Exploring our Faith Vol. I - Scouting Oaths V – “to serve my country”

 

Exploring our Faith Vol. I - Scouting Oaths V – “to serve my country”
By Fr. Thomas M. Pastorius
 
As we continue to look at the Boy Scout Oath and the Girl Scout Promise we come to the idea of “duty to one’s country.” 
Even though both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are international organizations, one cannot deny that both programs have strong patriotic overtures. This strong patriotic theme in scouting is not reserved only to scouting programs in the United States as I discovered on my various trips to World Youth Day. In searching for the right words to express what I learned about duty to my country from scouting, I found myself coming back again and again to a song, God Bless the USA, by Lee Greenwood. I first heard this song at an Order of the Arrow event and immediately fell in love with it. I invite you now to pay close attention to the words of the song.
 
God Bless The USA
by Lee Greenwood



 If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.
 
I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.
 
And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
 
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.
 
From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.
 
From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.
 
That I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
 
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.
 
And I’m proud to be and American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
 
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.



What a tremendous gift we have to live in a country where we have so many freedoms? We see though toward the end of the song a revelation that freedom is not free and that we who have received this gift have a duty to defend it. While we might be call to do this literally through service in the military it is a duty that we need to live each day through a spirit of gratitude. When we realize that we did nothing to deserve being born in this great country, we realize at the same time that to whom more has been given more will be expected and so we have a duty to help others.