School District Called for Unnecessary Roughness against FCA
December 18, 2019
No matter how many times the Supreme Court says "no," the Left keeps targeting Christians. The latest act of blatant hostility comes from Bozeman, Montana, where the high school revoked the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' (FCA) status as an official student club. What did the club do to lose its official status after five years? Absolutely nothing. But the FCA does require its adult leaders -- not students -- to affirm biblical standards of sexuality. When four high school girls complained, the school board demanded the FCA club abandon its biblical principles or lose its official status.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel Jonathan Larcomb explained on yesterday's "Washington Watch" the FCA "can no longer do the same thing that other clubs do," he said. They may not announce meetings over the P.A. system, and their flyers must bear a yellow sticker notifying everyone they are not a school-sponsored club.
Last week, ADF wrote the school district, notifying them that this action violated the First Amendment and the Federal Equal Access Act, and that they had until December 18 to reverse course or face legal action. Larcomb said the Supreme Court set forth a clear precedent for "this specific exact scenario" 30 years ago. "High school is not a place where the school or the government should be able to pick and choose who gets to speak."
However, Larcomb added, school districts can "feel pressured" to make everyone affirm the LGBT agenda because they are "very vocal people in the community." "Maybe what the school districts are relying on, said Larcomb, "is the fact that Christians won't stand up for their rights, and they won't speak out and essentially ask the schools to preserve their rights under the Constitution." It's not just in Bozeman; a school district in New York state tried to deny a Christian club just last week. This kind of animosity toward people of faith is only growing more common.
Sometimes Christians can be tempted to roll over and take body blows rather than stand up for our rights. Christians are called to "live peaceably with all" (Romans 12:18), if possible, but we are also called to evangelize. Evangelism invites controversy, because Paul promised the gospel would be offensive to unregenerate ears (Galatians 5:11). When God tells you to deliver a message, you cannot stay silent. Even if God doesn't overwhelm you with a storm and feed you to a fish (Jonah 1), the words will be "a burning fire" shut up inside you (Jeremiah 20:9). Even Jesus, who would not break a bruised reed or snuff out a smoldering wick (Matthew 12:20), turned over the tables of the moneychangers (Matthew 21:12) and pronounced woe upon the Pharisees (Matthew 23).
In general, we Christians should pray for wisdom and discernment. But when censorship threatens our very gospel witness, then we have no choice but to stand for the truth (Ephesians 6:13).
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.