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Author Topic: The ACLU and the "Evil" Boy Scouts
flydye45
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www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005946

quote:
Ever since the Supreme Court upheld the Scouts' First Amendment right to bar Scoutmasters who are openly gay, the ACLU has looked for softer targets. The suit against the military is one of a series aimed at getting communities to deny access to public facilities. The original lawsuit also challenged the city of Chicago's sponsorship of troops in public schools, another venue where sponsors aren't always easy to find. The city settled.
In Connecticut the ACLU has succeeded in getting the state to remove the Scouts from the list of charitable institutions to which public employees may make voluntary contributions. And earlier this year it settled a suit against the city of San Diego, which agreed to evict the Scouts from a public park they have been using since 1918. The Scouts countersued, lost, and the case is now on appeal before the Ninth Circuit.

The question no one seems to be asking is, who's better off as a result of these lawsuits? Surely not the 3.2 million Boy Scouts, whose venerable organization is part of the web of voluntary associations once considered the bedrock of American life. If anything, the purpose of the ACLU attacks is to paint Scouts as religious bigots. Other losers are communities themselves, which are forced to sever ties to an organization that helps to build character in young men.

Perhaps this is part of the "special privliges" that religious people enjoy, but I can't see the harm. This is certainly an important use of the ACLU's time and money, making it hard on boys trying to be good for an ideological legal point.

Picking one's fights is important. Does anyone else think this is worth the millions in taxpayer money (the military and other cities defending) not to mention the charitable gifts to the ACLU?

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Haggis
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Are you speaking of this specific case or the ACLU in general?
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Zyne
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Yes. Fighting evil discrimination is not an ideological legal point.
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flydye45
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This specific case. Some ideological points are well worth fighting. I don't think this is one of them.

And I don't think this is "evil" discrimination. Just because someone doesn't like it doesn't make it wrong.

A similar argument would be to insist on a "pro-heterosexuality" float at every gay pride parade. Right wing silliness versus Left wing silliness. All this does is harm to kids.

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ATW
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The ACLU isn't concerned with taxpayer money. Its concerned about the rights of whatever individuals the local ACLU chapters choose to help.

While I applaud the ACLU's work in general, its cases like these that keep me from ever considering making a contribution. Its like killing gnats in your house with a flamethrower.

The Boy Scouts chooses some kids to help but doesn't choose others. They allow some people to be workers but not others.

Surprise, surprise, most organizations do the same thing. Other organizations get away with it because they don't spell out their policies in writing like the BSer's do.

Local ACLU chapters choose which cases to accept so there's not supposed to be a national coordination. But whether there's an official coordination or not, there is in effect a vendetta by the ACLU against the scouts.

I don't believe that non-profit organization #1 should legally harrass non-profit organization #2 until #2 changes what it does to comply with the way #1 thinks things ought to be done.

If the ACLU is that concerned about the way the scouts are doing things to the point that it won't let it go, the ACLU should start its own kids organization rather than continuing to find ways to harrass the scouts.

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aupton15
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In general I'm in favor of the Boy Scouts. I think they do a great service in giving boys a chance to be boys, and learn things at the same time. But I don't think it's too much to ask that they not discriminate against gay scout leaders. Teaching children it's okay to discriminate diminishes the otherwise good work the organization does. If you think homosexuality is wrong, that's fine with me. If you don't want your child to be part of an organization with a gay leader, by all means remove your children. That is your right, and your decision to make. If people made decisions like this instead of trying to remove unwanted people from all public life, the ACLU would have very little to do. There is not a single law that says you can't band together with a few other men and their sons, and do most of what the scouts do, and dictate who can and cannot join you. If it is the gay presence in the scouts that concerns you, you can leave it behind rather than fighting to expel it.
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Haggis
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Well, as much as I'd like to see the Scouts be more inclusionary, I don't believe that a private group should have to allow everybody to be included in the organization.

I look at this as a social issue rather than a legal issue, so in this case, I think this particular battle is one the ACLU should not have picked.

