June 14, 2005
You're Either With Us Or Against Us
The American Civil Liberties Union does a lot of good. It has also, via its litigious campaign against the Boy Scouts of America, done a lot of harm.
The ACLU sued the BSA 14 times in 24 years. Those lawsuits denied boys across North America places to meet, camp out and develop life skills.
The ACLU's most recent threat of litigation on church-state grounds against public schools and other government agencies that charter Boy Scout groups forced the national BSA office to disassociate itself with those schools and government agencies. Many of them provided the places for troops, packs, units and their leaders to meet.
The effect is staggering.
BSA dropped 147 troops, packs and units in the 22-county North Alabama council alone. Membership declined 30 percent in the past year, including a 60 percent drop in Morgan, Limestone and Lawrence counties combined.
Membership reductions occur throughout the country.
ACLU -- I'm against you.
Posted by Charles Austin at June 14, 2005 08:20 PM
I'm all for defending basic civil liberties. I do wonder, though, how effective a group can be defending something if they don't grasp the source of the thing they are defending.
Regarding the editorial, considering that N. Alabama is generally a very scout-friendly area, I doubt the drop in the area is all attributed to the ACLU. I expect some is due to the fact that it takes a lot of time to have a quality pack or troop and some folks don't want to invest the time.
ACLU: Americans Constructing a Liberal Utopia
I think that the ACLU is incredibly overzealous in church/state matters, and unfairly hounds the BSA. The whole idea of forcing schools to not charter BSA units claiming that it's a religious organization when it happens to be an explicity theist organization is stupid, wasteful, and just mean spirited: think of the ludicality of the situation that saying "under God" in school is constitutionally protected in the Pledge of Allegiance but that very same school can't have any link to an organization that usually says "under God" during a meeting.
The Greater St. Louis Council didn't lose one unit when it volutarily complied throughout it's area with a ruling in Illinois on this issue - the charter organization was simply changed to the PTO/PTA (like at my son's school) overnight and business went on without interruption. I think if you look into it some councils (especially Alabama) were cooking the books on numbers - and the drops cited could be fallout from that:
As a retired Cub Master that sort of thing really pisses me off.