Girl Scouts who openly to worship themselves

From Breitbart:


On Wednesday, Great Britain’s Girl Guides (their equivalent of U.S. Girl Scouts) and Brownies removed God from their 103-year-old oath.
Instead of the passage where they used to promise to “love God,” they will now vow to be true to “myself” and develop “my beliefs.” The organization said the move is intended to attract girls from secular families.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, condemned the move, saying, “These values have their roots in a Christian outlook. Taking ‘God’ out of the promise denies the history and foundations of the movement without offering anything in its place, with the result that the organization will lose its distinctive ethos and end up meaning nothing.”
Chief Guide Gill Slocombe protested that the organization consulted 40,000 before it made the change. She said that using God in the pledge “discouraged some girls and volunteers from joining,” and now the Guides could “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.”
Julie Bentley, the new CEO of the Guides, has called the Girl Guides the “ultimate feminist organization.”
The Girl Guides in Australia also deleted God from the vow last year. The Boy Scouts in Great Britain are considering a similar move next month.
Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts in the United States still vow to “to serve God and my country.”

Worshipping themselves in an enclosed circle.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Legisperitus says:

    God is definitely Trinitas non grata in the UK. What’s next, people singing “Let the Queen Save Herself”?

  2. tjg says:

    No one should be surprised by this….the Girl Scouts already embrace Planned Parenthood! And the Boy Scouts just voted to allow open and avowed homosexuals (and before anyone starts, don’t believe the press releases about what the verbiage in the Boy Scout policy says…..we all know what it really means.) The removal of God from the oath will be here in the US (both for Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts) and my guess is by next year.

  3. Maltese says:

    And young women, go to the college of SSPK in Kansas.

  4. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Chief Guide Gill Slocombe protested that the organization consulted 40,000 before it made the change.”

    Did they consult God? Hmm… Ah, truth by numbers.

    “She said that using God in the pledge “discouraged some girls and volunteers from joining,” and now the Guides could “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.”

    Except a Guiding Truth :(

    The Chicken

  5. Bosco says:

    All this madness unleashed on the world, and which seems to be accelerating at a breathless pace, for some reason has evoked a memory of an old song I recall from the early 70’s sung by Hoyt Axton, “Have a Nice Day”.

    The beginning went something like this:

    “When it all comes down
    I hope it doesn’t land on you
    When the truth is found
    I hope it will be true to you.

    All I’m sayin’ is have a nice day
    I hope it doesn’t rain on your parade
    An’ when it all comes down
    I hope it doesn’t land on you.”

    I suspect it may still be kicking around on YouTube. Have a nice day scouts!

  6. Priam1184 says:

    Our society appears to be reaching the final stages of dementia.

  7. jflare says:

    Like tjg declared, I can’t say I’m terribly surprised. What we used to know as Scouting has effectively become irrelevant.
    I suggest becoming involved the Scouts of St George or similar organizations instead. Morality CAN still be instilled, even with the secular effort to toss it.

  8. Peggy R says:

    There is an assignment in our PSR textbook to make a bookmark glorifying God’s name. So, you picture “God”, “Jesus” in bright colors, bubble letters, designs, etc. One girl wrote her own name instead. I had to remark to her she was to glorify God’s name not her own. Sigh.

  9. APX says:

    Peggy, these days people believe they ARE God, so it would only make sense to glorify one’s own name.

  10. Bosco says:

    @Peggy R,

    Had to look up what PSR was, I’m that long out of the loop! I used to be the director of our parish CCD program in the 80’s. My precious little darlings were the 12 – 17 year olds. Ahem.

    In any event, a kid is a kid and so long as you nudged her along lovingly and in the right direction I wouldn’t worry over much.

  11. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    I doubt you will have this in the US soon. Too many people would hop ship and there are many alternatives now. They have the new My Promise/My Faith pins that they are promoting.

  12. Peggy R says:

    APX & Bosco…I pointed her error out to her quietly. No need to beat a kid up for it.

  13. Supertradmum says:

    Self-worship has been taught in the schools and in families for at least two generations, with the emphasis on “me” and “self-fulfillment” rather than “others” and “self-denial”. Narcissism is no longer considered an illness or a personality disorder in the strict sense. A 2009 study by Twenge and Campbell stated that narcissism is epidemic in the States, and I would add, any Western country in decay. This study noted that one in sixteen people had symptoms or traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which some psychiatrists and psychologists deny is an illness or deviant trait. Are we then surprised when the institutions we have known and loved have been taken over by this new generation of entitlement seekers. Of course, this worshiping of self is the Primal Sin and, imo, also connected to ssm agendas and new laws, as one is merely worshiping one’s self, instead of the other in a ssm.

    Of course, look at the leaders of GB right now, as well as France and the USA and tell me these men are not narcissists.

