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Liberty Scout

I'm hoping the DP can help me edit this submission to the National Board of Boy Scouts. Does it represent the liberty message? Is it coherent?

Liberty Scout

Is the future of Boy Scouts of America in jeopardy? Recent events surrounding possible policy changes concerning gay and lesbian acceptance to Boy Scouts of America may bring forth many unintended consequences.

The debate centers on eliminating the national policy and placing the decision at the troop and charter level. I applaud the Boy Scouts of America’s effort at resolving this matter in an agreeable manner; allowing local charter and troop the liberty to adapt a policy in keeping with their respective tradition, but I believe prudence and caution should guide action during this transitional period.

As a student of liberty, I believe it is incumbent on all parties associated with this decision to carefully consider the ramifications of a forced and hurried policy change. I have attempted to apprise myself of the pertinent facts and possibilities involved with dissolution of the “official ban”. It is my heartfelt belief removing the ban, while meant for principled reasons, is misguided in protecting individual liberty unless there is a meaningful framework for supporting charters and troops.

It is my opinion that:

Whereas: Chief Justice Rehnquist determined, in his majority opinion (BSA v. Dale 2000), the Boy Scout’s “official position” was deemed sufficient to establish “expressive association”.

Whereas: Justice Stevens, in the dissenting opinion (BSA v. Dale 2000), observed that “every state discrimination law is designed to replace prejudice with principle” and further, the federal court interfered with the state of New Jersey, which had ruled in favor of the plaintiff.

The individual troop or charter will undoubtedly find itself in the judicial system when the occasion arises. At which time, stripped of the “official position”, the court will rule against the charter. The precedent will leave the Boy Scouts with a uniform policy concerning gays and it will be the liberal position. Despite Justice Stevens's belief that “discrimination law is designed to replace prejudice with principle” history will once again prove discrimination laws replace prejudice with prejudice.

Boys and families attending conservative churches and holding conservative religious beliefs will lose liberty. The victims will include current Boy Scout members and boys not yet born. The unintended consequence will be absorbed into our national psyche and as a nation we will be less for it.

Many may question my reasoning; presume I’m engaging in assumption or hyperbole. This opinion is founded on my observations as a concerned citizen. An honest look at this country leaves me confident in my opinion. It was pointed out by a fellow adult scout leader, future litigation will probably occur but we will have long passed from this earth. I take no solace in that reply. I am but a steward of my church, my troop and my country. The Preamble to the United States Constitution states plainly, “and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and posterity”. Posterity means to all future generations if I care to honor my Oath to do my best for my country.

On my honor, I will do my best to God and country. This oath does not say God or country. Left to the judicial system many patriotic Americans will be forced to choose; do my best to God or do my best to country.

The solution to our problem is a better understanding of liberty. For all our flag waving, reciting of oaths, parading around as model citizens, our citizenry has a very dim view of liberty. Liberty is not a blessing that rains down from heaven and Washington D.C. Liberty is a sacred responsibility. It is a solemn vow that despite our differences, however great, we will stand together to protect “liberty and justice for all”. All means all, there are no bullet points or sub paragraphs listing exclusions.

The Boy Scouts of America is in a unique position. It finds itself in a great struggle that has implication far beyond the question before it. The organization is considering a move toward liberty, leaving the decision to the individual troop, while the members of the organization are ill prepared for the responsibility. To solve this problem the Boy Scout leadership needs to educate its members on the reality of the situation and most importantly, the principle of liberty.

I propose the Boy Scouts of America begin the task by forming a Liberty Scout Coalition. We need as many members as possible to talk about, read about, learn about and understand the concept of liberty and pledge support to the liberty of each individual member of the scouting community. A broad coalition among all different political backgrounds will insure stability in the future and provide a cohesive front against attacks on charters and troops.

A conservative member of the Liberty Scout Coalition would reserve the right to disagree with opposing viewpoints but would swear an oath to defend the liberty of those holding said viewpoints. Likewise, a liberal member of the Liberty Scout Coalition would reserve the right to disagree but would swear an oath to defend the conservative position, as a matter of personal liberty at the troop level. This could be a difficult process but no one ever claimed freedom was easy, if it was everyone would have it.

We need to provide a safe environment for Scout and family to honor their oath to God and country. By allowing troops to honor God, keeping their sacred trust to their Creator at the troop level and honor country by supporting the foundational idea of liberty, the Boy Scouts could set an example in the American tradition. The goal should be the belief we have a God given right to be different. If we weren’t different, individual liberty wouldn’t be worth fighting for or founding a nation upon.

Liberty resides in the heart of the people not the dictates of government. When free people surrender their right to peaceably assemble and turn to government mandated solutions, the result is tyranny. The opposing viewpoints square off to do battle in the court and the government picks the winner. The decision is heralded as a victory for civil liberty and no one gives a thought to the liberty lost in the process.

As an organization, the Boy Scouts are an extremely civic oriented group of people. We need to take up the cause of liberty and reframe the debate. We need to be an example for the nation that free people can solve their differences outside the judiciary. We need to stop pulling against each other, conservative against liberal, and start pulling together in a common goal. That goal is liberty.

Respectfully in Scouting,

My Name

Scout Liberty Oath

On my honor, I will defend the Liberty
Of every individual member
Of The Boy Scouts of America

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