The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has lobbed another volley in the “war on women.” Radical positions opposing most forms of contraception and a single-minded focus (at the expense of the Church’s much broader social justice mission) on abortion is apparently not enough. After recently criticizing the 80 percent of U.S. Catholic Nuns for apparently putting too much emphasis on the poor and not enough on abortion and contraception, the Bishops have found a new target: girls. In specific, the Girl Scouts of America.
Yes, if they are going to wage a war on women, they might as well put girls in the cross-hair too. Why not. Apparently, the Girl Scouts are just a front for planed parenthood and other radical feminist organizations. According to the Washington Post, critics of the Girl Scouts contend
that their materials shouldn’t have any links to groups like the Sierra Club, Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam, or other groups that support family planning and contraception. Other critics are unhappy that the American Girl Scouting organization is a member of an international scouting association that supports contraception access.
The Girl Scouts have long been a target of social conservatives, but I can’t help but laugh at how far into “bunker” mode the Catholic Church has gone.
In the on-going wake of a decade-long priest sex abuse scandal/cover-up, in which the Church has lost much of its moral legitimacy, the Roman Catholic Church has been hunkered down for the long-fight; They are in battle mode; siege mode really. Forget the fact that in recent years, 1/3 of people in the U.S. who were born Catholic no longer describe themselves as Catholic. Forget the fact that 1 out of every 10 Americans are former Catholics. As Diana Butler Bass points out in her book Christianity After Religion, the Catholic Church maintains its membership base primarily through Hispanic immigration.
Somehow the Roman Catholic Church has become the religious right. Its not really surprising though, given the authoritarian hierarchy, complete subjugation of women, and conservative social agenda that has taken precedence over social justice concerns like caring for the poor. And that is sad.
So, let them go after the girl scouts. Seems perfectly consistent. Add them to the list: Catholic nuns; women’s reproductive rights, women’s role in the church, gay and lesbian rights. But just realize Bishops, the next time Girl Scout cookie time rolls around, yo can forget the thin mints or samoas. No cookies for you, or you, or you.
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