The covers of the major news magazines for the week of April 6, 1998, featured photos of the Jonesboro, Ark., boys/alleged murderers, Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden, in their tender, but yet gun-toting years. One can almost hear the editors of Newsweek and Time scolding, "See what happens when you expose children to guns?" Their neo-classical nurture argument is that children are influenced by those who are close to them. If parents do guns, kids do guns.

Fascinating that these editors advance their nurture theories at the same time that the ever-busy ACLU is advancing the rights of homosexual males to be Boy Scout leaders. Children apparently are not influenced by being around gay men, only gun men.In several cases pending and decided around the country, the ACLU has been promoting the infiltration of Scouting programs with gay leaders. The ACLU is fighting to preserve the inalienable right to be a Boy Scout leader, a little-known constitutional provision. A New Jersey court has ordered a troop to readmit James Dale, a confessed homosexual, as a Scout leader. In a California case, Tim Curran, a gay-rights activist, lost his bid for Boy Scout leader when that state's high court ruled that Scouting is not a form of public accommodation that requires acceptance of all who desire admission. A restaurant is a form of public accommodation and could not impose a profound belief in nutritional superiority of the patty melt as a prerequisite for service. But, at least in California, the Boy Scouts, as non-public entities, can still require those who desire admission to accept an oath that involves God, who has, by the way, addressed homosexuality as a sin. The very basis of the Scouting program is a willingness to submit to honoring God.

But so morally clueless are the defenders of "rights" that they fail to see the silliness in demanding membership in a group with values that run contra to your own. This is akin to demanding both the priesthood and a marriage in the Catholic church. If you choose marriage, you cannot, by definition, be a priest under that organization's rules. The ACLU wants private groups to be required to admit those whose lives and choices fly in the face of the group's basic tenets. There is nothing in the language or history of the constitution that prohibits the formation of groups based on religious beliefs. The wall between church and state was intended to keep government out of religion and worship, which in the many years of the ACLU shuffle, has resulted in the perverse interpretation that the wall means no religion at all.

The role Scouting has played in keeping boys on the straight, as it were, and narrow for nearly a century is about to come to an end. What parent, committed to her religious belief that homosexuality is a sin and who is concerned about the influences in a child's life, would place that child in a God-free organization in which homosexuals occupy a position of trust and leadership for the child? Peers, teachers, and coaches have an impact on the lives of children. In two recent cases, mere babes have been seduced into bizarre sexual relationships with teacher figures twice their ages.

Raising children with religious values and beliefs is an uphill battle in this world of pervasive vice and presidential immorality. Now the organizations we once trusted are indoctrinating children, all in the name of tolerance. Public schools have discussions as early as third grade about attitudes toward homosexuals. The Clinton administration recently issued guidelines for diversity training in public schools, with lessons beginning at the kindergarten level to include discussions of homophobia.

I queried our school district's superintendent about the district's policy on same-sex orientation in PE teachers. The district does not permit male PE teachers to instruct female students largely due to the teacher's office's panoramic views of showering females. The district superintendent explained that there was no policy because it might tread on the rights of the teachers. What of my daughters' rights and privacy? What of their values and beliefs?

Media pundits fix causation for the Jonesboro shootings directly on the young boys' early exposure to guns. Children become what they are taught and will mirror the behavior of the adults in their lives. Shannan Wilber, an attorney at the Youth Law Center in San Francisco, reminds us, "Where there is a closer connection, such as a parent's possession of firearms, it's easier to connect that to a subsequent criminal act by the child. It's more concrete." The impact of adults' behaviors and conduct as an influence on children's behaviors apparently stops short when it comes to homosexuality.

As we sit by helplessly, the ACLU is infiltrating Scouting through judicial fiat and schools are training our children with new definitions of virtue. Want to raise a straight child? Good luck finding an organization to help you. Tolerance is once again absent in that very group that preaches it at length and demands it universally from others.