Friday, July 28, 2017


©Wendell Griffen, 2017
Justice Is A Verb!

My wife and I are parents to two men who became Eagle Scouts.  Like other parents, I attended troop meetings with our sons.  Like other parents, I trusted adult leaders to help instill the values of duty, honor, and service in our sons.  So I remember joining with our sons and their fellow scouts as they recited the following words at every troop meeting.

On my honor, I will do my best 
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; 
To help other people at all times; 
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

Those are the words of the Scout Oath.

Our sons and their fellow Boy Scouts also recited the following words at every Scout meeting.
A Scout is:
  • Trustworthy,
  • Loyal,
  • Helpful,
  • Friendly,
  • Courteous,
  • Kind,
  • Obedient,
  • Cheerful,
  • Thrifty,
  • Brave,
  • Clean,
  • and Reverent.
Those are the words of the Scout Law.

By even the most charitable analysis, Donald John Trump’s conduct – as President of the United States and before he entered that office – violates the Scout Oath and Scout Law.  His personal history does not demonstrate commitment to serving our country, God, or other people.  By no means would anyone associate Donald Trump with what it means to be “morally straight.” 

Donald Trump is not trustworthy.  He is not loyal.  His conduct towards persons in need is not helpful.  He is not friendly, courteous, or kind.  He is obedient to nothing except his self-centeredness.  Trump is not cheerful, but bellicose. He is not thrifty, but extravagant.  He is not brave, but a cowardly bully.  His personal and business dealings are not clean.  Mr. Trump can never be correctly considered reverent. 

In the less than 200 days that Donald Trump has occupied the office of President of the United States he has dishonored his office and those who honorably serve our nation.  He dishonored fallen members of the Central Intelligence Agency while standing before the wall that enshrines their service to the nation.  He dishonored the Constitution of the United States by issuing executive orders that discriminate against followers of Islam and persons from several nations with Islamic majority populations.  He dishonored the Federal Bureau of Investigation by firing former FBI Director Jim Comey because Comey refused to swear personal fealty to him.  He has dishonored transgender men and women who serve in the U.S. military along with their comrades and leaders.  His recent remarks during the Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia violated everything Scouting represents. 

Mr. Trump’s behavior as president contradicts any sensible understanding of principled leadership.  We should not expect his behavior to improve.  After all, Donald Trump is 70 years old.  If he were a 7 year old, we would term him a troubled, if not delinquent, child.  Mr. Trump is not a child.  Donald Trump is merely an untrustworthy, disloyal, unhelpful, mean-spirited, discourteous, cruel, undisciplined, bellicose, profligate, cowardly, crooked, and irreverent old man. 

For parents like me who are proud of the role Scouting served in helping our children become people of honor, Mr. Trump’s conduct during the Boy Scout Jamboree was an insult to every noble value and attribute represented by Scouting.  I hope the Boy Scouts of America will not extend another invitation to Mr. Trump.  Our youth and their adult leaders deserve much better from the President of the United States. 

For that matter, so does the rest of our nation and world.


  1. I too am a parent of an Eagle Scout. There has not been a sufficient rebuttal to his insensitive remarks by the Scout organization or former scouts, Mr. Griffen makes some valuable points. Charles Nelson