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Girl Scouts, Sullied Print E-mail
By Austin Ruse   
Friday, 03 June 2011

A Catholic bishop just released a warning to Catholic parents about – of all things – the Girl Scouts. Auxiliary Bishop James Conley of Denver praises the Girl Scouts for forming “the young person in a spirit of service” and a “sense of duty to the wider community.” The group also “builds character and cultivates civic pride.” 

But, says Conley, “over the past year, a growing number of Catholic parents and youth ministers have shared concern with me. Their unease involves the Girl Scouts and especially the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS).”

Conley says parents should explore the Girl Scouts and WAGGS websites and pay attention to all the links, which will be a “sobering experience.”

He quotes one youth minister: “It’s hard to imagine that a girl who remains involved with Girl Scouts into young adulthood won’t eventually learn of the connection her organization has with ‘pro-choice,’ pro-contraception, and ‘reproductive freedom’ groups. Having been influenced by GSUSA, she’ll be more receptive to this agenda. And if she was introduced to GSUSA through her parents and her local parish, then that will inevitably create contradiction between her Catholic faith and her Scouting experience.”

This is strong language from a respected Catholic bishop, but he likely will not be the only one stepping up to warn Catholic parents about what has happened to the Girl Scouts. Many other bishops are now reviewing their diocese’s connection with this once esteemed institution.

Scrutiny of the Girl Scouts increased exponentially over the past year and a half since the group I lead, C-FAM (Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute) reported on a Girl Scout panel held at – where else? – the United Nations. We have watched the Girl Scouts for years as they have participated in the annual U. N. Commission on the Status of Women, what can only be described as a pro-abortion jamboree.

Two years ago we sent some high school students into the Girl Scout panel, a panel where parents are not allowed. These wholesome young girls from a Catholic high school in Rhode Island said the panel was “creepy,” including odd role-playing about their bodies.

A year ago, one of our colleagues was sufficiently concerned that she went to the U. N. Girl Scout panel. She sat down, but was immediately asked to leave by the Girl Scout handlers. No parents allowed. So she hung around outside the locked door and when the meeting broke up she immediately went inside. What she found shocked her, a stack of brochures called “Healthy, Hot, and Happy,” which, among other things extols the virtues of anal sex. The brochure, produced by Planned Parenthood, is intended for adolescents with HIV/AIDS.

 
    The offending brochure

What was this material doing at a closed-door Girl Scout panel? For that, one has to look at what has been a long time relationship between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood.

In 2004 a Girl Scout troop in Texas held a conference at which they distributed sexually graphic brochures, not unlike the one at the U. N. Girl Scout panel. This caused a nationwide stink including a boycott of Girl Scout cookies. Girl Scouts USA President Kathy Cloninger appeared on the Today Show to try and calm everybody down.

Cloninger actually admitted, however, that the Girl Scouts work with Planned Parenthood: “We have relationships with our church communities, with YMCAs, and with Planned Parenthood organizations across the county, to bring information-based sex education programs to girls.”

Even during the present crisis, the Girl Scouts have not denied or clarified this statement. They do say the Girl Scouts does not have a formal relationship with Planned Parenthood. Lots of wiggle room in that word “formal.”

After the report about their panel at the United Nations and the vulgar brochures, Girl Scout flacks in New York swung into action and offered various justifications. They have claimed that the brochures weren’t in the room, that someone else must have left them there, that if they were in the room the Girl Scouts did not distribute them – and so on.

A group called the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministries has given cover to the Girl Scouts. This group supports and promotes scouting among Catholic schoolgirls. But they are folks who are supposed to be watching out for our girls. Its Executive Director, Robert McCarty, did his own “investigation” and, no surprise, gave the Girl Scouts a clean bill of health. What’s more, the report attacked C-FAM for making the initial report. Did his report address the comment by Kathy Cloninger that the Girl Scouts have a relationship with Planned Parenthood? Or any of the evidence that Girl Scout troops actually run programs with Planned Parenthood? Not a peep.

I suspect that at the U. N. Planned Parenthood, being quite cozy with the Girl Scouts, said something like, “can we put these brochures in the room for your conference” and the Girl Scout leaders told their Planned Parenthood friends, “sure no problem,” all the while thinking that no one was watching.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Many Catholic parents – and now bishops – are waking up the fact that the Girl Scouts at the national and international level have been taken over by the pelvic left, who are busy trying to indoctrinate our girls with their agenda.

Parents should know that there are alternatives to the Girl Scouts. American Heritage Girls, for instance, is quite wholesome and free of the questionable ideology that has infiltrated Girl Scouts USA. American Heritage Girls even signed a letter of cooperation with the Boy Scouts, who have remained so true to their mission they are regularly attacked by the usual crew.

It is not too late to save the Girl Scouts, but only if people inside and outside the organization take action to stop the corruption of yet another American institution.