  14. APX says:

    I’m not beating the kid up for it, but this such is the attitude that is being instilled in children.

  15. tjg says:

    “I doubt you will have this in the US soon. Too many people would hop ship and there are many alternatives now.”

    I respectfully disagree with this. Read the words of Anna Maria Chavez herself, CEO of Girl Scouts as published in Feb 2013 on one of the media outlets we all know and love (yes, the Huffington Post);

    I became the CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) at a pivotal moment in its history. My first year happened to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the founding of Girl Scouting, and as we celebrated that amazing milestone, we realized we also had a unique opportunity to take stock of our movement. Girl Scouts has an incredible history, one indelibly linked to the transformative social movements of the 20th century, which brought tremendous strides for women and girls in America.

    But as the calendar turned to the 2000s, new technologies forever altered our economic and social landscape. Entire industries rose and fell as a result. As our second century dawned, our movement had to come to terms with these realities. As a nonprofit dedicated to serving girls and developing them into future leaders, how do we adapt to change? Further, how do we lead this change? How do we transform our brand, our program and our own internal work processes to meet the needs of today’s girls? How do we stay focused on our core mission while maintaining the flexibility and dynamism to respond to the ever quickening pace of the outside world?

    Too often, nonprofits are viewed as rigid and bureaucratic — less nimble and capable of adapting in this fluid environment than our corporate counterparts. I don’t agree. I think there has been tremendous innovation and change in the nonprofit sector over the past 20 years, and I believe that Girl Scouts has been, and will continue to be, on the cutting edge of these transformations.

    Everyone knows Girl Scouts. Surveys show that we’re one of the most widely-recognized brands in the country. Wherever I travel, when I tell people I am with Girl Scouts, they smile. Yet even a beloved organization like ours is not immune to the pressures that drive the need for change. We are more than cookies, camps and crafts. Our movement is about developing young women into leaders and visionaries; women who will change the world for the better. If we were no longer able to inspire girls, encourage them to dream big about the future and help them achieve their goals, then we were no longer fulfilling the promise of our mission.

    The environment in which Girl Scouts had long thrived simply no longer exists. We faced new and heightened competition for the time and attention of girls from extracurricular and social activities that ranged from soccer and cheerleading to Facebook and Twitter. We have also struggled to maintain the engagement of adults, as the stay-at-home mom model, long the source of so many of our wonderful volunteers, gave way as more and more women entered the workforce. In short, societal changes threatened the relevancy of Girl Scouting as an American institution. In order to survive, we had to change, too.

    But Girl Scouts are nothing if not resilient, and our movement is nothing if not bold. We decided to meet these challenges head-on, embarking on a sweeping transformation almost a decade ago. We consolidated councils from 330 to 112 in order for them to have the capacity to serve girls and volunteers more effectively, and we created a leadership program that is truly a breakthrough. Instead of standing rigid against cultural change, we embraced it, flowed with it, and used it as a blueprint to revitalize our brand to appeal to today’s girls.

    And we’re not done yet. Given our federated structure, many of our initial changes have taken place at the council level. The local level is where Girl Scouting happens. When I became CEO of the national movement, I resolved to continue being a part of that change at the national level — to turn the Girl Scouts of the USA into a dynamic, fluid organization dedicated to helping our leaders in the field deliver on our mission. We needed to carry out our own transformation to bring our operations and ways of work into line and up to speed with those of our girls and volunteers.

    Has the road we’ve been on for the past decade been easy? No. Change this deep is never easy for any organization. The transformation we are undertaking is one that will fundamentally help us better serve girls in the 21st century. We won’t be able to bring the Girl Scout experience to life for modern girls until we create a modern movement — one that allows all of the elements that make up Girl Scouts, from volunteers to our staff at our national offices, to gain a greater sense of connection to the movement they serve. We want to create an environment based on a unifying set of values that transcend the day-to-day tasks of GSUSA — we want to create an experience.

    We are transforming a beloved 100-year-old brand, and in the process, modeling the values and leadership skills girls will need to succeed in an ever changing world. It is a new century for Girl Scouts, and at GSUSA, we are taking steps to ensure that it’s every bit as successful as our last. We have laid out a vision for the future of our Movement and together, we are bringing that vision to life for the modern girl.

  16. tjg says:

    The message from Chavez is all too familiar….Hope and Change.

  17. MarcAnthony says:

    Fr. Z, at the risk of attracting your ire, I think you need to change your article title. It is misleading. The Girl Scouts are NOT changing their pledge. That these Girl Guides are the British equivalent of the Girl Scouts doesn’t make them the Girl Scouts. They are two completely separate organizations, each entirely autonomous from the other.

    That’s like saying the Columbian Squires are the Catholic equivalent of the Boy Scouts, and then condemning the Squires for the Boy Scouts’ new policy on homosexuals.

