Monday, April 16, 2007

PC(USA) News: Court dismisses suit against Boy Scouts

PC(USA) News: Court dismisses suit against Boy Scouts:
"WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union that challenged the U.S. Department of Defense’s support of the Boy Scouts of America and their national jamboree.

The April 4 decision ended a dispute that began in 1999 when the ACLU filed suit claiming the “Boy Scouts’ policy requiring religious oaths” violated the separation of church and state.

The ACLU objected to the Defense Department letting the Scouts hold their national Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia every four years because the Scouts’ oath reads in part: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and to my country.” ... "

Knowing the ACLU, this won't be the end of it, but it is a good sign.

The Scouting religious principles do not require subscription to any particular religion. The movement does require that scouts and leaders recognize that there is a God, but the definition is inclusive enough to encompass just about anything that recognizes a higher power.

The Scout Law has twelve points, and the twelfth is "A Scout is Reverent". This is further defined (in much the same way as our Presbyterian Catechisms elaborate on the Ten Commandments) as "A Scout is reverent, he is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion."

In this day when there are a spate of books that ridicule those who have experienced God in a personal way -- when Muslims are at war against Jews and Christians, when Sikhs and Hindus fight, when there is internecine fighting within Jewish, Muslim and Christian groups respectively -- doesn't it seem a little odd that people want to force the Boy Scouts of America to drop their concept of a duty to God and the duties enjoined upon Scouts by the simple phrase "A Scout is Reverent"?

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