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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Scouts and Guides

Despite describing themselves as an "open and inclusive" organisations, both the Scouts and the Girl Guides insist that new members take a 'Promise' that includes a religious oath. Such restrictions form a barrier to membership for non-believers.

To ensure these organisations really are open to all, we could like to see the part of the promise 'To do my duty to God' made optional.

Despite variations of the oath being used to accommodate those of different faiths, the Scouts refuse to allow a secular variation to be used. An alternative oath, known as the "Outlander Oath" is believed to have been written by Scouts founder Baden-Powell. This oath was intended for those who, for reasons of conscience, could not recognize a duty to God and did not worship a deity. This variation of the Promise omitted any reference to God or a monarch.