Girl Scouts delenda est

February 26, 2012

According to several ancient sources the Roman statesman Cato the Elder would always end his speeches with some variation of “Carthargo delenda est.” It means “Carthage must be destroyed.” Cato invoked this curse even if he had not been discussing Carthage. That speaks to a steely determination of ill-will against a supposed enemy, unwavering opposition.

If you did not already know this already. EWTN’s daily (Mon-Fri) program “Women of Grace” has spent the past week putting the Girl Scouts through the grinder. The series, entitled “Girl Scouts, Mission Aborted” ran for five consecutive mornings.  This should tell us that the conservative war against Girl Scouts is not restricted to a obscure lawmakers from rural states. This is serious business.

Now the disclaimers. I am a regular viewer of EWTN and find its programming to be a refreshing break from the fantastical, emotional, self-centered, materialist and prosperity oriented presentations of the professional personalities of commercial Christianity. Furthermore, while “Women of Grace” is directed to a  generally female audience, I often find the discussion useful and balanced. We should all understand that Christians have a duty to confront evil wherever they find it, and, on top of that, if somebody wants to start a new organization for whatever reason, even if that is to replace the Girl Scouts, that is their perfect right. This is still America.

Girl Scouts has taken some criticism from conservative radio and cable television. To tell the truth, I have no idea whether Girl Scouts are a threat to the moral tone of the country, which has taken a beating for decades now. If America is a complete mess, and it certainly is, you certainly need to go deeper than a bunch of bright-eyed kids in cute uniforms. It is a fairly safe bet that Girl Scouts is run by the same genre of tone-deaf buffoons who have done such a fine job with National Public Radio (although they seem to have some new and more sensible management in place now). The type of persons who run large organizations often seem to possess a very strong belief in self and a broken moral compass.

There is a difficulty with many of the allegations against the Girl Scouts. This seems to be a web of guilt by association, straw men, and connect-the-dots kind of mysticism. The charges are so numerous, frequently vague, and loaded up with explosive political rhetoric that the Scouts would be hard-pressed to make a coherent response. This should by now means be taken as an acquittal of the Girl Scouts. One senses that they are heavily laden with pushy, independent thinking, goal-driven, and politically active feminists. Nonetheless, they do outright deny many of the charges. Furthermore, it is absolutely true that the national organization has no control over what folks in local affiliates do.

All of this matters because the catholic (universal) church, of which the Roman Catholic Church is a member, is the body of Christ in the world (1 Cor 12, Eph 4) and Christ is the living personification of truth (John 14:6). Christians are bound to the truth, the absolute truth, at all times. The Girl Scout discussion, like so many others, has taken on a political tone in which there is a great deal of shading the facts. Politicians care about winning. Christians are already victorious in Christ.

One does not know what happens behind the scenes of an influential television network, but political power is quite intoxicating. The Christian may easily be led to believe that winning is a victory for the Lord and Savior, but the truth is far from that. The lure of politics is worldly domination and is far from the servant ministry that Christ so frequently modeled, especially in washing the disciples feet.

What does it matter if Girl Scouts is replaced by another equally materialistic and modernist purveyor of the same poison in a different bottle? Christians must be alert and parents must be very careful. The Girl Scouts replacement is likely to be equally committed to the harsh intentions of consumerism and utilitarianism. That is the philosophic foundation of the abortion culture conservatives claim to hate.

Finally, we need the Roman Catholic Church for its rigorous scholarship, defense of the Trinity along with the fundamental doctrines, interaction with social ills, traditional corporate worship and individual piety. It is a dangerous thing to fall in love with the world and the trappings of political power. This partnership is never equal and it never lasts. Christians must oppose evil and promote good. The faithful ally and partner is not the politician but the Eternal covenant keeping God.

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3 Responses to “Girl Scouts delenda est”

  1. Jennifer Simmons Says:

    Pat, I don’t listen to EWTN, but I can assure you from my 12 years of being a Girl Scout leader to dozens of girls and volunteering in the adult administrative body of my local Girl Scout Council, no organization has done more good for more girls of all socio-economic levels for 100 years than the Girl Scouts of the USA. I never witnessed anything politically partisan in any literature or activity that I participated in with the Girl Scouts, ever! You sense that they are lead by pushy, independent-thinking, and goal minded women. Yes, they are, thank you. Sounds like a good thing to me, at least society thinks so when that description is applied to men. But I have seen no political activism as you imply. I have many good friends who were co-leaders in Girl Scouts. I never knew how they voted. Adult leaders are so dedicated to the Girl Scout Promise. “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”. Anyone who believes otherwise should volunteer in a local troop for one month.

  2. ChooseLife Says:

    Pat, I encourage you to go to the on-line guide created by the guests on EWTN that gives documentation for all issues discussed in the series. You will note that most of the documentation comes from the GSUSA: page scans of their curriculum, online content, statements from GS employees. http://www.speaknowgirlscouts.com/index.php?p=1_29_EWTN I would be curious to know if, after reviewing this info, you still consider the Girl Scouts issues being raised as “guilt by association, straw men, and connect-the-dots kind of mysticism.” Thank you for your concern in this matter. Lenten blessings to you.


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