14:50 08 October 2013
Scouts have welcomed atheists and for the first time in the organisation’s 106-history, as it now offers an alternative oath with no mention of God to those who say that they are not religious.
The traditional wording includes the phrase “to do my duty to God and to the Queen.” In the atheist version, this becomes a promise to “do my best to uphold our Scout values.”
This move was followed after secular groups accused the organisation of denying girls and guide leaders a choice.
Matt Mills, a regional Commissioner, said: “It was always about adding something rather than scrapping what we’ve already got.”
Wayne Bulpitt, the UK Chief Commissioner for the Scout Movement, said the change showed “its determination to become truly inclusive and relevant to all sections of society.”
He added: “We are a values-based movement and exploring faith and beliefs remains a key element of the scouting programme. That will not change.”
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