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Archive for July 1st, 2008


Posted by straight shooter on July 1, 2008 under Political, Religion

The Girl Scouts’ New Radicalism

Marcia Segelstein – 7/1/2008

The Girl Scouts of the USA have been on a steady, well-documented leftward slide for many years.  (More on that later.)  But this summer, the organization is about to take a giant leap even further in that direction.

The GSUSA is introducing a new “Girl Scout Leadership Experience,” essentially a new curriculum, titled “Journeys.”  The first series of books, one for every level of scouting, will be released this summer called “It’s Your World – Change It.”  As you may have guessed from the title, it’s all about girls “taking action.”

Girl Scouts curriculumIn the words of the Girl Scouts’ literature, the mission is for girls to “lead with courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place.”  Sounds innocuous enough.  But the GSUSA leadership has some specific ideas about what exactly “making the world a better place” means.

For example, seventh- and eighth-grade cadettes will participate in an eight-session “Journey” called “aMaze,” in which “girls create ‘peace kits’ and learn how to create more peace in the world, one relationship at a time.”  It sounds sweet, but is there a lesson in there about peace often coming with a price?

The “Journey” for the oldest Girl Scouts is called “Your Voice, Your World: The Power of Advocacy.”  In it, “girls explore the rich and global history of women’s advocacy efforts and engages girls to become advocates in their communities.”  Advocates for what, you might well wonder.

Many adults associated with the Girl Scouts have expressed serious concerns about this new curriculum.  Promoting social activism, emphasizing the power of self, and jumping on the bandwagon of politically correct causes like global warming are further evidence to them of the organization’s ever-growing radicalism.The blueprint for this new curriculum came from the Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, which decided they needed to be “re-founded.”  To oversee the process, they naturally hired facilitators — in this case, from the Ashland Institute, a consulting group with a distinctly New Age bent.

The Board of Directors and the Arizona Cactus-Pine Council went into a special retreat.  After engaging in a “collective reflective process called Open Space,” they decided that some radical changes were in order.  According to their own online material, “We are living in a crisis of the spirit in a war-torn world.”  The literature speaks of female empowerment.  It asks, “Could the Girl Scouts help birth the quality of women’s leadership that the world so desperately needs today?”

It continues:  “She [Tamara Woodbury, executive director of the Cactus-Pine Council] knew the time had come for a feminine approach to leadership in the world.  What better place than the Girl Scouts to help land the possibility — but how to do it in a feminine way?”  I really have no clue how Ms. Woodbury would define a “feminine approach to leadership in the world,” and can’t think why world leadership needs to be approached from a feminine or masculine perspective.  Unless, of course, one has a radical feminist point of view.

right way wrong waySo the Arizona Cactus-Pine Council forged ahead to find a place where “preteens and teens learn to hear and trust their own inner guidance.”  As a Christian, I look to God for guidance, and pray that my children do, too.  “Inner guidance” sounds way too much like “do your own thing,” or “follow your heart,” rather than “do the right thing.”  In fact, the online literature suggests just that:  “Juliette Low [founder of the Girl Scouts] might say to us today, ‘Follow my spirit, not my footsteps.  Lead from the heart into the unknown.'”  An interesting place to want to take teenagers.

Here’s one of the Girl Scouts’ new values:  “Girls learn to quiet themselves, taking ‘full stop moments’ where they can connect with a silence that is perfect and pure, an internal blank canvas….The girls ‘find their own compass’ through a model that starts looking within to find their purpose, values and vision and ends with clear strategies, action and planning.”

In case you weren’t already clear on this, back in 1995, the Girl Scouts made it optional to include the word “God” in their official “promise.”  So it shouldn’t be a great surprise that now girls are supposed to look within, discover a blank canvas, and find their own values.  This isn’t God-optional.  This is anti-God.

Here’s “The Girl Scout Promise,” according to the GSUSA website:

“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.”

The asterisk is explained at the bottom of the page:  “The word ‘God’ can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on one’s spiritual beliefs.  When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, it is okay to replace the word ‘God’ with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate.”

