God vow dropped from Girlguiding UK promise

Brownies The reference to God has been part of the Girlguiding Promise since the organisation was founded

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Girls will no longer have to pledge their devotion to God when they join the Guides and Brownies in the UK.

It comes after a consultation found a new Girlguiding UK promise was needed to include "more explicitly" the non-religious and those of other faiths.

They currently vow to "to love my God, to serve my Queen and my country".

The new oath drops the reference for the first time since Guides began in 1910 and will see them promise to "be true to myself and develop my beliefs".

The revised wording from September will also see members of the 540,000-strong organisation promise "to serve the Queen and my community".

Guides promise from September 2013

I promise that I will do my best

To be true to myself and develop my beliefs

To serve the Queen and my community

To help other people


To keep the Guide (Brownie) law

The consultation earlier this year involved nearly 44,000 Girlguiding UK members and non-members.

Chief Guide Gill Slocombe said: "Guiding has always been somewhere that all girls can develop their beliefs and moral framework, both inside and outside the context of a formal religion.

"However, we knew that some people found our promise confusing on this point and that it discouraged some girls and volunteers from joining us.

"Guiding believes in having one promise that is a clear statement of our core values for all our members to commit to. We hope that our new promise will allow all girls - of all faiths and none - to understand and feel proud of their commitment."

The promise has been changed 11 times in the organisation's history, most recently in 1994 when the long-standing phrase duty to God" became "to love my God" and "serve the Queen" was supplemented with "and my country".

First Guides promise: September 1910

On my honour I promise that I will do my best

To do my duty to God and the King

To help others at all times

To obey the Guide Law

The British Humanist Association (BHA), which gave a response to the consultation, welcomed the change, noting it was the first version of the oath to "open guiding up fully to non-religious girls".

BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson said: "The new promise is about personal integrity and ongoing and active self-reflection, both of which sit well alongside a sense of responsibility to others and to the community."

Stephen Evans, campaigns manager at the National Secular Society said: "By omitting any explicit mention of God or religion the Guide Association has grasped the opportunity to make itself truly inclusive and relevant to the reality of 21st century Britain."

The Church of England was among the groups which had urged Girlguiding UK to keep the reference to God in the promise.

In December last year, the UK Scout Association announced its own consultation to see if its members would support an alternative Scout Promise for atheists, who are unwilling to pledge a "duty to God".

And in July 2012, the Girl Guides in Australia dropped their allegiance to both God and the Queen, agreeing to serve their community and be true to themselves instead.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 469.

    Re 457: "What's your source."
    Hi. I have been reading up on current research in Neurology for the last year and it is fascinating: there is no physical interface between mind and brain! The best source I have found is The Irreducible Mind by Kelly and Kelly- a huge tome of current research. So humanists are going to have to say goodbye to winning the intellectual argument for the last 200 years.

  • rate this

    Comment number 468.

    @461.Norman Brooke
    'Ah all the 'I don't believe in God' rants on here. That is until you are face with a life crisis or life threatening illness...then you turn to the God you have spent your life not believing in.'
    I'm quite happy with the idea of oblivion thank you very much, sounds muchg more pleasant than heaven which would get very boring for all eternity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 467.

    Another small step towards the destruction of our past culture!

  • rate this

    Comment number 466.

    458.SR from EG
    Either I'm misreading this or you (and many others) seem to labouring under the mistaken impression that christians are somehow being excluded by this change of wording. Nowhere in the new oath does it say anything about a lack of belief being *mandatory*. Nothing in the new oath will actively prevent believers becoming Guides.

  • rate this

    Comment number 465.

    One very small step forwards for mankind.....

    Let's hope the idea catches on. There is no place for invisible friends in this world, thanks!

  • rate this

    Comment number 464.

    People should note that in Psalms 26 the phrase (in King James) "in mine integrity" is also translated in more modern versions as as the Contemporary English Version bible as "true to myself".

    It is thus more a neutral version and it is ridiculous that some see personal integrity as "worship of self", "insulting" or "becoming an atheist group".