Austin Ruse
is the President of the New York and Washinton, D.C.-based Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a research institute that focuses exclusively on international social policy. The opinions expressed here are Mr. Ruse’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of C-FAM.

 
 
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Comments (18)Add Comment
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written by Manfred, June 03, 2011
Mr. Ruse, you have done the readers of TCT a great service.
Thank you.
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written by Mark, June 03, 2011
My free parenting advice: "No parents allowed." equals "Then my child isn't staying."
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written by Abigail, June 03, 2011
Thank you for this information. It is my hope and prayer that many more Catholic Bishops will make a stand against GS as Bishop Conley has done. Catholic school parents need to wake up and take a stand against GSUSA and their affiliations with WAGGGS (not WAGGS as cited incorrectly in the article). A true Catholic, one who believes in life, would never support the GSUSA/WAGGGS agenda to support the beliefs of the Planned Parenthood organization. Take a stand! Protect your daughters!
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written by Julie, June 03, 2011
Give American Heritage Girls a thumbs-up.
They are what every young girl needs. They are about God, Family, Country and Community! AHG Rocks!
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written by SimiMom, June 03, 2011
To see a long history of the Girl Scout - Planned Parenthood connection, go to HonestGirlScouts.com. They also have suggestions on how Girl Scouts can fight from within to return scouting to a girl-centric activity, not a financial funnel for adult agendas.
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written by Paul H, June 03, 2011
The Boy Scouts have specifically banned any sort of "secret society", or anything that smells of one. A parent may sit in on *any* meeting in which his/her son is involved.
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written by BobRN, June 04, 2011
We gave up on the Girl Scouts when one of our girl's leader decided that parental input was not welcome and another leader became beligerant toward another daughter. Unfortunately, AHG here wasn't an option, either, as one group was slim on girls who were our daughters' ages and the only other group was exclusive of girls who didn't live on that side of town (plus the skiing trips clued us in that, since we weren't wealthy, our girls would be left out of a lot of activities). Sigh!
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written by Graham Combs, June 04, 2011
I wish I were surprised -- but then some years ago a former NOW official became president of the YWCA. I no longer donate to United Way in part because it ostracized the Boy Scouts when they did what too many dioceses did not -- aggressively protected their boys from sexual predators masquerading as Scoutmasters. The Archdiocese of Denver is led by two excellent bishops -- models of what episcopal shepherds should be. As for the Girl Scouts -- I've bought my last box of cookies.
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written by Susie, June 04, 2011
This is the second article I’ve read today that suggest that whatever adults allow teenagers to see will invariably lead them to partake in. Young people need the chance to make up their own minds, use their own conscience to discern their own faith, and they need to not be a part of this hateful rhetoric.

Two more things: 1. Girl scout groups are not created equally. The leaders of those groups (adults) control almost all of the content the girls participate in through scouts and they decide what to teach the girls through scouts. When I was a scout my troop was mostly Catholic and had we all continued into young adulthood I believe my scoutmasters would have kept presenting material they felt appropriate for us. 2. The article mentions “A group called the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministries” and then proceeds to bash them for “providing cover” to the girl scouts. UHM, HELLO?! Do you not realize this is the same group that runs the amazing National Catholic Youth Conference which features several pro-life speakers? When I went in KCMO2009, I was privileged enough to hear Jason and Crystalina Evert speak in the huge Sprint Center one night, live streamed all across the nation. I mean it when I say that in one night they both introduced me to Catholic views on sexuality and chastity and forever made up my mind about the two topics without feeling like I was scared into it or forced.

Why are we still attacking the people we see as our foes in this “fight” about abortion when instead we should be championing people like Jason and Crystalina who bring love and joy back to the table concerning the topic?
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written by TWmom, June 05, 2011
@Susie, The issue lies not within every troop but the fact is that as a Girl Scout you are supporting a group in name and financially who refers girls to pro-abortion groups. Is it worth it? All girl scouts give money to GSUSA and WAGGGS as every member of GSUSA is automatically a member of WAGGGS. By purchasing cookies, we support the national organization as they are paid a royalty from the bakers. Yes, parents need to be warned! And what about those girls who don't have a scoutmaster like yours who present "appropriate info?" We are talking about GSUSA's ties to the largest abortion provider in the nation! Why take a chance? GSUSA admits they utilize Planned Parenthood to bring sex-based education to girls. Yes, our youth needs information ... but not from Planned Parenthood. Please realize that current GSUSA printed materials (MEdia p 71, Bliss p 25) refer girls to a website called womensmediacenter, where they can be "linked up" to 27 more pro-abortion websites. A review of the current GSUSA Journeys series is very revealing of what GS is promoting. Should we just sit by silently because, along with their pro-abortion initiative, Girl Scouts has some benefits?
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written by Austin Ruse, June 05, 2011
@Susie..it may be that teh National Federation puts on a good pro-life conference. Fact is, though, they provided a total white wash of the lengthy charges against the Girl Scouts.

