I was having a conversation about education with a co-worker this week who has four kids in public schools. She and her husband both work and pay taxes for these schools. Although the public schools are pretty good in our area, I still wish that Christians didn’t have to pay taxes to fund these schools. It’s not just that they typically underperform. They also discriminate against Christians.
Here’s an example reported by Christian Headlines, and tweeted by the Family Research Council – a conservative think tank:
A Montana high school violated federal law and practiced religious discrimination last month when it revoked the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ status as a school-sponsored club, a religious liberty legal group says.
Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Dec. 11 to Bozeman High School, threatening a lawsuit if the school does not reinstate FCA as a school-sponsored club by Dec. 18.
The school revoked FCA’s official status in November after several students raised concerns over the national organization’s stance on the definition of marriage. FCA’s statement of faith says “God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society.” FCA’s adult leaders are required to support the statement and a code of conduct that affirms a biblical definition of sexuality.
“Your actions violate federal law under the Equal Access Act and ignore 30-year Supreme Court precedent protecting the rights of religious student clubs to be treated equally with other student clubs,” the ADF letter says. “Refusing to recognize FCA as a school-sponsored club because of its religious mission and denying it the same privileges as other non-curricular clubs is illegal.”
The high school currently recognizes 34 clubs, including the Environmental Awareness Club, the Sexuality and Gender Alliance, the Human Rights Club and the Key Club. FCA, though, is not one of them.
Because of its unofficial status, the local FCA is prohibited from making schoolwide announcements or meeting on campus during non-instructional hours. Additionally, its flyers must bear a yellow sticker (which signifies that it is not school-sponsored).
This is what happens when American voters think that it’s a good idea to shovel taxpayer money into the hands of public school teachers instead of keeping their money and spending it on an education for their children that doesn’t violate their basic human rights.
Now, what I found interesting was how the school found out about the club’s “offense”.
The article says:
As Christian Headlines previously reported, the controversy began when four female students raised concerns over the national organization’s position on marriage. The students said the national organization was guilty of discriminating against LGBT individuals.
So, the club was sanctioned by the public school because four anti-Christian girls were offended that a group of Christians had Christian views on a moral issues. These girls oppose freedom of religion, and they oppose freedom of association. Why? Because they are offended, and their feelings matter more than the basic human rights of other people.
Just to be clear, that definition of marriage comes right out of the words of Jesus.
1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.
2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”
4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,
5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?”
8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.
To be a Christian, minimally, is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. That means that we accept what Jesus teaches, on whatever he teaches about. We don’t overturn the teachings of Jesus in order to make people who are rebelling against God feel better about their rebellion. It is central to the Christian worldview that Christians care more about what God thinks of them than what non-Christians think of them.