Thursday, 26 January 2012

Va. Catholic Church Bans Girl Scouts Over Group's Planned Parenthood Link

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The Girl Scouts of the USA organization continues to attract critics for straying from its roots in a more secular and non-traditional direction. The most recent offense of this nature has prompted St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Chantilly, Virginia (left) to ban the organization from meeting on its grounds because of its alleged connections to Planned Parenthood.

The church has barred Girl Scout troops from meeting in both the church and its school; furthermore, the girls are no longer permitted to wear their uniforms on church premises.

The Blaze explains the motivation behind the ban:

The pastor’s angst seems to surround the World Association of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts' (an international coalition of scouting groups) connection to Planned Parenthood. But the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital said that its parent isn’t WAGGGS and that it reports to Girl Scouts of the USA, an organization that does not have an attachment to Planned Parenthood.

WAGGGS has been the focus of strong criticism for advocating abortion rights on its website, calling for “affordable, accessible, safe abortion.”

The Girl Scouts are accurate in saying that they do not answer to WAGGGS; however, the group does boast its membership in the international scouting coalition on its website:

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is comprised of 145 member organizations, including Girl Scouts of the USA. WAGGGS not only unites all of its member organizations, but also promotes and establishes Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting organizations around the world. The goal of WAGGGS is to enable girls and young women to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world. [Emphasis added.]

The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute reported in 2010 that WAGGGS encouraged girls to participate in a United Nations workshop which distributed a highly controversial Planned Parenthood pamphlet. Entitled Happy, Healthy, and Hot, the pamphlet instructed young women not to think of sex as “just about vaginal or anal intercourse.” It continued, "There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself!"

Life Site News also recalls a statement made in 2004 by Girl Scout USA’s then-CEO Kathy Cloninger on NBC’s Today Show: “We partner with many organizations. We have relationships with our church communities, with YWCAs, and with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country, to bring information-based sex education programs to girls.”

Life Site News also indicates, “In a 2004 survey to STOPP International, around 25 percent of GSUSA councils who responded said they partnered with Planned Parenthood in some way. Sixty-five out of the country’s 249 councils responded to the survey.”

According to the Arlington Diocese, St. Timothy's pastor did not believe the relationship between Planned Parenthood and the Girl Scouts was in line with the church’s message. A portion of the Diocese's official statement read:

Every pastor in the diocese has the responsibility to determine how best to use their parish facilities, consider the requests of outside groups, and reconcile such requests with the needs and mission of their parish community.

The Girl Scouts organization in Chantilly, Virginia issued the following statement attempting to put a positive spin on the ban:

We are committed to ensuring that Girl Scouting is available to all girls from St. Timothy’s Catholic School, in Chantilly, VA. This location change presents us with an opportunity to serve not only the girls from St. Timothy’s, but to invite more girls from the area to join Girl Scouts. After all, this is our 100th anniversary year and a great time to be part of Girl Scouting.

Support for Girl Scouts of the USA has dwindled in recent years as its questionable choices have escalated. In 1993, the organization elected to change its pledge, a clear indication that it was seeking to move from its Christian roots toward a more secular agenda. The Blaze explains:

The Girl Scouts, having trouble attracting individuals who did not necessarily embrace a Judeo-Christian view of God, voted 1,560 to 375 to alter its pledge. While the Scout’s promise would retain its official wording, individuals were allowed to substitute “God” with words they deemed more fitting. While the original reference to a higher power was never definitively said to be Christian in nature, this change was a major milestone in many families’ decision to separate from the group.

Additionally, the Girl Scouts came under fire last year after the organization made the decision to allow a gender-confused 7-year-old boy to join the organization. Bobby Montoya, though a boy, identifies himself as a girl, and like his older sister, wanted to join the Girl Scouts. The troop leader of the Girl Scouts of Colorado initially denied Montoya membership, asserting that because he is a boy, there was no place for him in the organization. But the Girl Scouts of Colorado then issued a statement to a local TV station insisting that they are an all-inclusive organization and would accept Bobby.

“If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout,” the statement said. “In this case, an associate delivering our program was not aware of our approach. She contacted her supervisor, who immediately began working with the family to get the child involved and supported in Girl Scouts.”

The troop leader who initially rejected Bobby was forced to take “sensitivity" classes.

In 2010, the Girl Scouts of the USA published a book entitled MEdia — designed for girls in grades six through eight — which allegedly seeks to help young girls understand the media messages surrounding them. However, the book directs the girls to the website Media Matters for America, funded by globalist George Soros, as a prime source for understanding current events and for debunking myths. The website states:

The Internet is a breeding ground for “urban legends,” which are false stories told as if true. Next time you receive a txt or e-mail about something that seems unbelievable, confirm it before you spread it.

The fact-checking site investigates everything from urban legends to “news” articles and posts its findings. Media Matters for America ( gets the word out about media misinformation.

The reference to Media Matters received a great many negative responses, but a concerned parent who checked with a number of bookstores in several states could receive no information about whether the book would be reprinted. A writer for The Blaze commented:

Regardless of whether a new version is on its way, the fact that the Girl Scouts know that such an egregious “error” exists and are still selling the books to young people is concerning.

A former member of the Girl Scouts, Sydney Volanski, is disturbed by the new direction of the organization, and now edits a website entitled “Speak Now: Girl Scouts Website,” which meticulously cites a variety of examples of the liberal bias within Girl Scouts of the USA.

As a result, the Girl Scouts have begun to lose membership and the support of many local communities. It was because of the changing nature of the group — including banning prayer at meetings and accepting lesbians as troop leaders — that a group of disenchanted parents in West Chester, Ohio started their own organization in 1995, the American Heritage Girls. AHG is described on its website as “a nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.” The group had over 9,000 members in 2010, with troops in 42 states. According to Patti Garibay, executive director of AHG and one of its founding members, 90 percent of the girls who join her organization have left the Girl Scouts.  

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