This article is from the Scouting FAQ, by Bill Nelson firstname.lastname@example.org, Soaring Golden Eagle email@example.com and Alan Houser firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Date: 7 Feb 2000
A. Duty to God is a Fundamental Principle of the World Organization
of the Scouting Movement (WOSM). When we talk about an Oath or Promise
must have Duty to God as a requirement for WOSM membership, we must do
so in context of the WOSM requirement.
Unless otherwise stated, single quotes indicate quotes from the
pamphlet Fundamental Principles by WOSM (see below) and double
quotes indicate quotes from Chapter 1 of the Constitution of
'The principles are the fundamental laws and beliefs which must
be observed when achieving the purpose (of the Scout Movement).
They represent a code of conduct which characterizes all members
of the Movement. Scouting is based upon three broad principles
which represent its fundamental laws and beliefs. They are
referred to as "Duty to God", "Duty to others" and "Duty to self".
As their names indicate, the first refers to a person's
relationship with the spiritual values of life; the second, to a
person's relationship with society in the broadest sense of the
term; and the third, to a person's obligations towards himself.'
"Duty to God"
"...adherence to spiritual principles, loyalty to the religion that
expresses them and acceptance of the duties resulting
therefrom." Note that the body text does not use the
word God. In that way, (the WOSM feels) the clause covers religions
which are non-monotheistic, such as Hinduism, or those
which do not recognize a personal God, such as Buddhism.
'The above-mentioned principles relating to the spiritual, social
and personal dimensions constitute the fundamental laws and
beliefs upon which Scouting rests. Consequently, the program
of all Scout associations must provide maximum opportunities for
the growth of young people on the basis of these
principles....the promises and laws of national associations,
when first drafted and whenever modified, are subject to the
approval of the World Organization.'
The Fundamental Principles of the WOSM