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Scouts to consider changing pledge to welcome atheists
ATHEISTS may be able to join the Scouts for the first time in 105 years.
The Scout Association are considering accepting members who have no religious beliefs, as part of a movement backed by TV adventurer Bear Grylls.
The new version of the Scout Promise is being considered for those who feel unable to pledge a duty to God.
Terry Shipp, District Explorer Scout Commissioner of Swindon North Scouts, has welcomed the idea.
"The Scout Association is a movement and the criteria is that we need to move on and move with the times so I think it’s a good idea," he said.
“It’s been on the cards for a while as the Scouts are open to all faiths and everyone and it’s always been a stumbling block for people who don’t believe in God.
“A survey is will be going out tonight with my explorer scouts to discuss the idea”
The current Scout Promise reads: "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."
Alternative pledges already exist for other faith groups including Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, which allows them to use the word ‘my Dharma’ and ‘Allah’ instead of God.
But this is the first time atheists will have the opportunity to become a scout.
Membership of the Scouts has risen during the past seven years from 444,936 in 2005 to 525,364 this year, figures released by the association show.
The proposed changes are designed to increase diversity in the movement and enable more young people and adults to join.
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