The possibility Girl Guides of Canada will drop any reference to religion from its all-important Guiding Promise is drawing an angry response from parents, who have taken to Facebook to debate the issue.

“This speaks to people’s fundamental values, and I think that’s why it’s touched a nerve,” says Louise Simos, whose nine-year-old daughter Alexandra is a Girl Guide in Toronto.

“It’s a bit of a hot potato.”

Discussion began almost immediately on a Girl Guides Facebook page late last week after a survey on the promise arrived in the homes of Guiding leaders and families.

The debate, almost universally condemned the survey for containing no option to keep references to God or faith in the promise.

Chief commissioner Myrtle Corkum said polling found Guiding is seen by most Canadians as a predominantly Christian group.

“We were not viewed as inclusive as we thought we were.” said Corkum, who has been monitoring the Facebook debate.

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