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Girl Guides drop "God" from promise

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Girlguiding UK has decided to drop “God” from its Guiding promise in a move that will end 103 years of tradition.

No God, no country

The new Girl Guides oath will replace the promise to “love my God” with a pledge to “be true to myself and develop my beliefs”.

It will also require new members to make a promise to “serve the Queen and my community” instead of “the Queen and my country”.

Founded

A reference to God has been included in the Girlguiding oath since the organisation was founded by Robert Baden-Powell in 1910.

This is the first time that a non-religious pledge has been introduced in the history of the movement, which currently boasts over half a million members.

Despite the popularity of the organisation as it is, Chief Guide Slocombe argued that a  mention of God “discouraged some girls and volunteers from joining”.

Basis for values

But Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern said: “With over 500,000 members and 63,000 volunteers up and down the country, the Girl Guides can hardly be accused of being exclusive.

“The promise doesn’t exclude people but rather gives them a basis for laudable Girl Guiding values such as serving others.

Christian outlook

“These values have their roots in a Christian outlook. Taking ‘God’ out of the promise denies the history and foundations of the movement without offering anything in its place, with the result that the organisation will lose its distinctive ethos and end up meaning nothing.

“As it stands, girls do not have to make the promise to become a member anyway. The effort to take God out is a thinly veiled attempt at secularising the movement.”

Watch Andrea Williams discuss the change on BBC Breakfast >

Sources:

Telegraph

Independent

Daily Mail

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