On Wednesday, Great Britain’s Girl Guides (their equivalent of U.S. Girl Scouts) and Brownies removed God from their 103-year-old oath.
Instead of the passage where they used to promise to “love God,” they will now vow to be true to “myself” and develop “my beliefs.” The organization said the move is intended to attract girls from secular families.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, condemned the move, saying, “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 organization will lose its distinctive ethos and end up meaning nothing.”
Chief Guide Gill Slocombe protested that the organization consulted 40,000 before it made the change. She said that using God in the pledge “discouraged some girls and volunteers from joining,” and now the Guides could “reach out to girls and women who might not have considered guiding before, so that even more girls can benefit from everything guiding can offer.”
Julie Bentley, the new CEO of the Guides, has called the Girl Guides the “ultimate feminist organization.”
The Girl Guides in Australia also deleted God from the vow last year. The Boy Scouts in Great Britain are considering a similar move next month.
Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts in the United States still vow to “to serve God and my country.”
Photo: Alan Cleaver/Flickr