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MORRIS: Shut up and sign
Girls Scouts political agenda wars with social conservatism
Question of the Day
"What's next Morris, are you going to go after Adopt-A-Puppy or Save The Baby Seals?" This was a question put to me by a constituent recently when my refusal to sign a resolution by the Indiana House of Representatives celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) became a front-page, international news sensation.
With 50 million former members, and goodwill that comes from their famous cookies, the Girl Scouts would seem like a strange organization for anyone to take exception with.
The reality is that I am far from the first social conservative to have expressed disapproval with the current leadership of GSUSA.
Many Christian leaders, such as James Dobson, have already adamantly denounced the left-wing agendas of the Girl Scouts' leadership, and recently St. Timothy Catholic Church in Chantilly, Va., banned the organization from using its facilities because of its pro-homosexual and pro-abortion agenda.
Our concerns are not just the relationship between the Girl Scouts and abortion provider Planned Parenthood (something GSUSA CEO Kathy Kloninger publicly confirmed), but also the left-wing information the organization provides to young girls.
After the email I sent to my colleagues and supporters criticizing the Girl Scouts' leadership for its provocative doctrine went viral, I was not just the object of derision from the likes of MoveOn.org and the Huffington Post, but was attacked by everyone from comedians Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon, and Stephen Colbert, to the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and many international outlets.
I believe much of the reason the media attempted to use my comments as a line in the sand against criticism of the Girl Scouts organization is that awareness of its liberal activism is starting to become a real problem for the organization itself.
Membership in the Girl Scouts in the U.S. has plunged by more than 400,000 girls since 2005. Meanwhile, family-friendly alternatives have been gaining strength. The American Heritage Girls membership has more than tripled just since 2006.
As word gets out about the leftist agenda of the GSUSA, look for more conservative parents to do what my wife and I have done and pull their girls out of the Girl Scouts and put them into a traditional values alternative.
My need to speak out on GSUSA's leadership arises largely from the fact that 99.9 percent of local members and group leaders are wonderful people and it is vital that they become informed about the direction the organization's leadership has taken.
As to the question of whether GSUSA leadership has a far-left agenda, a simple review of hundreds of websites, media stories, and the Girl Scouts' own website will confirm this (the GSUSA's own guidelines had instructed its impressionable members to check ultra-liberal, George Soros-funded Media Matters to verify controversial information).
What I found most interesting in my journey from obscurity to worldwide news was the way the media operates in matters related to the culture war.
Universities have long excluded Christian groups that don't allow homosexual members, but now Vanderbilt University has informed its Christian groups they must allow non-Christians to serve as leaders. To tell religious groups they must be led by people who regard their religion as a ridiculous myth is to create a new and obnoxious fault line in the ongoing culture wars, yet there has been basically no media coverage on this.
Media brouhahas in the culture wars are exclusively used to vilify anyone who complains when left-wing culture warriors continue to remake the United States into something unrecognizable to most Americans.
During the gale force winds of media attacks, I was reminded of the words of C.S. Lewis, "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."
By demanding that I sign a resolution that endorses a group that mocks and ridicules the values of my faith, I was being asked to find Christianity of moderate importance, and all the media attacks in the world cannot make me do that.
At the end of the day, what is clear is that socially conservative parents will increasingly join groups like American Heritage Girls, while socially liberal parents will be more comfortable with the Girl Scouts.
As for the culture wars, the left had just dispensed with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation when they turned their attentions to me. Today, they are bludgeoning Rush Limbaugh and tomorrow they will find a fresh new target. My advice to that target is to never back down.
So far, all of the victories in the culture war have gone to the progressives. Nearly all of our most revered institutions, such as universities and major charitable organizations, have been infiltrated and transformed by agents of the left. It is hard to believe that Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and nearly all of the now reliably liberal Ivy League universities, were founded as conservative Christian seminaries, just as it is impossible to imagine what conservative industrialists, like Henry Ford, would think of the politics of the board of directors of the foundations that bear their names.
Whatever concessions we make will be followed up with angry demands that we abandon even more of our core principles. If we accept homosexual members today they will demand that we have anti-Christian leadership of our Christian groups tomorrow, as is the case at Vanderbilt University. Each new appeasement is welcomed by the left with their moving the goal post yet again, and anyone who objects, like myself, may be subjected to the full force and fury of a monolithic cultural warfare machine.
Nothing short of the destruction of our faith and values would satisfy progressives. We have been left with no choice but to refuse to cede even one more inch of ground in this bloody culture war. The time for resolve is now.
Bob Morris is a state representative in the Indiana General Assembly.
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