A church in Pennsylvania made what the pastor called an "excruciating" decision, breaking 93 years of tradition and cutting ties with the Boy Scouts of America over the organization's new policies on gays.
Rather than renewing its charter with local Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts groups, Aldan Union Church in Aldan, Pa., decided it couldn't overcome its opposition to the recently-adopted policies, KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia reported.
"As a church, we have a responsibility to our convictions," Rev. Paul Thompson told KYW after the church's elders council voted almost unanimously to boot the groups.
At the center of the decision was the Boy Scouts of America's recent decision to allow openly gay scouts -- something he said violates Aldan Union Church's biblical views.
"We try to have the authority being in the scriptures rather than ourselves," Thompson told the Lehigh Valley Morning Call, noting that the church isn't homophobic. "We believe that among those sins is the sin of homosexuality."
Aldan Union has allowed Boy Scouts to meet at the location since 1920. While that tradition has come to an end, a nearby American Legion post is taking in the Scout groups.
Boy Scouts from the Chief Seattle Council carry U.S. flags as they prepare to march in the Gay Pride Parade Sunday, June 30, 2013, in downtown Seattle. (AP)
Gregory Daniels, the Cub scoutmaster whose group is being relocated, told The Morning Call that despite personally supporting allowing gay children and leaders into the ranks, he respects the church's perspective.
"I'm all for the integration and the nondiscrimination against the boys who are gay. I don't fault the church for their views," he said. "That's their views. Unfortunately, their views no longer coincide with the Boy Scouts of America."
TheBlaze reported last month that the response to the Boy Scouts' decision to allow openly gay youths has sparked a strong reaction among some people of faith. A Christian-based alternative called Trail Life USA launched last month to provide religious individuals another scouting option.
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