When I was a Boy Scout in the early 1960s, I earned a few merit badges and learned some very important life lessons along the way. One of them was the Scout Motto: "Be prepared!"
I remember 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."
And I still can recite the Scout Law from memory fifty years later: "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent."
What part of that is ambiguous?
For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America fought to live up to those ideals. No more. After standing for moral and physical purity for more than a century, the organization apparently is prepared to surrender to the dark side of our society. The full BSA board must vote on this, but a statement by the group last month week reads as follows: "There would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization's mission, principles or religious beliefs."
For those of us who remember our days in scouting, it is sad to see the perverse sexualization of the Boy Scouts. And make no mistake: Like everything else associated with the pro-homosexual agenda, that is exactly what this is.
As a society, we have gone from live-and-let-live to blind tolerance to tacit approval to blatant, outright promotion of deviancy in less than a generation. What seemed ridiculous 20 years ago (same sex marriage) has now morphed into something called "LGBT marriage equality."
Let's break down that absurd phrase. The L, of course, is for lesbian, meaning that a woman could marry another woman. The G is for gay, which would give a man the right to marry another man. B stands for bisexual. I assume that would mean that a bisexual man should be allowed to marry both a man and a woman. And then there are the T's, the so-called transgendered among us. These tortured souls don't know who or what they are, so I suppose "marriage equality" for them means that a man who thinks he's a woman should be allowed to marry a woman who thinks she's a man. (Wait, I think that's already legal.)
Activists on the left have mercilessly attacked the Boy Scouts ever since 2000, when the Supreme Court said the scouts have a right to free association and therefore do not have to accept homosexual members or leaders. That summer, delegates to the Democratic National Convention actually booed a group of Boy Scouts who were simply trying to lead the convention in the Pledge of Allegiance.
In another case, recently decided by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, a lower court ruling forbidding the scouts from operating on city-owned property in San Diego because of their belief in God and sexual purity was unanimously overturned.
If, despite solid backing of the scouts by the federal courts, the bullies in the homosexual lobby can intimidate members of the national BSA board into jettisoning long-held principles, imagine how mercilessly those "local chartered organizations" will be harassed without the covering of their national group.
In the life of every great nation, there are windows of opportunity for leadership on moral and cultural issues. America is no exception. We faced such a moral crisis a century and a half ago when attempts to sweep the burning issue of slavery under the rug left American soil soaked with our own blood.
Many in government and corporate America believe we need to compromise with evil. They believe in "tolerance" and "inclusion" on such issues as abortion and same-sex marriage. Obviously, they have no stomach for the political and cultural war that rages around them. And sadly, they are willing to watch as iconic institutions like the Boy Scouts of America are destroyed through social engineering.
DOUG PATTON is a former political speechwriter and nationally syndicated columnist.