Cal Thomas: The troubled Boy Scouts

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Tuesday, December 18th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Next up, Cal Thomas on the latest crisis facing the Boy Scouts of America.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: The erosion of what many Americans once believed were the foundations of our country continues apace. It’s now the Boy Scouts of America’s turn to join the parade.

The organization began in 1910 to, quote— “train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance” so they become honest men, worthy of admiration and respect.

But now this iconic group is in danger of dissolving due to lawsuits over sexual abuse.

In response to the suits, Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh said—quote—“We have a social and moral responsibility to fairly compensate victims who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting.”

Yes, they do, but what about their “moral responsibility” to keep sexual predators out of scouting so boys won’t be harmed in the first place?

The Scout oath says, “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.”

What does this mean in our anything goes culture? On my honor? In today’s twisted thinking, how should honor be defined and by whom?

And then we have the most offensive of all, at least by the ever-shifting standards of what constitutes morality: Scouts are to be “morally straight.” But according to whose moral standards?

The Boy Scouts’ decline began when its leaders could no longer answer that question.

When the Boy Scouts bowed to pressure in 2014 and lifted its ban on openly gay members, some warned of trouble ahead. Members began leaving in droves—many to a competing organization, Trail Life U.S.A.

A year later, openly gay adults began serving as scoutmasters. Last year, the organization welcomed transgender boys—meaning biological girls who believe they are boys.

The Boy Scouts’ current crisis is not an issue of sexuality. It is a criminal issue. It is about sexual predators taking advantage of lax leadership and mutable organizational guidelines that make it easy for them to gain access to vulnerable children.

The Wall Street Journal reports that some of the alleged abuses go back to the 1960s. That is precisely when the rending of American culture began.

But the exodus of scouts and scoutmasters that started in 2014 is sure to continue in light of these latest revelations. If the Boy Scouts of America files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, its so-called leaders will have themselves to blame.

Given the lowering of standards in the scouting program, it should be no surprise that the Boy Scouts of America is headed for the ash heap that has claimed so many other formerly “moral” entities.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas.

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File) In this Feb. 4, 2013 file photo, shows a close up detail of a Boy Scout uniform worn during a news conference in front of the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Irving, Texas. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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