Like you, I read about terrible events that go on in the world every day. Sometimes my eyes race across the N.Y. Times because I can’t bear reading about torture, danger, pain and misery. I often feel bruised all along the feeling pathways, injured before I get up and put the paper away.
Instead I read articles in their entirety that I can identify with personally, ones that have a bit of hope at the end, or about some good action taken by a brave individual.
This week, I listened to a news story on NPR that caused outrage and anger to shoot up from my core out the top of my head.
The subject was, The Girl Scouts. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has decided to investigate the Girl Scouts! The accusation is that the Scouts are giving girls information on sexuality and birth control. The Scouts have said that they take no position on this subject.
There’s no way I could know what goes on in Scout meetings across the nation and if what the Bishops have stated happens, or not. Today’s world is very different from when I was a Girl Scout. It’s important for organizations, as well as people, to be in tune with the way the world really is. I think that if a scout leader believes girls in her troop are sexual active, it’s an appropriate subject to talk about.
I learned so much about a diverse number of subjects during Scout meetings, as I worked for coveted badges. Meticulously, I sewed these round, cloth badges on my sash, announcing to my world of fellow Scouts, family and friends, that I had accomplished a great deal in the process of earning them.
I was proud to be a Girl Scout and enjoyed being a Brownie in the early years as well. It was an opportunity to participate in a group that didn’t originate in school or church.
My daughter was a Girl Scout. I remember how she looked at the end of first grade, in her uniform, her red pigtails resting on her shoulders. She stood at the ceremony, the flag next to her, listening to the words spoken as she ‘flew up’ and graduated from being a Pixie to a Brownie. She too, loved being a Girl Scout.
My mother supported the Girl Scouts, although she hadn’t been one as a girl. She was brought up Catholic and she would have had to meet with the troop in a Protestant Church, which was unthinkable for a good Catholic girl in the 1920s. As a mother, she worked hard, behind the scenes, for the Girl Scouts – and anyone who knew my mother would know how effective and strong she could be, when supporting a cause in which she believed.
There may be legitimate disapproval of the Girl Scouts for selling cookies that are unhealthy, even as they taste delicious. But this criticism by the Catholic Bishops is in an entirely different category. It’s a spill-over from the craziness of conservative Christian efforts to remake the country in the image they believe we should all fit into.
I hope that the general public will rise up against the Bishop’s position and the possible result that this investigation may cause Catholic girls to leave Scouting. I hope that those who support Girl Scouts will tell the Bishops to back off, and not interfere in an organization over which they have no authority. I hope such an uprising erupts with the same force as when so many Americans protested the Susan G. Komen organization after they announced they wouldn’t support Planned Parenthood.
So far this hasn’t occurred. Perhaps women are waiting to see what the Bishops actually do. I know that I can’t wait.