The bishops investigating the Girl Scouts: This is a joke, right?

But their cookies are so delicious!

After reading of the formal inquiry by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, according to the Associated Press, initiated by Kevin Rhoades, the bishop of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, one might begin to wonder if we haven't finally tumbled down the rabbit hole. I mean, we are talking about the Girl Scouts here–you know, that organization that helps form girls into confident, self-possessed grown women who take leadership roles in society. Now who could possibly have a problem with that?

Evidently one big problem that some have with the Girl Scouts is its membership in a world federation of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides (WAGGGS), which takes the position that girls should have "an environment where they can freely and openly discuss issues of sex and sexuality." Well, we wouldn't want that.

But wait, some other critics claim, the Girl Scouts also have a relationship with–you guessed it–Planned Parenthood, a claim the Girl Scouts denies, though one made over and over by critics, including an Indiana state lawmaker who eventually had to apologize for saying nasty things about the Girl Scouts (like they were promoting abortion, homosexuality, and communism).

I suppose this whole thing would be a little comic–the USCCB investigating the Girl Scouts sounds more like an article in The Onion than one in the Associated Press–except for the fact that the Girl Scouts do such great work in helping girls defend themselves from a consumer culture that encourages them to think of themselves as sex objects with credit cards (as we explored in our May issue cover story). The bishops with this move also manage to irritate the last segment of the female population still available to offend: preadolescent girls and teens (having already tweaked both women of childbearing age on contraception, and religious women for whatever it is the sisters have been doing at their annual meetings).

Seriously, some honcho at the USCCB needs to put a stop to this. It looks a little, um, unhinged.

About the author

Bryan Cones

Bryan Cones is a writer living in Chicago.