The most challenging, least satisfying writing I’ve done since I started covering religion was this two part piece on the Girl Scouts. It percolated for months as I sifted through tons of information and tried to figure out just what the Girl Scouts of the USA were doing, if it was compatible with Catholic values, and what parents should do about it.
It was a frustrating experience because there was just enough information to indicate the GSUSA was acting in bad faith, but little that was clear and decisive. The leadership of the GSUSA–larded with leftists, one-worlders, pro-aborts, global warming zealots, and gay marriage boosters–had left enough plausible deniability to explain away the concerns of many. Their affiliation with the aggressively pro-abortion global scouting group WAGGGS was certainly a major concern, but how much impact did that have on the day to day life of average Girl Scouts?
I resisted–and still, to some degree, resist–the idea of Catholics pulling back from the group. Why should we abandon an organization, founded by Baden-Powell, to the forces of moral relativism and the culture of death? It’s as much ours as theirs: moreso, since our values are the true values of scouting. Scouts don’t retreat: we fight. We do the world no good at all if we stay in a little Catholic ghetto. That, however, is easy to say, hard to practice, particularly when it means using little girls for your battles and supporting things that are objectively evil.
At the time I wrote my article, my daughter was still in GSUSA, but while our local leadership was good and she enjoyed it, the troubling materials coming from the national organization (and the knowledge that our dues were going to support WAGGGS) didn’t sit right with us. It didn’t help that, from an organisational standpoint, the GSUSA is run like crap. It’s little more than a cookie distribution empire with badges. I discouraged her from rejoining in middle school, and instead she found a happy home in the far-superior 4H program, where she can can indulge her love of critters without the constant “PLEASE RECYCLE OR YOU HATE THE PLANET!” subtext coursing through every page of the Girl Scout activity book.
Mary Hasson has been following more recent developments, including the GSUSA’s absolute refusal to take a position on the latest militant abortion advocacy from WAGGGS. The new outrage from WAGGGS is its intimate involvement in the Bali Global Youth Forum Declaration. Here’s what Hasson has to say:
First, realize how radical the Bali Youth Declaration really is: it asserts “sexual rights” for youth (including 10 year-olds) on nearly every page and demands, over a dozen times, youth access to “abortion” or “reproductive rights” and services. It marginalizes families—decrying parental consent and “age of consent” restrictions in sexual and reproductive matters—and casts religious objections to LBGT lifestyles as “religious intolerance.” Not surprisingly, the pro-abortion chorus embraces the Declaration.
There’s more to know about the Bali Declaration, but what’s most relevant here are the architects behind its design.
The Declaration reflects the handiwork of the Global Youth Forum’s International Steering Committee, a group stacked with abortion providers and abortion-advocacy groups, such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the Youth Coalition.
Who else’s fingerprints are all over the Declaration? WAGGGS.
WAGGGS was heavily invested in formulating the Declaration. Its leaders,including WAGGGS’ Senior Advocacy Coordinator, not only served on the Forum’s Steering Committee, but also worked for six months on the Taskforcesthat shaped the conference agenda, the resulting Declaration, and follow-up activities. At the Bali summit, WAGGGS representatives facilitated breakout sessions and presented youth “recommendations” to the plenary sessions. Now WAGGGS promotes the Declaration and advocates for its implementation.
Two things were very clear in my research: 1) WAGGGS is a radical group pushing an agenda at direct odds with our values, and 2) WAGGGS is doing the dirty work of the GSUSA (which is the largest contributor to its operating budget) while allowing the GSUSA to say they “take no position” on these controversial topics.
Of course, when someone is pushing a radical agenda, silence is a position.
Read the rest of what Hasson has to say, and if you are still in Girl Scouts, make your voice heard.