Move over, OBL our new national threat comes from the BSA. They're a strange, religiously oriented group whose stated purposes ought to make your blood run as cold as chilled mercury. We've had remarkable success in recent years keeping them from undermining American power, thanks to the U.S. military. But now it's official, and what was once a shadowy war is out in the open.
The Pentagon has informed all bases not to sponsor the Boy Scouts of America.
Not that they ever have, mind you. Says the Associated Press: "The Pentagon said it has long had a rule against sponsorship of non-federal organizations and denied the rule had been violated. But it agreed to send a message to posts worldwide warning them not to sponsor Boy Scout troops or other such groups."
So we're still in danger. It's possible that in some distant base in a flat, empty state, some rogue officer might horribly commingle Boy Scouts and his official duties say, showing up in uniform to teach the Webelos the Pledge of Allegiance.
Why is this bad? Simple: The scouts make you swear an oath that mentions the Big Guy. Here's the marrow-curdling vow in its entirety, brazenly posted on a Web site they use to communicate with other cells. Ready?
"On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to G-d and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."
Whew. Strong stuff. The G-d part is bad enough, but the "morally straight" line is the big cherry on the cake. But remember, please: The scouts are a private organization; they have the right to believe what they wish, even if you disagree.
And we're talking about the BOY SCOUTS, for heaven's sake, not some Junior Klan League noted for torchlight parades through Jewish neighborhoods. Who has the time to worry whether the scouts are meeting in the local library? Isn't there some real, actual evil handy you could sue?
Better yet: If you don't like the scouts' oath or rules, how about you drink a nice hot cup of LIVE AND LET LIVE and start your own group? Because we're about 10 years away from someone deciding that the whole Boy Scout/Girl Scout thing smacks of separate but equal. Come 2014, the kid at your door will be selling Non-Gender-Specific Scout Cookies. Oh, progress.
Since the last election we've been told that right-wing theoreticians concoct divisive social issues in secret underground labs and release them into the body politic every election cycle, clouding the minds of red-state sheep. But the Boy Scouts haven't been suing anyone for the right to hold compulsory G-d and country rallies in schools across the land. The American Civil Liberties Union is forcing the issue.
The people barging into the courts are the ones obsessed that Boy Scouts might be using public school rooms after hours to learn knot tying. And scouts drive on public roads to get there, too. They even breathe air whose quality is mandated by federal regulations that take public money to enforce. Theocratic parasites, that's what they are. What's next? A 900-foot statue of Jesus on the Mall in Washington?
This may be the face of the hard, foamy left, but it's not the view of your average Democrat. Throwing the scouts into an electrified pen that keeps them from contaminating government is not high on the list of your average Democratic concerns.
Ask one. Why are you a Democrat? "Because I believe in good jobs, health care for all, more diplomacy and strong public schools."
And you oppose the Boy Scouts, right? "What? No. My kid's a scout."
But the ACLU has practically declared them a hate group. Got the Pentagon to promise no official connections. "Well, I can't go for that. Mumble, mumble, Jerry Falwell, mumble, both sides have nuts, Ann Coulter, mumble."
But you'll still vote Democratic? "Count on it, friend."
Then one day his kid's Wolf Pack gets denied a permit to hold a party in a public park.
And thus do blue folks see red.
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JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.