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Question

 

In California, it is now illegal for any Judge to be a member of the BSA.  How does that work at the ward level?  If a judge is a member of the Church, can he not be called to be Scout Master?

Robyn

 

Answer

 

Robyn,

In the 12th Article of Faith, we read this;

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates; in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

There are no loopholes, exceptions, or exemptions to be had with this standard. Insofar as the law of any nation exists, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are expected to uphold this standard completely. Understand that the BSA is not an official part of the Church, but rather a very close, and long-time partner with the Church in upholding and encouraging the development and realization of the best potential that can be had in the young men of today.

The BSA has its own rules, standards, and by-laws to uphold and consider. Of course the recent activity on this front has been a serious public matter, and for several important reasons. In an effort to avoid getting too deep into the matter, something I don’t see as necessary right now, let me just say that yes, you are correct. A judge that is a member of the Church in California cannot remain on the bench and be called as a Scoutmaster at the same time under this law.

This is currently a very interesting legal matter, on both sides. In settling on my answer, I have discovered that the actual lines may have not been fully drawn, and there yet remains a possibility of further legal action regarding this very decision you have asked me about. Having said that, let’s assume that the law stands as I have described it above. The good news is that, even at this point, I doubt it would seriously cut into the number of worthy members able to be called to the position.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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