Thursday, October 3, 2013

Girl Scouts See Steady Decline In Youth and Adult Participation

The steady decline in youth and adult participation in Girl Scouts is at least in part attributed to sex education decisions made by Girl Scout national leaders, according to Christians studying the trend and former Girl Scout local leaders who are Christians.

This week, Girl Scouts of the USA launched a campaign aimed at reversing the decline, featuring a video from First Lady Michelle Obama. Christian leaders and former girl scouts explained possible reasons behind it, including increasing ties with abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
"The Girl Scouts for a long time have been promoting an agenda that is contrary to what they were 10, 15 years ago," Janice Crouse, senior fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute, told The Christian Post in a Monday interview. Girl Scout policy on sexual morality, which focuses on self-discovery and protection rather than abstention, proves the main cause, Crouse argued. She also listed the trend of mothers going to work (therefore losing time to volunteer) and controversy about where funds are allocated from the famous Girl Scout cookie sales. Only 15% of profits go to local groups.

The Girl Scouts of the USA did not respond to requests for comment.

Addressing the morality shift, Crouse referred to a Girl Scout-sponsored 2010 publication by International Planned Parenthood Federation entitled "Healthy, Happy and Hot: A young people's guide to rights," which encourages young people with HIV to "take care of your sexual and reproductive health." Crouse attacked materials like this for making "girls ripe to sex from the earliest age." The scholar also pointed to a 2003 5th grader pamphlet called "Nobody's Fool," addressing sex education.

From 2003 on, Crouse said she saw "an underlying theme that promoted a more laissez-faire approach to sexual education," encouraging self-exploration. "This all contributes to the sexualization of our culture," the scholar agued, pointing to increasing rates of pedophilia and child abuse.

"The Girl Scouts formerly embraced the Judeo-Christian values that Americans once grew up with – love of God, love of country, treating others fairly," Crouse explained. "Now, Girl Scouts are more focused on indoctrinating girls on the so-called women's rights agenda."

This shift has strained the organization's relationships with churches, the scholar claimed. Publications demonstrated that "the Girl Scouts were intentionally promoting anti-life and abortion in ways that weren't even subtle."

Such stances have led to the creation of alternative scouting groups for girls.


Jewish Prayer Book Pre Dates The World's Oldest Torah Scroll


Scholars are calling a rare Hebrew text dating back to the 9th century the earliest known Jewish prayer book, predating the world's oldest Torah scroll.

The 50-page book is 4.3 inches tall and about 4 inches wide and is written in an archaic form of Hebrew, on pages of aged parchment. The text includes 100 Jewish blessings and discusses topics such as the apocalyptic tale of the End Times and the Passover Seder.

Carbon testing dates the prayer book to the year 840, which is 300 to 400 years before the oldest known Torah scroll from the 12th and 13th centuries.

"This find is historical evidence supporting the very fulcrum of Jewish religious life," said Jerry Pattengale, executive director of the Green Scholars Initiative, the group that announced the find. "This Hebrew prayer book helps fill the gap between the Dead Sea Scrolls and other discoveries of Jewish texts from the ninth and tenth centuries."

"This was a liturgical set of prayers, hymns and poems used for various occasions," Pattengale told the Huffington Post. "The prayer book is really what most of the Jewish community would be in touch with on a daily basis, [creating] a connection between the Bible and their daily worship."

The book is the Jewish equivalent of an early complete edition of the Christian Book of Common Prayer.