Army Caves to the First Amendment, Christian Troop is Allowed

Trail Life USA bases its existence on scripture, with a mission to instill character and morality in boys so they become men of integrity following after God, and because of the help of attorneys with the First Liberty Institute and the Independence Law Center, they are not to be singled out for exclusion from federal facilities open for catering to other civic groups and scouting organizations. (Trail Life photo)

A National Guard facility in Pennsylvania that had been refusing to allow a Biblically Christian Trail Life USA scouting troop to tour their facility has seen the light, after feeling the heat, and repented.

Trail Life cried foul and lawyered up with the First Liberty Institute, and then a team of attorneys plotted a course toward a Come-to-Jesus moment right away.

After a bit of schooling from knowledgeable First-Amendment attorneys, the Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard facility located near Interstate 81 north of Harrisburg became an open destination for the Christian troopers.

To national conservative commentator Todd Starnes, the idea that Christian associations should be singled out for exclusion is a troubling thing, and indicates a frightful trend in American society.

“The idea that Christian boys would be banned strictly because of their religious beliefs is not only ludicrous, but it’s also illegal,” Starnes said.

Trail Life is on a mission is to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure. (Trail Life logo)

“The facility regularly hosts tours for Boy Scout troops and other organizations, but Trail Life boys were told they could not participate because they belonged to a Christian scouting organization.”

First Liberty noted the salient point in a letter to the National Guard.

“Fort Indiantown Gap’s denial of access to the base facilities, which are open to other civic, fraternal, and youth organizations and for youth activities, constitutes viewpoint discrimination,” the letter stated.

So the decision to ban was both discriminatory and unconstitutional, the letter concluded.

Trail Life USA Board Chairman John Stemberger, said that it was disappointing how a, “federal institution like the Army is buying into this leftist idea that faith has to be excluded from the public square.”

when your constitutional rights are violated, you have an obligation to speak up

Conservative commentator Todd Starnes

“The good news is that once First Liberty Institute and the Independence Law Center got involved, the National Guard quickly backed down and rescinded the ban,” Starnes said.

As Starnes noted: “We are grateful that the Guard has chosen to open its doors to the Trail Life troop,” ILC attorney Jeremy Samek said in a statement. “I know they are excited to get the opportunity to interact with those who defend our freedom.”

Trail Life is a movement to be “the premier national character development organization for young men which produces godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens,” based on their Colossians 1:10 motto to “Walk Worthy.”

Starnes said that Trail Life walked worthy when they were fruitful in the good work of standing up with lawyers and increasing the knowledge of God for the Army’s sake, and that was pleasing to God.

“The lesson is that when your constitutional rights are violated, you have an obligation to speak up,” Starnes said.


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