in your life or has the experience made you more cynical?
0 Replies
 
candidone1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 11:46 am
I'm not sure the Scouts are on trial here by you Rayban so much as the ACLU is.
What's your gripe with the organization?
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 11:47 am
Rayban
Rayban, have you forgotten that the ACLU protects the rights of people typical of your thinking?

BBB
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 11:52 am
Quote:
While there is undoubtedly too much "God talk" in the scouts, would you agree that the fundamental experience of being a scout and the principles they teach were a positive influence in your life or has the experience made you more cynical?


Of course. But that will go on whether or not the Jamboree is held on an Air Force base, now won't it?

Personally I believe the Scouts should be a non-religious, secular organization. But what do I know, I have only been involved in it my whole life....

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 12:07 pm
Re: Rayban
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Rayban, have you forgotten that the ACLU protects the rights of people typical of your thinking?

BBB


If you can name more than "one token" example I will give you a lollipop.
0 Replies
 
candidone1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 12:29 pm
Re: Rayban
rayban1 wrote:
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Rayban, have you forgotten that the ACLU protects the rights of people typical of your thinking?

BBB


If you can name more than "one token" example I will give you a lollipop.


OK, enought with the lollipops.
I think what's more to the heart of the issue isn't what some of the radical issues the ACLU tackles, rather, are there any moderate ACLU endeavours that are worth supporting?..and what's worth rejecting?
I think that the ACLU can at times be the human version of PETA, but Ray would prefer to look at some of the aberrations and paint the entire organization with that brush.

I support the ACLU's position that civil liberties need to be defended, but perhaps the organization which started out with good intentions has come to be an abomination in their own right.

Is there middle ground for you Ray? Or do you want to see the ACLU disbanded?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 01:08 pm
Re: Rayban
rayban1 wrote:
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Rayban, have you forgotten that the ACLU protects the rights of people typical of your thinking?

BBB


If you can name more than "one token" example I will give you a lollipop.


ACLU Comes to Rush Limbaugh's Defense
0 Replies
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 01:30 pm
Re: Rayban
joefromchicago wrote:
rayban1 wrote:
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Rayban, have you forgotten that the ACLU protects the rights of people typical of your thinking?

BBB


If you can name more than "one token" example I will give you a lollipop.


ACLU Comes to Rush Limbaugh's Defense


Joe
I purposely said "more than one" because as far as I know Rush is the ONLY
member of their hated opposition that they have ever defended and they only did that for the publicity
0 Replies
 
candidone1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 01:35 pm
Re: Rayban
rayban1 wrote:
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Rayban, have you forgotten that the ACLU protects the rights of people typical of your thinking?

BBB


If you can name more than "one token" example I will give you a lollipop.



ACLU of New Jersey Successfully Defends Republican Candidates' Right to Political Speech
ACLU defends Christian school kids
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 01:44 pm
Thank God for the ACLU! They have one of the most consistant forces on the side of American values.

They have consistantly been on the side of the rights of all Americans from defending the rights of the KKK, to protecting the freedom of expression for Christians, to preventing the institution of religion.

If there is a thirty year war involving the ACLU, I am firmly on the side of the ACLU.

They are right about the Boy Scouts. The ACLU is even more important now with even more crucial issues involving the rights of Muslims and immigrants and the current assault of civil rights.

Fortunately fundraising for the ACLU is at very high right now thank to the generosity of freedom loving Americans.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 02:28 pm
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Quote:
While there is undoubtedly too much "God talk" in the scouts, would you agree that the fundamental experience of being a scout and the principles they teach were a positive influence in your life or has the experience made you more cynical?


Of course. But that will go on whether or not the Jamboree is held on an Air Force base, now won't it?

Personally I believe the Scouts should be a non-religious, secular organization. But what do I know, I have only been involved in it my whole life....

Cycloptichorn


Consider that the Boy Scouts is non-denominational and that a scout is reverent, why should the organization be non-religious? God plays a central role in scouting and represents a pillar in both the Scout Oath and Law. Perhaps scouting is not the organization for some because of their beliefs, but to penalize others because you, or the ACLU do not like the way God is used within the organization seems, well, stupid.

This particular case seems to be another one of those situations where a lawyer was not allowed to play with the other boys when he was a kid and now has a hard-on for screwing it up for everyone else. The Boy Scouts play a valuable part in molding the lives of many of America's young citizens. It's a shame to see this happen.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 02:34 pm
Re: Rayban
rayban1 wrote:
Joe
I purposely said "more than one" because as far as I know Rush is the ONLY
member of their hated opposition that they have ever defended and they only did that for the publicity

You're right, you asked for more than one example, and BBB also requested "people typical of your thinking."

ACLU Defends Talking Penis
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 02:42 pm
McGentrix,

The question is not whether the Boy Scouts should be religious or non-religious. Of course there are plenty of religious organizations that exist and no one, not even the ACLU, has a problem with that. In fact, the ACLU has defended the rights of many religious organizations.

The issue is that if the Boy Scouts is a religious group, that it must act like a religious group. We live in a secular democracy with a tradition fo separation of church and state that is defended by law.

Preferential treatment of a religious group by a government agency is a problem.

If the Boy Scouts are a religious group they need to respect the fact that they get no special treatment. As a religious group they will not be able to serve all citizens... that is not the mission of a religious group. But as a religious group they can teach morals that may not be shared by all, or causes that may not be agreed with by all or views of God or Tenets or beliefs.