    I’m no fan of the Girl Scouts either, but let’s at least be fair.

  18. Peggy R says:

    APX–no dig at you. Just assuring Bosco I was not rough with the girl. You both responded to my fist comment… Cheers.

  19. catholiccomelately says:

    Almost 20 years ago, my daughter, Liz, and I were in scouting together. At one meeting, held in our church basement, a council leader came to present the “Green Circle Program” (green is the GSUSA color.) She put up a board with a central dot and 4 concentric rings around it. She told the girls, touching the rings and then the central dot, ‘Now this is the world. Who is at the center? Who is the most important person in the world?” Liz answered immediately: “JESUS!” The woman was nonplused at the answer and shot back: “NO! Not Jesus! Not God! YOU are the most important person in the world! It’s YOU!” Liz and many of the other girls were quite confused ………… and it was the turning point for me in my affections for and trust in Girl Scouting. A few years later, Liz finished her Silver (thanks to a home-based program and a great Leader)and left scouting. We’ll not be back as volunteers, ever, given the way Scouting has changed.

  20. jflare says:

    Um, PSR in this context stands for what?

  21. Elizabeth D says:

    There are some religious sisters who worship “women’s divinity.” And unfortunately there is no sign they mean in some sense of theosis or “transforming union.”

  22. Bosco says:

    @Peggy R,
    “You both responded to my fist comment… “.
    Ha! ‘fist’! Freudian slip, PeggyR?
    Just kidding of course…unless you really meant ‘fist’ instead of ‘first’.

  23. Elodie says:

    Every few years, there is some article about Girl Scouts OR Girl Guides facing a “crisis of relevance” and taking some actions to attract new members. Funny how whatever they come up with always makes them increasingly irrelevant. If one were cynical, one could draw parallels to parish/diocesan programs meant to attract youth with “relevance” . . .

    Fox News has an article today about how GSUSA is facing financial woes and declining membership. Somewhere in the article, someone says that it’s no longer about the girls, it’s all about money. I agree. Ten years ago, I went through a SIX HOUR training session to be a leader. It was SIX HOURS about fundraising — oh, and how to attract a diverse troop. (Which wasn’t an issue — it was a military base and the girls’ troops WERE diverse! Unless they weren’t talking about racial diversity. Hmmmm. . . ) I completed that training session but didn’t go back. None of my daughters did/have since.

    Furthermore, the US scouts will drop God just as soon as they can get away with it. ‘Cuz, of course, God just isn’t relevant anymore. And, you know, there’s this ENORMOUS population of girls who are just DYING to be scouts, and pay lots in dues, but are SO VERY put off by the “to serve God” part of things that they’ll sign up the moment He’s removed . . . ;-)

  24. Clinton says:

    So the organization decided to change its traditional oath and mission statement in order to
    accommodate the sensibilities of irreligious girls who might now wish to join? I’d be
    interested to see if the Girl Guides have an uptick in memberships in the next few years– or if
    there is any downward slide as girls who believe in God head for the exits. Either way, I doubt
    the membership numbers are as important to current leadership as was the banishment of God
    from the Guides.

    If the Guide’s expressed belief in God was such an obstacle to irreligious girls and their
    families, then why didn’t they start their own version? (“Guides without God” would be
    catchy). Instead, they turn a venerable organization to suit their own agenda. Now it’s the
    religious girls and their families who have to start from scratch if they want a Guides
    organization that reflects their values.

  25. AnnikaMira says:

    Are posting like these deliberate to wring outrage out of your readers or is is more like a tic. You just can’t help yourself. Posts like this make the ones that are really important get lost in all rage.

  26. tjg says:

    Speaking for myself, I do not feel rage…but I do think this is the correct place for righteous anger (for all of those kids and parents that are being terribly misled.) And the removal of God from a 100 yr old organizational pledge does seem rather significant.

  27. rkingall says:

    I was a Girl Scout all the way through high school to my Gold Award, circa 1988/89. I have to say, GS was a fantastic thing for me. I learned so much, gained confidence is many things. My mom was a super co-leader. Never once did I experience anything bizarre, but that’s 25 years ago now. I look back on my time in GS fondly – camping, canoeing, community service. And all from a troop affiliated with our Catholic school and church.

    I am simply heartbroken about what has been done to the Scouts in America. I know the story here is about the Girl Guides – a different organization than Girl Scouts, but close. As a mother to a 4 year old girl, and considering everything I’ve read about GS in the last year or so, I simply cannot put my beautiful, innocent little girl in GS when the time comes. I surely hope that I can find a Catholic (or at least Christian) organization for her, should she be interested in that sort of thing.

    My husband and his 2 brothers were Eagle Scouts, their dad a scout master for 20+ years. We don’t have a boy, so I don’t ever have to wrestle with whether to enroll in Boy Scouts. But wow, what a heartbreak.

