The Reluctant Boy Scout

“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.”

Everyone should know what it means when we say “on my honor,” and what it means when we promise to do our best. And we should all have a firm grasp of what it means when we promise to do our duty to God and country, to help other people at all times, and to keep ourselves physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. But what does it mean when a young man promises to “obey the Scout law?”

When a Scout promises to obey the Scout Law, he adopts a value system for himself that is truly rare among young people today. He vows to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. It’s a pretty heavy obligation. For example, imagine for a moment that we required Barack Obama, Joe Biden, all of the Democrats in Congress, and the mainstream media to take that same oath… and we graded them on their performance. How would they fare?

Well, forget trustworthy, but loyal? Democrats are unalterably loyal to the people who give them money and votes. Joe Biden and John Edwards are friendly enough, and usually cheerful, and since we know that Rahm Emanuel runs around naked in the men’s locker room in the U.S. Capitol, attacking people who are suspected of being disloyal to Obama, we can be pretty certain that most of them bathe regularly… but that’s about as far as it goes.

Liberals and Democrats have made no secret of how they feel about adolescent boys who ascribe to the values system contained in the Scout Law. Those are not the kind of traits liberals and Democrats expect to see in their children. It simply is not possible to be all of those things and then grow up to be Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Harry Reid, or Barney Frank.

In fact, the delegates to the 2000 Democratic National Convention in

Los Angeles gave us all a pretty good picture of how they felt about Boy Scouts. As a six-member Eagle Scout color guard prepared to post the Stars & Stripes and the California state flag and proceeded down the long center aisle at Staples Center, the Democrats jeered, booed and held up placards, reading, “We Support Gay Boy Scouts.” Some have even suggested that Al Gore’s convention planners deliberately invited the Scouts in order to give gay rights advocates something to shout about, and as a way of giving a little pay-back to gays, lesbians, and trans-genders for their unwavering political support.

It seems the Democrats were upset because the Scouts had a policy of prohibiting openly gay men from serving as scoutmasters. Understandably, a lot of parents of twelve and thirteen year-old boys were a bit reluctant to have their sons going off into the woods on weekend camping trips with openly gay men. Imagine that. And although Democrats never made an issue of it, apparently in fear of arousing the radical feminist portion of their base, they seemed to have no problem with twelve and thirteen year-old girls going off on weekend camping trips with openly lesbian Scout leaders.

(Anyone who can make sense of that glaring contradiction should explain the details of Obama’s healthcare plan to the rest of us. It was okay with Democrats if young boys had to fight for their virtue, but a little same-sex TLC for young girls was nothing to be concerned about? Go figure.)

Because of the DNC’s delegate recruiting efforts, the 2000 convention that booed the Boy Scout color guard had almost twice as many gay delegates as in 1996 – 212 openly gay delegates vs. 125 in 1996.

(Am I the only one who thinks it strange that Democrats would know precisely how many gays they had at their 2000 convention, but they could spend $787 billion on job stimulus and not know where any of it went?)

The 2009 Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans-sexual (LGBT) parade in

San Francisco had as its theme, “To Form a More Perfect Union.” At the rate the Democrats are going it won’t be long before we won’t be able to tell an LGBT Gay Pride celebration from a Democratic convention.

Now it appears that Barack Obama has been drawn, reluctantly, into the Boy Scouts vs. gay scoutmaster controversy. In recent weeks, articles have circulated on the Internet claiming that:

a) Although every president since William Howard Taft has served as honorary president of the Boy Scouts, Obama had either chosen not to do so, or was reluctant to accept the honor,

b) Obama has refused to sign Eagle Scout Awards, and

c) He has refused to sign Boy Scout life saving awards.

According to Renee Fairrer of the Boy Scouts’ national public relations office, those charges are all untrue. Obama’s signature does appear on the Eagle Scout awards, along with the signatures of the National President of the BSA, the National Commissioner, andthe Chief Scout Executive.

Regarding the Life Saving awards, the BSA executive informs us that the signatures of

U.S. presidents have never appeared on the life saving award. The Life Saving award contains only the signatures of the National President of the BSA; the Chairman, National Court of Honor; and the Chief Scout Executive.

Finally, although it is unclear exactly when Obama agreed to accept the position as honorary president of the Boy Scouts, the BSA insist that he accepted the honor shortly after his inauguration in January 2009. What we do know for certain is that he was under heavy pressure from his base to decline the offer.

In a

January 13, 2009 letter to Obama, a coalition of atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other non-theists informed him that discrimination against their members “will not be condoned.”

The letter went on to say, “The BSA has elected to set itself apart as a private organization that may discriminate in ways contrary to the laws and practices required of local, state, and federal authorities. Accepting the title and role of honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America would thus send the message that institutional discrimination against people who don’t happen to believe in a god is acceptable.

“Many presidents of the

United States have taken on the title of honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America. However, this tradition was established when discrimination against non-theists was, unfortunately, socially acceptable. Given that non-theists now make up a sizeable minority of the American population – having more numbers than Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, and Jews combined – the BSA is clearly out of touch with the spirit of pluralism, tolerance, and inclusiveness that compose today’s American values. By contrast, in 1993 the Girl Scouts of the

United States of America adopted more inclusive policies.”

The letter concluded, “Therefore, please decline the title and role of honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America until such time as the organization reforms its bylaws and practices to be non-discriminatory.”

The letter was signed by the American Atheists, the American Ethical Union, the American Humanist Association, Atheist Alliance International, the Council for Secular Humanism, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Institute for Humanist Studies, the International Federation for Secular & Humanistic Judaism, the Secular Coalition for America, the Secular Student Alliance, the Society for Humanistic Judaism, and eight other leftist organizations.

Addressing Obama on a more personal level, Patti Wigington, of the Paganism/Wicca blog, About.com, quoted American Humanists president David Noise as saying, “President-elect Obama was himself raised by a mother whom he described as a secular humanist, a remarkable woman who was very much a religious skeptic. As such, he surely realizes that, if he were to accept the current Boy Scout standard, he would be endorsing discrimination against the same value system under which he was raised.”

Obama may have signed on early as honorary president of the Boy Scouts, but knowing who he is and who his friends are, we can be certain it was not done with a great deal of enthusiasm. He did it because he knew what the fallout would be if he didn’t. To fail to do so would have been as damaging, politically, as turning his back on motherhood and apple pie. Obama may now be an honorary Boy Scout, but he is most assuredly a reluctant one.

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