By MIKE ROBINSON, Associated Press Writer
CHICAGO - The Pentagon has agreed to warn military bases worldwide not to directly sponsor
Boy Scout troops, partially resolving claims that the government has engaged in
religious discrimination by supporting a group that requires members to believe
The settlement announced Monday is part of a series of
legal challenges in recent years over how closely the government should be
aligned with the Boy Scouts of America, a venerable organization that boasts a
membership of more than 3.2 million members.
Civil liberties advocates have set their sights on the
organization's policies because the group bans openly gay scout leaders and
compels members to swear an oath of duty to God. The ACLU believes that direct
government sponsorship of such a program amounts to discrimination.
"If our Constitution's promise of religious liberty is to be
a reality, the government should not be administering religious oaths or
discriminating based on religious beliefs," said ACLU attorney Adam Schwartz.(snip)
Mata Musing: I could be wrong, but I know of no BSA "requirement" to believe in God. I have a nephew who is a Scout, and my sister's family are not members nor attend church services. Certainly when he joined, there was no questionnaire demanding if he was a believer in a deity or not.
I doubt he even twitches when speaking the Scout oath to do duty to God and country. No more than many of the same with lackadaisical attitudes towards religion do when saying "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The ACLU.... a good idea when it started.Long since hijacked by radical left, bent on undermining the US at every turn. It is them we can thank when our military runs into an Islamic terrorist ... again... after his release from Gitmo. Makes me wonder how do they sleep at night?
But on with some more excerpts.
The settlement does not resolve other ACLU claims involving
government spending that benefits the Boy Scouts, such as money used to prepare
a Virginia military base for the Boy Scout Jamboree and grants used by state and
local governments to benefit the Boy Scouts, Schwartz said.
He said the Pentagon spends $2 million every year to prepare
the Virginia base for the jamboree, held once every four years. He said the
Defense Department also makes annual allocations of $100,000 to support Boy
Scout units on military bases overseas and $100,000 to improve Boy Scout
properties, such as summer camps.
Attorney Marcia Berman, who represented the Defense
Department, declined to comment on the settlement Monday. But Justice Department
spokesman Charles Miller said the message that will be sent to bases
represents "a clarification of an existing rule that DOD personnel cannot be
involved in an official capacity."(snip)