Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Girl Guides drop God while the West tries to play Boy Scout in Syria

According to this report from The Telegraph the Girl Guides are to drop their promise to serve God (actually, it's been 'my God' for a little while now) in favour of a more suitable set of pledges for a socially atomised and profoundly irreligious age (not that they put it quite like that) - to “be true to myself” and to “develop my beliefs”.
I've been present at too many deathbeds over the years to greet this news with anything other than dismay; when we are faced with the ultimate reality about this life, neither of these new Hollywood- style 'promises' tends to figure very highly on people's list of priorities.


And what can we say about Syria...?
Only that it would be folly to supply arms to the opposition when we have no way of guaranteeing that they will not end up in the hands of militant Islamists. And, yes, the Syrian regime has blood on its hands - what it has done to its own people is indefensible;  but what the West is not saying is how deeply implicated our own governments are in attempts to destabilise a previously unpleasant and authoritarian but essentially stable administration, and one in which religious minorities (including the ancient Christian Churches of the region) were left in peace .... in 'the Levant' (probably anywhere in the Muslim world) that's as good as it ever gets.  It's certainly far better than the historical record of even modern,  'secularist' Turkey towards its minorities.
Humanitarian assistance to refugees and the casualties of civil war can only be encouraged and applauded,  but our naive and new-found interventionist advocacy of democracy and human rights in the Middle East will only produce predictably 'Wilsonian' consequences (the legacy of Versailles,  anyone?) in cultures where even the rule of law is a distant aspiration.


  1. To “be true to myself”: Amor sui usque ad contemptum Dei, cf. Augustine Civ. Dei XIV, 28. OPN

    1. St Augustine as always comes up with the goods: putting ourselves in the place of God seems a reasonable enough definition of (post)modernity...


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