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Adam Masterman
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I'm sort of torn on this one (anyone else), since the resources for kids to learn how to be good citizens seem more and more necessary. The Boy Scouts do this for the most part. And yet, they also officially condone what to me is a reprehensible bigotry. The ACLU is certainly entitled to do what they are doing, just as much as the Boy Scouts are entitled to discriminate. Personally, I wonder if it would be possible to convince the Boy Scouts to change their view on gays. I realize the unlikelyhood of this, but for me it would really be the only good possible outcome.
Adam

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The Drake
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There was a great satirical article in the Onion titled

"ACLU Defends Nazis' Right To Burn Down ACLU Headquarters"

They do seem to get pretty extreme like that. What's weird is that the ACLU might also sue the city to open the park for KKK members to have a rally -- the same park that they fought to exclude the scouts from. They rarely appear to have consistency, maybe due to the independent nature of the local chapters. ACLU is the ultimate contrarian group, I think they often take up the least popular side of an argument regardless of the circumstances.

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Wayward Son
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Keep in mind that the ACLU is not trying to "exclude" the Scouts from any public properties. Rather, it is trying to remove any exclusive right or special discounts to public properties because of their exclusitory religious stance. Once they no longer have special privileges, the ACLU will no longer have a case.

Shouldn't you also ask, flydye, why the Boy Scouts continue to fight for special privileges? If they just admitted that they are not a public institution, that they exclude certain members of the public and religious beliefs, and did not ask for special discounts and exclusive usage of public lands, then there wouldn't be a case, would there?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Keep in mind that the ACLU is not trying to "exclude" the Scouts from any public properties. Rather, it is trying to remove any exclusive right or special discounts to public properties because of their exclusitory religious stance. Once they no longer have special privileges, the ACLU will no longer have a case.
I don't buy it, seeing the insane and intrusive lawsuits the ACLU has used against the LDS church, regarding the use of our own private land. And BSA aren't asking for "exclusive" use of public lands, nor for any unique privileges.
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flydye45
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Aupton15:

So, I have an scout troop of 25 kids. The law has forced the Boy Scouts to have to accept Neil because he wants to be a scout leader for his own uncertain reasons (cou-activist!-gh). So the troop loses, say, 10 members. Now it is less fiscally viable, has a limited impact in it's charity work, has a lot of acrimony between parents who used to scout together, and may not be eligable for much support from Scout central because of the size of the troop. Just so Neil can make a stand. This isn't minority housing. The point isn't that pressing except to the fanatics on both sides. The Boy Scouts don't want to change, and the ACLU wants to destroy them for it. How nice.

Wayward: I believe the thrust of the ACLU argument is that since Scouts are a "religious" body, they cannot be given access to public lands, public charities, etc. This is a vendetta, not a legal case. And the Scouts didn't "ask" for them. Citizens gave them such things because moral youth was considered an important thing. But the same was true of marriage.

Sometimes it is in societies interests to give privliges. This is such a case. So is marriage.

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aupton15
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I know it's not that easy to be a scout leader. The only openly gay scout leaders that I heard of had been in the scouts for a long time, and were removed when the other leaders learned that he was gay. It's not as if the scouts are being invaded or anything. Yes, some parents will have a fit and withdraw their children. Some children will probably be worse off in the short-term. But I prefer that to teaching children that the way to deal with people you don't like is to exclude them from a public, and publicly funded, organization. You can be as exclusive as you want with things that you fund yourself. I think if your activist Neil is so energized by this issue that he is willing to sacrifice the time and energy it takes to become a scout leader, and then to stay with it, he is probably going to do more good than harm to the children he works with. But I think it is even more likely that a gay person can still feel strongly about the need for organizations like the Boy Scouts, and just wants to be a part of it.
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Wayward Son
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I can't speak for all the ACLU lawsuits, but the one in San Diego was not to forbid them from using public land. There was an area in Balboa Park that was set aside almost exclusively for Boy Scouts use. They maintained it, put whatever facilities on it they wanted, and could use it whenever they wanted it. For this nearly exclusive use, they were charged an annual rent of $1.

(I suppose other organizations could use the facilities, but they would have to make it fit with the Boy Scouts scheduled use. The Scouts had first dibs on any use of the land.)

AFAIK, the Scouts can still use any public facility, just as any other religious organization can. They simply cannot have special rights to them.

And Pete, just because you believe that the ACLU is targetting the LDS church (a belief I disagree with), it does not mean that they are targetting the Boy Scouts in a similar manner. That is prejudice talking, not reason.

