British Scouts Consider Atheist Pledge in Move to Remain 'Relevant'

boy scouts
The scouting movement began more than a century ago and now encompasses some 40 million members worldwide. (Research Development and Engineering Command)

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Atheists could be allowed into Britain's boy and girl scouts after more than a century.

Although there have been alternative oaths for Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists for decades, there have been no such exceptions made for atheists. Wayne Bulpitt, the association's chief commissioner in the U.K., said the proposed change is meant to keep the group relevant and to encourage membership.

But he said Tuesday the group plans to keep its oath to the queen.

The scouting movement began more than a century ago and now encompasses some 40 million members worldwide.

In October, a San Francisco Bay-area teenager was kicked out of the Boy Scouts because of the organization's national policy of excluding gay members.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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