In Fellowship of Christian Athletes v. San Jose Unified School District Board of Education, (9th Cir., Aug. 29. 2022), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, ordered reinstatement of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as an official student club at San Jose high schools. The majority said in part:
This case pits two competing values that we cherish as a nation: the principle of non-discrimination on the one hand, and the First Amendment’s protection of free exercise of religion and free speech on the other hand.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) requires students serving in leadership roles to abide by a Statement of Faith, which includes the belief that sexual relations should be limited within the context of a marriage between a man and a woman. The San Jose Unified School District … revoked FCA’s status as an official student club at its high schools, claiming that FCA’s religious pledge requirement violates the School District’s non-discrimination policy.
… Under the First Amendment, our government must be scrupulously neutral when it comes to religion: It cannot treat religious groups worse than comparable secular ones. But the School District did just that.
The School District engaged in selective enforcement of its own non-discrimination policy, penalizing FCA while looking the other way with other student groups. For example, the School District blessed student clubs whose constitutions limited membership based on gender identity or ethnicity, despite the school’s policies barring such restricted membership. The government cannot set double standards to the detriment of religious groups only.
Judge Lee filed a concurring opinion, saying in part:
One schoolteacher called the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ (FCA) beliefs “bullshit” and sought to ban it from campus. Another described evangelical Christians as “charlatans” who perpetuate “darkness” and “ignorance.”…
This is not, to put it mildly, neutral treatment of religion. More than a whiff, a stench of animus against the students’ religious beliefs pervades the Pioneer High School campus. I write separately to highlight the depth of that animus and explain why it is yet another reason why the School District violated the Free Exercise Clause.
The above comes from an August 30 posting on Religion Clause blog site.
It seems a Christian student athlete in San Jose would be better off at Pioneer HIgh School than Archbishop Mitty High School.
They know that boys belong in boys’ locker rooms and on boys teams and girls in girls’ locker rooms and on girls teams; based on biology (not gender self-identification). As the Church teaches, parents are the primary educators of their children. And, in many cases, public schools might be the best option.
Did you not read the article?
I did read the article. (Did you?) And, I’ve known several Pioneer students over the years. Your point?
Why shouldn’t a club of Christians be allowed to have leaders who hold to Christian faith and morals?
San Jose Unified schools, while “woke,” don’t seem to be pushing the gay and trans agendas as much as MItty.
A Mitty teacher spoke very inappropriately (I won’t post details) of marriage being one man and one woman and derided those who hold to that Catholic teaching.
Would Mitty allow a Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter on campus?
Pioneer can’t treat a Christian club any differently than any other club. That’s been upheld in courts on many previous occasions.
Pioneer has a Gay Straight Alliance club (as do even some Catholic schools). Should they be required to have a homophobe as a leader?
They have a travel club, too. Should someone with agoraphobia demand to be a leader?
It’s not unreasonable or unjust to have group leaders who hold to the tenets of any given group.
You must be referring to Deacon Steve Herrera. I’ve heard too. Actually, you could mean any of Mitty’s religion teachers from what I’ve heard… none of them support nor defend Catholic doctrine. Religion classes indoctrinate students with Democrat/leftist propaganda.
No, you didn’t read the article…it is very favorable to this Christian student club. You are also unclear on the distinction between public and private schools. Public schools must be inclusive, while private schools (here meaning parochial schools) are allowed to present their Catholic faith, and to exclude other faiths, including Protestant teachings. Now, reverse this. Are you saying that (private) Protestant Schools should not be allowed to restrict their teaching to only the Protestant Faith? Are you saying that these Protestant schools must also present the Catholic Faith?
I am aware of the distinction between public and private (Catholic, Protestant and other) schools. My point is that a Christian club for athletes at a public school conforms more to Christian teaching than some things happening in some Catholic schools. In answer to your question(s), as I noted: “It’s not unreasonable or unjust to have group leaders who hold to the tenets of any given group.” Catholic schools should teach and hold the Catholic faith, which Mitty and many others do not. Protestant schools should hold and teach their tradition of Christianity. Truth in advertising is an issue for private schools. And, for the second time, I did read the article. Of course, it’s favorable to the Christian students club, it’s from a site dedicated to religious liberty.
Seems the 9th circuit has taken a turn to the rational…come to think of it, I personally haven’t read of any egregiously goofy 9th circuit decisions in some time….I’m sure someone will point some out,…
Did you miss the part where the club had to go to court to be allowed at the school?
The part where there is a stench of animus against the students religious beliefs pervades the Pioneer campus?
That pic was obviously staged to satisfy diversity criteria. Checked almost all the ethnic boxes.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes has done tremendous good for kids, over the years! They should never have been forced to legally fight for their rights to form a group on campus! And that filthy-mouthed, bigoted, anti-Christian, immature “teacher” who bullied them– should be fired. The FCA supports Christian athletes of all denominations, and has students of many ethnic backgrounds. Groups like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA/YWCA, and many others, fell apart with corruption, and lost their good, decent Christisn values. We have very few groups today, to help form and support kids, with good Christian values. God bless the FCA.
When I was in public elementary school in California, way back in the Stone Age, a nun or Sunday School teacher could come once a week for an hour, take children out of the classroom and teach them their catechism with parental permission. My, how times have changed. Other parents chose to take their children to classes at their church, temple or other places of worship once a week. One of my friends went to Confucian School at her temple.