Smoky Mountains Sunrise

Friday, February 29, 2008

Don't Buy the Cookies!

By Jane Chastain

I used to dread this time of year. In the month of March, Girl Scouts are out in force in their smart little green and brown uniforms selling cookies. There was a time I would buy a box from every girl I encountered as a payback for my positive scouting experience.

However, buying that box of cookies now presents a moral dilemma, as the Girl Scouts have become a training ground for the left-wing feminist agenda.

I used to get a knot in my stomach as I turned down these Girl Scouts. Last year I came up with a better plan. I began giving each girl who approached me a letter with an offer to give her troop $100 if it will change its affiliation to the American Heritage Girls. I greet the leader or parent with the girl and hand her information from the AHG website, along with my column "Confessions of a former Girl Scout" and my contact information.

I can still remember the pride I felt as I stood at attention in my crisp Girl Scout uniform to recite the promise:

On my honor, I will try:To do my duty to God and my country,To help other people at all times,To obey the Girl Scout Laws.

How times have changed! Now God has an asterisk telling the girl that "it is OK to replace the word 'God' with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate."

The word "duty" (to God) has been replaced with "serve" and the new all-inclusive Girl Scouts are free to serve anyone, including themselves, which seems fitting after reviewing some of their materials that stress "girl empowerment" and moral relativism.

Is it any wonder that the "Covenant of the Goddess" website now boasts that the Girl Scouts allow its members to earn and wear its Over the Moon and Hart and Crescent Award, offered to any young person who is a member of a nature-oriented religion (Wicca, Druid, Asatru, you name it)?

While the Boy Scouts have clung to their original God-centered charter, the Girl Scouts adopted a policy of nondiscrimination and now accepts atheists and lesbians as scouts, troop leaders and staff. In 2004, the Arcus Gay and Lesbian Fund gave a $21,500 grant to the Glowing Embers GS Council in Kalamazoo, Mich., to develop and produce a series of interactive games based on the new diversity (code word for homosexual) curriculum, "Living on My Honor"

The changes began in 1970 when feminist Betty Friedan was put on the national governing board. Soon afterward, the Girl Scouts began purging their materials of all positive references to homemakers. Partnerships with Planned Parenthood followed and the Girl Scouts begin showing up at gun control rallies like the Million Mom March. The Scouts have adopted a new global agenda under the Studio 2B program. The Scouts bemoan the fact that the United States has not signed the radical feminist treaty, the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which would force nations to legalize abortion and prostitution. Guess a girl has to make a living!

To earn the Women Worldwide Interest Project Patch, senior girls are asked to research women who have made an impact. Eve Ensler, the author of the "Vagina Monologues," and Rigoberta Menchu Tum, the lesbian Guatemalan Marxist activist, are held up as role models.

To be sure, there are many good people engaged in Girl Scouting, and the experience largely depends on the character of the local leader and the disposition of the area council. Local councils select area delegates. However, these delegates have no say in national policy. This presents a real conflict for most people of faith, especially since the Girl Scouts brought in the controversial New Age group the Ashland Institute to assist in leadership training.

Today, the American Heritage Girls is everything the Girl Scouts used to be. AHG began in 1995 and offers a scouting experience similar to the Boy Scouts of America. AHG's highest honor is the Stars and Stripes Award patterned after the BSA's Eagle award. It is not at all surprising that the Girl Scouts is losing members, while AHG is one of the fastest-growing youth organizations in America. AHG now boasts 185 troops and more than 6,300 members in 33 states with plans to expand to all 50 states in 2008.

I proudly support them and I hope you will too.

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