Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Popehat, I Am Disappoint

Popehat, I am disappoint.

Though I don’t always agree with what is written here, I always appreciate the reasoned approach to what is written. Your post concerning the Boy Scouts of America falls short of the reason I expect from Popehat. Your post concerning Chick-fil-A – in which you express your abhorrence of what this restaurant’s ownership stands for – is better reasoned than this one. You express your revulsion for the owners’ stance on gay marriage, but at the same time roll your eyes at the mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, who threatened to effectively bar the restaurant from opening in his city though the denial of licenses because of the owners’ stance. That’s why you shouldn’t be puzzled, as you say in your postscript, by the “implication in a few of the emails that I’m suggesting the BSA ought to be coerced by the government into changing its policies.” The bone thrown to Chick-fil-A and the absence of any similar bone thrown to the BSA invites such an implication.

Maybe you were planning on writing something similar to the following in a subsequent post. You might have better served your readers – and avoided any implication of favoring government coercion, as you did in your Chick-fil-A post, by writing something similar to what follows:

The US Supreme court has interpreted the First Amendment of the Constitution as allowing for freedom of association. In 1995, the court decided unanimously in Hurley v the Irish America Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston that the organizers of that city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade could not be forced by government to allow the group to march in the parade.

In 2000, the court decided in a 5-4 decision in BSA v Dale that the BSA could not be forced by the state to reinstate an assistant scoutmaster the group dismissed when he came out of the closet. The majority decision in BSA v Dale says in part:
We are not, as we must not be, guided by our views of whether the Boy Scouts' teachings with respect to homosexual conduct are right or wrong; public or judicial disapproval of a tenet of an organization's expression does not justify the State's effort to compel the organization to accept members where such acceptance would derogate from the organization's expressive message. While the law is free to promote all sorts of conduct in place of harmful behavior, it is not free to interfere with speech for no better reason than promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one, however enlightened either purpose may strike the government.
Please feel free to call the BSA a bigoted organization. Please feel free not to associate with this group, if you so choose – it is your Constitutional right, after all. But no matter how much you may despise the BSA for what it stands for in the case of homosexuality, please uphold the reasoned approach to the rule of law that Popehat has, until this post, upheld, even if you have to hold your nose while doing so. Chick-fil-A got such treatment from Popehat. Why can’t the BSA?

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