Thursday, 14 May 2009

I promise I will do my best

The British Brownie promise:

I promise that I will do my best:
To love my God,
To serve the Queen and my country,
To help other people
To keep the Brownie Guide Law.

The Brownie Guide Law is: A Brownie Guide thinks of others before herself and does a good turn every day.

Now, while we have changed the promise to be "my God", to more widely reflect religions other than Christianity (it used to be do my duty to God), Girlguiding UK is adamant you must have some belief or be trying to have some belief to take your promise. There's a lot of leaders who will not take their promise, as they are atheists and won't compromise that.

In Canada, they're thinking of dropping the God bit entirely:

Current Guiding Promise:

''I promise to do my best,
To be true to myself, my God (or faith) and Canada;
I will help others,
And accept the Guiding Law.''

The two options:
''I promise to be true to myself, live the Guiding Law, and take action for a better world,'' or
''I promise to be true to myself, my community and Canada. I will help others and accept the Guiding Law.''

What do you think? And other Guiders, am I right in thinking that to be a member of WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) you have to include God in the promise and countries have been kicked out for not including it?


Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

Personally, I would be pleased if the American Girl Scouts took out the God bit too, but it would never happen here. I honestly don't know why a belief in a higher power is necessary in order to be a Scout/Guide.

Kelloggsville said...

This explores it in detail:

It made interesting reading, I would also say that by dropping reference to Spirtuality entirely then they will no longer adhere to The Fundamental Principles expressed within the original Promise and Law.

This is always a difficult subject to address amongst leaders, so hard to compromise and yet so easy to exclude others. Glad I'm not the decision maker. :0)

Anonymous said...

I can tell you right now that our Gov't makes way too many concessions to things.
I am by no means a bigot - which I'm sure you know - but when you move to a new country, adopt their traditions...why must they be changed to suit you, the newcomer?
Not only that, its Guides. Your not making the statement in front of the grand jury.
As a Canadian, I do not support them changing it.

And on that note Jen, if you wish to delete my rant I totally understand.

Strictly said...

See, 3 interesting opinions (and not one rant): one person who thinks it should be dropped, one who thinks it shouldn't and one who knows about the WAGGGS stance.

Personally, I am torn - I like being part of an organisation that is 100 years old, and that the basic principles from back then still form the backbone of the organisation today.

Then there's my own faith, I never go to church, not even at Christmas, though I am pretty sure God exists.

And finally, I know several women who've had to give up being Guiders or lie every time they take the promise, because they don't believe in God.

So you see - torn. And always happy to hear other people's opinions and thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm the Canadian Guider who was quoted in the newspaper article you linked to. There's been a lot of discussion online and some Canadian Guiders are suggesting the following:

"I promise to do my best, be true to myself, my beliefs and Canada. I will take action for a better world and live by the Guiding law."

I think it will be a while before the dust settles on what happens next. I have only heard from a small minority of Guiders who preferred the suggestions we were offered on a survey - but we don't have all the information yet.


Strictly said...

Hi Louise - thanks for filling me in, I like the suggested version very much.

I appreciate you getting in touch - feel free to stick around!

TopChamp said...

I don't believe God and I was told once on the Guiders forum that I shouldn't be a Guider, with evidence quoted from the Chief Guide to back that up.

I don't consider it a lie when I promise to do my duty to my God.... it's just meaningless.

I feel at 33 that I've had plenty of time to explore my beliefs, and I have no objection to helping my Brownies explore theirs.

I would rather the God bit was re-worded. I can't remember what the option I liked was, but it wasn't to completely remove the spirituality section - there was something about being true to my beliefs there too I think.

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