Scouts Weigh Big Tent Policy
February 04, 2013 - Monday
People thumbing through USA Today are getting the inside scoop on more than the Super Bowl. With the help of 41 other organizations, FRC sent another loud message to the Boy Scouts--a major ad in the nation's largest newspaper. With just two days left before the Board decides the fate of the Scouts membership policy, FRC and its allies cautioned the BSA to "show courage" and "stand firm for timeless values." The ad caps off a frantic six days of FRC encouraging people to call and email Scout executives, who stunned America last week with the news that they were dangerously close to ending the group's ban on open homosexuality.
"Every parent concerned about guiding and protecting their own children should be alarmed by the proposed change to the Boy Scout policy... How will parents be able to entrust their children to the Boy Scouts if they trade the well-being of the boys for corporate dollars?" Since word broke, the outcry of parents, troop leaders, and pastors has overwhelmed switchboards and inboxes at the BSA--and there's no sign that conservatives will let up anytime soon. On Saturday, one of the country's most famous Scouts, Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas), jumped into the fray. After addressing the Texas Scouts' 64th annual Report to State, the Governor told reporters that the BSA shouldn't compromise its principles just to satisfy "popular culture."
An Eagle Scout himself, Gov. Perry has been an outspoken supporter of the BSA, even writing the book On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For. "Hopefully the board will follow their historic position of keeping the Scouts strongly supportive of the values that make Scouting this very important and impactful organization," he said. "I think most people see absolutely no reason to change the position and neither do I." The Scouts don't need to risk children's safety to teach respect, he explained. "I think you get tolerance and diversity every day in Scouting."
Unfortunately, President Obama doesn't share the Governor's concerns. During Sunday's "60 Minutes" interview, the President made it clear that he's willing to risk kids' safety to advance his own radical agenda. Funny, I thought this was America's "first task as a country: keeping our children safe." Didn't the President tell us "this is how we will be judged"? Well, apparently, children only matter when it's politically convenient, because President Obama told Scott Pelley yesterday that "gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life."
This is a man who said he isn't sure he'd let his sons play football for fear that they'd get hurt--yet he can somehow justify putting boys in physically risky situations like these? No father, including Barack Obama, would want his daughters sharing a tent with grown men in the name of "access"--but you don't hear anyone calling that politically incorrect! At the end of the day, this debate is about safety and time-honored principles of morality. If that ruffles a few politically correct feathers, so be it. Yesterday, I had the chance to underscore these and other concerns on Fox News with Shannon Bream. If you missed the interview, click below.
The GOP's Latest Pat Peeve
As we learned from the President's "Affordable Care Act," names can be deceiving. The same is true of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which, ironically, is supported by the same administration that wants to put women in front-line combat! Since last year, FRC has opposed the legislation because it does more to promote a radical agenda than it does to help women.
"In its 17 years of operation," Phyllis Schlafly explains, VAWA "has done little or no good for real victims of domestic violence, while its funds have been used to fill feminist coffers and to lobby for feminist objectives and laws. Although every spending bill should be subject to rigorous auditing procedures in order to curb waste and fraud, VAWA has somehow ducked accountability for the [$660 million] a year it doles out to radical feminist organizations."
Last year, when it first came up for reauthorization, Democrats intentionally loaded the bill with provisions the GOP cannot support--like millions more in spending and special rights based on certain sexual behavior. Their goal was to make the legislation so objectionable that Republicans would be forced to oppose it and fuel the lie that the GOP is anti-woman. Sen. Pat Leahy's (D-Vt.) version, which leaders will vote on this week, is a five-year extension of the Act. Among the bill's most egregious parts is a provision that would ban funds to grantees who may have religious objections to homosexuality--even if no documented case of refused services has been found. It also includes special assistance for homosexual victims.
Although Sen. Leahy promises to have a 60-vote block of support, FRC has warned the Senate that we will be scoring the vote. You can help by contacting your Senators and urging them to vote against VAWA and end the real abuse of taxpayer dollars.
Conservatives Lose a Friend--and a Fighter
After a long and difficult battle with Lou Gehrig's disease, Mike Schwartz--Sen. Tom Coburn's loyal chief of staff--passed away yesterday. A devout Catholic, Mike was a strong pro-life voice on the Hill and one of the first people I met in Congress in the late 1990s, when I was in D.C. promoting pro-marriage legislation. His loss will be felt, not just on Senator Coburn's staff, but among everyone with whom he came in contact. In a moving tribute on the Senate floor last November, Tom Coburn choked up talking about his ill friend. "The kindness he has shown to everyone he's encountered, whether to a homeless person on the street or a leading senator in the halls, he has reminded our team and me that we are all equal, regardless of position, in the eyes of God." He ended his remarks by saying it had been a privilege to be "modeled and mentored" by Schwartz over these many years. "Mike, we love you. God bless." Please join us in praying for the entire Schwartz family--and Senator Coburn and his staff--during these difficult days.
** The President's abortion pill mandate isn't getting any popular with the public--or the courts. Last week, the administration lost two more cases in court. Read more about them in Ken Klukowski's latest op-ed in Breitbart.
*** Also, if you missed today's edition of "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins," check out TonyPerkins.com. The Heritage Foundation's Ryan Anderson joined me to discuss marriage and its importance as a policy matter. Then, Congressional Constitution Caucus Founder and Chairman, Congressman Scott Garrett (R-N.J), stopped by to offer his reaction to the Obama administration's so-called "update" to the HHS mandate.