And here I thought it was a joke. Or a reductio. But no, the Bishops are investigating the Girl Scouts for their association with allegedly sinful organizations like Doctors Without Borders. The Bishops have mastered the art of looking foolish.
Joan Chittister nicely puts this in its pathological perspective here. After tracing the Church's obsession with authority and control, the staggering decline in Church membership, and the leadership's willingness to preside over a purer, smaller, more obedient Church, Chittister suggests an alternative: "Maybe we ought to try the Gospel again, the one that understands people who lift their work animals out of a ditch on the sabbath, or get caught in adultery, or are shunned because of their leprosy, or decide that circumcision is only one culture's sign of commitment, not theirs, or are the wrong sex, as was the Woman at the Well, to preach the Word of God. Let's try again the one that doesn't use investigations or intimidation or silencing or excommunications for the sake of control rather than make compassion the mark of the church. . . .
"The results," she says, "cannot possibly be worse than the ones we're getting. But one thing's clear. I know my own problem now: I was a Girl Scout."