Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Girl Scouts and the Church: 100 Years is Enough?

The anti-abortion website Lifesitenews.com featured a story concerning a parish in Virginia that banned the presence of Girl Scouts from the parish grounds and adjacent school.

"St. Timothy Catholic Parish in Chantilly says Girl Scouts will not be permitted to meet or wear uniforms on church property, including at St. Timothy School, which covers preschool to grade 8.
The Girl Scouts have been under growing pressure as evidence mounts of their ties with Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion provider."

100 years: Is the run done?
Back in the '90's, I was Director of Youth for the Diocese of Jackson and learned very quickly that the Girl Scouts shared a close relationship with the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry. So, of course, when I read this story I went to the NFCYM site. Here is what they have to say:

"Many Catholic Girl Scout leaders are feeling torn between their commitment to Girl Scouting and their commitment to their Catholic teachings because of the real or perceived relationship between GSUSA (Girl Scouts USA) and organizations like Planned Parenthood. The NFCYM approach to this complex issue has been one of engagement, rather than detachment or withdrawal. NFCYM, through NCCGSCF (National Catholic Committee on Girl Scouts and Campire Girls), needs to stay connected to GSUSA not only because thousands of Catholic girls and Catholic adult leaders are involved in scouting, but because Girl Scouting—like Boy Scouting—provides excellent character development for young people through their programs. NFCYM can only influence secular organizations by staying in relationship with them . . . by being at the table."

I can tell just by the language that where there's campfire smoke, there's hellfire. I've written enough grants and sat through enough Diocesan ministers meetings to understand the nuance of softspeak. I'll break it down.

"Many Catholic Girl Scout leaders are feeling torn between their commitment to Girl Scouting and their commitment to their Catholic teachings because of the real or perceived relationship between GSUSA (Girl Scouts USA) and organizations like Planned Parenthood.(In softspeak, they are implying that Catholic leaders imaginations may be getting away from them. Perception means "unreal"). The NFCYM approach to this complex issue has been one of engagement, rather than detachment or withdrawal(How has that engagement gone? A little Gospel of Life? Some information on the 5th Commandment?). NFCYM, through NCCGSCF (National Catholic Committee on Girl Scouts and Campire Girls), needs(Neediness is very important to softspeakers. Some of those needs are perceived.) to stay connected to GSUSA not only because thousands of Catholic girls and Catholic adult leaders are involved in scouting, but because Girl Scouting—like Boy Scouting—provides excellent character development(although maybe not Catholic character) for young people through their programs. NFCYM can only influence secular organizations by staying in relationship with them . . .(an ellipsis? Is something missing) by being at the table.(Engaged AT THE TABLE. In other words, dotty Aunt Sue who smells of mothballs is invited to Christmas dinner and hollers out from the Catechism but other than that, she's just one voice among others...at the table.)"
Snopes.com affirms that your purchase of Thin Mints does NOT support Planned Parenthood.
 I just bought 3 boxes from a Girl Scout Sunday. And we support a troop here. I figured that the NFCYM was on the watch so why peer deeper into it?

Now I see. The softspeak gave you away, NFCYM. Well, before that, your conventions filled with over 60 year olds and a disproportionate number of women in short-hair and vests sort of tipped me off but I was willing to overlook that. Because you built character.

Maybe the day of NFCYM is done as well.