Catholic Bishops Insist on Waging a Culture War

It seems that every week, Catholic bishops in the U.S. are speaking out against something. Their target now: the Girl Scouts. That’s right, it seems that the organizations whose mission statement reads, “Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place,” is a threat to Catholics. From the AP:

NEW YORK (AP) — Long a lightning rod for conservative criticism, the Girl Scouts of the USA are now facing their highest-level challenge yet: An official inquiry by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

At issue are concerns about program materials that some Catholics find offensive, as well as assertions that the Scouts associate with other groups espousing stances that conflict with church teaching. The Scouts, who have numerous parish-sponsored troops, deny many of the claims and defend their alliances.

The inquiry coincides with the Scouts’ 100th anniversary celebrations and follows a chain of other controversies.

Why? Because there are rumors that the Girl Scouts partner with Planned Parenthood. They don’t, says spokesperson Gladys Padro-Soler. She adds, “It’s been hard to get the message out there as to what is true when distortions get repeated over and over.”

Already this year, Catholic bishops have been bashing gays, claiming religious persecution, Sandra Fluke, and now attacking the Girl Scouts. Seems an odd strategy in the face of ongoing pedophilia problems.

In fact, it seems that humility and a few years decades of quiet service to humanity might be a better strategy.

  • http://ryanrobinson.ca Ryan Robinson

    Projection is a psychological defence strategy of making (true or imagined) accusations against others to attempt to divert attention away from the (true) accusations of one’s own problems. It doesn’t work usually, but it is a natural reaction, and the Catholic Church (and lots of other churches and Christians) seem to have a case of it when you hear stories like these.

  • http://homefront.blogspot.com Fajita

    Catholics are doing amazing things (I am not and never will be a Catholic). More of their efforts ARE centrally focused on humility and service than are fociused on engaging in the “culture wars.”

    These culture wars are highly fueled by media in order for their own media enterprises to remain economicaly viable, but they do not make any assist in promoting cultural conversations. There is money to be made and power to be had in a culture war. There is little money to be made in civility. Sad.

    • Curtis

      Please read the article. It is the critics of the Girl Scouts who are hoping this Catholic inquiry will result in a “collision course” with the Girl Scouts. It is not the media who are hoping for this outcome. Read the article and decide for yourself where the lack of civility is coming from. Do these culture warriors manipulate the media to spread their message? Yes. But blame the source, don’t blame the messenger.

  • Patrick S

    Pedophilia in the Church is a huge, awful issue. I am deeply troubled by it. But to imply it precludes them from disagreeing with a liberal activist (Fluke) on the issue of government intervention in their affairs (ObamaCare) I think is a bridge too far. As for humility, I see a lot of people on this blog implying “their” way of celebrating their faith is right and others are doing it wrong. Not much humility in that.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/ Tony Jones

      Not “right.”

      Maybe “better.”

      But surely not “the one true, holy, and apostolic church.”

      • Patrick S

        And saying your way is “better” than my way is humble? What is the difference?

        • Carl

          Exactly, Patrick. Exactly. Irony never stopped them yet.

          • Larry Barber

            Since when does being “humble” mean “all my beliefs are inferior to everybody else’s”? You either don’t know what “humble” means or are confused over the definition of “irony”. Or both.

  • http://cjsoapbox.tumblr.com CJ

    The worst that could come of this for the scouts is that the Roman Catholic Church stops sponsoring troops. That doesn’t really hurt anyone because the scouts will just move to a local community center or a school or something.

    The worst that could come of this for the church is that we will have gone one step further down the line in convincing people that we care more about what’s going on in someone’s pants than what’s going on in someone’s heart.

    • Frank

      There is a connection between what’s in our hearts and what we do with our bodies.

  • ME

    “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

    Is North American culture agreeable with the Kingdom of Heaven? I think not. A culture war just may be a service to humanity.

    • Frank

      So true ME. That’s why it’s foolish for Christians to use the arguement of cultural acceptability to support their beliefs. Christianity has always been countercultural. We could go so far as to say if the culture loves it, the church should not.

    • Andrew

      This is so true. Our culture has gone far from a Christ-like society. Many churches are like reeds in the wind. Up until 1930, every single Christian denomination was against contraception. Then, when our culture decided it was needed, now almost every single church except the Catholic Church accepts contraception. Every Christian denomination used to be against gay marriage, until now that our culture has deemed that it is ok.

      We cannot bow to the whims of the culture. It is secular. God does not change his mind according to the consensus of the people. We must stand firm and together in unison in our teachings.

      Tony declared that it was arrogant to believe your belief is correct. That’s confusing. You can’t fully believe your belief? I am Catholic because I believe fully in the Church and her teachings. I believe that Jesus Christ himself established the Church when he told Peter that upon this rock (Peter) that he would build his Church. Now, believing fully in the Catholic Church does not give me leave to dismiss other religions as nonsense or to hold myself to above anyone. If that is what he really means, that I completely agree. I am no better than anyone else in this blog. We are all God’s children.

  • Justinian

    “…a few years decades of quiet service to humanity might be a better strategy.” Are you kidding? What do you think the Church has been doing for 2012 years? She has been serving humanity in a myriad of ways. She runs schools, colleges, orphanages, hospices, hospitals, medical clinics for the poor, food distribution centers for the hungry, prison ministries, even ministries to gays, prostitutes, drug addicts, the homeless, and a host of other needy people. And since you have no idea what you are talking about, let me add that she also has a divinely appointed teaching and preaching ministry.


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