Local churches sever ties with boy scouts over new gay policy - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Local churches sever ties with boy scouts over new gay policy

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MECHANICSVILLE, VA (WWBT) -

Fairmount Christian Church in Mechanicsville has plans to sever ties with its boy scout troop at the end of the year. The separation comes after the National Council voted to allow openly gay members.

In a statement, Pastor Rick Raines said,

Fairmount Christian Church has nothing but admiration and appreciation for the Scouts and Scout leaders of our Troop and our Pack. Fairmount Christian Church is a loving church that welcomes anyone who wants to worship and study God's Word here with us.

Fairmount Christian Church and its Elders would not sign a charter for any organization that required the church to endorse values that it considered Biblically inconsistent.

According to the CEO of the Heart of Virginia Council, the group in charge of local boy scout groups, Fairmount is one of six local churches that have plans to end sponsorship of its boy scouts.

"It's like losing an old friend and I'm saddened," said Brad Nesheim."If they feel that strongly that this is really going to conflict with their beliefs then I have to respect that."

The confirmation of the church's decision comes on the same day that local Catholics react to Pope Francis' controversial statement.

In the religious magazine, "America," Pope Francis urges Catholics to shift focus away from homosexuality and abortion and talk about other issues. Also, he asks they focus on compassion rather than condemnation.

"I think it's great, it's progressive and it's what the church needs right now," said Cathedral of the Sacred Heart member Dan Kaufman. "As for the boy scout decision, that doesn't make sense."

"I respect the church's decision to sever ties with the boy scouts," said Catholic Claire Bonilla. "You should always hold true to your beliefs."

Still, the numbers show that most either don't care about the new policy or support it. According to Nesheim, interest in boy scouts is up 40% from last year.

He says no Catholic churches have severed ties with their boy scout troops thus far.

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