Voice of the People: Big, Bad Brownies

By James J. Devine

Fresh off their paranoia-inspired “War on Christmas,” Right wing fanatics are waging a crusade against Girl Scouts of the USA, which builds courage, confidence, and character among girls to make the world a better place and was chartered by the U.S. Congress on March 16, 1950.

With a membership of over 3.2 million girls and adults plus more than 50 million American Girl Scout alumnae, the group has nearly a century of service but a guide intended to help young women recognize misleading information on the Internet has stirred anger among purveyors of prevarication.

A 2010 publication called “MEdia,” designed for girls in grades six through eight, is a guide that offers insight into how young people should process and understand messages surrounding them in the media.

Recent studies showed that 53 percent of U.S. children ages 9 to 17 use the Internet, according to the organization’s Web site (www.girlscouts.org). Much of the content on the information highway is false and misleading.

The book refers young readers to Media Matters for America as one of the primary sources for debunking lies and deceit found online and in such disreputable information outlets as Fox News. Media Matters is an organization that often exposes conservative con-artistry, so right-wingers have labeled it a cancer on American democracy.

Girl Scouts of the USA is dedicated to providing opportunities for girls to understand their world so they develop into responsible citizens and it is one of 145 member organizations that comprise the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

Conservatives have condemned the Girl Scouts’ relationship with Planned Parenthood, claiming that it engages in “promotion of promiscuity” as “the largest provider and promoter of abortion in the country” when in fact the organization has dedicated 97 percent of its resources to other important services such as health education, preventing unwanted pregnancy, cancer screening, and STD testing.

They have also attacked Girl Scouts for praising women who are “pro-abortion champions” as well as “advocates of the same-sex lifestyle.” It would be difficult to find many successful women in America who do not believe the government should stay out of everyone’s personal sex life.

Truth, self-awareness and the freedom to make your own choices are necessary to good citizenship, so it becomes curious that anyone would so virulently attack them.

Attempting to discredit this valuable social service organization by attributing to it an incendiary political agenda fails to recognize common sense, but it is not just another try to impose a narrow religious viewpoint on everyone else.

Con-artist conservatives are instead again trying to create much ado about nothing because chaos, confusion and pointless controversy are the perfect cover for a political agenda that most Americans would reject if addressed honestly on its merits.

They want you to panic in order to gain consent for stupid, un-American laws and regulations. There is no “War on Christmas,” but even if there were, then Christmas would be winning. Look out, the Girl Scouts are coming!

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