CHILDREN ARE NOT BORN WITH A RELIGION OR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS IN DEITIES/SUPERNATURAL BEINGS. To exclude young people from an international youth organisation on the basis of their naturalistic/humanistic beliefs is contrary to inclusiveness. It is a form of apartheid against non-religious children/people. To discriminate against and exclude people on the basis of their colour, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation is considered by most decent and fair-minded people to be morally repugnant and against the spirit of human rights and so should the discrimination and exclusion of people who don't/cannot believe in spirits/gods.
The inclusion of a promise to a deity by young people to join the scouts or guides is unacceptable as it creates an antipathy towards non-religious people and is divisive as it separates young people from their peers. It implies that they are pariahs. It encourages/forces young people who are keen to join the scouts/guides to lie about their beliefs in order to join the organisation or it forces young people to take a stance whilst they are still forming their view of the world or to assume the label imposed upon them by their parents/society. This is contrary to morality and discourages young people from thinking for themselves. An organisation that is primarily religious but claims to be universal and open to all is a sham. Such an organisation should not be supported by governments from general taxation if it discriminates against and excludes a section of the population on the basis of their beliefs.
Non-religious/humanist/secularists/atheists have challenged the scouting/guides organisations in various countries on this abhorrent exclusion of non-religious children/people but to no avail. We know that sometimes, at grassroots level, the organisers turn 'a blind eye' especially when they need recruits or troop leaders!
I ask you to support this petition to the International Scouting/Guiding Movement to accept that the Promise, in its existing form, is outmoded and contrary to the spirit of equality and humanity. I also ask that you petition your local/national scouts and guides organisations and government/political representatives to remove that part of the initiation ritual that forces all to declare an allegiance to a deity as this is unreasonable, irrational and discriminatory.
Jeanne Rathbone started this petition with a single signature, and now has 154 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.