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Girl Guide Promise Change

(40 Posts)
technodad Wed 19-Jun-13 07:33:24

Looks like girl guides will no longer need to promise to "love their god" when they join.

This is great step by the Girl Guides to prove they are not discriminatory any more.


The Scouts next???

Ragwort Wed 19-Jun-13 07:38:30

This is under review by the Scout Association.

It is interesting to note one of the comments in the article stating that it is hard to recruit leaders and one of the reasons is becuase of having to make the promise.

I really hope that this is true and that lots more people will volunteer as both Guides and Scouts are desperately short of Leaders, however, call me a cynic if you like but I doubt hundreds of new Leaders will be offering their time and skills hmm.

MirandaWest Wed 19-Jun-13 10:18:34

I just got an email about this and was wondering if a thread had been started.

Tbh I doubt it will make any difference to the number of leaders - making a promise is not the hard part - the time and effort it takes up is.

niminypiminy Wed 19-Jun-13 10:19:40

Yes, I am waiting with bated breath to see a huge influx of secularist campaigners rushing to volunteer as Scout Leaders <drums fingers, whistles>

technodad Wed 19-Jun-13 21:08:48

Why should a group of people who have been actively discriminated against for decades by these associations be banging their door down to volunteer?

Maybe they are changing their rules for the wrong reason. Surely they should be changing their policy to be inclusive of all children and to set a good example to society.

niminypiminy Wed 19-Jun-13 21:19:26

Yes, those poor atheists, longing for decades to help out at Scouts but unable to do so because they couldn't bring themselves to utter the promise. And their poor children, desperate to join but prevented because of their parents' hobbyhorse principles.

Comfyseat Wed 19-Jun-13 21:27:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Comfyseat Wed 19-Jun-13 21:30:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

technodad Wed 19-Jun-13 21:40:42


I am not sure what your problem is!

Would you allow your DCs go to a club where they had to lie about being Christian to join and where that had to promise something they were unwilling and unable to undertake.

I suspect not.

Because I am atheist you call it my "hobbyhorse", but for you it is a deeply held belief, so somehow OK.

Double standards!

Comfyseat Wed 19-Jun-13 22:04:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

niminypiminy Wed 19-Jun-13 22:11:03

Well, you know, when I was a Guide I took the promise, and had no belief in God, being brought up in a good atheist family. But I don't remember that it was ever a point of principle for me or for my family. (Mind you, I was a crap Guide and didn't last very long, but it really had nothing to do with the promise, it was more to do with being hopeless at knots and team games.)

I find it interesting that so much ire is being directed at this. Why are people quite so steamed up about it? And I really do wonder how many people will now find that they can perfectly happily send their children to Guides,or Scouts or whatever, and will suddenly be ready to volunteer as leaders.

And, of course, there has always been the Woodcraft Folk for those unable to stomach Scouts, Guides and the like. It's not as if Scouts etc were compulsory, and there was not alternative. But it's the point of principle, innit -- regardless of how much adults or children actually want to participate.

technodad Wed 19-Jun-13 22:13:40

And what is wrong with having principles and integrity?

Comfyseat Wed 19-Jun-13 22:19:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

niminypiminy Wed 19-Jun-13 22:23:27

Nothing. But it's interesting to see where people's sense of their integrity lies. Stand on your principle not to have to make a promise to love God if that's what's so important to you. Or undertake training, have a CRB check, give up your time to be a Scout leader. Or both. What I started out by saying was I wonder how many of those who think this is a great victory will now follow through by putting their principles into action and volunteering?

technodad Wed 19-Jun-13 22:34:49

So if I campaign against racism, do I have to have an anti-Michael-Jackson operation? If I agree with feminism, do I have to have a sex change? If I think gay marriage is a great idea, do I have to move to Brighton?

Why do I have to join the guides or Scouts just because I might campaign to stop their discrimination?

I can't be a post-op, black, gay guide leader, I just don't have time in my life for all that! I am too busy living in trees in the jungle eating bananas after my recent support for WWF.


Italiangreyhound Wed 19-Jun-13 22:57:43

Although I am now a Christian, as a child and young teenager I was not an active Christian, although I was a theist. At age 11 or so I went along to the Woodcraft Folk. Which was a lot of fun and was really because my cousins sent.


My daughter now goes to Brownies and if there were the option to go to the Girls Brigade locally, which is a more overt Christian group for girls, I would choose that. But there is, as far as I know, no Girls Brigade and no Woodcraft Folk in my area.

