Jump to content

House Passes Resolution on Boy Scouts

Recommended Posts



House Passes Resolution on Boy Scouts


Saturday, November 20, 2004


WASHINGTON The House on Saturday commended the Boy Scouts (search) and condemned legal efforts to limit government ties to the group because of its requirement that members believe in God.


A nonbinding resolution, passed by a 391-3 vote, recognized the 3.2 million-member Boy Scouts for its public service efforts. But the main thrust of the debate was what the House Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said were the "strident legal attacks" on the group.


The Pentagon (search) agreed last week to tell U.S. military bases around the world not to directly sponsor Boy Scout troops. The warning resulted from legal challenges to government relations with a group that bans openly gay leaders and compels members to swear an oath of duty to God.


The American Civil Liberties Union (search) and others say that direct government sponsorship of such a program amounts to discrimination.


The Pentagon's ruling does not prevent service members from leading Boy Scout troops on their own time. Also, Boy Scouts still can meet on areas of military bases where civilian organizations are allowed to hold events.


Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz. said the ACLU's challenge was a "nuisance lawsuit" and he was urging Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to reconsider the Pentagon's position.


"Scouting values, military values, citizenship values, a respect and reverence for a creator are not a violation of the doctrine of church and state," said Hayworth, who was an Eagle Scout.


The measure's sponsor, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Congress would work "to defend the Boy Scout's ability to continue the fine work that they have done for nearly a century."


Voting against the resolution were Democratic Reps. John Dingell of Michigan, Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Lynn Woolsey of California.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Some background information:


Lynn Woolsey of California is a former Girl Scout who introduced a bill to revoke the BSA's congressional charter due to their ban on avowed homosexuals. It should be noted that her constituency includes San Francisco. It should be noted that Rep. Woolsey highly values Scouting and that is why she believes it should be available to all boys.


Barney Frank is a gay congressman from Massachusetts. Personally, I'm not represented by John Dingell but by Joe Knollenburg in Michigan but I would be very interested in Mr. Dingell's reasons for not supporting this resolution.


Non-binding resolutions are not much more that "group opinion" and I don't feel that his one will carry any more weight than the AMA resolution condemning the BSA policy to ban avowed gay leaders.



Link to post
Share on other sites

What a silly, pointless resolution. Congress can't change the Constitution, or the courts' interpretation of it, by passing a resolution. Much less a resolution asking the Pentagon to reconsider its decision to abide by the Constitution, which according to several posts in other threads, the Pentagon says it was doing all along anyway.


From the vote total, it looks like 41 members of the House thought it was so silly (or more likely, politically toxic) that they didn't even show up to vote one way or the other.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting that the Fox News article focused on the debate with little on what the resolution contains. The resolution makes no mention of the DOD instructions and or the settlement with the ACLU. It just commends the BSA for it volunteer efforts. I also looked at who voted and included in those that did not vote either way were two representatives from my area, Jim McDermott, a liberal, and Jennifer Dunn a member of the Republican leadership.


Here is the text:


H. Res. 853

In the House of Representatives, U.S.,

November 20, 2004.

Whereas the Boy Scouts of America is one of the leading volunteer youth movements in the United States, serving more than 4,700,000 young people with the support of 1,200,000 volunteer adult leaders;

Whereas the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated on February 8, 1910, and recognized by Federal charter on June 15, 1916, to provide an educational program for youth to build character, train in the responsibilities of participatory citizenship, and develop personal fitness;

Whereas the Boy Scouts of America teaches the core values of duty to God and country, personal honor, respect for the beliefs of others, volunteerism, and the value of service and doing a `good turn' daily, principles which are conducive to good character, citizenship, and health; and

Whereas during the 95-year history of the Boy Scouts of America, the organization has partnered with the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity International, the American Red Cross, and thousands of other community and civic organizations to address critical issues facing communities in the United States, including the problems of hunger, inadequate housing, and poor health and youth obesity: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) recognizes the Boy Scouts of America for the public service the organization performs for neighborhoods and communities across the United States; and

(2) commends the Boy Scouts of America for the Good Turn for America program and the work the organization has accomplished while partnering with the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity International, the American Red Cross, and thousands of other community and civic organizations across the United States to address critical issues facing communities in the United States.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's save the scouts bill has been blocked. He'll get introduced to the new congress so hopefully the ACLU will be defeated. He is a very strong supporter of scouting and his sons are also scouts. I recived a letter from him congratulating me on my eagle scout award back in February. This nonsense needs to stop now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, isn't that interesting. Thanks for posting the actual resolution NWScouter. It certainly is NOT what the first paragraph of the Fox News story suggests it is. (What a surprise that a Fox News story is slanted... "fair and balanced," what a joke.) Now when you read the first two paragraphs, it becomes clear that while they separated the actual resolution from the debate in the second paragraph, in the first paragraph they lump it all together to produce the "the House... condemned." The House did not condemn anything. Some members of the House did, in the debate. But the House itself did only what the resolution said, which was to praise the BSA in rather bland, plain-vanilla terms that I think all of us (at least those involved in Scouting) could agree with regardless of how we feel about any particular issue. There is nothing in the resolution about any controversial issue or relating to any court case, or government action, as NW said. Now I am less surprised at the overwhelming vote. From the original story I was concerned that so many members (obviously including a lot of Democrats) seemed to have been stampeded into calling on the Pentagon to ignore the Constitution. Now I see that is not what happened at all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

NJCubScouter writes:It certainly is NOT what the first paragraph of the Fox News story suggests it is. (What a surprise that a Fox News story is slanted... "fair and balanced," what a joke.)NJCS, here are two more articles on this story, both based on an AP newswire:


House praises Scouts and condemns lawsuit



House supports Scouts, decries legal challenges




It appears that the "praise" was part of the resolution, but the "condemnation" was part of the floor debate, as is implied in these articles (including the FOX report).


So will you now also accuse the Buffalo News, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Associated Press of bias? Or could it be that FOX wasn't nearly as nefarious and biased as you imply?


Fred G.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...