Title:  "Get Off My Honor"
Author:  Hans Zeiger
Publisher:  Broadman & Holman

"The problem with Boys Scouts," Will Rogers once said, "is that there aren't enough of them."  Twenty-year-old Eagle Scout Hans Zeiger agrees. And because of the current amoral climate that dominates America's politically correct landscape, Zeiger is doing his part to preserve the legacy and the integrity of the Boys Scouts of America.

It's hard for a rational person to imagine that anyone can find fault with the Boy Scouts, an institution that has trained generations of young men in life skills and moral values. But there are others – powerful, politically correct, liberal groups – who try to bulldoze over any group that upholds absolute moral values. In "Get Off My Honor" (Broadman & Holman, 2005), the Hillsdale College student offers a history of the BSA, a thorough account of the assaults against them, and a moving defense of the Scouts. Who better to build a case for the Scouts than a young man who has benefited from its character-building programs?

Zeiger weaves into a fluid narrative style a wealth of scholarly and meticulously footnoted documentation for every point he makes. He gives names and dates and court cases. He concludes with a practical plan of action. It's a remarkable accomplishment for the young author.

He believes Scouts have done a fair job weathering the attacks of such entities as the American Civil Liberties Union, United Way, ecumenical church groups, unions, judges and left-wing activists. However, in some places, particularly in urban areas, such groups have had their impact, chipping away until local BSA councils grow weary and are tempted to cave in to the liberal demands.

One thing Zeiger is determined to do is help prevent the BSA from going the way of other once-solid organizations like the Girl Scouts, the YMCA, and the YWCA, all of which have yielded to pressure to allow practicing homosexual adults as participating members. To spotlight the need for organizations like BSA, Zeiger describes the typical 12-year-old boy today:

He enjoys surfing the Internet, but his innocent mind is vulnerable to a sudden pop-up ad that contains X-rated material. He enjoys watching television, but the programs include such waste as "South Park" and "The Simpsons." He goes to a public school paid for by taxpayers, but he cannot learn about the role of God in history and science. .... He was born in 1992, a year of a record number of illegitimate pregnancies.

Zeiger points out that today's 12-year-old is at the ideal time in his life to find appeal in the adventure and activities offered by the Scouts, but he is also at the age to become prey to what Zeiger tabs "the radical anti-character movement sweeping our culture."

In a chapter titled "A Defense of Honor," the author says that beginning in the 1960s, the absolute values exemplified in the Scout oath have suffered from the pull of shifting morality and extreme individualism. That slow erosion of values in the culture has an impact on every part of the culture.

Zeiger doesn't go easy on anyone or any group when he thinks they're guilty. For example, in the chapter titled "The Flight from Manhood," he declares that the Christian church bears a major responsibility for the emasculation of men. He writes, "Manly virtue, the product of honor, has gone by the wayside .... contemporary Christianity, steeped in seeker-sensitive worship and gutless ecumenism, has made [virtue] weaker than ever before."

He devotes an entire chapter to the role of United Way in devaluing the Scouts. To his credit, he doesn't go easy on the Scouts, being careful not to sugar-coat the organization's problems. In fact, he includes a chapter on the problem of abuse by Scoutmasters, including specific cases.

All in all, he presents an inspiring look at the Boy Scouts, the good work they do, and their right to hold to moral standards for members they accept. Young Zeiger's book should make others step up to the plate and come to their defense.


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