Monday, June 16, 2008

Gobsmacked

Go read this article about an 8 year old in the UK who can't be a full fledged Cub Scot because he refuses to pledge to "do his duty to the Queen" and then come back and tell me what you think of it. Seriously. Because I don't know what to think of it. My opinion is vacillating. Isn't it the same as the Pledge of Allegiance that we said every day of our lives in public school (I know they don't anymore)? They make it seem as though it goes against his faith but then, so would the Pledge of Allegiance right? What does it mean to "do one's duty"? Does it just mean to be a good citizen because I know that our faith calls us to be faithful citizens who uphold the laws as long as they are not in conflict with the teachings of our faith. If other's can change the words to suit their religious or moral convictions, why not this kid?

Anyway... sorry for such a weighty topic this Monday morning. Feel free to ignore it. We are still recovering from our fabulous Father's Day brunch with friends and backyard shenanigans on their Slip N' Slide. The Dad's spent their day drinking excellent coffee and solving all the world's problems. Our heroes!!! OK, now... back to home improvement projects. Details to come!

12 comments:

  1. It makes sense to me from the very brief article. I think part of being a Boy Scout would be patriotism and that appears to be what that's all about. I don't know. I'm not familiar with the Boy Scouts or Britain.

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  2. I don't understand the mother at all. I can't imagine why she thinks it would be a problem. It is similar to the Pledge of Allegiance.

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  3. Simple,
    He can add, quietly, I promise to do my duty to the Queen, But God first!
    Wasn't that Thomas Moore? How much more of an awkward situation that Thomas Moore.


    Opal

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  4. Hmmm..Off the top of my head, if his "duty to the queen" is a civil one and not religious, I don't see the conflict. You know, the whole "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's" thing. Sounds like the family simply doesn't like the Queen and are making things difficult for themselves.

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  5. The same thought occured to me as occured to Michelle: Render unto Caesar... I would say that unless the Queen were publicly scandalous, and the government blatantly and purposefully immoral, it's no harm to pledge allegiance to one's country, or sovreign. Patriotism is a virtue, isn't it? Maybe this family has some other grief or agenda we don't know about. Or, then again, maybe they're just the type who like to stir up trouble...

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  6. This is what I thought too, but my Husband pointed out that it might get tricky only because of the fact that the Queen is not only the Head of State but also the Church of England. I guess it would depend on the actual wording.

    It sounded to me as though the mother wanted to change the wording simply because others have been allowed to and that is the problem the Scouts have created when they allowed the others to make changes to the pledge.

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  7. It's not like the Queen is going to tell the cubs to swim the channel and sack France.

    Wait. I'd be into that. God save the Queen.

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  8. My Cub Scouts say:

    I, (American Cub Scout), promise to do my best, to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people, and to obey the law of the Pack.

    I'm sure that the English version is extremely similar, substituting "Queen" for "my country" (the American Boy Scouts were imported to America from Britain).

    These people are being ridiculous. All soldiers recognize that duty to country (or Queen) never demands immoral actions. God is always first. That's the whole point of St. Thomas More's martyrdom.

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  9. Matilda -- Is the Queen really the head of the Church of England? Before we converted to Catholicism, I was Episcopalian for 29 years, and I was always under the impression that the Archbishop of Canterbury was the head of the Church of England. Not that I can't be wrong, of course, but I don't think it's the Queen.

    Oh...and although my kids are leaving public school for homeschool next year, I wanted to chime in that there are actually lots of schools where they still do the Pledge of Allegiance every single morning. Their old school, and every school that I have ever taught in did it in the morning. My kids school actually did a minute of silence after it each morning, and they asked parents to please advise their kids what they wanted them to do with that time, and then the school suggested ideas (in the newsletter) -- prayer, quiet reflection, etc. But, I suppose that's the difference of us living in the midwest than on one of the coasts, I imagine.

    Hey...look how long I can comment without ever commenting on the actual topic of your posting. *blush*

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  10. Angie,
    Wow. I had no idea you were going to homeschool next year! I hope you enjoy yourself and your children!

    You can read more about it here but basically, the Queen is the head of the Church of England even though today it is more of a symbolic role. When Henry VIII broke with Rome, he established the Church of England and made himself the head of it.

    I completely agree that the oath is most likely a patriotic one and that patriotism is not contrary to Catholic teachings. I think, looking at this situation form all angles, the only possible sliver of leg to stand on they have is that the Queen is the head of the Church of England but you notice... nowhere was that mentioned in the article. The mother cited discrimination against Catholics ever being seated on the throne as her reasoning and implied discrimination again by referencing the others who had been allowed to change the words to the oath. Really, I think it a pretty silly thing to call "news worthy".

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  11. That should be "from" not "form".

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  12. Huh...well, I knew about how the Church of England had started, but I never knew that it was still with the monarch as the head of it. Like I said, I had always been under the impression it was the Archbishop of Canterbury. But, maybe if I grown up Anglican instead of Episcopalian, I would have known that.

    Yeah...we did decide to homeschool starting next year. It was really hard to come to the decision, and even now, I think sometimes, "What the heck am I thinking???" If you're interested, this was my posting about what sealed the deal: http://randomangie.blogspot.com/2008/03/snow-told-me-to-homeschool-kids.html

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!