The Washington Times, June 16, 2000 (Issue-ad)
Vulture Scout
A New Rank for the BSA?

By Ralph Sheffield

NCREDIBLY, one James Dale, after he was found to be homosexual, is suing the Boy Scouts of America to force them to retain him as an assistant scoutmaster. (huh?) Perhaps the dearth of intellect in his state’s current supreme court has made him fantasize a Disneyland day at the Supreme Court of the United States. If he spent less time posturing and more pondering, he would grasp—he barred himself from Scouting by jettisoning its Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan. Let us count (some of) the ways—trying not to retch on effrontery: “On my honor” Isn’t honesty part of honor? “I will... obey” Not betray, not dissemble. “The Scout Law” Not whimsy, but a contractual standard agreed to by those receiving the benefits and honors of Scouting. “To keep myself...morally straight” Morality nurtures life—and sexual honor is most of morality. The founders of Scouting (early 1900’s) were keenly aware of this, but being people of high manners and decent times (before the sex–drug–anarchy debauches of the 60’s and afterward), they did not wish, even didactically, to obtrude into Scouting manuals, so explicit a term as “sexual perversion” (from Latin perversus—“thoroughly turned from what is good”). But needing to teach the principle, they (in Frost’s term) “taught by contraries,” broaching it from its opposite—“morally straight,” instead. For millions in Scouting (for nearly a century) this has been manifestly about sexual morality—especially “sexual perversion,”  because of (1) the clear denotation of the words, (2) the other character virtues (honesty, friendship, thrift, etc.) being represented elsewhere in the Scouting covenants, and (3) the tradition of Scout leadership teaching this understanding. Only recently, from those who have betrayed the oath, have we heard (after they have been caught) ambiguous, twitching interpretations of it. Nor is it surprising that the non-Scouting world absorbed the term (“straight” as signifying “non-homosexual”) through the cultural leavening of tens of millions of leading families, their sons having been groomed through the ranks of Scouting (memorizing the Scout Oath and Laws, etc.) then entering into society (with a weighted influence). Thus, the word “straight” was in use a long time before emerging rather quickly into wider public usage during the bluster of homosexual agitation. “Gay” (ugh) new.

“Trustworthy” He keeps promises. He doesn’t justify his misconduct with word-games. “Loyal” Does loyalty include Scouters, parents and their sons, or are they less deserving of candor than Mr. Dale’s college crowd? “Helpful” Not harmful—if his self-serving attack does destroy BSA, Dale will likely photo-op his “regret that others caused this unfortunate outcome”—as honor-bound churches, civic groups, Scouters, parents and boys will have to withdraw from Scouting by hundreds of thousands. “Friendly” Not hostile. Friends don’t sue friends. If Dale is unhappy with the ideals of Scouting, he has a First Amendment “right to assemble” his own group. That is his remedy—not infringing on other peoples’ lives and institutions, or glutting the courts with a surfeit of baloney. Such litigants show their true colors—the Jolly Roger. Scorning others’ right of passage, they seize the Constitution as plunder, stripping booty of American liberty from its hold—Freedom of Assembly? Now! Religion? Soon! And all? One fine day! “Courteous” To abuse the generosity of BSA is rank discourtesy. Ignoring the Procrustean tortures by which a “driven” judiciary attempted to truncate a private charity like BSA into a “public accommodation,”  let us consider the concept of “accommodation”—from Latin com (together) and modus (measure)—as “parties agreeing to mutual considerations.” In a business—say, a town’s only gas station, the owner needs to earn a living. He provides fuel, merchandise and facilities. Customers agree to pay for them and to respect his premises. If either party falters, the accommodation may diminish. The core product is the powerful fuel. Smoking near it is considered so dangerous that an offending person may be excluded from the premises. But suppose it is an employee caught smoking near the gas pumps. The owner, concerned about safety, and understanding human nature (“show me a liar and I’ll show you a thief”), no longer trusts the wisdom or integrity of his worker, and fires him. The disgruntled employee, knowing he has lied about smoking on his job application, disobeyed the rules of his training, and disregarded the posted “No Smoking” signs, presumptuously demands his job back, claiming (deceitfully or stupidly) that his smoking is not dangerous, and that it’s his business. The owner responds that it is his business when a trusted employee exhibits dangerous and dishonest conduct. The employee concocts a lawsuit, and after appeals, finds a panel of uniformly obtuse judges and returns with a court order for reinstatement. The astounded owner then seeks redress from the highest court. But suppose the highest court is despotic also, or morally too weak to resist the cannonades of specious advocacy, and rules for the employee. The owner, still unable to see “the king’s new clothes”(moral wrong as politically correct), finding only one honorable course, makes the heart-rending decision to close his business. The citizenry suffers too—loss of commerce, convenience and, most important, liberty—from one man’s unbridled vanity and the mischief of overreaching judiciary.

