Leslie's Guiding History Site



Religion and Guiding

Posted by Leslie on July 11, 2013 at 7:25 AM

I have added in a new page on the current 'hot topic' - religion and Guiding. One of the main reasons for doing so is the amount of mis-information spreading around, in the media and elsewhere, about the topic - both from members of the public who mistakenly assume that Guiding is or was a Christian organisation, and, sadly, from Leaders and former Leaders who are under the same misconception. And yet, I was wary, because it is a controversial topic, mainly because so many of those who believe that Guiding was or is a Christian organisation , feel so strongly about it. The new Promise wording has caused some strong views and strong feelings. For that reason, I have included the quotes on religion from the handbooks, and rulebooks, of different eras, which I hope will clarify the true position.

One policy which is unchanged from the very start of Guiding is that members may only attend a service of another denomination or religion if they have written permission - for many years it was the only thing Guides had to have written permission for! It's also fascinating to see how, even in the first handbook of 1912, when Guiding had barely started to spread around the world, there was a clear recognition that Guides could come from any one of a number of religions, and that they were encouraged to view positively the beliefs of those from religions other than their own. So in some ways, perhaps the new wording of the Promise which is to be introduced in September 2013 - is closer to the intention stated in the 1912 handbook than any previous version of the Promise has been . . .



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