Cookie season may have passed, but the Girl Scouts find themselves in the news again through no fault of their own.
The Catholic Church is threatening to cut ties with the GSA over lingering (and largely unproven it seems) allegations of close ties between the Girl Scouts and liberal women’s groups (specifically, Planned Parenthood).
The net is buzzing with questions about the entire episode. As far as I can tell, the allegations stem from a 2010 Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute complaint that GSA distributed to young girls a guide titled “Happy, Healthy and Hot: A Young Person’s Guide to Their Rights, Sexuality and Living with HIV.”
Leadership of the Girl Scouts adamantly they had any role in the guide. One of the long-running concerns is the Girl Scouts‘ membership in the 145-nation World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
The association, known as WAGGGS, is on record as saying girls and young women “need an environment where they can freely and openly discuss issues of sex and sexuality.” It also has called for increased access to condoms to protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
Also, In 2004, the Great Plains Council of Girl Scouts, representing 11,000 girls, hired Beverly Todd Nolte as their CEO. Previously, Nolte had held marketing and lobbying positions with Planned Parenthood of Nebraska and Council Bluffs
Really? An eight-year-old hire? This seems to be the entire dossier against the GSA. Seems a tad flimsy to me.
Coming on the heels of the Vatican crackdown on nuns and threats to tighten annulment rules, it makes it clear which direction the church is heading.
I should have a response this afternoon from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg about its position and relationship with the GSA. I want to know if any local Girl Scout troops have ties with the church and whether those ties are at risk.
Most of all, I want to know where our local Catholic leadership stands on this issue. What do you think? Much ado about nothing? Or is the church right to stand up for its values and keep the pressure on the GSA?