Reader Evelina Anville says a propos of my post on Girl Scouts and their vilification by the Catholic Church:
On the one hand, the Catholic Church is one of the major churches in the US (and the world); and, on the other hand, Girl Scouts is so wholesome and so very “establishment.” So it’s not like some fringe church is rejecting a group of radical feminists. It’s a major church with a great deal of clout rejecting a mainstream group (and, from what I understand,continuing to support the Boy Scouts.) So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I am worried what this means in terms of gender and sexual politics when a major Church brands a group that encourages cookie-selling, arts and crafts and camping, as radical or extreme. I agree that it’s the Catholic Church’s right and that the Church shouldn’t be forced to recognize the Girl Scouts or anything. Still, I find the entire thing disturbing.
I agree completely that the Church’s attack on the Girl Scouts is completely out of proportion but I have a different view of what this means. I find that the rejection of such an – as Evelina says – wholesome group and such a vicious backlash against a very non-threatening organization for children signals complete and utter desperation on the Church’s side. They are losing parishioners left and right. There is one scandal after another, they are being slowly squeezed out of contemporary reality, so they flail around like a drowning person.
This is precisely why the Fundamentalists are trying to pass all of these outrageously barbaric measures against contraception and abortion. This is why the Republican primaries have been so bizarre. The Fundamentalist, ultra-religious brand of Conservatism is dying out. These are their final moments, and they know it extremely well. This is the very last opportunity they have to signal their presence. They are so rabid because they are scared. I have a feeling that even among Conservatives there is a growing dissatisfaction with how the Conservative movement has been overrun with shrill religious fanatics, which does great damage to the rational, intelligent Conservatism.
I believe that soon the prolonged agony of fanatisicm will be over. Religious people will give up on trying to make the secular society follow their rules and bow down to their beliefs because very very soon this will become completely untenable. And then, finally, the reasonable, non-fanatical representatives of Conservatism will recover their movement and we will start seeing productive interactions between Liberals and Conservatives.
As stressful and depressing as it is to observe the current developments in the war against secularism, feminism, human rights and choice, the reality that they obscure is very hopeful and positive. The more rabid the fanatics get, the greater is the desperation that they are communicating by their acts.