OPINION – Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. This is especially true when a matter of conscience requires standing up to the crowd.
For years, the Boy Scouts of America have been under relentless social pressure to begin admitting openly homosexual scouts and leaders into the organization. Recently, the BSA undertook a confidential two-year review of their policy before affirming that the institutional principles that have guided them for over a century would remain rooted in traditional religious morality.
Following the announcement that Scouting’s core standards will not be discarded for the sake of popularity, a predictable chorus of outrage has erupted. By holding to their stated values of duty to God, country, others, and self, the Boy Scouts are accused of marginalizing homosexuals in much the same way they were accused of denigrating atheists a few years ago.
It’s not as if those whose values differ from the Boy Scouts are being prevented from starting their own organizations. But instead of creating an institution and persuading others to embrace the inclusive message they wish to share, these pressure groups prefer to tear down what others have built. Rather than defining and promoting their own ideals, the protestors presume to redefine the purposes, standards, and criteria for membership for the BSA through compulsory association.
There have undoubtedly been homosexual scouts and scout leaders throughout the years. But by refusing to make their sexual behavior a matter of their public identity, they were able to contribute to scouting without commandeering the program in order to make a personal political statement.
Anyone who has spent time working within the Boy Scouts can attest that scouting has helped millions of young men become better men in their personal and public lives. Recognition as an Eagle Scout opens doors in the public and private sector alike because it serves as evidence of good character and leadership. The scouting program sets the bar high by encouraging its members to stay physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
If the Boy Scouts were to depart from these ideals and to embrace the current social imperative of introducing sexual politics into its program, it would cease to be the institution it was created to be. Scouting was founded to build trustworthy, upstanding young men capable of living up to a moral code of personal excellence. This requires the ability to make a distinction between right and wrong.
The scouting program affirms a respect for others, including those whose beliefs differ from our own. Why doesn’t that same respect for differing beliefs extend to tolerance of those whose code of behavior upholds traditional Christian sexual morality? If the BSA standards dictate that its members’ sexual preferences remain a personal matter, it is their right as a private organization to do so.
The right to refuse assimilation at the hands of the cultural Borg is one of our few remaining bulwarks of personal freedom.
Joseph Sobran explained why this is so, “Because the traditional code is designed to support the family as the basic unit of society, and the family, like religion and private property, is one of the foundations of liberty and resistance to monolithic state power. Without religion, the state faces no rival moral authority. Without property, freedom has no material basis, and everyone becomes dependent on the state for support. And without the family, the individual belongs almost wholly to the state, with no stable competing loyalty.”
America’s culture warriors quit trying to convince us a long time ago. Instead, they’re relying on time and pressure to simply wear down the individuals and private institutions that refuse to bow to secularizing pressures. It is admirable that the Boy Scouts have emphatically stood their ground in the face of years of increasingly antagonistic demands.
The only bigotry associated with the BSA’s decision to stand firm appears to be emanating from those activists who have failed to bully the Boy Scouts into submission.
Let the Boy Scouts continue to build responsible, conscientious, and service-oriented young men. And let those culture warriors who believe that scouting is missing something in terms of inclusive thinking, start their own organization that can either stand or fall on its own merits.
Truth is a more valuable tool than coercion when it comes to proving what is sound and what is unsound.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.