And while it is true the organization is de-centralized and that many troops will do great work, perhaps most, what the charge is is that the national organization is rottting and that this has infected many parts of the Girl Scouts including troops. The New York Girl Scouts, for instance, gave a women of distinction award to a woman who runs the International Women;s Health Coalition, one of the preeminent pro-abortion groups in the world.

They should clean it out.
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written by Jane, June 07, 2011
NFCYM has been totally neglectful in their review of G.S. material. Had they actually earned the money they are being paid by whom I do not know they would have discovered that almost all of the role models for girls are either socialist or lesbians. We expect this agency to be doing their due diligence to protect our girls innocense. I would truly like to have the opportunity to follow the $$$$$ trail. There is in fact no way that the G.S. program is in keeping with our Catholic faith. This is not to say there are not good troops and some programs. HOWEVER...the agenda of the G.S. is now liberal, progressive, and feminist. Their evil agenda is influencing our youth. Pray for discernment. The spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit.
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written by Vanessa Fasanella, Girl Scout leader, June 27, 2011
While I don't know anything about the relationship that the National Girl Scout Council has with any group, I'll say this. Sex talk, of any kind, should not be a part of Scouting.

Things such as dating violence, bullying, even smoking require special permission slips to talk to the girls about. I'm thinking that this one did, too. And while I can't even fathom discussing anal sex with my children, I'm sure some people do. But not in or near my troop of young girls, and not on my watch.

Each troop is what the leaders and parents make it. It seems like the troop in question was hijacked by a bunch of people looking for backing for their own personal views.

When did modesty stop being a virtue? Maybe that's why so many young people feel so lost. We use our troop to help girls with confidence, academics, athletics, and fitness. Or long-term goal is to help them find out who they are, and what they should be when they grow up. But our talk about their bodies ends with food and exercise. I only wish every adult associated with Scouting could represent the childrens' best interests.
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written by Emma M., July 06, 2011
"what can only be described as a pro-abortion jamboree." and "pelvic left"? good gravy. i consider myself very very prim in relation to society as it exists, but this kind of histrionic nonsense undermines the author's credibility. ugh. this embarrasses me. i keep reading from the so-called "right" that empowering young girls with information and the right to make choices themselves is BAD. is it really the imperative of good Christian values to oppress women? i don't agree.

if we really despise how much of our society's resources goes into dealing with criminals and social ills, maybe we should consider that unwanted children don't all end up with loving homes, they end up robbing our small businesses and siphoning off our paychecks in jail.
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written by Shilo, February 12, 2012
My comment about most the above comments is "Do you believe everything you read?" Emma M is the only one making sense. Histrionics is the right word for this. The article above is filled with misstatements. Troops contribute nothing unless they choose to WAGGGS. ALL cookie money stays in the council it is sold. There are only two cookie companies and the councils take whatever deal is best for their council. They can't even work together to get a lower price. We teach girls to make informed decisions, to be honest, to tell the truth, to be sisters to every other Girl Scout. Have they changed their values. NO. Compare the law of 1917 and the Law today. There is slight difference in the wording but not the meaning. So let's talk about the Boy Scouts for a minute and the trouble they have had. They will not let anyone who does not believe in God be a member. So they lost most of their meeting places for being discriminators which is against Federal Law. The Girl Scouts allow any girl who wishes to join. We do not discriminate on the basis of religion. Then there is the issue of their leaders. They will not let homosexual men be leaders but they don't do anything about the sexual predators. In fact they are protected and move from council to council without the first council notifying the second. Sounds like what has been done with predatory priests in the Catholic Church. GSUSA may and probably does have some lesbians in our organization. But we don't ask anyone's sexual orientation just that NO overt sexual acts of any kind take place in front of the girls. And FYI I am a committed Catholic and Girl Scout.
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written by melly, February 20, 2012
I can not believe the lies I keep hearing from Catholics about Girl Scouts. I guess people who are looking for the devil will find him wherever they look. Ridiculous
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written by rr, February 21, 2012
At war with the Girl Scouts now? And, of course, the UN. (Got to have your right wing bona fides.) My once-great church has become an instrument of the right. I have no place in the church now, and it doesn't care that I am gone. I used to miss that. I don't anymore. BTW, has anyone noticed that the Catholic Church is an international organization, headquartered in Europe, run by foreigners who were not elected by its members, that attempts to influence American political and social life? Just checking on your vigilance.
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written by Valerie, February 28, 2012
I cannot believe all of you people have such nerve to bash GSUSA and WAGGGS while you have priests molesting people and catholic churches covering for them. How disgusting!

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