HE vital “core product” of Scouting is noble character. All else (badges, ranks, honors), though worthy, is ancillary. And if not all young men allow Scouting programs to succeed in their inner lives, it is their choice; and Mr. Dale’s outrageous attempt to impose himself on Scouting is an “open flame”—totally explosive to the “fuel” of godly character dispensed into the lives of precious youth. It is a tribute to the wisdom and integrity of past American jurisprudence that it has taken nearly two centuries since Marbury v. Madison for persecuting minorities—from Madalyn Murray and ACLU to Lambda Defense Fund—to ferret out sufficient swanking judges to vaunt our once “least dangerous” branch of government into what is becoming the most dangerous. Jefferson foresaw this: “The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in...[the] judiciary...advancing its noiseless step like a thief...until all shall be usurped.” Tragically, this is the stuff of revolution. “Kind” “Only by pride cometh contention.” (Prov. 13:10)  A litigious spirit is a vicious spirit, foreign to kindness. “Obedient” Obedience—obeys. It doesn’t betray trust or make up its own rules, demanding others to submit. “Cheerful” Vindictiveness is antithetic to cheerfulness, even if you smile while you injure. Apparently, those least sensitive to guilt are most sensitive to embarrassment. Instead of saying “I got caught—I’ll take my consequences,” they say, “I’ll take my revenge.” Dale, and his legal chinches should be glad they are not being sued by BSA! “Thrifty” Only amoebic consciences could sue the Boy Scouts, draining their dues money, contributions of struggling parents and others, and the pro bono sacrifices of altruistic defenders against a nefarious action. “Brave” “Browning said, “When the fight begins within himself, a man’s worth something.” But Dale is like that infamous politician always warring against justice, allegedly “to protect his family,” but won’t battle his own libido to protect them. “Clean” Jesus taught, “Cleanse first that which is within, that the outside may be clean also.” Those who seek righteousness within will gain reputation without. But those who seek image above integrity (by lies or lawsuit) will lose both. “Reverent” Does the Almighty have any rights? Count on it! He has warned (Lev 20:13, I Cor. 6:9-10, Gen. 2:24, I Cor. 11:11, Matt. 19:17, etc.) that those who pervert themselves shall not have lasting peace in this world or eternal life in the world to come. It matters not who carps, complains, or flatters otherwise—“Every one of us shall give account to God.” (Rom.14: 12) “Be Prepared” If those who have fallen into deviance would have “prepared” their minds ahead with the protective power of decision to abide by Scout rules and the commandments of God—“This, I will always do. That, I will never do,” etc. (fortified by prayer, protected by courage, maintained by gratitude and vigilance) they would have passed this “test of refusal.” The Messiah passed this very test (among all others). We read, he “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”(Heb. 4:15) People entangled in homosexuality often recall a “sinking feeling” when they first approached this evil. This was the voice of conscience—a Divine gift to every person. If we obey our conscience, it becomes stronger and so do we. If not, it weakens, and we will lose even the sense of evil. If we will “be prepared” we are not likely to be surprised, charmed, or intimidated into evil. “Do a good turn daily” Dale’s apostasy from this ideal, evident in his treatment of BSA—secret betrayal then brutal attack—seems hard to grasp. But when he preens himself forward as “victim,” as “friend” of Scouting, it becomes almost surreal. Are we entering uncharted realms of human guile? Well, the ancients too, had encounters with stark evil—“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness!”(Isa. 5:20)

Civilized societies worldwide have considered heterosexuality to be honorable and homosexuality (like bestiality) to be evil, distancing the pack of vile behaviors. The decline of this ethic, has been a grim precursor of the death of civilizations. Citizens must do all in their power to stop the encroachment of diseased morality. Yet bigotry and the initiation of violence must not be tolerated and are as contemptible as passivity is cowardly and permissiveness corrupt.

If Mr. Dale’s unjust lawsuit succeeds, a Pandora’s box of grisly defilements and heinous crimes may open upon the vulnerable youth of unwary parents if they continue in Scouting. The ensuing sentence of eternal Justice upon mortal Justices will be but rueful consolation.

Paid for by Ralph & Judith Sheffield (parents of four Eagle Scouts). If you can help with the extensive costs of national publication, your contribution will be appreciated.
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