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maniacal_engineer
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the scouts stance is just a protection against the same sort of scandal that rocked the catholic church. BSA has very strict rules about always having two leaders and stuff like that. They dont want the homosexual leader preying on the youth.

No one has a problem with not letting a couple of mid-twenties men lead a troop of 15~17 year old girl scouts on a week long back country hike. Why is it any different with a gay scout leader. DUH
The boy scouts is not an explicitly religious organization any more than the USA is an explicitly religious contry because the founding documents make reference to "nature and nature's god". The BSA make reference to a non-denominational 'god', but hindus, buddhists, catholics, protestants, mormons, jews, muslims, ad nauseum are all welcome. I dont know about druids, or practitioners of the ancient aztec religions, and I suspect that human sacrifice would be frowned on.

The maniacal Engineer, also an eagle scout and a
scoutmaster.

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Wayward Son
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So, ME, could a minister of a church be a scoutmaster if said minister was an avowed homosexual? If not, why not?

In fact, why do the Boy Scouts say that homosexuals are not allowed to be scoutmasters?

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Dave at Work
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quote:

I can't speak for all the ACLU lawsuits, but the one in San Diego was not to forbid them from using public land. There was an area in Balboa Park that was set aside almost exclusively for Boy Scouts use. They maintained it, put whatever facilities on it they wanted, and could use it whenever they wanted it. For this nearly exclusive use, they were charged an annual rent of $1.

(I suppose other organizations could use the facilities, but they would have to make it fit with the Boy Scouts scheduled use. The Scouts had first dibs on any use of the land.)

AFAIK, the Scouts can still use any public facility, just as any other religious organization can. They simply cannot have special rights to them.

When I was in San Diego I visited the park on a regular basis. The area which the Boy Scouts used was completely built and maintained by the Boy Scouts with, as I recall, no upkeep from the City whatsoever. Additionally I recall that many organizations had access, and used that access on a regular basis, to that portion of the park. I even recall Gay and Lesbian groups using that area on a number of occasions

What this says to me is that the Boy Scouts built the facilities and maintained those facilities and the grounds at their own expense for something like 9 decades. Other groups were allowed access to the facilities and grounds maintained by them and as far as I know even when the groups using it held views antithetical to their own they did not complain about it. Now because of the ACLU suit, the facilities and grounds will have to be maintained by the city and while the Boy Scouts will not have the same level of access that they used to enjoy, they will still be able to use the land with the same level of access as anyone else, the portion of the park which was built and maintained through the volunteer work of the Boy Scouts and money donated to them for its upkeep will suffer degradation as the money necessary for the city to maintain it would have to come from elsewhere in the city budget. In addition the city of San Diego paid for the privalege of this additional expense by forking over millions of dollars to the ACLU which will be using to go after the Boy Scouts in other venues as they have been doing for over 20 years now.

Effectively the ACLU has conned the city of San Diego into giving them a public win against the Boy Scouts and paying for it out of the city budget without really changing the access the Boy Scouts has to Balboa Park much at all.

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Wayward Son
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But don't forget the Boy Scouts part in this.

The City of San Diego's attourney general fought for the Boy Scouts to maintain their use of the land. They argued that the Boy Scouts were not a discriminatory organization. But well into the suit, the Boy Scouts decided that they were a discriminatory organization, and claimed that as a private organization, they had the right to do so. So the entire case that the City had been arguing suddenly became moot.

So the City threw up its hands and withdrew from the fight.

All the ACLU asked was that the Boy Scouts be treated like every other private religious organization, which the Boy Scouts claim to be. If the City had not tried to fight it, there would have been no expensive lawsuit, and there would have been no financial compensation to the ACLU. It is only because the Boy Scouts want to be a private organization with their own discriminatory rules, and yet publically supported, that there is any conflict. And for this the ACLU is the villian?

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Daruma28
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Nah. I villify them for supporting NAMBLA.
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Dave at Work
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I will have to look up the link, but I read somewhere that the original owners of the land which became Balboa Park included a statement in the document turning over the land to the city that a portion of the land must be made available to the Boy Scouts of America for an annual fee. If true, it would be a hoot if the decendents of those original owners chose to reclaim the land from the city because the city didn't follow that clause any longer because the ACLU wanted to stick it to the Boy Scouts again. I will look for the link and post it when I find it.
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Dave at Work
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It seems that I was wrong about that last one. The reference I saw to the supposed original owners donating the land for Balboa Park demanding that the Boy Scouts of America be leased a portion of it for a yearly fee turns out to have been in a comment on a blog. When I looked at the history of Balboa Park it turns out that the land was originally set aside by SanDiego leaders in 1868 which as I recall is a few decades before the Boy Scouts of America was founded which directly contradicts what the commenter said.
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Richard Dey
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Dave at Work is quite right. The founder of the Scouts got the idea as a British spy in either the first or second Boer Wars (I'm not sure which).

