Time to Stop Buying Girl Scouts Cookies

I’ve written often about the ties between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood (see What are the Girl Scouts Supporting?; The Girl Scouts Deny the Allegations; If it Seems Like I’m Picking on the Girl Scouts…; The Girl Scouts and Their Ungodly Agenda), but now events have finally brought some national attention to the organization.

So let’s recap what happened in order to bring you up to current events. In June 2013, Wendy Davis, a Texas state senator, filibustered a session of the senate while it was trying to pass pro-life legislation that would require, in part, abortion clinics in Texas be classified as ambulatory surgical centers (which they are) and thus have to follow the rules and regulations that all ambulatory surgical centers in Texas have to follow (which they didn’t have to at the time). Davis, strongly supported by Planned Parenthood (see this and this), filibustered so that this bill could not be voted upon and thus would die.

Since then, Davis, as well as members of her campaign staff and some of her supporters, have been repeatedly overheard or recorded mocking one of her opponents in the Texas gubernatorial race who happens to be a paraplegic. So what does all this have to do with the Girl Scouts? Well, the national headquarters of the Girl Scouts organization tweeted its belief that Davis should be named the Woman of the Year as someone the girls in the Girl Scouts should emulate.

Soon after that little brouhaha, it was discovered that the new Girl Scouts spokeswoman used to work for a pro-abortion group. Because of all these reasons stated above and in my previous blogs, my wife and I made the decision a few years ago to stop supporting the Girl Scouts by not buying cookies or participating in other fundraisers. We’ve also been informing all our family and friends who have their daughters in the Girl Scouts to stop supporting an organization that works with the largest abortion provider in the US. Even if the local troop doesn’t directly support the activities of the national organization, just by being a part of that organization gives it legitimacy and influence. You can find out what you Girl Scouts council supports by going to MyGirlScoutCouncil.com.

Now there are national pro-life organizations which are calling for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies and many reasons are cited but the primary one is the organization’s continued support of abortion. Check out the reasons for the boycott by visiting the CookieCott 2014 website and see if any of the reasons resonate with you.

Yes, by all means boycott the cookies, but better yet, stop supporting them completely by pulling your daughters and granddaughters our of the Girl Scouts. A Christ-centered alternative is the American Heritage Girls (see An Alternative to the Girl Scouts).

It’s Begun — Onerous Regulations Under PPACA

It’s begun. My healthcare provider didn’t wait until our new plan year, it has implemented new coverages immediately starting August 1.

I just received an email from the HR director at my secular job (I have a “regular” job in addition to my position at the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod) regarding the new mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that requires all health insurance plans, except grandfathered plans, to cover things that are considered women’s healthcare such as contraceptives and sterilization.

It’s amazing how words are thrown around to make ideas look good and most people don’t take the time to actually read the words and question what’s really happening. From the email I received:

Under the Affordable Care Act, women will now have access to life-saving preventive care, such as mammograms and contraception, without paying any more out of their own pockets.

I took issue with this sentence in the email for several reasons. Firstly, it should be noted that mammograms were always covered under our health plan as preventative care. Secondly, when did contraception become a “life-saving” medication? Finally, to make things sound really good, they added “without paying any more out of their own pockets”? Really? Because the last time I checked, nothing is free…oh that’s right, the woman will pay for it in increased premiums, as will everyone else in this plan.

On the first page of a newsletter from the health insurance provider attached to the email, there’s a table showing all the wonderful new coverages under women’s healthcare. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for healthcare that benefits people, but here are some new provisions that should make everyone pause and think:

1. Counseling and screening for sexually transmitted infections for females only beginning at age 10.

2. Counseling and screening for HIV for females only beginning at age 10.

3. Coverage for contraceptive methods and counseling:
a. Counseling, females beginning at age 10;
b. Oral contraceptives as prescribed;
c. Injected/implanted contraception as prescribed; and,
d. Sterilization, females only.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t males also get STIs? Why does the mandate, and my health plan, only cover counseling and testing for females? And why beginning at age 10? And why should my health plan, to which I pay premiums, cover a personal choice like sterilization? The plan doesn’t cover elective plastic surgery, so why should it pay for elective sterilization?

