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Guiding movement changing their oath........

(20 Posts)
soontobeburns Sun 06-Jan-13 02:22:57

Im an assistant guide leader and I feel a bit uncomfortable about the promise to God. It is also in a church and twice a year the guids have to go to a church service and everything has to be ok'd by the church.

Too much emphasis is on the church and tbh I really want to leave but I cant let the kids down sad

Also as we are in NI the promise to the queen stops anyone catholic from joining and they tend to join scouts instead.

flow4 Sun 06-Jan-13 00:25:50

I think this is a great move. I'm in my 40s now, but I didn't join the Guides specifically because 'god' was in the oath. I was a very principled girl, and I believed that promises were promises, and you ought to believe in what you were saying so that you could stick to it. I didn't believe in 'god', so I couldn't make the promise, so I didn't join. I can't have been the only one, surely?! smile

Permanentlyexhausted Sun 06-Jan-13 00:17:09

I'm a Brownie leader. TBH I can take or leave the part about God in the promise It doesn't mean a huge amount to me but I can see that it may be offputting to others. That said, I have never heard anyone other than on MN (and similar) express any discomfort about it.

On the whole, I have no particular qualms about a change in the promise to exclude any mention of God. However, I don't much like the part about being true to your beliefs in the Australian version (or the similar bit in the Canadian version). Sounds a bit like an open invitation to allow anyone to follow through with any belief they like, however morally repugnant to society.

EduCated Sat 05-Jan-13 22:57:59

Booyhoo, I agree. The fact that people are saying the promise is pretty irrelevant is exactly why it needs looking at to make sure it is meaningful to the organisation and its members.

Uptheamp, so how does changing the promise detract from that? Unless I've read your posts wrong and you mean te promise detracts from the organisation, rather than potential changes detracting from the promise <confused> blush

Booyhoo Sat 05-Jan-13 22:48:17

if those people who dont believe in a god/are republicans have no problem saying it doesn't that prove that the oath has no purpose? i mean if you just mumble through it but dont mean it what is the point? surely if being a guide requires you to take an oath it should mean something to you, otherwise just dont have an oath at all if they are letting people who dont mean what they are saying, join.

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 22:40:08

having fun outdoors and helping other people wink

EduCated Sat 05-Jan-13 22:22:52

uptheamp What is Guiding about?

uptheamp Sat 05-Jan-13 22:16:14

it detracts from what the gg movement was about

i don't believe in god but didn't have a problem saying the oath

i wonder if it's a reflection from sites like mn having a problem with it and curtailing to them rather than for the good of the movement

loved being a guide and the oath/god etc meant little in the grand scheme of things!

Groovee Sat 05-Jan-13 22:06:19

I am a brownie guider and when doing pre promise, I explain to the girls that god is what they want it to mean depending on what they believe at home. One said Elvis one time!

I think we need to move with the times and the consultation is a good way forward.

Not read the comments. Don't know if I want to.

Zimbah Sat 05-Jan-13 20:44:01

I really hope this gets agreed, it seems ridiculous that Guiding includes a religious oath. If it's a religious organisation then I think it should be made more clear, and if it's not then there's no reason for it to be in the oath. I'm atheist and would feel very uncomfortable if my DDs wanted to join brownies/guides when the organisation currently excludes me and expects children to swear to a god that they may or may not believe in. And I would certainly not be interested in helping out at brownies/guides, but if the oath is changed then it's the kind of thing that I quite like doing.

EduCated Sat 05-Jan-13 20:24:52


I promise that I will do my best
To be true to myself and develop my beliefs
To serve my community and Australia
And live by the Guide Law


I Promise to do my best,
To be true to myself, my beliefs and Canada
I will take action for a better world
And respect the Guiding Law

I actually really, really like the Canadian one.

badguider Sat 05-Jan-13 20:17:02

current promise is 'my god' so it's actually atheists that have most problem with the current promise (i am atheist and a guide leader and say it because it means nothing to me but understand other atheists might not want to).
as far as i know no muslim guide has a problem with 'my god'. the comments are not only racist but totally ignorant.

[as an aside, the 'duty to the queen' bit is confusing for my girls, i'd much prefer they promise to engage constructively with their community or civil society which is what i think it's getting at anyway]

EduCated Sat 05-Jan-13 20:09:27



redexpat Sat 05-Jan-13 20:06:00

Hi OP. The promise was changed to 'love my God' years ago, so it hasn't been a Christian organisation since about 1991 (I think!).

I am an agnostic Guide leader, I've never actually had any kind of discussion with anyone about what the promise actually means, and it rolls off the tongue without me even thinking about it. I'd rather be rolling up my sleeves and getting stuck in with something that widens the girls' horizons and challenges them than engaging them in philosophical debate.

Sunnywithshowers Sat 05-Jan-13 20:05:45

'politically correct' - fuxache. That's hugely irritating. For that alone, OP, YABVU.

One of the reasons I left as assistant brownie leader was that I'd have to swear to a deity and the Queen - neither of which I'm into.

AgathaTrunchbull Sat 05-Jan-13 19:57:23

I've just filled in the consultation form on this (ex-Brownie, Guide & Young Leader). Keen to see all reference to religion gone - the promise should be something all girls are happy to swear to, not just go along with, because it's expected. Ambivalent about references to the Queen. Would be happy for it to be country/community instead. Agree thoroughly with EduCated that the world has moved on since the beginning of the 20th century and Guiding needs to reflect that.

EduCated Sat 05-Jan-13 19:56:25

Fucking hell, actually just read down through some of the comments, they didn't come up at first on mobile version.

That is out and out racism. I am genuinely shocked. I mean this comment:

'Chris • 3 hours ago
Only bonus point is that anything that is touched by the Islamic vermin has and will turn to #$%$! There will be no change there. Vile and pointless people!'

16 thumbs up and only 7 down shock Talk of needing to rise up and crusade and fight for our country back shock

EduCated Sat 05-Jan-13 19:52:01

As a Guider, I'm glad this is happening, although I have quite happily mumbled my way through the promise more times than I care to remember. The Australian and Canadian promises are both quite interesting.

Guiding does need to modernise as it progresses and I don't understand why people who usually aren't even involved in the organisation see it as a sign of impending doom hmm Guiding started in the 1900s, of course the world has changed since then.

Can ou tell this really gets my Guiding Goat? grin

LindyHemming Sat 05-Jan-13 19:37:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BridgetJonesPants Sat 05-Jan-13 19:34:19

Whether you agree that the oath should be changed or not, AIBU to think that some of the comments regarding this article are downright racist?

I'd be very surprised if it's any non christian organisations that are pushing for the oath to be changed. I would guess it'll be the white British, middle class ultra liberal politically correct brigade who don't actually live on the same planet as the rest of us that are pushing for this change!

For the record, I would get rid of the monarchy tomorrow but I didn't have a problem with my DD saying the oath to the Queen, she was only 7 year old and will no doubt learn in her own time that the monarchy is a drain on our society.

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