It is also ironic that Balboa Park is the only gay cruising area in San Diego noted in Spartacus (the gay guide to such things), something which generally means that it is or is going out of fashion.

Indeed, the ironies seem to be quite lost to BSA Management HQ in some drainage ditch in TX.

The BSA isn't true to its own history (whose First World Scout was a homosexual); why would anybody expect the BSA to be true to anybody else's history if it can't be true to its own?

Its misleadership, under the pretense of being a national organization for all American boys, has imposed Judaeo-Christian 'morality' on an organization that, in the US, was bound to no state religion (as it was in the UK) and should not, therefore, be making religious requirements for admission at all whilst expecting any assistance from the government (which it has insisted upon from its very begnnings).

This isn't to say that the Sea Scouts (far superior to mere Boy Scouts), have not been adjutantly useful to the Coast Guard or that the BSA hasn't prepared many a young cuss for military fodder, but to say that HQ should set good behavioral examples for their underlings. Being moralizing snobs doesn't set a good example.

The BSA is not DeMolay (named for yet another homosexual) but an organization which in nearly 100 years of advertising has promoted itself as the national boys' organization and only in a knee-jerking way has it refused to accept homosexuals (as they came out). It's more don't-ask-don't-tell; it's more lies; it's more hypocrisy.

flydye45's assumption that homosexuality is 'immoral' is an Abrahamic presumption, not a world standard, and no longer a United States standard. If it is not illegal, the morality of it ought be irrelevant to the adminsitration of a national organization; and to pay attention to its own homosexual and homophobic problems amongst its management (and I'm making a list). Suddenly now, the Boy Scouts are not assuming the role of a national but a religious organization? And how very religiously they are responding!

"We're right, you're wrong. You nasty fags can't come along." -- banner at last year's Pride Parade in Boston --

Whether the ACLU takes on such an unworthy organization or not is of no interest to me -- but is it really a good idea to be sending one's children into such hypocritical outfits? There are innumerable other child-service organizations who do a far-better job that aren't run by snobs. What a terrible example to set for children, gay children or straight children!

Take your neighborhood kids hunting and fishing. What we need is kids who can shoot straight and catch their own dinners.

Richard Dey, ex- Cub Scout and Sea Scout

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Ivan
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WS has articulated my viewpoint on this fairly well. BSA is a private organization that excludes whomever they want to; its their right. But the government has rules for dealing with private organizations, and the BSA should be held to the same standard that all others are.
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flydye45
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quote:
flydye45's assumption that homosexuality is 'immoral' is an Abrahamic presumption, not a world standard, and no longer a United States standard.
Read what I wrote! I never stated a moral supposition in this matter. I am stating that the ACLU is wasting their time, our time, a lot of people's money for their own "home grown" morality. Considering some of their other fights for NAMBLA, convicted cop killers, and having such moral abominations as a Christmas tree, Creche or Menora on Public Land; my criticism is that they really need a life instead of beating on a tame organization like the Boy Scouts.

Now, if I remembered being taught to beat homosexuals as a scout, I would feel you had a point. Instead I was taught crazy things, like Knots, how to start a fire, Loyalty, Charity. Yeah, real sick stuff.

I feel strongly that the ACLU should ask themselves if they are damaging society as it is more then they are making the society they want to create. If they tear apart society as is, it serves no one, particularly since I think their utopia is a pipe dream.

By their lovely choices, the ACLU is teaching (at least Red) Americans that the Legal profession and the Courts can be an enemy. What happens when people lose faith in the Law? That is all that protects minorities from the Mob, a faith in the Courts.

You should think about this carefully...

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flydye45
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Let me rephrase that last paragraph.

Our current society serves everyone better then chaos. The ACLU picks poor fights that make people doubt the Law. And they pick fights based purely (it seems) to p!$$ people off.

