American Heritage Girls Respect Life

American Heritage Girls Respect Life Patch

American Heritage Girls’ Respect Life Patch

I had the pleasure of meeting Jody Token, National Public Relations Director of American Heritage Girls (AHG), at the 2015 LCMS Life Conference that was just held last week after the March for Life. We had a great time discussing how we (the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and AHG) could work together in the future. This possibility came about due to a memorandum of understanding between the LCMS with AHG (see the press release from the LCMS); and I was pleased to find out that the AHG has had, for nearly a year now, a “Respect Life” patch for its members.

Since I found out about this organization several years ago, I have liked it and encouraged friends and family with daughters in the Girl Scouts to consider being part of AHG. But now I have even more reason to support them as AHG encourage its members to “[participate] in an event that brings attention to respecting life or [provide] a service project for an organization whose mission/purpose demonstrates a desire to respect life, such as pregnancy resource centers, pro-life groups and hospices” (read entire press release).

Knowing the close connection that the Girl Scouts has fomented with Planned Parenthood (the largest provider of abortions in the US and advocate of sexual promiscuity — see here, here, here, here, here, and here), Christian parents ought to find an alternative to involvement in the Girl Scouts, whether or not the local troop is actively involved with the local Planned Parenthood.

Maybe it’s just me, but…shouldn’t we teach our children to live their faith by, whenever possible, being part of organizations that have the same core values as we do? In this manner, we can show them that our faith isn’t relegated to just one hour on Sunday mornings but, rather, it is central to who we are and what we do.

More Info about the LCMS and American Heritage Girls

The LCMS’ official newspaper, Reporter, published an online article last week about the memorandum of understand between the LCMS and American Heritage Girls (see The LCMS and American Heritage Girls).  Here is a quote in the article from Rev. Bart Day, executive director of LCMS Office of National Mission:

AHG is a wonderful organization that allows the local congregation to run the program and have oversight of all spiritual care for the troop. Shaping young women to be faithful Christians and strong citizens who care for the world and their neighbor are among the many laudable core tenets of AHG, so we want to strengthen our congregations’ participation with AHG and encourage others who might be interested in scouting for their girls.

And a quote in the article from the LCMS president, Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison:

The LCMS is delighted to be able to enter into this relationship with the American Heritage Girls. They stand for the kind of values that our church really thinks are important with respect to citizenship. Also, this is a way for us in our congregations to have a structure for reaching young girls and sharing Christ with them.

Read the full article, “LCMS, AHG reps sign ‘Memo of Understanding.”

The LCMS and American Heritage Girls

The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with American Heritage Girls to work together to encourage and nurture American Heritage Girls troops within the LCMS. This is wonderful news, as I’ve long supported American Heritage Girls as an alternative to the Girl Scouts (read An Alternative to the Girl Scouts) due to the opposing principles of Christians and the Girl Scouts’ national organization (read More Dubious Connections to the Girl Scouts, Time to Stop Buying Girl Scout Cookies, The Girl Scouts and Their Ungodly Agenda, If it Seems Like I’m Picking on the Girl Scouts…, The Girl Scouts Deny the Allegations, What are the Girl Scouts Supporting?, and Where Do Your Dollars Go?).

The MOU states, in part:

The LCMS recommends AHG because it is faith-based. The MOU states, “WHEREAS: The American Heritage Girls program is centered on the same principles, and partners with the local LCMS church to assist and support girls through spiritual development, life skill enhancement, development of teamwork, social skills, citizenship, girl leadership skills while building confidence and discovering their identity in Christ.”

“Therefore be it RESOLVED, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and American Heritage Girls will work together, within the guidelines of the policies and regulations of each organization to establish and nurture American Heritage Girls Troops within The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod so that girls may be provided with life skills, leadership development opportunities, service programs, and character building opportunities.”

Maybe it’s just me, but…if you’re a Christian you really need to stop supporting the Girl Scouts (and Planned Parenthood, sexual promiscuity, and abortion) and start supporting a faith-based organization that has the same foundation and principles that you do.

Read the press release from the LCMS about the agreement.

Read the MOU in its entirety.

Find out more about the American Heritage Girls.

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).

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.]