Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Conscience of Guide Leaders: God or Not?

In June it was announced that Girls Guides would drop an allegiance to God in their oath. The Queen was to remain, but it was decided that to mention God was inappropriate; read more <here>. However a number of Girl Guide groups have close ties to churches and are run by Christians, as such they have decided to keep the 'to God' part and risk being expelled from the Girl Guides.

The promise to “love my God” has been scrapped and replaced with a pledge to “be true to myself” and to “develop my beliefs”. The idea being it allowed all Guides to make the promise with sincerity.

However a group of leaders from Harrogate, North Yorks, have decided that they plan to defy the change and continue to use the old pledge at the groups which meet in their church and are supported by a Christian community.

Adding to the situation, a volunteer leader, Jem Henderson, who is an atheist has accused the group of forcing her to take the old promise, against her conscience.

The Harrogate Guide leaders' response to this was, "No one need join Girlguiding, so removing the reference to God in the interests of inclusivity removes much of what we stand for."

They added: “Girlguiding has God at its core and anyone who has issue with this is free to start their own organisation.”

However the Girl Guides HQ have made it clear that the leaders risk expulsion from the guiding movement.

Do you think the group is right to use the old oath given they are part of, and supported by, a church community? Do you think the oath should include Christian links? The Guides has always had a Christian foundation, is it right to abandon it? Do you think it would be right to expel these Guide leaders?

Read more <here>

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