Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Letter to the Church

This week the Kansas City Archdiocese severed ties with the Girl Scouts.  Not only was it all over our local news, it made national news as well so maybe you saw it.  What follows below is my letter to Archbishop Naumann, because sometimes you just have to speak up.

Dear Archbishop Naumann:

I’m writing to you today because I am saddened by your decision to have the church sever ties with the Girl Scouts.

In the few days since this story has become public, I’ve been trying to find if indeed, the Girl Scouts do give money to Planned Parenthood.  But the only mention I find of this is in Catholic written articles.

I know you site the revision of Girl Scout material to include inappropriate content.  I don’t have access to this material but I’m sure you’re able to produce it, as I’m sure I probably wouldn’t find it as offensive as you. 

I read the church concerns include having Margaret Sanger, Betty Friedan, and Gloria Steinem as role models for the Girl Scouts. Following this logic, albeit convoluted, Paul Ryan is a Catholic, a Republican and a conservative. Mr. Ryan is also fighting for a health care bill that will greatly harm the poor, sick and elderly.  I believe in fighting for those groups.  I believe “Whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers, that you do unto me.”  So therefore, I should sever ties with the Catholic Church because Mr. Ryan is a Catholic.

As I see it, the Girl Scouts is a world wide organization, who reaches out to girls of all races and religions.  When you deal with a world wide group you have to be respectful, and inclusive, inclusive being the operative word.  At a time when the world needs a church that fights segregation and intolerance, your decision fosters both. As far as I can tell, your decision also legitimizes false news spread through the internet.  Another issue we should be fighting.

I was raised a Catholic and was a Girl Scout.  Over the past ten years I’ve found it very had to be a Catholic.  I found it hard to be liberal and listen to homilies that have nothing to do with the gospel but more to do with the Republican conservative agenda.  I found it ridiculous passing the newsstand in the hallway holding pamphlets of what books, movies, and television shows to boycott.  And now we’re to boycott the Girl Scouts.

I feel that the church wants to close me off from exposure to anything different from Catholic opinions for fear I will believe something other than the church’s teachings, rather than trusting me to stand by my beliefs.  For me, this method has back fired.  Instead of keeping me close, the church continues to push me away.

It is your right, as head of the church, to enforce this decision.  It’s part of what makes this country great, freedom of religion, freedom to shape your preaching to fit your needs.  But I see this as yet another door closed between me and the Catholic Church.

Sincerely, a saddened Catholic without a church that represents me,

Lisa Jewell

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