The Citipointe debacle is a sobering revelation of where conservative Australian Christians stand in terms of our ability to forthrightly express our basic beliefs within our own institutions.
Religious freedom is now a second-tier right in Australia. This is the obvious conclusion from the controversy surrounding Brisbane’s Citipointe Christian College.
If religious people cannot join together and publicly form schools to educate their children without first paying homage to LGBTQIA+ sensitivities, then religious freedom is no longer a fundamental principle.
Religious liberty — a once cherished freedom — is now a disfavoured right, seen by many as a licence for bigotry and hatred. And so religious freedom cannot be tolerated, even when there is no evidence that anyone has been harmed.
A Christian Education
Citipointe Christian College began February by advertising their Christian principles to prospective students and their families.
They believed homosexuality was a sin and they required students to enrol according to their biological sex.
None of this was remarkable. The clue was in the name – Citipointe Christian College.
For 2,000 years Christians have believed sex is a gift from God to be enjoyed within the bounds of marriage. And the Bible defines marriage as a lifelong, exclusive union between a man and a woman. Any sex outside of that — whether premarital, extramarital, or homosexual — is a sin. Oh, and sex is binary. God created us male and female.
So you have to be okay with a Christian worldview to enrol at Citipointe Christian College. Again, the clue to all of this is in the name.
If you just can’t survive without waving a rainbow flag, or if you just can’t resist the urge to change pronouns and start using bathrooms for which you are anatomically unsuited, then Citipointe is not the school for you. And, sadly, your choice of schools is reduced by one to literally hundreds.
But activists didn’t want to send their children to an ‘enlightened’ school where their views on sexuality would be celebrated. They demanded the Christian school change its ethos to accommodate them.
Bizarrely, they even argued that the Christian thing for the Christian college to do would be to change their Christian ethic to something other than Christian and, in so doing, show themselves to be true Christians.
Such an absurd proposition could only be reasonable to people whose ‘Pride’ has now ripened into full-blown narcissism, wherein they now believe the entire world — including Jesus Himself — should orbit around them.
The school’s enrolment contract drew widespread outrage, with a petition calling for its recall gaining more than 155,800 signatures in a matter of days. This was highly significant in the eyes of journalists who seemed to think biblical truth, like politics, was almost entirely a matter of polling.
In the face of this onslaught, church leaders and Christian school principals across the country stood shoulder to shoulder with the Citipointe leadership, boldly asserting the importance of religious freedom.
Oh wait. No, they didn’t.
Barely anyone said a word in defence of biblical truth or religious liberty. And when Citipointe’s principal stood aside from his role leading the school, he was friendless, at least publicly.
A number of prominent church leaders were, however, moved to state how upset they were that Justin Langer had not been recontracted to lead the Australian cricket team.
We’ve given up on religious freedom, but heaven help us if we lose the next Ashes series!
If Citipointe Christian College was expecting support from our Christian Prime Minister, they were quickly disappointed.
When asked about Citipointe’s enrolment contract, he said: “I do not support that.”
In fairness to Mr Morrison, he is focused on a number of texts other than the biblical text right now. And if Christian leaders won’t risk anything to defend Christian freedoms, why should the PM?
By the end of last week, Citipointe’s principles had been reviled and their principal had been resigned, at least for the time being.
But the message was clear. Christians are perfectly free to practise their religion in Australia to the extent that their religion conforms with LGBTQIA+ proclivities. Which, of course, is no freedom at all.
And it all happened not with a bang, but with a whimper.
You can follow James on Twitter. You can order his new book Notes from Woketopia here.
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels.