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Opening Arguments

Scouting for trouble

Fort Wayne's own Bob Morris has created quite the nationwide buzz. The Republican state representative was the only member of the House not to sign a resolution last week celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts:

A lawmaker has sent a letter to fellow Republican members of the Indiana House saying he will not support a resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts because he believes it is a "radicalized organization" that supports abortion and promotes homosexuality.

(Hate to give 'em a plug, but The Journal Gazette has the verbatim text of the letter if you want to read it.)

Morris' letter is sparking considerable amusement and/or outrage on lefty blogs and websites. Another rightwing nutjob has gone around the bend. But what goes around comes around. The Boy Scouts organization has long been attacked from the left for sticking to its guns on such things as faith and what it considers family values.

If you study their literature and activities, I think it's fair to say that the Boy Scouts would be more attractive to conservatives, emphasizing God and refusing to accept gays. And the Girl Scounts definitely tilt progressive with their emphasis on diversity and inclusion. But, hey, that's fine. Boy Scouts are from Mars, Girl Scouts are from Venus.

Are we so dug into the trenches of the culture war that we have to recruit our children for the front lines? Is it OK if I opt out of this particular battle? Let's try something new here and stop trying to make organizations change their ways. They are what they are, and there are enough of them that people can choose the ones that suit them.


Tue, 02/21/2012 - 11:59am

When I was 14 I quit the Boy Scouts to become a girl scout.

Seriously though, we've been using children as political footballs quite a bit in recent years. Consider the entirely manufactured "controversy" about teaching evolution to them, or letting them know in history class that Thomas Jefferson wasn't a Christian and had a black woman as his de facto wife (The Jefferson thing is just in Texas - so far).

The Girl Scout this is so silly I'm sure we'll see a parody in the New Yorker's "Shouts and Murmers" column in a couple of weeks. Maybe I'll write it.

But the Boy Scouts are a public accommodation and they receive taxpayer money. If they can't tolerate gays and atheists, they shouldn't get government money. Let them sell cookies, like those little lesbian sex-crazed feminazis.

Christopher Swing
Tue, 02/21/2012 - 7:14pm

You kind of have to give the Journal Gazette a plug, since your paper is apparently trying to ignore the whole thing. I'm surprised you even mentioned it here.

But you've really got a false equivalency going there. The Boy Scouts are criticized for things they actually did as an organization... Bob Morris is attacking the Girl Scouts based on half-truth internet wingnuttery.

It's not really about the Girl Scouts, it's about the giant tinfoil hat Bob Morris is suddenly wearing.

Wed, 02/22/2012 - 10:18am

It is no small accomplishment to become theRepublican moron of the month for the liberal media.  Bob earned every bit of the much deserved ridicule coming his way.  He really should resign.

john b. kalb
Wed, 02/22/2012 - 10:34am

Small Place to ..........: Help us out - in what way do the Boy Scouts get taxpayer money?  And just what do you mean by "public accommodation"?

Harl Delos
Wed, 02/22/2012 - 11:39am

Mr. Kalb, as one example, the BSA holds camporees on military reservations, and not only do they get free rent, but lots of manpower, military vehicles hauling stuff, etc.

If the Scouts were open to every boy, that might be acceptable but if they are going to discriminate on the basis of religion, that ain't right.

Wed, 02/22/2012 - 2:20pm

Mr. Kalb:

The ways in which the Boy Scouts receive federal money are so numerous one hardly knows where to start. But I'll get you going here:


You can figure out the rest for yourself. Or maybe you can't. After all, you keep making that same remark about my screen name, apparently under the delusion that you're funny. Leo knows who I am; I use it to protect my wife, who is a public schoolteacher. She'd give you an F, I suspect.

john b. kalb
Wed, 02/22/2012 - 5:27pm

Small place .... : Wow a generalization of the entire B.S. of A. due to one event in one state!   Plus the atheists pushing the Girl Scouts!  Maybe Representative Morris is into something - you know "where there is smoke there is most likely fire".   And as to your other comment, just what do you have to protect your wife from??  What do the two of you have to hide from the public?                                                                                                                                                                                                            

And, Harl: The use of Government land and other military items is passed off as "Recruitment public relations" -Those boys will someday be recruitable.