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Scouts, ACLU back in court over Jamboree

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Scouts, ACLU back in court over Jamboree

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-060405jamboree,1,6778916.story

http://tinyurl.com/ebxxj

 

Tribune staff reports

Published April 5, 2006, 3:44 PM CDT

 

A lawsuit seeking to end government funding of the National Boy Scout Jamboree is scheduled to return to court Thursday, as the two sides in the dispute argue the case before federal appellate justices in Chicago.

 

Last July, a federal judge in Chicago held for the American Civil Liberties Union, ruling the military's historic support of the Jamboree was unconstitutional and issuing an injunction against the Pentagon's future participation in the event.

 

The military, represented by attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice, has appealed the decision. Oral arguments are to be made Thursday in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

The military has said the event, which attracts tens of thousands of people, gives Army reservists an opportunity to fulfill training requirements. In a legal brief, government attorneys downplayed the scout's religious requirements.

 

But ACLU lawyers have argued the government's participation was unconstitutional because Scouts must take an oath pledging "duty to God."

 

U.S. District Judge Blanche Manning sided with the ACLU when she ruled on its 1999 lawsuit, saying the plaintiffs had "shown irreparable injury that ... their constitutional rights as taxpayers are being violated."

 

Manning concluded that the Pentagon's participation in the Jamboree violated the 1st Amendment because the Boy Scouts of America "excludes atheists and agnostics" and calls for members to believe in God.

 

At a news conference today in Chicago, Boy Scouts officials said no one at the Jamboree is required to pray or attend church, and that many of the resources provided by the military were promoting the armed forces, not religion.

 

The Jamboree is held every five years in Virginia near Washington, D.C. The last gathering was in July 2005. If Manning's ruling is upheld, it would affect the next Jamboree scheduled for 2010.

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Journalist needs to get their facts straight, it's every 4 years. Only reason it's 5 in the case of the next one is because of the 100th anniversary, as I understand it.

 

Personally, I don't quite see where it disagrees with the first amendment. True, the BSA requires participation in some form of religion, but it doesn't specify a single religion. The first amendment states "a PARTICULAR religious establishment", meaning the favoring of one religion over others (and hence the establishment of a state religion, a la the Church of England). Besides, it's an excellent recruiting opportunity for our armed forces, as well. It's not like the government gets nothing out of the deal, here.

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And the 1st Amendment says nothing about the church & state being separate. What it does say is the government can't establish a religion & this is in no way establishing a religion. Bad ruling by the judge. It will be overturned.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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It may come down to the argument of equal access. Instead of arguing the church/state angle (of which I think the ACLU will lose), they go the route of equal access, then I think they will prevail. Using public resources to support an organization that not every American can enjoy could be a potent and valid position. I believe its the same argument used in the Balboa Park case.

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Unfortunately I have to agree with Gern, the ACLU won on a technocality that I believe will stand up in review. This is indeed a sad day when an organization created to protect the rights of all goes on a witch hunt to try to destroy a youth organization whose main objective is to turn youth into good and decent citizens. It makes me wonder what the future of our society will be, as well as the future of the BSA.(This message has been edited by Backpacker)

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Wait a minute! Didn't the ruling deal with the BSA being a religious organization? If so, by arguing equal access would have nothing to do with the original ruling. There would have to be another case. Am I correct?

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Kaji writes:

The first amendment states "a PARTICULAR religious establishment",

 

No, it doesn't. Learn what quotes mean, and what the constitution says.

 

It says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

 

Now, if you'd like to argue that you interpret the constitution to mean "a PARTICULAR religious establishment", that's an entirely different statement, and the courts don't seem to agree with you on that.

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I started a thread on this subject before the hearing and we started talking about alternate ideas to using A.P.Hill but the thread has gone the way this one is headed into a discussion of the 1St. Amendment. Wile both topics are worthy of debate they need seperate threads (IMO) I purpose if you want to discuss 1St. Amendment rights or wording we use the other thread and use this one to continue a discussion on alternate choices to A.P.Hill.

My dad went in 1960 and said Colorado Springs was fabulous. I liked Valley Forge but thought Idaho was better though low impact took a huge hit with there being little top soil. WHere else folks?

LongHaul

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Colorado Springs is quite a bit different than it was in 1960 and not for the better. About the only place that could handle it would be Fort Carson and it wouldn't resolve the military aid issue. Also a pretty dusty place. Which really brings up a good point. If the Jambo could not be held at a military installation, what venue could support it? Farmland in rural Kansas?

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I have to admit to liking the National and World Jamborees.

Looking out over a ocean of Scouts, really takes my breath away.

But maybe they have just got too big?

A lot of the problems in 2005 were caused by the number of people. -OK and the heat!!

Maybe we need to take a long hard look at why we have a Jamboree?

If the only reason is because it's a PR exercise? It might be time to think about smaller Regional Jamborees?

While I'm sure a lot of Scouts who come from a long way from Fort AP Hill, see getting there as an adventure. We go that far for a weekend.

Many of the activities are almost impossible to do because of the long lines and Scouts waste a lot of time waiting in line.

Much as I hate to say it the only Arena Show that was staged in 2005 was like watching paint dry. Of course the fireworks were good and Hops did a great job on the tower!!

I have no idea what facilities would be available to gatherings of about 10,000?

I heard that once upon a time a group of older guys got together at a farm outside of New York.

But that was in a bygone age.

Eamonn.

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An even smaller correction; I'm sure there are groups of guys who have gathered at farms outside of New York state, too.

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FWIW, some of the Jamborees in the past were bigger then the recent ones.

 

Largest National Jamboree was the 1960 one, with 53,000+ people. Larger then the last one.

 

 

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