This is a fight like that.

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SpencerHR
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I honestly don't think it's such a big deal that the Boy Scouts don't let gay men be scoutmasters. After all, nobody would be up in arms if men were trying to become leaders of girl scout troops, and the girl scouts wouldn't let them. Not that something wrong would necessarily occur, but it would just be inappropriate. It's the same for the gay men trying to become scoutmasters. Nobody's saying that they would definitely molest the boys or anything, just that it would be inappropriate.

If you think the Boy Scouts are bigots for not allowing gay men to be Scoutmasters, but would not be willing to let your teenage girls to go camping with a couple of twenty- or thirty-something straight men, then you are the one that is prejudiced.

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JLMyers
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Discrimination is wrong. Religion should not be sponsored by the government. That said; the ACLU should leave the Boy Scouts alone.

KE

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Pete at Home
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quote:
It is only because the Boy Scouts want to be a private organization with their own discriminatory rules, and yet publically supported, that there is any conflict. And for this the ACLU is the villian?
Because as you just did, they use misleading terminology in order to stretch the law to hurt those that they hate. In this case the misleading terminology is "publically supported." The Boy Scouts were not being supported by tax dollars.


quote:
In addition the city of San Diego paid for the privalege of this additional expense by forking over millions of dollars to the ACLU which will be using to go after the Boy Scouts in other venues as they have been doing for over 20 years now.
If Republicans had a brain between them, they'd use their majority to revise the statutes on civil rights lawsuits and REMOVE establishment clause actions from that category. That would mean that the ACLU could not recover attorney's fees for winning lawsuits based on banning Christmas trees, on enabling antireligious pogroms on church property, and the like. This change would remove the threat to cities that defend such vicious lawsuits.

Hell, they could go further, and say that the plaintiff pays defendant's fees in establishment cases if the defendant wins.

Turn the damned tables.

I'll have to look up that statute and start a thread.

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Jesse
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The boy scouts were being supported by tax dollars Pete.

A dollar a year for a property that would have leased for over a million a year?

How is that not support?

If the BSA wants to be a "private religious organization" they should have stepped up to the plate and offered to purchase the land from the City.

As far as the argument that keeping openly gay men (and boys) out of scouting protects children from pedophiles, more than one study has shown that openly gay men are statistically less likely to molest boys than "heterosexual" men.

Pedophilia and Homosexuality are not related.

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LoverOfJoy
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Million a year? How much do the others pay to use it? How much more do they use it than the boy scouts? I doubt it's anywhere near that much. And I thought I heard the boy scouts were taking care of all the upkeep of the place. How much would THAT cost the government? It sounds more like the Resident Assistant in my dorm complex that gets free rent for her duties (I think she gets some cash, too).

Also, I know the boy scouts are a private institution but I didn't know they were a religious institution. What religion are they?

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Dave at Work
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quote:
The boy scouts were being supported by tax dollars Pete.

A dollar a year for a property that would have leased for over a million a year?

How is that not support?

The property was completely improved and maintained by the Boy Scouts. By that I mean that all the buildings and other physical "improvements" to the land as well as all of the upkeep were either done by Boy Scout volunteers or paid for by the Boy Scouts. Whatever value the land actually had was greatly improved by the actions of the Boy Scouts with respect to it. Now the upkeep and whatever further improvements might be made to the land will have to be paid for by the city whereas before all of that was taken care of by the Boy Scouts. In short the city got a benefit far beyond the $1 a year they had been recieving directly by leasing the land to the Boy Scouts.

quote:
If the BSA wants to be a "private religious organization" they should have stepped up to the plate and offered to purchase the land from the City.
First off, I don't see the BSA as a "private religious organization." Yes they promote Christian values, but they are not specific to any sect of Christianity. I recall at least one non-christian member in one of the Troops I was in as I grew up. (I lived in three different states while I was in the Boy Scouts). There may have been more. He was not asked to leave. He was not discriminated against in any way that I was aware of. I do not know if that is common or uncommon across the spectrum of Boy Scout Troops, but I would be suprised if it wasn't common.