If the Boy Scouts were a secular group they would not exclude legitimate portions of society such as atheists or homosexuals. This would mean they could have a misison of benefitting all of society as a whole and

The Boy Scouts have chosen to be a religious group with a value system that is not accepted by me or many other Americans. They have a rather narrow view of God and use this to exclude certain Americans from participating.

The Boy Scouts have the right to exist.

They do not have the rights to special treatment that they might have if they were a secular organization serving all Americans.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 02:43 pm
Quote:
Consider that the Boy Scouts is non-denominational and that a scout is reverent, why should the organization be non-religious? God plays a central role in scouting and represents a pillar in both the Scout Oath and Law. Perhaps scouting is not the organization for some because of their beliefs, but to penalize others because you, or the ACLU do not like the way God is used within the organization seems, well, stupid.


Well, you either believe that Scouting is/should be a Non-Denominational Religious organization or you don't. I don't. All the best lessons of scouting have nothing to do with religion. It seems a shame to me to punish those children who don't believe by forcing them to fit into a certain structure of belief; and since I was one of those kids for 10 years and have been involved in Scouting for another 8 past that I think I have a pretty good idea of how prevalent this is.

There is no penalty in the case under question; merely a clarification that if Scouting wishes to remain a religious organization, they will have to distance themselves from any governmental freebies or special recognition, as our Secular society is not allowed to do such things.

Quote:
This particular case seems to be another one of those situations where a lawyer was not allowed to play with the other boys when he was a kid and now has a hard-on for screwing it up for everyone else. The Boy Scouts play a valuable part in molding the lives of many of America's young citizens. It's a shame to see this happen.


Out of maybe 80 scouts in my troop one or two were religious. The rest of us focused on the real lessons of scouting: how to live off of the land, how to fix things, how to build things, how to compose ourselves as gentlemen. None of those have anything to do with Religion at all. Of course the religious kids constantly harped on about our sins but we figured we'd see them in hell, so there was plenty of time for revenge later.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 02:59 pm
Quote:
Getting government off the backs of the people is the whole idea of liberty."


link

Quote:
The ACLU Defends Everybody
Its clients have ranged from Muhammad Ali to Oliver North, but its real allegiance is to the Bill of Rights

On paper, an organization that supports the Bill of Rights seems harmless enough, but for eight decades the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has enraged liberals and conservatives alike. Admirers say it is a Constitutional watchdog that defends persecuted minorities and preserves freedom of speech and dissent. Detractors insist it has a warped view of what the Constitution says. No matter what you think of the ACLU, it is probably the most potent legal organization in America, with 275,000 members, taking some 6,000 cases annually.


link

Liberals don't care for it. Conservatives hate it. I guess that leaves Libertarians to be in favour of the ACLU and free speech.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 03:06 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
McGentrix,

The question is not whether the Boy Scouts should be religious or non-religious. Of course there are plenty of religious organizations that exist and no one, not even the ACLU, has a problem with that. In fact, the ACLU has defended the rights of many religious organizations.

The issue is that if the Boy Scouts is a religious group, that it must act like a religious group. We live in a secular democracy with a tradition fo separation of church and state that is defended by law.

Preferential treatment of a religious group by a government agency is a problem.

If the Boy Scouts are a religious group they need to respect the fact that they get no special treatment. As a religious group they will not be able to serve all citizens... that is not the mission of a religious group. But as a religious group they can teach morals that may not be shared by all, or causes that may not be agreed with by all or views of God or Tenets or beliefs.

If the Boy Scouts were a secular group they would not exclude legitimate portions of society such as atheists or homosexuals. This would mean they could have a misison of benefitting all of society as a whole and

The Boy Scouts have chosen to be a religious group with a value system that is not accepted by me or many other Americans. They have a rather narrow view of God and use this to exclude certain Americans from participating.

The Boy Scouts have the right to exist.

They do not have the rights to special treatment that they might have if they were a secular organization serving all Americans.


The Boy Scouts is not a religious organization. It is a youth organization that recognizes belief as a pillar of it's organization. The Catholic Church is a religious organization, not the Boy Scouts.

A belief in God does not necessitate a religious organization. It's a narrow vision that would believe they are as every country in the world including every religion is represented within the organization. When the good of the country is harmed because of the beliefs of a few then we must take action. That's why the ACLU is wrong in doing what they are. They want their narrow view to be considered over the view of the majority of the population and the Boy Scouts do not represent the great harm the ACLU would present.

This is a foolish waste of time, money and effort that could be better used.
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2005 03:11 pm
Here is a true and unadulterated Scout story.

I joined the scouts as soon as I was old enough and bought into it hook line and sinker. One summer went to Camp Y-Noah for a camporee or jamboree or whatever they called it. I had never been in the country and spent a little free time walking around the camp. /when I returned to my tent my patrol leader was giving my tent mate a blow job and told me I could be next. I think it was the most crushing moment of my young life up until then. I went and told one of the scout leaders and for my trouble was called a liar, sequestered, and mother was called to come and get me, a very difficult thing because we didn't;' have a car. They told her I made up this lie because I couldn't adjust to being away from her and they suspected I was a homosexual.

Tell me McGentrix, do you think God was pleased about this?

This was one of the watershed moments in my life that caused me to view everything and every pious "decent" male authority figure with a jaded eye forever more. Good job Scouting.
0 Replies
 
 

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