[sic] What is it about Boy Scouting (a WORLD WIDE organization) that is so awful?
I think the Scout Oath will answer that one for us. Let's have a look at it:
> On my honor I will do my best
Honour is bunk. History has proven so. Particularly since "Honour" is so damn open for interpretation. Japanese Kamikaze-pilots plunging to their deaths thought they were doing the honourable thing. Personally I find it a silly concept. A nice idea, but hugely impractical.
> To do my duty to God and my country
What is that duty anyway? Which God are we talking about? How are the concepts of "God" and "Country" related? How does "God" influence your perception of Duty? In Israel, it became glaringly obvious that Hizbollah and Hamas see it as their duty to "Allah" to eradicate Jews and the Israeli state. Is that "honourable"?
Do you suppose that mixing any kind of "God" into your "duty" or country is a healthy thing? I don't care if they are Buddhists, Hindu extremists or otherwise. Linking these concepts on one sentence strikes me as passe and very, very dangerous. Not something I want to expose my children to.
> and to obey the Scout Law;
Blindly? I would never teach a kid to blindly obey any law. Civil disobedience is one of the greater goods we have. I direct you to the US Declaration of Independence for further reading on the Subject.
> To help other people at all times;
Including middle-aged men of dubious quality who are asking for directions to the nearest boy-school? Come ON. In essence not a bad rule, but the Machiavellian in me dictates some people ought not to be helped.
> To keep myself physically strong,
So far so good. This is not a bad rule at all.
> mentally awake, and morally straight.
Mentally awake and morally straight contradict each other. Morals are a somewhat subjective set of guidelines that are heavily influenced by entities people refer to as "Gods" and this thing called "religion". Often, morals have no basis in reality and work counter-productive.
I'll point to my initial comment on violence vs sex. The world wide legislative system seems to find sexuality a huge threat to mankind and as such Immoral, if you will, while violence is hunkey dorey. I challenge that morality because I see myself as mentally awake, so I could very well be a proponent of Abortion, Gay Marriage, Gay Adoption and in certain cases Euthanasia. The mentally awake will almost per definition challenge the "morally straight". That is, if anyone even knows what "morally straight" means.
> A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Curteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent
Sounds like brainwashing to me.
Trustworthy -- by whom?
Loyal -- to what? Seems like a dangerous thing. Before you know it, it says "to God" or "my Country/Government".
Helpful -- to whom?
Friendly, Curteous -- again, to whom exactly?
Kind -- Kindness isn't overrated, but in certain situations it's no longer viable. Still, a good thing to strive for.
Obedient -- What happened to "mentally awake"?
Cheerful -- Silly thing to put in there. There are situations where "cheerful" is not an option.
Thrifty -- Our whole idea of what prosperity and industriousness mean have gotten us into all these wars. I'm not sure I stand behind that.
Brave -- As long as it doesn't escalate into dangerous tomfoolery or the spilling of blood, I can live with that one.
Clean -- Always good. Although myco-bacteria are good for your health, so let's not over-do it. Certain water treatments come to mind here..
Reverent -- What would a child be revering in your opinion? Reverence is bad. It blinds us. Usually it's not a sign of being mentally awake.
Like said, the Hitlerjugend adhered to the same principles of Duty, Honour, God, Loyality to their Country, Reverence for their Führer, Cleanliness and Physical fitness. Churchill on the other hand was a fat workaholic with a somewhat cynical view on things who drank too much and chain-smoked.
In reply to the question originally stated above, but ceased being just a reply soon after its composition! It is instead a not-so-cynical view of things at large..