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Stevehill's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Stevehill

Religion and Scouting has a confused history. B-P actually wrote a secular Promise in 1911, intending to allow a broader church, so to speak. For whatever reason, only six countries were ever given permission to dispense with God, and that number has since reduced to three. (There is also Israel, an anomaly: Orthodox Jews object to the God reference so they have a secular Promise which they wrote themselves, but they were never given any right to use it by the global movement).

For whatever reason, religionists seem to inhabit the upper echelons of the movement to the extent that getting dispensations from the Promise is to all intents and purposes impossible.

I have some happy memories of Scouting (and some cold and wet ones too!), but I also very clearly recall being effectively ordered to turn out for Church Parade and sit through some full-on Christian service more often than I would have liked.

Given that Scouting is struggling to get enough adult volunteers, and a majority of Britons now profess no religion, it seems to me that the movement is on an inexorable course of self-destruction, unless and until it secularises itself.

Fri, 09 Sep 2011 08:24:17 UTC | #868808