I have a confession to make.
I love Girl Guide Cookies.
I’ll give you a moment to process that. But while you do, I’ll carry on by saying that they are incredibly tasty and I never turn down a chance to sample them. The rumors that my daughter is in Girl Guides purely so that I can get an inside track into the sweet, sweet cookie goodness is entirely unfounded.
And as much as Girl Guides of Canada sell delicious cookies, apparently the Girl Scouts of America have an even better product to hear from my American neighbours. Not only do they come in more flavours (here in Canada, they come in just two, chocolate (like an Oreo style) and vanilla (like “golden Oreos” (white creme sandwiched between vanilla flavoured cookies instead of chocolate flavoured ones)), and both flavours come in the same box) but they are apparently so delicious they can easily cause a Christian to sin if you’re not extra careful.
(I suppose you were wondering where the progressive Christianity angle was coming from by my extolling one of my favourite desserts. Thanks for hanging in there)
Apparently, conservatives in the United States hate the Girl Scouts of America organization. For whatever reason, they think that they are not only full of lesbians but that they are teaching girls to be lesbians. And a whole bunch of other things that conservatives don’t like (communism, reproductive rights, atheism) as well. But, those cookies. They are incredibly hard to resist. (I’m wondering if there are any conservative Bibles out there where the serpent tempts Eve with a box of Thin Mints. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there was.) Something of course had to be done to prevent the faithful from sinning by supporting this organization while at the same time feeding their Samoas habit. Two conservative pastors on Generations Radio urged their listeners not to buy Girl Scout cookies because of who they allegedly support. They followed that up with a “but if you do”, saying that if you mark out the Girl Scout logo on the box, you’re apparently not supporting the organizations the Girl Scouts support (whether they actually support these organizations in reality or not), and surmising that doing so wouldn’t make it food sacrificed to idols any more.
As you might expect (since I brought this up in the first place) I have a bit of a problem with this. Not the lying about what Girl Scouts is (as one who has done his research, and having a daughter in Girl Guides, I know that this is way off base) – I covered that in an earlier post, or the usual bigotry and vitriol against people who are different than them, but it’s the hypocritical attitude. Specifically the “way out” of sinning. That “crossing out” the Girl Scouts logo will make it magically “kosher” and safe to eat. If you want to believe it is a sin to eat Girl Guide cookies, that’s OK with me, and I’m sure your dietician will thank you for it. But providing a “magical way out” so that you can have your
cake sin and eat it too is really heading down a slippery slope of permissiveness. (And yes, I realize the irony of a progressive decrying “permissiveness”.) Not to mention, of course, that this doesn’t even work, as buying a box of Girl Guide cookies will send the money to the same organization whether you cross out the name on the box or not.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only example that can be used. We have a friend who takes her Christianity quite serious: on some matters she’s staunchly progressive, on some she’s staunchly conservative. Again, I have no problem with this, especially if you come at whatever belief you have based on the Bible (God is big enough for both the progressive and the conservative, as I mentioned before). One of the issues this friend of ours is quite conservative on is sex before marriage and living together before marriage. This is something she feels that people should not do, and that the Bible prohibits it. One day she mentioned that her oldest son was moving out to move into his girlfriend’s place in another province. I mentioned to her that she has always spoken against this kind of thing, but she off-handedly dismissed it with “God said it was OK.” She still firmly believes that people should not live together before marriage – but her son is an exception (which God apparently cleared with her.)
Another example is the recent story that hit about the famous conservative family the Duggars (who I have mentioned before in this blog). One of the members of this family was recently discovered to have sexually assaulted minors, and many social conservatives rush to either defend him, say that he is to be forgiven – or that “boys will be boys”, or quickly change the subject to the supposed “sexual permissiveness” of liberals. Again, it isn’t so much the fact that they are covering up sexual assault on a minor that bothers me (though, don’t get me wrong, that behaviour does anger and sicken me), but it is the hypocritical attitude that everyone else are “sinners” when they do that, yet when it is themselves, or one of their own, that fall afoul of their own rules, then the goalposts are changed.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. – Jesus, Matthew 7:3-5
Everyone has sinned. God has told us that. Eating Girl Scout cookies probably isn’t a sin, but if that is what you consider to be a sin, for yourself, then you can refrain from them. (But the Bible also tells us not to judge others if their personal taboos differ from our own.) But by all means, don’t excuse yourself from it when it becomes convenient to, we cannot have our cookies and eat them too! Now, if you excuse me, I have to track down my nearest Girl Scout, I have a craving for some Tagalongs!