Politics

Public high school allowed notoriously anti-LGBTQ sports organization to host Christian assembly

Max Nibert, a senior at the high school, was involved in organizing the student walkout. In speaking to the outlet, Nibert (rightly) said no “religious official” should be “hosted in a taxpayer-funded building” with the “express purpose of trying to convince minors to become baptized after school hours.”

Jedd Flowers, a spokesperson for the school, said the assembly was optional, not required. Flowers said the revival took place during a free period, but two teachers accidentally told their students they had to attend the assembly.

But obviously, this situation highlights important questions: Are students going to feel isolated or outcast if they don’t attend? Will they feel judged by people with power, like teachers or coaches? Should these sorts of activities be held on public school grounds, during school hours, at all?

Parent Jana Tigchelaar raised this argument in speaking to local outlet WCHS, saying, “Even if it was volunteer-only, this kind of religious event should not have happened in a public school setting during the school day at all.”

“I’m not knocking their faith, but there’s a time and place for everything – and in public schools, during the school day, is not the time and place,” Bethany Felinton told the outlet. She says her son—who is Jewish—asked to leave the assembly and was told he couldn’t. 

At least one reporter says she was turned away from covering the student protest, saying officials told her it was because it wasn’t an official school-sanctioned event.

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Now, if you aren’t familiar with the FCA, it’s an international nonprofit group that was founded with the explicit goal of spreading Christianity through sports from the middle school through college level and into professional leagues. Much of its original ministry was rooted in homophobia, according to Out Sports. As reported by LGBTQ Nation, the group still holds a lot of regressive views. For example, the group reportedly espouses that marriage is between “one man and one woman,” that sex should only be between one man and one woman, and that marriage is the “foundation” of family and society.

According to LGBTQ Nation, these views are highlighted in a “sexual puritydocument, but that appears to no longer be available on the group’s website at the time of this writing. According to the outlet, the group also believes “each person’s gender is determined by biological sex” as opposed to one’s “self-perception.” Sad, but not surprising.

According to Out Sports, faith mission statements for the group also make it clear that openly LGBTQ+ people cannot hold positions of power within the group, including both students and coaches.

You can check out some footage from the protest below, courtesy of the AP.




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