If an ex-Scout of mediocre attainments may speak -- on his honor, naturally -- I wish to observe that society's increasing spite against scouting is likely bigger than the gay members thing. With non-heterosexual marriage winning acclaim in some states, the topic of gay rights and privileges indeed comes up constantly. Nonetheless, the flap over scouting's membership requirements reflects modern America's weariness with norms of any kind. That is the larger point.
Norms -- e.g., do my duty, keep myself thus and so, to this or that end -- look down from a towering height onto the squiggling mass of personal tastes, outlooks, biases, caprices, humors and moods that make up modern life. A norm counsels or reproaches: this is right; this isn't. A mere mood sticks out its tongue: shut up, lemme alone, none of your business. Guess which mode we lean toward in 2013.
The Scouts, its American branch dating from 1910, is a wondrously old-fashioned bunch, generally ignoring the Mood of the Moment, upholding truths deposited with them by generations of the wise and the able. If such a disposition makes the Scouts seem out-of-date, by the standards (if any) of 2013, more power to the Scouts and infinitely less to the shriveled standards of 2013. The America of the present could stand to learn from past Americas that understood the durability of truth.
We all know, we ex-Scouts and ex-Scouting dads, that ideals and behaviors don't routinely fuse; that becoming a Scout isn't the same as putting on sanctification. All the same, give me the Scout Law over any passel of uncooked, unexamined, morally incoherent 2013 notions.
Leave those guys alone -- you hear?
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