With February comes Girl Scout cookie season. Concurrently comes the annual call for boycotts due to an alleged association with Planned Parenthood. The Rhode Island Council has vehemently and publicly denied any affiliation with Planned Parenthood as has the national organization and there is no evidence to the contrary. While it may be true that the self-governing nature of councils in other states has allowed them to developed relationships with Planned Parenthood, the national organization and the Rhode Island Council have not.
Due diligence is necessary in all things and faith must be accompanied by reason. The faithful need to be involved in organizations that can effect social change, especially with regards to their influence on our young. Perhaps, before calling for hasty boycotts of their products, good men and women need to be informed, find out who are the group leaders, identify who are on their governing boards and seek to be more involved in civic groups. We must challenge each other to encourage growth, rather than more division.
In the example of Pope Francis, we know there are indeed times when a call for immediate intervention and action is necessary. However, many times we need to prayerfully, and in a well-informed way, act with caution as we seek change. We need to reach out and challenge the misguided to come back home. We need to evangelize instead of ostracize members of these groups. If the Church ever wants to see them worshipping in the pews, she needs to be willing to walk next to them in the world.