Buy Girl Scout cookies -- lots of them!

by Maureen Fiedler

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Some days I wonder if some bishops have enough work to keep them busy. Of course, there are enough egregious actions in the public square that truly deserve a religious critique.

But who does one bishop target? The Girl Scouts! Yup, you read it correctly: Girl Scouts! That is what Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis did recently. He wrote a letter to the archdiocese warning about the dangers lurking behind the Girl Scout organization and telling parishes not to host meetings of their troops.

Why isn't he speaking out against Donald Trump's bigotry? Or rallying people to have the U.S. accept more refugees from the Middle East? Or working for immigration reform? Or against income inequality? Or maybe emulating Pope Francis' concern for the poor?

But no, he thinks that the real culprit is the Girl Scouts. He mentioned that they have connections with groups like Amnesty International (which promotes human rights around the globe), the Coalition for Adolescent Girls (which champions the education and welfare of adolescent girls worldwide) and Oxfam (which is working to end poverty worldwide). Sounds to me like he might want to consult with Pope Francis about his priorities.

Carlson also says that the Girl Scouts put forward women like Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan as role models (prominent feminists who champion the rights of women). Personally, I think they make great role models for young women in the ongoing quest for gender equality.

And apparently, some groups that favor a woman's right to choose either abortion or birth control contribute to the Girl Scouts. And you know what? I'll bet that some cookie buyers are pro-choice too! And you have to watch out for those cookie buyers!

So, how should Catholics in St. Louis and nationally respond? Buy Girl Scout cookies! Buy lots of them! Make this their best year ever!

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