Guides consider atheists oath

The Girl Guides Association is launching a consultation to see if its members would support an alternative oath for those who feel unable to pledge a "duty to God". A similar consultation was launched by the Scouts a month ago.

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National Secular Society welcomes Scouts atheist consultation

The president of the National Secular Society, Terry Sanderson, said the Scouts' consultation on an alternative oath for atheists was a "move in the right direction".

He also said it would put an end to "unpleasant confrontations" such as that of 11-year-old George Pratt, from Midsomer Norton in Somerset, who was excluded because he did not want to make the Scout Promise in its present form.

By adjusting their promise to include people without a religious belief, the Scouts will bring themselves in line with the reality of 21st-century Britain, where more than two-thirds of young people say they have no religious belief.

If the Scouts decide to change the promise, it would relieve many young people of having to lie about what they believe in order to be part of this great organisation.

– Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society

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