home > archive > 2013 > this article

On my honor

By Robert T. Smith
web posted June 24, 2013

As a part of the continued assault on the traditions of our country, the Boy Scouts have suffered the latest wound, unfortunately self-inflicted. 

The Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

The very essence of the Supreme Court ruling in Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale (2000) was the notion that the Boy Scouts have a First Amendment Constitutional right to not associate with those who hold beliefs antithetical to the Boy Scouts’ values.  In this case, those who identify themselves through their conduct or verbally as homosexuals are allowed to be excluded from the Boy Scouts.  This case clearly re-established a benchmark related to the Constitutional right to freedom of association, and directly refuted lower court rulings previously directed at the Boy Scout’s in this regard.

As widely reported in the news, the Boy Scouts recently adopted a policy that allowed homosexual youths into scouting, but continued to leave in place its policy that open or avowed homosexuals cannot be adult leaders.  This change of Boy Scout policy raises a number of issues for the Scouts going forward.

At great cost and over a long period of time, the Boy Scouts did their best to legally defend their honor and duty to God, and to remain morally straight.  Long-term legal battles were fought by the Boy Scouts across the country that tested the Boy Scouts will to maintain their virtuous value system.  These long-term battles were resolved when the Supreme Court established the Boy Scouts’ right to freely associate with those who shared their virtue and to not associate with those who do not.  The Boy Scouts were an attractive organization to many for this and other related reasons.  The optics of the Boy Scouts recent decision looks to many that the Scouts have abandoned their honor, duty to God, and morality. 

Regardless of the particulars of the Boy Scouts’ change of policy decision, the Supreme Court set a benchmark for all organizations by clearly re-establishing the right of association for any group, when they decided in favor of the Boy Scouts in 2000.  How tragic that so soon after finally resolving the legal argument at the Supreme Court, the Boy Scout’s discarded this Constitutional “win” and adopted an evolving policy, an ephemeral set of values demonstrated by the Boy Scout’s when they changed their policy.   

This new Boy Scout policy of allowing homosexual youths into scouting has at best brought into question, or potentially negated this benchmark Supreme Court ruling in their favor, and ensured additional litigation over the Boy Scout’s new policy.  In essence, by policy decision, the Boy Scouts now do not disassociate themselves with homosexual behavior.  On the very day the Boy Scouts voted to change their youth policy, the homosexual activists put them on notice that the next step is to eliminate the Scout policy against homosexual adult leaders as well. 

Now that homosexual conduct is not inconsistent with the Boy Scout values, how can the Scouts allow membership and associate with homosexual persons up to their 18th birthday, then suddenly disassociate with them on their 18th birthday.  Undoubtedly, the legal basis for this transition is now open to further, costly litigation, which may lead the Boy Scouts to be required to drop their prohibition against homosexuals, youths or adults, entirely.

It is estimated that approximately 70% of Boy Scout sponsors are Christian churches.  Throughout the country, many churches are dropping their sponsorship of the Scouts, while others have stated that they will remain sponsors.  Many are speaking out against churches who are dropping their sponsorship, both within religious groups and from outside of religious groups.

With clearly established virtuous policies, the church too may associate or disassociate with whomever they like, for now.  Tragically, the church itself has been under the evolving living document set of standards themselves in the last many decades. 

The churches duty to God, promise to help other people at all times, and obligation to remain morally straight have been discarded by many churches.  The unrepentant sin of practicing homosexuality is now accommodated and even condoned in many parts of the American church body.  If the church was a truly caring moral authority with strongly held religious beliefs, wouldn't the appropriate response to homosexuality be to speak out and discourage these thoughts and behaviors; a truly caring act for other peoples’ eternal souls.

The American church, like the Boy Scout’s, walks dangerously close to destroying their own right of association when their virtuous set of values is apparently ephemeral.  It will be instructive to see which churches continue to sponsor a group that now accommodates homosexuality, a concept theoretically and theologically antithetical to the churches “strongly held” religious beliefs.  Sponsorship of the Scouts provides tacit and in some cases full approval between the groups.  As a fiduciary responsibility to God, the church seems to be fully justified in breaking this organizational relationship with the Boy Scouts, while continuing to hate the sin but love the sinner.  As example, Nike dropped its sponsorship relationship with Lance Armstrong over his doping and lying about doping actions.  Devoid of a Holy Scripture themselves, even Nike can discern the need to disassociate with another based on certain activities or beliefs.          

Oaths are intended to be a solemn pledge or promise.  Until their recent decision, the iconic Boy Scout organization would include in their oath the words...on my honor...duty to God...morally straight.  Now? ESR

Robert T. Smith is an environmental scientist who spends his days enjoying life and the pursuit of happiness with his family.  He confesses to cling to his liberty, guns and religion, with antipathy toward the arrogant ruling elites throughout the country.





Site Map

E-mail ESR



© 1996-2024, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.