Lots of people have already blogged about their disappointment with the new Girl Guides promise eg Gillan, David, Alison. I didn’t manage last week, but I did express some of my feelings on Twitter. That resulted in an interview with Helen Legh on 3 Counties Radio that went out on Sunday morning. You can catch it on iPlayer until next Sunday - my slot was about 1hr 10minutes into the show. I very much enjoyed talking to Helen and think I managed to get across most of what I’ve been thinking. Which is:
- The Guides is a brilliant organisation. I will always be grateful to Guides for friendships made and the encouragement to lead and take responsibility.
- I understand that not everyone wants to make a promise to God.
- But being ‘true to myself’ is either meaningless – a sort of Disney nonsense, or a more insidious call to the worship of self (my daughter thought it meant ‘be selfish’).
What I forgot to mention was that the promise is going to be tricky for girls to say if they believe that to be true to themselves they cannot promise to be true to themselves, as they know that their selves are flawed and imperfect and not to be trusted. Which is essentially what a Christian believes.
And I also didn’t mention, because I didn’t know it at the time, is that my former Guide leader, (a member of my home church which I visited last Sunday), is considering sending back her trefoil (a sign of membership) because she is so cross about the new promise. She led our Guide company for many years and went on to other senior guiding responsibilites. Seems to me that the Guides may need to have a little think about where they are headed with this seemingly self-centred new declaration.