Commentary: The Girl Scout couldn't ask for better publicity

With the Dow near 13,000 and home sales up, one Indiana Republican found a new election-year issue.

Instead of jobs or the economy, state Rep. Bob Morris zeroed in on the greatest threat to America as we know it:

The Girl Scouts.

In a letter that he now acknowledges was "reactionary and inflammatory," the Fort Wayne nutrition supplement salesman said he won't celebrate the Girl Scouts' 100th anniversary because they are dangerous "liberal progressives" promoting "feminists, lesbians or Communists."

The speaker of the Indiana House, also a Republican, openly mocked Morris by passing out Thin Mints and inviting former Girl Scouts to lead a motion to adjourn.

Morris cited a conspiracy-theory website and what he called a "small amount of research" to accuse the Scouts of "sexualizing" girls and accepting "homosexual lifestyles."

The girls selling cookies at your door, he wrote, are part of the "destruction of traditional American family values" and threaten girls' "conservative Hoosier upbringing."

Apparently, Fort Wayne residents bought way too many cookies and not enough medicine-show vitamin supplements.

Before you think this dizziness is an Indiana problem, remember that the Scouts uproar started here in that bastion of tolerance, Waco.

In 2004, some parents around Waco pulled girls out of the Scouts because the council there honored a local volunteer who ran Planned Parenthood.

(That's the only women's health clinic in Central Texas that accepts Medicaid and arranges cancer screenings, something Komen for the Cure recently acknowledged.)

But Baylor University economics professor John Pisciotta went on an anti-Scouts crusade.

His group was more concerned with abortion than sexuality, he said Thursday. But he sided with Morris, accusing the Scouts of "moral relativism."

To Pisciotta, the idea of welcoming girls of any sexual orientation is "silly."

"If you say you accept it," he said, "you're supporting it."

Morris apologized for his tone Thursday and said he only wanted to "spread the Gospel of Life."

He wound up helping to sell a lot more cookies.