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Liberal News and Commentary
Monday, April 14, 2003

Sherman Advocacy Challenges Government Funding of Boy Scouts

The City of Alton, Illinois, will hold two public hearings, today, to consider how to distribute this year's allocation of federal Community Development Block Grant money. Rob Sherman will be there to oppose that
portion of the draft budget which would give $10,000.00 to the Boy Scouts of America. Supporters bring you Rob Sherman Advocacy. Click here to join them.

Alton, Illinois, is located on the Mississippi River, about fifteen miles north of Saint Louis, Missouri. A story in yesterday's Alton Telegraph, entitled Meeting seeks public input on block grant projects, revealed that the Alton's draft budget for their CDBG money contained the $10,000 proposal for BSA.

On June 28, 2000, BSA won a decision in the Supreme Court of the United States in which BSA was declared to be a private organization that had a right to discriminate against homosexuals and, therefore, atheists, too, by excluding gays and atheists from their programs. That being the case, the bigoted BSA has no right to have their private, discriminatory program funded by tax dollars, since tax dollars may only be used to fund non-discriminatory programs.

On December 12, 2002, President Bush issued an Executive Order entitled Equal Protection of the Laws for Faith-based and Community Organizations. Section 2, "Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria," Paragraph D of the Order states: All organizations that receive Federal financial assistance under social services programs should be prohibited from discriminating against beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries of the social services programs on the basis of religion or religious belief. Accordingly, organizations, in providing services supported in whole or in part with Federal financial assistance, and in their outreach activities related to such services, should not be allowed to discriminate against current or prospective program beneficiaries on the basis of religion, a religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or a refusal to actively participate in a religious practice.

The White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives or, as we atheists characterize it, the White House Office of Faith-based Government, has issued a document entitled Partnering with the Federal
Government: Some Do's and Don'ts for Faith-Based Organizations. The third-to-last FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) in that document is entitled "If our organization receives federal funds, can it choose not to provide
services to some people?" Here's the answer, straight from the President of the United States: No. If you take Federal money you may not discriminate against a person seeking help who is eligible for the service. For example, if you are a religious organization and receive public money to run an emergency food distribution program, you may not serve only persons of your faith and turn away others. In addition, and as discussed above, you may not require those you serve to profess a certain faith or participate in religious activities, in order to receive the service you provide for the Federal government.

These documents make it clear that BSA is ineligible for federal funding. I will make it clear to Alton city officials that they face a legal challenge from Rob Sherman Advocacy if they give my (and our) federal tax dollars to the Boy Scouts.

This is the opening battle by Rob Sherman Advocacy to end all public funding of Boy Scouts, in general, and funding with CDBG money in particular.

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