Such as it is, Brian Tashman gets the obvious comment:
During the controversy over Chick-fil-A’s stance on gay rights issues, Fox News pundit Todd Starnes said that people boycotting the restaurant chain are “un-American” and warned that “the days of persecution are upon us.”
But apparently boycotts aren’t “un-American” as long as Starnes supports them, as today he endorsed the Religious Right boycott of the Girl Scouts over bogus accusations that Girl Scout cookies fund Planned Parenthood ….
Those who don’t follow the American political scene closely might actually have missed out on this nearly-amusing chapter of American conservatism, but as Steve Benen notes, this has been going on for a while:
It may seem odd, if not ridiculous, to think Girl Scouts could be at the center of a culture war, but this has been going on for a while.
We last talked about this a couple of years ago, but the push seemed to begin in earnest in 1994, when James Dobson’s Focus on the Family published a memorable attack on the Girl Scouts, insisting the group “lost their way” after the Scouts made a religious oath optional for membership.
I also remember a 2005 piece from Amanda Marcotte, which doesn’t seem to be online anymore, but which documented various conservatives complaining about “radical lesbian feminists” having taken over the Girl Scouts.
In 2012, even the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops entered the fray.
This comes up often enough that one might wonder about the psychopathology; it is a reasonable question. While there is an arguable thesis that the proactive traditionalism of the culture wars is actually accelerating the transformation of American societal values, that might be the lesser issue here.
Put simply, the intensity of the conservative outcry over issues regarding sex, sexuality, and gender, in effective contexts ranging from literacy to behavioral conditioning to basic health care, and even existential ontology, is a bit unsettling. It’s an unnatural focus, a cloud of amorphous desire.
One might recall that Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is among the most oft-protested books in our society. Witchcraft? No person who believes in miracles should mistake the glory of God for witchcraft. Communism? No, really, have you heard this one? A book widely known for its anti-communist depiction of dystopic uniformity is now denounced as advocating communism because—get this—the villain’s name is “IT”. And then, of course, there is the part where they mistake a nearly vaudevillian post-Shakespearean schtick as (ahem!) advocacy of lesbianism.
What I want to know is who in their right minds looks at three old women on a mission from God on High, cast with a chuckle as a spin on MacBeth, and think, “You know, those hags are having lesbian sex, I just know it.” I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop: “Can’t you just imagine?”
Meanwhile, boycotts over perceived bad behavior are un-American in Todd Starnes’ mind, but boycotts over perceptions of unsubstantiated rumors are just fine: “I hear what the Girl Scouts are saying,” Starnes writes, “but I’m troubled by what they may be doing.”
Notice that phrasing. He is “troubled by what they may be doing”.
Apparently, finding out what is actually going on isn’t his job.
Making glib jokes, though—
If I knew that a single penny of Girl Scout money was helping to fund Planned Parenthood — Well – I’d just lose my cookies.
—in order to promote book sales?
That would seem to be Todd Starnes’ job.