The Times of London is reporting that the British Scouting Association
has abandoned its tradtional pledge of loyalty “to God and to the
Queen” in favor of what it describes as “multicultural options.”
“Muslim Scouts can opt to swear to Allah, while atheists can drop
God altogether and budding republicans can pledge themselves to the
state rather than the monarch,” the paper reports.
The pledge has been a central part of British scouting since 1907, when Robert Baden-Powell formed the organization as an avenue for the development of “muscular Christianity” among boys.
“Scouting is available to all faiths and, therefore, must take
account of the different religious obligations of its members,”
according to new scouting guidelines.
The changes are not going over well in some circles. “The changes
have horrified some prominent former Scouts. Stephen Pound, the Labour
MP and chairman of the all-party parliamentary Scout group, called the
changes ‘profoundly retrograde, uncalled for and potentially extremely
Here’s more: “The current pledge, based on that written by
Baden-Powell, states: ‘On my honour, I promise that I will do my best
to do my duty to God and to the Queen, to help other people and to keep
the Scout law.’ Under new guidelines issued to Scout leaders, Muslim
Scouts — as well as Beavers and Cubs, the groups to which younger boys
belong — can pledge their duty to Allah and Hindu Scouts to their
Dharma. Atheists can promise to live life in ‘good moral standing’. In
addition, children who are not British but live here can promise to do
their duty to ‘the country in which I am now living’ instead of
promising allegiance to the Queen.”
The country “in which I am now living” is supposed to be a
reflection of patriotism? This is political correctness at its worst.
The “fill-in-the-blank” deity (or non-deity) invoked by the individual
scout is an insult to the Christian roots of the Boy Scout movement,
and this change in policy is worse than dropping the oath altogether.
SCOUT THESE LINKS: Colin Gray and Camillo Francassini, Scouts Granted Right to Dob-Dob for Allah, The Times [London], June 12, 2005. Promoting Multi-Faith Scouting, The Scouting Association [Britain], June 13, 2005