I welcome Tuesday’s announcement by the Scout Association in the UK of an alternative promise to be available for those who do not believe in God.
This alternative to the Scout promise reflects the society we live in now where not all people have a religious belief or faith.
It upholds one of the core values of youth work as outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the right of young people to voice their opinion and have their views listened to and taken seriously.
Youth work engages with young people within their communities; it acknowledges the wider networks of peers, community and culture; it supports the young person to realise their potential and to address life’s challenges critically and creatively and it takes account of all strands of diversity.
The key to success when working with young people is being able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape we live in and to recognise that every young person is an individual and their views and beliefs need to be respected.
YouthLink Scotland, National Agency for Youth Work
I welcome the news that the Scouts are soon to allow an alternative, non-religious version of their membership pledge.
In previous generations the wealthy and socially privileged churches used to run all sorts of public projects and, of course, used their stewardship to promote their religious beliefs.
With 2011 census figures for Scotland showing “no religion” at 37 per cent, higher than the Church of Scotland at 32 per cent, let us hope that, like the Scouts, our schools and governing bodies soon become secular spaces where religion is not assumed to be the default position for all.
Edinburgh Secular Society