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Sunday, March 12, 2006
 
If Law Schools are the Goose, then Boy Scouts are the Gander
This week's Supreme Court ruling that overturned military recruiting bans at various law schools was based on a very simple principle - If you take government money, you have to play by the government's rules. I don't like the military's Don't Ask - Don't Tell policy, but I respect the argument behind the ruling. It is exactly this principle of the "power of the purse" that forced many colleges to stop racial and religious discrimination in the past few decades.

What goes for the Federal Government also goes for local and state government. The city of Berkeley California bans discrimination based on a persons religious beliefs and/or sexual orientation. Based on this, Berkeley stopped giving free services to the Boy Scouts a few years back. The California Supreme Court has unanimously sided with the city:
SAN FRANCISCO - In a unanimous decision against a division of the Boy Scouts,
the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that groups receiving government subsidies may be required to pledge compliance with anti-bias policies - including those that protect atheists and homosexuals.

The decision, handed down against the Berkeley Sea Scouts, was a blow to the national Scouting organization, which in past landmark rulings had been assured the legal right to exclude boys who are gay or don't believe in God.

Thursday's ruling did not take away that right. But it allowed local governments to make bias costly - in this case, by withdrawing free berthing privileges at the Berkeley municipal marina, worth thousands of dollars a year to the Scouting group.
9driver, Grampa and I were all Boy Scouts. Grampa was even an Eagle Scout and still occasionally volunteers in the troop of one of his grandsons. But the facts are that the Scouts discriminate against certain kids. Plain and simple.

It is unfortunate that an organization that offers so much potential to kids has managed to alienate itself based upon an outdated sense of morality. Scouting will continue its long, slow slide into irrelevance if the Boy Scouts of America doesn't change its tune.
 
Shouting into the closet to inform and entertain the 10 people who actually read this thing. In our new format as an online magazine, we take pride in our reporting and opinions. Please leave reader feedback on our online magazine message board so that we can better serve you.

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz

Cost of the War in Iraq
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