Scouting For Boys
A message from the Boy Scouts of America, no longer on their site:
Bruce Collins is mistaken when he calls Boy Scouts a "fundamentally different" organization from the one he joined 40 years ago. ["An Eagle Scout Takes Issue With Group's Politics" July, p. 7]. Boy Scouts is the same organization with the same values and goals. What is fundamentally different, however, is our times.
Some intolerant elements in our society want to force scouting to abandon its values and to become fundamentally different. They want scouting to forego its constitutional rights, affirmed in 2000 by the Supreme Court in BSA v. Dale, and adopt fundamentally different values from the ones that helped shape the character of Mr. Collins and 106 million other young men over the past 94 years.
It bothers Mr. Collins that scouting is defending itself, even though he acknowledged that it has been "dragged into" the "culture war." He says the tone of our legal-issues web site, bsalegal.org, is defensive. The site does seek to defend our values and to inform the public about the three-decade-long legal assault on scouting. That we need a legal-issues web site is testament to the fact that our constitutional rights are under attack.
Clearly, Mr. Collins longs for a time when the Boy Scout organization could give its undivided attention to the "good stuff" of Scouting: "camping and life skills ..." So do we. Mr. Collins would do well to communicate his displeasure to those directing their discriminatory assault against his beloved Boy Scouts -- the ACLU.
Douglas S. Smith Jr.
National Director of Program
Boy Scouts of America
Welcome to the machine, Doug. I think I'll stick with the ACLU, if you don't mind.
The header on the BSA's page reads: "Preparing Young People to Make Ethical and Moral Choices Over Their Lifetime." Must be a new program.
Update: Tom DeLay was a Boy Scout too. That cinches it.