Catholic boy, 8, told he can't be a Cub Scout - because he refuses to pledge allegiance to the Queen

I have a very simple solution—Don’t join!!

It would seem the wisest course - and parents please don’t use your children to further your own political agendas, whether you be irish, english, american or whatever other nationality. They are kids first, Catholic or any other religion second. They are not pawns on a chessboard.

It’s a shame that this mother is making a political point at her son’s expense. And the point being made is indeed political, not religious. It serves only to confuse matters.
British Catholics are subjects of the Queen like anyone else. Many of them have fought and died in the Royal armed forces. There is nothing un-Catholic for them to swear loyalty to their sovereign. On the contrary.
What would be un-Catholic would be for them to give to the Queen (or anyone else) the loyalty their owe to Christ and the Pope and Bishops of the Church, which is not the same loyalty that which we owe to our country. We can and should distinguish the Queen’s temporal and religious roles. St Thomas More was the King’s good servant, remember?
To say that a Catholic in the UK is bound by his religion to be a republican or is simply false.

I wouldn’t argue that a Catholic is bound to be a republican especially as many of the founders of Irish republicanism were Protestants (such as Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Wolfe Tone, Henry Munro etc.)

republicanism is a polititical and not a religous ideology. I view monarchy as an outdated and outmoded idea but they are not my head of state and what course the monarchy takes is the decision of British citizens. And the mum in this case is definitely trying to make a rathe clumsly political point.

Like it or not, HM the Queen is Head of State. I took a similar oath – I joined the Canadian Forces in '83. I pledged allegiance to her in that capacity. As Queen, she is a symbol – same as Old Glory, which represents the USA. The Americans pledge allegiance to the flag, “and the Republic for which it stands”; I pledged allegiance to the Queen, and the State that she’s “Head of” (the latter part inferred). And I have no qualms in my Catholic conscience in doing so.

When I was a Cub scout, our pledge was:

I promise to do my best,
To do my duty to God ← Render unto God that which is God’s
and the Queen, ← Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s
To keep the law of the Wolf Cub Pack,
And to do a good turn for somebody every day.

You can see the sentiments I added in red.

This is ridiculous in my opinion. For one thing, that pledge is not anti-Catholic. For another, one should pledge allegiance to the leader of their nation unless the leader of that nation is just downright evil or something.

It is patently ridiculous, it’s a bit bizarre for me as an Irish republican to argue in favour of someone making an oath to the Queen but this is really mountains out of molehills territory. It is not a legal obligation to join the scouts, it is a choice and if you join them you have to play by their rules. The scouts are known for an ethos of inclusiveness not exclusiveness. The 1701 act is a holdover from a particularly unpleasant time in British history which had dire consequences for people in Britain and Ireland and yes it should be removed eventually but this is foolishness. All British nationals are viewed to be implicity loyal to the Queen as she is their head of state. The scouts own policy on it is that therefore any British national who joins has to take an oath to the Queen. It’s very simple don’t join if you are a British national who has problems with the oath, the scouts are not going to come round knocking on doors saying you must do so.

But isn’t Gordon Brown their leader? The Queen is pretty much just a figurehead. The Queen hasn’t changed the prohibition against marriage to Catholics and her grandson’s fiancee was just forced several months ago to choose between her faith or a marriage into the royal family. As we know, the girl chose marriage and left the Catholic faith. I feel sorry for this boy for being used for his mother’s political purposes, but it irritates me that Catholics are still shunned within certain facets of British society.

Jewish by ethnicity, Anglican by upbringing, still a Protestant.

I can see where this might be a problem:

Here’s a decent explanation of it in of all places, Wikipedia.
Now then, Boy Scouts in the US promise to “God and my country.” Cubs Scouts in the US also prmise to obey the “Law of the Pack”. It’s the same for Austria, Bangledesh, Belgium, Chile, Greece, even Hong Kong. There are countries where the scouts make no pledge to God, period. Scouts in Singapore pledge to God and the Republic of Singapore. I don’t see where anybody the US pledges to keep themselves “physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

Cub and Boy Scouts in the UK promised to “God and the Queen.” It’s the same for Canadians. I imagine, though it doesn’t say, that any of the British commonwealths have this pledge.

Mrs. Mountbatten-Windsor is not only the head of the Church of England. She is the Supreme Governor. It means while being mostly symbolic, the woman appoints high ranking members of the COE on advice of the Prime Minister. The position was originally stated in the Thirty-Nine Articles to be sure not only that the King or Queen of England ran the religious show, but that the Holy Father did not operate in the UK. While Great Britian is a constitutional monarchy, she is still The Head of State.

Would you want scouts doing their duty to “God and the President”? While Mrs. Mountbatten-Windsor is not elected, again, she is The Head of State, even though it is the Prime Minister who goes about doing things executive and equiventally presidential.

If somebody asked me, which they won’t as I am an American of Irish descent, I would recommend the whole Commonwealth joined the rest of the majority of the world and go with “God and my country” instead. As for the young man and his mother, there are other organizations than Boy Scouts.

He could be a Squire. :slight_smile:

Sound advice, as an Irish man I’ll take it, wasn’t the oath that bothered me, it’s "do I have to wear short trousers " ? :eek:

Suck it up, cupcake – I had to wear that %#$&!! beanie.

That uniform is the epitome of masculinity, innit?

"Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar–and to God what belongs to God.” Mark 12:17.
I would have thought that this scripture applies here…

Is that a term for Anglicans, or are you referring to something else? Satanic? wow :frowning:

The oath reads: On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God, the Queen, and my country; to obey the Scout law and to help other people at all times.

Note that the duty to Queen is secondary to duty to God. No Catholic should have a problem with the oath. They have been taking this oath in the British Commonwealth since Scouting was developed by Lord Baden Powell.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit