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Stop the War on Scouts

Comment

Over the past 50 years, the left has successfully transformed American society. Among the long list of liberal victories are the growth of the welfare state, sexual liberation, removing God from the public square, abortion, affirmative action, redistribution of wealth, more government control of business, radical environmentalism and the transformation of the family.

You must tip your hat at the breadth and scale of change that the left has accomplished, but such radical disruption of society over a relatively short time has had consequences. One that has received relatively little attention is what Christina Hoff Sommers calls "The War Against Boys." In her book, she describes how public schools have made little boys try to compete in a system designed for little girls and how they are failing. Dropout rates for boys have increased, and more girls now go to college than boys. The impact of this and the increasing absence of fathers and male role models in the lives of boys from lower- and middle-income families have led to increased joblessness, violence and incarceration, the inability to climb the economic ladder, and a perpetuation of the cycle of fatherless families.

So when I saw that the Boy Scouts of America's executive board is convening Wednesday to discuss abandoning the organization's founding moral principles that nurture boys into men, I was saddened, but not surprised. It makes sense that men at the top of the food chain whose boys are insulated, although not immune, from the harmful effects of societal change are behind this effort. Board members James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young, and Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, are advocating for gay scoutmasters and Scouts. They are joined by two big funders, UPS and Merck, which have signaled that money will disappear if change is not made.

This is not a new fight. Liberal activist lawyers went to court to force the Boy Scouts to change, but the Supreme Court in 2000 upheld the Boy Scouts of America's right to set its own policies. In that case, the court ruled that the freedom of association, a constitutional right, permits a private organization to exclude someone from membership when "the presence of that person affects in a significant way the group's ability to advocate public or private viewpoints."

That did not deter lawyers, anti-Scouting public officials and liberal Christian denominations from keeping the Boy Scouts in their cross hairs. All of these attacks have been cheered by mainstream media that see an opportunity to advance a liberal cause while vilifying a theistic-based organization's standing by its "outdated" principles of developing boys into men.

Over the years, I have been a champion of the unique role that civil society, through voluntary associations, plays in shaping individual character and the common good.

What makes these organizations so effective, I believe, is precisely their ability to appeal to something "other," to some higher authority to which we are accountable. I believe that what makes the Boy Scouts of America so successful, therefore, is loyalty to its first principles, its history and its understanding of what it means to live in duty to God.

Wednesday's vote is a challenge to the Scouts' very nature and is another example of the left's attempting to remove God from all areas of public life. There are more than 2.3 million Scouts and 1 million volunteer Scout leaders active today, each a member of a local troop and regional Scouting organization. The proposed change sounds like a thoughtful compromise. A BSA official stated that the Scouts "would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents." In other words, the BSA would allow local troops to decide for themselves, and those local troops that stick to the traditional core principles could continue without fear.

That simply won't happen. First, this policy change will remove the legal protection given to the BSA by the recent Supreme Court case that permitted the organization to include or exclude members based upon commonly held "viewpoints." If those principles become optional, every troop that doesn't want a homosexual or atheist scoutmaster will be sued. That assumes those troops run by faith-based individuals and church hosts will stay with the Boy Scouts. Many will simply leave and pursue alternative ways to continue to invest in the development of their young men's character, leaving the BSA hollowed out at its core.

I implore Mr. Turley and Mr. Stephenson and the executives at Merck and UPS to read the Boy Scout Law. It is filled with words that have long left the popular lexicon when applied to young men, but I suspect they are traits you would value in your employees: trustworthiness, loyalty, courteousness, thriftiness, obedience, cleanliness and reverence. Yes, the Boy Scouts are not of the popular culture. They haven't transformed themselves to keep up with what is cool or trending, so in the mind of the intolerant liberal, they must be forced to conform.

We have witnessed how challenging it is in the elite circles of our society to keep true to what is good and right. The pressures are enormous, but here, too, this old institution instructs us about another word, "bravery," for those circumstances: "A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him."

Scouting prepares boys and teenagers to be virtuous men in a world that desperately needs men who are brave enough to stand up for those principles, to live by the moral code of the Boy Scout Law and hold themselves to that standard — whether at the schoolyard or in the boardroom. Scouting may not survive this transformation of American society, but for the sake of the average boy in America, I hope the board of the BSA doesn't have its fingerprints on the murder weapon.

COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM



Comments

3 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;... I am all for people getting right with their God... I would not have any one act contrary to their God so long as that did not mean the injury of another person... But from my perspective, God can take care of himself, and the worst crimes humanity has ever engaged in grew out of mankind doing for God all that God was capable of doing for himself if he was of a mind to...
I do not see Jesus as sanctioning any earthly authority, and as rejecting it for himself... I do not hear the Old Testament Prophets telling believers to seek the power of Eqypt to squash Assyria, or Babylon, or Persia for that matter... They did counsel faith to God, and justice to each other; and this our denominations deny today in the rush for authority through government over their fellow human beings... I don't mind that people are moral without a church, but it deeply offends me that so many are immoral within their churches, and that they accept inustice and slavery for themselves, and then want to lead all people into like condition...
Your complaint has no merit... Try again...
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:08 AM
Sir... In talking about consequences, you are clearly confusing subsequent for consequence... One might well say that same sex parents raising a child are doing far more to keep the idea of family alive against vast and intractable economic forces than the churches are with their attacks on abortion rights, while insisting that men not be supported with their wives and children through periods of want and dependency... The warped morality of Christians has no sense of reality, of human need, or actual cause and effect... In looking for a reason they attack effects as causes and feed causes as though pets... The absolute blindness of people of your stripe is incomparable... I do not wish you well... I think you are so many nuts who interfere with government in the effort to achieve some good because you are not yourselves the authors of it...I don't like you or the way you people use your malformed babes to advertize your fidelity to failed ideas... Grow up!!!
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:28 AM
Sir;... Since no one else wants to have a go at you... Allow me..
It takes a little more than kids packing up to go for a crap in the woods once in a while to make them into decent human beings... It is not for want of heroes or decent role models, or words of encouragement to ethical behavior that people fall into immorality... What do you think people learn when their whole society is a testament to success through immorality???... It does not matter what is said to people, but what they see, and it takes more than words to overcome a good bad example...
I must wonder what sort of moral lesson you took from your family when I see how you have turned out...I trust that many of my family were trapped in the same sort of circumstances, but they rather sided with the rednecks... I am myself a product of soft coal country in Pennsylvania... They used to get checks with a snake for a watermark stretched from end to end top, to bottom repeatedly, and only good at the company store...If you showed up with a new lunch box or pair of boots not bought there, forget about keeping your job... My people got out, leaving their lands behind as the price of having their freedom... And yet you, knowing this, knowing how people are used and exploited, understanding how the whole commonwealth of the people is exploited and turned to profit, seeing how your own were used up and trashed by the rich, do not demand justice; do not demand that what is ours be returned to us through taxes, but attach yourself like a baby to the breasts of the rich, and cry their laments against the people they use...
Consider all the wealth and life taken out of the lands and people of Appalachia, and when the rich no longer wished to support the poor they found poor, exploited, and left poor; they say: the people of Appalachia need help, and they are thrown upon the backs of the people... These people no less than yourself believe in God, and profess the same; but God will not deliver them justice and they may well interfere with those who try on their behalf to see them have justice... I might one day argue that a man must know himself wronged and demand justice to have it; but for now, to the people like you, I argue that justice is each man's due whether he knows if or not, and ignorance is no more defense for those who wrong him, and keep him ignorant in his condition, than it is protection for him, or her, or them...
We cannot be a nation so long as we stand idly by while those around us are wronged and we thank God on bended knees that he has spared us... Such a God has spared us nothing but the sense to make certain hell does not rule the earth... We cannot count our blessings on the table of fortune... We cannot endure government that makes its way from crisis to crisis premised upon our inability to support society on taxes...If there is no profit in running America into the ground, exporting all our jobs and capital, and importing the world's poverty, it is time to stop the process...
Every republic is a commonwealth, and ours has been let out cheap to the rich, and regardless of who holds the title to it; it is not better than the ability and willingness of the whole society and government to defend it... Your rich friends have found in you a loyal servant who hasn't got the sense of a fense post...You want to worry about the redistribution of wealth??? Worry instead about the whole of society falling to pieces because people wake up some day and find they have no reason to go to work or to defend their misery...
How bad do you want it to get to have your wealth??? Do you want to deny health care??? No Doubt!!! Do you want to deny equality so that all people find their enemy in their neighbor instead of their exploiters??? Why Not!!! You should consider how bad it got in Ancient Rome... When the Emperors found they no longer needed the people to have power, but only the military; the population was marginalized, and its rights were denied until one day, when the Barbarians were at the gates, the Army called for able bodied men, and Men cut off their thumbs so they could not hold a sword...
People need meaningful lives to have something to defend, and in the process of stealing wealth from this society the rich have stolen meaning as well... We do not have to give our lives to work that gets us no where... Our lives are all the real meaning we will ever have, and it does not matter what nonsense the boy scouts or their churches blow in their ears because when it is all said and done, and the people have spun their wheels for no progress what will be their comfort as life slips away???...
What was it all for??? Was it only to be a witness to the decline of America??? Was it to witness the decline and failure of so many families??? America used to be something, and mean something for everyone, and even while it chewed up lives and spit out the bones like a brushhog, it still meant something for those who remained... Less and less people are buying into a process that uses them, and gains them nothing... There has to be more to life than treading water... We need more than the manufactured hope of churches and accepted institutions to keep us going, and we are not getting it, and our kids are not getting it...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #3
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:55 PM
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