The Boy Scouts are routinely attacked for standing by traditional standards of moral character, like faith in God and respect for the institution of the family. In the politically correct corners of America, wearing a Boy Scout uniform is like wearing a Nazi brown shirt.

In a recent column for the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, Rick Mercier criticized President Bush for having visited last month’s patriotic Boy Scout Jamboree. “Isn’t there something nightmarish about our misleader swooping down on a steaming pit of sweat and testosterone and whipping a throng of brown-shirted youths into a nationalistic frenzy?” he asks.

The Philadelphia Daily News compared the Boy Scouts to the Taliban in 2003, and it isn’t difficult to find websites that liken the Scouts to the Ku Klux Klan.

While all this is going on, the Girl Scouts are quietly immune from these sorts of attacks. And the reason – one that many Americans have yet to realize – is very simple: the Girl Scouts are the epitome of institutional political correctness.

Next month, the Girl Scouts USA national convention will be held in Atlanta. It will be a gathering of radical feminists, lesbians, and cookie peddlers with an agenda far removed from the classical image of Girl Scouting and from many local Girl Scout troops.

Dr. Johnnetta Cole is slated as a keynote speaker. Dr. Cole, president of Bennett College for Women and professor of anthropology, Women’s Studies, and African-American Studies, is so extreme in her views – including support for Fidel Castro and his communist dictatorship in Cuba – that Bill Clinton was forced to remove her from consideration for appointment as Secretary of Education.

Another keynote speaker is Kavita Ramdas, president and CEO of the aggressively pro-abortion Global Fund for Women. Ms. Ramdas is a past recipient of the Girl Scouts’ Juliette Gordon Low Award, and she serves on the United Nations Ethical Globalization Initiative.

What’s more, the Girl Scouts have made “to serve God” in the Girl Scout promise optional in deference to atheists; they have removed “loyalty” from the Girl Scout Law in deference to liberated women; and the Law’s statement of moral purity has been changed to a statement of self-esteem. Though self-esteem seems to be the obsession of most youth organizations with the notable exception of the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts are, according to James Davison Hunter, “the ideal illustration” of that obsession.” Rhetoric about service to others has been replaced with fluff about feelings and self-esteem.

During the last couple years, it has become clear that the Girl Scouts – nationally and, in many cases, locally – is allied with the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood. Last year, Girl Scouts USA CEO Kathy Cloninger announced on the NBC “Today Show” that local Girl Scout councils are at liberty to partner with Planned Parenthood.

And the Girl Scouts USA convention next month will be keynoted by speakers so opposed to the original mission of the Girl Scouts that it is questionable as to whether they should even be called Girl Scouts any more. There should be a dignity, an honor, left intact when we think of a Girl Scout.

The Girl Scouts’ slide into political correctness is nothing new. It has been going on for decades. The Girl Scouts is almost as much a part of the radical feminist movement as the National Organization for Women. Knowing the radical agenda of the national Girl Scouts organization, parents need to take action.

The alternative to the Girl Scouts is a rapidly growing movement called the American Heritage Girls. American Heritage Girls is committed to “Building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.”

So rather than expecting the national Girl Scouts organization to change (they are, after all, a private organization as are the Boy Scouts, that has every right to set its own standards and policies) parents should locate a local American Heritage Girls troop or start a new one.

And then, next time the Boy Scouts are under attack, feeling the pressure from the politically correct elite to give in on its core moral principles, we should remember the example of the Girl Scouts. It is a bad one. The Girl Scouts national organization has failed in many ways, and it has let down thousands of American families.

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