Boy Scouts and United Way

August 1, 2000

It seems like the Boy Scouts have been put in a no-win situation these last two years. This 90-year-old organization has been able to weather the storms of litigation for many years. They were the target of the so-called "Three-G" cases: gays, girls, and the godless. They won nearly every one of them until the case in New Jersey went against them. That case was appealed to the Supreme Court.

But even before the decision came down, many were predicting that even if they won the case, they might lose in the court of public opinion. They argued that various groups would begin to criticize the Boy Scouts and marginalize them. They also predicted that they might lose funding from various civic groups.

Unfortunately, that has now taken place. The Providence, Rhode Island chapter of the United Way has decided to cut off funding to the local Boy Scouts. They are doing so because they contend that the Boy Scouts discriminates against homosexuals.

Meanwhile in Congress, there is a push to revoke an honorary grant that was allotted to the Boy Scouts back in 1916 for their patriotism. The federal charter contains a clause in it that Congress may revoke or amend it at any time. The attempt to revoke the charter is based on the perception that the Boy Scouts are intolerant. Even though the charter confers no benefits, those pushing to revoke the charter believe it implies a congressional seal of approval.

For 90 years the Boy Scouts have continued to reinforce those important principles in their charter. The Boy Scouts haven't changed, but the culture of the United States has changed. And that is why the Boy Scouts are under attack.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.