As reported earlier on in the year in a bid to be more inclusive and to encourage wider membership in the organisation Girl Guiding UK planned to drop the pleadge to “love my god” in the promise. This has now been done but a group up in Harrogate have decided to defy the leadership and retain the old promise. In a letter the leaders of that group stated:
“The spiritual aspect is recognised in girlguiding and ‘God’ has been part of the promise since it was founded,”
“The divine is fundamental to everything it stands for. No one need join Girlguiding, so removing the reference to God in the interests of inclusivity removes much of what we stand for.”
“Girlguiding has God at its core and anyone who has issue with this is free to start their own organisation.”
The national leadership has stated that only the new promise will be recognised and this group may be forced out if they fail to comply.
Let’s address a couple of the points raised.
1. As there are almost certainly no gods nor supernatural entities: there is no “spiritual” aspect as we would define it.
2. “God” has been part of the promise since it was founded – so what? Things can change and an argument from tradition doesn’t mean it is right!
3. “The divine is fundamental” – see point 1 above. Anyway I thought Guiding stood for fellowship, so actually it is inclusivity is what should be all about for rather than defending a narrow minded priviledge of a dwindling few.
4. “..anyone who has an issue is free to start thier own organisation”. Or alternativly someone who opposes inclusivity and whose priviledge is being removed is free to leave and form their own group!
Girl Guiding UK should be applauded for this forward thinking move to modernise and open up their organisation to those that would have been excluded in the past. Don’t let this group of narrow minded individuals get in the way.