It’s a Conspiracy!: 7 Quick Takes XIV

by | May 31, 2013 | 7 Quick Takes, Catholic Mom Book Review, Doctor Who | 9 comments

— 1 —

Earlier this week, I wrote a post entitled: Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts: A Difference in Kind, not Just in Degree.

It was the Boy Scouts’ much-publicized policy decision regarding gay boy scouts that prompted me to finally get to writing, but I’ve wanted to say something about how incompatible the values of the Girl Scouts are with our Catholic faith for quite some time.

With that in mind, I had asked my mom to send me some of our old photos of me as a Girl Scout, figuring to keep the mean commenters away by inspiring their pity with my awkwardness . . . but the photos didn’t end up fitting in anywhere in the post.

I wouldn’t want my mom to have gone to all that trouble for nothing, so, for your viewing pleasure, I present . . . me as a Girl Scout:


please note the accessories:
necktie, knee socks with tassels
and handy change pouch on the belt


if feathered hair ever comes back, you guys,
I am SO set
feathered is the natural state of my hair


that’s me, front and center
I’d also be good if that
rainbow bangs thing comes back


how crafty is my mom?


— 2 —

I’ve had even more time to think about things since I wrote the post.  And now, after reading through the comments on the post and a bunch of emails I received from readers on the topic, my new chief concern has shifted.

We’ve all heard the assertion that what the same-sex marriage advocates want is not to gain marriage for themselves, but rather to destroy it as an institution.  (Sometimes we’ve heard it from the horse’s mouth.)

I’m beginning to believe that the same case could be made in this situation.  I would argue (and I did in the comments) that the biggest immediate threat to Boy Scouts is not being overtaken by an influx of “active and avowed” homosexual boy scouts, but rather that the organization itself will be irreparably splintered.

There is a Catholic group attempting to start scouting over from scratch, and many good Christian families are just throwing their hands up and walking away from scouting altogether.

And, not to sound like I’m typing this in a tin-foil hat or anything . . . 


but what if that was the point the whole time?  Not to gain inclusion into the Boy Scouts for gay youth, but to destroy an institution that for over one hundred years has stood for the moral formation of Christian young men?  And still now, maintains that sexual activity is contrary to the virtues of scouting?
As for my family, we plan to stick with the Boy Scouts, and fight the good fight a little longer.


— 3 —

If you saw this post, you know that I quit making excuses and went away on retreat last weekend at the lovely Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California.



I’m assuming that there are some grownups involved in the day to day operations of Thomas Aquinas College during the school year.  But they were not in evidence over Memorial Day Weekend.  At all.

It was like some sort of very polite and quite Catholic Lord of the Flies.  The guy on the riding lawn mower was a kid.  The gal doing the watering was a kid.  The kitchen was staffed entirely by kids.  And mostly it seemed to be working just fine.  

The maintenance guy we found to try to address the issue of the subzero temperatures of the girls’ dorm we were staying in, was also a kid.  And he had limited success in adjusting the temperature, since the thermostat for the bedrooms was in a locked box that didn’t appear to have a key.  

Which brings me to . . . 


— 4 —

My NEXT conspiracy theory:


this is not me
but I like her

Are they using super A/C in the TAC girl’s dorm as an incentive to modest dressing? 

So. Very. Cold.

— 5 —

I told Sarah at Oh My Soul that I would read Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man
with her.  I went so far as to pay like TWO DOLLARS to get it on my iPad, and then didn’t read a word of it for months.

But then, I was going on retreat.  So I figured I would do some retreat-type spiritual reading AND keep a promise at the same time.  (Who says you can’t multi-task on retreat?)

I only got about a third of the way through, but since I’m not thinking it’s super-likely I’m going to be getting to the rest of it anytime soon, here is my review:

The first thing I ever read by Chesterton was Orthodoxy.  And I was blown away.  I felt like every single word in that little book screamed out TRUTH to me.  Every analogy was the best one I had ever heard.  I thought each and every paragraph ought to be highlighted and underlined and memorized-in-case-of-shipwreck.

Not so with The Everlasting Man.  Of course, I agreed with it, but I never felt astounded by it.

