God Reference Dropped in UK Girl Guide's Pledge

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The long established British scouting organization Girl Guide are removing God from their pledge. The new pledge was unveiled Wednesday.

A reference to "loving God" has been replaced with a call to "be true to myself and develop my beliefs."

The organization claims 44,000 people weighed in on the decision to change the pledge. Chief Guide Gill Slocombe said she hopes the change will encourage more girls to join.

"We knew that some people found our promise confusing on this point and that it discouraged some girls and volunteers from joining us," Slocombe said.

"We hope that the new wording will help us reach out to girls and women who might not have considered guiding before - so that even more girls can benefit from everything guiding can offer," she said.

The news was also welcomed by the National Secular Society, which lobbied for the removal.

Campaign Manager Stephen Evans said it was a "hugely positive and welcome development." Their hope is to make the organization more inclusive and relevant.

The reference to God has been a part of the pledge since the founding of the girl guides in 1910.

Girl guiding is a member of global scouting. Their change piggy-backs America's recent Boy Scout announcement on accepting gay members.

The new promise reads:

I promise that I will do my best:
To be true to myself and develop my beliefs,
To serve the Queen and my community,
To help other people and
To keep the (Brownie) Guide Law.

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