Girls Guides drop religious reference but pledge to self and the Queen

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For decades, Brownies and Girl Guides have promised to “love my God,” and “serve the Queen and my country”. But now, in a triumph for secularists, the organisation has decided to drop references to the deity – and the nation – from the oath taken by members.


The controversial change, one of the biggest in the organisation’s 103-year-history, was taken in an attempt to show the movement welcomed “all girls, of all faiths and none”.

However, the Guides decided to retain the pledge to serve their patron Queen Elizabeth II in the Promise. Anti-monarchy campaigners told The Independent that the organisation had “missed” an “opportunity” to truly open up the organisation.

From September, all new members over the age of seven who make the Girl Guide  Promise will pledge an oath to “be true to myself and develop my beliefs” and “to serve my Queen and my community.”

Girlguiding boasts more than half a million members, but it is the first time the promise has been changed since 1994. While the promise is optional, girls will not be able to secure the highest Guide badges without taking it.

Written By: Sarah Morrison
continue to source article at independent.co.uk

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  1. This is actually pretty big news, not least because at least in the UK it puts enormous pressure on Scouts to do the same.

    Right now, for the first time, I feel reasonably comfortable if my daughter (nearly 7) wants to take up Guiding, but I would still not want my son (5) to make the Scout Promise.

    The new promise might be a bit waffly and meaningless, but at least it is secular and inclusive (unless you are vehemently anti-monarchy!). And the mission statements of most multi-national corporations are equally vague and meaningless too.

    • Indeed. I have no kids, so little knowledge, but the Guides have always seemed to be a more forward-looking organisation than the Scouts (relatively speaking). Perhaps because they’ve had to adapt to the changing view of what girls are supposed to be like. The beauty of this decision is that it followed a large public consultation. The religionists had their chance but were unable to mobilise the faithful in enough numbers, or enough eloquence, to overcome those who said the time had come to change.

      In reply to #2 by Stevehill:

      This is actually pretty big news, not least because at least in the UK it puts enormous pressure on Scouts to do the same.

      .

      • In reply to #3 by paulmcuk:

        Indeed. I have no kids, so little knowledge, but the Guides have always seemed to be a more forward-looking organisation than the Scouts (relatively speaking). Perhaps because they’ve had to adapt to the changing view of what girls are supposed to be like. The beauty of this decision is that it foll…

        I think there has always been a touch of old-fashioned feminism with the Guides. At least at the level of saying its good for women to be out of the house, learning skills, getting physical exercise. Hardly novel now but once it was.

        The Australian Guides did something similar last year but they ditched the Queen as well

        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

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