A Cub Scout troop chartered in North Carolina church has asked a couple to step down as troop leaders because they are Mormon. Jeremy and Jodi Stokes say they were told they are not "real Christians."
The couple's sons were members of the Cub Scout troop at the Christ Covenant Church, a Presbyterian Church, near Charlotte. The Stokes said they were happily accepted when they volunteered to be troop leaders. But that all changed when church leaders found out they were Mormon.
A spokesperson for the church said that they were taking actions to "assure that our parameters for leaders are clearly defined and well-communicated to volunteers and those interested in leadership roles for church sponsored programs such as the Boy Scouts."
And the Boy Scouts are backing up the church. Mark Turner, who is executive director of the Mecklenburg County Council of the Boy Scouts of America, said that the church is well within its rights to accept or deny whomever they want into the Cub Scout program.
As long as groups that charter Scout units follow the guidelines set by the national organization, they can set their own additional policies, he said.
The Scouts require its members to swear an oath of duty to God, but it doesn't say it must be of any specific denomination. The scouts do ban atheists, however (in addition to openly gay people).
The church said the boys could stay; the parents just couldn't be leaders.
"I can't believe they had the audacity to say, 'You can't be leaders but we want your boys,'" Jodi Stokes said. "Are you kidding me? Do you really think I'd let my boys go there now?"
They are now in a scout troop at the local Mormon church. The parents are troop leaders.