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Christian-Based Group Ready to Compete with Boy Scouts

Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Boy Scouts of America could soon have competition in the realm of character-building organizations.

John Stemberger, founder of, said on Tuesday that his faith-based group is forming its own program for children and adults upset with the Boy Scouts' decision in May that opens membership to openly gay boys.

Yet, despite Stemberger's coalition also opposing the Boy Scouts' new policy, he said that the still-to-be named organization would permit gays to join, providing they remain silent about their sexual orientation.

The coalition, which met last month to form the faith-based alternative, includes Boy Scout leaders and other groups such as the newly-created Faith Based Boys.

Former Boy Scout leader Rob Green, the interim executive director of the new organization, said, “We will be distinctly different from the Boy Scouts although there will be some similarities, for example, rank advancements that have been earned within the BSA will be transferable."

The group will emphasize sexual purity rather than orientation, as Stemberger explained: "We don’t think sex and politics should be in a program for kids.  Those are issues for parents."

He promised that it's "not going to be any kind of a witch hunt in our organization for people and what their sexual orientations are."  But Stemberger warned that gay members won't be able to flaunt their same-sex attraction or "carry a rainbow flag."

The first national convening of the new group is scheduled for early September.  Green said that adult leaders must follow strict Christian standards of faith and values, although boys from all religious backgrounds are welcome to become members.

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