Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Living a Higher Standard

Nearly every organization in the world has standards, creed’s or codes of conduct for their members.  Those who belong to those organizations make a commitment to act, behave or comply in the way those codes outline.  In fact, most people who join any organization, do so BECAUSE of the standards set forth by those organizations.  They join because they want to be a part of what that organization represents and stands for.

This is especially true in warrior cultures. From the ancient Spartans, to the modern day SEAL’s…all of them have had rigorous standards that defined who and what they were.  They were great because they set high and undeviating standards.  If someone could not live up to the standard, then they simply could not be a part of the organization.

For example…to even be considered a candidate to become a Navy SEAL requires that you:
a)    Must be Male
b)    Must be in the US Navy
c)    Must be able to pass a minimum physical fitness requirements
d)    Must complete the BUD/s school training

There is also some additional testing that occurs to determine mental and psychological compatibility to serve.

There are no exceptions to these requirements.  In training and when you become a SEAL there are other codes of conduct that dictate behavior as well.  For instance, while in BUD/s if you happen to get drunk at a bar and cause a fight, you can be discharged very quickly.  If you are caught lying, cheating, stealing or if you are in the water without your swim buddy, you will find yourself booted from BUDs as fast as they can be rid of you.  Being a SEAL is very demanding and it is that way on purpose.  To make the best warriors America has to offer requires the finest and the best individuals. Individuals who are cut from a different mold than the general populace.

I hardly think that ANYONE in their right mind would argue that the SEAL’s should lower their standards and accept someone who is ‘less-than’ what that standard requires.  I mean, REALLY, do we want someone defending our nation and heading into combat that had to have the standard adjusted or lowered to admit them? Would we want an inferior fighting force because lawyers argued that the standards were too rigid and that the SEAL’s needed to be more liberal with who they let in and include greater diversity in their ranks? NO!  Why would we jeopardize our safety and freedom for that?

This is why I’m a bit baffled by the arguments to include homosexual scouts and leaders in the Boy Scouts.

The boy scout law and oath talk a lot about being morally clean and responsible, of being mentally strong, physically fit and adhering to a rigid lifestyle of moral standards and conduct. Scouting is an organization with a strong belief in God and encourages boys to participate in their respective faiths.  The scouting movement is clearly a more conservative one that holds high ethical standards for its youth and it’s leaders.  As a result of this, the scouting organization churns out some pretty amazing people. (Just Google “Famous people who are eagle scouts”)

So I’m puzzled as to why a person who has a different moral standard and is living a lifestyle that openly conflicts with the codes and ethics of the BSA would even want to be part of the organization?   That doesn’t make any sense to me. 

Unless, their motivation is that of forcing an organization to become weaker and ultimately go away.

Such is the case with the Boy Scouts I believe, in fact I know it is.  I saw an interview on TV with a representative of one of the Gay Rights organizations that said as much.  He stood by a microphone in his scout uniform, openly mocking the values of scouting with his boyfriend and then clearly stated that if they could not get the BSA to comply with their demands, then they wanted it to simply ‘go away’.  I’m certain that his personal sentiment also extends to anyone who supports the scouting movement.

In essence what they are saying is “we don’t care how much good this organization does…if it will not bend to our demands and change its standards to match our conduct, then we want to destroy it.” 

The Scouting standards require people to live by a code.  Because of certain individuals inability to live that code, they want to destroy the good that it does so that everyone will be forced to come down to their standard of living.  Then, in their minds, everyone will be equal…equally average.  To seek to be something higher, something better, to improve one’s self is seen only as an attempt to trample those around you and this effort at self improvement must be stopped if you follow this logic.  You are not improving yourself, but rather you are demeaning everyone else.

We’ve seen this happen with education in the U.S.  Someone somewhere decided that giving a kid an F made the kid feel bad and lowered their ‘self-esteem’, so they began to lower the standards for educational excellence and eliminate the option to ‘FAIL’ to the point where all our kids are doing worse and worse on standardized tests.  I guess they figured that it’s easier for all of them to have equally low self-esteem rather than work hard and earn REAL self-esteem.

Here is an eternal truth…read it carefully: When someone commits sin, they will automatically feel guilt for what they’ve done.  The spirit works that way.  They can attempt to ignore the guilt, but eventually it catches them and they face two choices.  A) They can humble themselves, repent, apply the atonement in their lives and become a ‘new creature’ in Christ (this requires sincere humility, meekness and submissiveness) or B) They can seek to assuage their guilt by attempting to drag the rest of society down to their level.  This is the prideful approach.  It seeks to normalize sinful behavior and justify it by eliminating the notion of sin, of wrongdoing, and places the blame on someone or something else.  In this second scenario, anyone who suggests that the offender needs to change is called out-dated, old fashioned or worse ‘bigot’ and intolerant.  Imagine that…if I love someone enough to want to bring them to Christ and enjoy the light and truth of eternity…I’m a bigot.  But if I’m calloused enough to encourage them to wallow in their shortcomings then I’m a good person.

You see my confusion?

The world says to accept people for who they are, celebrate their ‘quirks’ and that there is no such thing as perversion, sin and wrongdoing…unless…you are religious and adhere to a set of moral codes and values…then clearly there is something wrong with you.

Heavenly Fathers way is the opposite.  He encourages us to daily strive to be better. To overcome the natural man.  He has provided us with repentance and an opportunity to regularly start anew and to daily work to achieve more, to reach higher and to be more than what we can be on our own through the atonement of His son… If we truly loved each other, we’d seek to help those we love most to come unto Christ and repent.  This is one of the purest and most sincere acts of love.  We don’t allow those we love to hurt themselves physically, nor should we let them do it spiritually.

Which approach sounds like the better way?

(Just so there is no confusion or accusations of ‘in-tolerance’ let me clarify that I feel the same way about all people who openly live in conflict with the values of scouting.  A man who is unmarried and living with his girlfriend has no business being a scout leader either because his values and lifestyle don’t match those of scouting.)