By Gunnery Sergeant John McClain, USMC, Retired
My tenth birthday was awaited with great angst. I had made flash cards, all matters of long lists, exactly worded statements, and fixed principles I knew and lived under, I had studied all these vigorously, preparing for the test. When I turned ten, I was eligible to join the Boy Scouts of America, and with trepidation, fear, and hope, I went to the fourth or fifth meeting, but this time with preparation to be “boarded”, tested to see if I reached up high enough to qualify to be a Boy Scout.
The “board” was the most difficult trial I’d ever faced, and I barely passed, but each of those Scout Masters; Mr. Harry T. Keefe, Mr. Art Hansen, and Mr. Jim Miley, shook my hand, congratulated me on my success, and firmly encouraged me to put the whole of myself into my personal improvement, and the task of growing up to be an American Man, a Citizen, sovereign, moral, ethical, capable of governing a Nation I was part of.
In 1967, I took an oath to be discriminating to a high and specific degree. To become a Scout, a boy had to believe in evil, and deliberately avoid it. Corruption was choice, avoiding it had to be deliberate. I took an oath to pursue God and Godly Principles, at the cost of avoiding wrong, immorality, and definitive evil, deliberately discriminating between good and evil by studying every situation which came before me, and being deliberate in my choice.
I expect God, looking down, saw an “average” boy in America; it wasn’t considered a bad thing at that time to be honest and trustworthy mostly, or loyal, brave and reverent. America grew up with good cause to hold The Boy Scouts of America in high esteem, and considered the values represented in the Scout Laws affirmation of the principles of our Nation’s founding, and by this, a great advantage to those who pursued these. Most Americans considered choosing to be a Boy Scout an act of choosing to support and affirm the fundamental principles of being an American. Those who didn’t generally didn’t believe in those principles and actively fought against them. We called them “socialists, communists”, and stated they had no interest in the continuation of America.
In 1776, the Continental Army was gathered after a few battles, having acquired some knowledge of war so many never had before. General Washington had received some reports and found cause to address the whole of the Army, and made the foundation speech setting the tone for Military Law to follow. He addressed many small things, aspects of war known only to those who have experienced it, but he made his focus on one aspect of military life which has always been an issue, he spoke of homosexual activity within the Army.
General Washington stated it had been brought to his attention that some such activity had taken place, and assured all, any such activity noted in the future would be followed with a trial, and a gallows for any found guilty. For most that run across this obscure reference, it is discrimination directed at homosexuals, but for all the experienced Warriors, it was simply a necessity for cohesion, and common held standards. Of course this speech did not include any constraints on heterosexual activity, because there were no women in the Army.
What few ever note is the demand is no less upon the 97% of society which is not inclined to homosexuality, but every bit as strong in expectation of moral behavior therein as well.
This Nation was founded on Judeo-Christian Principle, the tenets which come to us from the Torah, the Old Testament, and also from the New Testament, reaffirming the Law and the Prophets of Old, while opening the Temple of God to all who would choose to worship in peace and in truth. Every aspect of faith is dependent upon exacting discrimination, and this Nation, established on fixed, carefully considered principles, was careful in choosing exactly how it would discriminate. Our entire success stood upon choosing the right Standards, those which make a strong, egalitarian society, capable of cohesion through the worst of trials.
Utopian dream is the sole venue of absolute absence of standards, and thus no “choice” discriminating. This dream never remembers Genghis Khan, perhaps the most egalitarian leader in the history of the world. He had very simple standards, “win or die”, and his warriors were always subject to the test and challenge, any time, any place.
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