HOT BLAST: Girl Scout cookies bring out the conspiracy theorists
Feb 19, 2014 | 3441 views |  0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A U.S. Mint-designed commemorative silver dollar coin honoring 100 years of the Girl Scouts of the USA. (AP Photo/United States Mint)
A U.S. Mint-designed commemorative silver dollar coin honoring 100 years of the Girl Scouts of the USA. (AP Photo/United States Mint)
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So, we're already aware that Girl Scout cookies elicit strong emotions. For example, when a fresh delivery arrived at The Star's newsroom this week there was glee, followed by excited tearing away of cardboard and plastic packaging, loud smacking and then the pleasant sounds of contented reporters on a sugar-high.

Now we're learning there's another emotion during this cookie season: Anger.

It seems that a group of abortion-rights opponents convinced a vocal segment of the population that not buying Girl Scout cookies was a great way to express their activism. Say what? 

The Daily Beast explains:

What began as a local effort through Pro-Life Waco has rallied anti-abortion groups across the country, including Pro-Life Wisconsin. But how exactly did the Girl Scouts, a group that actively states it “does not take a position” on birth control or abortion, manage to enrage pro-lifers?

It all apparently comes down to a tweet and a Facebook post. At the end of last year, the Girl Scouts’ official Twitter account tweeted a Huffington Post article on “Incredible Ladies of 2013.” In addition to featuring Beyonce and Malala Yousafzai, the list gave a nod to Wendy Davis. Then, on Dec. 30, the Girl Scouts posted on their Facebook page a link to a Washington Post article called “Seven Women Who Made a Difference in 2013,” which included Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius.

And that was all it took. The Girl Scouts made no formal endorsement of either Davis or Sebelius, let alone their politics. But sharing lists that feature those two women set off CookieCott 2014.

John Pisciotta, the director of Waco Pro-Life and an organizer of CookieCott 2014,  believes that even posting a list that includes Davis as an “incredible lady” is anathema to the Girl Scouts’ official non-stance on abortion. 

The official response from the Girl Scouts, via the LA Times:

Kelly Parisi, a national spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts, called it “preposterous that anyone would boycott the Girl Scouts in a misguided effort to score cheap political points.”

She said Girl Scouts highlight various female leaders in its materials, including former secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, surfer Bethany Hamilton and politician Sarah Palin.

So, how's that working out for the typical Girl Scout? The Dallas Morning News' Jacquielynn Floyd has quite the story:

After buying groceries this weekend, I walked out of the supermarket, where a suburban mom was manning a card table while her sweet, eager scout daughter tried to drum up cookie sales.

The girl, who was no older than about 9, hopefully approached a woman shopper, asking if she would like to buy cookies.

The woman answered loudly: “I don’t contribute to groups that support abortion!” She fixed the girl and her mom with an angry, bug-eyed marmoset stare.

The unhappy mom said, stammering, “Really, that’s not true. I’ve researched it myself. It really isn’t true.”

The angry woman talked right over her: “I’ll never give a nickel of my money to a pro-abortion group! Never!”

It was awful. The little girl and a younger sister, who was about 5 or 6, looked stricken.

“Mom?” asked the scout, anxious and worried, as if she had done something wrong. “What’s abortion?”

“I’m not telling you,” the mother said miserably. The woman, clearly anxious to keep broadcasting her views to everybody within a mile, did not budge.

At this point, I jumped in. “I want cookies!” I said with hearty enthusiasm. “Show me what kind you have!”

Back on familiar turf, the sweet Girl Scout went smoothly into her sales spiel: “These are good if you like peanut butter. Or if you like caramel, these are really good, too.”

I emptied my wallet to buy cookies and scraped up change from the bottom of my purse to buy another box for U.S. soldiers fighting overseas. I hovered over the cookie table until the cruel, crazy woman had stalked off to the parking lot.

Floyd reminds readers of something we're sure everyone's mother and/or grandmother has already told them countless times:

It should be an elementary point of civilized behavior, but for anybody who needs a refresher, there is a correct answer to someone offering you something that, for whatever reason, you do not want to buy. It’s “No thank you.”

You do not engage in political arguments about contentious, adult topics with unsuspecting children, ever. Even if your poor tortured head is honeycombed with crazy Internet rumors and outright lies, you say, “No thanks” and walk on.

 

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