That’s right.  Go right ahead and define “God” however you like.  Telling girls to look inside themselves for direction, especially teenage girls, is like advising them to wear a blindfold while driving.  So — to be clear — along with political correctness, the Girl Scouts have now fully embraced moral relativism.

Girl Scoutsover the moon COG awardBut getting back to being anti-God, there is the matter of the “Covenant of the Goddess.”  It’s a Wiccan website which, among other things, describes their awards program.  There’s the “Over the Moon Award” for ages 8-11 and the “Hart and Crescent Award” for ages 12-18.  The awards are offered “to any young person…who is a member of any nature-oriented religion (Wicca, Druid, Asatru, Native American, etc.).”  What does this have to with the Girl Scouts?  The Girl Scouts recognize these awards, which may be worn on the Girl Scout uniform.

Criticism of the Girl Scouts is not new.  A few years ago, Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote a piece for National Review Online called “The Cookie Crumbles.”  Here are some highlights:

“Exercises [from a Senior Scout manual] include working through how the Girl Scout Promise and Law relate to such situations as ‘Suppporting a decision to pull a life-support system from a dying relative’ and ‘Ending a pregnancy.’  Some activities ‘you can do as a Girl Scout to address contemporary issues’ include ‘organiz[ing] an event to make people aware of gender bias’ or ‘help[ing] organize an Earth Day celebration.”

She cites the 1997 book On My Honor: Lesbians Reflect on Their Scouting Experience as being “filled with coming-of-age stories sparked by gay encounters in the Girl Scouts.”  The book includes an essay titled “All I Really Need to Know About Being a Lesbian I Learned at Girl Scout Camp.”  According to Lopez, “staffers writing in the book claim that roughly one in three of the Girls Scouts’ paid professional staff is lesbian.”

Then there is the “cozy relationship,” as columnist John Leo put it, between Planned Parenthood and a Girl Scout council in Waco, Texas.  He wrote, “The council gave a ‘woman of distinction’ award to the local chief of Planned Parenthood, who runs an abortion clinic in Waco….The [same] council also endorsed and helped to staff Planned Parenthood’s ‘Nobody’s Fool,’ an annual half-day sex-education program…offering sympathetic treatment of abortion, masturbation, and homosexuality.”  Only after protests did the council withdraw their endorsement of the sex-ed program.

It turns out that other Girl Scout councils in Nevada and Connecticut also had relationships with Planned Parenthood.  And, according to Concerned Women for America, one Girl Scout leadership manual “gives visits to health clinics like Planned Parenthood as an acceptable option for Brownie troops.  Brownies are for girls six to eight years old.”

American Heritage Girls logoIn 1995, when “God” became optional in the Girl Scouts’ promise, a group of parents in Ohio had had enough.  Disillusioned with the increasingly secular leanings of the Girl Scouts, they started their own organization with about 100 members.  American Heritage Girls today has chapters in 34 states, with over 6,500 members.

Here is the American Heritage Girls’ oath:

I promise to love God, cherish my family, honor my country, and Serve in my community.

You’ll note that there’s no asterisk next to “God.”

Check out their website to see if there’s a chapter near you.  And if there isn’t, they’ll help you start one of your own.

After ten years as a producer for CBS News, forty-something years as an Episcopalian, and fifteen years as a mother, Marcia Segelstein considers herself a reluctant rebel against the mainstream media, the Episcopal Church (and others which make up the rules instead of obeying them), and the decaying culture her children witness every day. Her pieces have been published in “First Things,” “Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity,” and “BreakpointOnline,” and she is a contributing editor for Salvo magazine.


Posted by straight shooter on July 1, 2008 under Political, Social Concerns

In his book, “The Clash of Orthodoxies”, Princeton professor Robert George writes that matrimonial law reflects a moral judgment. That judgment is that marriage is inherently heterosexual, monogamous, and permanent – a union of one man and one woman. This judgment is based on both the biblical and natural law understandings – that marriage is a two-in-one flesh communion of persons. This communion is consummated and actualized sexually.

