Image: Channel 10/The Project
On Friday, Citipointe Christian College in Brisbane emailed parents an updated contract that they must sign on behalf of their child. If it was not signed, it meant that the student would no longer attend college.
The email was sent without any discussion with the faculty and was sent a few days before classes resumed for 2022. It was sent with Principal Brian Mulheran’s approval.
In the updated contract, it is stipulated that the students must abide by the “declaration of faith”. This declaration is provided for reference at the end of the contract sent by e-mail.
He is openly anti-abortion, homophobic and transphobic.
I am a 35 year old gay male living in Brisbane. I attended a Catholic high school. I am no longer religious, and while I understand the importance of religion and appreciate it, I also understand how it can hold extremely outdated views that no longer reflect the times we live in.
These views have real consequences and effects on students who attend not only Citipointe, but many other deeply religious private schools. This language has been around for 50 years, it’s now at a point where a school thinks they can put it in a contract and not suffer any repercussions.
When I posted about it on Facebook I was faced with many questions about why I care and why should I say anything if I am not a church parishioner.
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I’ll try to break it down for you as best I can. Here are my answers to the many questions people have asked me.
“If you don’t agree, don’t send your children here”
As a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I have an obligation to support my friends, siblings and fight the battles they cannot. Such open discrimination against them in their formative years has profound psychological effects. They carry these effects with them for the rest of their lives.
I received countless messages from people in the 40s and 50s telling me their stories about Citipointe and many other private religious schools in Australia.
They share with me a deep mental anguish, not understanding the world they live in and in some cases how they got married thinking that would solve the problem.
To me, this is a clear case of brainwashing; being told something over and over again until you believe it to be true. I have been told stories of how people cannot cope and ultimately end their lives.
“Can’t a church teach whatever it wants?
No it can’t. We have laws to protect us for this reason.
We have the Sex and Gender Discrimination Bill 2003 which prohibits discrimination based on sexuality, transgender identity or intersex status.
I also want to acknowledge that in 2019, the state and federal government provided Citipointe Christian College with $13 million in funding. It also grants tax reductions to the Citipointe Church. An organization with approximately over 10,000 Australian members.
This funding is paid for by you and me. This is why Australia has a say in this matter.
Many of these organizations do not believe that mental health exists. I’ve had countless DMs tell me that teachers have denied that a student has depression or anxiety. One parent even told me that the school’s solution to her child’s mental problems was to perform an exorcism.
Is this something we really want to fund?
“What is the impact on you personally?”
Students who are fed anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric grow up believing it. They then enter the workforce, occupy positions of power and make decisions based on their faith.
An example being our current Prime Minister, a member of Hillsong Church. A church that is not as openly homophobic as Citipointe but a homophobic organization nonetheless.
According to the PM, the church does not dictate its policy. However, last year he introduced a bill that allows Religious freedoms. It claims it will protect Australians from discrimination based on religious beliefs and activities.
This bill allows Citipointe to contract parents with openly homophobic and transphobic language.
It also means that the church is free to discriminate as it sees fit.
How, in 2022, are we creating more archaic laws than ever? Our Prime Minister has shown no leadership over the past four years.
His vacation at Hawaii during the worst bushfires the country has ever seen. His mismanagement of Brittany Higgins sexual assault case. covering for Christian Porter and countless other ministers in his cabinet. Not to mention the lack of leadership during a global pandemic.
Does he just sit in his office and say, “This is what the Lord intended”? Because that seems to be the case.