America’s crazy Cookie War
FREETHINKER editor BARRY DUKE is gripped by an all-out assault on the Girl Scouts of America. (This op-ed appeared in the April, 2012, edition.)
THERE are days when I seriously wonder whether a sizeable chunk of the American population got wired up all wrong in the manufacturing process. Example: last month I stumbled upon the fact that the American Girl Scouts – who number around 3.2 million – are celebrating their centenary.
Not having even the remotest interest in the scouting movement, I was about to move my mouse into more fertile Internet territory when I spotted a side panel in the USA Today report that quickened my pulse.
It indicated that not all is well with the hundredth birthday bash; that there are people out there who actually hate the Girl Scouts with a passion – and they don’t want folk t buy their trademark cookies, or engage with them in any other way.
Who are these cookiephobic kooks? Well, there are the Catholics for a start. Some churches gleefully seized on the fact that money raised from the Girl Scouts’ cookie sales allegedly support an organisation called Planned Parenthood, and – most recently in a Virginia diocese – banned Girl Scouts from meeting in their parish halls.
The Girl Scouts’ association with Planned Parenthood was enlarged upon by over-Christianised cretin Catherine Glenn Foster on the right-wing American Thinker blog:
A watershed moment for the Girl Scouts came in 1993, when they amended their ‘promise’ so as to omit the word ‘God’. Since then, there has been a slow but steady slide that has landed the organisation in the not-so-loving arms of Planned Parenthood, and the feminists and hard-left politicians whom Planned Parenthood attracts.
Indiana State Representative Rob Morris (Republican, Fort Wayne) sounded a clarion call on these matters last month, when he noticed that out of fifty role models the Girl Scouts currently provide for their members, ‘only three have a briefly mentioned religious background – all the rest are feminists, lesbians, or communists’.
It gets crazier. Wendy Wright, former President of Concerned Women for America, and “an outspoken opponent of evolution science, reproductive freedom and LGBT rights”, has reportedly made the Girl Scouts a primary target in her war against reason.
Her stated mission right now is to mobilise right-wing forces to, well, make them change their ungodly ways, or, failing that, force them to relocate to some place else – preferably Mars.
Part of this demented woman’s strategy is to tell all “right-thinking Americans” that:
The Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood are working together to steal children’s innocence and make them vulnerable to the negative consequences of promiscuity thereby creating clients for their abortion and STD services.
Wright also said that parents should demand an investigation into whether cash raised from Girl Scout cookie sales goes towards teaching
Young girls to be activists and advocates for a radical sexual agenda.
She also blamed the Girl Scouts leadership for supporting:
A radical, feminist, pro-abortion form of activism, and training these girls up to be feminist activists.
Enter another character from America’s pantheon of posturing prats, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins who wants a national boycott of Girl Scout cookies, which, he alleges, are churned out in their delicious millions to fund:
And just when I thought things could not possibly get more insane, Perkins’ sidekick, Cathy Cleaver Ruse, bashed the Scouts for employing “cross-dressers” and for not discriminating against transgender scouts. She trumpeted:
Rob Boston, of the Secular News Daily blog, was as gripped by the “Cookie War”as I had now become – and his take on it was to urge a national buy-up of Girl Scout cookies, which include such tasty-sounding variations as Thin Mints, Trefoils and Samoas.
He pointed out that:
The right-wing attacks on the Girl Scouts are fuelled by misinformation and, in some cases, outright lies. For example, the American branch of the Girl Scouts takes no stand on issues like abortion.
And their alleged godlessness is also a myth. The Girl Scout Promise includes a vow ‘to serve God and my country’. Most girls still say it, but it’s no longer required. The Girl Scouts favour inclusion and didn’t want any girl who might feel uncomfortable reciting a religious oath to be excluded.
So take my advice and pick up a couple of extra boxes of Girl Scout cookies this year. If you’re watching your weight or can’t eat the cookies due to allergies, give them to friends as gifts or donate them to a local food bank. You get great tasting cookies, the Girl Scouts get support and the Religious Right gets a merit badge in impotent intolerance.
Incidentally, there is an alternative to the Girl Scouts that the godawful Christian conservatives will find far more to their taste: American Heritage Girls.
AHG requires members to honour God, and keep their minds and bodies “pure”. Their leaders and charter groups must adhere to a statement of faith that requires them to reserve sex until after marriage, which it defines as:
A lifelong commitment before God between a man and a woman.
It does not allow homosexuals to be leaders or adult members.
Their cookies, if they have any, probably taste like crap.