I have little doubt this decision will mark the beginning of British scouting’s long decline into irrelevance:
The Scouts are to drop their historic rule that teenage recruits must declare religious belief, the movement’s leaders said yesterday. In future boys and girls who join the organisation will be allowed to declare themselves as atheists and make a pledge of honourable behaviour that makes no mention of God. The retreat from religion marks a break with a tradition begun in 1908 when the movement’s founder Robert Baden-Powell wrote a Scout Promise which required a vow to ‘do my duty to God’.
It’s really rather remarkable how many organizations are so willing to commit suicide in the name of inclusion and accommodation with the secular world. Especially when it is so obviously unnecessary; membership in the Scouts had grown by nearly 17 percent in the last 12 years.
Perhaps the Scouts will prove different than all of the various mainstream churches that have declined into irrelevance by moving into the world and away from God. But I doubt it. Atheists will doubtless opine that they can’t see any possible reason why scouting should decline just because they are permitted entry, and yet, we see the same pattern play out again, and again, and again.