Secondly, why should the BSA be required to purchase the land in order to use it if other "private non-religious organizations" only have to pay an access fee to use it? Is it because the private organization has some connection to religion? What if it was a Buhdist related organization? Should such an organization labor under the same restriction or is it just Christian related organizations which should suffer? Remember, the BSA has literally put millions of dollars worth of improvements and maintenence at their own expense as part of their occupying the land. Perhaps the amount they have paid for the use of that land should be recalculated to include what they have done and paid for in improvements and maintenence. Then compare the results to what others would pay to use the land with the Boy Scouts out of the way. I think you will find that The Boy Scouts pay far more for use of that land then anyone else will be willing to pay.

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maniacal_engineer
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thanks spencer for answering that for me. A gay minister should not be a boyscout leader, andy more than a straight minister should be a girls scout leader

again I say

DUH

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Jesse
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Except that, as foreign as this may be to you, the insanely high value of real estate in San Diego County makes the value of the structures meaningless when discussing the value of the property.

Others had access to the property in question only when the boy Boy Scouts were not using it. This is not an issue of merely providing equal acess to all groups, but extremely preferential treatment of one group.

Kicking the Scouts off the land in question doesn't just cost the city money, it provides the chance to develop another section of Balboa Park (one the cities top four tourist draws) further.

An organization which states the goal of teaching christian values doesn't have to discriminate in order to be a religious organization. Or should any church which allows those of other faiths to attend it's services no longer be considered a religion?

The real question is, can you honestly say that if the City of San Diego Gave a dollar a year lease on millions of dollars worth of property to a organization for Homosexual Athiests Youth, in return for that organization constructing and maintaining it's own facalities, (these buildings are not open to the public) you would not see that as the denial of heterosexual religous persons right to equal protection under the law?

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flydye45
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Under equal protection, they should have the right. Just because I disagree with them doesn't mean I don't see a value on getting those kids off the street. Which makes me one better then the ACLU.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
Also, I know the boy scouts are a private institution but I didn't know they were a religious institution. What religion are they?
Apparently, they are a religion that believes that homosexuality is immoral. (So far, no one has given me any other reason why homosexuals are prohibited from holding scoutmaster status--or even being scouts, IIRC. "Inappropriate" is rather vague.)

Which is why I mentioned a homosexual minister. The Boy Scouts would basically tell the kids that their minister is too immoral to be a scoutmaster. [Smile] So, in a real sense, they do have a specific doctrine that is a requirement to belong to the organization.

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Koner
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quote:
Apparently, they are a religion that believes that homosexuality is immoral. (So far, no one has given me any other reason why homosexuals are prohibited from holding scoutmaster status--or even being scouts, IIRC. "Inappropriate" is rather vague.)

From what I can tell the BSA has NO rule that says the homosexual boys cannot be boy scouts. They just say that homosexual men cannot be scout LEADERS. Their arguement seems to be that you wouldn't allow a 20 or 30 something heterosexual male to take your teenage daughters Girl Scout troop on a weekend camping trip, so why should we be forced to allow a homosexual 20 or 30 something male to go camping with our teenage sons? To me that is a valid arguement.
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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
An organization which states the goal of teaching christian values doesn't have to discriminate in order to be a religious organization.
What values do they teach that are distinctly christian? I thought they just teach people to live morally. There are probably many jews, atheists and pagans who agree with the ethical code they teach. So if an organization teaches people to stay off drugs or they are a religious organization because my church also teaches people to stay off drugs?

quote:
in return for that organization constructing and maintaining it's own facalities, (these buildings are not open to the public)
I thought they maintained all the land round about...not just a building they made. I thought they maintained the land that other organizations also used.

So if some guy took a park ranger position and built a hut to live in while caring for the land, he would be getting undue privilege if he brought groups of kids up during the summer time to teach them about staying off drugs?

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
Apparently, they are a religion that believes that homosexuality is immoral. (So far, no one has given me any other reason why homosexuals are prohibited from holding scoutmaster status--or even being scouts, IIRC. "Inappropriate" is rather vague.)

Which is why I mentioned a homosexual minister. The Boy Scouts would basically tell the kids that their minister is too immoral to be a scoutmaster. [Smile] So, in a real sense, they do have a specific doctrine that is a requirement to belong to the organization.

How does believing homosexuality is immoral make them a religion?

They also believe being trustworthy and honest is being moral. So they can't tell kids that their dishonest and untrustworthy "minister" is too immoral to be a scoutmaster without being a religious organization?

