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Girl Scout cookie boycott: Readers state their cases

A couple of weeks ago we visited the topic of a Girl Scout cookie boycott ("Cookie boycotters' case crumbles in face of reality," Oct. 27).

Calls for a boycott originate with groups that don't agree with the Girl Scouts' refusal to ban lesbians and mistakenly believe the group supports Planned Parenthood. The Girl Scouts take no official stand on sexuality or birth control and provide no financial support to Planned Parenthood. (Read their bylaws here: girlscoutsgcnwi.org/about-us).

Today we offer some of your responses. (These letters have been edited for space.)

Thank you for your piece on the Girl Scouts and their dangerously ignorant detractors. This is the image of Christianity that so many people see, giving the rest of us a bad reputation. I was a Girl Scout leader, and my daughter was a scout until eighth grade. She is a bright, independent young woman, and I couldn't be more proud of her. I consider her to also be a very godly woman — she shows love and respect to those around her, strives to help those in need and never forgets who and, more important, whose she is.

— Penni Sauer

Thanks for printing the Girl Scout law. In another lifetime, about 65 years ago, I was a scout, and that law brought back many memories. I reread it more than once and noted that if you take off the last phrase, "be a sister …," it could be a motto for every person in the whole world. Wouldn't that make it a great world?

— Shirley Dorn

I just read your Sunday column and hereby pledge to buy triple the number of Girl Scout cookies next time.

— Barb Clark

I was most disappointed to see your very bigoted and unkind column. Most people would disagree with you strongly. You didn't need to insult those men in your zeal to promote the Girl Scouts, who really aren't what they used to be by a long shot. I know, having daughters of my own who used to belong to them but no longer do.

— Mary White

As a Girl Scout leader, service unit team member and trainer for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, as a former Girl Scout myself and, most important, a mother, I thank you.

Your article hit home for me as you described the family star (which my girls did just last year) and the meaning behind it. Take those feelings and multiply them by 20 and you have my troop. My daughter is in my troop as well as many of her school friends.

Now take those feelings to a storefront in the middle of March during a snow squall, where the snow is coming sideways, and have one of these short-sighted people tell one of your girls that she is going to hell for selling Girl Scout cookies.

It was at that moment that I realized the importance of building courage, confidence and character. The moment of pride came when this young lady lifted her chin and proudly said, "Thank you anyway, and have a great day!"

It was at that moment that I realized that what we were doing for these girls reached way beyond badges, cookies and camping. It gave them grace, patience and the courage to remain respectful, no matter what indecencies were thrown at them.

We are more than just cookies. We are girls who will be the presidents, CEOs and leaders of the future.

— Lori Janiec

I have had many reasons to avoid purchasing Girl Scout cookies over the past decade. Most are health-related; I am diabetic and I have a sweet tooth, and I have been overweight since childhood. More recently, money has been a problem.

It's not always easy to turn away a scout, of any gender, but it has been easy to look back and tell myself it had to be done.

This year is different. Having just read your column about a rumored boycott, I have resolved to track down the Girl Scouts we know and buy 10 boxes from each. There are plenty of opportunities at work to give them away. (But I'll enjoy some, too, in moderation.) Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Oh, by the way, should I happen upon anyone defacing boxes, I intend to capture them on video and call the police. There is a word for a grown man who does that: criminal.

— Jonathan Quist


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