While one would have expected an Indiana state Congress resolution recognizing the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts of America to pass without a hitch, it just couldn’t be so. Freshman representative Bob Morris sent a scathing letter to his fellow congressmen claiming that he had “done a small amount of web-based research” and came to the conclusion that the Girl Scouts were a “tactical arm of Planned Parenthood." He went on to say that Girls Scouts of the United States (GSUSA) sexualizes young girls, pushes a pro-choice agenda, and promotes homosexuality. He has since apologized, but stated that he would not sign the resolution.
The idea that Girls Scouts are politically radical is laughable, and Morris’ comments are not only ill informed and insulting, but they try to discredit an patriotic organization that has done nothing but try to promote community, leadership, and education amongst young women.
GSUSA has stated repeatedly that it is not affiliated with Planned Parenthood, nor does it have a stance on birth control, abortion, or homosexuality and that those issues are for girls and their parents to discuss. However, Girl Scout troops across the country do offer education regarding healthy life styles, and promotes acceptance and respect for others. While Morris’ claims that Girls Scouts idolize “feminists, lesbians, or communists," they have actually been focusing on women’s accomplishments, celebrating the bravery and resilience of historically significant women and inspiring generations of girls to become leaders. How could that be a threat to the moral fiber of America? Additionally, it isn’t wrong to find inspiration in women who fight for equality, are lesbians, or have opinions girls may be unfamiliar with.
If Morris wants to be so hasty in his judgment of the Girl Scouts, he should realize that he is taking a jab at an organization that has provided a place for kids to be themselves and feel they are a part of a community of sisterly love. As a former Girl Scout myself, I can honestly say that the Girl Scouts taught me more about being a confident, responsible, patriotic citizen than politicians like Rep. Morris ever could. Girl Scouts deserve to be honored, not attacked, for their commitment to shape girls into strong women.
Fortunately, many realize the importance of groups like GSUSA and are willing to support their efforts; Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma handed out Girl Scout cookies on the floor of the General Assembly last Tuesday. As Bosma told WISH-TV, a CNN affiliate, "There are a lot of sideshows at the General Assembly…and all walks of life, and you just have to determine which ones you're going to go into.”
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