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Boy Scouts have right to set requirements

This is in response to Kenneth Hamner’s letter in the Nov. 7, 2012, issue of The Citizen:

“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”.

If you’ve been in scouting you’ll recognize this. You might even recognize this even if you weren’t in scouting because it has been part of the fabric of the life of so many of our boys and men in this country over the years. It is called the Boy Scout Oath.

I am saddened Kenneth Hamner returned his Eagle Scout award in response to the Boy Scouts of America maintaining a ban on homosexuals in their organization. I have to wonder what happened to Mr. Hamner along the road of life.

In the second line of the Boy Scout Oath it says a scout will do his duty to God and country and, according to the first line, do it with personal honor to the best of their ability. The oath places God first ... before country. I guess Ken forgot about that “God thing” or it got obscured somehow over the years.

Apparently Mr. Hamner feels as if homosexuality is something “in the genes” or, as he says, “... beyond their control” ... and it may be ... I don’t know.

The bottom line, however, is homosexuality will disqualify you from becoming a Boy Scout or remove you from their ranks.

We don’t have problems with people being disqualified from many professions because their DNA gave them poor eyesight, short stature, flat feet or other non-qualifying characteristics ... all of which are beyond their control.

Being friendly, courteous and kind are personal traits we should all embrace. We are compelled, certainly, not to judge others ... but that does not mean we endorse, approve or accept what they do or how they live.

I won’t rehash what the B.S.A. has stated publicly regarding homosexuality and denying individuals from their organization who adopt this lifestyle; you can easily find it online.

Suffice it to say the homosexual lifestyle goes against the Boy Scout Oath ... it’s that God thing again ... and flies in the face of what the B.S.A. feels are appropriate role models for boys. And heaven knows we need some solid, moral role models for our young, both boy and girl.

As a private organization the Boy Scouts have the right to set and maintain standards of personal conduct and behavior.

As for what God has to say about homosexuality? Well, again ... an online search will bring up some strong language, none of it good, for those practicing homosexuals.

It might do Mr. Hamner good to look up exactly what God does say, the One mentioned in the Boy Scout Oath, with regard to his statement homosexuality is “neither immoral nor sexually deviant.”

In short, “homosexuality” and “to do my best to do my duty to God ...” are incongruous, incompatible and mutually exclusive ideals.

I for one applaud the Boy Scouts of America in standing by their standards and enforcing them. We need a cadre of strong moral leaders and role models. Last I checked people still have choices; to join an organization and accept its requirements and abide by them ... or not. And if not, then do not be surprised by the fallout.

No doubt there will be folks who’ll put their own “spin” on what God says in His book but they will be wrong. Not because I say so but because God says so ... the same God any Boy Scout, young or old, professes with honor to do their best to do their duty to.

Mike Mahoney

Fayetteville, Ga.



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