Thursday, July 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Be prepared, be very prepared...

The city gets scary again with the Scouts

Be prepared, be very prepared...

Philadelphia had ordered the Boy Scouts to vacate their city-owned headquarters or pay $200,000 a year in rent unless the local Cradle of Liberty Council renounces the national Scout policy banning homosexuals. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)
Philadelphia had ordered the Boy Scouts to vacate their city-owned headquarters or pay $200,000 a year in rent unless the local Cradle of Liberty Council renounces the national Scout policy banning homosexuals. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)

And so, the saga of the Boy Scouts continues.

The City of Brotherly Love, not content with a federal court decision ordering it to leave the kerchief-wearing, square knot-tying tykes alone, is back in court.

As anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock will recall, the city has been trying to evict the Cradle of Liberty Chapter of the Boy Scouts for a number of years, after failing to ‘convince’ them to drop a national policy that precludes openly gay members.  The city has been stymied at every legal turn, losing at both the state and federal levels.  But they’re not finished yet.

As a Christmas (or Hannukah, or Kwanzaa) gift to its gay and gay-friendly movers and shakers, the Nutter administration has decided to appeal the unfavorable decision to the Third Circuit, thereby dragging out (um, no pun intended) this sorry tale of ornery adults and needy children.

Because that is really what is happening here.  The city and the LGBT community can claim that it’s fighting on behalf of the little guys, the disenfranchised sexual minorities who shouldn’t have to sit by while the Big Bad Boy Scouts do such horribly discriminatory things as sponsor summer camps, enrichment courses, and mentoring programs for kids who don’t have to announce their sexual orientation (assuming they even know what it is) to the world.

They do these terrible things on public property, even though the organization has built and maintained that property for almost a century.  They perpetrate these human rights violations in the light of day, forcing these kids to leave the mean streets of the inner city and actually escape the shootings and the drugs and the premature deaths.

How dare they, these monsters!  How dare they do this, even though the Supreme Court of the United States say they can!

It’s always struck me as hypocritical the way the well-placed lawyers and deep-pocketed gay activists have wept bitter tears over the poor disenfranchised gay kids (the ones who think it’s absolutely necessary to announce their sexual preferences before toasting those marshmallows) but have done little to nothing for the African-American kid who comes from a single-family home and whose only contact with a stable male authority figure comes from his membership in the Scouts.

And guess what?  Some of these boys may very well be gay.  But that’s irrelevant to their sense of self-worth when all that matters to a troubled boy is that he be fed, be respected, be taken seriously and be viewed as someone with potential.

Rhetoric aside, the only reason that these activists feel justified in forcing the Cradle of Liberty to violate its First Amendment rights to freedom of assembly and expression is that they think they have public opinion behind them.  And in the rarified circles in which they travel, perhaps they do.

But if you ask the kids, and the single parents, and the grandmothers and teachers who deal with these forgotten and at-risk children, you’ll hear another story.  One of gratitude.  One of hope. 

One that reflects the reality of human dignity far better than any slogan cobbled together by well-heeled activists and a sycophantic City Hall.

About this blog
See Christine Flowers on Channel 6's "Inside Story" Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

Email Christine M. at cflowers1961@yahoo.com Reach Christine M. at cflowers1961@yahoo.com.

Christine M. Flowers Daily News Columnist
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