On my honor…

I happened to think of the Boy Scout Oath, and of how many times I’d recited it without really delving into it. The oath was just one of those things you did in order to get to go on those neat camping trips. Which weren’t really that neat, now that I’ve come to prefer air-conditioning and actual beds. But that’s another story.

Consider the Boy 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.

Note the concepts that other parts of the world bandy about without reflection: honor; duty to God and country; to help others; to be physically and morally strong.

Yes, I know, it says “straight.” No homosexuals in Scouting. Which is the way it should be, since being “straight” had the same sense, whether it’s overall morality, or sexuality.

The Oath is just a set of words, unless there is the will to be faithful to them. In retrospect, I now see that it is faith in God that comes first, and is an essential part of being a successful Boy Scout. Or American. Or human being.


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