I wish you could have been there. It was a memorable event. Indeed, an unforgettable event. It was the Court of Honor for a young man who had achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. I will refrain from using his name. He is rather modest, and I don’t want to cause him any embarrassment. However, at the same time I wish I could broadcast his name across the country. A young Christian man with such courageous virtue deserves to be honored, to be recognized.
The Court of Honor was impressive. It stirred my heart to see the ceremonious actions, the words of commendation, the rehearsal of the values and journeys of a scout. Finally, our young hero stepped forward to receive his due recognition and honor. The capstone of the occasion was his Eagle Scout speech. Wow! It was truly inspiring to witness this 16 year old young man of God declare his appreciation for scouting, his love for God, and his moral convictions. And to maturely, courageously announce due to those very same moral convictions that that day would be his last day of involvement in the Boy Scouts of America. In response to the recent decision of the BSA to admit homosexuals to their ranks, this new Eagle Scout boldly took a moral stand based on his principles and values, and thus was leaving the Scouts.
But… let him speak for himself. Here is the written text of his speech.
Eagle Scout Speech
August 17th 2013
First off I’d like to give honor where honor is due. I couldn’t have done this without my God Almighty. He has strengthened me, given me the skills and understanding to achieve merit badges and ranks, He has given me wisdom and guidance on how to conduct my Eagle project, and He’s been with me from the very beginning. James 1:17 tells us that “every good and perfect gift is from above”. In other words, it’s from Jesus Christ. And I’m very thankful to have the honor of receiving Eagle. I will greatly treasure it and look back on the great memories that were made. I’d like to say thanks to some of the Scout leaders who have been a huge help to me, Mr. *******, Mrs. **********, these are some of the key people who have helped me in the scouting process.
Scouting has been a great experience for me. It’s been a great place for me to make friendships even from when I was in Cub Scouts. I have enjoyed many, many great camporees and hiking events we’ve done. Scouting has been a great window for me to experience the outdoors, and enjoy God’s wonderful creation. I’ve learned how to be tough (if you will) outside, because of Merit Badges like Wilderness Survival. I’ve learned the importance of taking care of one’s self by Personal Management and Personal Fitness. I’ve learned many, many other great skills from all the many Merit Badges, and have had a lot of fun. I have learned the Scout Law, and doing my best to keep all of the points. I remember staying up late on camp-outs playing card-games. I have so many memories, fun friendships and great experiences.
And Eagle, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. We came across so many obstacles throughout the entire process. And the prayer shelter was finally completed in March. I’ve learned essential leadership skills, learned how to deal with paperwork, and how I need to be a blessing to everyone.
Scouting has been a tremendous experience for me. But sadly, my scouting journey ends today. It has been a great disappointment to watch an organization that has long taught the importance of standing against peer pressure, crumble in the face of financial and social pressure. While I am not at odds with any person, I can no longer support an organization that has compromised on an issue of morality.
Though there will be many who disagree with my decision, and some who will take it personally, to my regret, I am trying to stand for what is right, for what my God expects of me. I learned it from Scouting. As the Boy Scout handbook says, and I quote, “The BSA has always encouraged its members to be independent, to stand on their own two feet, and to use good judgment rather than being swayed by peer pressure. Trusting in yourself is an important quality to have.” Again I quote, “Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, had faith that Scouts were smart enough to figure out what is healthy and right. Have faith in yourself and in your judgment.”
I recognize that faith in myself and my own judgment will get me nowhere. I am thankful to serve a God who leads me and guides me through His word and His presence. He has walked with me through this journey to Eagle and I am confident He will walk with me through the rest of life’s journey.
Thank you for your prayers, care and support. The Lord bless you!
Again…. Wow! This moving speech brought tears to my eyes. As I said, I wish you could have been there. For the written speech does not do justice to the live moment. Not only was there such conviction in his presentation, but there was compassion also. Further, he extemporaneously shared some profound thoughts straight from his heart… words of sadness at the current situation with the Scouts. Words such as, “I do not leave with regret. But I do leave with disappointment.” And his declaration that he could no longer be part of an organization that had “bowed to peer pressure” and “compromised moral principles.” Our new Eagle Scout did a wonderful job of proclaiming his moral frustration, but with a balanced, non-judging, and Christ-like demeanor. What we saw and heard that day was the product of both the once-virtuous Boy Scouts and committed, godly parents who invest heavily in their children. All present spontaneously gave this young man a much-deserved standing ovation.
I must say, if there are many other young people out there like this godly Eagle Scout, then I feel stirrings of hope for our country.