Girl Guides split warning as Christians back rebel troop over pledge


The Girl Guides could face a possible split if the movement does not compromise over the decision to drop God from its membership oath, Christian leaders have warned.

A prominent bishop has called on other Christian Guide and Brownies volunteers to mirror the decision by the leaders of one troop who have pledged to retain the traditional promise which contains references to God and country.

The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, said that he hoped “many others” would follow the stance taken by the women in Harrogate, North Yorks.

Gem Henderson, 28, who volunteers at the group, based at St Paul’s United Reformed Church in Harrogate, who is an atheist, claimed the local leaders were effectively excluding people who do not believe.

She accused them of "discriminating" against people like herself and derided the traditional Girl Guide promise as like pledging allegiance to a “beard in the sky”.

Written By: John Bingham
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  1. Why not allow members of the movement to choose which pledge they would prefer to take; the old one or the new?

  2. Guiding UK has responded to 44,500 public responses to a consultation exercise.

    The fact that one wingnut chooses to ignore the properly moderated results of that exercise is irrelevant, evenif supported by a former bishop (the clue is in the word “former” – he’s mad).

    But if they persist with an oath which – wholly sensibly – the rest of the movement has discarded, then they are not Girl Guides. They have formed a new club of their own.

  3. The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, said that he hoped “many others” would follow the stance taken by the women in Harrogate, North Yorks.

    A monopolised prosthelytizing opportunity is obviously a higher priority than children’s social and cultural education, – in the god-virus infested minds of some of those who have managed to aquire management positions in the guides organisation.
    No doubt some sheeple-faith-thinkers will follow his directions, rather than rationally reflecting on their responsibilities to the community.

  4. I admire Miss Henderson’s stand against perceived discrimination even more than her Mona Lisa smile. At the risk of being pilloried, I must say that I find her photo absolutely charming. No offence intended, of course.

  5. The bishops and other promoters of faith had better get used to the idea that the world is not completely their oyster anymore.Their god has had his heyday, and is old, ailing and making a dreadful fool of himself. Retire the old codger I say or at least keep him private.

  6. Perhaps the former bishop of Rochester would like to introduce vetting of Guides using the Sumatran idea of virginity checks as well.

  7. Bring it on I say. Given a future choice of “Girl Guides” and “Girl Guides with added mystical bollox”, I’m confident that most would chose the former. And their parents might be more suspicious of leaving their daughters in the hands of the fiddly moral arbiters of the sacred flame.

  8. Heh… one of those women is a sane, rational person and the other is a crazy bible thumper. The pictures don’t lie. 😉


  9. It has now been settled and the rogue God obsessed guides brought into line. The pledge to God is now removed from ALL guiding groups, because as stated it is discrimatory against those who don’t believe or even those who believe in a different God or Gods. Religious freedom to pledge to god privately in churches or religious organisations is fine but the guides are NOT and never have been a religious organisation. Therefore to be open to all, no allegiance to a deity is the right stance.

    The guides movement is rapidly becoming one of the best organisations for girls to join in the UK. It now takes real stands against all sorts of backward thinking not just religion. In schools you can tell the girls who are guides from their very confidence in themselves. Go guides!!

  10. In reply to #1 by beldodie:

    Why not allow members of the movement to choose which pledge they would prefer to take; the old one or the new?

    I can just hear 20 little girls competing to make sure their own pledge to their special friend is the one most hear. The girl guides could do with some dogma related competition and animosity, good idea!

  11. No one, in my view, should be swearing allegiance to god/gods as part of a public ceremony. Religion and /or other bizarre beliefs are best kept private and between consenting adults.

  12. This came too late for me. I left the Guides about 33 years ago because the Guide Captain was always badgering me for not going to church parades, and not doing more stuff under the ‘Little House’ emblem (I was after the Arts & Crafts one, and have never been a particularly domestic type). Then there was the ‘Affair of the Aryan Angels’… We had to colour in cut-out angels to string together as Yuletide decorations for the hall. Everyone had to dive in for the coloured pens on the table; some were more in demand than others. So I took advantage of this to make all my angels look different: different hair colour, eye colour & c. The Guide Captain berated me for not making them all blonde and blue-eyed. Seriously. In an inner-city area in 1980.

    I left, making the excuse of increasing homework as O Levels approached (which was also true).

  13. Another point: in my experience as a Brownie and a Guide in the ’70s, they had no problem accommodating members of non-Christian religions, or different branches of Christianity. There were Muslim girls in some of the groups of which I was a member.

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