Cathy Cleaver Ruse

Say no to Girl Scout cookies

Cathy Cleaver Ruse
By Cathy Cleaver Ruse
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January 17, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - When our sweet little neighbor in her brown camp uniform came knocking on our door this year, we had to say no. I told her mother that I didn’t want to hurt Katie’s feelings, but I couldn’t support the Girl Scout cookie sale anymore because I’d learned too much about the organizers’ agenda, primarily their support for abortion and partnership with Planned Parenthood.

I worried that my “political” stand would cause uneasiness between us, but her response put me at ease: “Well,” she said, “they do use unpaid child labor to make their sales, and the troop only gets 10 percent of the revenues anyway.”

True. According to the Girl Scouts’ website, the lion’s share of the money goes not to the troop but to bureaucrats up the chain of command in multicounty councils. The national office gets a piece of the pie, too, in the form of royalties based on gross annual sales volume - about 200 million boxes per year.

It’s a sacrifice, because I love the cookies and the cuties who sell them, but enough is enough.

I remember the Girl Scouts being flaky way back in the early 1970s. When I was a Brownie, I was told to recite some chant and step over a mirror. If I had known the word, I would have called it “pagan.” Even an unchurched girl of 7 could smell a rat.

Last year, the Girl Scouts decided to admit boys who dress as girls. When asked to admit a cross-dressing 7-year-old boy, a Colorado troop leader demurred, explaining to his mother, with tact and irrefutable logic, that her son couldn’t be a Girl Scout because he has “boy parts.”

The troop leader was chastised by the mom as being insensitive and promptly was overruled by the Girl Scout top brass, who, in a statement said, “If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.” Perpetuating this cruel charade on the little boy and forcing little girls to participate in it is “inclusiveness” to the Girl Scouts. To others, it’s child abuse.

But it shouldn’t be surprising: The Girl Scouts have a cross-dresser in the front office.

Ten years ago, Girl Scouts media relations officer Joshua Ackley was frontman for the “homopunk” band the Dead Betties. In publicity shots, he’s dressed in women’s clothing, and in music videos, he appears to be naked and feigning masturbation. The video for “Hellevator” portrays a woman being strangled in an elevator shaft while Mr. Ackley flashes a menacing grin.

Today he issues press releases, posts news and views on the Girl Scouts’ blog, and tries to mollify moms who are concerned about Girl Scout ties with Planned Parenthood. In fact, it was Mr. Ackley who facilitated the Girl Scouts’ “no adults allowed” workshop at the United Nations - the workshop in which the Planned Parenthood sex brochure “Healthy, Happy, and Hot” was offered, although part of Mr. Ackley’s job is to deny it.

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It wouldn’t be a surprise if someone like Mr. Ackley was behind the Girl Scouts’ recent scandal: a guidebook that tells girls to check with the leftist, George Soros-funded Media Matters before believing what they read in the news.

As boys send in their orders for Brownie beanies and tights, the Girl Scouts have declared 2012 to be “The Year of the Girl,” announcing that they will be “working to break down societal barriers that prevent girls from leading in their own lives.” What barriers? What does “leading in their own lives” even mean? Forgive me for thinking it has something to do with sex or abortion.

Several years ago. a quarter of the Girl Scout councils nationwide admitted to partnering with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s abortion giant. When questioned about the affiliation on NBC’s “Today Show,” Girl Scout CEO Kathy Cloninger had no compunction in confirming it.

The Girl Scouts have been “pro-choice” for years, but now they’ve been caught supporting promiscuous sex for girls. The Planned Parenthood sex guide offered at that “girls only” U.N. meeting offered this advice on Page 11: “Some people have sex when they have been drinking alcohol or using drugs. This is your choice. ... If you want to have sex and think you might get drunk or high, plan ahead by bringing condoms and lube or putting them close to where you usually have sex.”

Heard enough? There’s a lot more at 100questionsforthegirlscouts.org.

Earlier this month, a young Girl Scout employee, Renise Rodriguez, made the mistake of stopping by the office to do extra work on her own time in a T-shirt bearing the words: “Pray to End Abortion.” A supervisor ordered her to turn the shirt inside out or leave the office. She left, for good.

So should we all.

Cathy Cleaver Ruse is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. She has two daughters. This article first appeared in the Washington Times and is reprinted here with permission of the author.

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PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received more than $400 million in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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