This country is in worse trouble than I imagined.

Something hit me after writing a column last week on the War on the Boy Scouts. While the reaction to the column, based on my e-mail, was generally favorable, I was struck by the fact that so few other commentators have been willing to stand behind this magnificent institution of scouting.

I did a Lexis-Nexis search and found only a handful of recent commentaries by national figures who have stood up and proudly proclaimed their unequivocal support for the Boy Scouts in their battles with homosexual activists and atheists, who seek to change the very character of the organization.

Meanwhile, just look at those attacking the Scouts:

  • In August, the Clinton administration launched an investigation of the Scouts’ ties to federal agencies with an eye toward disallowing the use of national parks and military installations for jamborees.

  • Vice President Gore said he would like to see a law passed that would force the Scouts to accommodate homosexuals. And he won the popular vote for the presidency after making that absurd comment.

  • Some two dozen United Way chapters have cut off the Scouts from all funding.

  • The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to evict the Scouts from public facilities.

  • The Broward County school board in Florida voted unanimously to evict 60 troops and Cub Scout packs.

  • In Dade County, Fla., Santa Barbara, Calif., and Minneapolis, Scouts were told to halt all recruiting drives in schools and prohibited from handing out literature.

  • Knight-Ridder, Inc. and Levi-Strauss have cut off funding to the Boy Scouts.

  • Church groups within at least four major Christian denominations have passed resolutions condemning the Scouts’ policy against homosexual behavior.

Meanwhile, strong voices in support of the Scouts’ positions on moral issues have been few and far between.

Who would have thought, just a few short years ago, that political correctness run amok could turn the Boy Scouts into a subversive organization? That’s what has happened in America. Today, a member of the Communist Party gets more respect from the cultural establishment than does a Boy Scout leader.

You think I’m kidding?

Did you know that the Communist Party officially endorsed Al Gore for president in 2000? Did anyone ask Gore to renounce the endorsement? Did anyone ask him to distance himself from an organization founded and financed by totalitarian regimes for the last 75 years? Of course not. That would be red-baiting. That would be McCarthyism. That would be guilt by association.

It would, however, have been the right thing to do.

On the other hand, think what a political liability it has become to be associated with the Boy Scouts of America? Gore campaigned on a platform of criminalizing the Boy Scouts, while tacitly accepting the endorsement of the Communist Party USA and won the popular vote.

This is scary, folks. What country am I living in?

For anyone who doesn’t get just how important this battle is, I want you to think about this: Would you rather live in a community populated mostly by Boy Scouts and Scout leaders or one populated mostly by members of ACT-UP? It’s really that simple.

Now, as much as I personally detest ACT-UP and everything for which it stands, I’m not campaigning to shut down the extremist homosexual activist organization. I’m not even advocating coercion through government or outside pressure on its leadership to accept heterosexuals who don’t believe in its philosophy.

Why? Because I believe in freedom. And freedom is a concept the enemies of the Boy Scouts simply don’t understand, appreciate or respect.

If you agree with me that living in a community heavily salted with Boy Scouts would be preferable to living in a community infested with ACT-UP types, then you need to make your voice heard. You need to stand up and be counted. You need to support the Boy Scouts of America in every way you can.

And you need to be the enemy of those attacking this vital and honorable organization.

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