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OPINION

White House vs. Boy Scouts, Part 4

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

In the first three parts of this series, I showed how the Obama administration is distancing itself from the Boy Scouts of America because of the organization's conservative positions.

Well, the White House just did it again.

At the June 29 White House press briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs was given another opportunity to show support for the BSA on behalf of the honorary president of the BSA, U.S. President Barack Obama. Ironically, once again Gibbs ducked and dodged questions about the White House's sentiment toward the BSA, by claiming ignorance of the BSA's recent legal victory against the Philadelphia City Council, which accused the BSA of violating the city's nondiscrimination policies (or of being anti-homosexual).

Here is Gibbs' actual exchange with WorldNetDaily correspondent Lester Kinsolving:

Kinsolving: What is the president's reaction to the unanimous jury decision in the U.S. District Court for eastern Pennsylvania in support of the Boy Scouts and against the Philadelphia City Council, who tried to bar them from their longtime headquarters?

Gibbs: You're going to find this surprising, but I'm not aware of the details of the case.

Kinsolving: It was widely reported.

Gibbs: It missed my desk. It missed my desk.

Kinsolving: You don't read very much.

Gibbs: I think it's safe to say, Lester, you and I probably don't read the same things, yes. (Laughter.)

Speaking of reading, in February an article was published by the nonpartisan research and education institute First Things that proposed that The Boy Scout Handbook is "the most influential conservative book ever produced in America." It never has gone out of print since its formation in 1910.

Therefore, The Boy Scout Handbook also must be one of the most dangerous threats to the White House's plan and goals to inculcate the progressive agenda and beliefs into the hearts and minds of every youth in America. Though most would not label the BSA handbook a conservative text, it certainly has become that in light of contemporary culture. It truly is a shining light for traditional values.

Literary historian and cultural critic Paul Fussell once described the Boy Scout Handbook as "among the very few remaining popular repositories of something like classical ethics, deriving from Aristotle and Cicero."

Or as Joe Carter at First Things wrote: "And then there is the Scout Motto ('Be Prepared') and the 12 point Scout Law which includes the politically incorrect admonition to be reverent: 'A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.'"

If President Obama concurred that the BSA handbook's principles enrich the lives of youth, develop quality leaders and help produce a new generation of patriotic American citizens, then wouldn't you expect the present White House would be espousing the BSA like past administrations?

I know, I know. I shouldn't expect so much. After all, President Obama is probably too busy trying to fix the economy, the border problems, the Gulf oil crisis and the Afghanistan war, right? Such is the case also with deadbeat dads across the country; they're too busy to support or do anything with their kids. Know what I mean? (Why don't you try that explanation on the Scouts and see how well it goes over.)

There I go again, sounding like Glenn Beck. And besides, those Boy Scouts should be reading other, more meaningful materials than what Fussell labeled "a popular repository of something like classical ethics," right? Maybe Scouts need to broaden their horizons, right? Maybe Scouts should be reading progressive texts, such as "The Communist Manifesto" or the book that Doug Mills of The New York Times inadvertently photographed Obama reading on the presidential campaign trail in Bozeman, Mont.: "The Post-American World." Whom are we kidding?! Not the kids!

Last week, I challenged Obama, the honorary BSA president, to attend the upcoming National Scout Jamboree from July 26-Aug. 4 in Virginia, as past U.S. presidents have done. I concluded by respectfully challenging the BSA's leadership with two straightforward objectives.

First, don't ever compromise your core principles and values. You've impacted millions upon millions of young lives and enriched our country and world because of your presence and contributions. Don't sell out now, especially on account of others' progressive agendas.

Secondly, I would appeal to the BSA's national president, Rex Tillerson, himself to please consider approving the new BSA patriotism merit badge. More than ever, our country needs to commend those young people who demonstrate a unique commitment to not only God but also country. With our republic facing some of its greatest trials and a potentially perilous future, it's time to reward valiant and exceptional patriotism, especially among our youth.

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