Rick Santorum warns that ending the Boy Scouts’ national ban on gay members could kill the group, and the group’s board would have “its fingerprints on the murder weapon.” The likely presidential candidate says the “vote is a challenge to the Scouts’ very nature and is another example of the left attempting to remove God from all areas of public life” and argues that gay Scouts would undermine the Scout values of being “trustworthy, loyal, courteous, thrifty, obedient, clean and reverent.”
Over the past 50 years, the left in America has successfully transformed American society. Among the long list of liberal victories is 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.
So when I saw that the Boy Scouts of America executive board is convening on 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, that have signaled change or money will disappear.
Wednesday’s vote is a challenge to the Scouts’ very nature and is another example of the left 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, it will allow local troops to decide for themselves, and those local troops that stick to the traditional core principles could continue without fear.
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 traits you would value in your employees: trustworthy, loyal, courteous, thrifty, obedient, clean and reverent. 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 mind 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 Scout Oath and 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 Scouts doesn’t have its fingerprints on the murder weapon.