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Dave at Work
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quote:
Except that, as foreign as this may be to you, the insanely high value of real estate in San Diego County makes the value of the structures meaningless when discussing the value of the property.

Others had access to the property in question only when the boy Boy Scouts were not using it. This is not an issue of merely providing equal acess to all groups, but extremely preferential treatment of one group.

The value of the property measured as how much it would be worth if sold on the open market is neither pertinent, nor is it in question. The value of the land as measured by what can be done on it is pertinent. The land, approximately 15.5 acres of an approximately 1400 acre park, is not for sale and will never be for sale as long as it remains a city park, which it has been since 1868.

The value of the land as measured by what it can be used for is a function of its designation and the physical improvements on it. So long as the land remains a city park it cannot be sold so the market value of the land itself is irrelevent, but as part of a city park, what fees can be charged for its use is a function of what the improvements on the land allow the land to be used for. Therefore the fact that the Boy Scouts have put millions of dollars in improvements into the land over the years means that the city could charge a higher fee for the use of that land. If those improvements were not there, the city would not be able to charge as high an access fee for the land unless they spent money on there own to improve the land themselves. Therefore every dollar that the Boy Scouts have spent improving the land is a dollar of capital investment in the land which the city did not have to pay for, but which they can get a benefit from when charging fees to other groups for access to the land and should be considered as part of the rent paid by the Boy Scouts for the land.

By a very rough calculation there are still 1384.5 acres outside of the land the Boy Scouts are on. The city can easily make an offer to other private organizations for similar access. Therefore I feel that your claim that the Boy Scouts recieve preferential treatment to be specious. If the city refuses to allow similar deals on other parts of the park, then you may be correct however.

quote:
Kicking the Scouts off the land in question doesn't just cost the city money, it provides the chance to develop another section of Balboa Park (one the cities top four tourist draws) further.
This particular part of the park has been developed already. If the city wants to make additional improvements to the land here or elsewhere they already can as far as I know. As long as they have the money to spend on it.

quote:
An organization which states the goal of teaching christian values doesn't have to discriminate in order to be a religious organization. Or should any church which allows those of other faiths to attend it's services no longer be considered a religion?
Just because a value is labeled Christian doesn't mean that it is exclusively a value to those who are members of a Christian sect and no one else.

Here is the Boy Scout Law. "A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent." Can you honestly tell me that these twelve values are all specific to Christianity? How about the Boy Scout Motto. "Be Prepared!" And the Boy Scout Slogan. "Do a Good Turn Daily!" These are all considered Christian values, but they are not exclusive to Christianity.

What if you labeled them Islamic values? Would any of these not be considered values to a Muslim? To a Buhdist? To a Hindi? To a Jew? To Native Americans practicing there own traditional religions? I think that you will find that most of these values are prized by most people regardless of their religious belief. Is it just because they are labeled "Christian Values" that you have a problem with them?

Many people, apparently including the ACLU, seem to think that the first ammendment prohibits the expression of religion in any connection with the public especially where a branch of the government may have a presence. This is untrue. Here is the text of the first ammendment. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." With respect to religion the First Ammendment says two things. It says that congress cannot make any law establishing a religion and it says that Congress cannot make any law which prohibits free exercise of your religion. San Diego is not Congress. Even if it were, its agreement with the Boy Scouts was not a law establishing a religion nor is it a law prohibiting the practice of anyones religion.

quote:
The real question is, can you honestly say that if the City of San Diego Gave a dollar a year lease on millions of dollars worth of property to a organization for Homosexual Athiests Youth, in return for that organization constructing and maintaining it's own facalities, (these buildings are not open to the public) you would not see that as the denial of heterosexual religous persons right to equal protection under the law?
I presume that the same deal concerning access to the Boy Scout area would apply to this group's area? I wouldn't have a problem with that, because under that deal the city and community would get a similar benefit to the one they get with the Boy Scouts. Improvements and maintence paid for by the private organization, and when the private organization is not using it for their own events, access can be granted to other groups or the public at large at the cities discretion.
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Zyne
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The Boy Scout oath:

quote:
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

http://www.scouting.org/nav/enter.jsp?s=mc&c=mv

So, the oath is to a singular God. This pretty much excludes atheists, pagans, and all faiths with multiple dieties.

Plus, Christians tend to claim the boy scouts as their own.

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