Pope Francis concludes Asia trip
Boy Scouts to drop God from its official pledge
Ends more than a century of tradition in vowing 'duty to God'
- Steve Doughty, London
- United Kingdom
- December 6, 2012
The Scouts are to drop their historic rule that teenage recruits must declare religious belief, the movement’s leaders said yesterday.
In future boys and girls who join the organization will be allowed to declare themselves as atheists and make a pledge of honorable behavior that makes no mention of God.
The retreat from religion marks a break with a tradition begun in 1908 when the movement’s founder Robert Baden-Powell wrote a Scout Promise which required a vow to “do my duty to God”.
The promise survives to this day with the language virtually unaltered, except for alternative versions available for young people of other faiths than Christianity, including Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. All members have to make a religious promise of some kind.
Scout leaders said yesterday that the change was being made in the cause of helping the organization “increase its diversity and benefit more communities than ever before.”
The movement has been under pressure from secular campaigners to drop the religious pledge.
Full story: Scout's pledge to drop any mention of God
Source: Daily Mail