ACLU Wants to Stop DOD Funding Jamboree
Since 1981 the U.S. military base at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia has hosted the quadrennial National Boy Scout Jamboree. Now the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the federal government, arguing that the Defense Department's support of the jamboree violates the principle of church-state separation because the Boy scouts of America requires members to profess religious beliefs. The Metro section article is here.
So what does the Fairfax Scouting community think? I'm an Eagle Scout myself (the Fairfax Extra editor only got four merit badges--hah!) and I agree that BSA has a specific religious component to its mission. Other courts have ruled that it's a private organization and can set its own membership requirements.
But if the Scouts discriminate--if you don't profess the belief, you can't be a member -- should they be allowed the benefit of public tax dollars? Do they violate the separation of church and state?