My point is really that if lots of parents objected to any slight religious content or religious requirement in the Guides or Scouts could they not join a totally secular group and start one up? Just as if I objected to the lack of religious content in the Brownies then I could try and start a girls brigade group in my area.

If Guides want to change their rules as to who can join it is fine by me.

I can see why parents might feel unhappy about the fact their children could not get into the local Scouts etc and in some ways I feel the requirement is not really worth so much. However, for me what may be worth more is the involvement in local activities like the Christmas Christingle service. What if atheists objected to this being on list of activities?

According to dear old Wickipedia there are already some Scout groups that omit the promise to God anyway...

Under the heading 'Non-WOSM Scouting'


"Scout sections that follow traditional Scouting, such as Baden-Powell Scouts within the World Federation of Independent Scouts, use several promises including the original Scout promise above that includes the reference to God.[8] Some, however, for example the 1st Tarrant Scout Group in Fort Worth, Texas use a blend of the original promise[9] and the "Outlander Promise" which, "according to tradition", B-P wrote for Scouts that had to omit the reference to God or a monarch for reasons of conscience."

Comfyseat Wed 19-Jun-13 23:00:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Italiangreyhound Wed 19-Jun-13 23:04:57

Techno me and the cat are laughing our silly arses off at your tree-hugging-banana (surely it should be bamboo eating-pandas are n danger) shananagins!

DizzyPurple Wed 19-Jun-13 23:14:50

There are other groups out here for kids to go to. If you object to the principles of one, go find something else! I don't see that it's discrimination having "love my God" in there. The world, well the UK is becoming so anti Christianity it drives me mad. If it were eg Muslim groups people wouldn't feel the need to get so het up they would just accept 'that's a Muslim group, I am not Muslim I'll go elsewhere. ' Why is Anything even vaguely Christian fair game for all the 'anti' people??

GrimmaTheNome Wed 19-Jun-13 23:48:36

>There are other groups out here for kids to go to.

not in a lot of areas there aren't. Well, there might be Girls' Brigade, but that really is a Christian organisation - which doesn't get flak because it doesn't pretend inclusivity. That was the problem with the Scouts/Guides - they claimed to be inclusive but then put this stumbling block of an oath in the way.

Anyway, this is good news for the children smile

Comfyseat Thu 20-Jun-13 05:56:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Comfyseat Thu 20-Jun-13 05:58:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crescentmoon Thu 20-Jun-13 07:40:24

What a strange comment: if they wanted to keep atheists out they should never have let muslims in. The oath was to God not to Jesus so Muslims wouldn't have had a problem with it. Whether the wording said 'to God' or 'to my God'.

What was the wording of the scouts promise in countries like France/united states that are fiercely republican/anti monarchial before this change. Which queen / king would they have sworn to?

SineOfTheTimes Thu 20-Jun-13 07:48:05

Guide Leader (and Christian) here!

I'm delighted by the new Promise. Someone in the discussion surrounding it said "We're not getting God out, we're letting everyone else in" which I feel sums it up really well.

Girlguiding has never been a Christian organisation. When the Promise last changed in 1994 to "love my God" it was explained that this was YOUR God (and other names for God could be substituted).

However, many of our members - perhaps especially in Guides and The Senior Section - are at a point where they are questioning their faith or beliefs. Some of them have said that they don't know whether they believe in God or not, or they do not believe in God, and therefore felt very uncomfortable making the Promise.

I do know girls and potential Leaders who haven't wanted to make the Promise and who now will be making it.

Many of us will find that our beliefs change and develop through our lives. This wording means that we can continue to support girls and young women to develop spiritually whilst explicitly acknowledging this.

This comes after a long period of consultation, open to all Girlguiding members and members of the public. We had several very thoughtful discussions at Guides, and encouraged all of our girls to contribute to this process.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what my girls think, too!

BumbleBee2011 Thu 20-Jun-13 10:39:14

Sine - as another Guide leader I totally agree. I can't wait to start enrolling new starters in September with the new wording, and talking it through with our Guides (all of whom took part in the consultation, which was brilliant).

I personally am a church-goer but felt very uncomfortable making my promise with the old wording, I was joining a Women's organisation not a Christian one so it seemed a bit inappropriate.

I know a few ppl who view(ed) Guiding/Scouting as seemingly white Christian paramilitary groups, and used the old promise to back this up confused Now I'm thinking - brilliant! I'm going to ask these same people if they'd like to come and help me out, where before I did feel like they had a point! wink

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