We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
-H. L. Mencken
Lord Galen
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Religious Intolerance vs. The Girl Scouts
By: Cartoon Goddess


The following rant is based on this news story


Today I got online to check my email and slipped over to Yahoo. On the main page I noticed a headline about people being unhappy with the Girl Scouts and was curious as to why and so read the article. After doing so, I have yet again found myself marveling at the narrow-mindedness and intolerance of people - particularly the religious.

This particular story was of a group in Texas who decided that the Girl Scouts tolerance of other religions and sexual preferences was something they did not want their daughters exposed to, so this parent in particular DISBANDED her one daughter's Brownie troop and removed her other daughter from another Girl Scout troop. Likely both troops were full of people these young girls considered friends, but Mommy decided that making some point about religion was more important than her daughters' social interaction and bonds with friends.

Now WHY exactly did Mommy do this? It would appear for three main reasons:

#1 - The Girl Scout Oath, which reads "On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country, to help people at all times and to live by the Girl Scout law." As of 1993 girls are allowed to substitute the word "God" with another word pertaining to their individual faith. Apparently it's fine with SOME people that girls can use "Allah". "Goddess". "Buddha", "Vishnu", "The Cosmos" or whatever word evokes the thought of divinity in that little girl's mind. It seems that's not a positive thing in this Mother's mind, who can't accept her god having to share screen time with other gods of in the movies that are her daughters' minds. God forbid her daughters should learn of people of differing faiths and their beliefs and go into the world enlightened and able to make decisions based on their own minds and not just blindly following their parents' beliefs for lack of an alternative.

#2 - The Girl Scouts do not have a discrimination policy against gay Scouts or Scout Leaders. Gee imagine that - they are accepting and tolerant of other peoples personal sexual choices as well as their religious ones. Oh no, a lesbian scout leader may teach that being gay is okay when Mommy says it's a sin, and the daughter may decide how she feels about it on her own. I can almost hear you now saying they don't want gays for molestation purposes. Well let me tell you something, more rape and molestation is done by people who repress their sexuality and do not come out of the closet than those who accept their homosexuality. I haven't seen much statistics on females, I think they make up a far smaller percentage of perpetrators of sexual crimes. However, in cases of man on boy sexual crimes, most perpetrators considered themselves heterosexual.

#3 - The Local "Bluebonnet Council" of the Girl Scouts gave a "Woman of Distinction" award to the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Central Texas. The Bluebonnet Council also endorsed two of their sex education programs. When people protested, they removed their logo from the Planned Parenthood sex education materials and tried to defend themselves by pointing out they did not ever give Planned Parenthood money. Apparently the Mommy of these two girls didn't like her daughters being part of anything even remotely affiliated with sexual knowledge. I heard no reports of these sex education programs being forced on the girls or even offered to the girls. I do not know what the contents are of the Programs in question, and am willing to bet Mommy didn't either. Because it's from Planned Parenthood, and they are pro-choice, it must be bad in her eyes. Planned Parenthood believes the way to prevent abortions is not to make it illegal, but to reduce unwanted pregnancies through education, contraception, and improving the lives of our children. But this is not an argument on abortion, and the point I am making is that Mommy's views and the views of some organization endorsed by the council don't mesh so therefore the whole Girl scouts are bad. It's not like a person from Planned Parenthood came to speak at their troop, then I might understand.

The bottom line of my displeasure with this incident is that instead of allowing her children to experience things in the Girl Scouts, and explaining her beliefs, she refuses to expose herself or her children to anything but what she believes in. The children are now in a group similar to Girl Scouts, but that is exclusively run by Christians and teaches Christian beliefs. At least some other mothers are doing the same thing so a few of their friends should be in this new group. If these people believe their religion is the one true one, then why do they worry so much about it being "challenged" by others with differing beliefs? If one is secure in their religious persuasion, they should be able to accept that others believe differently and still have no issue with discussing other religions, learning about other religions, and accepting that others will not all believe in the same god they do. Take your kid to church, teach them your beliefs, but allow them to learn other things on their own as well if they wish to do so. Don't raise children to be the next generation of close-minded uninformed bigots.

I feel very sorry for these children, I really do. You see, I was once one of them. I went to church multiple times a week. I went to a Christian School where the Christian faith was taught daily and all the curriculum had a Christian spin, usually a bit on the extreme side. I wasn't allowed to go to movies, listen to "secular" music, watch TV if there was a mock sex scene or even a woman in a bikini on it. If a friend of mine caused me to do anything "naughty" like watch MTV or read a romance novel, I wasn't allowed to be friends with them anymore. Yes there are parents that strict out there. You know what happens when a kid grows up so sheltered like that? They are completely unprepared for life in the real world, and they develop "Forbidden Fruit" syndrome. When they get the freedom to do all those things their parents wouldn't allow, most kids are curious and go and do them. Unfortunately they have not been prepared to deal with them at all, so they wind up finding out the hard way - by making the mistakes and paying the consequences, however bad. There is no need for these young people to suffer these fates, if only they are allowed to have experiences which allow them to grow and mature as a person.

God/Goddess/Allah/Buddha/Vishnu/Odin/Zeus/Krishna/Brigid/etc... Bless The Girl Scouts!!



"Religious belief is a fine guide around
which a person might organize his own
life, but an awful instrument around
which to organize someone else's life."

-Richard D. Mohr