A group of students at Bozeman High School recently protested Fellowship of Christian Athletes for a statement of faith they say is discriminatory towards gay students. Proponents of the club have claimed that the club is within their rights. However, ultimately, this statement of faith is fundamentally discriminatory.

Even if the statement is only for club leaders, it makes clear how the club sees gay people: You are wrong. You are immoral. You do not belong here. To say that you cannot be a leader if you don't conform to a standard that inherently excludes gay people is to discriminate.

Of course the problem isn't with the local branch. But the organization, on a nation-wide scale, discriminates against gay people, and because Bozeman High School has a policy against allowing discriminatory clubs, the administrators have a duty to follow this policy. The claim that this is discrimination against Christians is outlandish. I am both queer and Christian. I have never felt that it would be unsafe to wear a cross in public, yet I've felt that it would be unsafe to hold hands with my girlfriend.

FCA has not been forced to disband. They've simply been informed that the national organization violates the school's anti-discrimination policy and need to act accordingly. They can either no longer associate with a discriminatory organization or they will not be an official school club. This has nothing to do with religion. My faith does not demand that I deny who I am. My faith does not demand that I denounce others. Any real Christian would recognize that it is wrong to unjustly deny anyone an opportunity. The claim that the response to FCA's discriminatory pledge is an attack on Christianity is merely a cover for intolerance and hatred, and real Christians choose love.

Siena Popiel

Bozeman