Earlier this month, two sisters who were longtime Girl Scouts, launched a website not only to explain their departure from the organization, but to be sure others understand that there's more to the Girl Scouts' agenda than selling cookies.
Controversy concerning the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) isn't new, but it doesn't get much media attention. Kathryn Jean Lopez has written about the organization's leftward slide for National Review Online, first more than 10 years ago and then again last year. I wrote about it for OneNewsNow in a column three years ago.
Sydney and Tess Volanski, the two teens behind SpeakNowGirlScouts.com, object, for example, to some of the websites girls are directed to from the GSUSA website. Brownies researching awards they can work toward on the site will find one called "Dealing with Bullies." It directs readers to a website called kidshealth.org, which does indeed have a section on bullying. It also has a section for teens called "Sexual Health." Subheadings include: "Emergency contraception," "Talking to your partner about condoms" (which has a descriptive paragraph on how to use them), and "Withdrawal." If that weren't enough, there's a link to Planned Parenthood's website under "Additional Resources." In fact, GSUSA's website links to kidshealth.org from several different sections.
In the Girl Scout book called Amuse, intended for fourth and fifth graders, there's a two-page spread lauding a play titled Simply Maria, by Josefina Lopez. The play is described as a comedy in which the main character, Maria, must choose to follow or break with tradition. Here's a small sample of dialogue, as spoken by the priest character, from a scene where Maria is getting married:
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here, under the Catholic church, in the holy house of God, to unite these two people in holy matrimony. . . . Maria, do you accept Jose Juan Gonzalez Garcia Lopez as your lawfully wedded husband to love, cherish, serve, cook for, clean for, sacrifice for, have his children, keep house, love him, even if he beats you, commits adultery, gets drunk, rapes you . . . ?"
Any young Girl Scouts who followed up on the recommendation and checked out the play would be treated to a "charming" picture of Christian marriage and the Catholic Church.
Kudos to the Volanski sisters for taking a stand. Visit their website to see many more examples of why they chose to leave the organization.
And for anyone interested in an openly Christian alternative to GSUSA, check out American Heritage Girls. Launched in 1995, it already has chapters in 41 states.