Girl Guides will no longer pledge their devotion to God when they join the organisation, it has been announced.
The phrase "to love my God" has been dropped from the Promise after a consultation suggested different words are needed to include the non-religious.
Instead, girls joining the organisation will now be asked to "be true to myself and develop my beliefs".
This kind of dumbing down, this increasing taste for statements that are inoffensive to the point of being meaningless, is beyond satire. You'd think that by now organisations would have learned the lesson from the Anglican Church that by trying to be 'all things to all men', you end up being nothing to anyone.
Our Father who..
Well, when I say “Our”, I don't mean to exclude people of other faiths or none, and when I say “Father” I mean no offence to the millions of wonderful Mothers in the world, though I am not suggesting that to be fulfilled, a woman has to be a mother. OK, let's try again:
One's Parent, who art in Heaven...
Not wishing to be prescriptive about grammatical forms – let's face it, it's communication not correctness that matters – we need to do something about that 'art', by choosing from such popular alternatives as 'am' 'is' and 'are'. So, let's try again:
One's parent who am is or are in Heaven....
This 'Heaven' concept could be too narrow for the many people who just believe there “must be something....” How about:
One's Parent, who am is or are in a Nicer Place, hallowed be thy name...
Oh dear, how many people know what 'hallowed' means (I don't LOL!!) - and that word 'thy' has to go in case it implies we are all from Lancashire. Oh dear, it's too difficult. I think we need to revamp the whole prayer. Something simple like:
Thank you, whoever you are for whatever it is, amen.
I reckon the Girl Guides would like that one.