Feeds

Be prepared... to give heathens a badge: UK Scouts open doors to unbelievers

'Duty to God' dropped from promise

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

From next year, British atheists and their offspring will be able to join the Scouting movement without having to lie or breach their Scout's honour, thanks to an amended promise.

All Scouts, and Scout leaders, are required to make the promise. The words vary with age group, and alternatives exist for different religions, but until now there's been no atheistic version so members who don't believe in any god have been forced to make an empty promise. But come January, Scouts will get an option on a new promise which takes the Big Guy out of the picture entirely:

On my honour I promise that I will do my best
To uphold our Scout values, to do my duty to the Queen,
To help other people
And to keep the Scout Law.

...the second line currently reads "To do my duty to God and to the Queen", and Scouts will be free to continue using that version if they prefer. The other groups (Beavers, Cubs, Explorers) also get god-free variations of their own promises.

They can also take advantage of the other existing options for Muslims (who can only swear by Allah) and Hindus (who can be a little polytheistic), who have already been accommodated by the Scouting movement.

The change comes following years of consultation with the 400,000 or so UK members, of whom 15,000 responded and overwhelmingly supported the change. Only amongst those over 56 was there any reticence, and even in that age group, well over half were happy to see the back of god.

Despite its traditions, Scouting has always been flexible, and various countries have avoided mandating religious devotion as the UK will shortly do. British Scouts (and Cubs and Beavers) started admitting girls in 1991 (Explorers having been coeducational since 1976) and the UK never had the ban on homosexual membership which still applies to "leaders" in the US.

Which means anyone can now join the movement with a clear conscience, or perhaps nearly everyone as the FAQ explains:

"We would find it unlikely that someone who truly identified as a Satanist would be able to honestly sign up to the values of Scouting." ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
Google's whois results say it's a lousy smut searcher
Run whois google.com or whois microsoft.com. We dare you, you PIG◙◙◙◙ER
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.