The UK Girl Guides which was founded on Christian values is cancelling all references to God so it can be seen as “inclusive.”
Classic campfire songs with references to God and faith will no longer be used by the Girl Guides and related groups in the UK such as Brownies and Rangers.
Under new guidelines leaders can change the lyrics to omit religious references that might make girls feel unwelcome.
References to racism, royalty and a colonial past have also been removed from songs and promises.
The decision has raised questions among believers who accuse the organisation of trying to delete its Christian heritage.
The founders of the Girl Guides and Scouts Robert Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes, were motivated by their Christian faith.
The Christian Institute’s Ciaran Kelly told the Daily Mail: “Erasing their past and our traditions do not promote greater inclusion or diversity. Quite the opposite. The many Christian members of the Girl Guides will certainly question how welcome they really are. I hope they reconsider this decision.”
In 2013 the UK Girl Guides which now operates under the name Girlguiding changed the Brownies and Guides pledge to remove the promise “to love” and “to serve” God.
Members vowed to be “true to myself and develop my beliefs” and serve their “community” instead of their country.
Girlguiding told Premier Christian News: “We are proud to be an inclusive organisation. Our ambition for diversity and inclusion is for Girlguiding to be a place where everyone is welcome and is free to be themselves – whoever they are and wherever they’re from.”
“As part of our commitment, it’s important we consider elements of our heritage that may not illustrate our values and ethos of today, and how they may be excluding girls or volunteers from taking part fully or feeling truly welcome. We encourage all members to consider how they can do their part to support our ambition to be a place where everyone has an equal sense of belonging.”
Girl Guides Australia dropped references to God and Queen (or King) more than a decade ago.
The name Guides covers girls of all ages after the group name of Brownies was dropped nearly 30 years ago.
The guides are known as Girl Scouts In the US where references to God in pledges and songs remain optional.