Maybe I just need to shake the cobwebs out, I have been reading mostly kid lit.  But I found it unpleasantly dense and also sometimes confusing.  There is A LOT of stuff about horses.

Of course, there are plenty of shining moments.  I pretty much love anything in Chesterton that follows the words “in short” or “in other words.”  But I think my favorite quote was:

Both a baby and an old man walk with difficulty; but he who shall expect the old gentleman to lie on his back, and kick joyfully instead, will be disappointed.

It’s Chesterton so, obviously, you should read it, and so should I.  But I won’t tell if you don’t, and then we could all just not read it.  Ya know?

— 6 —

While singing along at Mass, I made a little discovery . . . 

It would appear that in an earlier edition of “Celebrating the Eucharist” (a disposable missal/hymnal) the editors chose to replace the well known lyric “a wretch like me” as in:

Amazing grace!  How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me!

with the feel-good alternative “and strengthened me” as in: 

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, That saved and strengthened me! 

According to a note, the “wretch” phase has been “restored to respect the author’s original text. An alternative text is provided in italic.”  

So, anyone who is offended by the original 18th century autobiographical lyrics written by a former slave ship captain who considered himself worthy of the title “wretch” can instead feel free to use the peppier alternative.  

But I’m not surprised that there was some push back to the revision.

For a more scholarly take on the issue, see here.

— 7 —

And, finally, thanks to those of you who encouraged me to soldier on with the Classic Doctor Who episodes.  You’re totally right.  Tom Baker, as the Fourth Doctor, is more what someone who has watched and loved the new episodes would expect from the classics.

  He reminds me the most of the Eleventh Doctor, or vice versa I guess, especially with his quirky fashion choices.  That scarf is his bowtie.  Or the other way around.  Whatever.  It’s a space-time-continuum issue.  

In any case, the best thing for me is now that school is over, I’ve been able to watch a couple of these episodes with all the kids.  And they LOVE it.  They never could have sat through the sixties episodes and the reboot is just too full of innuendo for me to be comfortable with my kids watching it.  (Seriously, imagine me trying to explain what Captain Jack is talking about to an eleven year old.  Not going there.)  

But Doctor Who of the eighties has been a treat for the whole family.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Social Lady

    I agree with you completely about the Scouts. There are things that need to be left just as they are…especially marriage. It is what it is, and I am so tired of hearing about people who want to change the very definition and core of what marriage means. Thank you for sharing. Great list!

  2. Colleen

    I can't even get past the second episode of Dr. Who. Cari told me it gets better after the 5th episode or so, but the mannequins scare me!

  3. Susan H.

    My brothers and father were BIG into Boys Scouts….and I completely agree with your analysis, as sad as the whole situation is. Loved your flashback photos so much….reminded me of my own scouting days. Ahhhh….retreat. My hub is on Opus Dei retreat right now in NYC, and I'm just waiting for my turn. Great post!!

  4. Endless Strength

    I really need to do this Dr. Who thing…but I'm really not a tv show watcher, by nature. I much rather a good series of books!

  5. Kara Warme

    Amazing Grace is one of my favorite songs ever, and I'm perfectly comfortable singing it as written. I may not have captained a slave ship, but I'm surely a sinner. No matter what spiritual disciplines I pursue I know I'll never be perfect or earn my way to heaven. And that's what makes grace so truly AMAZING. Jesus paid the price and saved a wretch like me.

  6. Anonymous

    I into and then out of Dr. Who. I think I like it, and then other times I am not so sure that it is how I care to spend my 13 minutes watching TV before I fall asleep. I keep trying, though!

  7. Victor S E Moubarak

    In the UK the Government is changing the definition of marriage, despite wide-spread opposition.

    God bless.

  8. Kim

    The whole scouts thing is just crazy anyway. I mean say they were forced to let girls into boy scouts…what's the point then? Why have such organizations if it's boy and girl scouts. It's not a dating group. It is exclusionary and why should there be anything wrong with that? people take things too far. Too politically correct.

    I looked up more info on little flowers but there does not seem to be any in my area. I wish someone would start one here.
    I don't think I have it in me to do it, so I will just pray that someone else does.

    is there a Chesterton society near you? there is one here. They read the books and discuss them.

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