Governor to visit campus amid stir over book

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    Gov. Rick Perry’s new book tour, which has stirred mixed reactions, is making a stop at the TCU Bookstore on Thursday for a book signing.

    Perry’s book, “On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For,” is centered on the Boy Scouts of America program’s criteria of having a “duty to God” and supporting the intolerance of homosexuality with a vow to stay “morally straight.” According to a synopsis inside the book’s jacket, Scouts have been berated by liberals who oppose those Boy Scout standards.

    Despite the controversial issues the book addresses, Andrea McCormick, a bookstore manager, said she expects to see about 200 people at the event.

    Although many Scouts have shown a positive reaction toward the book’s publication, as McCormick mentioned, others have expressed negative feelings.

    The Scouts do not need anymore attention about the negative issues the organization has faced, said Drew Wilson, an Eagle Scout at TCU.

    Perry is “dragging Scouts through the mud” by blowing the controversial issues out of proportion, Wilson said.

    Taylor Witt, event coordinator, said unlike some other book signings, he expects the event to remain under control and without controversy.

    Perry’s office did not return phone calls seeking comment.

    The bookstore has 225 copies of the book in stock along with book paraphernalia available for the public to purchase and have Perry sign, Witt said.

    McCormick said the bookstore has sold about 100 books so far, but said many would wait until Thursday to purchase a copy of the book.

    When Perry’s book was released in February, Barnes & Noble College Booksellers contacted Perry’s office to set up a book signing specifically for TCU, Witt said.

    The book focuses on the values of Scouting in America and the right to assemble, McCormick said.

    Perry uses his experience as an Eagle Scout as well as the 2000 U.S. Supreme Court case, Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, to explain the importance of Scouting values and the right to remain a private organization. He invites other political figures such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates and astronaut James Lovell to share their views as well.

    “The U.S. would be a better country if everyone lived by the principles the Boy Scouts of America have established,” says Ross Perot, former independent presidential candidate and author of the book’s foreword.

    The book signing is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the bookstore’s upstairs reading room.

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