Christian Girl Guide leaders plan to defy the organisation’s leadership in dropping the pledge to a god in the the Girl Guides’ promise.
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.
I must be a prophet!
Less than a week after posting a story that the UK Girl Guides will be dropping god from their promise and hoping that Scouting UK would follow suit, guess what? Scouting UK are following suit!
The Scout Association are writing an alternative promise to accommodate atheists and those of other faiths for whom taking the current form of words would not have been possible.
Gill Slocome the Chief Guide said:
“We can’t ask the kids to lie,” she said. “If they are not crystal clear and absolutely sure they can commit to the words of the Promise, then the words have got to be made right.”
However as expected not everyone is happy about this. The Bishop of Bradford, Nick Baines said that the form of words was:
“…the meaningless language opens the door to little Hitlers as we as Snow Whites!”
*cough* Godwin *cough*
These are definite steps forward to include atheists into these organisations, however we must reserve judgement until the new wording is finalised and published.
The Girl Guides in the UK have dropped the reference to ‘god’ from thier promise.
This follows consultation which revealed that the organisation needed to be more open to those of other faiths and none.
This is definite progress, and we look forward to see if the Guide’s fellow organisation Scouting UK also changes following its consulation.
Full story here.
The Girl Guides in the UK have indicated that they may drop the religous element of their “Promise” that all of its members have to make in order to join.
This is following complaints made by non-religious parents (and their children). Whilst the Promise is optional, Guides who do not take the Promise are ineligible for the highest awards including the Baden-Powell Challenge Award and the Chief Guide’s Challenge.
This is an important step in creating a fairer society to include those that do not have supernatural beliefs.
You too can add pressure on Girlguiding UK by signing the following petition.
Your assistance would be gratefully recieved!