Supreme Court: The Boy Scouts Are A Religious Organization

The Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal of a lower court’s ruling that the Boy Scouts of America are a religious organization. The earlier ruling came over a dispute about the Scouts renting city-owned land in San Diego.

U.S. District Judge Napoleon Jones Jr. ruled in 2003 that San Diego acted improperly when it leased 18 acres of camp space to the Scouts because the group is a religious organization. The judge said the lease violated federal law that prohibits the government promotion of religion. The Boy Scouts say they have no theology and only hold the position that children should “do duty to God” to become productive citizens. The American Civil Liberties Union had sued San Diego and the Boy Scouts in August 2000 on behalf of a lesbian couple and an agnostic couple, each with scouting-age sons. They filed the lawsuit after the City Council voted to extend the group’s 50-year lease for another 25 years. The Boys Scouts have been the target of preferential treatment lawsuits since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2000 that the group has a constitutional right to exclude openly gay men from serving as troop leaders and because it compels members to swear an oath of duty to God.

The leadership of the Boy Scouts of America has been infiltrated over the last two decades by highly-placed members of the Mormon Church. Virtually all of its board of directors are LDS officials.

UPDATE: I want to roll back that “virtually all” bit from the last sentence above until I can find the proper substantiating link. The best info I can find at the moment is a 2001 claim that 24 of the 72 BSA National Council members are Mormons, but I’m quite sure that I read very recently that that number is now over 50. Does anybody recall where that came from?

RELATED: Last week the BSA was ordered to pay $18.5M in punitive damages to man who was molested by a Scout leader known by his superiors to be a pedophile.