Orlando group creates faith-based alternative to Boy Scouts - FOX 35 News Orlando

Orlando group creates faith-based alternative to Boy Scouts

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An Orlando-based nonprofit is developing an organization for boys that focuses on Christian faith and values. 

Florida Family Policy Council released the details of the program by teleconference Tuesday.

"We will invite any boy of any religion, of any race, doesn't really matter," said John Stemberger, President of the Florida Family Policy Council. "However, the adults will have some requirements in terms of standard Christian faith."

Stemberger said there will be strict behavioral requirements for adults.

Rob Green from Spartanburg, South Carolina will be the interim Executive Director for the new national program.

Stemberger said he started organizing the group the day after the Boy Scouts of America announced its decision to allow openly gay members. Nearly 50 leaders from around the country gathered on June 29, 2013 in Louisville, Ky., to discuss the idea.

The new group will be modeled after the American Heritage Girls, an organization that refers to itself as a "Christ-centered alternative to Girl Scouts."

The group's mission is stated as such: "to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure."

Stemberger said a boy who is attracted to someone of the same sex would not be turned away, but he would not be able to quote "openly flaunt it."

"There's a big difference between having a same-sex attraction and having a political movement," said Stemberger. "We think that the second would be completely inappropriate."

In addition, the organization's membership policy will focus on abstinence, also stating: "the proper context for sexual relations is only between a man and a woman in the covenant of marriage."

Former Boy Scout Randy Stephens disagrees with Stemberger's plan.

"I did everything I could to make sure nobody knew I was gay," said Stephens. "Now at least that's been relaxed by the real Boy Scouts."

Stephens now runs The Center in Orlando, one of the country's oldest LGBT advocacy centers.

"I mean, come on! This is 2013," said Stephens. "We're not in the 1950's."

However, Stemberger said he's already heard from at least 30,000 people who support the idea.

"The focus is not on sexual orientation," said Stemberger. "The focus is on sexual purity"

"Let's be realistic," said Stephens. "In this day and age, that's a nice thought about our children. You've also got to realize that's not going to be what's going to happen."

Several national and regional groups worked together to form the new organization, including, OnMyHonore.net, Faith Based Boys, TrailHead USA and Frontier Service Corps.

FOX35 did reach out to a regional representative of the Boy Scouts of America, but we did not hear back from them regarding a response to the new program.

The new organization will host its first national convention in Nashville on September 6 and 7, 2013. The name of the new group will be announced at the convention. No word on where the group will be based.

The program will officially launch on January 1, 2014.  For more information, go to www.OnMyHonor.Net

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