ACLU Using Tax Dollars to Undermine Moral Values, Veterans' Group Says

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - The American Legion says it will go all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary, to stop the American Civil Liberties Union from using the courts to "destroy American values at taxpayer expense."

Thomas Cadmus, the National American Legion commander, is defending the Boy Scouts of America and its right to freedom of association.

In separate letters to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R- Tenn.) and Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.), Cadmus expressed qualified support for the "Support Our Scouts Act of 2005."

It's good as far as it goes, Cadmus said -- but he noted that several recent court decisions, if allowed to stand, will likely undermine any law that authorizes support for the National Boy Scout Jamboree.

Frist and Davis are sponsoring the Support Our Scouts Act of 2005 in their respective chambers. The bill would restore government support for scouting activities, such as jamborees, at military facilities.

In November, to settle an ACLU complaint, the Pentagon announced that its military bases would no longer be permitted to officially sponsor Boy Scout troops or activities.

The ACLU lawsuit argued that taxpayer money should not be spent to endorse the religious beliefs of the Boy Scouts, who must take an oath to do their "duty to God."

"As the leader of the 2.7 million American veterans who proudly claim membership in the American Legion, I am calling upon you and your colleagues to place your immediate and fullest influence behind efforts to stem the attacks on the Boy Scouts of America," Cadmus wrote to Frist and Davis.

He wants Congress to also amend Title 42 of the Civil Rights Act, which the ACLU is using to collect millions of dollars in attorneys' fees at taxpayer expense.

Cadmus noted that while the law was written with good intentions -- to ensure that legitimate victims of civil rights violations could obtain legal representation -- the ACLU has been exploiting the law in suits such as the one against the Boy Scouts.

"ACLU profits from these [establishment of religion] cases at taxpayer expense," Cadmus said. "Title 42 must be amended o preclude this abuse."

Cadmus said American Legion Posts around the world are taking up the slack created by the loss of Scout charters formerly held by public schools and military units overseas.

But even so, he noted, "our intervention...will not put a halt to the tactics being used by the ACLU in their incessant attacks on the Boy Scouts of America. We will be looking to you and other leaders in Congress to help assure that Scouts and the Scouting movement continue to receive the support they have enjoyed for decades and so rightly deserve," Cadmus said.

"As more Americans learn the ACLU adds insult to injury by collecting taxpayer dollars in the process of attacking the moral values of our nation, there will be a groundswell of 'We the People' united to stop this practice dead in its tracks," Cadmus concluded.