Sunday, July 8, 2012
A slight change in wording...
I heard during the week that the Girl Guide Association of Australia has decided to update the Guide promise by removing references to God and the Queen. Instead, a Guide will now pledge to be "true to myself and to develop my beliefs," presumably to reflect the range of religious and cultural beliefs which exist in current Australian society.
One thing most people in my life now probably don't know about me is that I was a Girl Guide once, back in the 1980s when God and the Queen were still in favour. I went right through from Brownies to Guides and then on to Ranger Guides and Rangers. I even did all the badges I needed to become a Queen's Guide when I was in the Ranger section. It involved a pretty hefty chunk of community service activities.
So I was a bit concerned that the bit about "helping other people" that was also a key part of our promise might have been ditched along with God and the Queen. Fortunately, it hasn't been. The pillar of community service remains.
I am disappointed to see God relegated to the sideline though. And I think the timing of removing the Queen could have been better too. That could have waited until the Diamond Jubilee year was over.
And I'm unconvinced by the words "true to myself." True to my (sinful, selfish) self? I think the words are fairly meaningless. It implies a view in which societal, moral or ethical (not to mention Biblical) standards don't really matter much. As long as you're happy with yourself, that's all that matters.
It all just sounds a bit too inward-looking.