- The Washington Times - Monday, August 6, 2001

Henry Clay is remembered for preferring to "be right rather than president." The Boy Scouts of America (BSA), meanwhile, appears ready to give in to trendiness and political correctness by adopting a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The Boston Minuteman Council, one of the largest regional councils within the Boy Scouts of America, recently voted in favor of a "don't ask, don't tell" policy that requires that scouts "… respect all people and defend the rights of others" on July 19. "We pride ourselves on the diversity of our members," it reads. "Bias, intolerance and unlawful discrimination are unacceptable within the ranks of the Boston Minuteman Council."

The national BSA has not endorsed the policy of the Minuteman Council. But modifying the policy is indicative of a sea change in attitude within the organization itself toward the scouts' century-old code of values as embodied in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. And it is occurring, chiefly, as a result of a desperate gambit to push membership even it means the gutting of the organization's fundamental tenets.

The BSA is not, primarily, about the doing of good deeds, earning merit badges and camping. First and foremost, it is (or was) about providing moral instruction to young men. "Tolerance" and "diversity" are often at odds with adherence to such moral instruction such as when it comes to acceptance of homosexuality as normal and demagogues would twist this into hateful "discrimination" rather than a perfectly honorably desire to remain true to the ideals that have guided Western civilization for a thousand years.

Just as occurred in the military, it is inevitable that this misplaced obeisance to the idol of "tolerance" will lead one day to enforced acceptance and with it, the transformation of the Boy Scouts of America into merely another venue for the inculcation of trendy modern attitudes and values. Better to disband the organization than to change it into something unrecognizable or to water down its core message until it is but thin gruel. "For me, it's not a matter of finding another troop," said 31-year-old Mark Noel founder of the New England Coalition for Inclusive Scouting and an open homosexual who was dismissed from his position as an assistant scoutmaster after revealing his homosexuality in a newspaper article. "It's a matter of changing policies."

Quite so. The Boy Scouts of America face a fork in the road: Is it better to be right than to be trendy, though the heavens fall?

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