U.S. Bishops Investigate Girl Scouts. Because McCarthyism.

[Content note: Misogyny, child sexual abuse]

Just when you thought Timothy Dolan and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops couldn't possibly get any more ridiculous, we get news that they are launching an "official inquiry" into the Girl Scouts:

At issue are concerns about program materials that some Catholics find offensive, as well as assertions that the Scouts associate with other groups espousing stances that conflict with church teaching.

Did you get that, McCarthyism fans? The Scouts "associate" with groups that might possibly conflict with church teaching! One wonders what form the investigation will take; I hear from reliable sources that it's a super idea to let people off from the inquiry if they promise to name the names of other witches Communists people who espouse the radical idea that women and girls are human.

But let's get this straight. The Girl Scouts' problem is their "association" with groups that don't conform in all respects with Catholic teaching. Funnily enough, this standard doesn't seem to apply to the Bishops themselves.

You might want to re-think that guilt-by-association thing, Your Excellencies, considering the reported connections between some of the most disgraced names in the child molestation cover-up and your crackdown on USian nuns. (Oh, that's just a rumor? Well of course you wouldn't be using any rumors or lies as the basis of your inquiry, now would you?)

Anyway, there's also your alliance with Protestant conservatives over the issue of birth control access. Or how about your open collaboration with the LDS Church in the service of defeating marriage equality? Because I'm no fancy-cassock canonical expert, but I think the Mormons and Baptists teach just a thing or two that is in "conflict with church teaching."

I mean, I know, I know. The nature of the Trinity, the means of salvation, and protecting children from abuse? SMALL POTATOES compared to making sure that queers don't have equal rights or that uteri-bearers don't get to control their own bodies or that girls don't get any ideas about their own self-empowerment. Small potatoes! Tiny! Pota-tettes, in fact.

But, just to be fair, I totally expect that the good bishops will promptly launch an investigation of themselves. You know, to make sure they aren't associating with anyone or any groups that contradict Catholic teaching, or violate Catholic canon law, or are just rumored to be icky. Otherwise, we might be forced to conclude that this investigation, which actually interferes with the National Catholic Youth Federation's dialogue with the Girl Scouts, is not actually about honest concerns. No, we might just conclude that this is part and parcel of the Bishops' wider attack on women LGBT*QI people anyone who dares to question the Bishop's kyriarchal power.

Anyway, have fun with the Red Scare, gents! I'm sure you won't make yourselves look at all like misogynist ass-mitred dinosaurs! Just don't be too red-faced when that list of "subversives" in your pocket turns out to be a cookie order. Whooooooooops!

[Commenting note: Please take care to distinguish between the leadership of the Catholic Church and "Catholics," many of whom are completely appalled by the actions of Dolan and his colleagues.]

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