    May the Lord have mercy on us.

  28. Peggy R says:

    Yikes Bosco! Thanks for the correction!

    jaflare: PSR=Parish School of Religion. The new and improved (!) CCD for a new generation…

  29. Stephen Matthew says:

    While I am neither surprised nor upset about this, I do disapprove of this change.

    However, as to why I am not particularly upset:

    This is mostly an acknowledgement of an existing reality. It is stating openly what was previously veiled. From my understanding most of the Guide and Scout organizations around the world, even those that continue to say “duty to God” have defined it in such a way that anything short of the strictest atheism would fit, and if someone chose to omit those words or silently replace them with something of their own, that is has basically been an accepted practice for quite some time.

    The few exceptions to this very squishy interpretation of “duty to God” have been the smaller, faith specific organizations of Scouts and Guides, such as some of the explicitly Christian or Catholic ones, a few with I think Muslim ties, and to a lesser degree the BSA (which has always had a broad mind about “duty to God” but has never considered it optional, all must subscribe to it even if they can’t agree what it means).

    “Civil religion” and like efforts to pay lip service to some sort of common religious values and heritage can become increasingly problematic the more diverse a society becomes and the less it has in common with that former heritage. At some point there can become a danger that instead of fostering actual religious devotion this becomes a mode of introducing indifferent-ism or relativism.

    If I were a parent trying to raise a child as a Catholic, I would be very open to doing something Scouting like, but I would very much want it to be in some explicitly Catholic mode. That could, I suppose, be a troop of the mainstream scouting organization run by a Catholic parish as an integral part of its youth ministry and religious education program, or it could be as part of one of the smaller Catholic or Christian alternatives.

    From my read of the US scouting community, and those Catholic scouters (BSA and GSUSA, even the “open minded” ones) that I know, any direct removal of God from the program would be a deal breaker here

    Frankly I think there needs to be a deeper reexamination of the relationship between the Catholic Church (institutionally, and by individuals) in the USA and quite a few organizations we have traditionally been comfortable working with. As the culture changes many things that once were reliable partners may no longer be. Also, many of those partnerships were formed in a time when many Catholics were trying to fit into the American mainstream and the institution was still trying to be accepted by many Americans; now the struggle is to maintain Catholic belief and identity in an all pervasive and increasingly perverse popular culture.

  30. Rachel K says:

    You will all be interested to know that Julie Bentley, the new CEO of British Guiding, was head of the Family Planning Association. I quote from the Daily Telegraph, 9th May 2013-
    ‘Having spent five years campaigning to change abortion laws in Northern Ireland, resisting opposition to the UK’s 24-week termination deadline, and pressing for mandatory sex education in schools (something she is still frustrated is not yet in place) in her previous role, she is pretty well-equipped to head up the Guides in the 21st century. Combine her experience of empowering women, with her previous stint as a youth worker – and Bentley probably couldn’t have wished for a better next job than being chief Guide.’
    Well, now we know where this is coming from. Infiltration, fifth columnists, that is how the agenda is being pushed. But we can do it too.

  31. The GSA organization has become radicalized into a mostly covert feminist group, but sometimes overtly, as in this example. As time goes on, they are going to put the peddle to the metal and then it’s going to be girls gone wild.

  32. Panterina says:

    using God in the pledge “discouraged some girls and volunteers from joining”

    And by not mentioning God in the pledge, they are not afraid of discouraging those girls and volunteers who do believe in God from joining? I guess they are more afraid of the more vocal “politically correct” minority, than the silent majority of believers who are too afraid to speak out and complain.

  33. Priam1184 says:

    I’m sorry Panterina but we must face the hard truth that this is the year 2013 and there just isn’t a ‘silent majority of believers’ or any kind of majority of believers anymore. Not that there can’t or won’t be again one day; there just isn’t one now.

  34. Del says:

    I see this as part of a broader trend, this fear of being counter-cultural.

    So we no longer find organizations that strive for excellence, or even seek to carve out an identifying niche.

    But we do see plenty of this sort of thing, such as the Girl Scouts’ denial of their tradition and culture: They are actively striving for mediocrity.

  35. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    Lord Robert Baden-Powell, and the early leaders of the Boy Scouting, Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting Movements would be scandalized! The core of the Scouting and Guiding Movements is the belief in G-d, (amended over the decades to include those not of a Judeo-Christian religion).

    The three part promise is to G-d, Country and Community; and the concept of service to others, harkenings back to the Sermon on the Mount and the corporeal acts of mercy.

    The original 10 lines of the the Scout & Guide Laws were a condensation of moral behavior as taught from the Bible.

    What these organizations are today in no way resembles what they were founded to be.

    In the United States this would be the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the Girl Scouts of the United States (GSUSA). Of the two, the GSUSA least resembles the original organization as founded in 1912.

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