An Eagle Scout reflects on the obsolescence of reverence

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An Eagle Scout reflects on the obsolescence of reverence

(Hillsdale Student) Growing up in the United States of America, I have always felt a primary loyalty to my native land. Having achieved my Eagle Scout and serving at Boy Scout Camp Buffalo Bill this summer, I realize the moral strength of the Scout Law. To become an Eagle Scout, I had to memorize its twelve points: “A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”

As a Christian, I especially value the twelfth point, that of reverence. In the beginning of Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the Earth.” On the face of it, this statement seems absurd. How can a person gain the Earth when he is meek? Meekness involves accepting the world around you, acknowledging the greatness of things beyond yourself, and, in a sense, renouncing them to be themselves. But by this method, a man inherits the Earth, he does not conquer it. Indeed, only the man who can look at a mountain for what it is, and not strive to destroy it to fit his convenience, can truly appreciate that mountain. He possesses it more surely than any miner or logger, because he sees it, and because he reveres it.

Similarly, Proverbs says that “the Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Wisdom guides a man’s way in life. It may lead him to riches and honor, but most importantly, it will help him to make the decisions that he will not regret when he has grown old. Proverbs says that this great light proceeds, not from study or from hard work, but from the fear of the Lord, from reverence for the God who made the World, and died to save sinners.

Modern America seems to be abandoning this reverence on all sides.

Many women proclaim that their unborn children are “their body,” and that they can do whatever they want with them. If they possessed the meekness to see a child for what it truly is, they would not so rashly cut up the wonderful thing that grows in their belly.

No man who truly understands the Constitution of the United States should desire such radical programs as Obamacare or the economic stimulus of the Federal Government. If our President could humble himself before the document that drew this nation together again after the debacles of the Articles of Confederation, he may not so rashly follow the interpretation that ignores the Founders’ intentions to limit government and preserve individual liberty.

If married couples had the meekness to realize the gravity of their marriage vows, they would not so rashly throw them away for small causes. In cases of infidelity, the promise has been broken, and the marriage may be annulled. But if a man and a woman vow to love and serve one another “in sickness and in health, ’til death do us part,” they should honor their commitment, and preserve the little nation of the family that their vows create. Each family is precious, and provides the home and childhood that each citizen needs. When a couple abandons their vows, they do not only commit perjury: they destroy a nation.

These three problems, abortion, excessive growth of government, and frivolous divorce, illustrate the lack of reverence in modern America. If we humble ourselves, we shall be exalted. If we boast ourselves, like Hitler’s Nazis, the Russian Communists and the Italian Fascists, we shall surely fall. How long did Hitler’s “thousand year reich last?” How greatly are the mighty fallen, but how greatly are the humble risen! In World War II, the United States did not plan on ruling the world, and it defeated those nations that desired to dominate all before them.

So, during this 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, I challenge Americans to be reverent, and honor the good that surrounds us. While President Barack Obama has declined to appear at the National Jamboree, thus sending an insult to the Boy Scouts of America on their 100th anniversary, the American people may prove more loyal to an organization that makes such a difference in the lives of their children. Boy Scouts does not only teach young boys how to sail, row, paint, care for the environment, work with leather, survive in the wilderness, and live an outdoor life. It plants the seeds of virtue in a man, and those seeds, when watered properly, blossom to form the true citizen, the man who cares for others and for the integrity of his country. Wise citizens will make a peaceful and prosperous nation, while those who cannot humble themselves shall fall. May God bless America, and may America revere God.

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