Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Boy Scouts Learn a New Language — Newspeak

Many reading this will have Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" under their belt. Those familiar with the book will recall the ruling Party had an approved slang called "Newspeak;" and in a related concept, "Doublethink," the Party's well-known slogans were: War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; and Ignorance is Strength.

The Boy Scouts' Cradle of Liberty Council of Philadelphia has been taking a page from Orwell, turning upside-down the meaning of such phrases as:
  • Non-discrimination Policy — within weeks of adopting one in 2003, they ousted an 18 year old scout just for being gay,

  • Constitutional Right — includes any taxpayer subsidy the Scouts have historically been granted,

  • Discriminatory Action — insisting the Scouts follow the same laws as everyone else,

  • Extortion — is when someone stops charitable giving to the Scouts,

  • Equal Rights — are where Congress names you in a law.
more . . .
And when the city of San Diego settled an anti-discrimination case with the ACLU in 2004, the Scouts sued the city claiming, you guessed it, "discrimination".

The recent brouhaha concerns a situation, brewing since the 2003 expulsion of the gay scout, where the city of Philadelphia has recently told the local Scout Council to stop discriminating, pay fair market rent, or move out of the city property they have been using since 1928. The Scouts, true to form, are insisting that it is their right to discrminate, and demanding the city continue their grant . . . and they are willing to hire lawyers to have their way. Just like in their appeal of the similar Berkely, California case.

While Outright Libertarians agrees that it is their right to discrminate — that's called freedom of association — we strongly object to using taxpayer funds in doing so.

Not only governmental organizations with non-discrimination laws to abide by are taking note of the Scouts continued homophobic policy. Recently, Bank of America stopped donations to the Scouts in Georgia, the Philadelphia group has lost funding from United Way of Southeastern PA and the Pew Charitable Trust, theUnited Way of Austin Texas stopped giving grants to the Boy Scouts, and many others.

Rather than blaming gays for the Boy Scouts legal problems, perhaps the focus should be on the Scout's national leadership. They seem intent upon bankrupting the organization with the dual-edged sword of legal fees and lost donations, in order to maintain their homophobia. They should learn a lesson from the Girl Scouts, who don't seem to have the legal issues the Boy Scouts do, and who reportedly allow lesbians to join the organization.

If they did, they could start using Oldspeak again.