My really BIG question is this: doesn’t this amount to gender bias or gender discrimination? Females can get all these services provided for free (on the surface), but males have to pay for them? Why is there no outrage over this discrimination? Where’s the ACLU to protect me from this bias?

As for those who crafted and supported this legislation, I can’t speak for their motives, I can only question them as I look at what we’re being forced to do. For more on why it is wrong to start “counselling” 10-year-old girls about STIs and contraception, read a series on sexuality on Ezerwoman’s Blog starting with “Sexuality & the War on Women.”

The pro-aborts claim that pro-life folks are waging a war on women, but let’s look at the real facts. They want to sexualize children by 5 years old, they want to make contraception available (to females only) by 10 years old and have all of us pay for it, and they want no limits on abortions such as parental consent or notification (and also make us pay for it–don’t forget that there’s a $1 monthly charge on every health plan participant to pay for abortions under PPACA). And one final truth for everyone to consider: 50 percent of the 1.2 million babies aborted every year in the US are female.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like the pro-aborts are the ones who are really waging a war on women. Unfortunately well-meaning folk are being used by them to promote this war and it’s our mothers/wives/sisters/daughters who will pay  the consequences.

Athenos Advertisement Featuring Yia Yia

Athenos, makers of  feta cheese and other authentic Greek foods, has this great ad out right now that gives us some perspective on modesty of dress.  Yia Yia (grandmother) is asked what she thinks of three girls in bathing suits and guy sitting by the pool. She says, “This looks like…the pornography.”

ab

Yep, straight out of Yia Yia’s mouth to our ears, what is considered acceptable swimwear by most women today–including many Christian women–would have been considered pornography just a few decades ago. What makes women think that it is acceptable to bare their bodies in public by wearing bathing suits that contain less material than their undergarments?

Why is this important? Because Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28 NKJV). Clearly, sin isn’t just a physical act that we do, it is also our thoughts. And every time a woman wears a bikini so that parts of her body are exposed in public that shouldn’t be, she is causing someone to sin, whether or not that is her intention.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think in order to fulfill the command of Christ to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39), we need to go back to more modest clothing as the norm so that we do not cause one another to sin through lustful thoughts and we do not objectify women based on their gift of sexuality.

Updated February 3, 2015. Inserted new link for video.
Updated July 7, 2012.

An Alternative to the Girl Scouts

Some friends of mine have told me that all I ever do is harp on the negative and never offer alternatives. Well, never let it be said that Ed Szeto doesn’t offer solutions. Over the last week, I’ve posted twice about why we shouldn’t be supporting the Girls Scouts anymore in light of their continued collaboration with Planned Parenthood by distributing materials from the International Planned Parenthood Federation that encourage sexual promiscuity (see What are the Girl Scouts Supporting? and The Girl Scouts Deny the Allegations).

Reading other blogs and press releases, I found an alternative to the Girls Scouts in the United States: the American Heritage Girls. I’m not completely endorsing this organization as I have not spoken to anyone involved in it or contacted the organization directly, but I wanted to let you know that there are alternatives to helping young girls develop a better self-image and confidence.

What interested me the most about this organization is its Statement of Faith. I reprinted the statement below so you can read it for yourself.

American Heritage Girls is a Christ-centered leadership and character development ministry. The following Statement of Faith applies to all American Heritage Girls Charter Organizations, Adult Members and Adult Leaders.

We believe that there is One Triune God – Father, Jesus Christ His one and only Son, and the Holy Spirit – Creator of the universe and eternally existent. We believe the Holy Scriptures (Old/New Testament) to be the inspired and authoritative Word of God. We believe each person is created in His image for the purpose of communing with and worshipping God. We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit who enables us to live a Godly life. We believe that each individual is called to love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength; and to love their neighbors as themselves. We believe that each individual is called to live a life of purity, service, stewardship and integrity.

