Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
I spend a lot of time writing about the connections and context of what’s going on, whether it be the Occupy movement, the 2012 campaign of stupidity show, LGBT equality, the predictable resurgence of the “religious right” brand of radicalism, or most anything else. The following story, about the scary Girl Scouts, serves as one indication of that context and connections.
Honoring the Girl Scouts 100th anniversary would seem like an easy call for Electeds, and the Indiana House produced a Resolution doing just that. Then Republican State Representative Bob Morris heard from some of his constituents about the dangers of Girl Scouting.
From Autumn Sandeen at Pam’s Houseblend, quoting a letter Morris sent to the Republican Caucus:
This past week I was asked to sign a House Resolution recognizing the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts of America. After talking to some well-informed constituents, I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing. The Girl Scouts of America and their worldwide partner, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), have entered into a close strategic affiliation with Planned Parenthood. You will not find evidence of this on the GSA/WAGGGS website—in fact, the websites of these two organizations explicitly deny funding Planned Parenthood.
Morris doesn’t believe the Girl Scouts, though he does a poor job of substantiating his conclusions.
… abundant evidence proves that the agenda of Planned Parenthood includes sexualizing young girls through the Girl Scouts, which is quickly becoming a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood. … Denver Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley … last year warned parents that ‘membership in the Girl Scouts could carry the danger of making their daughters more receptive to the pro-abortion agenda.’
Okay, he can check off wedge issue “abortion.” Moving on …
Many parents are abandoning the Girl Scouts because they promote homosexual lifestyles. In fact, the Girl Scouts education seminar girls are directed to study the example of role models. Of the fifty role models listed, only three have a briefly-mentioned religious background—all the rest are feminists, lesbians, or Communists.
And now he can check off other wedge issues: “feminist,” “Communist,” “homosexual” and more specifically, “lesbian.” He employs the Right’s long favored “lifestyle” language. Sexual orientation that isn’t heterosexual is a “lifestyle” choice, you see. So far, Morris has only mentioned Bishop Conley as a source. His second is particularly telling.
World Net Daily, in a May 2009 article, states that Girl Scout Troops are no longer allowed to pray or sing traditional Christmas Carols. Boys who decide to claim a ‘transgender’ or cross-dressing life-style are permitted to become a member of a Girl Scout troop, performing crafts with the girls and participate in overnight and camping activities — just like any real girl.
I don’t know if the “just like any real girl” is from WND, though it would certainly fit the “reporting” there. But to “abortion,” “homosexual,” “feminist,” and “communist,” we can now check off the “anti-Christian” and the extra scary “transgender.” Can you guess what he’s still got to add?
The fact that the Honorary President of Girl Scouts of America is Michelle Obama, and the Obama’s are radically pro-abortion and vigorously support the agenda of Planned Parenthood, should give each of us reason to pause before our individual or collective endorsement of the organization.
Of course, whoever is in the WH serves as Honorary President of the Boy Scouts, and whoever is First Lady serves as Honorary President of the Girl Scouts. But adding the Obama’s to his scary list was predictable. I am surprised he didn’t mention marriage, but maybe he’s afraid that would make young, impressionable Girl Scouts think about what one man and one woman do in order to have another generation of Scouts. Actually, Morris says he’s pulling his two daughters out of Girl Scouts, who will
… become active in American Heritage Girls Little Flowers organization. In this traditional group they will learn about values and principles that will not confuse their conservative Hoosier upbringing.
Surely he knows little flowers eventually blossom. And that he can’t know that his little flowers will grow straight up. Or as peggysue22 wrote at Sky Dancing:
Certainly you can see the security threat. Why? Because they’re . . . girls. They may grow up to be She Wolves with hearts and minds of their own. They might even grow up to be SEXUAL beings. Ooooo, scary!
The Girl Scout organization responded to Morris:
Ashley Sharp, spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana, said … on the group’s website states that it leaves sex and reproduction questions to parents. The group accepts transgender youth on a case-by-case basis.
See a pdf file for more here.
This whole thing is a combination of scary, sad and stupid. It serves as one indication of the social and political context and connections of this 2012 / Occupy moment in our nation. It includes Electeds more interested in playing divisive labeling games than addressing the needs of the families of Scouts and Little Flowers, and the excessive privileges of and protections for the 1%. It includes the Rick Santorum and related ramping up of very familiar “religious right” language that, unfortunately, much of the media still accepts with little to no challenge, decades after the “Moral Majority” and “Christian Coalition” eras.
The Girl Scouts are another easy target, something to use, a convenient name on which to hang all the usual scary “them” labels. The girls, the actual people, don’t matter. That is a huge part of the context and connections of this Occupy era election cycle. Of course, that isn’t new, either. Forcing Electeds and Wannabe’s to pay attention to real needs of real people is always a challenge.