Scouts refuse to allow boy who won’t swear to Queen.
An eight-year-old boy has been told he cannot become a Cub Scout after refusing to swear allegiance to the Queen.
Matthew McVeigh objected to part of the Cub Scout Promise which includes the line, “I promise to do my duty to God and the Queen”.
His mother Tracy wanted the pledge changed on religious grounds to: “I promise to do my duty to God and my country”.
But Matthew was told by the 1st Neilston Scout Group in Renfrewshire that unless he took the official oath he could not become a fully-fledged Cub.
Mrs McVeigh, a Roman Catholic, complained the 1701 Act of Settlement specifically discriminated against her faith because it only allowed Protestants to take the throne in Britain.
She added: “Why should we make an oath to the monarchy? The monarchy actively discriminates against Catholics.
“It’s an absolute disgrace in this day and age. We are supposed to live in a multi-cultural age, but this just flies in the face of that.”
The Scout Association allows young people of different religions to replace the word “God” with other deities, and also allows people of other nationalities in the UK to swear to do their duty to “the country in which I am now living”.
But Chris Foster, spokesman for the association, said the rules stated that British nationals must pledge allegiance to the Queen.
He added: “It is simply UK Scout Association policy that all British subjects must promise that.”
Its rules state that scouting is available to all faiths and takes account of the different religions of its members.
In the case of the Scout Promise, which adds the words “On my honour,” at the start of the Cub Scout pledge, Muslims may choose to substitute the phrase with, “In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful”.
Mrs McVeigh, 29, a mother-of-three, said her son was an intelligent boy and did not want to make the promise “just for the sake of saying it”.
She added: “I was gobsmacked that the Cub Scout commissioner said that if Matthew didn’t say the promise he would effectively be out the door. He said he could still go along to trips, but he would not be insured.
“The Cub Scout Promise was worded way back in 1907 and, let’s face it, times have moved on. Matthew absolutely adores the Cub Scouts.
“I am not asking for special treatment, I would just like him to be a Cub Scout without compromising what he believes in.”
Matthew said the decision was “not fair”, adding: “I really enjoy the Cubs and don’t want to feel left out or different to everybody else.”
Fr Jim Byers, Scouting chaplain of the local Catholic diocese, said he had never heard of a case of religious objection to the promise in 20 years, but urged the Scouting authorities to look into the case.
Cubs have to recite the full promise, which states: “I promise that I will do my best, To do my duty to God and to the Queen, To help other people, And to keep the Scout Law.”
After reciting the verse they receive a badge, woggle and neckerchief and become a fully-fledged Cub Scout.
OK people, it’s simple. Scouting has a set of rules and one rule is that you make the Promise (or Oath). If you don’t want to, go away and join a youth club! Harsh, I know but that’s the rules.
Sounds to me like Mummy is putting words in the lad’s mouth. The eight year olds I know wouldn’t object to doing their duty to the Queen. I’m certain that there are no problems of this sort at our local Catholic Group just down the road from us. Mummy is now threatening to go to court as it infringes his human rights.
Mind you, putting things in perspective, this is quite petty, silly and unimportant when compared to the poor Scouts who lost their lives in the tornado the other day 🙁