Clarity is further provided to the following terms:

Purity – An AHG member is called to live a life of holiness, being pure of heart, mind, word and deed, reserving sexual activity for the sanctity of marriage; marriage being a lifelong commitment before God between a man and a woman.

Service – An AHG member is called to become a responsible member of their community and the world through selfless acts, which contribute to the welfare of others.

Stewardship – An AHG member is called to use their God given time, talents and money wisely.

Integrity – An AHG member is called to live a moral life, demonstrating the inward motivation to do what is right, regardless of the cost.

What I like the most about this (beside being founded in the Triune God so there can be no mistaking which god we’re talking about) is the stance on purity. No wishy-washy “we didn’t distribute that sexually explicit brochure but we’re not going to say we don’t agree with it” sitting on the fence like the Girl Scouts. There it is, loud and clear: American Heritage Girls believes in “reserving sexual activity for the sanctity of marriage; marriage being a lifelong commitment before God between a man and a woman.” They are not afraid to say to  young girls: “you don’t have to buy into the cultural message that pressures you into having sex just because ‘everybody else is doing it.'”

Let’s support organizations that will help build character and self-image based on the proper foundation: that we are all created in the likeness of God. When we understand that, then there’s nothing on this earth that can take away who we are. Let’s stop supporting organizations like the Girl Scouts that partner with organizations like Planned Parenthood, who believes that sexual promiscuity is good thing for young, adolescent girls and that abortion is considered a part of women’s “health care.”

And besides, wouldn’t be it better for all of us (myself included) if we didn’t pay $3.50 or $4.00 a box to scarf down cookies that contained 9 grams of fat for a single serving? [Tagalongs®, 2 cookies; click here and select the link on the right for nutritional information.]

The Girl Scouts Deny the Allegations

Not surprisingly, the Girl Scouts deny the allegations that they helped Planned Parenthood  hand out sexually explicit materials during a conference held at the UN earlier this month (see What are the Girl Scouts Supporting?).

According the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), the Girls Scouts have denied placing that material in the meeting room and they have stated that C-FAM’s source was not in the room during the Girl Scouts meeting.

In a press release, C-FAM rebuts the claims of the Girl Scouts thus:

1.    The Girl Scouts imply another group left the literature prior to their panel. Understand that the Girl Scout meeting was on opening day of the conference (March 1), which means the room was clean of all literature that morning.

There were four other meetings in that room that day prior to the Girl Scouts meeting. At 10 am the NAACP had a meeting about climate change. At noon the UN had an orientation meeting for NGOs attending the conference. At 2 pm CORAID had a meeting about counterterrorism and women.

Very clearly, none of these meetings were on adolescent topics, which was the target audience of the sex guide.

2.    The Girl Scouts say we were not in the room. That is true. All non-Scout adults were thrown out prior the meeting; and no wonder given what was distributed there. However, even though our source was thrown out of the room, she stayed around and as the doors opened she went right in to see what was being distributed. It was there and then that she found the stack of dangerous sex brochures.

Maybe it’s just me, but…isn’t it interesting that, although they are denying any connection with the distribution of the brochure, the Girl Scouts have not decried the contents of the brochure? Does the Girl Scouts organization really support what is presented in that brochure? If not, then they need to say so. But their silence on the brochure itself can, and should, be taken as support of it. And that’s where you need to tell the leadership of the Girl Scouts that this is wrong for our daughters in the US and around the world.

A simple rule of thumb when trying to figure out who is being truthful and who is lying is to ask yourself, “Who has the most to lose if the truth comes out?”

Click here to read the entire C-FAM press release. Click here if you haven’t read the IPPF brochure and want to see what all the fuss is about.