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Jewish World Review Nov. 18, 2004 / 5 Kislev, 5765

James Lileks

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Consumer Reports

How to Make Blue Folks See Red: Pick on the Boy Scouts


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | 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."

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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.

Up

11/10/04: Save ‘evil‘ for true treachery
11/04/04: When normal means divisive
10/28/04: Parsing the Polls
10/20/04: Kerry's Senate Record is a 78 played at 33 RPM
10/14/04: Meaning of War on Terror eludes Kerry
10/06/04: Kerry's global test fails the reality exam
09/29/04: Dems' mixed messages alienate the Center
09/23/04: Kerry's almost just about final position on Iraq
09/21/04: Will anyone trust them again?
09/09/04: Now can you name the enemy?
09/02/04: Save America from those who would save it
08/26/04: The character (or lack) behind the Kerry candidacy
08/19/04: Time for Old Media to make like McGreevey
08/12/04: Another Swing Vote: the Sufferers of Sudden Bush Hatred Fatigue Syndrome
08/05/04: Is Kerry's Problem nuance? Or is it obfuscation?
07/30/04: Intimate liability
07/26/04: Sandy Berger's classified wardrobe
07/15/04: Pretty faces, ugly words
07/08/04: Genocide can't happen if we banish the word
07/01/04: Dropping political discourse level
06/24/04: Kerry's Science Buddies and the Silly Sanctity of Life
06/17/04: Behold the Summer of Bill Clinton!
06/10/04: Whatever happened to respect for the presidency?
06/03/04: Tales at the intersection of war and popular culture
05/20/04: Athletes on Notice: Strive Unflaggingly
05/13/04: America likes Rumsfeld, and the Dems can't take it
05/07/04: Kerry Supporters Have a New Take on Vietnam War
05/05/04: New cell phone does everything, but there's a problem...
04/29/04: John Kerry, prisoner of symbolic politics
04/22/04: Shall we grovel? Kerry Plan to Restore America's Place in the World
04/08/04: Sept. 11 Might Have Been Different If ...
04/02/04: Slinging slime or citing facts?
03/26/04: One War, One Enemy
03/22/04: Bloodied Spain Rejoins Old Europe
03/12/04: Why All Those Foreign Leaders Want Kerry to Whup Bush
03/08/04: Introducing the Kerry Doctrine
02/27/04: Introducing the AWOLs: Angry White Outraged Libs
02/20/04: Sifting the headlines of election year 1992
02/18/04: Guess Which Candidate Our Enemies Want to Lose in 2004?
01/29/04: Every Laptop a Truth Squad
01/27/04: When the battle over artistic freedom goes over the edge
12/31/03: For the Left and Right, Some New Year's Resolutions
12/22/03: Dean's black helicopters
12/15/03: Dems Are Mainstreaming the Extreme
12/08/03: Does Dean Really Want to Be President? One Wonders, When He Opens His Mouth
11/24/03: The real story: Most Brits see U.S. as force for good
11/19/03: The Trouble With Al Gore's Screed on Civil Liberties
11/11/03: Can a fellow win with the Confederate Metrosexual vote?
10/22/03: Let's make Greenpeace pay
09/29/03: Ah-nold & Clark may be on different sides of the aisles, but their supporters are cut from the same cloth
09/19/03: All Hail the Ninth Circuit Court of Surreal
08/26/03: This time, the record industry doesn't stand a chance!
08/18/03: Assessing the Schwarzenegger Factor in Republicanism
08/08/03: No wonder Howard ‘Two Covers’ Dean gets all the buzz
08/04/03: Expect bad news for the foreseeable future
07/28/03: Despot's Deserts
07/21/03: No winners in this game of gotcha
07/14/03: Doing the right thing in Liberia may not be the right thing to do
06/27/03: On feet in Democratic mouths
06/16/03: The real story behind Hillary's book
06/09/03:America's new mission was and remains: Extirpating the flaming nutballs and the societies that nurture them
06/03/03: The Constitution as gag order
05/23/03: Sometimes the theme of world events is chaos itself
05/16/03: Newspapers are only human, after all
05/13/03: What McCarthy messed up
05/06/03: Still think the International Criminal Court was a good idea?
04/03/03: The world is ending, the world is ending! Doesn't anybody care!? Why won't anybody listen!?
03/14/03: Kerry and the Dems are banking on American electorate's tendancy to forget history
02/28/03: Roadmap to peace?
02/13/03: We live in an age where the poet has been cast out from the halls of power --- sob, sob
02/10/03: Found: League for International Justice and Peace talking points
01/30/03: The US can go to war whenever it likes for its own reasons, and all the UN can do is pass more worthless paper
01/23/03: People who'd volunteer for the Iraqi army if they saw Saddam wearing a "Free Mumia" button
01/16/03: One of those head vs. heart things
12/27/02: Whistleblowers?
01/06/02: The second year of this jangled millennium
11/16/01: Attack of the 'Patriotism police' and other Hollywood fare
11/12/01: From the bleats of dismay
10/30/01: Osama and the Genie
10/08/01: "We can stop the Bush Death Juggernaut"
11/04/01: America, loathe or it leave it
09/25/01: Do the Europeans actually think that the war on murderous zealotry will be furthered by undercutting America?
08/27/01: If the economy is in a funk, why aren't we dancing?
08/14/01: Dubyah's embarrassing presidential vacation
08/10/01: Hail to our co-chiefs?
08/03/01: Constitution: George the Uniter picked a doozy to unify detractors
07/25/01: The real reason why we need missile defense (What those uppity policy wonks won't tell you!)
06/18/01: Paining the egalitarian soul
06/01/01: One of the stranger indexes you'll ever hear about
05/21/01: One man's toke is another man's snort
05/08/01: Republicans want poisoned water
04/23/01: We bleat as we're sheared
04/10/01: Boys will be boys. And that's the problem
04/06/01: Pity the anti-American Left, they're gonna have a hard time on this one
03/26/01: You've been warned
03/16/01: The GOP's inexplicable desire to fold
02/23/01: Will the Jeb Bush administration attack Saddam in 2011?
02/09/01: In search of the the first ashtray thrown by a member of the First Family
02/06/01: Can you say 'Ayatollah Bush'?
01/24/01: The new Executive Orders
01/22/01: Hey, Dubya: Wanna save Ashcroft? Teach him to rap!
01/09/01: Bubba gets his last licks
01/05/01: The low-down on the coming recession (What those snooty economists won't tell you)
12/23/00: Memo to Dubya: Wanna show who is boss? Nuke 'em!
12/06/00: The Count of Carthage
At the Sore/Loserman Transition HQ
12/01/00: The Count of Carthage
11/28/00: Clinton knows history isn't written by the victors anymore
11/17/00: Chad's the word
11/08/00: The strangest political night
11/07/00: Get ready to return to the Dark Ages

© 2004, James Lileks