(Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of a three-part series on the White
House and the Boy Scouts.)
In Part 1 last week, I discussed a series of evidences regarding how President Obama is leading the White House pack in distancing his administration from the Boy Scouts of America.
As I pointed out, he has delayed Eagle Scout certificate signings, denied the invitation to go to the BSA’s 100th Gala Anniversary, downplayed his acceptance of BSA’s honorary presidency, dodged official White House communications about the BSA, not defended the BSA against cultural attacks and diminished his all-around role as BSA’s honorary president.
And, to boot, Obama’s administration has followed suit, collectively believing as progressives that the BSA is behind the times or too traditional and conservative.
For example, just a week after Obama denied the invitation to attend the BSA’s 100th Anniversary Gala in his own backyard (Washington, D.C.) on Feb. 12, 2010, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was forced to discuss the Boy Scouts. But even then, as you’ll see, Gibbs dodged White House sentiment about the BSA.
It all started when reporter Les Kinsolving, WorldNetDaily’s correspondent at the White House, asked Gibbs what the president thought about the New York Post’s report that detailed the legal victory for the Scouts’ right to exclude homosexuals from membership, and how it had created a backlash in New York. The report said institutions there are abandoning the Scouts, and authorities have barred them from meeting or recruiting in public schools.
The exchange between reporter Les Kinsolving and Press Secretary Gibbs at that press briefing went like this (watch Gibbs’ political tap-dancing maneuvers, for the president and himself):
Kinsolving: As the honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America, what is the president’s reaction to the New York Post report that because the Scouts have a policy similar to our armed forces, “New York institutions are barring scouts from meeting or recruiting in all public schools”?
Gibbs: I have not seen the New York Post report and can have somebody …
Kinsolving: Well, does he think that it’s fair for them to cut the Scouts out of this? How does he support – does he disagree with the Scouts or what? (laughter)
Gibbs: Where are you on this, Lester? Are you … is this …
Kinsolving: Nowhere. (laughter)
Gibbs: Yes, I do know where.
Kinsolving: I support the Scouts. Do you support the Scouts?
Gibbs: My son is – we’re constructing the pinewood derby car as we speak. (laughter)
Kinsolving: He’s a Scout, your son is a Scout?
Gibbs: He is, and I think he’s going to be disappointed if his car doesn’t do well, but his father tends to be constructionally challenged.
Thanks, guys. [End of press briefing]
There was no direct or indirect response to the issue raised by Kinsolving, addressing either Obama’s or Gibbs’ views of the BSA.
New York is not the only city in which the BSA is feeling some backlash. Since 1928, the BSA in Philadelphia has been housed in a government building rent-free. The city of Philadelphia decided to revoke this special housing-provision privilege because, officials said, BSA’s national policy banning gays violates the city’s nondiscrimination policies. (On Wednesday, a Philadelphia jury ruled in favor of the Boy Scouts, meaning they will not be evicted from their home or forced to pay rent, at least for now.)
One 1991 BSA position statement states: “We believe that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the requirement in the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight and in the Scout Law that a Scout be clean in word and deed, and that homosexuals do not provide a desirable role model for Scouts.”
Wouldn’t you think with all of the cultural hot water the BSA are in, in our courts and in the public square, that the honorary president of the BSA might defend their First Amendment rights to assemble and believe as they have for 100 years?
On the other hand, it’s interesting to note that student atheist leaders from the Secular Student Alliance were recently bragging on their website that for the first time they were invited to the White House to participate in a June 7 meeting on interfaith service projects on college campuses sponsored by the Obama administration’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
And what about the BSA? Were they invited by their honorary president to participate as well?
Hasn’t America reached a particular low in its history when the White House distances itself from the Boy Scouts of America but invites groups like the Secular Student Alliance to participate in its faith and college missions?
President Obama became the honorary president of the BSA in March of 2009, and the White House didn’t even mention it. And ever since, any discussion or interactions with the BSA have been “don’t ask, don’t tell.” And how could they, since the president would then have to publicly acknowledge that, as honorary president of BSA, he affirmed the Scout Oath, belief and policies, which prohibit atheists and agnostics from membership, and “avowed” homosexuals from leadership roles?
As honorary president of the BSA, Obama swore to uphold the Scout Oath and Law, on his honor:
On my honor, I will do my best to keep myself morally straight.
On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country;
On my honor, I will do my best to obey the Scout Law …;
On my honor, I will do my best to help other people at all times.
On my honor, I will do my best to keep myself mentally awake.
One thing is certain: This is one more example of how Obama has difficulty following oaths. The other is: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God.”
Just as Pontius Pilate washed his hands of any buy-in to Jesus’ execution, so the White House is continually whitewashing its connection and responsibility to the BSA. And just as Pontius Pilate’s action prompted us to question what good came from his position, so we wonder what good has come from Obama’s role as honorary president of BSA? (I’ll specifically answer that in Part 3 of this series, when I compare Obama’s contributions to the BSA with the last 100 years of U.S. presidents.)
But then again, maybe I should just sit back, do nothing and simply drink the White House Kool-Aid and say, “I’m glad Robert Gibbs is spending time with his son. I wonder if they won the pinewood derby?”
Thomas Jefferson was right, “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”
(Building up the next generation is not only why Chuck Norris fully supports the Boy Scouts of America, but why he started his own nonprofit KickStartKids organization. He and his wife, Gena, consider it one of their life’s greatest passions and missions. You can learn more about the Boy Scouts of America by going to scouting.org and more about KickStartKids by going to KickStartKids.org.)