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Scoutfish

1st Amendment and BSA

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No Beavah, NJ and I make very straightforward legal arguments -- here's one:

1) public schools can't practice religious discrimination

2) chartering a pack requires the chartering organization to practice religious discrimination

3) public schools can't charter a pack

 

If you say the above is wrong, what part is wrong? Statement 1, 2, or the logic used to arrive at statement 3?

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1) public schools can't practice religious discrimination

 

Based on this statement, a public school installing Muslim foot baths or hiring a Muslim cleric to lead prayers for Muslims, all with tax dollars, would be the same as chartering a BSA unit.

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Merlyn old boy. Cases begin as sets of facts arisin' from particular circumstances. Until yeh get out in the world and do some work with kids, and understand how youth programs really work, and school programs and community partnerships really work, and da law really works, yeh aren't goin' to be able to build a credible case.

 

And if yeh really want people who spend thousands of hours of volunteer time workin' with kids to consider your point of view, and perhaps even change their view, yeh have to have some street cred.

 

Da schools could use you. I'm sure some atheist and other kids could benefit from your real, personal, concern and care. Everybody here would support you with whatever good insight and advice and resources we could. We'd want yeh to succeed, because we care about kids. It just takes yeh being willing to spend your time doin' something that really has impact on their lives.

 

It's spring, eh? Time for new growth and new initiatives! How about it, will yeh take us up on the challenge? Or is it really true that only those who subscribe to belief in a higher power make the best kind of citizens, because it's only us who are willin' to give up our time and treasure as committed volunteers for others?

 

Beavah

 

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Beavah, you're the one lacking a credible case; you keep trying to justify religious discrimination on the flimsiest of grounds, i.e. "we'd like to."

 

You need something on the order of a "compelling state interest" joined with a least-restrictive means test to even come close, and you don't have either. There is NO compelling reason for any public school to charter a BSA unit, since schools can simply make up their own similar program or use another program like Camp Fire that doesn't discriminate.

 

Using your criteria, schools could go back to segregation, since they'd serve both white and non-white students, which is all you use to justify separate-but-supposedly-equal programs by public schools.

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Beavah, well you did answer my question. I don't agree with your argument (and definitely don't agree with your statement that my reasoning is not a legal argument, since that's exactly what it is), but today I have to deal with some motions and things that I'm actually getting paid to deal with. I'll have to deal with your motion at a later time (and/or date.)

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Merlyn responds

Correct Ed, just don't confuse sinks that anyone can use with sinks reserved for Muslims.

 

to

1) public schools can't practice religious discrimination

 

Based on this statement, a public school installing Muslim foot baths or hiring a Muslim cleric to lead prayers for Muslims, all with tax dollars, would be the same as chartering a BSA unit.

 

Ah, but if the main purpose of these sinks is for a specific religion to practice their religion, isn't the government endorsing that religion?

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Yes, Ed. But in the only case I know of, the existing sinks were getting broken because so many people were washing their feet in them, so there was a legitimate reason to install sinks for people to wash their feet.

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This should be interesting:

 

The reason "Islamic" footbaths are ok to be installed in public areas using public funds is because you don't have to be Islamic to "enjoy" them, correct?

 

 

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It's OK if you have a secular reason (and anyone can use them regardless of religion). In addition to breaking sinks, it was also something of a safety issue.

 

Some time back I comment on a thread about school holidays, and the most reasonable one I've ever heard of actually asked parents of students which days they were planning on having their kids away from school (for any reason), and assigned school closings for the days when the most students would be absent (and they tried not to schedule tests on days with high absences). Now, it's a pretty safe bet that some religious holidays would be among the most absent days, but that doesn't make the school's decision-making process illegitimate.

 

 

(fix typo)(This message has been edited by Merlyn_LeRoy)

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you keep trying to justify religious discrimination on the flimsiest of grounds, i.e. "we'd like to."

 

Nah, you've got it backward, eh? Yeh keep trying to justify aggressive federal intrusion on da flimsiest of grounds, pretending it's da same thing as state-mandated racial segregation. That's either disingenuous or ignorant, can't tell which. Love your off-point citations, though, eh? ;)

 

Yeh keep dodgin' da real issue, which is that yeh need to get off your duff and go do some volunteerin'. If yeh knew anything about workin' with schools and kids, you'd be able to speak more credibly than you are right now. You'd figure out that the real circumstances of kids and kids' programs are a lot more complex than your limited understandin' at the moment. If there really was some discrimination which was harmful, you'd be able to frame a more effective argument, and you'd have more credibility and more supporters.

 

More than that, yeh might actually get excited about doin' something productive that really helps children yeh care about, and really uses your intellect and talents for somethin' worthwhile.

 

But if yeh want to cede the real work of helpin' kids to all of us religionists, I suppose we shouldn't mind. Just means that we're the ones contributin' to the next generation of values and ideals, not you.

 

So how 'bout it? Da average Scoutmaster puts in about a thousand hours of community service to kids a year. Can yeh manage 500? 250? My offer stands, tell me where you're located and I'll put yeh in touch with youth organizations that can use your help. Everyone here puts their boots on the ground where da real work is done, and I reckon in some ways we're more critical of da BSA office-rats in Irving than you are ;). So come join us in doin' some real work for boys and girls.

 

Beavah

 

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Beavah, you're still just making nonsense assertions that you're right and public schools CAN discriminate on the basis of religion on the slightest whim.

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You mean his faux holier-than-thou challenge to work with kids, which will somehow convince me that some kids ought to be discriminated against on religious grounds?

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Nah, the genuine, friendly challenge that yeh use your passion and intellect to do somethin' for da kids you claim to care about. It might strengthen your resolve on da issue, I don't know and don't care. I am reasonably sure it will make your arguments richer and more effective, or at least less juvenile. Nuthin' like having to put up with a teenager in da house (or da classroom or campground) to teach yeh what a juvenile argument looks like ;).

 

So no strings attached, eh? I don't want yeh to change your mind. And workin' with kids is definitely the antidote to holier-than-thou stuff. It's humbling, and frustrating. Darned critters have minds of their own :). Yah, but it's also fun and rewardin', and by and large yeh learn more from 'em than what you teach 'em.

 

But it takes someone who really cares, not just offers lip-service to da cause. Workin' with kids is like marriage, eh? It takes commitment, because yeh have to stick with 'em when they're most annoying. ;) Yeh seem to have enough passion to stick with a cause, and yeh seem to really need to hang out with us youth volunteer types, even when yeh find us really annoying.

 

So how 'bout it? I tell you truly, that when guys like you don't step forward to give, there is a kid somewhere who takes a different path because you were missing.

 

Do yeh care enough to be there for that lad?

 

Beavah

 

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