Those darn Girl Scouts!
I saw an article on the news last night declaring that a “right wing pastor” was urging us to boycott Girl Scout cookies because the Girl Scouts “promote lesbianism.” My first reaction was that the 2013 cookie drive ended months ago and I was glad that we’ve already eaten the cookies. I was happy that I could put off making a decision about this momentous issue until next spring when the 2014 cookies roll out.
My next thought was to wonder if the report was true. Was this left-leaning media organization misquoting him? Did a Christian pastor actually say that? If so, in what way were the Girl Scouts actively trying to bring the girls to a lesbian lifestyle? Not being ready to accuse the poor pastor I felt I needed to check it out myself.
First, let me say that in a free market anyone is entitled to boycott anything they want. They are also entitled to ask others to join in the boycott. The fact that organized boycott efforts rarely, if ever, achieve anything doesn’t mean you can’t try again. Political, social and religious organizations use boycotts all the time.
Second, I did check out the web site of the organization Generations with Vision and its speaker Kevin Swanson did say that in a podcast – sort of. Actually he said that the Girl Scouts support lesbianism, Planned Parenthood and abortion, among other things. I suppose the secular news just lifted the lesbian issue out because of the absurd mental image it creates of a bunch of little girls undergoing lesbian training.
After some research I’ve found that, while the Girl Scout organization doesn’t support any of those things, they don’t oppose them either. But in Pastor Swanson’s world if you are not actively against something you are obviously for it. If that is true than there are a whole bunch of things that I don’t care one hoot about that I would suddenly find myself “for.”
In any event, you and I are left with the task of deciding what to think and do about the cookie issue. Do I agree? Will a boycott work? Would cookie sales plummet? Or would it, like with Chik fil A, produce an anti-boycott surge in cookie buying? Are the cookies just too darn tasty to give up? Sigh! Decisions, decisions.
As I said I am glad that I have several months to make this decision before the next cookie sale. As it stands now I am leaning toward buying cookies anyway, particularly those Thin Mints, and taking the chance that God will, in His grace, forgive me for contributing to some master plan to create a generation of lesbians. But we will see how it goes.
But here is my core problem with what Pastor Swanson actually said. It seems that all the horrible things listed above are, according to him, byproducts of the much more nefarious plan the Scouts are actually engaged in. It seems that the Girl Scouts are promoting confidence and independent thinking among the girls. Does he actually think our faith, which has withstood generations of persecution, is so flimsy that a generation of confident and independent girls will reject it?
I can’t understand why fear drives so much of our religious effort today. We are told we can’t engage respectfully with people who differ with us, we need to fight and oppose them. We can’t allow mosques to be built or atheist billboards to go up because they might actually convince somebody we are wrong. We must boycott so many things that I’ve lost count. Try googling the phrase “things Christians boycott” and see for yourself.
Let me close with some good news from Pastor Swanson. He does give us a way out in the cookie problem. If we want to buy the cookies we need to “Take a big, fat black magic marker [and] start marking out all of the references to the Girl Scouts of America on the boxes.” Perhaps another option would be to eat them as quickly as possible. Or maybe, when the Girl Scout comes to my door, I might wish them well and say that God loves them.