That is, marriage is made real by acts that are reproductive, whether or not these acts result in children. They unite the spouses as a single procreative unit. This organic unity is achieved even by infertile couples. Only a mated pair can be a complete organism capable of human procreation.

By contrast, homosexual acts cannot be procreative and cannot unite people organically. As a result, these acts cannot be marital, which means relationships integrated around them cannot be marriages. In other words, same-sex partners are physically incapable of marriage; it takes a man and a woman to become “one flesh.”

I can already hear the arguments your secular neighbors will make: “Okay, that’s your definition of marriage. Why should your views be imposed on everybody else?”

That is when we have to be ready with additional, non-religious arguments for traditional marriage. For instance, if we expand the meaning of marriage to include same-sex partnerships, on what grounds could we legitimately oppose marriages between three or more people. or weddings between siblings?

Remember, we are not just defending the Christian view of marriage. Since the beginning of recorded history, virtually every society and every major religion has revered and protected traditional marriage. Why? It is the institution that produces, nurtures, protects, and civilizes children. And marriage is the cornerstone of society’s foundational institution: the family.

If the proponents of same-sex “marriage” succeed in foisting it on America, marriage itself would be reduced to nothing more than a legal contract between two (or more) people. True marriage would be abolished, and the damage to our society would be incalculable.

These are the arguments we all need to learn to defend traditional, true marriage, particularly in those states where constitutional amendments are on the ballot this fall.

Same-sex “marriage” laws pose a threat to your religious freedom. Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ will harm Christians.

It is all about equal rights, the gay “marriage” lobby keeps telling us. We just want the right to marry, like everyone else. That is what they are telling us. But that is not what they mean. If same-sex “marriage” becomes the law of the land, we can expect massive persecution of the Church.

We need to understand that legalizing same-sex ‘marriage’ is not a stand-alone policy.  Once governments assert that same-sex unions are the equivalent of marriage, those governments must defend and enforce a whole host of other social changes.

The bad news is these changes affect other liberties we take for granted, such as religious freedom and private property rights.  Several recent cases give us a sobering picture of what we can expect if we do not actively embrace – and even promote – same-sex “marriage.”

For instance, a Methodist retreat center recently refused to allow two lesbian couples to use a campground pavilion for a civil union ceremony.  The state of New Jersey punished the Methodists by revoking the center’s tax-exempt status – a vindictive attack on the Methodists’ religious liberty.

In Massachusetts, where judges imposed gay marriage a few years ago, Catholic Charities was ordered to accept homosexual couples as candidates for adoption.  Rather than comply with an order that would be harmful to children, Catholic Charities closed down its adoption program.

California public schools have been told they must be “gay friendly. But it will not stop with public schools. Just north of the border in Quebec, the government told a Mennonite school that it must conform to provincial law regarding curriculum – a curriculum that teaches children that homosexuality is a valid lifestyle.   How long will it be before the U.S. government goes after private schools?

Even speaking out against homosexuality can get you fired. Crystal Dixon, an associate vice president at the University of Toledo, was fired after writing an opinion piece in the “Toledo Free Press” in support of traditional marriage . . . fired – for exercising her First Amendment rights!

Promoters of same-sex “marriage” seem to go out of their way to target Christian businesses and churches. Their goal is not the right to “marry,” but to punish anyone who disagrees with them.

Clearly, there is a spiritual battle going on here: Christians are under attack because they are a public witness to the fact that a holy God created us male and female, and we will always put obedience to Him and His laws above obedience to any earthly demand for loyalty.

The coming persecution of Christians is one more reason why we need to get involved with efforts to pass laws at the state and federal level defining marriage as a legal relationship between one man and one woman. We must protect, not only genuine marriage, but also many of the freedoms we now take for granted: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom to use private property the way we see fit – all are under threat.

And we must tell our friends and neighbors why gay “marriage” is not just about equality: It is about forcing religious believers to accept the validity of the homosexual lifestyle – or else!