  • rate this

    Comment number 463.

    A number of theists are claiming the revised promise to "be true to myself and develop my beliefs" is selfish.

    On the contrary, it is actually about integrity and honesty, while developing a personal philosophy in a reasoned and logical manner.

    However, I can appreciate that the religiously deluded may have a problem with logic and reason .....

  • rate this

    Comment number 462.

    453. @

    There is only one god Allah, and his prophet is Muhammad. So on the first count unless they are swearing to Allah then of course it would be wrong for a Muslim to join such a organisation . In fact to do so could in some situations be looked upon as blasphemy. We all know the penalty for that. Therefore unless this oath is dropped it cannot contain Muslims so its racist and has to go.

  • rate this

    Comment number 461.

    Ah all the 'I don't believe in God' rants on here. That is until you are face with a life crisis or life threatening illness...then you turn to the God you have spent your life not believing in. Well as a Christian I realise religious intolerance has and does cause horrendous things but you should at least keep an open mind. After all we Christains are told we should and I agree. so should you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 460.

    I made my first promise many years ago but have always had it in the background of my life. It gave a framework for service, however you had the opportunity to interpret that. I was expecting, and didn't necessarily oppose a change of wording but am so disappointed in the 'To be true to myself ' which is either self-centred or plain woolly. Today I feel sad, rather like a Guiding bereavement.

  • rate this

    Comment number 459.

    Wherever there is a bible basher you will find conflict and they don't care how many women and children it hurts!

  • rate this

    Comment number 458.

    The words were set 100 years ago when God was an accepted word. The word God could be interpeted by many religions as they believe in such a being. To think that atheists can now come out of the closet as #34 seems quite absurb in this day and age I think you can be Christian and accepting of others beliefs it's just a shame that atheists can't do the same, keep the negative votes coming.

  • rate this

    Comment number 457.

    Philip Iszatt
    "But according to recent Neurology the brain and the mind are different and there is no physical, visible or invisible, interface."

    What's your source?

    Brain is an organ, and mind is a philosophical construct.
    To talk of an interface is therefore meaningless.

    "Thus we are spiritual beings much to the annoyance of humanists."

    Thus? You've only asserted, not argued.

  • Comment number 456.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 455.

    If as the faithful tell us that there's a omnipotent force overlooking everything see's all hears all. And has appointed conduits to channel his laws written down in manuscripts discovered by 1 st century goat and camel herders I suggest that this force has a very long rap sheet to be charged against. so large it would make Nuremberg look like a parking offence. no good blaming it all on old nick.

  • rate this

    Comment number 454.

    433. Abdi
    I didnt secularise the organisation, it already was. And 44,000 people responded to the survey, so I was hardly the only one who felt this way. It isn't hypocritical to be with like minded people.

    438. Born cynic
    I agree - but no girl has to make the promise to be in Guides. It is completly optional and girls are now encouraged to understand it before deciding whether to make it or not

  • rate this

    Comment number 453.

    @437.Jaw dropping truth
    What does any of your supposedly 'hard evidence' have to do even remotely with the Guides' oath? And how does any of it prove your original “100% conviction” that an Islamic pressure group is behind it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 452.

    As someone so brilliantly pointed out earlier in the thread (so jealous I didn't see it myself), Abrahamic relgions are a patriarchy...

  • rate this

    Comment number 451.

    447.Philip Iszatt
    No, that's according to Deepak Chopra - a charlatan and snake-oil salesman who is most definitely not a neuroscientist.

    Watch Deepak speak with genuine scientists in the field and you'll see that he's talking total nonsense. There's a particularly good video on Youtube where Sam Harris exposes Chopra's woo-woo brilliantly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 450.

    But surely that is all creationists?

    Sorry, it was the quote I was querying. Dawkins was angry that a Professor of Science from a major university could not only be a creationist, but also willfully reject the scientific method.
    Therefore a hypocrite and charlatan. (My words)

    Not all creationists are that, most are just deluded.
    He now doesn't engage with them. There's no point.


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