Two years ago, seven-year-old Maddie Willett was told that she had to pledge an oath to god if she wanted to remain in Girlguiding UK (their version of the Girl Scouts).
The pledge reads: ‘I promise that I will do my best, to love my God, to serve the Queen and my country, to help other people and to keep the Brownie Guide law.’
Her parents, Barry and Juliette Willett, are furious the 2nd Crawley Down Brownies troop in West Sussex has refused to alter the wording so their daughter could make the promise.
‘We don’t have a belief in God and our daughter is yet to make her decision,’ Mrs Willett said.
‘It’s a big decision for her to make and it would be offensive for an atheist to say they love God.’
Much like the Boy Scouts of America still do today, atheists were not allowed to become members of Girlguiding UK — at least not ones who were open and honest about their non-belief.
Unlike the BSA, though, Girlguiding UK has done something wonderful: Today, they announced a revision to the Promise that will allow openly non-religious girls to join the organization without a problem.
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