Urbin Report

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Supporting the Boy Scouts

From today's Washington Times Inside Politics column:

The House overwhelmingly passed a nonbinding resolution yesterday urging the Defense Department to continue its long-standing support of the Boy Scouts of America — a response supporters say is necessary to counter attacks on the group by some liberal organizations.
"Once again, we find the Boy Scouts of America under attack from the American Civil Liberties Union," said Rep. Joel Hefley, Colorado Republican, who sponsored the resolution, which passed 418-7, with only a handful of Democrats opposing it.
The Defense Department in November agreed to warn military bases that department policy does not allow them to be official sponsors of Boy Scout units and that military personnel may sponsor Boy Scout groups only in their off-duty capacity. The action was in response to an ongoing ACLU lawsuit that challenges a range of federal support to the Boy Scouts, because the group administers a religious oath.
Mr. Hefley's resolution urges the Defense Department to "continue to exercise its long-standing statutory authority to support the activities of the Boy Scouts of America," and would particularly encourage continued support for the national and world Boy Scout jamborees, which are periodically held on military property.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican, plans similar Senate legislation.
Rep. Jack Kingston, Georgia Republican, said Boy Scouts stress God, family and country, "which, of course, the ACLU can't stand."
No Democrats took to the floor to oppose the resolution during its brief debate yesterday morning. Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri was one of few Democrats to speak and he "wholeheartedly" endorsed Mr. Hefley's proposal, praising the Boy Scouts as "one of the finest organizations in our country."